Skift Take

Leaving for your summer vacation? Take these podcast episodes with you to decode the travel trends you see on the road.

In all likelihood, your summer vacation will involve a boutique hotel, a low-cost airline, loyalty points, destination research, or booking something online.

So we selected some of our favorite 2017 episodes of the Skift Podcast to give you an insider’s look at those sectors. While you wait in the inevitable line — at airport security, at Disneyland, or at Shake Shack — maximize your time and give these a listen.

>>What Next-Level Hotels Have in Common

Travelers want a lot from hotels besides a cute boutique design. They want connected experiences that feed into the larger narrative of their journey. So how can hotels deliver all of this? We spoke with James Lohan and Tamara Heber-Percy, founders of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Claus Sendlinger, CEO and founder of Design Hotels.

>>Travel Search, Bargain Hunting and the Future of Booking

Backstage at the first Skift Forum Europe in London, we spoke to the heavy hitters in metasearch to learn about competition among sites, natural language and voice search, and how to satisfy customers during the booking process. Our guests included Trivago managing director Johannes Thomas, Kayak co-founder and CEO Steve Hafner, Momondo Group CEO Hugo Burge, and Skyscanner co-founder and CEO Gareth Williams.

>>What Hotels Are Doing to Win Your Loyalty

Not only are big hotel mergers like Marriott-Starwood changing the loyalty landscape, but travelers are chasing the lowest price rather than trying to accumulate points. So how can hotels inspire travelers to be loyal? We spoke with the experts: Skift hospitality editor Deanna Ting; Gary Leff, founder of the View from the Wing blog; Scott Berman, U.S. hospitality and leisure practice leader at PwC; Best Western Hotels & Resorts president and CEO David Kong; and Langham Hospitality Group CEO Robert Warman.

>>Why Flights Are So Cheap (And You Might Hate Yours)

Low-cost carriers have changed the game for legacy carriers and everyone appears to be racing to the bottom on price to capture more customers. To find out how we got here and what’s next, we turned to Skift’s airline business reporter Brian Sumers and editor-in-chief Jason Clampet, plus clips from our interviews with British Airways CEO Alex Cruz, International Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh, and Emirates Airline president Tim Clark.

>>How Where-to-Go Lists Get Made

Many travelers can’t wait for January when Where-to-Go-This-Year lists appear in major publications. But how exactly do these teams of editors decide which destinations make the cut? Dan Saltzstein, travel editor at The New York Times, and Nikki Ekstein, travel editor at Bloomberg Pursuits, gave us an inside look into their painstaking processes and reactions from readers.

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Tags: loyalty, metasearch, skift podcast, tourism

Photo credit: These podcast episodes will keep you entertained while you wait in line at your summer vacation destination. A man wearing a Roman Centurion costume stands near tourists lining up at the ticket office of Pompeii archeological site, Italy, Friday, July 24, 2015. Prima Pagina/ANSA / Associated Press

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