Travel Genius – Podcast Review

In this Episode I talk about my experience listening to Bloomberg Media show, Travel Genius hosted by Nikki Ekstein and Mark Ellwood. 

PodApplaud-Travel Genius

Welcome to PodApplaud, the Monday through Friday podcast that aims to enable your Podcast habit. I’m your host Seb, and today we are going to talk about about the Podcast: Travel Genius.

Travel Genius is a podcast distributed by Bloomberg Media Group, and hosted by Nikki Ekstein and Mark Ellwood. Episodes are usually about 35 minutes long with about 5 minutes of variance. There are currently 16 episodes and a trailer if you want a quick look at their style. Episodes regularly come out every week, with the occasional extra episode some weeks. The show is still active and uses language appropriate for all.

The description for  the show as questions: “What’s the most sure-fire way to get a flight upgrade? How can you find the best, secret local restaurants by asking just one question? What’s the first thing you should do when you get into a hotel room?”. And goes on to promise, “On Travel Genius, we’ll give you those answers—and plenty more—as hosts Nikki Ekstein and Mark Ellwood quiz the world’s most experienced globetrotters for their tried-and-true travel hacks.”   

This podcast first caught my eye because it has been trending lately and I plan on taking a trip abroad in early April. So I figured it may be nice to both get some useful travel tips, and have another podcast to listen to. In the first Episode they had TV travel host Samantha Brown on, I suspected that they couldn’t get such travel savvy guests every episode, but I’ve been proven wrong so far.

The two hosts spend the first 10 to 15 minutes having a loose discussion on a topic they have chosen, which is sometimes indicated by the episode title. Topics such as The Secrets To Traveling Alone, Do Japan Right, Where To Go In 2019, and The Points and Miles Game, are covered in that first portion of the show. After that one of their esteemed guests comes in to offer up travel tips and answer travel questions posed by the hosts. Former guests include: Aldo Kane, Dennis Crowley, Akshay Nanavati, and Curtis Stone.

The travel tips can run the whole gambit some are life hacks such as utilizing hotel ironing boards as extra counter space, or avoiding using hotel dressers and drawers to reduce the chance of leaving something behind. Some of the tips are more specific or consequential like which airport in Japan will grant you the quickest access to downtown Tokyo. A lot of the really valuable information is suggestions on where to go and possibly some places to avoid. The hosts both travel a lot for work and hobby so I enjoy the rare moments where they get slightly off-topic and just gush about their favorite places a bit. Sometimes I find myself a bit jealous of the jet-set hosts and guests as I work my immobile job which grants but 10 days of vacation per year, that’s more of a me problem than a problem with the show though.

I really like the diversity of the show’s topics, how they can get granular talking about small niche tips or particular recommendations one moment, to general ideas about travel and destinations the next. My biggest qualm with the show is simply that the microphones used or production done to the show, I’m not sure which seems to really highlight the high-end of the hosts voices making them sound a little too hard. Bloomberg has lots of resources and you would think something trivial like this wouldn’t be an issue, but it is. I also wish that the show released more detailed show notes or had articles after each episode that included the travel tips  shared in each episode. I often listen while working so I cannot write out tips as the show goes.

Ok so here on PodApplaud I rate shows on a 1-5 scale, 1 is silence, 2 is a slow clap, 3 is applause, 4 is a round of applause, and 5 of course is a standing ovation! I give Travel Genius a 3/5, a round of applause!  The show lives up to what it advertises. It enriches your travel life and can help inform you on some travel decisions. I think that the show could be a bit more information dense at times, such as their Do Japan Right episode, they could have included more specific destinations and attractions or festival timings for instance.

I would recommend Travel Genius to people who get to travel often and will appreciate a lot of smaller tips that they may have never considered before. People stuck in a travel rut going to the same places our find themselves in overly touristy locations over and over again will likely hear of many ways to shake it up thanks to Travel Genius.

So that’s been the show for today I hope you found it valuable If you wish to reach out to me you can find me on twitter @podapplaud or send an email to Thank you for listening, and please tune in again.