why do we travel?

I was sitting in a dive bar in Kentucky… because as my fellow JGOOter Lee once said – no good story ever started with “so we were having a salad”.…  and I was drinking a Bourbon. I don’t often drink Bourbon, but this was Kentucky after all; had to be done. Birthplace of Bourbon. Best Bourbon around they’ll tell you.

I’m 37 years old. Never been to Kentucky. Here I was. Sitting at a dive bar. In Kentucky. Drinking Bourbon. I was chatting with the locals. I was enjoying the shabby, albeit wonderfully worn in chair. I was listening to the really awful country music that somehow seemed appropriate to its surroundings.  I was sipping on the best Bourbon I’ve ever had. And I got to thinking…

This is why we travel.

It’s not so we can rush from place to place.

It’s not so we can take photos to display impressively on our wall.

It’s not so we can brag about it to our friends at home.

It’s for perfect moments like this. Where for just a moment in time, a snapshot even, I can sit somewhere worn, listen to bad music, drink great booze, eavesdrop on the locals, and experience something I have never experienced before. 

Whether you’re on a beach, catching rides at an amusement park with your kids, trying out the latest restaurant in a big city, or taking a scenic drive in a part of the country you’ve never been to before, look for those perfect moments… Those snapshots – where you can experience something you’ve never experienced before.


Brooke Merkle is a blogger and director of customer support for Just Get Out of Town. She believes everyone should deliberately eat at least one bug in their lifetimes.

Want to travel like Brooke? Click here to give “The JGOOT Way” of travel risk-free for 30 days.

Jerry West’s trick to getting business class flights for 1/2 to 1/3 of what people paid for their coach seat

Jerry West is a master negotiator, seasoned Europe traveler, and JGOOT premium subscriber. In this video, we chat about how he put a combination of his JGOOT subscription and his negotiation skills to work to score two different business class flights for less than what most people on the same plane paid for their coach seats.

Warning: He cusses twice in this video but once doesn’t really count since it was a mispronunciation of “Phuket.”

Here are some bullet points from our conversation:

  • How he found $400ish tickets to Thailand when most sites were charging $2300 to $4000.
  • How much he HATED Bangkok.
  • How much he LOVED Phuket (which is a $30 to $100 flight from Bangkok)
  • How little we Westerners know about “spicy” food and what it can do to the bowel system.
  • How he found $298 tickets to Paris and a $62 flight to Belgium when most sites were charging $1200 to Belgium.
  • How he got TWO different business class flights for about 1/3 of what most people paid for their coach seat.
  • How AWESOME airport lounges are in Asia compared to anywhere else.
  • Hanging out in a bar. On a plane. At 35,000 feet.
  • Amazingly cheap (but really good) food, even better prices on lodging, and three foot massages a day.
  • How Jerry can help online business owners get more free traffic to their website, AND get more out of their site traffic (visit JerryWest.com)

If you are unable to watch the above video, you can also find it on our Youtube channel.

Want to travel like Jerry travels, and pay the prices Jerry pays?
Give JGOOT a try risk-free for 30 days.

While supplies last:
Use discount code “Phuket” at checkout and I’ll throw in a $100 travel savings card.
(If discount code no longer works, I’ve run out of cards.)




About Croatia (Video)

JGOOT premium subscriber Andrea Warner was kind enough to share pictures, stories, and some other cool travel tips from her recent JGOOT-inspired trip to Croatia.

Have further questions? Add your comments below, or participate in the conversation going on here.

PS – Andrea is a single Mother of five, and makes a point of “Just getting out of town” at least quarterly. Although she finds some of the deals she takes via JGOOT, the REAL reason she has this freedom is by being really good at helping small business owners with their social media presence.  Feel free to contact her at Andrea@AndreaWarner.com if you’d like to boost exposure to your small business.

Want help finding travel deals that will help YOU travel more? Click here to try our premium trip alert service for as little as a dollar.

My visit to Puerto Vallarta, MX

Although Puerto Vallarta wasn’t high on our list, when you can get $86 flights and a nearly free place to stay, why not?

We’re glad we went. Collectively, we’ve been to Mexico 12 to 15 times, and Puerto Vallarta is officially each our favorite Mexico destination so far. (Videos of our cooking class, tequila tours, pictures and more later.)

One of our favorite activities was when we rented a car for the day and went to San Francisco (Nayarit), and Sayulita. Both are REALLY cute surf towns about an hour North of Puerto Vallarta (only 20 minutes North of Nuevo Vallarta) and are well worth the visit.

On our way back, we dropped in at Mayan Palace by Vidanta resorts because I occasionally have the opportunity to get vouchers for 5 or 6 complimentary nights. If I’m going to give them away to my subscribers, I may as well know the resort. (I have a voucher myself and definitely intend on redeeming on our next Mexico visit, but we had already booked our flight and room by the time I learned about free stays at the Vidanta.)

I must admit, home-made video testimonials from other recipients of these vouchers don’t do the resort justice so I wasn’t expecting much. And my wife (who goes on an annual trip with girlfriends where they stay at pretty posh places) was expecting even less.



Upon visiting, we were both pleasantly surprised. It’s the nicest place I’ve been to (as far as big resorts go – which we prefer when traveling with the kids. Since it was just us on this trip, we liked the intimacy of the smaller boutique resort we were staying at.) Michelle said of all the places she and her friends had been on girls’ trips – this was tied for 2nd with only the Grand Hyatt in Cancun being #1. The place it tied with was another Mayan Palace in Riviera Maya.

Observations about the Mayan Palace in Puerto Nuevo:

  • Plenty of restaurant options without leaving the resort (Which is good, because it’s massive (think Disneyland), and it’s at least a 10 minute cab ride just to get off the resort grounds, and another 20 minutes from town.
  • Never a problem at all finding a chair at the pool or the beach (at least not when we were there.)
  • Very well maintained grounds
  • And unlike almost every resort I’ve been to in Mexico – the majority of employees spoke excellent English. (Although it’s nice to practice our high-school Spanish, it’s better to know that when you don’t know how to order fresh towels, that they’ll know what you’re talking about and you’ll actually get fresh towels without having to call 3 times. Mexico travelers – can I get an “Amen?”)

I interviewed several people in management about why they give away such valuable rooms, and there were two main reasons.

  1. They have employees and other fixed costs to pay, so any time they are not completely sold out, they’ll gladly let visitors stay for free knowing they’ll eat & drink [their expensive resort priced food/drink], buy their souvenirs, pay for additional activities, visit their spa, and give tips their staff wouldn’t otherwise be getting.  It’s a win-win for everyone.
  2. Although no timeshare presentations are required at all, they know that some people will be interested in coming back. (I don’t endorse timeshare ownership in any way shape or form, but I certainly plan on checking availability of Vidanta properties any time I travel in Mexico, so their free lodging vouchers paid off on me.)

*Please note that I am not a travel agent, I have not been compensated in any way for this post, nor am I compensated if you ever stay at a Vidanta resort.


Last call: Delhi India Holi festival tour in less than a month

My friends Sean & Janelle make me look like a travel amateur. They’ve each been to over 100/50 countries on their own, and they’ve visited all 7 continents together.

They know their stuff, and India is one of their favorite places on earth.

They’re leading a tour next month, and despite only having a couple spots left, they’re still honoring the discounted price for anyone with JGOOT.

Click here for more details about the “Just for JGOOT members” offering.

If you’ve wanted to visit India, but are concerned about knowing how to get around, this could very well be Feel free to contact them via their site, or comment below with any questions.

Here is a recording of our interview as well.