Unexpected Encounters, Navigating Visa Changes, Car Rentals, and Wellness Journeys

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Today we explore the magical moments that make travel unforgettable. In this episode, we’ll share our personal anecdotes of unexpected connections, serendipitous encounters, and the quirky surprises that await the adventurous traveler. From finding Carolina Reaper Cheetos in Scotland to meeting New York City’s Mayor in Hong Kong, our stories highlight the world’s interconnectedness. Beyond the anecdotes, we dive into topical issues like the upcoming visa requirements for the EU and the UK, offering insights into what these changes mean for travelers. Ever considered wellness travel? Our Deals Guru Jessica Deverson gives us the lowdown on this growing trend, from spa cruises to meditation retreats. We’ll also get under the hood of the car rental industry, providing practical advice on getting the best deals.


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

James Ferrara: And I’m James Ferrara, and I’m on time this week. Mike,

Mike Putman: Well, that you might be on time now as we’ve begun recording, but the truth to our listeners is you are late again, and I can have Nathaniel, our prestigious producer, uh, vouch for me on that one as needed to. I wouldn’t go there.

James Ferrara: I’m sorry, but, uh, better late than never. So welcome everybody. Great to be with you another week. Mike and I have a series of topics we wanna share with you this week. So this is one of our special podcasts and I’m so glad you, you wound up listening in on this one.

Mike Putman: Absolutely. You know, one of the things that’s always interesting is I travel around the world, and I’m sure you too, James, is, you know, you, you run into these, Events, people, things in other countries that are, that you’ve got some previous relationship to, right? So you know, it could be some kind of small manufacturer in your local town.

Or something regional to the US and all of a sudden you see it in Scotland. I was in Scotland last month and I was in a very remote part of Lock Loman pulled into this very small, um, grocery store, and um, lo and behold they had Carolina Reaper, Cheetos. And uh, for those of you who don’t know Carolina Reaper, Was the hottest, uh, pepper in the world, and it was here in the Carolinas.

Uh, it, it has been, uh, overtaken, but um, they had Cheetos, not the brand Cheetos, but these puffy orange things with Carolina Reaper, which I thought, wow, that seems pretty strange. Halfway around the world. And you’ve got, uh, Carolina Pepper, Cheetos.

James Ferrara: I mean, I guess we’ll call this the serendipity of travel, but it’s happened to me with people, Mike, where you’re halfway around the world and you, you run into someone from home or from your past and the most you know, unexpected places, unusual places. One time when I was very young, I went to a. One of my dad’s business events and they used to happen all around the world. And this one happened to be halfway around the world in Hong Kong. Right? So it was my first time in China. It’s an incredible place to visit. Incredible trip though. I mean, it’s a really long flight. There’s a 12 hour time difference.

I mean, you really do feel like you’re on the other side of the planet. And I walk into the event. And I’m from New York. As many of you know, I walk into the event and who is the guest speaker at the event, but ed Koch, the mayor, the then current mayor of New York City. So I never met Ed Koch in New York, but I got to shake hands with him and take a picture of him with me in Hong Kong.

Mike Putman: Yeah, I was in uh, London one time and I had been to a business meeting. Met this guy, who went on to actually work for me, uh, oddly enough, but met him, in London. And I’m walking around the city a couple of days later and I see the guy getting out of a, um, Mercedes limousine and, um, it’s, it’s right behind Piccadilly, that Piccadilly, um, uh, God, what do they call it?

Not Piccadilly Circus, but it’ll come to me in a minute,

James Ferrara: One of the arcades

Mike Putman: Yes, exactly. Piccadilly arcade. So I’m right behind there. See the guy, I go up and tap him on the shoulder, and it’s not him, but it’s a friend of mine who lives in New York that you, you talk about strange. Yeah. And we had a, we had a great laugh.

And um, he tells, he still tells the story of that today.

James Ferrara: My wife and I went on our honeymoon in Paris, you know, two weeks in Paris, a week in London. There was a big grand affair we show up at, and we were young, so we show up at the hotel, not with a lot of travel experience. By that point, I. We show up at a grand historic hotel in Paris after our, you know, long flight drive from, uh, Charles Sal airport and all that.

And we walk into the lobby of this imposing hotel, 19th century listed historic interior, and walk right into. The mother of my wife’s best friend in, in the lobby in Paris now, she was a private flight attendant, on private jets. So, you know, I guess finding her somewhere else in the world, uh, is not surprising.

But at that moment, you know, with my wife on our honeymoon at that moment, in the same hotel, in the same lobby at the same time, makes you wonder. A little bit, doesn’t it?

Mike Putman: Yeah, maybe Julie had family, had some SPS to make sure you were, uh, behaving properly.

James Ferrara: Could be. I, I kind of have the reverse of this too, um, before we move on to another topic. And, uh, while in Paris, uh, on another visit, I found a, a beautiful 17th century perfumery. Right. It’s been there for. Three or 400 years. A, a historic also storefront and interior Anique, Guttal, a beautiful, array of perfumes and colognes made from flowers, right?

So very famous brand nowadays, but back then was known really just in France and. They’re beautifully bottled, and I just bought up a bunch of them and filled a flight bag with them to bring back like 30 bottles of perfume as gifts for family and friends. Well, we lugged, as you can imagine, the peg got kind of heavy lugged the bag around that day, uh, lugged it to the airport on a return home, carried it on the plane because the bottles were so fragile.

Drove from the airport to our home out in the country in the middle of winter. nobody around drove down the main street of Sag Harbor, the little village that we lived in, and it looked like a black and white Bergman movie. The, the snow was driving sideways, you know, and there was nobody to be seen.

As we drive up this little main street, deserted main street, one window is all lit up. It is the local pharmacy, the little old drugstore, and the lights are, are beaming out of the front window and what’s in the front window, but a big display of Anique Guttal perfumes. So it’s kind of the reverse of what we’re talking about, but it really made me, um, Think for a moment how small the world is getting, and that’s kind of brings, brings it back to our theme here at No Tourists Allowed is that we wanna make sure we’re looking for the places and finding the places that are not like home, right?

And, and finding the things that we can’t get so easily at home. They’re still out there. Those places in the world are plentiful and those. Unusual handcrafts and unusual products, things we’re not familiar with are out there if we just push ourselves a little bit to look for them.

Mike Putman: Absolutely. And you know, people ask me, they say, you’ve been in your travel business your entire life and even before you were in the business, your mother was in the travel business, so you’ve traveled, you know, your entire life. And, and they said, is there any place you haven’t been? And I’m like, I haven’t scratched the surface of places I have been.

There are so many opportunities and, you know, new experiences that are out there. And, you know, it’s my hope and, and part of the drive of why I’m in this business and stay in this business is for, is hopefully to motivate or help other people take advantage and, and utilize some of these new destinations, visit these new destinations to enjoy a new, you know, A different culture, something, um, far from their comfort zone and really kind of let loose and live a little bit.

And so that’s my hope for our listeners.

James Ferrara: Absolutely Mike.

Mike Putman: Yeah. One, one of the things I wanted to share with our listeners too is some things to be wary of, right? So we want you to be out there, be adventuresome, but also be wary. And there’s a whole new business. It’s kind of this, uh, homegrown business. That is of written and published travel guides.

Now, these travel guides, you know, there’s, there’s ERs and folders and Lonely Planet and all these existing brands, but there’s a whole suite of new travel guides and I actually, I saw a picture of all these travel guides side by side, all with different brands, new brands, flashy covers, and the report showed that a lot of these were simply written by ai.

So, These are things you might find in the airport. You might find ’em in your local bookstore, but unfortunately they’re not human curated. They’re actually powered by ai. And while there might be some good information that has been delivered there, you know who, who knows if it’s accurate or not. I mean, there is some, some degree of issue with the accuracy of AI and, um, it’s just something I, I’d like for all of our listeners to be careful of.

James Ferrara: Absolutely. And I think that extends even to something a little closer to home, which is you can be contacted, texted on dating apps or whatever nowadays by a bot powered by this more human feeling. Ai, right Chat, g p t and new text and, and, uh, text recognition or language recognition softwares.

So you really have to be careful, but if your radar is up, whether it’s about these guides or being contacted somehow digitally it, it becomes pretty easy to spot. All you have to do is ask questions that a human being could answer, but maybe the chat would not, you know, where are you located? Or if you look in a printed guide to look for things that indicate you know, that, that don’t sound right.

And, and Mike, a lot of information that comes through in these AI powered sort of scrapers that are going out there and getting information. A lot of it tends to be old and outdated because the programs haven’t caught up with the most current information in the last couple of years. So that’s a giveaway too.

But it, it’s just a matter of, you know, we want you to have a good time and enjoy it, whatever. But always have that little bit of street smarts, right? That little bit of antenna. And, and you won’t fall prey to these things.

Mike Putman: Absolutely. Um, one other topic I wanted to chat about too is the new visa requirements for the EU and uk. So for many, many years we have, we as, uh, US citizens and I understand and realize we have a, an international, um, audience here, but, uh, we have not had to apply for a visa for tourist travel to the European Union or the United Kingdom, and that’s about to change James.

James Ferrara: It is, although I think there’s a bit of confusion about it. The new Visa requirements are scheduled to go into effect in 2024. So for anyone who’s keeping score, that’s next year. And in fact, what date next year, I believe is still. Undetermined. So it’s got, I’ve heard some people panicking a little bit as if it were already in place.

It’s not, but even when it is in place it turns out it’s a really, just a simple online form. Takes about two minutes to fill out and really I think what’s going on here. Is something less like a visa and more like, well, Mike, you’ve had an opinion on this.

Mike Putman: Yeah, more like a tax, more like a travel tax basically. So,

James Ferrara: Yeah. It’s kind of a, a money grab on the part of some governments around the world, and I think they, there’s a little bit of retaliation there, right? Because the United States has required people visiting from most countries. To obtain a tourist visa, which also is a pretty perfunctory idea for most countries.

And it also acts as kind of attacks. So I think this is particularly the EU saying, well, if you’re gonna do it to us, we’re gonna do it to you. Um, which is fine. I do think that people will. Some people will trip over, they’ll trip over anything, you know, like ask them to fill out a form and they won’t do it right, or they’ll forget to do it.

And so there might be a little bit of friction that comes from this, but I’ve been asked, and my opinion is, I don’t think it’ll have any effect at all on people’s travel behavior, on the demand for travel internationally, for example. It’s just one small. You know, form.

Mike Putman: Inconvenience. And let me self-correct too, ’cause I said I, I, um, in the context of this, I mentioned this as this for US citizens, but this is for citizens of other countries as well. They’re actually bringing in, uh, I know on the UK version in early 2024, they’re bringing in some Middle East countries, uh, to begin the process of requiring visas there.

And then, uh, with, with hopes of adding the US or their hopes, not my hopes, but adding the US a little bit later on in the year. So, so more to come on that, but we’ll, uh, we’ll certainly keep you posted.

James Ferrara: Borders are a thing that we have to deal with, but it’s the kind of thing that when you step back and think about it for a minute, it’s such a crazy, silly idea, right? If, if you get a in a plane and you fly over, The European continent, you don’t see any borders right there. There are, they’re a construct.

They’re a human construct, and there’s so much complication that comes from them. This, this is a very minor example, the idea of visas, taxes, so on. They’re much more significant. repercussions from the idea of borders, but it really is something that we’ve created for ourselves. Borders really only exist in our own minds, and the proof of that is when you look out the plain window.

Mike Putman: That’s very true. Very true. But we gotta, we gotta have things to keep politicians busy. otherwise they’ll tell, might have to go to work. Let’s also talk a little, a little bit about some tips, uh, ways that we can make our listeners travel more enjoyable.

James Ferrara: Oh, absolutely. You know, last episode we talked about some tips on how to find the best hotel for you and how to get great rates on it, and I thought that was really terrific. So this week we want to talk about car rentals or car hire, as we call it in the uk. I.

Mike Putman: Yeah, absolutely. And there’s some ways to save money, make, uh, make the experience more enjoyable, um, and, and limit your exposure to, uh, when renting a car. Um, and I’ll share one quick story too. Um, again, my most recent trip to um, Scotland ended up requiring a rental car for two weeks. Uh, we were gonna travel around the country pretty extensively and, and needed transportation.

I. I began looking at prices at the airport in Edinburgh, which is what, what I flew into. And then I happened and they seemed, they seemed higher than, um, than I was expecting. And I happened to look, do a little more research, and I found that rentals in the city of Edinburgh were significantly less expensive.

And so I ended up picking up a, picking up a car. So in Edinburgh, just another little tip for those who may be going. There is a tram that runs directly from the airport to the train station, the main train station in Ed Edinburgh. And you can take that, it’s very inexpensive and very efficient and it runs, uh, pretty much all day.

Um, but from there it was about a four block walk to, or three block walk to the car rental company. And I rented a car for 800 pounds for two weeks, which had happens to be a Mercedes S U v. And it saved about 600 pounds versus renting it from the airport because the airport has these levees generally, and I’m speaking in generalities, but the airports typically have levees on their vendors.

So if you rent a car from the airport with one of the car companies, You’re paying a generally a surcharge of 10 to 15 to 20% depending upon the airport and what the car rental companies, now, they used to eat that, but now they’re charging that back as a line item on your bill in a lot of cases. So this is a way you can save quite a bit of money.

If you’re renting a car for more than one or two days, it’s, you know, it’s probably not worth the hassle of getting transportation to a city, city location if you’re just renting for a couple days. But if you’re renting for an extended period of time, He can save some serious money by by following that tip.

James Ferrara: I look taxes and, and airport fees are definitely part of the problem. And there are some markets that where. The taxes and fees are actually a hundred percent of the base rental cost. And the one that comes to mind is Las Vegas. So if you go to Las Vegas and the, the base rental of the car is $50 a day after the taxes and fees at the airport, it’s a hundred dollars a day all in.

So, and, and there are other markets like that too. So you wanna be really careful of that. I think it’s also a pricing decision. I think the, the, like everything else at the airport is expensive. The, the car rental companies know that the people who are coming into the airport need a car, for the most part, their tourists or, or their business travelers.

Whereas a city location caters to a more local clientele. And so the pricing is, they choose to make the pricing different, to capture more of that business. So, City locations are a really great strategy for car rentals. The whole car rental industry mystifies me a little bit, Mike, because you would think now after the rise of Uber and Lyft and all these ride sharing apps, and now there’s Cabify to get cabs, Arland app, and uh, and the push towards.

A mass transportation, which is better for the environment of course, and they’re building new shuttles and new trains and all that. We’ve been predicting the death of the current rental industry for a decade, and yet here it is actually growing year over year, and the analysts agree that it will continue to grow in a healthy way.

A lot of it fueled by younger generations. Who have figured out one thing, they move around so much that, uh, when they’re hiring a car, that the, the, uh, ride sharing solutions actually add up to too much money. You know, if you’ve got three or four or five Uber rides in a day. You know, you’re much better off renting a car for $35 a day plus taxes and fees.

So it’s the gen Z actually that is now driving a, a sort of resurgence. In car rentals, and I’ve even experienced it myself. I went for a couple of years where I stopped renting cars. I lost my rental car frequent renter status and so on because I was Ubering around. And then one day it occurred to me I’m spending a heck of, heck of a lot of money.

So I think you want to do that. Uh, I don’t know that, uh, calculus in your head. Before you decide to just Uber it and see if a car rental makes sense. And then you really want to be in a frequent renter program. I recommend that you focus on one car rental company. They usually have multiple brands, so if it’s Hertz, it’s Hertz dollar Thrifty.

If it’s Avis, it’s Avis Budget. What’s the other one? National. Alamo, I’m sorry, right. Vis Budget, Alamo, it’s enterprise and national, whatever. You pick one of those families of brands, you join their frequent renter program and then that gives you all kinds of special benefits. So what I do now is just rent a mid-sized car, which is a very low category of rental, and my status allows me to walk on the lot and pick any car I want.

Up to a, you know, a Range Rover or a Mercedes SS U V, because I have President’s Circle status with Hertz. So I think that’s a great way to save some money too.

Mike Putman: Yeah, and it certainly makes it more convenient. Um, You know, the several of them have the, the product, and I think it’s with Herz, is platinum, the one that I have. And they’ll actually meet you at the baggage claim. So at the baggage claim, they’ll hold up a sign with your name, they’ll take your bags, and then they have the car waiting for you at the, uh, at the terminal.

Um, which is really convenient ’cause you don’t have to go through all the paperwork and all the rro of getting, getting to another place. One thing I will say, if you are comparing Uber with, uh, Carle and trying to justify what’s the best way of doing it, uh, one for one thing for me is Uber’s just more efficient, generally speaking.

If you’re in a metropolitan city, Ubers are everywhere. Um, if you’re in a small city or non metro location, that might not be the case. So that’s something consider. But the other thing is parking. So. I rented a car in Los Angeles last year, the year before. And it was a reasonable price, you know, 35, 40 bucks, whatever.

But I, I calculated the parking that I paid, and in three days I paid $200 in parking on top of the rental. Right. And that is a, that’s a benefit with Uber. You get dropped off at the front door, you don’t have to deal with the parking. And also if you go out and you have a couple of glasses of wine or what have you, you know, you don’t wanna be driving around for sure.


James Ferrara: We’re putting together what a trip with Mike looks like, huh? Yeah. You know, park at your hotel and it’s not unusual to see a 60 or 70 something dollar a night. Overnight parking rate. And I always say to the guy, like, I, I don’t wanna buy it back. I, I just want to park it.

Mike Putman: Yeah. That’s more than I pay for a hotel room per night. In some cases,

James Ferrara: Mike, you, you had something about insurance

Mike Putman: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So,

James Ferrara: waiver.

Mike Putman: yeah. So one, one thing that for all our listeners out there, take this one to heart. Do a little research before you rent your car, okay. And see what kind of coverage your credit card company provides because most provided if you rent utilizing that credit card, And it will eliminate in a lot of cases the need for car rental insurance.

But be very careful because there’s, you know, there’s primary coverage and secondary coverage, but oftentimes you’ll, you’ll have that coverage already built in and the people, and you know that, that the car rental companies are making a lot of money on it, because when you go to a car rental counter, if you have to do that and you don’t have the.

The special privilege to bypass the counter. These guys are like vultures, right? And, you know, you get your car and he, they’ll say, do you want any insurance? No, I don’t want anything. Well, you sure, you know, you could run over a rock. You could, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And they come up with all these things, try to scare you into buying the, the coverage.

And you, you know, immediately realize, all right, this, this got the counter is on some type of commission. ’cause it’s taking him 30 minutes to complete a rental and it should take two or three minutes ’cause he’s trying to pitch the insurance. So, travel insurance is good, don’t get me wrong. Just make sure you’re not already covered, because in a lot of cases you are, if you’re gonna have a, you know, a major credit card or certainly a premium credit card, you should be covered.

So, um,

James Ferrara: Yeah, just check with your credit card company, you know that. That sort of incentive program for rental car counter employees extends to something else, too. A little more sinister, which is I, I have seen a lot of these. Damage claim scams. So you bring your car back and they tell you, oh look, there’s a bubble in the tire, or there’s a dinging in the rim, or there’s something, a dent on the car and you’re responsible for it.

It’s $700, whatever. And I have seen evidence that, uh, they are on incentive programs for that as well. And I’ve been roughly handled. A couple of times around it. So, a really good strategy for that is when you do pick up your rental car, just use your cell phone and take a quick video, walk around the car, the full circumference of the car over the top of the car, hold your phone and, and do the roof, because sometimes that’s an area where they get you.

And then a quick pan inside the car. Now when you return the car, if they make a claim that there’s a you know, a dent in the driver’s side door, you can go back to the video and show them that dent was there when you rented the car. So, uh, I think that’s it’s important to protect yourself.

Mike Putman: Absolutely. Yeah, I’ve been a victim of that. I was in, in Glasgow years ago and I brought a car back. The, the counter was busy, and I, I walked up and I said, listen, I’ve got a flight. I can’t, you know, I’ve been waiting 10 or 15 minutes to, to return the car. And they said, don’t worry about it. Just, you know, just leave the keys and the above, the visor, whatever, blah, blah, blah.

So I do that. And, and the course, the car was prepaid or, or they have my credit card and then, uh, I get a bill a week later, uh, via email saying there was damage to your car. and anyhow, I, long story, but. It took quite a bit of, um, going back and forth with the car rental company. I’m trying to say this in a nice way, uh, in order for them to not charge that on my credit card automatically and, um, had I take done the same thing that James just said, but have, have done it on the return.

So when you drop your car off, Do the exact same thing, the walk around with the video. ’cause there’s a lot of, a lot of times you’ll find these car rental companies are, they’ll say, just leave your keys. You know, you don’t need to do anything else. We’ll charge your card. But they come back and, and have this kind of predatory practice of charging you for things that are not your responsibility.

James Ferrara: Yep, yep. It’s happened to me a few times as well. Another one, and, and this is really arcane, but a really good tip. This is a juicy one. Sometimes when you’re heading back to the airport, uh, first of all, I always decline the pre-purchased fuel, right? Because it’s six or seven bucks a gallon, which where I live is probably twice as much as what it actually costs at the gas station.

So I decline it. I’ll bring it back full. You give it to me full, I’ll bring it back full. But here I am racing back to the airport for my return flight, and I’m short on time. And I don’t see a gas station or don’t feel like I can stop and I’m returning the car and it’s a quarter of a tank down and now they’re gonna charge me an outrageous amount of money for the gas.

There’s no talking them out of that. However, I’ve noticed that many times the car rental companies will have on the receipt an offer for you to take a customer satisfaction survey. Get a $25 credit on your bill, and I’ve seen it with Hertz, I’ve seen it with Avis. So take a look. If so, all you do is you phone number or scan the barcode.

It takes two minutes on the phone. You answer a bunch of questions and they apply a $25 credit to your bill. So that can really take the sting out of a a fuel surcharge.

Mike Putman: Ah, good idea. Very good idea. Alright, that was some great tips James. Uh, and I encourage our listeners to, uh, log on to no tourist allowed.com and go down to the contact us section and submit any tips that you may have. You know, our other listeners would love to hear from you and, um, learn. Learn about your experiences in travel and, and any tips that you may have to offer.

And next up, I wanna bring on our deal guru, miss Jessica, Devon. Uh, Jessica, thanks for coming back with us this week.

Jessica Deverson: Thanks for having me again this week.

Mike Putman: What exciting deals do you have to talk about? I.

Jessica Deverson: So I wanted to talk about wellness. And wellness can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but Aug August is wellness month. So, I wanted to talk a little bit about what that is and then give you a few travel brands that kind of exemplify wellness and, you know, take a, a wellness approach to their brand and then talk, give you their offers.

James Ferrara: Does this involve like treadmills and so, because if it’s treadmills, I’m not going.

Jessica Deverson: You’re gonna plug your ears. It can or it cannot wellness, like I said, wellness means a lot of things to a lot of people. So it’s just, you know, practicing healthy habits and ev every day if you can. Um, but it’s, it’s better, it’s to attain better physical and mental health. So maybe your, for your mental health, you don’t run on the treadmill.

So that’s still, you know, practicing your kind of wellness.

James Ferrara: You got that right sister.

Jessica Deverson: Um, but yeah, so basically the focus, the, the point of wellness is to practice habits, um, that help you attain better physical, mental health and also social wellbeing. We don’t always think of the social aspect of it. But so you’re surviving rather than, or so you’re thriving rather than surviving. So, Wellness travel actually allows a person to either kick off a healthy lifestyle, um, if they haven’t done that before, maybe maintain a healthy lifestyle while they’re still traveling, or enhance the lifestyle that they’re already living in order to increase that sense of wellbeing.

Wellbeing. And the main pillars of wellness travel would be. Healthy food options, fitness activities if you’re not James. Um, immersion in nature and culture meditation time, and definitely incorporating rest and relaxation. And so there’s a lot of options when it comes to wellness travel. Um, so I would highly recommend working with an advisor to determine the best options for you.

Some travel advisors are actual certified wellness travel experts, so they’ll definitely have answers and suggestions and recommendations for you.

James Ferrara: Very cool. And you know, I don’t wanna leave you with the wrong impression because, A couple years ago I went to Canyon Ranch outside of Tucson in Arizona, which is a very famous, odd weld resort, and I really enjoyed it. And one morning I got up at like the crack of dawn to go to a Tai Chi class, and I, I, I loved it.

I was a little surprised. I thought it was going to be an Asian breakfast buffet, but, hmm. That’s not what it was.

Mike Putman: Well, Jessica, Jessica, you got your work cut out for you this week, I’m afraid.

Jessica Deverson: anyway, so Oceania is one of those brands that takes a holistic approach to well wellbeing and really showcases this at their Aqua Mar Spa. And not just a spa, but they actually call it a vitality center. So it offers, you know, typical spa, um, services and experiences. Of course, you know, treatments and therapies and massages and whirlpools and things like that, that’s essential.

But Komar is more than that because of the Vitality Center. So, you know, there’s onboard presentations that, uh, you know, talk about wellness and help you live a well, uh, you know, a well life and complimentary fitness classes and one-on-one personal training. They have. Plant-based menus on board. You know, it’s hard to, if you are plant-based, uh, eat plant-based, you’ll know that it’s difficult to find good food on ships.

But you know, Oceania really took it to the next level by serving all the finest, freshest ingredients, including their gourmet, plant-based you know, menu. They also do cold pressed and smoothie bars, cold pressed juices, and. They have a smoothie bar. Um, and their, all their experiences are unique, immersive, and they actually have wellness experiences ashore called wellness discovery tours.

And you’ll learn about timeless traditions and practices in, you know, Europe, Asia, and so on. And then their programs really are designed to encourage travelers to discover their best self and to travel well. And so, like, like James was saying, you know, if you show up to Tai Chi and you don’t know how to do Tai Chi, it’s, you know, come as you are kind of thing.

Um, all travelers are welcome. Every, all levels are welcome. Um, they’re just trying to inspire you to live well and like, kind of, you know, put, put wellness at the center of your, you know, your decision making and that sort of thing even while you travel. So Oceania’s offers right now really great offers.

They have past guest savings of 10%. They also have low single supplements for solo travelers, which, which we like. Um, it’s hard to find that, uh, low supplements. And then they have their simply more offer, which is their standing offer, which is two for one cruise fairs, free round trip airfare, free transfers, free short excursions, champagne, wine, and more free gourmet specialty dining and wifi.

That’s just their standing offer. So on top of that, they’re actually tubing, um, a summer sale where you can take advantage of incredible savings of up to 40% on sailing. And check in with, definitely check in with the travel advisor because Oceania is one of those brands that oftentimes. Offers even more value and amenities when you book with a travel agent versus the big online agencies or direct at the cruise line.

They actually give you more when you book with an agent versus when you go and book at Oceania Cruises directly. So definitely, uh, check in with your travel advisor for that.

Mike Putman: I’m ready to go.

James Ferrara: That’s very cool and beautiful. A beautiful experience on Luciana. And another reason to was a travel advisor is this gets pretty complicated, right? You wanna be on the right ship and the right itinerary for you, and it’s not as simple as just going to a website. Thinking that you can make all the right picks, right?

Use the Travel advisor. It’s free. You guys have heard this from me before, but, um, here’s a beautiful example of a cruise experience, wellness experience, and, um, clearly we could all use a little mental health, so,

Jessica Deverson: and then sticking in the, in the. Cruise vein, the celebrity cruises, um, for celebrity cruises wellness is a fundamental element to celebrity’s philosophy. So they tried to think of everything that you’re going to need to nourish your mind, your body, your spirit, all while on a celebrity cruise vacation, and so on several of their ships.

You’ll find this holistic experience as soon as you step on board. So if you desire fitness activities and you know, they have Peloton cycling and, uh, F 45, which is, you know, the new fitness craze, uh, down here. Anyway, um, you know, there’s panels of women and wellness discussing you know, just the, the latest in wellness.

They’re very influential leaders. Then obviously there’s the spa, but, but really what’s special about celebrity spas, they have a c thermal suite, which is, um, there’s these really unique, distinct spaces all inspired by nature and they just really create these therapeutic, relaxing experiences where you can disconnect.

And they, celebrity actually believes wellness to be so essential that they have an entire class on their, on their ships called the Aqua Class. And it’s all dedicated to. Wellness and it has elements infused throughout. Um, you know, they have the verandas that go right out to the edge, these amazing mattresses and pillows so you can get that sleep that you’ve been dying for.

Um, they have wellness, dedicated, uh, Activities and concierge and, uh, you know, a blue, blue is their dedicated, uh, clean cuisine and plant-based option restaurant. So, just a ton of options on celebrity as well. And with, right now, with their offer, it’s get, get up to 75% off the guest. The second guest in your state room when you book non-refundable rates, and when you book refundable rates, you’ll get 50% off.

So great deal either way. And then on top of all of those savings, you’re going to get a $200 bonus on basically all savings from now until 2025, and that’s their end of summer offer. So, book soon to take advantage of that. But you can lock in your sailings anytime from now through, um, 2025.

Mike Putman: That is great.

James Ferrara: You know, I went on a celebrity cruise and the spa area restaurant, or the spa focused restaurant became my go-to restaurant on the cruise for breakfast and for dinner. I mean, and I’m not a like one leaf of. I’ve sprinkled with some chia seeds. That’s not me, right? This was like really beautiful, delicious food.

It became my go-to restaurant on the cruise.

Jessica Deverson: Yeah, that’s in a lot of the, um, cruises and, and, um, you know, land tours and things like that have really stepped it up because, you know, um, fresh ingredients, locally sourced ingredients, that type of thing, everybody wants that, whether you’re plant-based or not. People just want fresh, good food. And so, um, we’re really seeing a lot of that and, and restaurants, onboard ships and, and whatnot. All right. And last but not least, I’ll give you a land company. So we talk about G Adventures from time to time. It’s a really great company, a tour company for all ages. And, um, you know, they have everything from family trips to trips for, you know, in your twenties to National Geographic, um, to.

Relaxing to super ambitious. So they, there’s something for everyone with chia adventures and, that said, they actually have a wellness lineup. And these, these trips were created to recharge your body, nourish your mind. They, these chores try to offer a really great balance between, um, amazing destinations plus rejuvenating activities and healthy food experiences.

So you’re, you know, the goal of these trips is to return home feeling even better than when you’ve left. And. You know, a true getaway starts with the intention to be present. So, um, there’s intention setting ceremonies. When you arrive on these trips, you’ll do yoga, meditation, all led by experts. Um, you know, you’ll have adventurous activities if that’s the sort of thing you’re into in these like amazing natural settings.

Always G Adventures is big on local. So local flavors, local healthy food options, and, um, you know, they’ll provide upgraded accommodations, uh, for these types of wellness trips. And so again, these trips are no need to feel intimidated. If you’re just starting out and you wanna learn about this, or if you’re advanced, there’s experts here to guide you.

Every level and ability is welcome. And they have these wellness trips throughout. India, b Iceland, Peru, Costa Rica, Columbia, and right now G Adventures has tons of last minute travel options or offers. So basically deals on anything. If you travel in 2023 there’s, there’s a deal for you. So, um, really great offers there.

And, and these are just a few of the brands of the travel brands offering wellness products. So definitely call your travel advisor if this is something that interests you because there are a ton of options out there and your travel advisor will definitely point you in the right direction.

Mike Putman: Those are some great, great, uh, trips and adventures, uh, all focused around wellness. And uh, as you said, a August is wellness month, so now’s the time to take advantage of those special offers.

Jessica Deverson: Absolutely.

James Ferrara: Great, Jessica. Thank you. They all sound sort of, uh, my mouth is watering a little bit. They all sound delicious and relaxing and sort of soul filling, and that’s what we really want, right from travel. We wanna fill our soul. We don’t want to come back from a trip. And tell people that, you know, we saw all the big tourist sites, but we didn’t know where to eat.

So we ate a lot in the hotel, or we ate in some mediocre places. No, we don’t wanna waste these precious opportunities, this precious time off work, these precious dollars or pounds that we’re spending on that. Right. We want to, we want to. Ask local people. We want to eat in the restaurant where we can’t quite decipher the menu, but we’re gonna ask the waiter to pick something for us, right?

We’re gonna add surprise and adventure, and sometimes it won’t work out. Sometimes you won’t like your dinner, but it’s not the end of the world, right? Sometimes it’ll be a huge surprise. Sometimes you’ll discover the kind of place that you know you’ll tell your grandkids about. That’s travel.

Mike Putman: Absolutely. Well, I think James, that wraps up another. Session of, uh, no tourist allowed. And I want to thank Jessica Jefferson for her input of the great specials that she offered. And, uh, thanks for you for your sage advice. And we look forward to coming back next week with more relevant information on how to travel better.

James Ferrara: Absolutely. Thank you, Mike. And remember everybody, no tourists allowed.

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