Our Best Travel Recommendations - Travel Squad Podcast

Our Best Travel Recommendations

We’re celebrating our two year podcast anniversary by giving you all of our very best travel recommendations, tips, and hacks to save money, plan better, see and do all the cool stuff and ultimately travel much more often!

 In this episode we each recommend our top choice for international destinations, places to visit in the U.S., and our favorite national parks. We also share the best travel snacks, money saving tips, travel recommendations for how to get upgraded for free, best tips for travel planning, best packing hack, and the one thing we cannot travel without. This episode has all our best advice to help you travel more often.

Our Best Travel Recommendations, Tips & Advice – Episode Transcript

3 (58s):
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad Podcast. It is our two year anniversary, baby. Ooh.

1 (1m 7s):
Yeah. We’re is celebrating our two year podcast anniversary and it is so exciting. We have grown so much in the last two years and it just really means so much to us that you have all followed us through this journey.

2 (1m 20s):
Wow. I cannot believe, and it’s already been two years. That’s crazy. I remember when we first started recording and we had to go through months of learnings and figuring out how to get this thing going. I remember when we finally had all our gear and had our plans and everything ready, and we were recording our first episode, which was not number one, but it was kind of like a fun one. We wanted to do to talk about how we all met and how we got into traveling. We recorded the entire thing and then realized it was not recording. And we were like, dang.

1 (1m 53s):
Yup. And had a record that all over. It was

2 (1m 55s):
Late at night. And we were like, fuck it. Let’s just do it

3 (1m 58s):
Major learning curve. And you know, it’s really funny that you said about that too. Very recently, we just bought some new podcast recording materials that were just like, why didn’t we buy this earlier? Before we made a life so much easier. We bought ourselves nice elevated Mike stands. And so there’s still a learning curve, but we’re having so much fun along the way and sharing stories with you guys also.

2 (2m 18s):
Yeah, it’s been a great two years and I’m really excited for this episode because we’ve summed up some of our best tips and recommendations and destinations that we’ve learned not only through the last two years doing this podcast, but throughout the years that we’ve been traveling together as a squad.

3 (2m 33s):
Yes. We’re going to go over our favorite travel destinations, including national parks, international planning, tips, money, saving, hacks, travel snacks. You can’t travel without the travel snacks. That’s very important. We know Kim gets angry. Brittany gets angry too. So we got to go over all the best travel snacks and so much more. So let’s get right into the episode. Guys. I’m so excited. Two years

1 (2m 56s):
Let’s do it. Woo. So we’re going to start off with some of our international trips that we have done. And Jamal, why don’t you give us your favorite international destination?

3 (3m 6s):
Well, I don’t know if this is my favorite international destination, but this is my favorite international trip. And it’s going to be China. We have an episode about it. It’s one of our first episodes that we did. It’s definitely not our first squad trip, but one of our first squad trips and God gate one, just, can we get a shout out for gate one? We’ve been talking about it for two years. This was another gate, one trip. And I just had so much fun and China from the guided tour aspect with gate one to go into the great wall scene, Beijing, seeing the metropolis of Shanghai, the history, the culture, the food, my God did. I love the food in China. I remember everybody telling us and I’m sure you all remember that, oh, the food in China is different than the Chinese food that you have here.

3 (3m 52s):
And people were really hesitant about it. And I don’t know if they’ve been, or they were just saying stuff that they heard. And so it kind of got me thinking, and then we were there. I’m just like, the food is way better than the Chinese food here. Like what are you talking about? So I love that. And then God, Can’t forget the pandas at the zoo. I know that I know Kim loved that.

2 (4m 11s):
I loved it too cute.

3 (4m 12s):
Yeah. But you know, it’s just such a great Travel Squad memory thinking of us going back, ending our trip. When we were in Shanghai Disney at the time, it was the newest Disney park in the world. That’s still is actually, but we were there within its first year of opening, coming up on the one-year anniversary and just such an amazing experience. And so I, I won’t say China’s my favorite international destination, but it might be my favorite international like full squad trip, including like, oh, G squad was Zayna on it. Right. So I loved China.

2 (4m 44s):
We put a reel on our Instagram of our China trip. So go check it out. It was so nice to relive those memories. It was so fun there.

1 (4m 50s):
I think you did a really good job on the real Kim. Well, thank you. Yeah. So one of my favorite international trips was actually the Danube river cruise and Jamal. And I took this cruise for our honeymoon, so romantic and it really was, we went during Christmas season. And so we went and saw Christmas markets. We went to Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, and then after the cruise, we even went to France. And so lots of those places are really romantic honeymoon spots. And what I loved about it was you cruise on a river, so it’s a lot more calm and you spend a lot more time at port. And so there’s more time to explore the cities during the day.

1 (5m 32s):
A lot of the times we didn’t leave port until like 11:00 PM at night. And then we would get to the next port pretty early the next day, like 7:00 AM. So you have literally all day to explore the cities and like, feel like a local.

2 (5m 45s):
That’s really cool.

3 (5m 46s):
Yeah. You think you’re going to be cruising, but you’re sleeping during the cruise. And I think only really one time on the cruise where we awake for a good portion, like mid day of what, like one spot to the next, otherwise, you know, it’s literally a sleeping hotel and you wake up in another place cause you leave so late and arrived so early. So you don’t even realize that you’re really traveling in that sense. Right. You just wake up in your own hotel in a way in a new place.

2 (6m 9s):
That’s actually really convenient. If you’re planning to do a city to city kind of trip in that part of Europe, that’s fantastic with.

3 (6m 16s):
Yeah. And I loved this trip too. I’m glad you actually picked this one as yours, Brittany. Cause it’s definitely one of mine also for several reasons. One, you know, it was our honeymoon obviously to the Christmas markets and Europe, if you’ve never experienced Christmas markets in Europe, it’s a must like, I mean, in all the big cities vendors set up stands, they have pastries, they have food, they have grafts gifts, all that stuff. Very well decorated and just amazing atmosphere. And I think a lot is to be said about how awesome Europe is in the winter. I think most people want to go during the summer because the weather and they like warm weather, maybe it’s me. Cause I like cold, but I do love Europe in the winter and the cold.

3 (6m 57s):
It’s really nice. And it just made it a more like romantic ambiance experience. I

2 (7m 0s):
Feel like you have to cuddle up to stay warm

1 (7m 4s):
And you know, you’re a pass with a lot of little coffee shops and it’s so nice to like go to a cafe and drink an espresso and get a little snack. And at one of these little cafes, we try these amazing apricot dumplings that had like a nice warm apricot filling in the center. And they were just so warm and gooey. And I still talk about them to this day. I would go back in a heartbeat to get some more really, really loved. Do

2 (7m 29s):
You remember what port that was in?

3 (7m 30s):
It was in Salzburg, Austria. And we were actually there specifically on Christmas. And if I remember the name of the cafe, I think it was called cafe Mozart actually. Cause Mozart was born in Salzburg. So they pay homage to him and a lot of ways and it was really good. But that’s another thing that I do like about Europe is they take their time and don’t really have a lot of hustle and bustle in their life. Not to say that they’re not busy and actively like working, you know? I mean obviously they are, but it’s a different lifestyle in terms of like relaxation to enjoy those little things like the coffee and dessert, just because I’m going to go get coffee and dessert. Right. And I love it. Love it, love it.

1 (8m 8s):
And we haven’t as a podcast done an episode on our honeymoon trip, going down the Daniel river and that’s something we should definitely do in the future. Cause we went to five different countries on this trip.

2 (8m 19s):
I have a lot of questions I want to ask, but I’ll save it for that episode.

3 (8m 22s):
It’s decided we’re making an episode now about it. So stay tuned.

2 (8m 26s):
I’ll be here for it.

3 (8m 27s):
I’m ready for your questions again.

2 (8m 28s):
My favorite international destination is co-PI P Thailand. It’s one of the Southern islands and co-PI itself is very small, but it’s gorgeous. There’s this beautiful hike you can go up to and see the whole island on both sides. There’s gorgeous oceans all around tons of different islands that you can take day trips to like monkey island, Leonardo DiCaprio. The beach was filmed at one of those islands. I

3 (8m 52s):
Love the beach classic Leo film, by the way,

2 (8m 55s):
It’s out there. So not only co-PI, P’s amazing, but then you have all these amazing places nearby. And then in the oceans they have those traditional type boats. So it’s like that cultural aspect too. And then there’s the party aspect that Thailand’s known for. They have kind of like their own full moon party out there on the beach. There’s Moya Thai fighting that the tourists love to go do. And it was just such a pleasant experience. I was there for a very short time on this 11 day Thailand trip and I’m dying to go back.

1 (9m 23s):
Yeah. It sounds like a really beautiful trip. And from the pictures I’ve seen that you’ve posted, I definitely want to go one to Thailand in general. And co-PI P because of your experience there.

3 (9m 32s):
And I know we’ve talked about this before, but just remind me a little bit, Ken, what did you like this area specifically more because of the party and the full moon party that they had there? Or was it a combination of both just in the setting that it’s in and out there in the jungle, in a sense and on the beach and everything like,

2 (9m 46s):
Well, the official full moon parties on Copenhagen. So I was surprised to see so much of that full moon party activity here, but I definitely came for the scenery. The ocean is gorgeous. I didn’t get to do a lot of the day trips, but the big towering cliffs, similar to what the Philippines look like, just gorgeous. And I don’t know, I loved it. And also I had never gone to a swim up bar, but it was really high, like rooftop bars from a bar, same,

3 (10m 15s):
How’s your name all over it. You just mentioned two things. I’m just like, well, this screams Kim.

2 (10m 19s):
Exactly. And so we booked a hotel here that had a swim up bar and there was almost nobody in it. So it was our hotel swim up bar facing the ocean to ourselves is absolutely gorgeous. And it was just, it made the trip.

3 (10m 35s):
I am going to take credit here, Kim, even though I was not on this trip and Brittany should take credit too, for how much you actually enjoyed this trip. And I’m going to tell you why at our wedding, we had Thai food and you didn’t even mention anything about the food here about this, which shocks me. But at our wedding we had Thai food. And I think that’s where you really fell in love with it. So you enjoyed Thailand more because of how good the food was and you started liking it because of us. So I think we even enhanced your experience there, even though we were not there, you

2 (11m 4s):
Know, you are onto something

3 (11m 5s):
There. I think so.

2 (11m 6s):
Yeah. All right. So we covered international. What is your favorite city in the U S Brittany

1 (11m 14s):
Chicago. We took this as a squad trip. Oh, G squad trip. Even we went to Chicago. What? In October?

3 (11m 22s):
Yes. October of 19,

1 (11m 23s):
October of 2009

2 (11m 25s):
Was a good time. It

1 (11m 26s):
Was

3 (11m 27s):
Right before the storm, the calm before the storm didn’t even know it was coming though.

1 (11m 30s):
And my favorite thing that we did was the river cruise, the architectural river cruise, where we got to be on the little river boat and seeing all of the different architecture Chicago has to offer with all of their explanations of the different areas and building design types and all of that. It was really, really interesting. I also loved the river walk as well around the area with the hustle bustle and the restaurants right on there. And like being able to walk through that area and Jamal and I actually have a trip to go back to Chicago and we’re going to stay right on the river.

2 (12m 4s):
Oh, that’s beautiful. We did a rooftop bar at a place right on the river too. That was amazing.

3 (12m 11s):
Yeah. Chicago is really nice. You know, when we were thinking about our favorite American or domestic cities, Chicago was going to be on my list. I wanted to talk about them. Brittany said, she said, I’m like, well, we can’t talk about Chicago twice then I guess, but I had so much fun here. Obviously. That’s why we’re going back such a great American city. And before I get into it, like my choice on it, I was kind of like racking my brain around. I was like, ah, you know, like, should I choose a California city? I’m like, no, I’m from California. Like it, even though they’re cool. It’s not like unique to me then I thought Vegas, but Vegas is cliche. Right. And when we traveled domestically, a lot of it is centered around national parks and like us city sometimes don’t really do it for me cause they’re just cities. Right. They really don’t necessarily a lot of them at least have major crazy history, but Chicago did.

3 (12m 54s):
And you got to experience it that on the architectural river cruise. So that’s why I really enjoyed it, but my pick is going to be Boise. And I loved Boise when we,

2 (13m 4s):
Yeah.

3 (13m 4s):
When we did this squad trip, it was super fun. And I’ll tell you why it has a small town feel, but for a large city capital city, I mentioned this when we had our episode on Boise, that it reminded me a little bit of Sacramento, which is our hometown, right. It has that quaintness to it, but it’s still big. And I enjoyed it so much. Like I was so pleasantly surprised with Boise and the surrounding area. We went snow tubing up in the mountains out there. They have natural hot Springs, several of the mountain, the area. So there is a lot to do with this quaint city field. And I really liked Boise. I would say that was maybe one of my favorite, like us American cities that we’ve ever visited.

1 (13m 45s):
And we took this trip in February and it’s a perfect time because there’s still snow on the ground. You’re going to enjoy all of the snow activities. But then also going to the hot Springs, there’s something so serene about being in a hot spring, being nice and warm and the water just steaming up around you, but being surrounded by all of the white snow

3 (14m 5s):
While it’s snowing on the less.

1 (14m 6s):
Yeah. And it’s so beautiful, like you’re in a bathing suit, but you might be wearing a beanie on top because your head’s popping out.

2 (14m 13s):
Great pictures,

1 (14m 14s):
Really huge pictures. Really.

3 (14m 16s):
If you’re trying to get those snow bunny picks, this is the place to go.

2 (14m 19s):
Yeah. We went to a couple different hot Springs that were man-made, but naturally fed. And then the natural ones that were really cool to Boise has a lot to offer.

3 (14m 28s):
I thought so as well, like, you know, it has the city, it has the nature in terms of scenic beauty and also cool like geological stuff because you have the hot Springs, right. So it has an all great city.

1 (14m 40s):
And I would love even to go in summer because I feel like it would be a really beautiful area to go hiking

2 (14m 46s):
Into.

3 (14m 47s):
Yeah. They have the green belt. What follows the river that they have there. How many miles was it? Like 30 something I’m spit balling here. I really don’t remember, but it was a lot. And we talked

2 (14m 56s):
About, cause Sacramento also has that.

3 (14m 58s):
Yeah. And we talked about how, if we went back, when it was more seasonable weather wise to do that, that’s one of the things we would love to do is just ride that bike path along the river, through the downtown and then to the more rural areas of it. And you know, FYI, this was our last squad trip before COVID too. So it has another special place in my heart because last one, before it all changed in a way,

1 (15m 20s):
Well, I said hiking, not biking, but I would do biking too. But I feel like the mountains in that area, the Sawtooth mountains, right side outside of Boise, and there’s tons of lakes would offer really scenic beauty on those hikes.

3 (15m 32s):
I did not hear you say hiking. I heard that and thought biking because I was still thinking bike in front of that. So yeah, hiking too. That’s great.

2 (15m 40s):
My favorite city in the U S is one I’ve talked about before and that is Miami, Florida.

3 (15m 45s):
So typical.

2 (15m 46s):
I love Miami. It’s so fun there. The beaches are warm, not like the beaches here in California that are cold, that you can only really comfortably swim in. Maybe in August, if the waters get up to the seventies, Miami’s, water’s always warm. It’s beautiful. They have nude beaches. They have closed speeches. You can drink on the streets out in south beach. The nightlife out in south beach is amazing. The nightlife anywhere in Miami is amazing. The bars don’t close until like 4:00 AM. And there’s a lot of culture. There’s a lot of different ethnic foods, huge Cuban population, Haitian population, Dominican Venezuelan. They have a ton of delicious foods out there. And not only that, the city life and the nightlife, but they have three national parks within driving distance of Miami.

2 (16m 32s):
Yeah.

1 (16m 33s):
Jamal and I have been to all three of those national parks, but we haven’t done a deep dive into Miami. However, when we go to Ecuador in September, we’re actually flying out of Miami. So we’re going to fly in to Miami like on a Saturday and not leave for Ecuador until Monday. And so we’re going to be able to experience a little bit of this lifestyle in Miami that Kim loves so

3 (16m 53s):
Much, he keeps talking about she’s going

1 (16m 55s):
To be,

3 (16m 55s):
I was going to say, you know, I’ve been to Florida many times left out of Miami for a cruise, did the national parks, but really didn’t get to explore. But what I did see of the Miami area and that I really appreciated too, was the architecture that they have that kind of classic, like art deco kind of like feel the buildings and washed with why, you know, and it just has that look to it. So I would imagine that night, like all lit up too, and the nightlife ambiance, it would be amazing. So I’m looking forward to that.

2 (17m 25s):
Yeah. They have the Wynwood walls area with tons of beautiful art and it’s a really like artsy district and they have tons of different waterways and islands. And so boat, life is alive and thriving out there.

3 (17m 37s):
Boat life is your thing. Camp

2 (17m 39s):
Yacht life,

3 (17m 40s):
The yacht life. Oh my bad. I downgraded you when I said boat life, get it

2 (17m 44s):
Right. Like,

1 (17m 45s):
Okay, take you on a whole nother type of boat while we’re out there. We’re going to go to the Everglades and do an airboat. Oh

2 (17m 50s):
Yeah. I see some Crocs. Yeah.

3 (17m 52s):
It’s going to be fun.

1 (17m 53s):
And we’ll kind of, as we talk about Everglades national park and national parks in general, I think that’s a really good segue into our next section where we were going to talk about our favorite national parks. So Kim, why don’t you tell us about your

2 (18m 4s):
Right? My favorite national park is hot Springs in Arkansas, and I know we all love this one. We did this, We did take this as a squad trip and it was so much fun. And you know, I didn’t have super high expectations cause I wasn’t like really well educated on Arkansas or this national park, but it blew the expectations I had out of the water. It was so cool. Their cute little quaint town. We only stayed one night. We were like, damn wish we had more time. It’s so fun here. Yeah.

1 (18m 34s):
I wish we would have stayed two

2 (18m 36s):
Days. And you know, bill Clinton is from there and so hot Springs, national park, as you can imagine, there are hot Springs there, natural ones all over, but that’s not what we went to because they have bath houses there. And that is an experience that if I grew up in that era, I would be a bath house resident that is the life to just soak and relax and go in the cave. And we all sweat. But apparently Jamal doesn’t sweat.

3 (19m 3s):
I don’t sweat

2 (19m 4s):
In the steam cave. It was fun.

3 (19m 8s):
No, I, I loved it. You know, honestly, hot Springs here was maybe going to be my pick when we were talking like domestic cities, but I knew you were going to put it for national parks. I was like, oh, I can’t do that. But yeah, we had such an amazing time. I mean, when we think national parks, we think of nature and other things like that. I mean, this is a national park within a city. Part of the downtown is designated the national park, the old buildings, those bath houses. They’re part of it. Yeah. There’s a brewery in there too. So

1 (19m 36s):
Uses the hot spring water to make the beer. Like that’s pretty unique.

3 (19m 40s):
Yeah. I mean, just think of this realistically as like 1920s, thirties, Vegas spa situation. I mean, this is where you go to relax and it was like classy and high-end yeah. I mean, such an amazing, amazing time out at hot Springs, but on the national park topic, my choices I’m going to have to say for me is going to be Yellowstone and grand Tetons. Now I know what I’m saying too, but these parks are literally two first. They’re right by each other. You can’t go to one without going the other. And they’re both so unique that it’s hard to pick like the favorite amongst them, but since they’re by each other, I’m just lumping them. Right.

3 (20m 20s):
Grand Tetons, amazing scenic beauty. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful range in my life. I’ve said this before grand Teton itself kind of reminds me of like one of the face sides of the matter Matterhorn and Switzerland. So it kind of has that European mountain look here domestically in the United States, you have amazing wildlife in the valley. It’s just lush green. It’s so beautiful. And then you go a little bit north and you’re in Yellowstone and this is like America safari in the lower 48, not counting the Alaska so much wildlife. And then you have the geothermal activity with the geysers, the hot Springs, all the different colors of the thermal pools, looking like rainbows.

3 (21m 1s):
I mean, it’s just so, so unique. They have it all. And you know, Yellowstone was the first and original national park and I see why, you know, it’s just love it. Can’t compare to anything else. Really.

1 (21m 13s):
We had just such a great experience. This was our first major trip after co well during COVID actually, and the national parks have kind of shut down for a while. They opened back up right at the time we were going, we felt like we had the whole parks, both of them to ourselves. It wasn’t crowded. So we got to experience on a whole nother level where we got to really enjoy. We always enjoy our time, but like really enjoy our time in the less crowdedness during this time because of COVID.

2 (21m 41s):
I was just blown away by the thermal pools and the colors that they form. It just blows my mind, how mother nature makes the most beautiful, gorgeous things like purple and pink and blue and green. And, oh my God. It’s just so, so pretty

1 (21m 58s):
Favorite. Thermal pool was born in glory and

2 (22m 1s):
Ooh, that was a good one.

1 (22m 2s):
It’s such a beautiful pool. It’s like a mini grand prismatic. Cause everyone knows the grand prize.

2 (22m 7s):
The grand prismatic was grand. It

1 (22m 9s):
Was grand, but like, it’s so hard to photograph because it’s so huge. And when you’re up near it, you just don’t get that perfect angle. But when we’re at morning glory, we were right up next to it and you get to see all of those beautiful colors and get the perfect shot with you.

2 (22m 23s):
The geysers too, like just exploding out of the earth and everywhere you look in the vast overlook, it was just like guys or guys are Geyser.

3 (22m 32s):
And I don’t remember what the statistic is, but I think it’s over 90% of all the geysers in the world are in Yellowstone. Let alone in that one spot that, you know, we’re at where old faithful is and everything else. So real wild stuff and so unique. I mean, it’s hard not to be my favorite of the national parks and again, grand Teton too.

1 (22m 51s):
So this is really hard to follow because I really loved hot Springs and I really love Yellowstone and grand Tetons. And it’s not fair Jamal and got to pick two, but I’m going to have to say my favorite national park is Zion national park in Utah. It’s one of the national parks that Jamal and I just keep going back to, we travel a lot and we go to a lot of different national parks and Xi’an is always pulling me back to it. It’s just so beautiful. The sandstone cliffs, the red rocks, all of those layers, pink beige red orange, layered in the exhilarating hikes like angels landing where you’re holding onto a chain. And then there’s like a pathway of five feet spanning a cliff.

1 (23m 32s):
And either side, if you fall down, you’re fucked. It’s I mean,

3 (23m 35s):
It’s like a thousand feet down on either side sheer fall, right? And you have that hiking chain that you got to use for support it’s wild

1 (23m 42s):
And then going into the winter and where we, Kim had to go hiking through the snow and he made snow angels and like kind of went off the beaten path. That was really cool too.

2 (23m 52s):
And the narrows

1 (23m 54s):
And narrows. Yeah, that’s a whole experience in itself. Like Zion just has so much to offer and whether you’re going to hike through the narrows and go up the Virgin river or hike Angel’s landing and look down through the valley, you’re going to have a good time.

3 (24m 8s):
And I think Zion is a really easy national park for a lot of people to get to. And the reason why I’ll actually say this is I’m pretty sure a lot of people go to Las Vegas. It doesn’t matter if you’re east coast, doesn’t matter if you’re west coast and minus scenic beauty. And the fact that we actually really love it, it’s one of the most beautiful is that it is so close to Las Vegas and we live close to Vegas. So we go to Vegas often and 80 to 90% of the time we’re in Las Vegas. We will go to Zion national park because it’s a two and a half hour drive away. So if you’re going to Las Vegas and you’re spending like four or five days there, or maybe even longer, I mean, I know sometimes people spend a week in Vegas. I don’t know how they do it, but I know they do it honestly invest that short little drive and go, and you will not be disappointed that you went to this national park.

3 (24m 52s):
It’s very easy to do for a very commonplace that people go to, which is Las Vegas.

1 (24m 56s):
And Jamal, you mentioned, you know, people do go to Vegas for a week or so at a time. And we’re going to have a future episode on day trips and weekend trips from Las Vegas. So if you haven’t already please subscribe to our podcasts so that when that episode comes out, you have first access to it. We do list Zion as one of those day trips. So definitely subscribe and then check out that future episode. Hey travelers, let’s take a quick detour to talk all about our Travel Itineraries that we’ve created just for you. We now have six different trip itineraries one week in Kauai

2 (25m 31s):
And American Southwest weekend or road trip

3 (25m 33s):
A week in Yellowstone and grand Teton, national parks,

1 (25m 36s):
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3 (25m 41s):
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2 (25m 47s):
We are obsessed with these. These itineraries are 20 to 30 page PDF guides with every detail of the trip laid out. We’re talking where to fly into the exact route to take where to stay park entrance prices, where to eat and driving distance between attractions plus what things to see and do even the hikes we recommend and their mileage and the time to allow for each one and so much more.

1 (26m 8s):
I have story highlights on our Instagram at Travel Squad Podcast, where you can see the full guides. We’ve done all of the research and have taken these exact trips, taking out all of the guesswork from the planning. So all that you have to do is show up and have fun

3 (26m 22s):
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1 (26m 34s):
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3 (28m 28s):
The most important thing is the travel.

1 (28m 31s):
You don’t want any of us meaning Kim and I to get hangry on.

2 (28m 36s):
Yes. Keep us fed. And this was hard cause there’s one thing. There’s two things I always get, but I only picked one because I’m trying to stick to one Jamal, and that is the PB monster snack mix.

1 (28m 50s):
It is so good. I mean, there’s, you know, although it’s only one thing, there’s multiple things in the bag, like the little peanut butter Reese’s cups and then like the nuts and the

2 (29m 1s):
Butter malt balls.

1 (29m 3s):
So, you know, all the, you picked one, it’s kind of cheating because it’s like a trail mix with a whole bunch of items mixed into

3 (29m 9s):
Trail mix is one thing. And I know you said peanut butter already, but I just need to specify when Kim said PB monster that’s peanut butter monster, by the way,

2 (29m 17s):
Lot of peanut butter. Oh my God. It’s so good. Peanut butter chocolate, and just crunchy and soft. And,

1 (29m 22s):
And you get this from target. If anyone’s wondering

3 (29m 25s):
It’s perfect for in the car as your travel snack and definitely perfect, you know, us, we love to hike. It’s one of the easiest things that you could carry for hiking as trail mix. And this is an awesome one to have with you for that.

2 (29m 36s):
I always end up eating it to the point where there’s just like peanuts and some raisins left and then I throw it out.

1 (29m 43s):
You know, it’s really funny about this snack is Jamal. And I brought some to Peru when we were hiking the Inca trail. And if you all remember back in the day when we were talking about being in Cusco and then going to Machu Picchu and being on the trail, there was a weight limit of what we could bring in our bags. And Zaina was like, if it’s food, leave it out. If it’s food, leave it out. And these, this is one of the items we snuck in and our entire squad was just enjoying how good this peanut butter monster

2 (30m 12s):
Was. That’s what got me hooked on it.

3 (30m 14s):
Yeah, well, cause we were eating it literally after we hiked Machu Picchu, you know, the fourth day of our hike and it was going to be a while before we had lunch. And then we were just so thankful that we actually had food to eat and Zaina instantaneously regretted saying if it’s food, leave it out. I shouldn’t say regretted it. Cause we had it. She realized that that was a

2 (30m 33s):
Foolish,

3 (30m 35s):
Foolish misspeak on her part. But one of my favorite travel snacks or my favorite travel snacks, I got a sweet tooth. I’m just going to admit it. It’s going to be candy. Sorry to say I’m giving to two for again. I’m the one I’m going Reese’s pieces and Twix because that’s my combo that I have it. No, I know how to follow the rules. It’s just that that’s my snack is the two chocolates. So I can’t just choose one. Right? It’s my recess pieces and my Twix. I love it. Whether I’m on a plane, I love to pull out some candy and have some candy. If we’re on a hike. I know I just said, trail mix is bomb. I know you’re going to have that PB monster Kim. So I’m just going to take some of yours. But if I need that sugar high on top of that, got my candy with me.

3 (31m 16s):
It’s definitely one of my favorite things. And most satisfying things to have is a candy. That’s my essential travel snack.

1 (31m 22s):
So mine is hot Cheetos, which might sound a little weird, but I love

3 (31m 26s):
Getting a

1 (31m 28s):
Flight and eating hot Cheetos before every vacation and every flight we normally go to like the dollar store and pick up a few bags and eat it on the plane. And you know, I, I just really enjoy it. I think there’s something nostalgic about it brings me back to middle school when you know, that’s what you ate with a slice of pizza. And I don’t eat chips on an everyday basis in my normal life. So I liked to have chips with sandwiches or on planes and just little snacks here and there.

3 (31m 57s):
It’s a nice little splurge item. And you know, let’s not kid ourselves, the snacks that they give you on planes depending on the airline. Sometimes they’re not the best. Sometimes pretzels just don’t do it for me. I’m a big sucker for the flaming hots too. Are you guys ladies gonna yell at me that I gave three agreeing with the flaming hots or

2 (32m 12s):
Well, you’ve already fucked it up. So I will, I want to shout out jet blue for having the best snacks in the air business

3 (32m 19s):
That they do, that they do shout out jet blue.

1 (32m 21s):
I love Southwest, but why did they get rid of their really amazing peanuts?

3 (32m 25s):
You know, I think all airlines now don’t give peanuts because of peanut allergies. Hmm. I think so

2 (32m 31s):
Dangerous. Even in the bag. It’s

3 (32m 33s):
Crazy. I think if you open it and it’s close it, it could be an issue. I think that’s what it is. And that’s why they’re now with like, and all that stuff.

2 (32m 40s):
That’s crazy. But south works. The west new snack mix is delicious.

3 (32m 47s):
It’s pretty good. I

1 (32m 48s):
Love the rice bread in it.

2 (32m 50s):
It could be a little bigger though. Southwest of you’re listening.

3 (32m 53s):
That’s why said we need those chips too. And the candy and the PB monster, all of them are essential then.

2 (32m 59s):
All right. So we have another very important tip here for you. How to save money, Our Best money saving tips,

3 (33m 5s):
Who doesn’t want to save money when they try,

2 (33m 6s):
Want to fuck them hard.

1 (33m 8s):
I love saving money.

3 (33m 9s):
I thought about to say, I love fucking him hard, but that’s what I really thought you were going to say.

1 (33m 14s):
I love bugging them hard, but I really love to save a buck. And my biggest travel money saving tip is to recheck the hotel and rental car prices. There’s been so many times I’ve gone back on relooked at prices and rebooked and canceled and saved tons of money. I’m sure over the years I’ve saved hundreds. If not thousands of dollars

2 (33m 35s):
Flights to

1 (33m 36s):
Yeah. True flights to Southwest always has their flights going on sale. You rebook you get the travel funds for future flights. Can’t

3 (33m 46s):
Yeah, I think that’s one of the biggest things that I love most about Southwest. I know we’re talking to recheck hotels, rental cars, but we mentioned this. We can’t not like talk about it if you don’t know we’ve said it before, but realistically as an example, say you buy a Southwest ticket somewhere. It’s $200 and then it’s $150 later before your flight, you can rebook it and get that $50 save for you as a travel credit for your next flight that you have. So they’re not going to refund you the cash straight, but you can keep that if you rebook it for your next travel adventure and like who would not take advantage of that, it’s silly not to.

2 (34m 23s):
And then with the hotels and the car, you do get the money back, right?

3 (34m 26s):
Absolutely. Well, at least with the car, we book ours through Costco. We use them as the third party for a rental and you don’t have to pay for your reservation until you actually pick up your car. So if you check up until the time that you actually arrive and see what’s the new price with the company I booked with or another company, we more often than not find it cheaper. So we don’t save the money direct by getting it reimbursed just by that final payment. When we pick up,

1 (34m 53s):
For example, when we went to grand Tetons and Yellowstone, we had pre booked our rental car, and I want to say it was somewhere in the $500 range for the week. And then COVID hit, they closed down the national parks. The demand went down for rental cars. So I really looked at prices and the price went down into like the three 50, Ooh,

2 (35m 13s):
That’s a big savings.

1 (35m 15s):
So then I just canceled that one and rebooked and we saved $150, essentially.

3 (35m 20s):
One of my favorite money, saving tips and travel hacks. And we have a complete episode on this about travel credit cards. But my biggest money saving tip would be to get a travel credit card. If anybody knows how to utilize it correctly, it saves you a lot of money. My credit card that I do have is the chase Sapphire reserve. We talk all about this in that episode, I’ve mentioned episode 67, but it’s my favorite because ever since I’ve gotten this card, we’ve really managed to maintain our points because every purchase that we make, we put on that. And I think since we’ve gotten it, Brittany and I pretty much have not paid for 90% of the hotel rooms that we’ve actually booked or anything like that.

3 (36m 2s):
So most of our travels now hotels have been free by utilizing those points.

2 (36m 8s):
And there’s like a million other perks that come with it, like the lounge and the free food and drinks saves you money.

3 (36m 13s):
Oh yeah. I mean, if you’re going from airport to airport or have a layover and you get out, I mean, you’re hungry. Right. We know they don’t serve food on planes. And we were just talking about those snacks. Yeah. And I mean, who doesn’t want to have a drink before they fly? We’ve talked about this before the lounge benefit that they have with it. I mean, they give you food, they give you drinks. You don’t have to pay for that. So that’s money saving in and of itself. And there’s so many more tips. If you want to know them to really listen to episode 67. But I must say utilizing a travel credit card is the best money saving tip that I could give you.

2 (36m 47s):
I just booked my flight from San Diego to Miami and I paid $5 and 60 cents for

3 (36m 54s):
It.

2 (36m 56s):
Woo. Thank you. Points from Southwest.

3 (36m 58s):
Yeah. And your card that you use as Southwest card for your travel credit cards.

2 (37m 2s):
Yeah, I like Southwest and we fly them a lot. So it works out, but I have a money saving tip for y’all and that is to really do your research and look at every source. So when it comes to booking a hotel, for example, look on Expedia, look on hotels tonight, look on booking.com. Look at the price directly because there will be differences in each one and you can kind of judge how the prices are moving with the lowest prices. You can call the hotel and say, Hey, I’m seeing it for this price here. Can you match it? Sometimes they’ll beat it by 20 or 30%. And sometimes hotels tonight. I’ve said this before, it can be the cheapest option to secure like luxury upskill or boutique hotels the same day, or, you know, closer to the date you’re staying.

2 (37m 48s):
It’s, it’s an amazing app. So compare your rates.

3 (37m 51s):
Great tips, Kim. I feel like you’ve hyped on that in several episodes and several times. So I know you’re really passionate about.

2 (37m 57s):
Yeah. And I think the same thing for flights to compare your different airlines or different routes. If there’s airports like San Diego LA, to want to look at all your options and compare, what’s going to be best time-wise and price wise,

3 (38m 9s):
That’s real solid. So we’re going to talk probably about the biggest fucking hard if we’re going to be real honest, which is getting upgraded and who doesn’t want to know travel tips and hacks to get upgraded.

2 (38m 20s):
Oh, hell yeah. And I got one and I’ve done this before and I was trying actually I was going to say I wasn’t trying, but I was, and I was doing a

3 (38m 28s):
Slightly on it.

2 (38m 31s):
So I had gone to Seattle with an now ex boyfriend and we were there just having fun. And when we checked into this hotel, it was a really nice hotel that I really wanted to stay at. I actually booked it on hotels tonight. Same day, got the best rate and had been watching it for a month on all the different platforms. But we got in, we checked in, she said, oh, what are you guys here for? I said, well, we’re celebrating our anniversary. And we got upgraded to the king suite room. What

3 (38m 60s):
Are not

2 (39m 1s):
So true?

1 (39m 1s):
Well, that is a really great hack. However, if they don’t have like any of those upgraded rooms available, one other thing you can do. And this is my tip is request a corner room because they’re bigger in size. So if they can’t upgrade you to that king, like penthouse suite that Kim’s talking about, maybe they can at least upgrade you to a bigger room in general.

3 (39m 22s):
Yeah. The corner’s really nice. And you can even preface it in the sense that you’re looking for a little bit more quiet of a room, right? Because a corner room is not going to have a second neighbor. You’re only going to have the one that’s right next to you. Right. So they’re

1 (39m 33s):
Usually down the hall kind of like at the end,

3 (39m 35s):
Right? So by default, you know, that’s a good way to preface it. And you know, depending on the building more often than not, that corner is bigger. And I think that’s a really solid tip, but my tip, if I’m going to be honest with you guys, I’m not going to say it out loud here to you guys. You’ve heard us say this before. If you want the ultimate travel hack tip to get upgraded specifically on flights from coach to first class. And if there is no first-class availability available left to at least be treated like first class, if not better, while you’re back in the steerage, we want you to please, please, please give us a five star written review, screenshot it, DM it to us.

3 (40m 16s):
And we will give you the ultimate travel, upgrade hack for your flight. If you can’t tell, we want you to reviews. So really I hate to be kind of shady on it and say, give me this and then I’ll give you that, but please, please do guys. And you won’t regret it. That is for sure. And that is all I can tell you at this moment in time regarding,

2 (40m 34s):
All right, so you’re making up for it. You’ve done two and two and I did minus one. So you’re almost even,

1 (40m 40s):
We’re almost at par now. So this next section I’m really excited to talk about because we’re talking about Our Best recommendations on the planning portion. And I do a lot of planning for our trips, but I want Kim to start us off with your best tip.

2 (40m 55s):
I love the planning portion. It’s one of the funnest parts about the trip, discovering new things. I was in the middle of planning, a big Mexico city trip. And I discovered like Alucia Libris show and a couple hours away. It’s amazing. It really gets you excited for the trip. So my favorite thing to do when doing this research is to go to Google and type in things to do or places to stay or things, to see whatever kind of phrase you want to type in like that. Plus the plus sign blog. This is going to get you to real people’s blog posts and editorial articles where they give you the inside scoop, what they found, how they got there, how much it costs, where you go to get tickets.

2 (41m 36s):
I actually found the walking directions from the Bangkok airport to the tiny table outside to get on the shuttle bus, to transfer airports. You can find that information anywhere on the web, except this blog post, but this is going to help you discover those cool fun things to do and how to do them. If you don’t type in the plus blog, what you’re going to get is a lot of

1 (41m 59s):
TripAdvisor,

2 (42m 1s):
TripAdvisor, Viator, Groupon, Expedia, all of those commercial pages that are selling you tours, but not giving you that insider information that you’re looking for.

3 (42m 10s):
You know, it’s funny as when you had written this one down and we were kind of like discussing it and making sure we weren’t putting a lot of the same tips. I even said that about like, you know, when I do things to do one of the biggest things that I find annoying is getting that TripAdvisor. Not that I don’t like TripAdvisor, but it’s not what I’m looking for in that moment. Right? Like I get good ideas from it, but it’s not what I need. And that plus blog makes it really clutch really legit.

2 (42m 34s):
Yeah. They’re going to give you all of the typical tourist attractions, whereas the blogs are going to tell you the little cafe in this neighborhood or the little, you know, live music venue in this other place.

1 (42m 46s):
Yeah. That is a really good tip. And kind of in that same train of thought in things to do were places to see. What I like to do is I like to go to other travel sites that do like guided tours or itineraries. And I like to look at their Travel Itineraries and compare it to what I have already because they hit a lot of the big highlights and they give little tips here and there. And so you can like, okay, gate one recommends this, this and that. And then you can do the research. Are they worth going to see still? And that way you’re not going on a guided tour, it’s your own tour, but you’re still going to a lot of those really good, cool places to see that they would recommend on those tours.

3 (43m 26s):
Right. And like, for an example, I mean, if you’re going to Paris, you’re going to go see the Eiffel tower, right. I mean, why would that not be on your itinerary? And that would be like with a travel companies itinerary too. But a lot of times, even though they hit on those main highlights, usually they’ll always have like one or two things that are must do’s that are off the beaten path for tourists that maybe locals know about. Right. Like in Sheehan when we were in China and they went to the park where the locals do their morning exercise and dance, and it’s like a whole festival and thing. I mean, if you were really just to go there yourself and look for things to do, you wouldn’t find that right. And that’s on the itineraries from the travel companies. So it gives you that little insider tidbit to that I think is really good, almost like that.

3 (44m 7s):
Plus blog, you know,

2 (44m 10s):
And they tell you the route to which will help your planning process. We were just doing that. We’re, we’re trying to plan a trip for Costa Rica potentially next year, hopefully. And we were looking at the gate one tours and the route they took and where they went.

1 (44m 23s):
I was looking at that for possibly Iceland for a future trip.

2 (44m 26s):
Oh, that’s true. And hotels too. It’s a great place to find some hotel recommendations

1 (44m 30s):
Because gate one, always a really good hotel, they put you in. And so you could look and see if you can book yourself without being part of that tour group.

3 (44m 37s):
Absolutely. And so from my tip, I really think in the planning process, some of the biggest and most important things you could do is pre-planning your transportation and currency matters. So when I’m talking currency, I’m obviously traveling like overseas, right. And different currencies. And what I kind of really mean by that is really figure out like, where am I going? Is this a cash based society? Or am I going to be able to pay by card? Now, if you’re going to be staying at a hotel, obviously you’re going to be paying by card and, you know, types of other things. But for example, Japan, hotels pay by card other stuff, but you go to most restaurants unless it’s like a really big restaurant, they don’t accept cards.

3 (45m 17s):
A lot of them are like 10, 15 Cedar hole in the walls. And I say that in a good way. And it’s like a cash based society. They sell a lot of stuff on the streets with vendors, cash based society. So you need to know to actually have local currency. And then from there really look well, is it advisable to pull money out of the ATM? Should I bring money and exchange it for the currency? And what I mean by that is when we’re in Latin America specifically when we were in Peru, right? It’s more advantageous to give them your dollars for currency back because you’ll get a better exchange rate because they actually want dollars. Right. And then, you know, with pull it out, the ATM, you get an even exchange rate, but you have the ATM fee now on top of it. Whereas in another country, it may make more sense to pull out from the ATM than exchange.

3 (46m 0s):
Like if you’re trying to do Euro’s right. So do that type of research and transportation. I love looking at the transportation. We know I’m always the driver, but minus even the driving, like, it doesn’t matter if it’s domestic here in the United States or internationally, you know, figure out, okay, does this place have a Metro system? If it doesn’t I need a car, how am I going to go? Do they have good parking? If it does have a Metro and you know what you’re going to do, just look at their two blinds and say, okay, these are the routes I need. And obviously you’re not going to remember it, but you have that kind of like pre-planning and thought of knowing in your mind, like, okay, this is the line I need. This is where I need to get off. And it really does go a long way and make your trip so much easier if you do that, pre-planning on those two subjects.

2 (46m 41s):
I think the currency is a great one. I remember when we went to Cuba, I did a lot of research on that. They don’t accept us dollars at all. So they recommended that you transfer your us dollars ideally to euros and then transfer euros to Cuban dollars. Because if you were to trying to do U S dollars, they would charge you a 10% fee on top of that. So it’s like that research. Yeah. Yeah. They really are. And so that research is critical. All right. So now we’ve planned our trips. What is your best packing tip, Brittany?

1 (47m 14s):
All right. So as a nurse, I, you know, I like to come prepared and I have this little bag that I use as just an emergency kit. And I always have it prepared and packed. And inside of it, there’s medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen and then Benadryl melatonin, aspirin, cold medication antibiotics. Like I have them in these tiny little smaller size containers so that you’re not packing them in their original, larger size bottle.

2 (47m 41s):
I would say your containers are like little lip balm size.

1 (47m 44s):
Yeah. So just enough to like get you through the trip. Not, not like months worth on end or anything like that. And then I also have a whole bunch of other things that I routinely forget to pack like nail Clippers. Q-tip see bands an extra here band

2 (47m 58s):
That is important.

1 (47m 59s):
That is important. And I also have some Bobby pins attached to the hair band just in case you need that. And always have a tribal toothbrush packed in there too. So I have this whole emergency kit that I always have pack put together. All I have to do is grab it and put it in my,

3 (48m 15s):
And Kim knows all about the travel toothbrush. I think there was an incident with a, her, and Zayna had to share toothbrush. Am I mistaken on that community

2 (48m 21s):
Toothbrush

3 (48m 22s):
Toothbrush? That’s really getting to know your travel partner. Well, isn’t that at a whole nother intimate level

2 (48m 27s):
Because I’m not a prepared packer. I typically travel with just to carry on. I, in fact, don’t even own a bigger suitcase than that. So if I go on a weekend trip or a 10 day vacation, it’s all in a carry on. And so I have to be very particular about how I fold everything to fit it in there. And that is my packing tip is I don’t put a stack of jeans in my suitcase. I fold every pair of jeans individually, as small as it can fold and put it in one by one, same with shirts, same with dresses. Everything I pack is one by one, folded, super tiny. And as I pack it in, I’m smushing it, packing it, smashing it layering, and just putting everything in there.

2 (49m 8s):
And then I lay the jackets on top, squish, everything down, and I have a hard suitcase and it has an expandable zipper. So while I’m packing, I expand the zipper. And then when everything is finally in there, I close it kind of sit on it, kneel on it, zip it up, and then put the expandable zipper closed if it will close that time, because technically with it open bigger, it’s too big for the carry on. So depending on how sly I need to be, I’ll fit it in. But truly that process of packing, you can fit so much stuff in there. Okay.

1 (49m 41s):
I’ve seen you do it. Like you went to Lebanon in winter with just your carry on and you know, you’re wearing boots and jackets and lots of cold weather items and you came packed and then we left with even more stuff. And I saw you fit it all into your carry on bag size. Yeah. You did have to sit on it and kind of just like really push it down, but it fit, man.

3 (50m 4s):
It was impressive.

2 (50m 5s):
Yep. I brought back a bottle of wine, a bigger bottle of the Iraq liquor. That’s a popular over there and a smaller one that still fit in there. And I have once before coming back from Thailand, the suitcase came back in shambles, like the zipper ripped open and it was, it needed to be taped

1 (50m 23s):
Closed,

2 (50m 25s):
But it’ll work for awhile.

3 (50m 27s):
All right. So am I going to get crap again? Cause I’m going to give another two for in a way. Okay. All right. I’m sorry. Well, you know, I’m just so full of good tips. I, I got it, but it’s a twofer, but it’s also kind of really a winner in a way. Right? So we actually have a YouTube video where we actually show, or Brittany is featured on it showing expert packing tips. And that’s kind of one of them here, which is really to lay out your outfits by day before you pack it. Don’t just say, oh, I’m going to be gone five days. I need five shirts and then just pick it out. Right. Kind of really pick out your outfits and orient them by the day. So that way, you know, really what you’re going to wear, it helps you pack a lot less too that way. Cause you know what you can do to reuse a, with another outfit, et cetera.

3 (51m 11s):
So I would say that and on top of that, this is the two for part, but it’s really kind of the one as you’re actually putting them in. Now that you have your outfits laid out, really pack them in based on how you know you’re going to wear them. Right. Put what you’re gonna wear last on the bottom pair. What you’re going to wear second or third, like kind of in the middle and first, really on the top, because depending on how long of a trip you’re going for, sometimes it’s really cumbersome to unpack your suitcase, hanging everything up. And we really do live out of the suitcase and who wants to go dig in and mess it up and try to, I mean, maybe it’s me and my OCD. Like I hate like pulling from the bottom and messing it up. It makes me feel like I’m so disoriented and it makes me really uncomfortable. So when you pack it, like pack it as you know, you’re going to wear it.

3 (51m 51s):
Like what I need first is on top. What I need last is really on the bottom. I think that goes a really long way. And the pack infield.

1 (51m 58s):
Well, those are some really good tips. So why don’t you Jamal, tell us one thing that you can’t travel without.

3 (52m 4s):
One thing that I can’t travel without is probably going to be my portable phone charger. I think it’s such an essential and I say this with no shade on Southwest, but that’s what we fly the most. They are very gracious in the fact that they provide the wifi that allows you to have live TV movies or TV shows, but they do not have USB plugs. And some guy online thought they’d be clever and try to throw shade at Southwest and say, Hey Southwest, why no USBs is 2021. And they said to him, well, why don’t you get yourself a portable charger with all the money you’re saving on the fairs? And it tends to be true. So at, since we fly it so much, you know, and they do provide entertainment.

3 (52m 44s):
It’s not on the back of your screen. You have to use your smartphone for it. The portable charger is essential and even being on the road for that matter. A lot of times we do a lot of driving. I mean, you just don’t want your phone to die. Right? I can’t travel without a portable phone charger.

1 (52m 59s):
We actually just used our portable phone charger yesterday, like Kim, myself and our friend Robin went on a hike. And while we were driving out, Robin was like, my phone’s about to die. Kim’s like my phone’s about to die. I was also charging my phone because I had the navigation going and you know, my car charging USB port only holds so many ports. So we grabbed the portable phone charger and Kim charged her phone in the back seat while Robin and I both were able to charge our phones upfront and it worked out great.

3 (53m 26s):
Even in everyday life. It’s a necessity. Yes.

1 (53m 29s):
And one thing that I can’t travel without is our collapsible cooler. Love it so much. We’ve taken it on so many trips already. We’ve taken it all the way up to Washington and it’s con to like four national parks with us. We took it all the way to Virginia. It’s been out there, we’ve taken it to like Utah. So it’s, it’s made its way around domestic United States.

2 (53m 53s):
At this point, it’s an honorary squad member. It

1 (53m 55s):
Really

3 (53m 57s):
It’s a battle. Cooler is a clutch honorary squad member. I can’t tell you with all the hiking we do. It saves us so much in terms of what we’re going to eat. Cause we could actually bring stuff with us to go in those remote areas and it stays fresh. It’s great.

1 (54m 9s):
Yeah. And it packs pretty small. So it just fits right on top of everything else I have in my carry on or my Archer luggage.

2 (54m 16s):
So the things that I can’t travel without now, I’m going to pull a Jamal and do a two phones And they go hand in hand. So it is earplugs and a face sleeping eye mask.

3 (54m 30s):
Now why would you put your plugs on their couch?

2 (54m 33s):
Sometimes people snore that you’re sharing rooms with. So you need to block that sound out. But not only that, like

3 (54m 38s):
Brittany,

2 (54m 40s):
We know who it is. So anyway, but not just that you could be staying at a hotel room. That’s really loud has people that are loud or it’s next to like a train or something. So those are really good or not even just that, but like if you want to get to sleep because you were first in the shower rotation and then everyone else is still getting ready, getting ready for bed and you want to go to sleep right now. You just pop those suckers in, put the eye mask on. I sleep with an eye mask every single night, even at home, it is some of no, no, no. It’s not about being busy. It’s some of the deepest best sleep ever. And the sun doesn’t wake you. It’s amazing. If you haven’t gotten on this train, you need to,

3 (55m 21s):
I’m going to try a face mask tonight. And the only reason why I have a face mask for sleeping Kim is because of our fricking travel hack that I told you to write that five-star written review on. They brought us the first class kit that has all your lotions, essential oils, face mask, everything that you need, toothbrush like a real good toothbrush, not like the little baby toothbrushes that they give you for the people in coach. So we couldn’t get it because they were sold out. But they brought us everything from the first class comfort kit, even down to little slippers for us to put on. It was amazing. So I have that IMS from that and I’m going to utilize that tonight and just see if in my everyday life that I’m asked, makes me feel great campus.

2 (56m 2s):
You’re going to love it. And for all of the listeners out here right now, I’m going to link in the show notes to all of these things that we can’t travel without. So if you’re interested in stepping into the face sleeping mask zone, you can click on the link and get yours.

3 (56m 17s):
All right. So as we’re getting close to wrapping this up, I think, you know, we’ve given you guys a lot of good tips, but they’ve been really kind of specific that what’s really your lady’s best general travel tip that you guys want to share with our listeners because we have so many of them I’m giving two firs as I’m getting yelled at by you ladies, but what’s a good general tip.

2 (56m 37s):
So my tip kind of sounds like my planning tip, but it’s just to actually do your planning, do a ton of research on blogs and on Instagram at the, the places destination code plus the hashtags, you’ll find so much cool stuff there. And through that planning kind of start to build, not an itinerary, but like almost kind of things you want to do. And how many days it’s going to take you to do it, then plan your trip based on how many days you need. Because the worst thing I fear is to plan a trip for say two days and find out this cool thing to do. If I only had one more day,

1 (57m 15s):
Yes, I completely agree. What I like to do is do what you said, list out everything I want to do. And then I start to research. How far are these locations away from each other? How many of these things can I do in the same day? And then that kind of narrows down how many days we really need. And then you can book your trip from

2 (57m 30s):
In fact we plan trips all the time. You’re like, how many days should we go? And I’m like, what are we going to do?

1 (57m 35s):
That’s true. That is true. But my general travel tip is just to say yes to the trip. Find a way to say yes, you’ll never regret saying yes, but you’ll always regret the what ifs and why didn’t I go?

2 (57m 49s):
It’s my Africa.

1 (57m 50s):
I was just about to say, Kim feels this with Africa, you know? And I just feel like once you say yes to the trip, you’re putting a plan in motion to make it happen. And it will happen.

3 (58m 1s):
I want to say this. If you had said yes to Africa, as much as I’d love China, China would not have been on my list. I would put Africa with that gate one as a favorite international chem, but I was like favorite international. I have to go with squad one O G squad. So if you were there, that would have been there. I

2 (58m 17s):
Know

3 (58m 17s):
It was a good one, but for me, my best general travel tip that I can give you guys is quite honestly, sometimes just let a travel, sail guide you to where you’re going to go. And what I mean by that is Southwest airline is having a sale to a city that’s just really unsuspecting or a travel company is having a great deal to an international location. I mean, China, right? We love China. China was one of them. What a great deal, flights, food guide, everything included like 1200 bucks. How could you say no? It gave us a free day in Shanghai. So we could go to Shanghai Disney and I was going to make my way to China anyway, cause it’s bucket list to go to all Disney parks.

3 (59m 0s):
But in that moment, China happened then because of that sale Boise, I mentioned Boise earlier, we’re looking at flights, oh, there’s a sale to Boise here from San Diego, $49. Let’s fucking rock it.

2 (59m 12s):
And also we had found those hot Springs on Instagram, which is what was fueling us, looking at that sale.

3 (59m 20s):
So we all have places that we want to go. Let’s not kid ourselves, but sometimes if you go the place where the sale is, and you don’t really have expectations going into it, even if you do, you’re gonna enjoy it. Chicago was even that way. As a matter of fact, it was a

2 (59m 36s):
Great

3 (59m 36s):
Sale price at that time. Yeah. So let the sale guide you and you won’t regret it.

2 (59m 42s):
Beautiful

3 (59m 43s):
Unsuspecting places can bring unsuspecting results.

2 (59m 46s):
All right. And so to close out this episode, we’re going to tell you our favorite podcast episode

3 (59m 53s):
After two years, how can we not mention our favorite here and give you advice to go back and listen to something?

2 (59m 59s):
Yeah. And it was really hard because they’re so good. And they’re, I love the funny ones. What, they’re all a little bit funny, but the funny, funny ones that have me laughing out loud are my favorite. So my favorite one is episode 63. How to stay healthy while traveling. That’s a good one. It was so funny

3 (1h 0m 18s):
And it doesn’t sound like it’d be fun,

2 (1h 0m 20s):
Right? It doesn’t sound like comedic episode, but we have so many stories about being sick while traveling or what we did to get through the trip while we were sick or what we did to prevent us from getting sick again. And it’s just funny. It’s a good one. And it has a lot of good tips.

1 (1h 0m 36s):
Yeah, it does. Absolutely. My favorite podcast episode in the last years has been episode 42 and that is to Tokyo. We had a lot of really good banter during that episode. We did, Even though Kim wasn’t on that trip, there was just so much good banter during the episode. And she really provided those interview questions to us to make the episode release interactive was really good. We went with our honorary squad members, cache and Ryan, and it’s just one of my all time favorite podcast

2 (1h 1m 5s):
Episodes. It was funny,

3 (1h 1m 6s):
A really funny episode. I mean, we talk about puts in touch and you’ll get the reference when you listen to it. I mean, we’re not just being graphic for no reason. There’s a reason why it was mentioned. And we just had too much fun going back and forth with that. And you know, we, can’t not talk about restrooms and there’s a lot of restroom talk to be talked about about Japan. So really fun one for me, I’m going back to Africa, Africa episode 26 and 27, another two for Amy. It was a two-parter episode. So, you know, it was a really fun episode, but for me, why it’s one of my favorites is this was like a lifelong bucket list, epic trip to go on a real safari in Africa. And we did it. We had such an amazing time shout out to gate one.

3 (1h 1m 47s):
Again, this was another gate, one adventure. I loved it, loved it, loved it. And hopefully it inspires you to go to Africa because I think a lot of people think, oh, it would be fun, but it’s probably one of the very few places that people end up actually going. So it’s a really solid one for you guys.

2 (1h 2m 3s):
So those are our favorite recommendations, favorite tips. And I just wanted to take another moment to say thanks so much for listening to this podcast. It means so much to us. We’ve had over 40,000 listens. Whoa,

3 (1h 2m 18s):
That’s a

2 (1h 2m 18s):
Lot in two and it continues to grow week over week. We continue to hit new records for listens. And can’t say it enough, how much we appreciate you listening to us.

3 (1h 2m 30s):
Yeah. So thanks for listening for these last two years. I mean, it’s just flown by, like I hadn’t looking at it. How many episodes we have? I mean, this is what episode 98 right here. I mean, wild in two years, there should have been more. We had a brief shutdown due to COVID as everybody else did, but wild ride nonetheless,

1 (1h 2m 46s):
And we’ve come back even stronger since COVID like we have been hitting the, these a huge numbers of downloads and weekly records and we’re just blown away. And we’re so thankful for all of you guys for listening and you know, we’ve said it again and again, please subscribe to our podcast. Please share our episodes with friends that would enjoy the same adventures because we have so much to share with you guys. And we just want to keep growing our podcast community and building a travel community for all of our listeners

2 (1h 3m 14s):
And providing the information you’re looking for, the recommendations of people that actually took these trips, those micro details that we try to include in prices and help you save money and help inspire you to take these trips. So tell us what you want to hear too.

1 (1h 3m 28s):
And I’m always so excited when someone that listens to our podcast, tags us in a post and we get to see their adventure or they’re telling us, Hey, we listened to your podcast. We’re so inspired to take this trip. We booked this or that. Like that just makes me so happy

2 (1h 3m 42s):
Views. Oh, I love the reviews. We always screenshot and share it to the group chat. And we’re like, look at this new one.

3 (1h 3m 48s):
It always makes us feel good. So again, thank you guys for an amazing, amazing two years and hopefully there’s many more and you don’t get tired of hearing about our travel stories for you guys.

2 (1h 3m 58s):
All right, everyone as usual, thank you so much for tuning into this week’s episode. And the last two years, keep the adventures going with us. Follow us on Instagram and YouTube at Travel Squad Podcast, tag us in your adventures and send us in your questions of the week.

3 (1h 4m 11s):
If you found the information in this episode to be useful, or if you thought we were just playing funny, please be sure to share it with a friend that would enjoy it too. And as always, please subscribe, rate and review our podcasts and tune in every Travel Tuesday for new episodes,

1 (1h 4m 26s):
Stay tuned for next week’s episode, we have some more amazing adventures and tips in store for you.

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