Paige McClanahan Redefines Travel: Embracing the New Tourist

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Join us for an enlightening conversation with Paige McClanahan, a New York Times travel writer and author of the upcoming book “The New Tourist”. We dive into Paige’s journey from a travel guidebook writer to a trailblazing voice in the travel industry, as she shares her vision for transforming tourism into a force for good. Discover how embracing the mindset of a “new tourist” can lead to more meaningful, sustainable, and enriching travel experiences, and learn practical tips for making genuine human connections on your adventures. Get ready to rethink everything you thought you knew about travel!

Discussed in this Episode:

  • Paige’s early career writing the Bradt Guide to Sierra Leone
  • The evolution of tourism over the past 50 years
  • The concept of the “new tourist” vs the “old tourist”
  • Sustainability and stewardship of travel destinations
  • Making genuine human connections through travel
  • Hiring local guides to gain unique perspectives
  • Paige’s eye-opening experiences in Saudi Arabia and Hawaii

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Transcript

Mike Putman:
Good day, everyone. I’m Mike Putman.

James Ferrara:
And I’m James Farrar. And 70 of those years of experience are Mike Putman’s. Just one is mine.

Mike Putman:
You’ve got to come up with a better shtick. I mean, this is like, one week in a row, he’s said something similar. But yeah, it’s been quite the journey, and I look forward to even more journey coming up.

James Ferrara:
Yeah, absolutely. You know, Mike, we’ve had some great episodes this season. We have some great ones coming up. But I would say I have been most excited about this one because we have a very special guest with us this week. And I say that because I think that we’re simpatico. In a lot of ways, we are thinking about some of the same things in travel. And I think that we’re trying to impart some of the same thinking and advice to our respective audiences. So it’s really cool to have somebody visit with us like that, who is related in the way she thinks about travel. At least I hope so. I think maybe we are paying ourselves a compliment by claiming that.

Mike Putman:
Yeah, I would say related in travel spirit, just from reading about Paige. And yeah, I think we’re pretty much aligned.

James Ferrara:
So let’s welcome, please, Paige McClanahan, a travel writer, a New York Times travel writer, now a new book author, journalist, a host of a podcast, and an all-around very interesting person in the travel space. Paige, welcome. Thank you for being with us.

Paige McClanahan:
Thank you so much for having me. I am so delighted to connect with you guys. And yeah, I think you’re right. I think we are kindred spirits on this topic. So I’m looking forward to the conversation. Good.

James Ferrara:
Now, we have a tradition here where Mike treats our guests to a short, short rapid fire series of questions about your personal travel preferences. And it’s a way for our audience and us to get to know you and for all of us to warm up a little bit. So with your permission, going to turn it over to the maestro.

Paige McClanahan:
Okay. Thank you. I’m excited.

Mike Putman:
I won’t get too personal with the travel questions, but well, first of all, Paige, where are you coming in from today. Where are you today?

Paige McClanahan:
I am at home in Paris, France right now.

Mike Putman:
You don’t have a French dialect though. You had to be from the States somewhere, right?

Paige McClanahan:
I am very much American. I grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but I haven’t lived in the United States since 2008. So I’ve been an American abroad, kind of bouncing around to various places. Yeah, since actually, yeah, 16 years ago this month, I left the United States.

Mike Putman:
Oh, right. Well, fellow Carolinian, I’m in South Carolina.

Paige McClanahan:
All right. Whereabouts in South Carolina?

Mike Putman:
I live in Greenville.

Paige McClanahan:
Nice. Okay. I grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but I have a cousin who lives in Greenville.

James Ferrara:
All right. Well, shout out to the New Yorkers, please. Thank you very much.

Mike Putman:
Well, so, Paige, I’m going to ask you just a few rapid fire questions. So if you just give us the first thing that comes to your mind, and if you want to share why, that’s okay. If you’re not, we’ll move on to the next one. Okay. What is your favorite hotel brand or individual property, and why might that be?

Paige McClanahan:
Oh my gosh, that’s a really good one. Okay, I probably have to go with individual… Oh my gosh, I can’t remember the name of it. Oh, that’s awful. Let me think of another one.

Mike Putman:
Where is it?

Paige McClanahan:
It’s a gorgeous little sort of architect hotel in Barcelona where I stayed when I was there reporting something for a story. And it was beautiful and recommended by a local architect and urban planner. And it was gorgeous and had this beautiful rooftop bar. But I can’t remember the name off the top of my head, so I probably shouldn’t say that one.

Mike Putman:
Okay.

Paige McClanahan:
Okay. Let me think of something else.

James Ferrara:
It becomes difficult for those of us who travel so much, right? It’s hard.

Paige McClanahan:
Okay. Well, yeah, I’ll go with something. A very famous hotel, a very famous hotel in Chamonix, France, which is not far from where I used to live in the French Alps. And it’s the Albert Premier Hotel, which is like very chic and they have a very nice spa and very nice dining room. And it’s right there, like below Mont Blanc. And it’s like, you know, kind of chic. If you want a sort of chic hotel experience in the Alps, you can’t go wrong with the Hotel Albert Premier in Chamonix.

Mike Putman:
We’ll have to write that one down.

Paige McClanahan:
Yeah.

Mike Putman:
What’s your favorite destination? And at that favorite destination, is there something you like to do there, like an activity? Or is there some type of authentic restaurant that you like to visit?

Paige McClanahan:
Wow. So a favorite travel destination that I go to on a regular basis or that I’ve ever been to just once?

Mike Putman:
Yeah, that you’ve ever been to.

Paige McClanahan:
My favorite place that I’ve been to in the last couple of years, I would say, is actually, and this is going to be maybe a little bit surprising, but Liverpool, England. I was there for the book. I was there to report for the book last summer. And I went in with very low expectations and just was so impressed by the city and the people and the vibrancy of the city and the cultural scene and the music scene and the museums. It’s just really kind of up and coming. And I was there, you know, beautiful. There was beautiful summer weather when I was there. And I met some really fascinating and really friendly people. And it really kind of captured my heart and captured my interest. So I would love to go back to Liverpool.

Mike Putman:
Got a great football team there in Liverpool as well.

Paige McClanahan:
Yeah, a couple of them, actually. But, you know, pick your side carefully.

Mike Putman:
Very true. Now, when you travel, are you a person that likes, when you fly, travel, do you like an aisle seat or a window seat?

Paige McClanahan:
Oh, typically I got to go for the window seat because I want to see everything that’s happening outside. Yeah, definitely would go for a window seat usually.

Mike Putman:
All right. Right. And the last question, which this divides our audience in half, are you a carry-on or a checked luggage person?

Paige McClanahan:
Oh, thousand percent carry-on only. Thousand percent.

Mike Putman:
Thank you very much, Paige.

Paige McClanahan:
You know, if you have to, you can check, you know, check your bag. But I mean, these days, even when I travel, excuse me, even when I travel with my kids, you know, and we’ll each have a little carry on bag and, and, you know, going away for a couple of weeks, like between the three of us, like each having a little carry on, that’s enough, that’s enough to get by on. And just like, yeah, the, the hassle of carrying it and then you have to pay for it now. And, um, and the risk that’s going to get lost, of course, like, yeah, carry on is the way to go.

Mike Putman:
I’m taking my two daughters to Paris in July, and then we’re going up to Germany so they can see Taylor Swift and then back to London. And so we’re going to be going a lot. We’re going to be moving around a good bit. But I told them, carry on or you’re not going.

Paige McClanahan:
Yeah, it’s totally doable. It’s totally doable, you know. But that’s so cool. You’ll be here. You know, Taylor Swift was here in Paris just these last few days, and I had dinner last night with a woman who came from. All the way from San Francisco to watch Taylor Swift. Two nights in a row, I was very impressed.

James Ferrara:
Yeah, when I die, I want to come back as one of Mike’s kids, I think. We debate the carry-on checked luggage thing here, I think, every episode. And all I want to say is, it’s all well and good until you’re a man with like a size 12 foot, and you have to bring a couple of pairs of shoes with you to go with your business suits.

Paige McClanahan:
Shoes is the challenge. Yeah. No, I’m with you on that. Especially winter and, you know, and you’re going somewhere with snow and you need some real shoes. Yeah.

James Ferrara:
Well, we’re really here to talk about, I think, some more substantive things, especially with you having just completed a book and your book is due out in June, I believe, right?

Paige McClanahan:
Right, June 18th.

James Ferrara:
And it’s called The New Tourist, which is just more evidence that we’re somehow connected because we are no tourists allowed. You’ve got The New Tourist. Tell us about the book, Paige.

Paige McClanahan:
Well, thank you so much for your interest. And yeah, I’m so excited to share this book with the world. I mean, the idea for the book really came from the fact that six years ago, I moved to a little village in the French Alps with my family. And this little village is entirely dependent on tourism. And I had been a travel writer before, and I had been a journalist who reported on like economic and political issues. But I had never kind of taken that journalistic lens and applied it to the world of travel and tourism. You know, I kind of wrote travel features and stuff like that. So but living in this place and really seeing how tourism gave life to this whole community. I mean, it’s really the basis of the economy. It’s the basis of the social scene. It’s the reason why, you know, there is a big grocery store in town and why there’s a skating rink and a movie theater in town. Um, you know, it really, it kind of captured my attention. And then also as a resident of the story’s destination, I also saw, of course, the downsides of having a huge number of people come in and then leave and come in and leave and, you know, the challenges with crowds and parking and things, you know, kind of overflowing sometimes.

Paige McClanahan:
So, um, yeah, so I started to just kind of, you know, ask questions and like, and look around me more. And then, um, and I had a, you know, a good, uh, good relationship with my editor at the New York times. And I started I started pitching more and more stories that were kind of exploring tourism, not necessarily from a critical perspective, but just from a really questioning perspective and really taking, not taking, you know, and really appreciating tourism for the enormous social, economic, cultural and political force that I could see that it is. And so, yeah, I started writing stories about places like Barcelona and Pompeii and Mont Blanc. They’re in this sort of neighborhood in Chamonix. and really looking at the impacts of tourism. And from there, my interest in this topic just really snowballed. And I found that the writing that I was doing for a newspaper wasn’t as in-depth as I wanted it to be. So I got the idea for a book where I could really go in-depth and help readers, help my readers kind of appreciate what I had appreciated in moving to this village, that tourism is such a powerful force. And it can be really positive, but it can also be really destructive, right, if we don’t get it right. Right. So I want to wake people up to the stakes of what we do when we explore the world and and help so that we can all kind of try to navigate these questions in a more constructive way. So that’s kind of the motivation for the book, but happy to go into more detail if you’d like.

James Ferrara:
Well, I think it’s important, first of all, that people, that our listeners know that what a qualified writer you are on this subject, because you have a history of writing, you know, really thoughtful articles about travel for the New York Times and elsewhere. So tell us how that, you know, what, are there examples from the book? Are there takeaways from the book? You know, who is this new tourist and how should we act?

Paige McClanahan:
You know, I love to pick apart for a moment, maybe this, the word tourist itself, which is something that I kind of go into a little bit in the book and, and the feelings. And I, I want to encourage people to explore like the feelings they might have around this word tourist, because I I think it is something that, you know, it’s complicated. People have complicated feelings around it. But I think my takeaway, so I, you know, I kind of divide, you know, I kind of came up with this sort of idea of the spectrum. And on one end of the spectrum, we have an old tourist. And on the other end, we have a new tourist. And the old tourist is, you know, you might think of somebody who, like, you know, talks too loudly and, like, looks for Starbucks and McDonald’s when they go overseas and this kind of thing.

Paige McClanahan:
But I think of an old tourist as a sort of like it’s a more cerebral definition I guess but it’s somebody who sees the place they’re visiting as purely there for their consumption they want to tick off a box you know it’s there to kind of serve some personal need of their own they kind of close their minds to the fact that they might actually have an impact on the space they’re visiting and they don’t really open up and implicate themselves you know and they don’t try to engage with the people they’re visiting. It’s a really kind of a transactional consumerist interaction, you know, being a tourist, an old tourist. Whereas on the other end of the spectrum, and this is where I think a lot of us really want to go and a lot of us are really trying to go, but maybe sometimes we’re not entirely sure how to get there.

Paige McClanahan:
But the new tourist is somebody who, you know, really implicates themselves and opens themselves up to the experience and opens their hearts and minds to be changed when they travel. And the new tourist is somebody who, you know, is aware of and does their best to educate themselves about the impacts of their presence on the place. So, you know, who does a little bit of research on the place before they go and who uses that information to inform the decisions they make in terms of, you know, what time of year they’re going to go. And what kind of place they’re going to stay in, what kind of places are they going to avoid at certain times of day, how they’re going to spend their money when they’re there. And I think just by, so it’s a mindset shift more than anything between the old tourist kind of consumerist mindset and the new tourist, really more kind of an explorer, a questioner, somebody who’s going to open their hearts and minds to the experience. So I think, yeah, the new tourist is where I’ve been trying to get for a long time. And I see this book as my kind of best and biggest effort to really get to the land of the new tourist myself in going around the world, meeting people, asking questions, and learning about how tourism functions in some of the world’s most iconic tourist destinations.

Mike Putman:
Yeah, that really, really closely aligns with the virtues of this podcast. And we refer to what you’re calling the new tourists, we kind of refer to them as travelers and what you’re calling the old tourist as tourist. Um, but, uh, there is, there is so much to be said about travelers or new tourists as the way you’ve described them, not only the impact, but what they also can take away from the experience. How did you organize or think about organizing your book?

Paige McClanahan:
Okay. Yeah. Thank you for that question. Um, I’ll start by saying it took me a long time to figure out, but, um, and, and a lot of work with my editor because it’s such a, you know, such a huge topic. Like how do you, how do you slice and dice it? How do you package this in a way that’s going to be engaging and really compelling for the reader? Right. And so I wanted to start off by, I wanted to start the book by really placing readers in the current moment. And so to do that, like, where are we right now with travel and tourism? How did we, how did we get here? And so I thought it would be interesting to take readers back to kind of 50 years ago, as we flash back to kind of the early 1970s. And I, to tell the story of how we got from kind of the 1970s, where tourism was really very low level, you know, in terms of international tourism, especially, to where we are today, I thought, let me find, let me tell the story of one.

Paige McClanahan:
Company, of one travel brand that I felt like kind of epitomized, you know, kind of represented this enormous boom of travel. So I tell the story of this company called Lonely Planet. And I tell the story of Tony and Maureen Wheeler and how they, you know, had their sort of epic adventure across Europe and Asia and then ended up producing a series of guidebooks that were basically a blueprint for the further expansion of tourism. And so in telling that story and recounting that history, you know, I take readers back to a point where, you know, not that long ago, right, 50 years ago, if you wanted to travel from the United States to Bolivia, or you wanted to travel around Thailand, you know, if you wanted to travel around Thailand in like, you know, the.

Paige McClanahan:
1960s, the most recent guidebook that was written in English that you could use was published in I think 1928 or 1929. You know, in South America, there was really very little information. And so So it was like a kind of this like group of baby boomers, starting with Tony Maureen Wheeler, but also Hilary Bratt in the UK, Rick Steves in the US later on, Mark Ellingham, who founded Rough Guides. They really opened up so much of the world to restless young baby boomers who really wanted to see the world in a different way. So I tell the story of the rise. And then, of course, Lonely Planet becomes this big brand. And then we have sort of pushback against the Lonely Planet effect. and we kind of come into the early 2000s and then the shift to digital. So, but I hope in kind of latching it onto these two people, Tony and Maureen, and I got to interview Tony a couple of times for the, you know, in my research, which was pretty cool.

Paige McClanahan:
We sort of, you know, place, I can help the reader understand just how significant it is that tourism is as big a phenomenon as it is today. And it’s not at all, it’s just so different from where we were 50 years ago. So I wanted to start off with that history. And then after that, the chapters, I kind of take up a different question in each chapter. And in each chapter, I’ll draw on examples from different parts of the world. So it’s kind of based around a theme rather than a place. And I thought that would help keep it interesting and keep it lively and engaged. I also really wanted to bring out the human element of tourism. And so I kind of have a lot of, you might think of them as like characters, but obviously real people who I spent a lot of time with who appear in the book. Who live in or work in or are affected by tourism.

Paige McClanahan:
That occurs where they live. So yeah, each chapter kind of dives into a different issue. And then the final chapter, I really kind of make my case. I respond to this woman, this very noted philosopher who wrote, Agnes Callard, who wrote an essay in The New Yorker last summer called The Case Against Travel. And so I kind of respond, I have the final chapter is sort of a lengthy response to that with some of my favorite anecdotes from travel and going going into the history of it too, to really make the case that I think that all of us staying home is not the answer that we need right now. And then finish with an epilogue that I hope really kind of touches people’s hearts and also offers a hopeful vision for the future.

James Ferrara:
Wow. You mentioned a number of places in your articles, and I’m sure some of the same places or new places in your book, I saw mentioned somewhere to Belfast. And to me, that’s a really good illustrative place because we were there recently, Mike and I, for an event in the last couple of years. And I was really blown away on how beautiful Belfast is, the architecture how lovely the people were and yet what a troubled past and now the city of peace you know and i really thought that arc for a place and the way we go visit that place now and um the.

James Ferrara:
What we can leave behind us there, too, as travelers in a positive way. I just think there’s so much to be said about all this. We could do a series of podcasts with you. You mentioned in some of your articles, Iceland, I think, was one of your articles was about Iceland. Interesting comment about how people should act maybe when they go to Iceland, I think it was. But, you know, are there examples like that from your book, specific places that you would share with us?

Paige McClanahan:
Absolutely. Yeah, I would love to. I mean, maybe starting with Iceland, I had a fantastic visit there. And for the New York Times, I did a story for the New York Times while I was in Iceland, where I actually got to sit down with Eliza Reid, the country’s first lady, who is also, she has been a UN ambassador for tourism and the sustainable development goals. And actually before her husband was elected president, she was the editor of the in-flight magazine for Iceland Air and was a freelance travel writer, Eliza Reid, who was born and raised in Canada. So I had a really fascinating conversation with her about the links between tourism and the political sphere, which I find fascinating. But yeah, I mean, Iceland is a really cool destination. I also, in the book, write about this canyon in a very remote corner of southern Iceland, where it was created as a tourist destination by tourists, really, through social media, through kind of geolocation tags.

Paige McClanahan:
It’s a beautiful sort of out-of-the-way canyon. And then it gained traction on social media. And then Justin Bieber showed up with a film crew and filmed a music video there. And then, you know, half a billion people watched the music video. And the place gets a lot more visitors. So I think Iceland is a fascinating example of a place where a lot of kind of tourist destinations have been created by the crowds, crowds, which is, you know, kind of fascinating and can be constructive in some ways, right, bringing a lot of income into really rural areas. But of course, you know, you have to have the infrastructure there to kind of greet those people. So I kind of, I kind of get into that.

Paige McClanahan:
Other examples of places I go to, one that really surprised me was Saudi Arabia. I went to Saudi Arabia. And you write about this in the last chapter of the book. And I was, I write about how I was actually pretty scared to go.

Paige McClanahan:
And because I’d read about the country’s human rights record and about how they treat women and journalists, but I ended up having a very sort of fascinating and eye-opening experience in Saudi Arabia, which I, yeah, again, I relate in chapter seven. So Saudi Arabia, I write about Hawaii. I write a lot about Hawaii, which is actually where my older sister has lived in Hawaii since 2003. So I’ve been to the state many times over the years, and it has always, the way that tourism works there has always fascinated me. And so I went back in the summer of 2022 for an extended period and got to meet with a ton of people who work in tourism, who are affected by tourism, who govern tourism in the state. And that was, that’s really interesting because, you know, tourism is so integral to the state’s economy and it’s been having more and more issues in terms of resident support for tourism in Hawaii. And so I interviewed some people who are very in favor of more growth in tourism. And I spent some time with a native Hawaiian guy named Kuike, who we got along really well. And he was incredibly gracious to me and took me around and showed me around his home, his hometown of Waimanalo on Oahu.

Paige McClanahan:
He’s very anti-tourism. Like he says, all tourists should go home. That’s the solution. And so I spent some time with him because I wanted to understand his perspective. And I do my best to relay that in a constructive way. That’s not the only voice that I include, right? But I thought it was really important to include that perspective, as well as the more positive, you know, kind of views of tourism in Hawaii, which I kind of include in the epilogue there. But yeah, Hawaii is a place that fascinates me. And I knew when I started, you know, thinking about the book that I wanted to include Hawaii in there too. But just rapid fire other ones, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Chamonix in the French Alps, and a little bit of Cambodia in there as well. And Liverpool, as I mentioned before.

James Ferrara:
Great. You know, Hawaii had a real sea change last year when the longtime Hawaii Visitors Bureau contract was… Awarded for the first time to a native Hawaiian-owned company, and not the long-time, like, 20-year company that’s been doing it. I thought that was a very significant move for Hawaii. There’s, you know, you talk sometimes about sustainability, and there is environmental sustainability, but there is also cultural sustainability. There is a stewardship of destinations. Like the canyon that you’re talking about, all of those people visiting get to appreciate something really beautiful in the world, but at the same time, they could trample it. So I don’t think we talk enough about that kind of sustainability. Cultural sustainability, which is harder to touch, harder to see sometimes than the effect on an environment. experiment so very very interesting.

Mike Putman:
I’m just really curious as what what was your journey what’s what’s your journey been like up to now how did you get into travel writing how did you get associated with the new york times etc.

Paige McClanahan:
Oh wow oh gosh yeah how long do we have here am i um but i’ll say my very first travel writing gig yeah was back in 2010 i was living in sierra leone West Africa which is not your typical sort of tourist destination but I was working as a freelance journalist writer and editor from, Sierra Leone and I had done no travel writing, up until that point but this is 2010 and I was hired to prepare the second edition of the Brat Guide to Sierra Leone which was and I’m pretty sure remains the only dedicated country guide to Sierra Leone like you know in Lonely Planet there’s like 20 pages on Sierra Leone or something in the Lonely Planet West Africa guide.

Paige McClanahan:
So that was my first travel writing gig was like I spent basically a year and a half. I think it took me to travel all over the country and visit like anyone and everyone who had anything to do with welcoming guests or, you know, feeding visitors or offering any sort of a tour. And at the same time, I was trying to pitch travel articles about Sierra Leone, which I mean, you know, James, you mentioned earlier about the about Belfast and tourism in the kind of a post-conflict setting. And Sierra Leone had had this gruesome civil war in the 1990s. And when I was there, the country had been at peace for more than a decade, but it was so hard to drum up interest in travel stories about this kind of remote corner of West Africa.

Paige McClanahan:
But from there, after Sierra Leone, I lived in England for two years. And that’s, I was writing a lot for the travel section of the Washington Post, doing features. I was also writing about economic stuff for the Guardian at the time. But I wrote about, I did several stories about England for the Washington Post, you know, just travel features. And then from there, I started pitching the New York Times. And yeah, I got my first, I started my first piece in the New York Times was a 36 hours piece. I did a 36 hours in Cardiff, Wales. And I think the, my track record of features for the Washington Post helped me land that first, that first gig. So um yeah i was really starting off with the tip kind of typical travel writing stuff before you know alongside the the other journalism that i was doing i saw them as two different kind of camps you know and one was kind of the fun stuff and the other was the kind of more serious, journalistic stuff and the story of my more recent journalism and this book is the is kind of the merging of those those two taking this lens and applying it to this this activity um so yeah i I don’t want to go on for too long about it, but that’s kind of how I got started.

Mike Putman:
Fascinating. What a journey.

James Ferrara:
Is there anything that you do to make your travel more easier for you or more memorable? Is there something you do at the airport or something you do when you arrive at your accommodations? Little hack maybe you could give to our audience.

Mike Putman:
James’s hack is when he arrives to a hotel, he sends himself flowers.

James Ferrara:
Everybody makes fun of me, but this is true.

Paige McClanahan:
There is an idea I can give up.

James Ferrara:
I don’t like sterile hotel rooms. So it warms things up a little bit, a little cozy, a little colorful.

Paige McClanahan:
I like it. I like it. You might steal that one from me there, James. Um you know i would say my one like one piece of kind of concrete travel advice um would be i but i would really encourage people and i really love to do this myself to hire a local tour guide like even if you’re going to let’s say a european city that you’re very comfortable navigating on your own using google maps or you know some guidebook or trip advisor rankings or whatever it it is. Actually, I, find a local tour guide. You know, it could be somebody with a specialty in a particular type of history or a particular kind of aspect of the culture.

Paige McClanahan:
And not only are you going to get, you know, and go on a walking tour of the city or the national area or the village or wherever you are. And not only are you going to get, you know, that person’s personal perspective on this place, which hopefully they call home, you know, hopefully you can find somebody who’s actually from that place. You’ll also really have the chance to build a human connection, a personal connection with someone who is from that place. And for me, that’s really, you know, the way of the new tourist is really, you know, the way of somebody looking to make a genuine human connection when you travel. And if you’re just kind of hiding behind your guidebook or staring into your phone and kind of following a predetermined track, it doesn’t really give you a chance to have a human interaction that has a possibility to to really change your perspective or, you know, shift your mindset on something. So hire a local tour guide. It’ll be a treat. You’ll learn more than you expected to. And, you know, you might just make a friend. You never know.

James Ferrara:
Excellent advice. Our listeners know that last season, I think it was, Mike, we took them point by point through our manifesto here at No Tourists Allowed, and it included a lot of related advice, things like try to use local transportation, try to speak the language, attempt to speak the language, and then right on down to your advice of having human connections, create the opportunities for human connections. So it’s been wonderful having you with us, page. Your new book, The New Tourist, is out June 18th, and we want everyone to look for it, because if you enjoy listening to this podcast, guys, this sounds like a great book for you. We really appreciate you joining us. Thank you so much.

Paige McClanahan:
Thank you so much for having me. I am so happy to have connected with you guys.

Mike Putman:
Wow, what an interesting guest Paige was. Hopefully we can have her back very soon to talk more about her experience and tell us more about her book after it gets launched.

James Ferrara:
Yeah.

Mike Putman:
Yeah, one other piece of news I wanted to share is that I have just learned personally about a new service that is basically an airline for dogs, believe it or not, James.

James Ferrara:
What I love in their marketing is they say it’s a real white paw experience, like a white glove experience.

Mike Putman:
So the name of the company, listeners, is Bark Air, and you can go to bark.co, and you’ll find out more information if you’re interested. But this company operates Gulfstream G5s, so these are private jets, which G5s are on the bigger side of private jets. They operate out of the New York City area, out of Westchester. They fly to London, they fly to, uh, uh, vinyas, they fly to several places, but which is not necessarily so interesting, but what is so interesting is that they have designed these flights to work so that you can travel with your dog, but the experience is much about your dog as it is about yourself. So, you know, this is not going to be a low cost option, right? This is going to be a high cost, high service option. But they put some really unique things in the service delivery for the dogs.

James Ferrara:
Including beverage, beverage of the dog’s choice. You know, you could have bone broth or water or whatever. A lot of things designed to reduce stress on the animals. So I actually love this idea. And people are willing to pay money for their pets, you know? So people who have money are willing to spend it on pets. And there are treats and snacks and a concierge.

Mike Putman:
Yeah, and they have pheromones. They’ve got lavender-scented refreshment towels and other treats to help dogs get settled in, you know, just as you said.

James Ferrara:
So can I say that they are treating the dogs better than most airlines treat the people?

Mike Putman:
Without a doubt. Well, most people don’t fly on Gulfstream G5s, which are probably $7,000, $8,000 an hour to operate if you owned it. And it’s probably a, I don’t know, $35 million aircraft.

James Ferrara:
Well, we can have this as a goal, Mike, to be treated like a dog on Bark Air.

Mike Putman:
Well, and speaking of being treated with royalty, not like most dogs, but like bark-eared dogs, is the winners that are going to go to Jamaica on our giveaway.

James Ferrara:
We gave some hints, and last week revealed then that we’re going to Jamaica. But then we drilled down a little further and gave some hints about where in Jamaica we would be going.

Mike Putman:
My hint was it’s home to one of my favorite restaurants, which is called Scotchie’s, which is a… They’re called Jerk Centers, not to be confused with something else. But these are a little roadside grill where they make jerk chicken.

James Ferrara:
Is this a place where I overordered?

Mike Putman:
Yeah. Well, you could fill in any restaurant blank where you go.

James Ferrara:
All right. So we know we’re going to Jamaica. We’ve given a hint for where in Jamaica. This is a four-day, three-night, all-inclusive vacation for two that we’re giving away in just a couple more weeks. So drumroll, please. Mike, where in Jamaica did your clue lead us to?

Mike Putman:
Yes, to Montego Bay, the capital of St. James. So it’ll be great because that’s where the flights from the U.S. Land. And there you’ll be picked up and transferred to your luxury resort. And then you’ll have everything taken care of you, your meals, your entertainment while they’re on the property, as well as your drinks. So there’s still time to register. All you have to do is go to Notouristallowed.com, click on the giveaway link, give us your email address. You can also, if you haven’t entered, you can guess the mystery destination, which we just gave you. So it’s not so much of a mystery, but this will get you some extra entries that will only increase your chances of getting to go on this fabulous vacation. So please go to NoTourSelab and sign up.

James Ferrara:
And if you know anyone who hasn’t been, who hasn’t heard the podcast before, maybe you’d like to introduce them if you think they could use an all-inclusive vacation in Jamaica and who couldn’t. And so share it with your friends. Let’s see if we can get some other people to sign up for it and also to listen to what we have to say here on No Tourists Allowed. It was a great episode today with Paige McClanahan talking, you know, very much our language, right? Singing our song about travel and tourism. So really loved it. thank you for being here with us enter for the drawing, win that free vacation in Montego Bay, Jamaica and come back with us next week.

Mike Putman:
Yes, thanks for now bye bye.

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