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Hangovers, Hookups And Hellish Flights: ‘Inappropriate Traveler’ Shaking Up Sleepy World Of Travel Podcasts

September 10, 2019 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

In a travel market that’s filled with podcasts that are earnest, reverent, thoughtful and useful, there’s now a show that, according to its host, proudly delivers none of those things. The Inappropriate Traveler travel podcast, which launched in June, is focusing on “the messy, fun, naughty side of travel,” says longtime travel writer, editor and expert Spud Hilton, host of the show.

“Why is it that people who are such big fans of the hackneyed cliche ‘off the beaten path’ are so faithfully following a thoroughly-trampled path when it comes to podcasts?” says Hilton. He and longtime friend and co-founder Krislyn Hashimoto were inspired (in a bar, of course) after finding the genre filled with cookie-cutter podcasts that were either “humorlessly reverent about travel” or focused on the “Cult of Walt.”

Of the Top 15 all-time best sellers on the iTunes podcast store under the “Travel & Places” category, nine of them are about Disney, three are by Rick Steves and one is CBS commentator Mo Rocca’s “Mobituaries,” which isn’t travel-related. One third of the Top 60 are about all things Disney.

“We’re not telling listeners to be inappropriate,” says Hilton, who for 19 years was a travel writer and editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, where he earned 13 Lowell Thomas Awards for travel journalism. “But we are reminding folks that some of the best things about travel, the best experiences, the best exposure to cultures, aren’t always appropriate.”

Hilton says it’s easy to become too reverent about the topic of travel, as if it’s a religion. “Sometimes it’s ugly, fun and naughty,” he wrote in an article at “We know travel can be a hot mess on a runaway train, a series of bad decisions about bad bars in bad towns with really bad local booze — that leads to the best night of your life.”

The biweekly podcast at already is hitting topics that aren’t widley covered elsewhere — from hookups and hangovers on the road, to strategies for carrying sex toys in your carry-on through TSA. It also features guests who have refreshingly candid observations and stories from the road, he says. Within the first five episodes, guests have covered: leaving butt prints on the birthplace of Jesus; going “rogue bartender” on a tequila tour; using a cannabis vape pen at a funeral; and TSA mistaking Portuguese sausage for a “marital aid.” Each show also features one of several co-hosts whose job, according to Hilton, is “to keep us moving, keep us on time and have a wicked sense of humor.”

The show isn’t for everyone, says Hilton.

“I’m guessing the Mommy Bloggers are going to have some issues with us, as are some of the more humorless Disney devotees,” he says. “And if you own an autographed copy of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ well, don’t even bother.”

The Inappropriate Traveler travel podcast can be found at the iTunes podcast store, Spotify and at Follow along on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at: @DeathByJetlag.

Spud Hilton is a travel writer, consultant and speaker with more than 30 years in journalism, including almost 20 in the Travel section of the San Francisco Chronicle. While reporting on (and being hopelessly lost in) destinations on six continents, he earned 13 Lowell Thomas Awards for travel journalism, and his videos and campaigns were featured by Peter Greenberg, NPR, Rudy Maxa, “Good Morning, America,” the “Today Show” and “Quest Means Business” on CNN International.

The Inappropriate Traveler travel podcast launched at the beginning of June 2019 and is focused on the “fun, messy, naughty side of travel.” It posts every other Monday. Guests have included: Ernest White II, also known as FlyBrother, whose travel show is scheduled to debut on PBS in January 2020; Joel Riddell, Radio/TV food and travel expert based in San Francisco; airlines expert Chris McGinnis; prolific travel freelance writer Jill K. Robinson; and Gary Arndt, whose blog is among the most popular travel blogs on the planet. The podcast features a rotating lineup of co-hosts.

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