*** SHOW NOTES ***
Our first two interweb round-up stories are a bit of a throwback to episodes past.
New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority suspended three railroad workers for building out a secret “man cave” in an old locksmith storage room under Grand Central Terminal. Their hidden break room featured a TV, futon sofa, refrigerator, air mattress, and microwave.
In episode 103 we talked about hiding places. From a homeless fellow who had been living in a luxury suite in Al Lang Stadium to Tad my first supervisor who got busted for having his own man cave in the back of the warehouse way back in 1983.
Growing up we were always building forts, from blanket forts in the living room to primitive lean twos in the woods behind my Maryland home. There’s something to be said for hiding, or thinking you’re hiding out while in plain sight.
Next comes directly from the airline Qantas’s website – Qantas 747 Half Bar Cart – Including Delivery
Enjoy drinks’ service at home with a fully stocked bar cart from a retired Qantas 747. Includes a range of Business Class items, including Champagne, mini bottles of red and white wine, Tim Tams, iconic Qantas pajamas, an exclusive Qantas First Class Sheridan throw and more.
The bar carts are used and will show signs of wear and tear. This product is not covered by our money-back-guarantee policy and no returns for change of mind are permitted.
In episode 100 I talked about wanting to purchase an empty retired genuine bar cart from SkyCart for only $1500. Yep, $1500.00 and empty…. The Qantas cart comes stocked and costs $974.00 and it’s completely sold out. FYI – Qantas stands for – Queensland and Northern Territory Air Service, or maybe it doesn’t..
In episode 107 I discussed business travel and whether or not it was returning to normal…. Well here’s an update. Business travel is still inconsistent, or at least it is when it comes to road travel versus air travel. For 2020 my nights spent in hotels has crested 40 and it seems that every single Hilton property has their own COVID strategy.
This past week was a South Carolina journey. From O-Town to Columbia, SC was roughly 630 miles. This required a couple of stops along the way. The Hilton Garden Inn that I stayed at had its bar open, but no food service. Their breakfast was grab and go yogurt, Nature Valley granola bars, and coffee.
My next stop was at a Hampton Inn and their breakfast was marginal, I opted for Bojangles. If you’ve never had a Bojangles breakfast don’t pass it up if you have the chance. Take it for what it’s worth since a Hampton Inn breakfast is included with your stay, their breakfast is just north of…. It’s an OK breakfast, but better than any to-go bag.
Both hotels had a “break the seal” sticker across the doorway, but both Hilton properties presented completely different experiences once inside the room. In one room the remote was wrapped in a clean seal, the other nothing. One room had a sign indicating that displaying the “Do Not Disturb” sign would let the housekeeping staff know not to enter the room, the other room nothing.
Here’s a bit of a pet peeve, masks everywhere….
The Top 10 Travel Lies We’ve All Been Told……
In full disclosure, 90% of my travel is business-related is domestic and will typically be in the eastern part of the United States. That means I typically travel during the week and the expense of that travel is a huge factor. The remaining 10% of my travel is for pleasure and often airfare, hotels, and rental cars are booked using credit card points.
Travel is glamorous – It certainly can be, if you have deep pockets, no sense of urgency, and deep pockets. Glamor traveling is a manifestation of social media, plain and simple. 15 years ago there were magazines like Town & Country or Conde’ Naste that highlighted where to go and where to be seen. In 2020 you have Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat and that mighty trio will make you think that travel is glamorous. I’m here to tell you that travel is enjoyable, especially with the right mindset.
Travel is relaxing – It certainly can be, if you have deep pockets, no sense of urgency, and deep pockets. Seriously, travel should be relaxing, and it can be if you plan correctly.
At some point, your travel plans will go squirrelly, and squirrelly travel partner is STRESS…. So you need to have a plan. I have a few tips for minimizing travel-induced stress.
- Have a time budget – Don’t book a flight that lands at 11:00 PM Sunday night fully expecting to be at work 9:00 AM Monday. Something will happen, weather delays, mechanical issues it will happen. Either come home a day early or get a flight that lands early afternoon Sunday.
- Putting all your eggs in one basket – Instead of basket think suitcase. Divide everyone’s clothes across all of the suitcases. That way if luggage gets lost or stolen all lose some but no one loses all of their clothes.
- Have some numbers – Not lottery numbers but travel numbers.
- Confirmation numbers for your flights, hotels, rentals, and attractions.
- Phone numbers for the airlines and your hotels. If you have bulging veins in your neck this might not be the best time to search for your hotel’s phone number.
- Emergency phone numbers for family and friends – The actual phone number, not #2 on your phone’s speed dial menu.
Once you have all of this information complied you have several options, Let’s go Good, Better, Best.
- Good – Go old school and write all of it on a piece of paper, make copies and give it to everyone in your travel party.
- Better – Create a list and email it to everyone in your travel party.
- Best – Create a Google Doc share it with everyone in your travel party and any updates made will be shared with everyone in our travel party.
Travel is great for family bonding – It certainly can be if your family resembles the Brady Bunch more than the Bundy’s or Connor’s. If you have family stress at home, guess what it will follow you on the road. The bills, mental health, ex-spouses, and job struggles all get put in those suitcases along with all your clothes.
Book early for the best prices – Ok, how early is early? I’m a fan of booking early, will I get the best price? Sometimes, other times there will be a fire sale looking to put butts in seats or heads in beds.
Book last minute for the best prices – Ok, how last minute is the last minute? When it comes to travel I never wait until the last minute to book, especially when booking a hotel room, as no one wants to sleep in their car. And I tell baby road warriors the same thing. There are two outcomes to this last-minute situation…. You book at whatever price you click “OK” on and the second outcome is…. There are no seats, rooms, or cars available and you wish you had a go-back machine so you could’ve booked last week. For me, I will always err on the side of book early.
You can get a great deal if you do this – Imagine you just pulled into your driveway with a brand new 2021 Ford Bronco. No one in your neighborhood has one, possibly no one in your town has one. All of a sudden rival Dad Kyle emerges not to admire your purchase, not to ask questions….. No Kyle is there to tell you that YOU could’ve gotten a better price if you did A… B… C…. Typically ABC requires a wing and a prayer to start next you’ll need to know someone, and then you’ll be indebted to that person and they will hold it over your head the next time you see them face to face….. They’ll get extra points if that next face to face involves a large crowd.
Deals are deals…. Prices are prices. Benjamin Franklin once said, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low prices are forgotten.”
Book early, book last-minute, get a deal or don’t get a deal, here’s a thought: pick a destination, set a budget, and work to stay under that number. If you stay under that’s extra cash
Stay outside the city – If you plan to spend time in the city, and your budget permits it stay in the city. Taking your personal ride or rental can be stress-inducing. First, you gotta find a parking space. If it’s in a garage that costs money if it’s at a meter then you have to worry about feeding the meter… hopefully there’s an app where you can do it from afar. If you’re traveling with others they’ll wanna help by telling you to go down this street or that street. Making base camp in the city allows you to take, walk, take Uber, or public transportation to almost everything.
It gives you time to unplug – Welcome to the world of fantasy. If you can’t unplug at home where everything is for the most part….. The same…. What makes you think you can unplug when traveling? All travel cynicism aside this is a tightrope between being in the moment and filming the moment. In the early 90’ when camcorders were expensive and almost the same size as a boom box I worked for a technology company that also sold cameras and camcorders. One of the perks was we could borrow a camcorder whenever we wanted. Let’s just say I filmed my daughter’s baptism and first birthday while everyone else participated…. Thank you 1991.
You’ll get to do everything on your itinerary – Of course, you will complete your itinerary in the fantasy travel world. The reality is that you will do almost everything on your itinerary that is either scheduled or you paid money for…. And you just might not pull that off, I bailed on my recent Penn & Teller show tickets. We didn’t make it to Ruby Falls on our last Chat-Vegas trip even though we had pre-paid for the tickets. We also passed on a Journey tribute band at House of Blues after we had bought tickets. The lesson here is that you don’t have to live by an itinerary, live by the experience.
It’s not that expensive – Expensive is a relative term to each of us, but the memories are priceless.
If you have a comment you can leave a voicemail on Anchor or send me an email TravelFrick@gmail.com.
Each day we’re getting closer to traveling and returning to “travel safe” until then stay safe and thanks for listening.
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