Apr 12

Betty In the Sky With A Suitcase

Betty In The Sky With a Suitcase is a podcast I’ve been listening to for about 6 years.  Betty is a Flight Attendant for a major US airline and she does a (usually) monthly podcast about flight attendant experiences and her travels.

Her podcasts consist of interviews with other flight attendants and pilots about their experiences.  They range from crazy passengers to silly things that the crew does to each other, throw in an occasional bad experience (emergency landing with a happy ending) and she’s covering all the bases.

She also tells some stories of her own experiences traveling, and she covers a lot of ground. From Easter Island to well, really after Easter Island do I need to expand on more on exotic places to go?

Betty is an absolute sweetheart, I hope I meet her on my flights one day.  I know she’ll take good care of me, and maybe give me a laugh too.

Feb 08

Podcast Recommendation: Disney Dish

The Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill is a podcast that’s been around for about a year and a half.  It obviously features Jim Hill, but also Len Testa of the Unofficial Guide and TouringPlans.com.

In this series of podcasts they explore the history of the parks. All the history.  From the original idea of Walt to the current attempts to upgrade areas of the parks to the ideas that imaginears are exploring for the future of the parks.  Muppets, Cars Land, Marvel, Star Wars and films being created?  Yes, they’re all mentioned at some point.

Although the podcast starts out in Disney World, they do have a whole series on Disneyland too.  Maybe one day they’ll make it to one of the parks outside the US too.

If you’re into the history of the parks, even as a casual fan, you’ll love this podcast.

Jul 20

The Indie Travel Podcast And Couples

In the Indie Travel Podcast episode # 237 – How Couples Can Stay Sane on The Road Craig and Linda discuss tips for couples.  As I normally travel solo, I didn’t expect to get too much out of this episode, but I was wrong.  This podcast was chock full of information for couples and for any type of pair traveling together, ways to set expectations and divide the work and not blame each other and be mad about stuff.  

It’s a great episode, I recommend it to anyone who likes to travel.


Dec 16

This Week In Travel – Podcast review

About 17 weeks ago a new Podcast started, This Week In Travel. I think the Podcast is great. It’s hosted by Gary Arndt with co-hosts Chris Christensen and Jen Leo and so far I think every episode has had a guest host. It’s an interesting group with a variety of travel experiences. Each week they go over the major and not so major stories in travel. The group is entertaining and fun to listen to. They don’t take things too seriously either.

I enjoy the podcast because now I feel like I’m up to date on what’s going on in travel. I’m also exposed to a lot of different travel writers and their lives and perspectives on travel. It’s opening new doors of places to travel to, blogs to visit, and twitterers to follow. But most of all, it’s fun and lighthearted while still being educational!

Jul 20

The Indie Travel Podcast

I’ve tossed around the idea of talking about this podcast for a while, the Indie Travel Podcast. It’s one I’ve listened to for a while, but never fell in love with, but could never quite place my finger on why.

Craig and Linda talk about travel, they have been traveling for a couple years now and work while traveling to afford their traveling. Like, I said, I liked it but didn’t quite love it, they’ve just seemed a little different from me and my style of travel, but some shows have been true gems so I’ve continued to listen. Well I finally figured out why I haven’t been able to click with them. Craig and Linda were discussing a book – Wanderlust and Lipstick. While they enjoyed the book they were a little irked at times by some of the US centric stuff in the book, they used the word “grate.” Once I heard that I realized I was dealing with a cultural divide with Craig and Linda and that was what was grating them in this book was what was grating me about them. If I recall correctly they are from New Zealand.   Now that I’ve figured this out I know where to go with talking about them.

They offer a lot of really usefully information about travel, particularly if you’re interested in independent travel. However, their personalities may not mesh with Americans at first. But if you can look past this cultural divide (aren’t travelers supposed to be open to other cultures?) and accept that they may do things differently at times then you can learn A LOT from them. So go ahead and listen a bit and make your own decision, you’ll learn in the process, I promise

Jul 17

Walt Disney World Today Podcast

Another of my favorite Podcasts is the Walt Disney World Today (WDW Today). It’s a podcast about Walt Disney World…

The podcast is done on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The Monday and Friday episodes are usually about 20-30 minutes about all sorts of topics – Dining, park touring, resorts, etc. Wednesdays podcasts are for answering listener questions and are usually around 30 minutes.

The are 5 regular hosts of the show. Matt Hochberg is the main host to moderates the show, he’s a Hollywood Studios fanatic. Mike Newell is the tech guy, he’s usually pretty quite on the show but when he does speak it’s either insightful or funny. Mike Scopa is the “old guy” on the show who REALLY gets the magic of Disney, he offers insight into the Disney experience as well as is vast knowledge of the Pop Century Resort AKA Scopa Towers. Len Testa is the co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and is the guru on touring plans and anything else statistical. But don’t be deceived, he’s the funniest guy on the show. Anette Owens is a new addition to hosting the show and brings the female touch. As a travel agent who works mostly with Disney products she offers insight on planning a trip.

What I like about the show:
The length of the episodes, they fit in well with my drives around town or to work and aren’t overwhelming.
The interaction of the 4 or 5 hosts. They have a great chemistry and you often feel like you’re hanging out with them having a conversation about Disney, including goofy jokes about stuff.
After listening to episodes since the double digits I feel like I understand the parks, touring ideology, resorts and all other things about Disney. Yet, I’ve only been there twice since I started listening to the podcast. I can now talk about Disney with confidence, yet rarely go there.

Here are a couple of my favorite episodes:
Sip, Snack and sick – episode 414

Episodes with Sam Gennawey – you can learn how the parks were designed to make a story and suck you in. episodes 583, 108 and 153

Mike Scopa’s Main Ballroom Speech at DisMeets (now known as Magic Meets) in 2006, I was nearly in tears it was so touching.

Jun 17

Katia and Kyliemac Podcast

Update 11/2012 – the podcast has been discontinued, but there is still some great episodes out there.

I thought I would review one of my favorite podcasts, the Katia and Kyliemac Podcast. Katia and Kyliemac are ex-pats living in France and their podcast is about their experience in France, they also throw in some tidbits about travel – general stuff about places they visit. Katia is originally from Australia and moved to France several years ago when she married a Frenchman. Kyliemac is a graduate student in France, she hails from the United States. K&K bring the French culture to me with a lighthearted, and irreverent approach. They don’t just talk about the “crazy” things the French do, but talk about their experience with the french and compare them to their own experiences from home and other parts of the world. It’s a more subtle and fun approach that they take. They also talk about their own travels, around France, and wherever else they might go. Mostly though the podcast is about French culture.

K&K also do two other podcasts. The first is a french language podcast, it’s for people who already know at least a little french. They cover french terms and their meanings. An example of something they might cover if it was an English language podcast is the saying “were you raised in a barn,” or “drop a dime,”

The final podcast is french tourist tips, tips for people visiting France. This is a short podcast, typically under 10 minutes, and covers a variety of topics. It’s designed to help you get the most out of your visit and ways to avoid pitfalls. This was the first one I listened to of K&K and is a good introduction if you don’t want to spend 30 minutes on the original podcast to get a feel for the girls.

Apr 07

World travel with Children

The other day I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The K&K Podcast, and Kylie brought up a topic from a podcast she had recently listened to – the topic of traveling with children. The podcast is The Family From the Heart and in episode 50 they discuss Cliff’s idea of traveling/living outside of the US with the whole family. They would sell everything and move to different places for 3-6 months each, for 2-3 years. The children would be around 7, 10 and 13 when the trip started. I listened to the podcast myself, it was the first one I had ever listened to so I don’t know much about the family but the vibe was good.

This obviously isn’t my typical type of topic to discuss, and I have no children so maybe I have no business discussing it, but I thought it was really interesting. I don’t know if it’s becoming more popular to do extensive travel with children, or if I’m just noticing it more, but it seems like it’s getting more popular for Americans. There is a show Six for the Road about a family of 6 who bought an RV and are RVing around the country. The 6 in the World blog is about a family of 6 who sold everything and traveled around the world. When I was growing up a vacation was a weekend trip to Amish Country in Pennsylvania, this seems really fascinating to me. Ok, as a child we did take 2 cruises and go to Disney twice, but otherwise it was just Amish Country. It took me a long time to find out I had a passion for travel.

I think my concerns about it are that the oldest child will be a teenager, which is a time when kids really start to connect with their friends. But with technology today the oldest daughter would be able to keep in contact with friends. Also, I wonder if the youngest will be able to really appreciate being in the different places. But just like every adult gets something different out of travel, so will each child, no matter the age. I suspect they’ll look at it as a special time once it is over and hopefully during the trip. But other then that, I think there is so much opportunity for the children to grow – travel does that. I used to listen to a podcast called A Year In Europe, the year is over, but it was interesting to hear the journey they went through. Learning how different people live in different places and then to come back home to the US and to see how different we really are from Europeans. I think no matter where they end up the kids could learn a lot. And their experience will be so unique from other people they encounter in life.

I think this trip will require a lot of planning, and the involvement of the kids. I’ve only listened to the one podcast, but I think they will include the kids. I don’t think they’ll learn a language in 3-6 months as they’ve stated they wish to do – A year in Europe didn’t seem to learn more then some basics when they spent a month or more in a country. But they will learn about how different people live, and take in some of the good things and integrate them into their lives. Even though they seem to be seriously considering home schooling while away I hope they will stay somewhere and put the kids in school for maybe an entire school year, or at least part, schools vary so much from country to country, even from school to school here in the US. That could be a great experience for the kids. But too many schools might be overwhelming for the kids, not just adjusting to how different schools work, but also meeting new kids so often. There is such and opportunity for them to grow as a family and as individuals. Yea, they can and will run into some problems and roadblocks, but as a family, if it’s done rightish, I think it could be great. I wonder if I can get them to adopt me as a 4th child?