Ever wondered how to stretch your travel budget without skimping on experiences? This is the episode for you! Special guest Matt Guidice of Matt’s Flights and Craft Food Tours spills the secrets to his cost-saving strategies for flights and local travel. With a history of venturing off the beaten path, Matt brings a unique perspective on exploring the globe and embracing local culture.
Don’t hit ‘pause’ just yet. We’re also whisking you away to Santa Fe’s hidden treasures and offering essential tips for shedding your tourist persona. Plus, don’t miss out on our exclusive Virgin Voyages seven-night cruise giveaway—you could be our lucky winner! Whether you’re planning your next getaway or just dreaming, we’ve got actionable insights to make your travel more enriching and economical.
Mike Putman:[0:00] Hey everyone, and welcome back to another episode of No Tourist Allowed.
Before we dive into today’s episode, let’s get straight into the heart-pounding excitement we’ve got for you.
James Ferrara:[0:10] For those of you who’ve been tuning in, you already know about our once-in-a-lifetime giveaway.
But if you’re new here, let’s lay down the groundwork.
Mike Putman:[0:21] We’re giving away a seven-night Virgin Voyages cruise, and you’ll be sailing in high style in a sea-terrace cabin.
James Ferrara:[0:31] You’ve got the freedom to choose from all available ships, dates, and ports at the time of booking.
Just be sure you set sail by June 30th, 2024.
Mike Putman:[0:44] Every week we’re announcing a fresh fun raffle entry option right here on the podcast.
Last week we offered 5 points for signing up for our newsletter.
James Ferrara:[0:54] That’s right. And this week, the raffle entry, all you have to do is answer our quick poll asking, what is your favorite destination?
Earn another 5 points right there.
Mike Putman:[1:08] Mine would be London, but I probably can’t play.
But also to make it really easy, just head over to our website, NotouristAllowed, where can both sign up for the newsletter and take the poll.
We save all your info and points for next week’s raffle entry options.
James Ferrara:[1:26] Extra pro tip, you can still get those special bonus entries by following us on social media and subscribing to our YouTube channel. All the links are in the episode description.
Mike Putman:[1:40] And we just launched our YouTube channel last week and we’ve had a lot of good feedback already.
But all you got to do is listen in, earn points, and who knows, your dream destination might just become your next reality.
James Ferrara:[1:54] So much fun. Now, let’s jump into today’s episode.
Mike Putman:[1:58] Good day, everyone, and welcome to No Tourists Allowed.
We are without James for the moment. He’s having some technical difficulties.
He’s traveling today and trying to connect, but having some difficulties.
But hopefully he’ll be able to join us shortly as Nathaniel, our producer, is helping him.
But very excited today to have a special guest. Um, Matt Gadees is on from Matt’s Flights. Good day, Matt. How are you doing?
Matt Guidice:[2:26] I’m fantastic. How about yourself?
Mike Putman:[2:29] Doing, doing really well today. Um, Matt has a interesting product for the travel business where he keeps people informed of special pricing on flights, specifically in regions, and we’ll hear more about that, uh, more about Matt’s product in a little while, uh, but I, I’ve certainly enjoyed being a subscriber for quite some time and it’s saved me a few bucks and it’s one of the tools in my arsenal of travel tools.
But Matt, let’s tell the audience a little bit more about you, where you’re from, what’s your travel background and so forth.
Matt Guidice:[3:04] Awesome, yeah. My name is Matthew Gaddis. I live in Delray Beach, Florida, which is a wonderful beach town here in Southeast Florida.
My travel background actually did not start until a little later in life.
I didn’t travel too much as a child. My family didn’t travel a lot.
So I never really actually went overseas until I was 19 years old.
When I was in college, I met a wonderful girl before my wife, so hopefully she doesn’t listen to this. I don’t want to show her it.
But I met a really great girl in college, and she was an avid traveler.
And she kind of opened my eyes to travel.
Once we graduated university, we actually did a backpacking trip to Southeast Asia, which completely changed my life.
I got to go to Thailand, and Cambodia, Vietnam, all over China, and it really sparked something in me and has opened up wonderful doors in my life and given me countless blessings, and it’s been a great ride ever since.
Mike Putman:[4:05] Well, that’s awesome. So you were a little bit late, a little bit later on in your life and beginning to travel but it sounds like you made up for it pretty quickly through your years in college.
What were some of the interesting things that you found in Asia that might have helped, you know, if it did help you, guide you towards a travel career? Yeah, definitely.
Matt Guidice:[4:26] I mean, it actually guided me towards my first business. So traveling through Thailand in Bangkok, I saw a food tour going on.
It was a guided food tour through a night market in Thailand, and I was like, oh, that is so cool to watch people walk around, try different foods, learn about the market, learn about the history of the area. I was like, wow.
So ever since I got back from that trip, I started traveling around the world doing food tours. So I’ve done.
Maybe over 50 food tours all over the world as a guest. And I was like, you know what, I could start my own food tour.
So I actually started a food tour here in Delray. I have one in Fort Lauderdale and the beach side of Fort Lauderdale as well. So being in Asia, seeing that food tour, kind of guided me into this whole food tour travel industry.
And yeah, I still run that business today. I’m seven years in.
And without going on that trip, I would have never known about food tours.
And so It’s kind of crazy. People are always like, how did you find this idea?
I’m like, well, actually I traveled and I saw them all over the world and I’m like, you know what, why can’t I do my own version of this where I live?
So it was a crazy trip and I’m glad I did it.
Mike Putman:[5:38] I had no idea you were in that space of the travel sector as well.
If somebody wanted to go on one of those tours, do you have a website or somewhere they can look you up for that?
Matt Guidice:[5:47] Yeah, it’s called Craft Food Tours. It’s just www.craftfoodtours.com, C-R-A-F-T, food tours. It’s a wonderful way to see Southeast Florida.
But yeah, the food tours were definitely my first kind of excuse to start traveling.
I fell in love with the concept of eating and drinking around town with a local.
And yeah, I’ve done, I continue to do them. I just got back from San Sebastian, Spain a few weeks ago.
And then the reason I went was to do a food tour. Oh, cool.
Mike Putman:[6:19] Cool, really cool. Yeah, and that’s part of our ethos, too, is traveling uniquely, not traveling like a tourist, and being able to spend some time with a local person who, and I’m assuming on your tours, you’re not taking people to Hooters or places like that.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with Hooters, but probably something a little more authentic, local, exposing them to some local culture and things like that.
Matt Guidice:[6:48] Definitely. I mean, people want to travel and see the mom and pop shops.
I mean, they want to support local businesses.
That’s what I do in my travels. That’s definitely what people come on the tour.
That’s what they’re looking for. So they’re looking to support the local small businesses here.
The pandemic even, you know, heightened that even more people really wanted to get behind their local small businesses.
So the food tour has been a hit. And yeah, I mean, I and obviously, we can go into match fights a little bit as well.
But that’s been a huge push in that side in that business as well is that people are reaching out to go to those off the beaten path cities and live like a local, eat like a local, you know, so it’s, it’s, it’s pretty cool.
It’s, I like the, um, the second tier, third tier cities around these major cities are getting some love now. Yeah.
Mike Putman:[7:31] Yeah. And it’s amazing that you and James haven’t crossed paths because James’s company and teletravel has its headquarters, or at least where the majority of the employees are, uh, in Delray Beach as well.
And as all of our listeners know, James loves food. So we all love food.
Matt Guidice:[7:50] So James especially loves food. When we connect, I’ll definitely get him on a tour so you can come check it out.
Mike Putman:[7:55] Yeah, yeah, yeah. You should. So, well, great.
Well, so tell us a little bit about your, you kind of walked us through your college years of backpacking and then your food tours of recent.
Have you been on any interesting trips or vacations?
Matt Guidice:[8:15] Yeah, so I just, I brought up San Sebastian. That was a very unique food experience that I did.
I traveled a lot through Spain on that trip to a lot of the smaller towns.
And then obviously I did the major cities as well. We were talking about that before we got on a little bit is that the vacation I did prior to that was on a Virgin cruise. So I haven’t done a cruise in probably seven years now. And I did one growing up.
I would do one through Thanksgiving. That was like our one trip every year was to go on a cruise. And I’ve kind of been a little anti-cruise.
And going on the Virgin cruise kind of opened my eyes a little bit back to the cruising world. So that was kind of unique and different.
Before that, I’ve done a couple of South American trips, and then I’ve been flying a lot domestically as well, and obviously traveling around my great state of Florida, always doing small trips around Florida as well.
Mike Putman:[9:07] And for those listeners who might not have tuned in last week, we, along with Virgin Cruises, are raffling off a cruise for two and a very nice balcony cabin.
And if you go to to notouristallowed.com. There’s information about how you can sign up. There’s some other things that you could do to promote the podcast that will get you even more registrations.
And the beauty of this is you get to go on this cruise absolutely free, and you’re able to choose any of their seven-day cruises, and it’s a cruise for two, by the way, but any of their seven-day cruises, I think from January through June or July of 2024.
So it gives you a lot of flexibility so you can plan around it and pick the cruise it’s gonna be best suited for you. But Matthew, I’m assuming you had a great time on the Virgin Cruise.
Matt Guidice:[9:56] Yeah, that honestly changed my mind about cruising. When we were on there, I’m like, you know, we should do this like once a year with my wife.
So I think we’re gonna start cruising again a little bit. I mean, it’s definitely a way more convenient way to travel.
You know, when you do these large trips, these long trips overseas, so many issues can come up, you know, and like the cruise kind of takes that away, which is also very nice.
It’s a little bit more leisure, but I’m a very adventurous person.
So even when things go wrong, I still, I kind of lean into a little bit and just have fun with it.
Mike Putman:[10:26] Oh, cool. Well, tell us, tell our listeners a little bit more about Matt’s Flights.
I mean, it’s a great tool that I’ve put into use quite a few times, but give us a little background about how that got started and what Matt’s Flights does. Yeah.
Matt Guidice:[10:42] So Matt’s Flights is an email newsletter that we send our subscribers.
It’s a free newsletter. our subscribers about three or four times weekly to destinations in the U.S.
Domestically as well as international flights, and we have a premium version where we charge a fee to get the premium things, which we can get into right now if you’d like me to. Is that okay?
Sure. Go ahead. Yeah. Awesome. So it’s a premium subscriber.
You actually get to choose your departure airport, so you get more deals that are relevant to you, and you’ll get more deals as well, plus you can reach out to us directly for custom searches.
So at any time, we have a support team that will do custom searches for you wherever you want to go unlimited amount of times, as much as you want, as long as you’re a premium member.
And I’ve been in business for about six years.
And it’s been wonderful. I have a business partner, Brandon and Hunter.
So two business partners who have been in the online space for quite some time.
And they saw me doing my food tour.
And we’ve been friends and they’re like, Hey, we have this other opportunity for you. And yeah, we’re here six years later. It’s been wonderful.
Mike Putman:[11:49] So how did it become Matt’s flights rather than Brendan’s flights? Your other partners?
Matt Guidice:[11:54] Yeah, they’re behind the scenes guys. I like to travel a lot as well.
So they wanted a face for it. So they made me the face of it, which is fine. But yeah, they gave me the name.
But yeah, just basically, there’s other newsletters out there, travel newsletters, and we wanted to do something unique and different.
And we just scoured the internet every single day looking for cheap flights.
Mike Putman:[12:17] Yeah, so the way I use the product is, I’m a premium subscriber, and it’s well worth it by the way, and I travel quite a bit, but also being in the travel space, people are always coming to me asking me for advice, and where can I find a deal?
So I share with them to get on Matt’s newsletter subscription, but But also, I’ll hear people say, hey, I’ll give a great example.
IntelliTravel, James’s company, has a big event in Cancun in December, and the event’s been booked for a year, and there’ll be several thousand people there, and he asked me to come and speak, and I happened to see in one of your newsletters that the prices had dropped significantly for Cancun for a period of October through the end of the year, or something like that and I looked at it and the nice thing about it is it doesn’t just say prices are lower, it actually gives you…
25 or 30 different departure cities, gives you the range of dates of when you might be able to find those deals, any kind of other qualifications or requirements that are there, and it gives you actual sample pricing.
And oftentimes you’ll find some of these travel deals newsletter, which will give you this rock bottom price, but it’s really hard to find, or it’s, you know, you got to wear one orange sock and stay two weeks and come back on Monday.[13:44] But these deals, although you don’t generate, it’s not your pricing, it’s the supplier’s pricing but you’re going out and ferreting these deals and finding these special offers and then sharing them.
So anyhow, what I did is I took that purposeful email and I shared it with the event coordinator who then went and had all of the participants, the corporate side that are going to this event, book their travel within that span, and it ended up saving the company about 30%.
And it wasn’t just 30% on one ticket, it was 30% on 20 or 30 tickets.
So you know, it was a great application of how you can use that.
Matt Guidice:[14:21] That’s amazing. Yeah, that’s great to hear. We love to hear that.
And yeah, I mean, it’s just like, we’re always on top of it, where we’re kind of your eyes and ears in the airfare world.
And so we have a wonderful team built out that’s constantly looking for flights.
And like I said, once you become a premium member, you have direct access to my team and myself.
I still log on and respond to people who write to us. So I’m still very active in the business as well. But you have direct access to us to look for flights.
And it really helps when we set up trackers for people.
We go above and beyond for our customers.
Mike Putman:[14:54] So what would, for a premium subscriber, and let’s say they saw a deal to Los Angeles or How would they interact with your staff to help them or what are some of the ways that they could interact with your staff.
Matt Guidice:[15:09] Yeah, it’s a great question. So we, once you become a premium member, you get a login, and you can reach out to us via the login, it sends us an email.
So we typically Hey, man, I’m flying to Los Angeles from Denver, you know, August 5 to August 12.
And we go in, we look and we do a custom search for you. And we send you back a few options.
And we kind of go back and forth until we find the best option that suits you.
It’s not sometimes it’s not always the cheapest someone’s looking for.
Sometimes we’re looking for a more convenient flight, or maybe they want on a business class. So we’re very flexible with what the customer wants.
And so we’re just always ready to give them as many options.
We do all the searching, all the heavy lifting for them.
Mike Putman:[15:48] But you don’t process the tickets, right? You just give them the itineraries and tell them go here, there, wherever to book your trip. Right?
Matt Guidice:[15:55] Correct. We do not work directly with the airlines. We don’t make commission on the airfare.
Our entire business is to find you the cheapest flight and that’s what you’re paying the subscription for.
Mike Putman:[16:06] Awesome. Really cool. Um, so, uh, first of all, uh, if we had, for our listeners who are interested, how can they sign up for the newsletter and, or find out more information about the premium service? Definitely.
Matt Guidice:[16:21] I would just go to mattsflights.com, M-A-T-T-S-F-L-I-G-H-T-S dot com. From there you’ll sign up, it’ll be a free newsletter and you’ll start getting our newsletters right away. Cool.
Mike Putman:[16:32] Cool. Listen, we never let one of our guests get off without sharing, or at least us asking for them to share any kind of travel tips.
Are there any things that you do to, is there a certain thing that you always pack, is there a way you get through the airport quicker, or is there anything to do to make travel less stressful that you can think of.
Matt Guidice:[16:58] I mean, this might sound like everyone does it already, I’m not really sure, but I would book as far in advance as possible.
That means your airfare, your hotel, your attractions, tours, I would book.
If you’re going overseas, at least three to six months in advance.
Domestic, at least one to three months, because they play this supply-demand game and the longer you wait, the higher the price is gonna be.
It’s no longer last minute cheap flights or cheap deals anywhere.
It’s very difficult to get those.
It’s about booking and being, you know, trying to be as proactive as possible when you’re traveling. Great.
Mike Putman:[17:37] Well, that’s some great advice. So, again, if somebody wants to find out more information about your food tours, it’s crafttours.com.
Matt Guidice:[17:45] Craftfoodtours.com and then maxflights.com.
I got to plug the food tour, too. This is wonderful. I never get to plug the food tour.
Mike Putman:[17:54] Well, awesome. Well, listen, I really do appreciate you taking the time and sharing with us today. And I’m sure our listeners will appreciate it.
And, um, they will, hopefully they’ll be able to subscribe to the newsletter and be able to get some great content like I’ve been able to.
So thanks, Matt. I really appreciate you being here.
Matt Guidice:[18:11] Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.
James Ferrara:[18:13] So Mike, um, I am here with you from incredibly beautiful Santa Fe.
Those of you who are looking, watching this on our YouTube channel can see my little Kiva, my little like beehive fireplace in this room.
And also the, I think you could probably see, this beautiful wood ceiling, all very traditional.
This property that I’m at is called, it’s run by Hilton, but it’s a Native American casino and resort called Buffalo Thunder.
Very famous outside, just outside of Santa Fe City limits, in the foothills, and incredible desert landscape, beautiful gardens, and the whole property, well, I’m going to show it to you as I talk to you.
Mike Putman:[19:08] You said there’s a casino there, James?
James Ferrara:[19:11] There is, yes, a big casino, and you can see that the property is designed to look like a traditional Native American Pueblo like you would see at Mesa Verde.
In fact, Mesa Verde, the famous archaeological site, was the inspiration for this particular hotel.
This beautiful spa here. There’s a golf course you might be able to make out in the desert foothills there. I don’t know how they do that.
But anyway, very beautiful.[19:47] Spa, restaurants, really very lovely. And Santa Fe, man, Wonderful destination have you ever been Mike? No, I have not been I have not been to New Mexico period One of my favorite places on the planet I have to say I find this landscape beautiful I find the Native American culture so beautiful and inspiring This hotel is filled with artwork and pottery displays from the local Native American tribes and And when you go into Santa Fe, it’s all artisan crafts and beautiful art galleries.
And if you’re into art, if you’re into jewelry, turquoise and precious stone, Native American jewelry, Santa Fe is the place to be.
And I would, of course, it wouldn’t be James if I didn’t mention the food. I was waiting for that.[20:45] It’s also a foodie capital. Mark Miller, one of the famous celebrity chefs, opened the Coyote Cafe here in Santa Fe, that must be 30 years ago, and still going strong.
I ate last night in a famous 100-year-old hotel called La Fonda, right on the square, the historic square, the plaza in the middle of Santa Fe.
And the hotel itself was built in 1922 and a beautiful adobe style but on that site there have been coach stops and hotels since the early 1600s so they claim that that is the oldest hotel site in the United States About that.
Mike Putman:[21:37] I was not aware of that Interesting. And probably the oldest bus terminal, it sounds like.
James Ferrara:[21:44] Right, exactly. Those coach houses. So, anyhow, great, great experience here, and I highly recommend Santa Fe as a destination.
And we’re enjoying this Buffalo Thunder Resort very much, too.
They didn’t pay us for a commercial, but they’re doing a great job.
So, Mike, the last time we were together, sort of apropos to a discussion like this, we were talking about what we called our manifesto for no tourists allowed.
Mike Putman:[22:15] Yes.
James Ferrara:[22:16] Our kind of ideas for how our listeners can travel better, travel in a more memorable way, try to travel in a more authentic way, not get caught up in overly touristic sites and places and experiences, but to experience more local culture and so on, right? So we started that way.
Mike Putman:[22:42] Yeah, and I think part of that is it’s up to the traveler, which we also talked last week about graduating from a tourist to a traveler.
And it’s up to the traveler to keep a couple of rules in mind when you’re traveling too.
And when my kids were growing up, we traveled quite a bit and they had this thing about spotting people who are tourists and they called them German tour runs.[23:13] Nothing, nothing against the German people, but they would tend to have the cameras dangling around their neck when people had cameras, but also have the kind of Kulak pants, which are not, they don’t go down to your ankles and don’t.
Ankles and don’t go, but they do go below your knees and loud flowery shirts.
And it’s, you know, when you’re, when you’re at a, at a destination where, um, you know, a popular destination, let’s just say, oftentimes it’s easy to pick out the tourist and when you do, you’re kind of opening and if you dress like a tourist based upon your dress, then you’re opening yourself up to maybe being taken advantage of, um, by some of those people that may be like pickpockets.
So, um, you know, in general, um, just don’t wear things that look like a tourist, right.
Um, try not to wear the fanny packs. I know those are convenient, uh, to things to have, but try not to wear those.
Um, you know, when you’re in another country, like I go to India often, um, people just in general don’t wear shorts, right.
So it can be really hot there. And sometimes it’s not, but in general, men just don’t wear shorts. is just not necessarily accepted.
So do a little bit of research before you go to your destination.
Find out a little bit more about what the norms are in terms of dress and just don’t look like a tourist. Absolutely.
James Ferrara:[24:39] You know, last time we talked about having a genuine interest in the culture, the local culture. We talked about eating locally, of course.
Now you’ve mentioned some other important ideas. And another one, and I remember we covered this early on in our first season, is to attempt to speak the language, right?[25:03] It is the polite thing to do, you know, rather than show up in a country, and unfortunately Americans sometimes have this attitude, show up in someone else’s country and expect them to speak your language, right?
Now, I’m not saying you need to get fluent, you’re traveling to Italy and all of a sudden you’re going to be fluent in Italian. How about just learning hello and thank you?
Just those two things and that will change the way people treat you in those destinations.
You walk into a hotel, a boutique, a shop and in France and you say bonjour that they will start talking to you in French especially if your accent is good and you will have no idea what they’re saying but that’s okay.
You will quickly explain that you don’t understand but the attitude that you will get from that shop person will be this customer just attempted at least to speak my language and and there’s a kind of respect that comes from that so it’s very simple yeah and on top of language to etiquette so there are some different etiquettes a couple that come to mind are when you’re in India people typically shake with their left hand rather than their right hand.
Mike Putman:[26:27] When you’re in Japan and you’re greeting someone, as many of you I’m sure have seen on TV, rather than shake hands, you stand back a bit and do a, you know, call it a half bow or a three-quarters bow.
And then if you’re presenting a business card, and this is really, actually this has helped my business career when I’ve been in Asia because it’s beyond Japan, but you provide the bow, and then with two hands, I don’t know if you can see on the screen, you present your business card like this, and you do it face-up, but I’m trying to not show who’s business card I’m having, and you actually present it so that they’re reading it.
So just a couple of small etiquette things like that that you can learn online goes a long way to set up the first steps of a really genuine relationship with locals.
James Ferrara:[27:18] And when someone gives you their business card, in Japan I know this is really important, it might be a reflex reaction for you to accept the card and shove it into your pocket.
But actually what you should do is look at the card carefully as if you’ve been given something of value.
And so you treat the card like it’s valuable, you look at it carefully, you thank the person for giving it to you, and then you put it away.
Otherwise, it could seem a little rude. Mike, you and I are big readers.
We both love to quote from authors.
I have a quote I want to share with everyone today. And it’s the quote, respect and acceptance stem from simple acts, such as remembering a person’s name and using it.
Remember that a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
And that was Dale, Dale Carnegie, who wrote that probably what 75 years ago, but my tip here is remember names when you’re traveling and you meet people and you’re introduced to people, remember those names and use them.
That is another bridge into a culture and being treated not like a tourist.
Mike Putman:[28:47] Absolutely, that’s a good quote. Good quote and a nice thought to end our show with today.
So I’d like to thank all of our listeners out there and please go to notouristallowed.com, to register for our fantastic giveaway, the seven-night cruise for two on Virgin Voyages, which they’ve so generously supplied to No Tourist Allowed.
But I look forward to speaking with you again next week where we’ve got some exciting host, excuse me, exciting guest, and hopefully we have exciting host as well.
And we’ll be back to see you at that point.
James Ferrara:[29:22] Absolutely, Mike. We have a season of guests. We have a season of more points in our manifesto at No Tourist Allowed. So we’ll be sharing more of those next week.
You know just on the virgin voyages giveaway. I hope everyone understands all of our listeners.
This is a swanky cruise This is not some like same old same old seven day cruise virgin is doing like a really Premium high-end job with their cruising and this is quite the giveaway So good luck to all of you and we’ll see you here next week. Thank you for being here at No Tourists Allowed.