Today we’re joined by travel industry expert Soalcris Bolton, VP of Sales at Vacation Express, to explore the world of vacation planning, exotic destinations, and how to get the best value for your trips. We dive into Soalcris’s personal travel experiences, explore the perks of charter flights, and uncover the latest trends in resorts, focusing on wellness. We also tap into some exciting travel offers with our deals guru, Jessica, from Delta Vacations to American Queen Voyages. Finally, we delve into hot topics like the rise in upscale RV parks and the alarming increase in disruptive behavior on airplanes. Join us as we journey through diverse travel opportunities and uncover ways to make your next trip truly unforgettable!
Mike Putman: Hello everyone. I’m Mike Putman.
James Ferrara: I am James Ferrara. Welcome to No Tourists Allowed.
Mike Putman: Glad you could join us for another installment of season two, and we’ve got a very special guest with us this week who, um, knows a lot about travel, the subject we are talking about, and, uh, focus on. And um, James, why don’t you introduce, um, our special guest.
James Ferrara: Sure. Uh, I’ve actually had the pleasure. Of working with, uh, Soalcris Bolton for a couple of years and we have built a huge business together, frankly Intel Travel and Soalcris’s company, which is called Vacation Express, she is a vice president of sale and groups and customer satisfaction, but Vacation Express may not be.
Household name to you. And we’re going to, uh, give so a moment to, uh, help you understand why. And then we’re going to ask her to apply her incredible expertise. And of course, she’s an a super frequent traveler. In addition to being a travel industry professional, we’re gonna ask her. To share some insights and some tips with us and, uh, sort of really get into it.
So, first and foremost, we wanna welcome Soallcris, welcome to uh, No Tourists Allowed.
Soalcris Bolton: Thank you. Thank you, James. Thank you Mike. Uh, it’s a bit an honor to be here with you guys, uh, hear about your podcast. Very popular. So thank you very much for considering me as a subject matter in travel, which I have been for over two decades now. So I’m very happy to be here with you guys today.
And, um, You want me to share a little bit about Vacation Express the company I am with? I’m more than happy to do that. Uh, vacation Express is one of the leaders in the tour operator market in the us with more than three decades of existence. Vacation Express has over 400 hotels to offer in more than 30, 40 destinations that we have today.
I started in this industry when I was really young. I’m very happy I made that decision. I’m born and raised, uh, in the Dominican Republic. I had an opportunity on my late twenties to join a company in the US to which I immediately say, when do I leave? So I, I saw that as a great Growth for me in my career after I finished college in the Dominican Republic and moved to Miami.
Worked with this company for five years, and then decided to stay home with my son and dedicated one full year to my son, who is 11 years old today. Unbelievable. And then decided to look for other opportunities here in the state, in the travel industry as well, and Vacation Express welcomed me and have been having me since.
I’m very happy to be here.
James Ferrara: Oh, that’s a wonderful story. And you, you were. To get to the United States and we’re all anxious to get to the Dominican Republic.
Mike Putman: Isn’t that funny?
Soalcris Bolton: I love the Republic. I just saw this as an opportunity grow.
James Ferrara: now Vacation Express. Faith. You have contracts with resorts and with the ground transportation operators and with airlines of course, and, uh, activities and entertainment and your company is really a vacation company. You package all of those things together and because you have these big contracts, those packages wind up.
Saving people quite a bit of money. I know this from 30 years experience as opposed to a traveler going out and booking everything a la carte, like booking the hotel by themselves, plus the airline, plus the, this plus the, that you’re offering, you know, great value in these packages. Um, but you also have, you know, incredible knowledge of. What, which resorts are, which, and what are the best ones for the best types of travelers, and which locations you, you focus primarily on the Caribbean and Mexico and the Dominican Republic? Yes.
Soalcris Bolton: We do. We are a one-stop shop, right? So the traveler can have the opportunity to book everything with me from the air, to the transportation, to the excursions, which are a huge part of a vacation. ’cause no one wants to go to a hotel and stay there for five days, six days, and don’t be able to see the surroundings and what that island or that country has to offer.
So we, we offer everything to the traveler. We have great relationships with the destinations, tourism boards, so that makes us as well different because we also educate and have a lot of information about the destination, the traveler, the size to choose to go on vacation too. So all that information can be received from Vacation Express.
James Ferrara: Sure, but, here’s the twist that our customers might be saying. Our, our listeners might be saying, gee, I’ve never heard of this company Vacation Express, because the twist is, That it’s their travel advisor, right? Who is actually going to Vacation Express, getting the package and turning around and marketing it to the customer.
So really you’re a B two B operation, selling through travel advisors, and, uh, we love you for that, number one. But secondly, that, that sort of explains to people why they not, might not be able to be aware of your name. Uh, the company name. Yet, this is one of the largest organizations in the world that does this sort of thing.
So let’s turn to get to know you a little better. And Mike’s really the expert on this. He has his system of rapid fire questions.
Mike Putman: Expert. Oh boy. You know, never allow someone to call you an expert because you’re, they’re setting you up for failure. But, Soalcris, we have, we have several questions we like to ask our guests just to get to know them better about their personal travel habits and things that they like or not.
So if you can just give us a quick answer, uh, to these, to the best of your ability. ’cause I know you haven’t been prepped with these questions. Um, but how many countries have you visited?
Soalcris Bolton: Oh my goodness, over 15
Mike Putman: Over 50. Okay, great. And when you travel, are you an aisle or window person?
Soalcris Bolton: when I was younger. Window person with the years, an aisle person.
Mike Putman: All right.
Soalcris Bolton: It makes it easier for me to work when I’m an aisle.
Mike Putman: Yeah, it gives you some extra space, that’s for sure. Which, what is your favorite destination?
Soalcris Bolton: Oh my goodness. That’s a tough question because coming, coming from the Dominican Republic, I can tell you right off the bat the Dominican Republic, right? Be because.
Mike Putman: you can’t, you can’t say Dominican Republic ’cause you’re from there.
Soalcris Bolton: We, we, I mean, the truth is we have it all. You have the beautiful turquoise beaches, but you also have the mountains and the green that no, you don’t get typically from the islands in the Caribbean.
So besides the Dominican people are super, super cool and always, always welcome tourists to the island.
James Ferrara: The food is really good.
Soalcris Bolton: The food is amazing. Yes. Needless to say. Thank you, James. I do have couple of destinations that I also have to, to mention here that I have fell in love. So my husband, as we travel, for example, we have Grenada in, in the Caribbean. Is a destination that you don’t hear everybody talking about it, but once you know about it, you will keep it in your list of places to visit.
1, 2, 3 times. We have been there, we have been there three times now, and the, the beauty of Grenada is that it’s not only a beautiful island it’s the people of Grenada. It’s the product you get. Frog Grenada. They had a really upscale and high-end hotel called Silver Sand to which I took my husband this year for his birthday.
And it, it’s just amazing. It’s a boutique hotel. I love boutique hotels. As soon as I have a small hotel with a great gym and great spot, I’m in habit. So that’s what I look for when I travel and Silver San Grenada. Has everything we need.
Mike Putman: Fair enough. And what is your, so let’s go back to Dominican. Uh, Dr. What is your favorite hotel? On the, on Dominican Republic.
Soalcris Bolton: It depends what, what kind of travel is it, right? Is it a family travel? Is, is it a cobalts getaway? So I would say for family, definitely. Uh, The Royalton and the, the Palladian hotels have a lot to offer, and when it comes to adults only, I would say the Chic property in Punana Alto, it’s also part of the Blue Diamond Royalton family.
It’s a great option because it’s, it’s for a mature. Audience and the hotel has a lot of fun activities that really make the moment even better when you are there.
James Ferrara: Well, those are good, tips. What are the hot destinations, would you say? ’cause you have a great year of what people are booking at, at very high volume. So what, what are the hot destinations? I mean, we know people talk about Cancun is always one of the tops, and, and, but there, there’s a lot more to Cancun than just the hotel one.
Right. So tell us a little bit about where the action is.
Soalcris Bolton: Hot destinations are going to be more exotic and exclusive ones things that people are not booking for many, many, many years. And I think Instagram it’s play. It’s been playing a huge role in all this because you can see influence influencers saying, I was here this weekend, I was there this weekend.
And typically are places that people don’t travel very often to. From our standpoint and from from the destinations we sell, we are seeing more St. Mark. We are seeing more Barbados, Antigua Grenada. Even at uba, so versus over years where we see more volume to the same Mexico, Jamaica, and Dominican Republic, we are now seeing more in, in the smaller Caribbean islands.
Another one that it’s growing very fast. It’s been there forever, but people are more and more interested is Costa Rica. Costa Rica has a lot to offer because you have the Pacific side and you have the Caribbean side. So when people travel to Costa Rica and they get to experience the Pacific side it’s just amazing to see a difference.
Sea, it’s amazing to see all the mountains. The excursions in Costa Rica are just amazing. You can do one every day, one different day.
James Ferrara: Rainforest and monkeys.
Soalcris Bolton: It’s amazing the fauna, all the animals that you are able to see in a country that is not that far for us. So Costa Rica, it’s is one of the hotspots for sure.
Mike Putman: So, Soalcris, let’s talk a little bit about airlift and how Vacation Express what markets they serve from the us, what markets they serve, uh, in, in terms of destinations. I know you’ve talked about several of them already, but just to give our listeners kind of a broad expanse of who’s eligible to, uh, maybe take advantage of a Vacation Express package.
Soalcris Bolton: The traveler the travel advisors can book anything from Vacation Express when it comes to airlines, any, right? Of course. We have our chatters, which are seasonal mostly during winter and summer. We have, uh, charter flights, uh, depart in front 11 or 30 cities in 2023. I think we’re going to stick with the same for 2024, which oftentimes can make your vacation package more attractive because we are able to accommodate their prices for the airfare, however, With the low cost carriers, frontier Spirit, uh, Southwest it’s hard to compete.
We offer that as well. So if the traveler decides to go with one of those low cost carriers throughout the year, they can book a very great package with vacation Espresso as well. Of course, we have Delta, we have America, we have United, we have them all.
Mike Putman: And some of the advantages of going on a charter flight from Vacation Express are that you guys control the experience, right? So you’ve got a set day that you’d depart from a set city at a set time. And, um, you can kind of control the experience all the way through the through the trip or through the package, you know, which in the industry we call that vertically integrated, right?
So you’ve got someone that, um, the same people that are taking care of your flight are taking care of your transfers or taking care of your hotel accommodations. And, um, that, that can make a big difference. Um, and especially when you get into the wintertime where oftentimes the mainline carriers, American Delta, et cetera are working on, you know, revenue managed prices, which mean that the greater the demand, the higher the price tends to be.
And, um, there’s some real advantages for our travelers that, uh, take those charter flights and they can save some real serious money, especially in peak seasons.
Soalcris Bolton: Absolutely, and we will always be more competitive for sure, so that will make the vacation package more attractive.
James Ferrara: So that, that kind of leads into a question I had, Mike, people are talking about high airfares and you just kind of addressed it, sorest with charter flights, for example. But also talking about the high cost of hotels at the moment. So, are there some tips, some secrets we can give to our audience here about how to, you know, find the best value for their vacation?
Soalcris Bolton: That’s a good question.
I would say before covid hotels were more defined in a sense of I will maintain my rates throughout the year. Sometimes hotels might decide, let me come up with an early bird promotion, which means if you book during fall and you travel in summer, I guarantee you the best price that practice is is no longer existent.
And after covid, because there is a travel revenge and everyone says I can’t take it anymore. All those two years that I couldn’t travel, I’m going to go for it now and more because life is too short. I see that hotels somehow are taking advantage of the demand and I no longer see as many promotions going and low prices happening.
So I think one of the best practices for a traveler is to. Try to book everything, bundle everything up, and probably the tour operator will be able to guarantee a better price. But it is very hard nowadays to guarantee the lowest price with hotels because they know that the demand is there. As of right now.
I’m curious to know what’s gonna happen in 2024. When the hoteliers understand that cruises are back, and now you need to convince all this clientele that, hey, all inclusive is still here, but they now have a gain the competition from the cruise lines. And I, I am interested to see what’s gonna happen in 2024.
But to answer your question as easy as possible, try to bundle everything. And potentially you will get the best.
Mike Putman: what if, what if you’re someone who’s just wants to go to one of these big name destinations, Jamaica, Punta, wherever, Playa, and, and they’re just looking for a four star or better res resort. What is the best way to shop for that? I mean, if they’re like, I’m not really, you know, it doesn’t have to be this brand or that brand.
I just want something really nice on the beach that’s all inclusive. How would you suggest that our consumers find the best deal with that approach? I.
Soalcris Bolton: Nowadays, we make it easier for the traveler or the advisor because they can filter, right? They can filter by rating stars or they can filter by, is it family travel? Is it adults only? So I think it’s, it’s the norm nowadays when you are searching for a destination to easily identify, oh, I, I want to focus in off scale brands.
You will go to the section where we have all the upscale, or we just want to do couples gateway. Let me just go do the adults only. That will make it easier for them too. Find what they’re looking for.
James Ferrara: Of course, having a professional travel advisor with you, helps and they’ve either been to the destination or been trained on the destination, or they have access to. The employees at Vacation Express who are expert on these destinations. So a lot of times I’ll, I’ll speak to you as a travel agent.
That’s our secret weapon is that we have a partner like Vacation Express, where the folks in your facility really know these products, these resorts and these destinations inside and out. So we pick up the phone and talk to them. Say, we have a couple in their fifties who want this and want that, and we’re not sure if this is the best island, and what do you think?
And we get expert advice. So there’s a, I don’t think Mike, that, um, travelers and maybe many of our listeners understand this whole life that goes on after you make the request. You know, I think they think that travel agents just go away and pick something out of a book or type in the computer and, but there’s actually a whole community, right?
It takes a village there. It’s a whole, there’s a whole community working to get them the best vacation for them.
Soalcris Bolton: A hundred percent. A hundred percent because it’s, it’s too convoluted, it’s too much information. So you need someone to put you in the right direction. We are here for that.
James Ferrara: I think that these resorts have become amazing, and it’s kind of like cruise ships too, right? Where they just keep adding new things and now the cruise ships have roller coasters and, and, and, uh, gas powered speed cars and race cars. And also, and I think the resorts do too. You know, it, it was swim up bars and then it was trapeze.
Circus schools and what’s the new, it’s like an arms race, right? It’s like a space race. Who’s gonna have the new experience or the next big thing? What? What are you seeing out there? Anything you can share with us.
Soalcris Bolton: I think something that I’m seeing in, in the all inclusive field more and more is wellness. So hotels are, Preparing their infrastructure more and more to be more aligned with the wellness and the fitness life that a lot of people want to follow. Right? So, you can see they have better gym equipment.
They have more classes throughout. The, the activities, uh, agenda that the hotels have I can tell you, even excursions are now more oriented to that field because that’s what people are looking for. And of course with that, they are making changes to their A and B, right? all the meals and, and the beverage.
So that is a big thing happening right now in all the, all inclusives. And when it comes to creativity be different, the sky is the limit. So I’m sure more and more and more will continue to come.
James Ferrara: So we’ve gotten some, uh, already some personal recommendations out of you, but one question that we like to ask our guests, because we know you travel so much, and, and so do, Mike and I, we try to share a little tips or hacks to help people travel a little more smoothly to get through the airport.
Maybe there’s. Something that you do or the when you arrive at the hotel, anything like that? Is there a, a Soalcris tip that we can share with our travelers?
Soalcris Bolton: Absolutely by light, don’t bring things you are not going to use. Because sometimes, sometimes we get. To consume on, it’s gonna be five nights. I need to have five different outfits. I need to have five different shoes. No, you are there to enjoy. So as long as you bring enough clothes to fulfill the days, you gonna be okay.
But I, I think as, as silly as it might sound when you pack light, when you travel with. Exactly what you need. You are going to have a better experience because sometimes we get too involved with, I need to pack, I need to pack, I need to pack, and then you forget about the excitement that. You’re gonna get when you get to this place.
So backlight is one. Uh, number two, always bring your exercise shoes. You can either walk around the beach, you can walk around the property, you can go to the gym because exercising is also very important. It’s going to enhance the travel experience as well. When I travel with, with my family, with including my son I also make sure I just bring whatever he’s going to need and I always pack a book for him.
Although his mom, I don’t have to read. I’m on vacation. Yes, you have. So try to. Keep and maintain those habits that you do at home when you travel, and your experience is going to be much better.
James Ferrara: that’s a wonderful tip and one we haven’t heard before, Mike. I like that. to maintain the habits you have at home when you’re traveling. I like that a lot.
Mike Putman: Yeah, just one thing. Uh, you, you guys can’t see Soalcris, but we’ve, James and I, of course, had the opportunity to meet her in person, and she’s this beautiful woman, very well dressed. If she can saypac light, then I think any woman in the world should be able to follow suit with that. So, so, great. Uh,
Soalcris Bolton: for that. Thank you for that.
Mike Putman: Yeah. And Soalcris, thank you so much for spending the time with us today. We really do appreciate it. Um, you’ve been a great guest and uh, would love to have you back very soon.
Soalcris Bolton: Lovely. Thank you guys. I appreciate you.
Mike Putman: That was great information from Soalcris,
James Ferrara: A lot of tips.
Mike Putman: A lot of tips, a lot of, lot of good information. But, uh, Jessica has joined us again, our, uh, deals guru and she’s gonna be bringing us some exciting news, uh, and exciting offers that are available out in the domain travel domain now. So welcome Jessica.
Jessica Deverson: you guys. It’s good to be here again.
Mike Putman: What kind of specials do you have for us this week?
Jessica Deverson: So I have a short list, three offers but all very good offers. So first up we have Delta Vacations. Everybody knows Delta I. Airlines, but this is Delta Vacations and right now they have a special offer. Um, when you book by September and you travel through December, um, you’ll save. So basically book your fall and your winter travel now, and you’ll save up to $250 per booking if your Sky Miles member and it’s super easy.
If you’re not a Sky Miles member, um, you can call your Intelli Travel Advisor, your travel advisor. To become a Sky Miles member.
James Ferrara: Freudian slip
Jessica Deverson: uh, I can’t tell you how many times a day. I hate that. But if you’re not a Sky Miles member, you can become one. Just contact your travel advisor. They can sign you up really easily.
It’s gr it’s a good idea to do so, even if you haven’t booked yet, or you haven’t traveled yet. Because a lot of times the Delta Vacations special offers are for Sky Miles members, so you might as well become one. And next up I have Club Med. Um, so Club Med has a Sunshine Blist sale. Um, and that’s running now through the end of August. And For travel now through February of 2024 next year. And so basically, yeah, it’s their end of summer sale, but really great offer with up to 40% off plus kids under six will stay free and there’s never any single supplements with Club Med, which is great.
And you’ll also get an instant credit up to $150 per week. So, um, year-round sunshine at Club Med, if you go to the, their locations are in the Caribbean, Mexico, Bahamas. They actually have a location in Canada as well. So, you know, all inclusive 60 activities all day. Gourmet dining, childcare. What more do you need when you’re on vacation?
Mike Putman: I was unaware that Club Med didn’t didn’t have a single supplement that they charged. That’s awesome.
Jessica Deverson: find out good stuff. And didn’t, James, didn’t you stay at the Canada Club bed?
James Ferrara: Yeah, in Quebec and it was absolutely beautiful. It was, you know, perfect for skiing, but even. In the summertime, that part of Canada is very, very beautiful. When people go up, it’s right on the St. Lawrence River. Majestic views, you know, all the good things that, all the things that Canada is good at.
Huge trees, majestic views, you know, there’s moose and all kinds of stuff. And the thing about club mad and, and everyone knows club mad. It’s kind of like, The grandfather of all-inclusive resorts, right? Been around for so long, since like the 1950s. But um, the thing about it is that the food is really good.
So sometimes you go to these all-inclusive resorts and it’s very convenient that all your food is included, but it isn’t the best, you know, especially if you’re not staying at a sort of high-end resort. The food can be a little drab, but. Club Med is a French company and the French are very good at food, so there’s wine at all.
The meals. Also, you can help yourself to glasses of wine with all the meals, and the food is really good and they’re really expert at this kind of travel. Jessica, how many be before we go to your third, how many deals do you think that, uh, come across your desk in the typical week?
Jessica Deverson: Oh, countless. I couldn’t even put a number on it.
James Ferrara: Right. It’s probably thousands. Thousands. So we really do appreciate you for going through all that and sort of hand selecting, curating for no tourists allowed these really good offers. So tell us about the third I.
Jessica Deverson: Well, thank you. And last but not least, we have American Queen Voyages. Um, so they have their medication sale, basically another end of summer sale. And right now if you book your American Queen Voyages, you’ll get a free category upgrade or a suite upgrade depending on your state room. And then also you’re already getting up to $4,000 savings plus there’s a $200 your choice credit, um, so of for you to use however you’d like on board.
Um, on board, though it is all inclusive. There’s impeccable service. It’s really unique, one of a kind experience in destinations throughout the US and Canada. So, um, a little bit different cruising of very domestic. Um, and these ceilings take you through the rich heritage of each location and there’s guided tours, which are included.
You’ll have interesting lectures and then back on board you’ll have regional delights and regional, locally sourced food, unlimited beverages, unlimited wifi, and more. So it’s a great deal in and of itself. But the all inclusive aspect. But again, right now, if you book, you’ll get the $200 your choice credit.
And the free category upgrade, which is a great deal, and that is bookable through the end of this month. But you do need a promo code to book this offer. So you should definitely give your travel advisor a call.
James Ferrara: American Queen and a couple of other companies like that. They sail the rivers of the United States and, and Canada too. So they do the Columbia River up in the Pacific Northwest, but. The Mississippi River and over to what Cincinnati and into America’s heartland. Right. And then sometimes the St.
Lawrence up in Canada too. So it’s a, you know, we, we tend to think of cruising and river cruising as exotic and maybe far away. Maybe it’s Europe or Egypt or China, but it’s right here. In the United States, and it’s incredible way. I put my parents once on one of these uh, Mississippi River cruises from New Orleans up to Mississippi and they stopped at Natchez and all of these antebellum south ports along the Mississippi.
Tons of history and antique shopping, and you just kind of walk off the ship, right? It’s not like you’re on a big ocean ship. You just walk off into the middle of these towns that were all built around the river. It’s, it’s a actually a lovely travel ideas that I think isn’t always top of mind for people.
Might be a little unusual.
Jessica Deverson: Absolutely. And some of the, the, some of the domestic river cruise lines and things like that have, um, like you said, they do. The Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee Rivers, Columbia, snake Rivers, and there’s even a few brands that do you know, Florida and the Keys and things like that. So, um, wherever you wanna go, there’s, there’s probably a cruise there.
You just have to look for it. I.
Mike Putman: Very good. Well, thank you so much, Jessica, for bringing those, uh, insights and special offers to our guest to our listeners, and, uh, hopefully we’ll be able to put some of those, uh, to work and get some great deals. I.
Jessica Deverson: Absolutely. Thanks for having me guys.
James Ferrara: Thank you.
Mike Putman: Alright, well that was great information from Jessica. Hopefully a lot of our listeners will be able to take advantage of some of those special offers. There’s also some interesting travel news, which there seems to be since uh, travel is the second largest industry in the world. There’s always something going on, uh, in the travel space.
James, I noticed this week that uh, there was a pretty large deal that was announced that has to do with RV parks of all things. Did you get a chance to read that article?
James Ferrara: I did, and it’s really interesting. It reminds me of a style of travel that’s very popular in the uk. And they call them holiday parks in the uk. It’s kind of a, a, you know, a old fashioned idea really, that you would take a, a caravan, they would call it there, right? And you go to these parks that are set up.
Almost like, partially like amusement parks and they have pools and activities and things to do. Or maybe it’s like going almost to an all-inclusive resort. But you’re actually staying in a caravan. You’re staying in an rv and, and you know, you go for the week with your family and it was a very traditional way to travel.
In the uk. So this reminds me a little bit of of that, but this new investment in RV parks is something more upscale, isn’t it?
Mike Putman: Yeah, it is. So there’s a, a very large investment company, uh, called R R E A F Holdings, and they announced this week an A $157 million deal. To acquire and redevelop five RV parks primarily in the Southern us. They also announced at the same time that they have a second round of acquisitions underway for another $550 million.
So this will be, uh, once completed two thirds of a billion dollars of acquisitions of RV parks. And their, their idea is really ambitious, but what they plan on doing is creating a new type of park that’s really upscale with a lot more amenities. And a lot of people are saying this could be the next thing in travel.
James Ferrara: I mean, imagine you pull up your Winnebago and there is a, you know, a huge pool complex with a swim up bar and there’s a fancy gym and spa and you know, it’s interesting. It’s not something that we have now.
Mike Putman: These guys are, are really serious players. These guys are developing these Jimmy Buffett inspired Margaritaville communities. There’s there’s they’re building one in Galveston, Texas, another one in Myrtle Beach. And these are these themed retirement communities that, uh, they’re gonna try to model these RV parks off of, but not necessarily with the retirement concept.
But I’m sure a lot of this will tend to older, um, older travelers.
James Ferrara: But you’re right. They know what they’re doing. I mean, those Margaritaville branded communities are the most successful and the largest retirement communities in the world already. Those guys are, are really, that have hit on something. If they’re taking that same, you know, sort of know-how and creativity and business sense and applying it to this, I would say this has a very good chance of doing very well.
I also like the idea, I think it’s something really new to the marketplace and people love, uh, you know, in retirement people certainly love the RV culture, but even the van culture appeals to, to. Younger people too. We all have a bit of a wander lust, don’t we? And we, we, we wanna get out on the open road and we want to be mobile or whatever.
So this has a lot of appeal to it, but, you know, really makes the whole experience more upscale. Maybe there’s a, there are several restaurants on the property and there’s entertainment and so on. So I’m real, really interested to watch this.
Mike Putman: Shirley, Jimmy Buffett, uh, music, you know, blasted through the loud speakers throughout. But one, one thing that they may have been triggering on is that, um, Interestingly enough, the median age for a first time RV buyer last year went down to 32 years. So lemme say that again. The average buyer of an r first time buyer of an RV is down to 32 years.
And you know, typically, and, and by the way, that was down from an average of 41, which was kind of in the middle of covid. So there’s clearly a movement for this nomad type lifestyle, and I think they’re probably serving up something that fits well into that with an upscale RV park. So, you know, kudos to these guys for being ahead of the curve.
James Ferrara: Yep. Absolutely. So the other thing that’s been in the news, Mike, is a little less, That is seen a lot of people misbehaving on planes and in airports. Again, lately we had a real rise in this kind of behavior during the pandemic, right?
Mike Putman: Yeah, with the, especially with the mask and people weren’t wearing their masks properly, but.
James Ferrara: it came down precipitously. All the statistics said that last year, you know, it tumbled. 80% in terms of the number of, of incidents, but it’s back in the news again. There was recently, there was someone, several different people actually removed off planes for being intoxicated and had acting poorly because of that.
But also there’ve been some that have clearly been mental health. Issues too, you know?
Mike Putman: Yes. Yeah. It’s hard to distinguish between the two. And there, and, and I’ll say there’s others and, and I’m no mental health expert either, but I think there are others where people are just being jerks, right? They’re not getting what they want, and they think that they can, uh, you know, become a victim and try to potentially extort some money out of the airlines.
But it, it’s, you know, it, it’s a sad thing. It’s, it’s not like the old days of travel where we used to get. Dressed up in a, a suit, you know, and, uh, check your luggage. And there, there wasn’t people care, you know, getting on airplanes with trash bags as their carry on luggage. Things have, uh, have slipped down with the advent of low cost carriers and, and deregulation.
But, but any rate, which is fine and, and, and all good ’cause there’s a place in the sky for everyone. But these people that are just. I think trying to be rude, uh, or, or, or, or trying to create a scene in order to get thrown off the plane in hopes of trying to, um, extort some money from the airlines. I, I just don’t have any patience for it.
James Ferrara: Well, if that’s their plan their chances of of winning there are very, very slim. What happens to most of these people is that they get taken off the planes in handcuffs.
Mike Putman: And also some of the airlines, especially American, has come out, you know, publicly and said, this person is now banned from ever flying American
James Ferrara: That’s right. You get banned from flying, you lose all your frequent flyer points. You don’t get to where you were intending to go to. We’ve talked about, uh, in, in other pods we talked about. Etiquette, but this is not really an etiquette issue. This is not like putting your barefoot up on somebody’s armrest.
This is quite a bit more than that. You know, there was a woman in the last couple of weeks, I mean, it went viral, right? It’s probably poor thing. It’s probably made her life very difficult too. People are, I, I read or attacking her online and so on because she got up and, you know, started yelling that someone, a man in the back of the plane was not real.
And whatever, and she was having some kind of episode. But here’s one thing I do wanna say to our listeners. Let’s give a little bit of advice here. They, these situations escalate as more people get involved. And I really do think, although this just hard sometimes you wanna call out someone who’s being a jerk, especially.
If they’re abusing someone else on the plane, oftentimes they’re abusing the crew on the plane, and you wanna tell them to stop it, right? You wanna tell ’em to sit down, but the best thing to do probably is to not say anything. To not get involved, to let the crew who’s been professionally trained on how to handle these situations, handle it, and.
Unfortunately, they may turn the plane around, go back to the gate. In, in recent instances in the news, they had to land the plane, uh, someplace where it wasn’t intended to land and take the person off and then continue on their way. But I think the more people get involved and yell and, and grab a hold or whatever the worst this gets.
Mike Putman: The only thing I would, I would differ with that is I would say instead of doing nothing, notify the flight attendant if they’re not aware. ’cause sometimes you’re on the back of the plane, they’re busy up front, but they need to be made aware because there are some situations where it does endanger other passengers that are nearby, uh, or makes them uncomfortable.
There was a groping incident you know, last couple of weeks. Um, Not nice guy was groping a 16 year old, uh, right beside his mother and things like that. So,
James Ferrara: So, you know, there’s o obviously there’s a part of us and we, we want to get up and, and beat up that person, right? But it doesn’t actually make the situation better. And I’ve seen in some of the videos, you see people ringing their attendant call button to let the people the crew know up that something’s going on.
That’s a really good. Move and, and they’ll take care of it. And they’ve got direct lines to the police. And the police will be waiting when they land the plane or get back to the gate and they’ll take care of it in a calm way where nobody gets hurt and things don’t escalate. It is, you know, travel involves the general public and the general public is this great rainbow and spectrum of all kinds of people and all kinds of behaviors.
So when you’re dealing with the general public, You never know what to expect. Really.
Mike Putman: that’s for sure. That’s for sure. it’s patients, patients, patients. When you’re traveling, you know, allow a little bit of extra time to, to get to the airport, allow a little extra time to get to your hotel or your destination and, uh, be patient. And also things typically work themselves out.
If you, if your bag’s not there, you know, or, or the plane’s late or whatever. Just try to take some deep breaths, try not to get upset and, um, enjoy yourself. And things. 99% of the time, even greater than that, they tend to work out.
James Ferrara: Great advice. So Mike, before we wrap up, I do wanna say next episode we’ll be bringing a free vacation giveaway for our listeners and, uh, We’re gonna ask them to go to our website, no tourists allowed.com, and there’ll be a place there for them to register, and we’re going to pick from amongst our listeners, a lucky few that are gonna get to go on a very cool vacation courtesy of no tourists allowed.
Mike Putman: That is awesome. So make sure you listen in next week. Make sure you tell your friends to subscribe and, uh, hope you’re already subscribing and we look forward to speaking with you again next week on uh, no tourists allowed. Bye-bye.