Travel Squad Podcast Celebrate 4 Years!

On this week’s episode we celebrate our four year podcast anniversary by sharing where the show has been, where it’s going + our best travel tips, products, and destination recommendations. We’re also celebrating with a giveaway! Four lucky winners will take home some awesome prizes so be sure to listen to the episode and enter on our latest Instagram post.

4 Year Anniversary – Episode Transcript

1 (44s):
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad Podcast. This episode is a very, very special episode as we have it launching here August 15th, making this officially four years since we’ve launched the very first Travel Squad Podcast episodes back in 2019.

2 (1m 3s):
Wow, I can’t believe it’s been four years. I mean, when you said that Jamal like it’s launching on the anniversary date, I just couldn’t believe it. We took so much time setting up this podcast, it was a lot of work and we’ve come so far, we’ve grown so much and we started this podcast for fun and I’m so excited to see how it continues to evolve and grow in the upcoming years. We thought we knew so much about travel when we started the podcast and we’ve learned so much along the way and we’ve been so excited to share all of our knowledge with you guys. But what I think I love the most is that we’ve grown a really good community of squats and we love to hear from you guys and engage with you.

2 (1m 44s):
So keep all of that coming ’cause we love that

0 (1m 47s):
We’ve done anniversary episodes like this before, but four years just feels really, really good. It’s been a good last year, like you said, Britt, we have developed, grown and cultivated an amazing community of squatty. We have opportunities coming our way that we never foresaw when we set out to do this. We’re kind of becoming legit podcasters and it feels really good. And it’s funny too, we were on our last trip in Banff and we were like, remember when we said we were gonna run out of content one day? Yes. That’s never gonna fucking happen. And the podcast is better than it’s ever been and I love this. We’re at four years and I’m so excited to just celebrate it.

1 (2m 30s):
Well, I’m not trying to take away from four years ’cause it is a big accomplishment. But if we feel this way at four, imagine at five when we get to there and that trajectory for us personally travel-wise, of course for our squads, our engagement plus the great tips and content we give to them. Like I’m really, really excited to see it. But yes, for what a huge, huge accomplishment and I can’t believe all that we’ve done in this past four years.

2 (2m 54s):
Yes. And before we get into the episode, we have a exciting announcement to make. We are doing a giveaway. Ooh. To celebrate our four years. So stay tuned to find out how to enter and to find out what we’re giving away.

0 (3m 8s):
So let’s go back a little bit in history. You know, I, I am a context person. I love to look backwards and you know, thinking about where we started, I don’t know why the hell you guys agreed to do this because this was some crazy talk in the back of a plane heading to Mexico City. Like we travel so much, we always traveled together. We should start a podcast like why did you guys agree to do this with me?

1 (3m 32s):
Well we were all drunk at Nicole’s wedding in Mexico City and I think it was a little bit of that liquid courage and then we were all hyping each other up and our own egos like yeah, we’re fucking cool. People wanna hear our stories, let’s do it. And we have great content to give them, not even just in our stories but good advice, solid tips, et cetera. And so I think we had that liquid courage but once that liquid courage faded and we’re like, oh shit, we all agreed to this. We really stuck to it And we’re like, yeah, we’re gonna put this into fruition. We’re gonna make it happen. And that we did. But you know, it’s one of those things I’m glad I didn’t know or maybe all of us didn’t know really how much effort goes into it. ’cause I think if we did know that, we probably may have been like, let’s maybe not do it.

1 (4m 12s):
This is a big bite to chew.

2 (4m 15s):
Yeah and I really think it comes down to your idea Kim, like you really were the one where like we can do this. We wanna hear different types of podcasts. You listened to podcasts, you’re like, I’m not impressed with what I hear in the travel industry. And we went to Nicole’s wedding in June of 2019 and we came back and immediately started laying the groundwork and the foundation and it took us a solid like two to three months just for setup and like buying our all of our equipment, figuring out what type of episodes we were gonna launch, what type of audience we wanted to promote to, all of those sorts of things. And then we wanted to drop with four episodes for. And so even just the prep for that took a lot of time.

2 (4m 58s):
I remember us recording the Kauai episode and then all four of us thought we needed to sit down and edit it, which was like the biggest mistake because we each have our own opinions. And so it just takes so much longer to edit when it’s like four people versus just like one person saying, Hey I’m just gonna take charge of this because we have so much other things to focus on so we could split up and divide all of those pieces.

1 (5m 20s):
Well you forgot to mention even two with that Kauai episode, we recorded it, thought it was a good one and then it was one of our first ones that we launched when we were recording the first four in batches and it didn’t even record. So I mean we had that going with us too and we’re just like, well what a setback. But we persevered on, I just wanna say her wedding was in June, 2019 and yet somehow we launched in August, 2019. So in that short two month time, like again we still learn to this day of course, but we had a lot of learning to do in those first few episodes. I still think they’re golden. I think they’re great. Oh yeah. But you can kind of see that trajectory that we’ve even had personally in terms of how we create a podcast.

2 (6m 0s):
And then of course Covid hit.

0 (6m 2s):
Yeah, what a time to start a travel podcast when there is no travel allowed And that’s the furthest thing from people’s minds. We saw our numbers dip and we started panicking a little bit and we were like, oh what are we gonna do? How can we do this? But I’m so glad we stuck with it because I love looking at our charts of downloads and you see that drop during C O V I D and then you just see it go up and up and up and up. And that just shows that people wanna travel, they need tips, they need advice. And I’m so excited for some of the other episodes we’re gonna record today because I have some myths to break and some tips to give and it’s gonna continue through year five.

2 (6m 40s):
And if you guys all know, we started with four co-hosts. And so Zaina did end up leaving the podcast to focus on her own ventures. And

0 (6m 48s):
That was another thing that was like how are we gonna continue as the Travel Squad Podcast when one of our Squad members is gone? But we stuck with it. We continue to laugh and make fun of freakouts and go on trips

2 (7m 1s):
And invite other people and make them honorary squads. Really like we started traveling with other people as well. So it wasn’t just always the four of us. And so we still were considered a travel Squad in our own way.

1 (7m 14s):
I think all three of us make a solid Squad. I mean I harken back and listened to our old episodes when we were four and you know, since Zaina has left to focus on her own personal business ventures, which is originally why she left in the first place, it’s not like we hadn’t taken a trip with her. I mean we had Ecuador, a few other things like that too. So you know, it, it was obviously an amicable thing in that sense, but we had to change our whole model so to speak. But us three still make a solid Squad with the honorary squads who travel with us.

0 (7m 44s):
I totally agree.

2 (7m 45s):
And behind the scenes there was a lot going on in our personal lives. Kim took on a second job for a portion of time. Jamal started his own business. I had a job as a director. I decided I didn’t like that I completely quit my corporate nine to five job and kind of went rogue and started something else. And so along the way, you know, we’re producing this consistent podcast and you don’t see the things behind the scenes, all of the things that we’re doing in our personal lives that also make it somewhat difficult but also still rewarding because like when we went on this last trip to Banff, it was just so nice to have a break from like our everyday lives and just like reconnect and have a great trip. And it was such a good one to to reconnect over to.

2 (8m 26s):
And then Kim moved away. She moved away from San Diego to Austin a year ago and we went semi virtual. So we still are meeting up like we are today and we are batch recording episodes. That’s the one great thing. Like for all, for anyone that’s looking to make a podcast batch record your episodes, it makes it so much easier. But some of the time we do interviews or sometimes it just doesn’t lend itself that we can all meet up all of the time. So we are semi virtual and do record things, things semi virtual at times.

0 (8m 57s):
I gotta say it feels good to be in person with you guys back in our OG recording studio,

1 (9m 2s):
OG recording studio, our kitchen and dining room here. I love it with the headphones on our own personal mics versus when we’re doing virtual, Brittany and I are sharing the Yeti, you have your Yeti, it’s just a whole different vibe. And you’re right, it does feel good.

0 (9m 17s):
And I’m just so proud of you two sitting in front of me, everybody listening on the other end of this speaker. We’ve hit over 200,000 downloads on our podcast episodes this year in particular, we were soaring with downloads like every week we were checking it and sending each other screenshots like, oh my God, have you guys seen this? Like people love it and some of you don’t. And we’ll talk about that later. But it’s been really, really rewarding to get messages from you all and hear that we’ve inspired you to take your first international trip or you’re going on this trip or people inviting us to come stay in their homes.

0 (9m 58s):
Like this is why we started this and I’m so, so happy that we are here.

1 (10m 3s):
On that note, Kim of the over 200,000 downloads to date. Let’s give a little bit of context here. Of course, you know we are a US based podcast but traveling isn’t based just in the United States and people who travel just aren’t in the United States, right? So about 80% of our listenership is here. But in terms of other countries where people are listening to us finding value, I mean we’re seeing Canada, Australia, uk, Mexico, New Zealand, just as some of those top ones. So it makes me feel really good. And you squatty should know too worldwide people are getting our information and putting our tips into practice to make you guys better, more savvy travelers and also living vicariously so to speak and getting inspiration for your own travels through us.

1 (10m 50s):
And that makes us all feel really good.

0 (10m 52s):
We’re a 60% female strong baby.

2 (10m 55s):
Yeah, love that. And most of you guys are listening are 28 to 59.

0 (11m 1s):
Love seeing the stats on you. We’re, you know, we are creeping on you.

1 (11m 4s):
Yeah, we look at those ones and you know I most, as you said Brittany, correct 28 to 59, but I saw that stat where we’re almost 25% in that 45 to 59 range. So it makes us me feel really good. Like the generation before us is in joint our content just as well.

0 (11m 20s):
And it very much follows reality because whenever we go on trips, Jamal finds the older couples and BFFs instantly.

1 (11m 29s):
I don’t know, I’ve always just had that knack. Maybe it goes back to my waiting days at Denny’s when I used to be a waiter at Denny’s in high school and a little bit afterwards and the old people just always loved me and had some sort of knack with them. You’re

0 (11m 40s):
Very charming.

1 (11m 41s):
I I try to be, try to be

2 (11m 43s):
In our top episodes that we’ve produced are our London episode, Zion, Tokyo, and Travel Tips to Travel Better.

0 (11m 51s):
All good ones. So check them out if you have not yet. Hey squats. Let’s take a quick detour to talk about our travel Itineraries that we’ve created just for you.

1 (12m 1s):
We just launched several new international trip Itineraries including Tulum and Japan. This is on top of the Itineraries we already have for us trips like the Hawaiian Island of Kauai, the US Virgin Islands, as well as National Park Trip Itineraries, including Utah’s Mighty five national parks and a week at Grand Teton and Yellowstone.

2 (12m 22s):
These fully built out 20 to 30 page P D F guides are available for instant download on our site. Right now every detail of the trip is laid out for you. So all you have to do is download book, show up and have fun.

0 (12m 36s):
The Itineraries tell you where to fly into the exact route to take, where to stay, park entrance prices, where to eat, driving distance between attractions, the things to see and do, even the hikes we recommend they’re mileage and the time to allot for each one. And believe it or not so much more,

1 (12m 53s):
Be sure to head over to Travel Squad Podcast dot com to download your very own comprehensive travel itinerary today.

0 (13m 0s):
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2 (13m 12s):
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1 (13m 14s):
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2 (13m 28s):
What’s cool is they also have video podcast capabilities and when you wanna take your conversations to the next level q and as and polls are the best ways to get them talking. We’ve started using polls on our episodes and we love seeing your guys’ feedback. With

0 (13m 41s):
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1 (13m 49s):
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2 (14m 6s):
Hey Squatty, we wanna share one of our favorite travel products with you. Liquid IV is a category winning hydration brand, fueling your wellbeing while traveling.

1 (14m 15s):
One stick fits into 16 ounces of water to give you three times the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks and hydrates you two times faster than water alone. Their half ounce hydration multiplier powder packet is the one product you need in every suitcase carry-on. And dayak,

0 (14m 32s):
We use it while flying on planes because flights can be so dehydrating. We use it when we feel jet lagged when we’re out on a hike and after a long night out that has this feeling worn out in just one stick, you get five essential vitamins, B three B five, B six, B 12, and vitamin C

2 (14m 47s):
Liquid IV also now comes in 12 delicious and refreshing flavors to keep your hydration routine exciting. Our favorites are the lemon, lime and tangerine with immune support.

1 (14m 57s):
It’s made with premium ingredients, all non GMO and gluten, dairy and soy free. Get 20% off when you go to liquid iv.com and use Travel Squad Podcast at checkout. That’s 20% off anything you order when you shop. Better hydration today using promo code Travel Squad Podcast at liquid iv.com. But keeping on the four year theme here, and this isn’t trying to just really hype us up, but just talk about the excitement of the podcast, right? We kind of want to keep that four theme going. So we’re gonna just talk about kind of like a few things like our four favorite travel products for each of us favorite episodes that we do have over these past four years.

1 (15m 40s):
Favorite international trip Squad trip that we’ve taken, national Park, domestic, et cetera. So we’re kind of gonna go run through that with you guys. We’re gonna have a secret q and a, we’ve all come up with q and as for each other. We love, we’ve had a few episodes like that. They’ve actually been really big hits even though they didn’t make that top four episode list, but they do rank high and we got lots of positive feedback and I really love those episodes too. And we kind of hit each other with the secret question. So that’s what we kind of have in store for you guys. Also talking about our favorite four best travel hacks, et cetera. So keeping the four theme going.

2 (16m 13s):
So Kim, what would you say your top four travel products are?

0 (16m 16s):
They’ve changed over the years. Currently I am on my mini backpack. It’s big enough to hold a laptop, a pair of socks, your wallet, all that kind of stuff. But it’s small enough that you can bring it and it doesn’t feel bulky.

1 (16m 32s):
But is it still big enough to pack enough underwear to shit yourself three times a day or I should say four times a day? Four. Four times a day. Keep with the four. Absolutely.

2 (16m 39s):
Is this the backpack that you brought to Bam.

0 (16m 41s):
I bring it everywhere. I bring it on all my trips now. It

2 (16m 44s):
Is very stylish too. I will say that. It’s very cute, very stylish.

0 (16m 47s):
It can take place of your hiking backpack, your travel backpack, your purse slash backpack. It’s fantastic.

1 (16m 54s):
Well what about the other three? Mini

0 (16m 56s):
Perfume because I like to smell good and I love just a little spritz of Mark Jacobs Daisy and the small travel size a hundred percent. You can get it on Amazon too.

1 (17m 6s):
There you go.

0 (17m 8s):
Comfy sweater. Especially our new Travel Squad Podcast merch sweater. It’s so cozy, so comfy, perfect for plane travel when it gets cold. And then lastly, a snap hook clip. If you guys can imagine this, they’re like oval shaped. You can hook on your mini backpack, your water bottle and that is coming in so clutch lately.

1 (17m 31s):
Kind of like little carabiners.

0 (17m 33s):
I was looking for the word for it. I knew you would know it.

1 (17m 35s):
It came to my mind. It came to my mind carabiner. Yeah. So I just wanted to make sure that’s what you were referring to. Yes, those things are clutch. ’cause you could patch a lot of things to a water bottle. Very recently Brittany had a mishap where her portable airplane pillow, neck pillow fell off of her backpack in transit in the airport somewhere. Lose lose it. We’ve lost it. Did you lose it? Yeah. Oh no. And so we could’ve used that little carabiner on there and hooked it to her backpack. ’cause that’s actually where it was. But it just fell off and it didn’t have that carabiner. What

0 (18m 4s):
About you guys? So

2 (18m 5s):
My top four favorite travel products, my number one right now and mine have changed over time too, are the compressible packing cubes. I mean literally a game changer.

0 (18m 15s):
I just saw my grandma on this trip to Lake Arrowhead for the wedding and she was talking about the packing cubes and wanting to get them really?

1 (18m 24s):
Did she see it from the great story that you did of the compressible packing cubes for Banff? I know Brittany’s done one too, but when we saw yours and you did that one, Brittany and I both looked at each other and were like, oh yeah, Kim did a real, real solid story right there with those compressible packing cubes.

0 (18m 39s):
I mean we’ve been pumping ’em up because they are that good. But if that story didn’t sell you, I don’t know what will, because there’s no way all of that stuff can fit in a suitcase without those bags. And

1 (18m 49s):
I you used to think packing cubes just in general were just like okay, whatever. Because I’ll just fold it myself and it’s still the same amount of space, but the compressible aspect where it has that second zipper, it seals it down, you can fit more in it takes away the air. And we’ve done several trips now where we’ve actually had those where they’ve come and clutch to prevent us from having to either check a bag or just make us available to put more things in it in that carry-on size.

2 (19m 17s):
And we heard about it while we were on our trip to Morocco. One of our fellow gate one travel members was saying, oh yeah, I packed everything for our eight day trip in Morocco. Which is kind of hard to do when you go abroad sometimes like in winter. ’cause we went in January and she was like, I fit everything in a carryon because I used my compressible packing cubes. And I was like, tell me more. And she was like, yeah, just squeezes all the air out. So I looked into them, I bought them, I posted stories on them. Made Kim a believer too. One question we’ve gotten on them though is does it make your clothes more wrinkly?

0 (19m 48s):
Yes it does.

2 (19m 49s):
See, you know, I didn’t think so because I used it for Spain and I used it when we went to Banff and I didn’t think it made my clothes any more wr more wrinkled than it does if you were to roll them.

0 (20m 3s):
Yeah, you’re right. It doesn’t make ’em necessarily more wrinkled but they are gonna come out wrinkled if you’ve packed it in like I did.

2 (20m 10s):
So I had actually sent pictures to one of our scotties of like, here are some of the outfits I wore after I pulled them out of the bag and I didn’t do any ironing. And so I was actually happy with like the results. But yeah, I mean anytime you pack clothes into a suitcase, they are gonna become somewhat wrinkled unless you’re just like stacking them really pristine. But some of my other travel products that are my favorite are the portable charging bank. I always take this with me ’cause you never know when you’re gonna need it on flights or while you’re hiking or while you’re driving in the car. And sometimes the car charger’s not charging fast enough. So that’s really helpful.

2 (20m 49s):
Shoe bags, I love shoe bags. I used to be the type of person that would just throw my shoes in a plastic bag. But these shoe bags are game changers. They’re washable, they’re dippable, they come in different sizes. My hiking boots can fit in them. I think Jamal’s hiking boots can even fit in them as well. And it just keeps everything nice and clean. So I love that. Keeping my suitcase clean. And then more recently too, I’ve gotten some air tags that we’ve placed in our check luggage. Sometimes I’ll just put it in my carryon in case we’re the last people to board and they make us check our luggage anyways. But it just gives me security and peace of mind. Like oh yeah, my luggage made it or you know, hopefully this never happens.

2 (21m 30s):
But if it doesn’t make it then I can find out where is my luggage.

1 (21m 33s):
Yeah, the air tags are really, really clutch. My four, you know, Brittany had a few of them when I saw her list here. So I didn’t want to do a lot of, you know, repeats on them because I love the shoe bags as well, the compressible packing cubes. But one thing that I am gonna put here as really a repeat because it is so clutch, is that portable charging bank for your phone. I mean you need that with you, especially when you’re traveling. For the reasons Brittany had mentioned, they do come and clutch love ’em. Another thing, and I guess this is more specifically if you’re gonna be going international, it’s going to be the electrical adapters that you have. We use a brand, I don’t even know how to pronounce it, I think it’s called Ori, spelled o r e i.

1 (22m 13s):
But basically every plug that you can imagine for any different type that they have, you know, Australian plugs, uk, African, middle East, you know US ones, et cetera. So it gives you all of that. Not only that, it will actually change the voltage for you ’cause you know we have a different voltage here. This adapter will also change the to the appropriate voltage so you don’t ruin your electronic items. And on top of that, what I think makes this one really, really clutch. So do go check it out. I think we have it linked to our Amazon just as well. But why I love this is because then it also turns into like a little power search. So not only does it just fit in the wall, it has a cord that really makes it a surge and you can fit multiple things in there.

1 (22m 54s):
And I think that comes in really, really clutch. Amazon Fire stick when we’re getting Airbnbs. You know when you’re unwinding after a day, you don’t know if wherever you’re staying is going to have anything for you. Instead of having to watch it on your phone, you can just plug it in, catch up to where you are, look at it on your profile, not have to worry about signing in your profile on somebody else’s remembering do I need to sign out, et cetera. So really, really clutch with the Amazon Fire Stick. And we hype this one up all the time. Collapsible cooler comes in clutch, we brought it to Banff, we brought it many of places. It saves a ton of money when you use it in terms of you know, I can pack yogurt, fruit drinks, et cetera.

1 (23m 36s):
So I would say those are my top four on the travel products.

2 (23m 40s):
And if you go to our website, Travel Squad Podcast dot com, we have a shop section and it links our Amazon shop with all of these items in it. So definitely hearing about any of these and you’re like, oh where do I find it? Go take a look there.

0 (23m 52s):
I am glad the collapsible cooler made it on the list because that is the M V P product of the year.

1 (23m 57s):
It really is the M V P product. And I was like, all right, I have to list this. And it really is one of my top four ’cause we use it all the time when we can. But off of the products, let’s talk a little bit more about specific podcast stuff and more particularly trips. You know, we have listed on here to talk about our favorite Squad trips that we’ve taken right off the bat, let’s go with international. ’cause sometimes international is just a little bit more exciting than domestic, right? Or at least we think that in our minds. So what’s been your favorite Squad trip internationally that we’ve taken ladies?

0 (24m 29s):
This might be unpopular opinion but I’m gonna say Dubai. We did

2 (24m 33s):
Have a really good time in Dubai. Like even though we were there for only two days, we packed a lot in and it was a lot of fun.

0 (24m 39s):
We were pedal to the metal, we went 3:00 AM get on the camels, get out there on the dunes, ride the camels, get the breakfast buffet. Then we went waterpark, then we went nine course tasting dinner Hawas on literally

1 (24m 55s):
We literally, you know, we talk Hawkers on all the time. We really made it to Hawkers on this time in Dubai. That is

0 (25m 0s):
For sure. No joke. And it, it lived up to the hype. I thought it was a great trip. And you know people when we say we went to Lebanon and went to Dubai, they’re like, how was Dubai? How was Dubai? And we kind of like give it a little whatever, but in reflecting I think it was an amazing 48 hours.

1 (25m 17s):
It was an amazing 48 hours. And I think that just goes to show in terms of I guess of course what you do but who you’re with, right? It was OG Squad. Zaina was there. We all had collectively had a good time. And I think you undersold that breakfast buffet Kim. ’cause you said breakfast buffet and sometimes they’re just whatever. I mean this was literally in Bedwin style tents in the desert, on the dunes. Traditional style breakfast after the sunrise camel ride. That was a whole experience in and of itself.

0 (25m 44s):
It was. And we weren’t even expecting it. We were just gonna do the camel ride. We didn’t know about this amazing breakfast buffet. Even

2 (25m 51s):
The bathroom there was super cool and beautiful as well. And I also think it’s probably one of the coolest hotels we’ve stayed in in Dubai. I mean we spent, well we didn’t spend any money ’cause we used Jamal and I used points, but it was an amazing experience staying at the Atlantis in Dubai. You

0 (26m 8s):
Know, I remember when we booked it, it was like 400 bucks a night or something and I was like damn we are splurging. But today I wouldn’t really blink an eye at spending that much on a hotel room

2 (26m 19s):
We just did recently when we went

0 (26m 21s):
To ban. I wonder how prices have increased since you know inflation.

1 (26m 25s):
That’s true. But to your point on Banff, Brittany, that’s the going rate in Banff. In Dubai you could find other stuff, of course you could find a lot more expensive stuff. But we chose to stay at a fancier place in Banff. We didn’t choose like anything fancy, fancy. That’s just the going rate. So

0 (26m 39s):
Next time we go back it’s the seven star hotel for us.

1 (26m 41s):
Oh yes. We’re gonna have to stay there. There

2 (26m 43s):
Includes the Butler,

1 (26m 45s):
The Butler and the golden iPad. The golden crusted iPad that they give you to use while you’re in the room. Yes. Amazing. We’ll have to do that.

2 (26m 52s):
Well my favorite international Squad trip that we’ve taken is our first international Squad trip and I think it’s one of your first trips out of the country other than Mexico too. And that was to Peru and it was just an amazing experience. We, Kim and I had been hiking quite a bit. We were wanting to hike like an epic hike, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu definitely was that. And it wasn’t just about Machu Picchu itself, it was about the journey getting there and all of the ruins that we saw along the way and all of the relationships that we built with the people that were on the trip. We had a really great group. We learned a lot about travel on the trip leading up being in Cusco.

2 (27m 33s):
And I just feel like that was one of my favorite trips to this day.

1 (27m 36s):
I mean that was definitely a really good one for all the reasons you just mentioned. It’s definitely high on my list and maybe maybe number one international for me too if I like think about it. ’cause it’s really a coin flip. But

0 (27m 49s):
For you’re so hard to please Jamal, it’s

1 (27m 51s):
Not hard to please. It’s just like I think of sometimes of a lot of the experiences that we’ve done and it’s just like each one has their pros, each one has their cons and for all different reasons, right? But I settled and came to the conclusion of China for us, for international and I, I wouldn’t say

2 (28m 7s):
That settling

1 (28m 8s):
China, well no, no it’s not settling. But in terms of like choosing which one my number one international would be would be China for a plethora of reasons. But before I get into that, I just wanna say I noticed how all of ours of what we chose favorite internationals included when we were a foursome Squad. Did anyone notice that? That was all with Zayna on it traveling with us too. So I loved China because it was our first gate one experience. It was a really good price. Brittany and I are adult Disney lovers, but not on that crazy level. But we love it, right? And we went to Shanghai Disney. That was fun. That was fun. But not that I didn’t expect much out of China, but China exceeded what I expected so to speak, in a really, really, really awesome way.

1 (28m 52s):
And it really opened us up to, to the guided tour aspect, which love guided tours in the right environments. China is definitely that right environment for it. Love, love, loved China. Probably will say number one international Squad trip.

0 (29m 7s):
It was a curve ball when you threw that one out there in the beginning and expectations were low, very low. And you’re right, it was an amazing trip.

2 (29m 15s):
I remember before that trip everyone’s like, oh, where are you going on your next trip? I said, oh China. And people would just be like, why?

0 (29m 21s):
And I couldn’t really answer it. I know

2 (29m 23s):
I was like, I don’t know, like it sounds like a pretty cool place to go. It was really cheap, you know? I feel like we paid like 12, 1300 a person. Yes. For flights with

0 (29m 30s):

1 (29m 31s):
Flights, hotels, tours, all of that.

2 (29m 33s):
Yeah. And so I was like, I don’t know, like we’re we’re going to China and people were just like shaking their head at me And then when we went I’m like, oh my god guys, you gotta add China to your list.

1 (29m 42s):
And not only that food was bomb, my gosh everybody says oh the food’s not gonna be as good as Chinese food here. They’re crazy. Food was bomb

0 (29m 48s):
Bomb. Definitely go with gate one because they made the trip like so amazing. It was awesome.

2 (29m 55s):
So we’re gonna talk about our favorite domestic trips as well since we’re talking about trips. I would say that my favorite domestic trip that we’ve taken, I had two on my list ’cause I couldn’t pick, then I saw what Kim’s pick is too. So I’m gonna go with Hot Springs, Arkansas. And I never thought like before like Hot Springs, Arkansas would be on my list. But we had such a great time. Again the town is just so quaint, so cute. There’s so much to see and do in those few blocks. Plus there’s the hiking out on top of that and then getting into the hot springs. We met up with Cash and Ryan while we were there as well. And I just feel like ano another trip where it was jam packed.

2 (30m 35s):
We were there for like two days and we could have probably used another day if we wanted to. And I would definitely go back as well.

1 (30m 42s):
I mean we’ve been talking about going back now that Kim is in Austin, we’re talking about like well maybe we should fly out to Dallas. ’cause Brittany, your sister lives in Dallas that that’s where we originally flew last time and drove from there to Hot Springs, which wasn’t very far. And now we’re saying well should we just do the same And then Kim Louie all come meet us there and let’s go back to Hot Springs. Hot Springs was awesome

0 (31m 4s):
And dig up some diamonds at the state park.

1 (31m 6s):
Yes if you’ve ever paid attention to Arkansas license plates, they have diamonds on there. That’s because they have a state park that was along the way that we didn’t get to go to. And we want to add that to the list. And you can Google this, this is facts. People find like high carat diamonds all the time. You get to take them. I think they’re even tax free on that. They don’t even tax you on what you find. And because it’s on public land, you find it, it’s yours, no issues whatsoever. So let’s go strike it rich And yeah get some like two carat diamonds out there.

0 (31m 33s):
Two karat. We we’re not stopping at two, we’re going four 10.

1 (31m 36s):
Yeah, yeah. We’ll I, I’m, I’m being modest but yes we’re gonna strike it rich on that one.

0 (31m 41s):
Another really good Squad trip that we had domestically was Boise, Boise, Idaho. You would never expect that but we had a blast there.

2 (31m 52s):
We really did. I think my favorite part of that trip was two things, the hot springs that we went to. But then when we did the snow tubing, that was such a fun time. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard like doing an activity than we did going down Kim. You’re a little afraid of like heights and like speed and things. But like we were linking our tubes together. We were going down like face first. We were racing down, we were having so much fun. We were only supposed to be doing it for an hour and we used every second of that hour to go down that hill and it was so much fun.

1 (32m 28s):
Loved Boise. I feel like when we tell people this all the time too, they’re like unsuspecting spot. But you know, I would love to go back and maybe do stuff in their spring summer ’cause they had that like green belt area that you could w walk and ride bikes along the river. But something about it in the winter landscape made it really, really nice. And I enjoyed Boise. For me it was really, really tough to choose just one. So I’m gonna throw out, you know a couple here. Typical Jamal. Typical Jamal. I usually do this, I’m gonna throw out Kauai ’cause I loved, loved Kauai when we had gone such an amazing island to go to in the Hawaiian Archipelago. And you know, this is why I don’t want to say I dislike Maui but I mean you know, it’s kind of like an ongoing thing with the podcast now where we’ve even had comments of people tell me like, oh Jamal’s like a hater on Maui.

1 (33m 19s):
And I’m like well if you’ve been to Kauai then you’re gonna understand. And that was our first time or at least my first time in Hawaii. And it’s at the bar really, really high to what I compare things to and it’s an an island and it’s a lot more natural state, less developed even though of course tourists do go there. But the least visited of the main four. So it kind of had all that going for it. And I would be remiss if I didn’t put, you know, grand Teton in Yellowstone And even though that’s technically three now it’s one because that was, it’s not one. Yeah because it’s one trip and the two national parks touch, it’s all like kind of one and the same in that sense of things. Yeah. And so same trip. True. Loved it, loved it, loved it, loved it. If you haven’t made your way out to Tetons in Yellowstone, do yourself a favor American Gem.

0 (34m 1s):
I know that you rave about Tetons and it was beautiful but I truly think Yellowstone takes the crown. Just the colors and the geysers. Like it’s such a unique place and I’m so glad we got to see it. Especially right after it reopened, after Covid shutdowns. We got so lucky on that trip.

1 (34m 20s):
We got really lucky because we weren’t even sure if we were gonna make it. That’s right. I mean we went in June of 2020 and the national parks had been closed and it only opened up a few days before our scheduled trip. So we got lucky and there were no tours in there. So we got a unique experience with the most probably crowded national parks in the entire US chain and we got it all to ourselves. So that was a cool experience. I agree with you. Everything about Yellowstone in terms of its geology maybe a lot more impressive and beautiful but the mountain scape that you get with like Tetons and there was still the snow and then you have that kind of like valley and meadow, like all that kind of really made it and why I like Tetons but yeah, I mean I’d still love Yellowstone too but that’s one trip.

1 (35m 7s):
Tetons and Yellowstone do it all together guys.

0 (35m 10s):
Alright, we are not going to do a question of the week segment but we are gonna do a pop quiz question with each other. So if you don’t mind I’ll kick us off. And my question for you two is what is at least one travel confession?

2 (35m 28s):
One travel confession. Ooh that’s really tough. Like, you know I feel like whenever we do question segments where we haven’t prepped for it, I’m like I don’t know what I’m gonna answer. Hmm.

0 (35m 41s):
Let’s see. I know you got something,

2 (35m 42s):
Something juicy like does it have to be embarrassing or just a confession to make?

0 (35m 47s):
Well I’ll tell you mine if that will help.

2 (35m 49s):
Okay, let’s hear it.

0 (35m 50s):
I never turn my phone on airplane mode. Oh

1 (35m 53s):
Look at you. What a rebel. What a rebel. I don’t even wanna fly with you anymore John.

0 (35m 59s):
As soon as we’re getting close to landing I start getting texts and I’m like, yes

2 (36m 3s):
I do. Like right as we start to land I usually turn my airplane mode off so I don’t have it on, I have it on when we’re mid-air but like definitely not as we’re starting to land.

1 (36m 13s):
Interesting. Well Brittany didn’t answer hers yet. I’m gonna come up because I feel like, not that this is a repeat question, but a question that’s been asked on our questions episode and I’ve answered some pretty embarrassing stuff and I’m not gonna reuse that one. If you wanna go ahead and hear those embarrassing things, you know you could go back and listen to those episodes if you hadn’t before but I guess it’s a confession but maybe common knowledge but everyone here in the Squad at least knows this is that when we travel I get poop anxiety. And you do I I get it because it’s just like, you know like when you’re at home and not even just home like I mean like home in your area, city et cetera, you know you’re running an errand, you know when you’re gonna be back and stuff.

1 (36m 54s):
But you know when we’re on hikes and it’s just like well am I gonna have to go on the trail? What are the bathrooms at the trail look like long trip, you know things like that. I just kind of get that anxiety a little bit. I’m just like oh and I feel like more in my head like I just need to go before we leave out for the day. That way I feel better about it. So that’s something that hangs hard over Jamal is the poop anxiety when I travel.

0 (37m 18s):
And what is the longest stretch of time you’ve ever not gone for? Oh

1 (37m 22s):
God. Well in Japan I was literally concerned, it was almost like at four days when we kind kind of had first gotten there and I was just like, I don’t know why and it it just compounded and made it worse and worse and worse and worse up until like I didn’t get like any constipation pains or anything like that. It was just all like mental in my head of like one I haven’t gone what’s wrong? And two, well shit, I don’t wanna start this day right now. Like I haven’t even gone is it gonna hit me in the middle of like nowhere and I won’t have a bathroom? So that’s a real thing. That’s my confession. Kim,

2 (37m 54s):
There have been a trip or two where you know I’ve done all of this planning and sometimes when you work like a busy week beforehand and just like it, everything’s starting to pile up and you’re just kind of feeling like the pressure of like your personal life and then you have this trip coming. Like there’s been times where I’m like should I just cancel this trip and just like sleep for four days? Really? Yeah, it’s happened like more than once. I would probably say at least two or three times where I’ve like genuinely considered canceling a trip just because I just felt like I just wanted to rest. And knowing that when we’re on trips we kind of go, go, go. But I don’t think I’ve publicly said that at any point in time

0 (38m 32s):
It’s okay Brit, you can admit it,

1 (38m 35s):
You know know what’s so funny that she’s saying this and it’s kind of angers me. I don’t wanna say we got in an argument yesterday but we were just kind of like talking about it. ’cause I tell her all the time like sometimes like, I mean I still love traveling. I’m not at the level of where you’ve kind of already said before Kim where your travel trajectory is at in terms of like you know, not wanting to do it as much. I still want to travel but Brittany always tries to fit something in on a free weekend and I’m just like dude chill. Like I need to chill and here she is, this is her confession and she gave me major shit yesterday during that conversation about my feelings. So I’m gonna remember this and this is now gonna be,

0 (39m 11s):
It’s recorded. So it’s

1 (39m 13s):

2 (39m 13s):
It is recorded. But you know what I’ve always powered through and I’ve always been like oh my god, sometimes I like get there and I’m like this is what I needed. I didn’t need a rest. Like this is what I needed. I needed to be on this trip, I needed to

0 (39m 25s):
Take like it’s always worth it when you go but if you are feeling that way you should follow suit and try not to book trips back to back. I feel like we were just in Banff and now I’m here in San Diego, I went to a wedding. It’s like frazzled, dazzled like getting off work and packing and unpacking and laundry and it’s just like maybe more than one week in between your trips.

2 (39m 47s):
Yeah and we have slowed down some like last year I think we took 22 trips in 2022 and this year we’re more down to like one trip a month. And so that has been more manageable I would say.

1 (40m 1s):
I’m getting old. I mean I said this as soon as I hit, as soon as I hit 30 I said I felt it. Although you know we give shit to you Kim, we know this but that’s because your height game after 30 has gotten to like a level where I’m just like I could still handle that. Well if

0 (40m 15s):
You saw me last night, oh yeah, you

1 (40m 16s):
Wouldn’t be talking. Oh I saw your story so I know that you were up to no good and I mean that in a good way. You know what I mean? So you rallied on through so I know it’s capable and your’re capable of it.

2 (40m 26s):
So I have a question for you guys. If we were to book a gate, one trip and put it put out an open invitation to all of our squads, what location would you pick and why?

0 (40m 36s):
Columbia or Egypt.

1 (40m 38s):
Why those ones?

0 (40m 39s):
Columbia because I feel like it’s a little sketchy and I wanna go with gate one and it’s only like 800 bucks so it’s very affordable and Egypt because it’s absolutely gorgeous. I also wanna go on a guided tour with that one because the language barrier and I’ve heard you know this or that and and and also I wanna be toured to like the ruins and you can go on the Nile River and it just sounds like it’ll be an epic gate one trip. It

1 (41m 1s):
Does sound like it and I don’t disagree with the reasons you gave. I don’t know, did you miss the part where she said the open invitation with the squats? Yeah,

0 (41m 10s):
I mean squats are welcome on any trip but I feel like any gate, one trip it’s even better. It’s like we’ll book the whole bus all 30 people, the R crew

1 (41m 19s):
And you think those places would be good places for squats to join in on for the reasons you mentioned too.

0 (41m 25s):
If they you know get going by ruins like I do, they’re gonna love Egypt and I just think Columbia would be a party.

1 (41m 32s):
I think Columbia for the kind of like party aspect Egypt because it’s like an exotic place, no doubt you’re gonna get a lot of cool stuff and if somebody hasn’t traveled one you’re safe on that guided tour and two, you know at the same time kind of that exotic place that will get those preconceived notions of certain things out of your head if you were to experience it in the right way. So I think those are good ones. Yeah. What

0 (41m 54s):
About you guys?

2 (41m 56s):
I would pick Turkey or Jordan.

0 (41m 59s):

2 (42m 0s):
And they actually have a walking tour that has my eye on it and so a little bit more active than some of just like the normal tours. So I feel like it says that you’re gonna have to walk at least three to five miles a day, which I feel like we do anyways while we’re on trips. But I feel like the walking tour through Petra and just being able to see all of the ruins in that area and like really like immerse yourself in it would be really, really cool. And then Turkey because I hear the food’s really good, it’s really cheap and then the hot air balloon situation would be really cool as well and a lot of people are intimidated to go to the Middle East and so I feel like on a guided tour inviting swathes it’s like, you know, gonna be a really great situation overall.

2 (42m 42s):
So those would be my picks.

1 (42m 45s):
I would probably say Turkey as one of them for me just as well. I think that was a really good one Brittany. And that one was kind of like on my mind but wasn’t necessarily gonna be the first but now that you say that, I wholeheartedly agree with it. I think that would be a really good one. And you just hear everybody who’s gone to Turkey and they have nothing but good things to say when they come back from it. So I would say that and then I would probably go with a gate one that hit multi countries in Europe because I feel like, you know, and I say this because of kind of like our generation and age and there’s always that thought of like oh backpacking through Europe and even though like it wouldn’t be something if the squads came were like backpacking, it’s still that adventure of going to one country to the next and kind of gives that kind of communal vibe.

1 (43m 31s):
So I would say anything that kind of hit like a three four country, you know little tour with gate one in Europe would be a real solid.

0 (43m 39s):
I agree. Like the Adriatic coast that you guys did.

2 (43m 41s):
I was thinking that too. Like that was a really cool one and Squatty used to love that one.

1 (43m 46s):
Well I have a question of course then for you ladies, you know reflecting on past trips that we’ve taken together, you know, which specific place or activity stands out as the most memorable and why? And memorable is the more key thing, not necessarily favorite but activity or place being memorable.

2 (44m 6s):
It’s really tough babe.

1 (44m 7s):
I tried to come in with a one that makes us think a real thought provoker,

0 (44m 13s):
Well I have a silly one. We were in Mexico City, we went to a Costco and we were just vibing off of the little mini donut machine that you don’t see that everywhere. So we just were obsessed with this Mexico City Costco. That was really funny. I will always remember that.

2 (44m 30s):
You know, it just came up the other day too where on that same trip the we ordered 16 tacos

0 (44m 37s):
And he said you want them in this moment?

2 (44m 40s):
Yes, in this moment. Yes we want all 16 in this moment we’re gonna eat them all.

1 (44m 44s):
In fairness, it was only Zanne and I who went down to request them from the front desk who ordered it from like a local taqueria. So I didn’t know if he realized it was for four people or not. So he probably thought like, who are these gringos here eating about like eight tacos each when ’em old now. Yeah, that is something that stands out. You know I am going to go ahead and say something that really stands out for me as being memorable. This will be going back to the, the China trip that I still say was probably favorite international Squad. It’s one of those things where, you know, China is in, its developing of like east meets west so to speak in terms of its like advancement.

1 (45m 27s):
But a lot of places still have the old traditional like squat toilets. But everywhere that’s new is getting the more clearly western style toilets where you sit. And this was not my first time in my travels ever encountering a squat toilet, but it was my first time ever encountering the signs that showed do not stand and squat on the seating toilets and things like that. And I’ll always, always just remember that it’s like they need the instructions ’cause it’s new. Like it’s not even a bad thing to say it, it’s just new, a different concept and they have to be told no, no, no this isn’t how you use this. Whereas it’s so obvious to us ’cause it’s something that we’re used to. So that’s really memorable to me just standing out.

0 (46m 7s):
It is so memorable that wherever we see that sign, we take a picture of it,

1 (46m 13s):
Take a picture of it and we’ll always think. And back to China,

2 (46m 17s):
I think for me one of the most memorable moments we’ve had was when we were in Ecuador and we were in the Amazon and we did that little hike and the guides were showing us like every single plant and how it has a different use. And they were showing us like in practical ways too. Like he was like, oh yeah, we kind of used these for scissors. And we literally took one of Jamal’s shirts that had like a tag on the inside and we used it to cut like the tag off and it was just a really cool informative hike and we ended it by rafting down the Amazon and we got to like jump in it and like swim and use a traditional raft. And was it the most fun I’ve ever had?

2 (46m 57s):
No, but I feel like that whole experience was very memorable.

0 (47m 1s):
Even more so because you topped it off by eating a giant ass Amazonian bug. Mm,

2 (47m 7s):
Yes. See I almost forgot about that.

1 (47m 10s):
That was a good memory to pull from memory. That was a good memory to pull from Brittany. And actually I’m really jealous. I didn’t think about that as my answer. ’cause now that you’re saying that, that is actually a really, really good one. But nonetheless, you know that’s the one of the beautiful things about travel is you know, sometimes it may not even be the place that’s your favorite, right? And that’s kind of why, why I put that question that way. But something will always stand out as like being memorable and I just love that.

0 (47m 35s):
One more question for you all, what do you hate about travel

1 (47m 39s):
Packing? Packing. Packing. I fucking hate it. You know Brittany, because of her work schedule and a lot of things working evenings, et cetera and in general before she had that schedule of you know, work hours, she would sometimes like pack before. But I fucking hate packing because it’s like alright, one, it’s a chore. Two, I always feel like, well shit, I need to do laundry now. And then it’s like I need to iron it. And that’s the most I ever really do. Kind of like ironing at all. Because normally when I wash clothes at home for regular use, unless it’s like one or two things, I don’t iron it, but I will always iron it before it goes in a suitcase. ’cause we were just talking about this earlier, packing cubes or not or however you fold it, it’s always gonna end up a little bit more wrinkled in a suitcase versus I could just shake it out and put it on a hanger and then it stays right.

1 (48m 29s):
You know, and it’s not as bad. So it’s a whole to do. I hate, hate, hate packing. Worst thing about travel,

2 (48m 36s):
I hate how dirty you feel after a flight. Especially a long haul flight. I feel like the day of or the night before I wash my hair and like you feel like you’re gonna look cute on the flight and then I get off the flight looking like a fucking disgusting creature every single time.

0 (48m 51s):
Yeah. The last flight I was on coming back from Banff United and I could have swore it was Peter from the Bachelor, was the pilot on the intercom. I never got to see him, but I’m glad I didn’t because I was looking at myself and I was like, I look absolutely disgusting. I do not wanna meet Peter from The Bachelor right now.

2 (49m 9s):
And I feel like that all the time. Like if it’s a short flight, not so much, but like I feel like anything over like six to eight hours or inter more international, it’s just like how do I end up looking this way?

0 (49m 20s):
So greasy. Yeah. Where does it come from?

2 (49m 22s):
And then you just like don’t feel your best either. Like your skin’s dry, your mouth is dry ’cause you’re not hydrating enough. So anyways, that’s what I hate.

0 (49m 30s):
Good one. And I hate that too. And I hate everything about the actual travel portion of getting to a destination. I hate airports. They’re so crowded. I hate T S A, I actually had to go through regular T Ss a on this last leg I went on because Louis doesn’t have t s A pre you

2 (49m 48s):
Could left him.

0 (49m 49s):
It was like a war zone in there. There’s dogs sniffing you, you have to walk side by side. They’re like take your shoes off and you’re this. And I was like, oh my god, this is how it goes. It’s crowded. There’s, they use the lines and you hurry up to get on the plane and then you’re smooshed in there and it’s uncomfortable. And if I could just transport myself there, that would be a dream.

2 (50m 9s):
I know what you mean. Which actually brings up the fact that Delta had my birthday wrong in their system. And so when I was booking trips with Delta, they weren’t giving me my t s A pre because it didn’t match what was on my trusted traveler number. And so I was like why am I not getting my T T S A pre on my tickets? Jamal was getting them, we were booking under the same reservation. Why am I not getting them? And then they were like, oh we have your birthday wrong. And then I had even tried to correct it in the system and it changed it back to the wrong birthday. And so I had to like go in person and like make them correct it in their system so it would save. It was so annoying. So I totally get that. But my last question for you guys is what is your travel pet peeve that you see other people doing while you’re on a trip?

2 (50m 56s):
And I’ll start with mine since you guys are looking like you don’t have one quite yet. I hate when you’re on an airplane and you land and people start shoving to get into the aisle, like it’s a fucking race to get off the plane like that. Just like, can you just give me a moment to gather my stuff and get off in an orderly manner? Like why is everyone standing up at the same time and like pushing and shoving to get into the aisle? Well,

1 (51m 21s):
Not only that, I feel like if you’re in front, you have the right of way, right? Regardless of if you have to reach up to the top, grab your luggage, pull it down, et cetera. There’s no reason unless somebody is trying to catch a flight and it’s kind of known like short transfer time to get through. But I’ve noticed this happen a lot more lately. And that was actually as I was pondering at Brittany and you jumped in to give your answer right away something I was thinking. But it’s like if you’re right behind me and then I have to push my way out to prevent you from bypassing me and then you give me the ugly look like I did something wrong. I’m like, no bitch, you need to step behind. I’m in front of you. Yeah, that is a big pet peeve of mine.

1 (52m 1s):
I can’t stand it. If you’re one of those people like, you know, plain good. I don’t even wanna say what I think

0 (52m 7s):
Mall’s gonna be throwing elbows pretty

1 (52m 8s):
Safe. No, I don’t even wanna throw out what I think should happen to people like that. It’s just like, where’s common courtesy? You know? Big good answer Brittany. Big pet peeve of mine. Also, this

0 (52m 15s):
One might hurt some feelings, but my pet peeve is people wearing pajamas. Hmm. I just don’t like it. I think you look messy.

2 (52m 24s):
I mean I don’t wear pajamas on flights, but like I will wear leggings,

0 (52m 28s):
Like the flannel PJ pants. Yeah, I won’t. And your hair’s all messy and you look crusty. I just don’t like, I don’t know. I don’t know.

1 (52m 36s):
That’s not a bad one. Oh man. Well Brittany had a really good answer. I kind of want to piggyback off of that, but I’m not going to do

2 (52m 44s):
That. Ooh, I know one that you might have. Well

1 (52m 46s):
Say it and I’ll tell you if that’s what’s on the forefront of my mind.

2 (52m 49s):
Okay. You don’t like when people leave their seat reclined during meal service? Oh yeah.

1 (52m 55s):

0 (52m 55s):
I mean that’s a given.

1 (52m 56s):
That’s a given. Like that’s another thing. Like where’s your courtesy I guess the, first

0 (52m 59s):
Of all, who’s getting meal service these days?

1 (53m 1s):
Well, on an international flight. Oh yeah,

2 (53m 4s):
Yeah, yeah. We just had some on British Airways on our way to Spain on that.

0 (53m 8s):
It’s been years since I’ve had meal service. Oh yeah,

1 (53m 10s):
Yeah. Like three

2 (53m 11s):
Meals. Kim

1 (53m 12s):
Been that it’s, it’s still a thing unless some international airliners don’t do meal service. I think one time you flew to what, Norway or somewhere just in transit on one of those airlines and they didn’t have like meal service to Italy. But which airline was it? It was like Scandinavian No region. Yeah. Yeah, I think so. They don’t have it. I, Brittany’s dad just went to Ireland. And then what, what is their carrier that they use for Ireland? Air Lingus, he, they said they didn’t have meal service flying from like the us so that’s a pet. Some international airlines are doing that, but for the most part, you know, if you’re flying over the ocean you’re still getting it. I would just say my general pet peeve is lack of courtesy.

1 (53m 52s):
So it comes from the seat, it comes from, you know, reclining the seat during meal service. What you said too, like yeah pajamas. But those type of people too are probably the ones making the plane their own home, putting their feet up in between the seats doing stuff. You know, what Brittany had mentioned earlier. So just the lack of general etiquette when you’re traveling I would say is my biggest pet peeve. I guess for me, my final question that I have for you ladies, kind of still going with that thought provoking is what’s one of the most surprising cultural experiences that you’ve had while we’ve traveled?

0 (54m 25s):
Hmm. I think for me it was being in Florence, Italy on Easter and being a part of the huge gathering they have in front of the duomo, the fireworks going off. It was a really cool experience.

2 (54m 40s):
That is a really cool experience. I don’t know, do you have one Jamal that you wanna share before I chime

1 (54m 46s):
In? You know, even though this is my question, I didn’t even know the answer that I have for it and I was kind of really going to wing it as we go. But even though there’s probably better cultural things like culturally of the country itself, I would say more in a generality, my favorite cultural experience is eating the local cuisine in international places. ’cause I feel like that’s one of the best ways that you can actually experience a culture is through their food. It’s like why is that their national dish? Why is this the main dish? Why is this the main ingredient in all of their dishes? And you kind of really get that history of the country, of the culture through food. So I guess mine would be the cuisine experience is my favorite cultural experience about traveling.

2 (55m 30s):
Yeah, I feel like that’s a really good one. Jamal, I would have to agree with you on that. But I also do like experiencing things in other cultures, like just even beyond food, their drinks or you know, like doing traditional things that they do. Like in Morocco I did a traditional hamam that was pretty cool to see how they do that and it was definitely an experience of itself. If you haven’t listened already, we have it in our Morocco episode and it’s hilarious.

0 (55m 57s):
Alright, we wanna rapid fire some of our top travel hacks. We have tons of episodes on travel hacks, but four travel hacks from each of us. Real quick, Jamal, what are your top four?

1 (56m 8s):
Oh my top four travel hacks would be choosing a travel credit card that fits your traveling lifestyle and just making it work for you. You know, when we were just on Banff Charlotte honorary Squad member friend who was with us, she was saying for how much she travels, she doesn’t even have a travel credit card and she knows she’s missing out on like a lot of the perks that she could get if she was actually using it. So I would say that’s a travel hack in and of itself is just finding the right card and using it wisely. And another one, whenever possible, I guess this goes back to one of my favorite products, collapsible cooler, but utilizing a collapsible cooler or your refrigerators in your rooms, getting your stuff, you know for breakfast on the go, not only does it save money, it saves time, right?

1 (56m 50s):
You could get fruit, you could get drinks, you could get yogurt et cetera. Put that all in there and utilizing that. So I, I would say that’s a solid travel hack to save time and money. Additionally I get not really a hack but something you should do if you’re a frequent traveler. ’cause I always hear people ask us all the time, well what do you do when you travel internationally for like internet or data? I’m just like, where are you get on the T-mobile game if you have the right T-mobile plan that’s not even very expensive. It has a unlimited text internationally and pretty much in every country that you’re probably gonna go to in the world, at least five gigabytes of high speed data, which is sufficient for you when you’re out and about and not in your hotel room to just feed off of that wifi unless you’re Kim.

1 (57m 30s):
Unless you’re Kim. She, she, she ran it through, she ran it through real fast. But I don’t know if she was connecting to the wifi when we were in the rooms. Maybe she was wasn’t but kind of drained on her a little bit fast there. But nonetheless it’s still really good. And so when people ask it of me, I’m just like, what do you do? I’m like, oh I don’t do anything. I, I have it. So that’s a good travel hack if you’re going international and of course always, always just kind of like research mass transit whenever you’re going to a new city, if they have a subway, not memorize their subway line but look where you’re going. What’s the closest station to my hotel that I’m staying at? Just kind of remember or write down, this is where I need to go download those apps that will tell you I’m going from this station to this station, et cetera.

1 (58m 14s):
Also, you know, as a good example, when we’re in London, Tokyo, Spain, they all have systems in place to where if you’re a traveler you can buy an unlimited use pretty much of their subway metro system for a flat rate and if you’re gonna be using it a lot, it’s gonna save you money. So just doing those research and I would say those are my top four,

0 (58m 34s):
My top hacks for this year are tell the hotel it’s your anniversary, I’ve gotten free champagne, free chocolate covered strawberries, free room upgrades just by simply saying it’s my anniversary when it may or may not have been

1 (58m 48s):
Good one.

0 (58m 49s):
Another travel hack, I think all of mine are centered around saving money in some way. But this one is if you are going somewhere, like for example on our Banff trip, I, instead of booking a trip from Calgary back to Austin, I booked it from Calgary to Denver, had a layover in Denver and then I booked from Denver to Austin. So book two legs on your trip versus just one. If it will save you money, do your research and check into it because for me it did. I got the one leg of the trip with points I paid for the other leg, it saved me a ton of money and it will do you as well. Another hack to save money is when you’re buying experiences, go ahead and buy one of the tickets directly from the company and then see what comes in on your receipt.

0 (59m 32s):
I’ve noticed that there’s often like a 10%, 20% discount code on your receipt. So if you’re needing to buy for a group, buy the one ticket, get the discount code and then buy the rest,

1 (59m 41s):
That’s a real solid one. Kim, I think you’ve mentioned that one before and that’s one that we haven’t put into practice yet, at least for me and Brittany and I really wanna pay attention to doing that ’cause of course we’re always buying for two, you know.

0 (59m 53s):
And then obviously always look for discount codes before you purchase just the name of the company plus discount code. And then my last tip, and it’s a good one, it’s an obvious one but it’s a good one. Look on TikTok for the destination that you’re going to. There’s so many good videos out there for inspiration, things to do, places to eat, experiences that you just will not find on Google.

2 (1h 0m 14s):
Those are great tips both of you mine right now I love hiking and so if you guys don’t have the All Trails Pro, definitely get that. It allows you to download the trail offline so that you can see if you’re on track. There’s been so many times in the past where we’ve gotten lost. I mean when we were in Kings Canyon we ended up doing a 16 mile truck and not seeing fall in Goliath and we didn’t know where we were when it was gonna end and that was kind of crazy. And since getting all Trails Plus or Pro, they changed the name of it recently. It’s only like it ends up being $3 a month or like $36 for the whole year. It’s not bad at all. And with as much hiking as I do, it’s totally worth it.

2 (1h 0m 57s):
We used it a lot on our Banff trip recently. Another tip of mine is to always relook and rebook flights, hotels and rental cars. There’s like even just this week I rebooked a rental car. Previously it was like over 200, it was started at $230 and it dropped to 195 and more recently this week it dropped to 1 71. Ooh. So over the time that I’ve booked it, which was within this last month, we’ve saved at least $50 just on that. And when you see the incrementally small ones, it’s like is it worth rebooking? But when you add it all up you’re like oh that’s actually 50 bucks. Like that will get us like a meal or a drink or whatever. Save that money, money’s money.

2 (1h 1m 38s):
Another thing too is always download offline maps. Especially if you’re going to national parks or international, you’ll be able to get around the town that you’re going to drive where you need to go do the things that you need to do while accessing the map, especially if you don’t have data or you’re trying to preserve the data that you have on your phone. And lastly, earning companion pass. With Southwest, I know a lot of people are Southwest haters, we are southwest lovers to free bags, you know, and you can change and do all sorts of stuff with your Southwest tickets. So anytime Southwest has the companion fares available through the credit card, we definitely try to apply to the credit, the credit card to earn that.

2 (1h 2m 20s):
And we end up getting free Travel Companion for like at least six months, sometimes a year, sometimes more depending on what they’re currently offering. We currently have it right now where Jamal has the comp, well I have the companion pass. So Jamal’s getting all of his flights just for the cost of the taxes, which is 1120 round trip. Amazing.

1 (1h 2m 44s):
I would say we each came up with a solid four hacks for you squats on that one. If you’re using them, great. If you haven’t put those to practice yet, be sure to do so because we love these and they are time and money savers.

0 (1h 2m 58s):
We’ve had a ton of good episodes over the last four years. So I wanted to ask you guys, and I’m curious, what has been your favorite international trip episode?

2 (1h 3m 6s):
I would say for me Japan, I think it was a really funny two-part episode. We covered so much while we were in Japan and our Japan Itineraries is actually our bestseller as well. It is so you guys must love it too. And you guys must be inspired to be taking the trips

0 (1h 3m 24s):
Even though I didn’t go on this trip, Africa is one of my favorite episodes. It’s also a two-parter. It was just such a fun trip to hear about. There’s a really funny story in there about the saving grace of the airplane blanket.

1 (1h 3m 38s):
Oh yeah. For the lady I had to sit next to on a 16 hour flight that had un mistakenly the worst beo I’ve ever smelt in my life. Yeah, that’s a good one. You know, for both of you ladies, like I’m again pulling a typical Jamal, I’m gonna give two and my two happen to be Japan and I happen to be those Africa ones just as well. So if you haven’t listened to those ones, they’re real solid episodes in terms of the stories, the tips. But most importantly they’re just fucking funny episodes with lots of good stuff in there that’ll make you laugh along the way.

0 (1h 4m 9s):
And what about Us Trip?

2 (1h 4m 12s):
You know recently we put out and recorded the Asheville episode and I feel like we had really good banter on that. It’s one of my favorite ones that we’ve done recently. ’cause I feel like a lot of the times when we’re asked these questions we go way far back. Like we remember the China, the Africa, things that happen a quite a long time ago. But Asheville is a city that everyone can enjoy. There’s really good food, really good brew, hiking, nature City barbecue. And even though you weren’t there on that trip, Kim, I feel like we had a really good jive recording that episode and I really like it.

0 (1h 4m 45s):
I feel the same way about Savannah. It was on that same trip, although I left before you guys went to Asheville. Savannah was such a good time. The episode was really good. Like it was such a surprising city, such a good time. And it definitely comes through in the episode.

2 (1h 5m 1s):
We were just talking about the fried green tomatoes we had in Savannah. I don’t think I’ve had any better since. I

0 (1h 5m 7s):
Don’t think I’ve had any since And I

1 (1h 5m 9s):
Need them I I know with those fried green tomatoes, oh my god and sorry, typical Jamal again, can’t choose one. I got Chicago, I got Hot Springs and I got Bryce National Park listed on there. Oh and I know we have a Nat, what’s our favorite National Park episodes coming up, you know next on the the questions. And I listed two in Hot Springs and Bryce, but I don’t consider them to be National Park episodes even though they are because they were just front trips with like really great stories attached to it too. So in that sense of like US adventure, like even though yes we talk about them as national parks, of course Chicago is not. But I would say those ones are my top us ones

0 (1h 5m 50s):
Very good episodes. And then so you mentioned National Park, what would you say is your favorite National Park episode?

1 (1h 5m 56s):
Sequoia and Kings Canyon. And that was a one, episode one. So even though I’m giving two, I’m not trying to pull a typical Jamal again and giving multiple answers on it. And I know what Brittany just said about like, oh we harken back to some like older ones and this is one of our older ones, if not maybe our first like National Park episodes that we had if I remember correctly. But Sequoia and Kings Canyon might be my favorite National Park episodes. Real solid ones. And again, great stories and I think, not that we don’t try to tell good stories in all of our, you know, episodes, but they really shine on these ones that I think we’re mentioning here collectively of international US, et cetera.

0 (1h 6m 33s):
For me, I’d say Mesa Verde, that’s a newer one. That was just a trip I was so looking forward to for so long Ruins and nature. And Robin came with us on that trip. It was a really good trip. We had a great episode come out of it and really inspiring people to see a national park that they may overlook.

2 (1h 6m 51s):
Another newer one that we recorded too, that’s National Park is the Acadia National Park up in Maine. I really love that episode. It was sent around a birthday trip I had planned for myself. We covered so much in those two days. The park was beautiful and the Gateway City Bar Harbor was so cute, so quaint, so amazing. I loved it. There would definitely go back there as well. So I really liked that episode

0 (1h 7m 16s):
And we’ve been doing more guest interviews over the last year. So what would you say was one of your favorite or most interesting guest interviews that we did? I

2 (1h 7m 23s):
Think with Kathleen Peddicord with Live and Invest Overseas, I learned so much from her and Leaf and it’s a dream of mine to retire abroad and I just really enjoyed their energy and what they have to offer. And I even signed up for their email subscriptions as well. So I really enjoyed that interview with them.

1 (1h 7m 43s):
I would say for me, one of my favorite ones of our guests were are gonna be Alex and Elise from here and now Travel. It’s just so inspirational. You know, they’re kind of like our age. They started we, we keep talking about like, oh we’re gonna have squatty trips meet up, start kind of doing guided stuff and here they are kind of our age creating a travel company where they’ve done just that. And even though anybody of any age can go, it’s geared towards a certain demographic of age, et cetera. Kind of a little bit smaller tour. So you get to be really intimate and kind of going back to what I was saying about, you know what to Brittany’s question, what gate one one would we want to do where we have people joining us and it kind of gave, you know, Europe multiple places.

1 (1h 8m 24s):
Well here they are with their own travel company kind of doing just that.

2 (1h 8m 28s):
What about you Kim? I really

0 (1h 8m 30s):
Enjoyed our recent conversation with Brian from Furnished Finder. I thought it was really interesting that there’s this whole market emerging for midterm travel one month, two month, three months. I love the business side of it. I’m very interested in going down that route one day sooner and later. And he was just a great conversation with him.

2 (1h 8m 50s):
I just talked to my mom about Furnish Finder. We’re gonna be posting her house up on it. Oh really? Yeah, a room in her house on it. She just sent me pictures while we were recording actually.

0 (1h 8m 57s):
Very cool.

2 (1h 8m 58s):
So you know, we’ve talked about the last four years, but what do we have planned for year five?

0 (1h 9m 3s):
We have been making merch on Etsy and we’ve kind of been getting our footing there and exploring that and I think there’s gonna be a lot more of that to come. More targeted for our squats and just really carving out our niche in the merch section

1 (1h 9m 18s):
That and what we’ve been talking about too and just kind of hinted upon it a couple times, hiking meetups. We’ve been wanting to do that. We’ve planned to do it. We’ve heard from a lot of you squats saying like, if you’re gonna be in this area, like let us know. ’cause we kind of wanna meet up do something. So we’re trying to get something together where we can say, Hey, we’re all gonna be here on this date. We’re gonna be doing this hike, this national park, or maybe not National Park, whatever, doesn’t really matter. So the hiking meetups and let’s put it into fruition this year for year five. We’ve

2 (1h 9m 46s):
Also talked about hosted weekend trips as well to like a destination we’ve been kind of playing with where it would be somewhere cool. Would it be Hot Springs? Would it be Boise? Would it be Joshua Tree? And the surrounding like area. So let us know what you’re kind of feeling, what you’re thinking. We also have some trips planned for this next year as well. We’re planning on going to Bali, possibly West Virginia. Looks like. Are you going on a cruise now?

0 (1h 10m 11s):
My family wants to take a cruise, so I might be doing that. I’m also really gonna try to get the permits for Havasu High Falls this year. They’ve kind of been delayed since Covid, but they’re starting to let tourists back in. And so people that had their permits have now used their permits and so they’re gonna be going back up and we’ll see.

1 (1h 10m 29s):
Very nice. But just to the West Virginia real, real quick, you know we talked about it earlier and you said it when we’re talking about the trajectory of the podcast, West Virginia. Brittany and I have already been there. Now we’re talking about going as a Squad, going back to the national park whitewater rafting because we’ve had a company reach out to us that wants us to kind of feature their location and they’ve offered us the opportunity to go out. Our schedule is just so busy with everything that we have during the appropriate time to do that whitewater rafting. So I, I just wanna kind of like throw that out there too, that that may be down the pipe simply because you know, people are letting us know they, they want us to talk about their company, their tours and things that they’re doing and we’re so excited about that

0 (1h 11m 8s):
And we’re gonna do more of those. If you have a company travel related company and you wanna get some press for it, some airtime, we do social media, we put it on the episode. So if you have something that you’d think we’d be interested in, then feel free to email us.

1 (1h 11m 20s):
And I know this has been a little bit longer of an episode than we’ve been putting out a little bit lately, so kind of wanna wrap this up, but don’t wanna go too fast, but kind of fast about it. Let’s circle back around to what we talked about earlier on those giveaways for our squats. How do they enter and what are they getting? Ladies,

0 (1h 11m 37s):
We can’t have a four year anniversary episode without giving away, not one, not two, not three, but four prizes to four lucky winners and what’s included in it,

2 (1h 11m 47s):
We are giving away an honorary squatty cozy, which super cute. We have them in regular can size or slim can size. And we’ll also give away an itinerary of your choice.

0 (1h 11m 59s):
So on the day that this episode airs, go to our Instagram and the post that’s live there, the instructions to enter will be right there. Just leave your comment and we will be announcing four winners.

1 (1h 12m 10s):
Well it’s been an amazing four years, ladies, I can’t even believe it. Time has flown by. It’s been an amazing trip with you Squatty on this. And my mind is just blown, quite honestly.

0 (1h 12m 22s):
Cheers to year five. It’s gonna be a wild ride.

2 (1h 12m 25s):
I can’t wait.

0 (1h 12m 26s):
Thank you squats for tuning into our episode this week. Keep the adventures going with us by following us on Instagram YouTube TikTok at Travel Squad Podcast. And send us in your questions of the week.

1 (1h 12m 37s):
If you found the information, this episode would be useful or if you thought we were just playing funny, please be sure to share with a friend that would enjoy it too. And as always, please subscribe, rate and review our podcast and tune in every trouble Tuesday for new episodes.

2 (1h 12m 51s):
And stay tuned for next week’s episode. We have some more amazing adventures in

1 (1h 12m 55s):
For you. Bye.

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