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Traveling with AAA

Author: Automobile Club of Southern California

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To help you get the most of your travel experiences, Traveling with AAA takes you around the country and the world through conversations with industry pros. You’ll hear tips and tricks, travelers’ tales, and hard-won wisdom that will inspire you to plan your next adventure. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are not necessarily the views of Auto Club Enterprises/The Automobile Club of Southern California, AAA and/or its affiliates.
78 Episodes
What if traveling wasn’t as easy as clicking the “Book Now” button?What if in addition to all of the fun details, you had to think about logistics? For travelers with disabilities, details like the width of doorframes, the layout of the shower, and elevator access can make or break a trip. But thanks to one creative and determined entrepreneur, getting this information is finally as easy as clicking a button. Today, Angie Orth welcomes Alvaro Silberstein, founder of Wheel the World, a company that empowers travelers with disabilities to explore the globe.  You’ll hear how Alvaro’s life changed suddenly at 18 years old and how his unwavering determination to keep exploring the world eventually blossomed into a business. He shares what it’s really like for travelers with disabilities to arrange accessible travel, and how we can all become better allies to the community. You’ll also hear how he’s making journeys that many thought were impossible, not only possible - but also comfortable and accessible for everyone. What You’ll Learn:What it’s like to plan a trip and to travel  with accessibility in mind (4:41)How to be a better ally to travelers with disabilities (7:33)Where his concept for Wheel the World originated (10:27)The support his company provides for people with disabilities (15:44)How the travel industry is adapting to include everyone (17:35)Guest Info:Instagram: https://wheeltheworld.comConnect with AAA:Book travel: Comment startLinkedIn:
Traveling is about seeing unique architecture, exploring new cultures, and basking in the uniqueness of the world. Perhaps most importantly, it’s also about what you’ll eat and drink along the way.Today, Angie Orth is back with Mark Baker, a freelance journalist, travel writer, author, and American expat who has lived in Prague for 30 years. As a destination expert for this bustling European city, he’s got the inside scoop on the best food in Prague and where to find it. You’ll hear about the most iconic Czech dishes, where to find them, and how to spot the tourist-driven places to avoid. Mark shares his favorite local establishments for hearty, down-to-earth plates, high-level culinary experiences, and delectable pastries. You’ll also get an introduction to the local beer culture and learn about the emerging wine culture in the region. What You’ll Learn:Where to grab your first meal of the day (0:54)An old-school cafe where you can find a traditional Czech lunch (2:16)The place to splash out for a Michelin-level dining experience (3:10)Exploring beer culture and wine country (3:55)Where to satisfy your sweet tooth (7:09)Guest Info:Website: Connect with AAA:Book travel:
You’ve seen Buckingham Palace and Big Ben in London. You’ve taken the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. You’ve marveled at the grandeur of the Colosseum in Rome. But there’s so much more yet to discover.  If you’re still hungry for the quintessential old European city but want to see someplace with a flavor all its own, then Prague needs to be on your travel wish list. Today, Angie Orth welcomes Mark Baker, a freelance journalist, travel writer, author, and American expat who has lived in Prague for 30 years. He’s a destination expert for National Geographic Expeditions and has written for Kinfolk, BBC World News, the Wall Street Journal, and Wanderlust.You’ll hear about the fascinating history of Prague through its transformation from a world power to a bohemian hot spot, to the beautiful and bustling city that it is today. You’ll explore the stunning architecture, learn the secret of the famous spires, and hear about some of the lesser-known spots that are worth exploring. What You’ll Learn:A historical introduction to the city of Prague (2:27)An audible, imaginative tour through the city (8:00)What you’ll see at the famous historic marketplace (11:30)Overlooked places that most tourists don’t experience (15:26)How to get around during your visit (20:25)Guest Info:Website: https://markbakerprague.comConnect with AAA:Book travel:
The romance of train travel can’t be denied, and that’s what makes choosing to explore Europe by rail such an exciting option.The only problem is figuring out which countries you want to visit and which routes to choose. For this, you need a European train expert to help you narrow it down.Today, Angie Orth is back with Tom Hall. He is the expert extraordinaire on train travel in Europe. He’s a regular contributor to Lonely Planet, and his own website is chock-full of helpful information for planning your rail journey. You’ll hear everything you need to know about which route to choose for your travel goals. Whether it’s a scenic, action-packed rail journey you’re looking for, the best routes for families, or a relaxed gastronomic experience with fine food and wine, this episode will guide you toward the right track. What You’ll Learn:The best route for packing in as much as possible in one journey (0:53)Why train travel is a great choice for families with kids (2:53)Where to travel if good food and wine are top priorities (4:17)An underrated route for spectacular views (5:55)Where to travel if you’re an artist seeking inspiration (7:06)Guest Info:Instagram: https://tomhalltravel.com with AAA:Book travel:
Interconnected networks throughout Europe make rail travel one of the best and most romantic ways to see the continent, whether it’s winding through the dramatic Swiss Alps, absorbing the natural solitude of the Scottish Highlands, or glimpsing the lively coastline along the Med. It’s also one of the easiest, most relaxed ways to get around.While railcar interiors may have changed over the years and our handheld suitcases have now become wardrobes on wheels, train travel is still a primary means of transportation in many parts of the world. Today, Angie Orth welcomes Tom Hall. He’s a longtime contributor to Lonely Planet, and his expertise is in traveling Europe by rail. If you’ve always dreamed of taking a romantic train journey across Europe, then his advice is your golden ticket. You’ll hear what makes train travel so different, and why it’s the best way to get across the continent. You’ll learn the ins and outs of multi-country rail passes, and know what to expect on trains in different countries and travel classes. You’ll also hear about some of the most incredible train journeys and gain a few tips to make your journey smooth and enjoyable.What You’ll Learn:What makes train travel in Europe such a special experience (2:03)Advice about rail passes and reservations (6:26)The scenery that trains give you access to that car travel does not (17:07)A comfortably paced 8-10 day itinerary (19:29)How to keep calm and manage delays like a pro (22:04)Guest Info:Instagram: https://tomhalltravel.com with AAA:Book travel:
The American road trip is a quintessential pastime. But if you’re looking for something a bit more international, there are spectacular drives all around the world that are just waiting to be explored. Although perhaps nothing else quite ticks all the boxes like the one we’re talking about today. Lush green forests, hills, mountains, steep cliffs that dramatically overlook the sea, plus lively pub culture, great seafood, and traditional music … the North Coast 500 has it all! Today, Angie Orth welcomes Dan Holland and Pennie Stuart, hosts of the NC500 podcast series. Their passion and expertise when it comes to “Scotland’s Route 66” will have you behind the wheel and headed for the Highlands in no time!You’ll hear about the unmatched scenery you’ll experience along this iconic drive, and why it’s being compared to our very own Route 66. You’ll learn how to set yourself up for the journey, and how to see the best of nature, quaint picturesque villages, and cultural hot spots along the way. You’ll also learn a few road safety and seasonal tips so you can best prepare for your Scottish adventure. What You’ll Learn:Getting to know the North Coast 500 (1:57)Why people refer to the NC 500 as Scotland’s Route 66 (6:54)How long you need to enjoy the drive properly (14:24)A weeklong itinerary to hit all the highlights (15:24)How to choose the season that will suit you best (22:25)Guest Info needed:NC500 Website: with AAA:LinkedIn:
It’s the birthplace of K-pop, famously rich Korean drama productions, and maybe the only place in the world where 7-11 (yes, the convenience store) needs to be on your dining agenda.We’re back in Seoul, South Korea, to discover the fun and vibrant pop culture that this city has become famous for. From music to film to strangely fascinating cafés, this is a city that leaves an impression.Today, Angie Orth is back with Samantha Gross, author of the travel blog There She Goes Again. Her experiences as a resident of and visitor to the bustling city of Seoul have given her insider knowledge about Korean pop culture. You’ll learn all about the K-pop phenomenon, and Sam shares her favorite band to follow if you’re ready to explore the roots of this iconic music. You’ll hear about the surprising convenience store delicacies you’ll find, and the specific shops to seek out if you want to stock up on South Korea's famous beauty products. You’ll also learn why South Korea puts so much effort into building a strong entertainment industry—and the best way to entertain yourself while you’re there.What You’ll Learn:Understanding K-pop from the Korean perspective (0:49)What you’ll discover at convenience stores in Seoul (3:02)Where to stock up on K-beauty products (3:51)Why the South Korean film industry is so good (5:33)The most fun thing you’ll do in Seoul (7:11)Resources:K-Pop: SHINee 샤이니 'Ring Ding Dong': with Sam:Website: with AAA:LinkedIn:
Have you ever been to a place where the past, present, and future collide—and somehow magically it creates an aesthetic that works?In societies with ancient roots, modern architecture can seem out of place. But there’s one city where you can see ancient temples and marvel at beautifully designed towers. You can be in the city but still sense nature all around you. And, you can pop into tiny local restaurants that have been serving the same delicious recipes for generations while also tickling your taste buds with modern street foods.If you haven’t added the city of Seoul, South Korea, to your bucket list, then it’s about time you do!Today, Angie Orth welcomes Samantha Gross, author of the travel blog There She Goes Again. Samantha’s longtime love for Seoul inspired her to study abroad there, and she’s been back countless times since. You’ll hear about all the best places to explore in the city and which neighborhoods you’ll enjoy most based on what you’re looking for. She shares tips for identifying the best places to eat and tells you the top 3 foods to eat in Seoul. You’ll also learn about the creative café culture and how to get around to see everything this vibrant city has to offer!    What You’ll Learn:What to expect when you arrive in Seoul (2:16)Where and what to eat, from restaurants to bustling street food scenes (3:30)The famously quirky cafés of Seoul (7:00)Exploring the best neighborhood and deciding where to stay (9:12)The best way to get around during your visit to Seoul (11:24)Resources:Sam’s blog on trendy cafés in Seoul: with Sam:Website: with AAA:LinkedIn:
You’re dreaming about seeing African wildlife up close and personal (safely, of course), sleeping under the stars, and waking up to the tantalizing smells of breakfast being cooked over the coals of a hot campfire. There’s just one problem …How do you narrow it down when there’s an entire continent to explore? Today, Angie Orth welcomes Sherwin Banda back for another all-you-need-to-know safari session. As an expert in just about every type of safari you could dream up, the president of African Travel shares his top recommendations to help you nail down the right experience for your needs and budget. You’ll hear about the wide breadth of safari experiences across the continent of Africa. You’ll get the best recommendations of which countries to visit based on what you want to see and do, whether you’re the type who likes to rough it, or if you’re looking for a more high-touch excursion.    What You’ll Learn:The most majestic wildlife safari and where to see it (0:47)Where you’ll find the most breathtaking landscapes (1:49)A safari for the outdoorsy type (2:49)Where to safari in the lap of luxury (3:40)The ultimate safari destination for foodies (5:19)Connect with Sherwin Banda:African Travel: with AAA:LinkedIn:
Have you ever felt the call of the wild? There’s only one way to see the wild animals of the African landscape in their element, capture photographs of otherworldly landscapes, and sleep under the stars—all while knowing you’re perfectly safe and secure. You take an African safari. Today, Angie Orth welcomes Sherwin Banda, a safari expert and president of tour operator African Travel. His commitment to inclusion has made the organization a leader in providing breathtaking and authentic journeys that are tailored to each client’s desires, travel style, and budget.You’ll hear what it’s like to experience the extraordinary journey of an African safari. You’ll learn which part of Africa is best suited for what you’re looking for based on wildlife viewing and level of comfort, from budget-conscious minimalist to all-out luxury. You’ll also learn how to pack and prepare for your big adventure, and why Africa will send you home a changed person. What You’ll Learn:Defining what makes the safari experience so unique (2:48)How much time you should plan for a safari (7:12)Where to go based on your requirements and desires (10:43)How to prepare for a safari (15:43)Why the safari experience feels life-changing for so many people (18:21)Connect with Sherwin Banda:African Travel: with AAA:LinkedIn:
Lucky you…you’re all packed and ready for an adventure! But this is a different kind of trip. The Camino de Santiago is a journey that changes you. Today, Angie Orth is back with actor, director and award-winning travel writer Andrew McCarthy.In the previous episode, he shares his experiences walking the Camino de Santiago with his son, the he explores in his book Walking with Sam: A Father, a Son, and Five Hundred Miles Across Spain.In this episode, you’ll learn everything you need to know before you start your own pilgrimage on this famous trail through Spain. He shares his tips for packing, What You’ll Learn:His number one tip for walking the trail (0:33)Why you should take a minimalist approach to packing (0:53)Staying comfortable when you’re spending so much time on your feet (1:50)McCarthy’s thoughts on technology along the trail (2:16)What to let go of mentally before you go (3:37)Resources:AAA Interview: with Andrew McCarthy:Website: with AAA:LinkedIn:
We all go through hard times in our lives. Whether it’s a tough breakup, losing a job, or losing someone you love, these are experiences that change our paths in unexpected ways. When you pair those changes with a little thirst for adventure, then what we do to mark these changes can become an event in itself. Pilgrimage offers us a literal path through the hard times. It’s a rare time-out that allows us to take space, process our feelings, and shift into the next phase of who we’re becoming. Today, Angie Orth welcomes actor, director, and award-winning travel writer Andrew McCarthy.You might remember him from the “brat pack” hits Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo’s Fire. These days, he’s equally acclaimed for his travel writing in publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Time, and Travel+Leisure. He joins us today, live from the Dallas Travel Show, to share his experiences walking the Camino de Santiago, recounted in his most recent book Walking with Sam: A Father, a Son, and Five Hundred Miles Across SpainYou’ll learn what defines a pilgrimage, and what makes these experiences so transformative for people. You’ll hear about McCarthy’s first solo journey on the Camino, and what it was like for him to share the same path with his son decades later. You’ll also learn how to plan and what to pack if you’re ready to embark on your own pilgrimage of self-discovery. What You’ll Learn:The art of pilgrimage and the history of the Camino  (1:43)Why he embarked on his first pilgrimage (4:31)How the journey changed his relationship with his son (10:25)Why he wants to do the Camino again (14:54)The most profound thing he experienced on the trail (17:29)Resources:AAA Interview: with Andrew McCarthy:Website: with AAA:LinkedIn:
Whether you’re visiting the Empire City for the first time or the fifth time, this is one destination where you will always be spoiled for choice. And for that very reason, it’s always good to have a plan. Today, Angie Orth is back with New York native and travel guide author Pauline Frommer. The author of the best-selling Frommer's EasyGuide to New York City and Frommer's New York City Day by Day is here to share her top 5 insider tips for visiting NYC. You’ll learn where you can get great views of the city without having to deal with crowds. She shares her favorite neighborhood and her top local spots where you can find the best of two iconic must-eat foods. You’ll also hear insider tips for finding and buying unique pieces of art. What You’ll Learn:A little-known island where you can capture unique views of NYC (0:47)Where to find the best bagel in the city (1:24)A gallery hack to see what’s on the cutting edge in the art world (1:48)Her favorite New York neighborhood and what (and who) you’ll see there (2:55)Something about New York that might surprise you (4:30)Resources:Little Island: Bob’s:’s: with Pauline Frommer:Instagram: www.frommers.comThe Frommer Travel Show: with AAA:LinkedIn:
Sky-high city spires, a global exploration of cuisine, and more museums and galleries than you can count. There is no place in the United States that’s more iconic, more historically significant, or more culturally diverse than New York City. It’s been a bucket list travel destination for over a century. But with so much to do and see, you need to have a really good plan if you want to make the most of your visit to this fascinating city. Today, Angie Orth welcomes Pauline Frommer, co-president of Frommer Media and editorial director of Frommer's Guidebooks. She’s the author of the best-selling Frommer's EasyGuide to New York City and Frommer's New York City Day by Day. Frommer is also co-host of The Travel Show podcast.You’ll hear the best travel tips for visiting New York City, including hotel tips to help you navigate the competitive hunt for accommodation. You’ll discover the best way to see the top sights in New York City and learn about a few worthwhile stops that are a little off the beaten path. What You’ll Learn:The historical and cultural significance of New York (2:45) Managing recent changes to hotels and accommodation rentals (7:45)How to tackle the city and make the most of your visit (9:08)Lesser-known areas of New York ripe for discovery (12:33)Pauline’s top 3 travel tips for New York City (14:52)Resources:Global tourism statistics: Thirsty Gallerina on Instagram: Comedy Club:’s tips on booking hotels: with Pauline Frommer:Instagram: www.frommers.comThe Frommer Travel Show: with AAA:LinkedIn:
When you get bitten by the roadside-attraction bug, stopping to see these unique structures, and learning the stories behind them, can quickly become an obsession. But with such a big country to explore and countless highways to cover, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start. Today, Angie Orth is back with roadside-attraction expert Valerie Bromann. The founder of the blog Silly America shares her top tips and favorite stops for exploring the wacky and wonderful on your next road trip.  You’ll hear about some of Valerie’s favorite roadside attractions and how you can hit several of them for fun photo ops all in one go. You’ll learn which stops might appeal to you most, from nature-focused to kid-friendly, and more. You’ll also hear what you can expect to see along America’s Route 66 during the 2026 centennial celebration. What You’ll Learn:A unique place to stop and send a postcard home (0:48)Why roadside attractions are great for kids (1:40)The best stop for nature lovers (2:33)Discovering classic Americana along a single route (3:01)Valerie’s personal favorite roadside attraction (3:43)BONUS: The biggest upcoming road trip event to plan for now (4:47) Resources:The 2026 Route 66 Centennial with Valerie Bromann:Website: America: by State: with AAA:Article: Route 66 Road Trip: The spirit of Route 66 is still alive and kicking, if you know where to look for it.LinkedIn:
Do you ever wonder how big the World’s Largest Ball of Twine actually is? Have you ever been curious about all those strong and unreasonably tall muffler men standing outside of gas stations along Route 66?If you answered “Yes!” to either of these, then your curiosity has probably steered you toward the exit signs of many of America’s weird and wonderful roadside attractions.   Today, Angie Orth welcomes Valerie Bromann. As an avid road-tripper who has visited hundreds of roadside attractions, she always pulls over for a ‘world’s largest’ anything. This curiosity inspired her to found her blog, Silly America, where she photographs and writes about weird tourist destinations. She offers helpful itineraries and advice to inspire you and add a little more fun and funkiness to your next road trip.You’ll hear about when she first became interested in these iconic curiosities, and the history of how they got started. She shares her top must-see roadside attractions, along with some of the best forgotten highways where you can take in several sights in a single stretch. She also explains why roadside attractions are such an important part of American culture, and how they are being celebrated for the upcoming centennial of Route 66. What You’ll Learn:The first roadside attraction that sparked her interest (1:58)Celebrating the centennial of America’s most famous road trip (4:00)Valerie’s must-see roadside attractions (5:06)New roadside attractions that are drawing in visitors (11:50)The significance of roadside attractions in American culture (15:23)Resources:Article: Route 66 Road Trip: The spirit of Route 66 is still alive and kicking, if you know where to look for itWorld’s Largest Ball of Twine:’s Largest Rocking Chair: Things Small Town: Cafe: Route 66 Road Fest: with Valerie Bromann:Website: America: by State: with AAA:.LinkedIn:
Traveling solo is exhilarating! But while the narratives that you encounter on social media may all look perfect, planning with safety and comfort in mind can make or break any trip. Safety is paramount, and the more you do in advance to prepare for the unknowns, the better you’ll feel going into it. The outcome can often depend on how prepared you are for your next solo voyage.For smart solo travelers, laying the groundwork during the planning phase makes all the difference. Today, Angie Orth shares her top 5 safety tips for avoiding potential disasters when you’re hitting the road solo. You’ll hear her personal experience from years of solo travel. She shares what she’s learned the hard way, and how a handful of planning hacks have helped her avoid potential travel disasters. You’ll learn how to navigate safety factors for any destination, and why budgeting for the worst-case scenario is always a smart move.What You’ll Learn:How to be prepared for the unknown (1:19)Meeting people the smart way (2:23)A booking tip to manage your arrival time (2:53)Researching your destination in advance (3:19)One thing you should never skimp on in your budget (3:50)Connect with Angie:Website: Tok: Flirting With Disaster: True Travel Tales of Fear, Failure, and Faith by Angie OrthConnect with AAA:LinkedIn:
Do you love to travel, but don’t love waiting on other people to commit? Do you feel like you often have to skip things you’re interested in because your travel partner(s) aren’t interested in the same experiences?  Then the biggest trend in travel might be just what you’re looking for.Solo travel is on the rise. So if you’ve been flirting with the idea of hitting that “book now” button, without having to coordinate with others or compromise on what you really want to see and do, then this episode is for you!Today, Angie Orth shares the many joys of solo travel, and why this one-person globe-trotting trend is on the rise.You’ll hear why booking solo is becoming more popular, and how travel companies are accommodating travel for one. You’ll learn what’s motivating people to book a seat for one, and how the stigma is shifting. You’ll also hear expert tips for staying safe and learn where to start if you’re thinking of taking the solo travel plunge. What You’ll Learn:Why solo travel is trending now (3:20)The top reasons why people are choosing to travel on their own (4:19)Being realistic about traveling on your own (5:42)Tips for staying safe when traveling solo (7:22)Where to start if you want to dip into the solo trend (8:40)Resources:Forbes article: Eat, Pray, Love: Murphy, R., Gardner, D. and Salt, J. (2010) Eat, pray, love. Sony Pictures Entertainment. Film: Wild: Jean-Marc Vallée. (2015) Wild. Twentieth century Fox Home Entertainment. PBS Newshour: Today Show:, Solo Travel World:, ASTUTE Analytica: 11, Good Day LA: News:, Pamela Holt: Episodes Referenced:Part I: Has Social Media Ruined Travel? With JoAnna Haugen and B.A. Van Sise: II: Has Social Media Ruined Travel? Featuring Jeff Jenkins: with Angie:Website: Tok: Flirting With Disaster: True Travel Tales of Fear, Failure, and Faith by Angie OrthConnect with AAA:LinkedIn:
So you’ve made up your mind: Jamaica is your next beach vacation. In our previous episode with Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, we traveled to the best beaches and whet your appetite for Jamaican jerk, beef patties, and of course, rum punch. Today, Angie Orth welcomes journalist and photographer Kris Griffiths to talk about another very important part of Jamaican culture, reggae music. Specifically, the influence of the legendary Bob Marley. As a fan of Marley and his cultural legacy, Griffiths is here to share everything you need to know about visiting Jamaica, especially for all the Bob Marley fans out there. You’ll hear about the important role of Bob Marley in Jamaican and world culture as a musician and advocate for peace. Griffiths shares the must-see spots in Trenchtown for fans, including the Trenchtown Culture Yard, Bob Marley Museum, and Tuff Gong Studios. You’ll hear about the best time for music lovers to visit and the unique contents of the cultural icon’s favorite beverage. What You’ll Learn:The lasting impact of Bob Marley on Jamaican culture (1:30)Exploring the neighborhood where he grew up (2:23)Visiting his home and what you’ll see there (4:18)The best time to visit Jamaica for live reggae music (6:57)Sipping Marley’s favorite drink (7:46)Connect with Kris Griffiths:Website: Guides article: with AAA:LinkedIn:
Craving a beach vacation that’s not too far from home? There are many places where you can dig your toes into the sand and experience a breathtaking sunset. But if you also want to move to the beats of reggae and sip a fruity rum punch, then the beautiful island of Jamaica is calling your name.Today, Angie Orth welcomes Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, a.k.a. JetSetSarah. She’s a writer, editor, on-screen host, and self-described “Carivangelist” who shares the culture, lifestyle, and personalities of the Caribbean. She’s here to tell you everything you need to know about planning a trip to her favorite island, Jamaica. You’ll hear about the most popular parts of the island to visit, including the best beaches and most scenic hikes. You’ll learn about Jamaica’s unique culinary history and some of the best dishes to savor. You’ll also hear important safety tips to keep in mind so you can relax to the fullest on your Jamaican vacation. What You’ll Learn:Understanding the main tourist areas of Jamaica (3:45)How to experience the majestic Dunn’s River Falls (6:58)Her favorite spot that most tourists miss (9:02)Tasting the island’s favorite foods (12:48, 16:56)Sarah’s unmissable fast-food recommendation (18:37)Connect with Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon:Website: JetSetSarah.comInstagram: with AAA:LinkedIn: