Podcast Show Notes: Putting The Boom in Baby Boomer Travel

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Welcome to the podcast show notes and transcript for Episode 5: Putting the Boom in Baby Boomer Travel. In this episode Rachel Heller and I speak with food, travel and video blogger, Vicki Winters, who has an enthusiasm for life that is infectious. She shares with us her plans to bring social media to the senior crowd as well as her zany adventures with videos and live streaming. Can she put the boom in baby boomer travel? Listen and find out.

Podcast Show Notes: Putting The Boom in Baby Boomer Travel
Show Notes and Transcript from our discussion with Vicki Winters of The Vicki Winters Show

Time Stamped Show Notes

1:10 When Dinosaurs Roamed NYC

2:38 Putting The Boom in Baby Boomer Travel

5:35 It Takes Two To Make A Drone Go Right

8:46 In Search of Currywurst in Berlin

11:38 The Eternal Vagueness of Vlogging

14:58 Social Media For Senior Travel

17:53 Regrets I’ve Had A Few

19:48 You Call It Chaos; I Call It Life

21:07 Ain’t Nobody Got Time For Perfection

Podcast Show Notes: Putting The Boom in Baby Boomer Travel
Why Boomer Travel is Going Places


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<— Episode 5 of the 1001 Travel Travels Podcast –>

It might seem insignificant, but it helps more than you might think.


This is a transcript of 1001 Travel Tales Podcast: Episode 5: Putting The Boom in Baby Boomer Travel. The text has been lightly edited for clarity and readability.

Rachel: Welcome to the show. We have with us today Vicki Winters who writes for and records for VickiWinters.com.

Podcast Show Notes: Putting The Boom in Baby Boomer Travel
Vicki Winters from The Vicki Winters Show

Vicki: Hello!

Shobha: Hello Vicki!

Rachel: Very difficult to describe. Vicki is all over the place. She admits it herself. I’m allowed to say that because she says that on her blog and makes these just wild and wacky videos about travel. They’re sometimes related to travel. Sometimes not. But they’re great fun. So welcome Vicki.

Vicki: Thank you! It’s so great to be here. It’s so fun to be with the both of you. You’re both so fun! I like to say I’m a food, travel video blogger with ADHD. I’m all over the place. Ba-dum-bump.

Rachel: It has got to have the ba-dum-bump at the end.

Vicki: Otherwise, you don’t know it’s a joke. Unless you really have ADHD also and then you would get it.

When Dinosaurs Roamed NYC

Rachel: So let’s start with, OK, the dinosaur. I’ve wanted to ask you about the dinosaur. There are some videos. You can look these up on her website somewhere, VickiWinters.com, where she’s running around in a dinosaur outfit. Explain the dinosaur.

Vicki: So that dinosaur thing is the T-Rex. OK? And T-Rex Tuesdays actually was a thing or still is a thing on the internet. My husband got wind of it and he said, “I’ve got to get my hands on some of these T-Rex costumes. It looks like something fun for a video.”

Actually, when he found out that they really were a thing, he found the manufacturer. He also found out that he would be able to buy them for $100 and sell them for $300 on eBay. Bought a boatload of them and actually made a big profit on the T-Rex costume. I also have a really fun video on my blog of the T-Rex AKA me in the New York City subway system, going to the Statue of Liberty, running around all over town, scaring children, having people want to take selfies with me.

Podcast Show Notes: Putting The Boom in Baby Boomer Travel
When dinosaurs took the NYC subway

Someone offered me $5 and said, “Are you taking tips?” I thought, “Yes, I am.” That’s the T-Rex story pretty much. It blows up – if you don’t know it because you guys aren’t seeing it visually because we’re on a podcast, but it’s a blow-up dinosaur costume. So it’s giant-sized with a tail.

Putting The Boom in Baby Boomer Travel

Rachel: And she goes running around in it and tends to trip over things. OK. So now tell us about your boomer thing, your boomer emphasis.

Vicki: So actually I’m on a page of some awesome boomer travel bloggers where – believe it or not, we’re all not just dying as boomers. Boomers actually boom! We thrive and we’re getting older but we’re getting better.

Shobha: Well, that’s your tagline. We’re not dead yet!

Vicki: Not dead yet. I like that one too. Write that down. I believe and I know this in my heart and soul because I do it. I love Snapchat. Boomers can do Instagram. Boomers can be on Twitter. They can actually see their kids on Facebook Live, their grandkids. I found that a lot of people that are boomers want to see their kids’ pictures on Instagram. But they’re like flabbergasted. I don’t know how to do Instagram. What’s Snapchat?

So I’m trying to teach classes. I’m going onboard actually a cruise ship, a boomer kind of river cruise and I’m going to be giving lessons in Instagram and Snapchat and possibly Twitter. We don’t know if we’re going to do Twitter. But we’re doing scavenger hunts onboard. So here’s the concept. You can bring value to your customers by teaching them social media and you can bring value to your brand by having these customers who now know how to use social media spreading your message using your hash tag on all the platforms.

So again, I’m going on this river cruise because that’s where the boomers are and I’m using finger quotations people, “boomers are”. That’s where the boomers are. You can’t see it. We do a scavenger hunt. So the scavenger hunt is number one, go find the captain and take a picture with him using our hash tag, hash tag “I’m on this great boat.”

Number two, show us a picture of the best meal you had on Tuesday. See how that works? With the lecture in the morning and then we go out and do our thing. Then again, then there’s a separate scavenger hunt for while we’re on land. Show us the cocktail. We’re in Prague. Show us …

Rachel: OK. You just gave the hints about this cruise. It’s in Europe then.

Vicki: The one I’m going on specifically is AMAWaterways and it’s from Vilshofen [Germany] to Budapest [Hungary]. But the concept is that this could be on any cruise. We’re just test driving it.

Shobha: It sounds like there should be a great prize at the end of the scavenger hunt.

Vicki: Oh, right. A great prize. Yeah! You get to learn how to use social media.

Rachel: They can have a dinosaur costume.

Shobha: Oh, yes! Are there any dinosaur costumes left?

Vicki: Wait a minute. Well, there’s definitely one. I have one that was in the sand in Palawan, the number two island in the world. It’s a little wet.

Shobha: It’s a well-traveled costume.

Vicki: I have one. It’s mine and my stingy ass husband had to sell every last one of them. Oh, I don’t know if we even had any other ones.

It Takes Two To Make A Drone Go Right

Rachel: No, I have to ask about this. I know this is a travel podcast. But I’m really curious. You’re doing all these videos. You’re traveling and you talk about your husband did this deal with the dinosaur costumes. I can’t believe I’m talking about dinosaur costumes. What does he think about all this, about you doing the videos and the blog and the dinosaur antics and all of that?

Vicki: He’s the instigator. He’s the one that said, “Hey, I have this great idea for the drone.” The challenge is with him and if I’m still married to him next time we get on this podcast, it will be a miracle.

The challenge with him is he comes up with some like huge idea like OK, I’m going to fly the drone and I’m going to drop it down with a message in a bottle and then you’re going to open up. He has this huge idea and he will say to me, “OK, now go lie in the sand.” I’m like, “Why?” Because he doesn’t tell me what the idea is. Just lie in the sand and pretend you’re washing up like you’ve just been shipwrecked. Why? Like what’s happening here?

Oh, well, I’m going to fly the drone. OK. So when I say go, you will grab the bottle. Like what bottle? I don’t know what he’s doing. Then ultimately after arguing about that, because that’s how we roll, after arguing about that and the scene is awesome and he gives it to me. He says, “OK, here you go.” Then I have to fashion a story about like why did I just do that anyway. So that’s how this team does operate.

Shobha: You’re the muse as well as the practical person and he is the big picture director guy.

Vicki: Big picture director. Well, yeah. Just an idea guy, not so much a director because I don’t know – he was really a pain in my ass in the Philippines, seriously. He can’t cooperate. He cannot cooperate. I know this – hey, can you take a picture of me doing blah, anything? His answer was always, “No, I don’t want to do that.” Dan, this is not your vacation. This is work. You are my worker/partner. If I ask you to take a picture, you’re just supposed to say OK, not no, I don’t think I want to. So he’s not invited on any more press trips.

Podcast Show Notes: Putting The Boom in Baby Boomer Travel
Palawan in the Philippines is considered one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

Rachel: So what are you going to do for pictures?

Vicki: I have friends that will take pictures of me. I have you guys! I’m sure if I said to you guys, “Hey, would you mind taking a picture?” that you would be like, “Sure!”

Rachel: That’s true.

Shobha: There’s a selfie stick.

Vicki: The selfie stick, exactly. Actually on the trip which he had to be such a turd, I set up my own camera. Like, OK, here it is. I will do it myself. I don’t need you. Bye-bye.

Rachel: I’m telling you right now I don’t know how to operate a drone.

Vicki: Oh, yeah, I know. That’s the problem. Drone footage is going to definitely fall by the wayside unfortunately. So what could I say?

Shobha: I don’t know how much drone footage you could have done in Jerusalem anyway.

Vicki: That’s true.

Rachel: Good point.

Vicki: Right. Probably none.

Rachel: You might get in a bit of trouble.

Shobha: Yeah, with the dinosaur costume and the drone, I can only imagine how much chaos you would cause and turn it into an international incident.

Vicki: And probably wouldn’t be the first time I did turn something into a …

In Search of Currywurst in Berlin

Rachel: Now you told me before we started recording that you had something funny to tell about Berlin. Now you were in Berlin recently.

Vicki: I was in Berlin recently enough. I do – I have a lot of funny stories but that was just one that came to mind. Do you want to hear it?

All right. Funny story in Berlin. Love Berlin. It’s awesome there. So because I live in New York, it’s usually a red eye that you take overseas and we arrived in Berlin after taking the red eye. Dan and I of course and I wanted to go right to the hotel because I’m exhausted. I want to check in. I want to drop my big bag. I had a big bag this time because I don’t remember where we were going. I just wanted to lie down and so he was agreeable enough to say, “Yes, but I really want to get a sausage first,” because sausage is always first or a currywurst.

So we took public transportation as we normally do. We were on a bus getting somehow – I don’t remember where or why but getting to the hotel and I missed the Friedrichstrasse stop. OK?

So I missed it and we’re on the bus and we went a whole stop past where we were supposed to get off and now my husband is madder than mad because that’s who he is. He likes to get mad. He likes to blame it on me, pointing fingers. It’s your fault! We missed the stop. If you were to have participated, maybe you could look up and see, OK, we’re going to – that’s our stop next. But he doesn’t do anything. He just relies on me to do it. So now, we get off at the wrong stop and we have to walk back. We’re not going to pay money for taxi because – did I mention he’s a stingy ass?

I’ve fallen into the trap of being cheap like him. So now we’re walking back with a big ass luggage and here’s a market with sausage. He wants a sausage and I am so tired. I just wanted to shoot him or fall asleep on the table. So I don’t know where the funny part is. But the funny part, it was he got his sausage and we got – it was funny at the time. Well, it really wasn’t. I wanted to kill him at the time.

Rachel: It sounds like you’re going to miss him in Jerusalem because you don’t have anybody to make fun of.

Shobha: Or to kvetch at to use a good New York term.

Vicki:  I would rather not kvetch, seriously. I would rather just have a good time.

Rachel: It seems to me you have a good time pretty much all the time.

Vicki: I try. You know what? Life is short and if you’re not having a good time, go have a good time. Words of wisdom. If you’re not having a good time, go have a good time.

The Eternal Vagueness of Vlogging

Rachel: Now I’m curious about your background. I mean you’re doing this travel vlog and before that, you were doing a travel blog, before you switched to vlogging.

Vicki: Oh, right, right, right. I didn’t – the word “vlog” is kind of vague. Casey Neistat is a perfect example of a vlogger. He went on every single day and he did a whole 15, 20 minutes of his life. When you think vlog, I’m not sure in my mind is that supposed to be just like a daily tale sort of thing or is it adding video content to your blogs?

Rachel: It is a bit vague. You’re right. Yeah. Is it live or is it something that you piece together, that you edit together? Yeah.

Vicki: Right. So I do both of those things. We traveled a lot and I always took pictures and always asked him to take pictures of me and surprised he couldn’t do that when I needed it the most.

So I take pictures and I saw on Twitter one day that somebody was offering a ticket to a food blogger conference. This must have been about five years ago and she offered it to me. I took it and I went to this food blogger conference and I met all these bloggers and realized I love bloggers. Bloggers are so fun and interesting and entrepreneurial and all kind of collaborative and on their own at the same time.

But people like to help each other and that was part of the community. It was definitely about the people, definitely about the people and sharing and then being able to share my ideas also. I was always that person – because my ADHD diagnosis didn’t come until way too late in life for me to get the talk show I always wanted. I would always meet people and say, “Oh, so nice to meet you. Welcome to the Vicki Winters Show.” That’s what I called myself with the fake microphone.

Hello. Tell me a little bit about yourself. That’s how I would introduce myself to people and then I figured, OK, I think that’s what I will call my blog. I worked at Esquire magazine. I happen to have been on the publishing side which didn’t have anything to do with writing. I worked in marketing and PR. I did a gazillion things and I just tried to put all the pieces together of stuff that I really liked and every day I wake up and something that I love to do except video editing. It really blows. It’s hard. It’s time-consuming. I like to put out like average content. I really worry about the titles and the fonts and the length and all the stuff. So it’s very time-consuming but I love …

Shobha: I remember you saying at one point that you are between jobs and the older you were getting, it was harder to find a job in the industry you’re in.

Vicki: I almost just want to throw my hands up in the air and just cry sometimes honestly and I do. Don’t think I don’t. Last week – and I will try to make this a blog post. So I can share with the rest of the world. This is what happened. Three days last week and two days the week before – I rode my bike, gale force winds and rain, as an Uber bike messenger. That’s how I had to make money.

Podcast Show Notes: Putting The Boom in Baby Boomer Travel
This experience was a lot better than being an Uber bike messenger.

Rachel: Right. I saw your Facebook Live videos about that. You bicycled downtown.

Vicki: In the rain. But then I was in a neighborhood that was so far away, that it didn’t even make sense. It was a 30-minute ride and I made ten bucks and then I still had to get back home.

Social Media for Senior Travel

Shobha: So tell us about this social media for seniors that you’re promoting.

Vicki: So I feel like it’s such a great idea, don’t you? If you were a senior …

Shobha: I think so, yes. My parents are on Facebook now and yes, they stalk me. I was just – which makes me wonder what I put on there and since they’re retired, they have a lot of time to stalk.

Vicki: At least they’re not unfriending you. That would be bad.

Rachel: Good point.

Vicki: So parents, grandparents, they want to see the new baby that their family just had. They can’t wait for the pictures and the kids aren’t printing pictures. So they really need to get on some sort of social media, be it Instagram or – I think for older people, for seniors, Instagram is definitely the easiest and Facebook.

Moving forward, I love Snapchat. It’s just me but I just like telling my little stories on Snapchat, which I do take whole stories and then I cut them a little bit sometimes in Final Cut Pro and then embed those in my blog posts. So that’s a part of my blogging.

Anyway, so the idea came to me when I was at the travel show this past weekend and they have this thing called IMM, International Media Marketplace, and they had it in New York and it’s kind of a speed networking thing [for travel bloggers and travel journalists]d. Also it’s like a little dating thing. You go through and see who’s there. You already have a bio. They look and see if they want to match with you and what I took out of that is that most of the companies who wanted to meet with me were cruise lines, river cruise lines.

The other part of the takeaway is that I sat in on a panel of the river cruise lines and a person said, “So how are you marketing to the millennial audience?” They all said, “We’re not. Our market is boomers. That’s who we want to sell to. That’s who has the money. When you see millennials on these river cruises, they’re usually brought in by their parents.”

That’s where I sort of had this idea like, oh my god, people believe in us, know that we’re going to spend some money. Well, not me. The other boomers, the boomers with jobs, those boomers. So that’s why I put two and two together. Like let’s go on board and teach the boomers how to use social media. So I pitched it to AmaWaterways and they said, “We love the idea. Come on board and we will have a class set up for you. You could do it,” and then I came up with the scavenger hunt idea and so we will go around the boat and I will send them off …

Shobha: Yeah, create chaos. Why not?

Vicki: Create chaos. But teach them how to use it, how they can use hash tags, how they can come away from this awesome cruise with a new skill, how to use social media. We might create one especially for each ship or the scavenger hunt. I haven’t decided yet. It’s not until March. I still get to think about it. But then you get content for your brand and the clients, guests, get a new skill. Hey, look at my Instagram!

Regrets I’ve Had a Few

Rachel: Sounds great. Let me get back to travel. Name one mistake that you’ve made when traveling.

Vicki: Taking my husband with me to the Philippines. No! Not that. No!

Shobha: You’re still bitter about that. Was that a year ago?

Vicki: It was October and things have never been the same. It was – let’s see. One mistake that I make when traveling – this is a little one. But we were in Miami and driving back to – two mistakes I have. One I left my passport somewhere.

Rachel: Oh, no.

Vicki: Driving down to the airport and drive back and get it. Oh, that’s another story. Made a mistake on the airport. I usually would take off from Fort Lauderdale. But for some reason, I thought I was going to Miami and I drove to Miami International and just as about – I was about to get out of the car to drop off the luggage, so Dan could drop off the rental car, instead, oh my god, this is leaving from Lauderdale.

What? So we had to rush back to Fort Lauderdale and just because Dan likes to be a little stickler, like my father used to be about being early, we had enough time to get on the flight.

Rachel: Well, you left the passport somewhere. You started to say that.

Vicki: My God. No, it was the ticket. I left my ticket on the kitchen counter of my friend’s house and I was already at the airport. The phone was ringing and I wasn’t there yet, but I was like two minutes away from the airport in a rental car and they were up in Northridge California.

The phone rang and she said, “You left your ticket on the kitchen counter!” Oh my god. So I had to drive all the way back to Northridge and pick that up. I’m trying to think of other mistakes. I’m so perfect, I don’t make mistakes.

Rachel: Let me ask you a different question. Oh, she has gone away. Oh, she’s back.

Shobha: Oh, I like your fridge.

Rachel: Oh, her fridge is in the background. It says, “Vicki Winters Show: Miss Vicki’s Improvisational Kitchen”.

Shobha: That’s something else you do on Snapchat because I’ve seen you.

You Call It Chaos; I Call It Life

Vicki: Yes, I do live streaming sometimes. What’s in your fridge? I do live streaming sometimes. I do cooking videos and stuff like that, live streaming. People help me make a lasagna from scratch when I have no clue how to make lasagna. Sometimes I just open up the fridge and there’s nothing in it, but I will make a meal out of nothing.

Rachel: I watched part of one which was you carving a turkey.

Vicki: Oh, yeah, I had to carve a turkey.

Rachel: It was a bit chaotic.

Vicki: You know what? That’s the thing about live streaming with interactive stuff. People are talking to you. You’re trying to carve a turkey and looking up at the camera. What did you say, Johnny? Oh, yeah! How are your kids doing? Yeah, look at this. But the truth is, do you know how to carve a turkey?

Shobha: Very precise.

Vicki: You take the breast off the bone. That’s how you do it.

Rachel: I know. Well, it’s true. It’s new sort of media that we’re all sort of beginning to get used to because people didn’t do live video.

Vicki: No!

Rachel: It wasn’t done, especially …

Shobha: I’m not sure we had the technology.

Rachel: I guess not. But Facebook Live where you press the button and what you’re videotaping is going immediately out online. There’s no filtering. There’s no cut out the swear word. There’s no cut out the stupid face you made or any of that, which is what makes me very nervous about it because I’m afraid of making an idiot of myself.

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For Perfection

Vicki: You know what? I don’t care and you shouldn’t care! Because it’s all about – this is what we talk about in social media. Authenticity. Well, it’s funny. I talk about authenticity because you have to be yourself. But then you look on Instagram and everything – these people smiling and beautiful and posing and the greatest food they ever had. Meanwhile they’re crying, “I can’t find a job! This sucks!”

Rachel: But the food looks good or the person looks good in a bikini. There are an awful lot of bikini photos.

Vicki: In my heart of hearts, I’m an actor and being an actor is being real and being raw and just not caring. Just delivering a message and trying to get a reaction, be it laughter or something thought-provoking. I guess part of it is that I really had a difficult life. I’ve had a lot of challenges in my life and I don’t care. I mean I know that other people have a very difficult time also. So if I can share my honesty about this – what’s horrible and mentally-challenging – because I do try to talk about mental health also on some of my live streams.

If I can just show people that you can come out of it on the other side with a smile. I don’t mind them seeing me without makeup and what not. I can’t every minute like doll up to give a message when the messages are more important than having everything in place.

Rachel: Oh, it makes it fun to watch. Because it’s a bit wild, it’s fine.

Vicki: Last night on Periscope – and I deleted it because some of my Periscope friends said you’re going to delete this, right? Dan and I were on camera and we had an argument and he kept coming into the scope and was making – I can show you. Being a pain in the ass and he was talking about how he wouldn’t help me on the trip and he would come in and make signs behind my head.

Rachel: She’s holding up a cartoon drawing where there’s a very large female with an axe in her hand saying, “Do what I say!” and then there’s a very small male …

Shobha: Who’s a bit afraid.

Rachel: He’s very unhappy and a bit afraid. So he drew that and he held it up behind you on Periscope. “Just blabs until you give up and always one-sided like this.”

Vicki: So that’s what he spends his time doing and I ended up like crying. There’s one more but – oh wait, there’s one more. Here’s one more.

Rachel: Picture of a female and it says, “I know everything. Listen to me. Aargh!”

Vicki: So he never got that memo to just say yes. The woman is always right. So anyway, so we argued and people loved it. People had a great time and I ended up crying on camera. I know.

Rachel: It’s like reality TV. It’s what it is.

Vicki: It’s reality TV.

Rachel: Thank you very much. We’ve been talking to Vicki Winters. Her website is VickiWinters.com, which is the website of The Vicki Winters Show and thank you for talking to us. You’re always a bit of an adventure to talk to.

Podcast Show Notes: Putting The Boom in Baby Boomer Travel
Follow Vicki Winters on Snapchat for your daily dose of hilarity.

Shobha: Check her out on social media and especially Periscope where you will see how zany she is.

Vicki: My Big Fat Mouth on all the other platforms.

Rachel: At My Big Fat Mouth on Instagram, right? And on Twitter …

Vicki: Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope. And don’t forget my YouTube channel. If you just go to my blog, on the top right hand corner there’s a link to everything. Thanks ladies.


{End of Transcript}

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