Travel Mashup, A Podcast

*** SHOW NOTES ***

Recorded in the beautiful Hampton Inn & Suites, Duluth, GA.

A lot of ground to cover this week


  • Politics
  • Southwest Airlines On-Time rankings
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Spring Break Destinations
  • The Roni
  • That Open Seat
  • Humor



It’s very rare we ever get political on the podcast, but it’s time to stick my toe in. Campaign Brain is a thing, and Bernie Sanders is living proof. Bernie Sanders is on the go all the time — which seems to have given him a momentary case of a campaign brain fart as he accidentally boarded the wrong private Gulfstream jet between campaign stops in South Carolina and Massachusetts. When using the hashtag #RealWorldProblems do you put an underscore between each word or just capitalize the first letter? See folks luxury travel has its challenges, maybe Bernie should have taken a picture of his Gulfstream with his Jitterbug phone.



AvaiationPros posted – Southwest Didn’t Have the 737 Max for Nine Months in 2019, but Still Boosted Its On-Time Rankings

In 2019, Southwest had its lowest complaint rate in four years, its best on-time performance percentage since 2016 and the lowest rate of mishandled baggage since 2004.



I grew up with Saturday Night Live, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray 

Over the past few years, they’ve been a bit more hit or miss or I’m just getting older and crankier. The February, 29th episode offered up a Broadway-style skit,  focusing on the armpit of airports LaGuardia. The best line was “Everyone at Laguardia goes to Chicago”. From airport sushi, which is a no-no, unless you’re in Charlotte,  to David Byrne of Talking Heads dressed as a ramp agent they hit all the high points in under nine minutes.



Spring Break is right around the corner and USNews just released their list of Top Ten Spring Break destinations. I’m sure with the Coronavirus going on some of these places will have plenty of vacancies for you and your BFF’s


#1 in Best Spring Break Destinations

Cancun has all the makings of a quintessential spring break getaway. 

Miami Beach

#2 in Best Spring Break Destinations

I guess my age is showing, but this is the last place I’d want to spend Spring Break.

South Padre Island

#3 in Best Spring Break Destinations 

I love Texas, but don’t recall ever visiting here.


#4 in Best Spring Break Destinations

Spending so much time living in South Florida the Bahamas is an easy destination. I prefer Abaco to Nassau and Bimini

Cabo San Lucas

#5 in Best Spring Break Destinations

Puerto Vallarta

#6 in Best Spring Break Destinations

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is a spring break vacation made for night owls thanks to its scores of nightclubs and music venues. 


#7 in Best Spring Break Destinations

What’s not to love about reggae music, cream-colored beaches, and all-inclusive resorts? 

Punta Cana

#8 in Best Spring Break Destinations

I have a business trip planned here for June and looking forward to it.

Panama City Beach

#9 in Best Spring Break Destinations

They call it the Redneck Riviera for a reason, that being said I’d rather spend the week here than Miami Beach.

Playa del Carmen

#10 in Best Spring Break Destinations


All three college students at Chateau’ Relaxo are on Spring Break this week, and the only place they’re visiting is WORK


Let’s talk about the Roni – the Coronavirus.

The last major cancellation is Austin’s SXSW. The city’s Mayor Steve Adler announced the cancellation of the 2020 SXSW and also declared a local state of emergency. The yearly event draws in excess of 25,000 people to Austin. This is a major revenue hit to the city.

Combatting the Coronavirus while traveling. We discussed this a bit in the February Crazy Travel Roundup.  I’m not a doctor but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Currently, I’m not doing anything different than I do normally. 

  • Wash your hands! In case you were sick every day of Kindergarten and first grade and didn’t learn, there several videos covering it step by step.
  • Lysol To-Go-Wipes. These might be worth throwing a travel-sized pack, not the round container, in your luggage. 
  • TV Remote, it’s the dirtiest thing in the hotel room next to your cell phone so don’t put your tongue on it. Look there’s a kink for everyone. I rarely turn on the hotel room TV, If so inclined wipe it down with the Lysol wipe.
  • Non-wrapped glasses. 
  • Ice Machine – Normally the only thing I use hotel ice for is for chilling my beer…. I don’t put it in my beverages. Learn to drink your whiskey neat. You have no idea what goes on with those ice machines. If you want to play Tipsy Bartender in your room, which I have, take your ice bucket to the hotel bar and they’ll gladly fill it. Remember to tip.
  • Don’t sit, lay….. on the comforter nude, duh. So you and your significant other have come back to the room from the third bar


The CDC also encourages everyday prevention practices:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% to 95% alcohol.


Last weekend’s shopping trip to Publix revealed lots of empty shelves, almost like a hurricane was heading our way. How I knew that it wasn’t a hurricane was that the beer aisle was fully stocked. Living in Central Florida hurricanes don’t automatically mean imminent death, however, there’s a great chance that we’ll lose power and internet and without those two we typically stock up on beer to get us through. 

After I got home a quick internet search produced….

Publix Places Limits on Cleaning, Sanitizing Purchases Amid Coronavirus Fears


Customers can buy a maximum of two of the following items:

  • Hand soaps and hand sanitizers
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Facial masks and gloves
  • Disinfectant wipes and sprays
  • Aerosol disinfectant sprays
  • Facial tissue
  • Cups/plates/utensils
  • Bleach


Of course, the Roni is impacting travel. All of the hotels and airlines that I use have informed me of their change and canceling policies due to the Roni. 

Even though I hate cruises, I checked our Carnival Cruises just to see what they were offering, and I was greeted with this on their landing page – CRUISES FROM $69 PER PERSON, PER DAY –  2 FOR 1 DEPOSITS – FREE ROOM UPGRADES. Everyone knows that $69 is just to get your attention, but you know that their marketing department is working overtime trying to attract business. 


Even without the Coronavirus, having an open seat next to you on a plane is nice, and more prized than an extra package of Biscoff cookies, especially when that empty seat is next to you. The other day I was talking to my friend over at Gack-And-Bone-Again and he had a few tips that just might give you an edge in securing that neighboring empty seat. 

Gack-And-Bone-Again went on to say that these tips work best if you’re looking to sit in a window or aisle seat leaving the middle seat empty.

Some of you might need to check your moral compass with the gate agent, for others it won’t be necessary, you decide.

With Southwest, there’s no real rhyme or reason as to how the plane fills up. Couples and families will look for seats or rows where they can sit together and if they’re in the “C” boarding group this will be a real challenge. My go-to seat is 9C, for two reasons.

Here are a few, not approved by anyone, tactics that may tip the empty seat scale in your direction.

The Rogue Backpack – Once seated place your backpack in the middle seat, direct your attention to anything besides the people walking towards you and wait. Eventually, someone will stop and ask “Is anyone sitting there?” Now, remember that left your moral compass with the gate agent, so shrug your shoulders and move towards one of the lavatories and go back to doing whatever it was that you were doing.

The Puffer Fish – When the pufferfish feels threatened it gulps water to puff itself up and appear bigger. Guess what your space is about to be threatened and you need to follow suit. Lower the armrest and get as close to it as you can. If you’re traveling with a jacket, sweater or one of those novelty umbrella hats, put them ALL on. If you’re a male time to manspread, if you’re a female it’s time to be as big as you imagine yourself to be. The thought is to take up as much space as possible and make the middle seat unappealing as possible.

The Human Petri Dish –  Grab your desired seat and immediately start rubbing your eyes, get them good and red, if you’re hungover you can skip this step. Next, rub a bunch of VapoRub rub under your nostrils, just glom it on there. Two things will soon happen, your nose becomes red giving the illusion that you’re on death’s doorstep and you will smell like my Grandmother’s house. While people are still boarding, drop the seat back tray and place a few moist wadded up tissues and a bottle of NyQuil. For added effect set the barf bag on there as well. This tip requires a bunch of prep work, but it’s worth it because no one wants to sit next to someone that’s sick.

That’s Not My Baby – This one might cause more grief than it’s worth, but give it a try. Survey the plane looking for a parent with as they say “an infant in arms’. Sit in that row leaving the middle seat open, I can almost guarantee that the middle seat will be the last one that anyone sits in. It might turn out that the child is the spawn of satan and screams from take-off to landing, so make sure to pack some noise canceling headphones.

If you’re too lazy to do any of the above just close your eyes and pretend to be asleep, people have a tendency to not disturb someone sleeping.

Most flights are full but if there’s an open seat and you apply any of these strategies you roughly have a 1 in 130+ chance of having that empty seat next to you, good luck.


The world is filled with creative folks, and social media is one of the ways to display it.

Coronavirus kills 3,000 people and we lose our minds, heart disease is the number one killer in the world and we put fried chicken between two doughnuts, thanks KFC.

If you get pulled over by the police, just begin coughing.

Was stuck in a long line at Walmart, so after I coughed, I said “this cough has gotten worse since I got back from China” boom, no line

John Travolta was hospitalized earlier today for suspected COVID-19.

Doctors now confirm that it was only Saturday Night Fever and they assure everyone that he is Staying Alive.

If you drank Detroit tap water at some point in your life you’re immune to coronavirus

What’s the most Philly response you’ve seen to the coronavirus?

  • Vendor wiping the row of soft pretzels with a tissue after he coughed.




When life gives you fears over coronavirus … make some hand sanitizer and sell it at your lemonade stand!!!

Two young entrepreneurs in Texas are putting a twist on the classic suburban lemonade stand by hawking bottles of hand sanitizer for $3 a pop. These smart salespeople are cashing in on the hand sanitizer craze … as you know, people are stocking up on the stuff over fears of catching coronavirus, and stores across the country are selling out … and they’re taking extra precautions by including their Venmo. Money is dirty!

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