I thought back recently to a comment made by Mr Travel Summary, he was running a Travel Blogger Awards and I joked that I should be in there, his reply was that Saverocity isn’t really a Travel Blog, so it didn’t count.
I have to say I’m starting to agree with him, and wonder what Saverocity is. Firstly, it’s a network of sites; we are in the process of soft launching several more talented bloggers to join us. Some do indeed talk of Travel related things, and others Finance. I am not one to mandate content and hope that everyone just shares what is relevant to them. I think I write Travel related stuff here on the /travel domain, and I think I write Finance related stuff on the /finance domain… but who am I to judge?
I’m a Traveler, at least when I can be and not a Travel Blogger
I do enjoy some of the finer things in travel, don’t get me wrong, but you won’t see me writing a post dedicated to a hotel room – I know it is arrogant of me but I think I can come up with things a bit more exciting than that. Actually, when it comes to trip reports I asked Allison to write those up as she actually gives a crap about doing things, and is in charge of the awesomeness (the real awesomeness, like finding the best restaurants, checking out the museums we must see, learning about the culture etc) I am in charge of the boring crap – getting points converted efficiently and taking care of flights and rooms.
As a side note, I’m having issues with the space in general right now. I got into ‘Travel Hacking’ in order to facilitate an existing desire to travel. Optimizing that expense is really just a piece of life’s puzzle, and a tiny, insignificant one at that. We had traveled to over 60 countries before signing up for a Frequent Flyer Program, and we will travel to 60 more with or without them.
That is why I don’t get excited about doom and gloom devaluations – United doing this, Delta doing that… it’s all really trivial to me. I’ll still get my arse on the plane one way or another, I’ll use points for as long as it makes sense to do so, and then when the programs are fully gutted out I’ll use cash, and shop around, loyal to no one alliance. I guess that makes me a bad travel blogger at best.
Aircraft and Hotels are a tool to me, a means to an end. So yes, I am wondering if Mr Travel Summary was correct, and I am not really writing a Travel Blog, because I find myself caring less and less about the things that are ‘supposed’ to be breaking news.
I’m kinda glad I am not associated with a lot of the crap out there though
I actually have a bit of an issue with ‘Travel Blogs’ right now. In the circles I operate in (blogwise) Travel Blogs aren’t really about Travel, they are about Travel Products (Airplane seats and their free soda, Hotel Rooms and their free soap etc) and what’s more it seems that much of this content is designed as a front to sell a lifestyle, by which I mean – sign up for a Credit Card (or seven) so you too can post a picture of your lie flat seat.
I’m also quite disappointed with the number of people who are willing to sell out the tricks they copy from forums on their site in order to gain a few readers. It seems that this is good content now: Write about a Hotel and a Flight, rip off a deal, slap in a card link, retire…the space is getting so tiresome and disappointing like this.
I’ve often felt that the Travel Hacking world has a duality to it, there is one aspect, the earning and the burning side that are a hobby in and of themselves, learning new tricks to optimize your earning rate, and then learning more again to liquidate in the form of travel. I wonder though, that the addictive depth of it can distract from the really important aspect- living the travel experience itself.
After all, it would be sad to think that you put more emphasis on a hobby that had you standing in line at a Walmart every day earning ‘points’ that actually enjoying the fruits of this labor. For me, this is why I don’t worry; I don’t get too attached to ‘earning’. I was actually in my first Walmart yesterday and didn’t MS a single dollar… I guess Mr Travel Summary may have been onto something, I’m not really a Travel Blogger at all, just a guy who likes to travel and likes to pay for it in the cheapest way possible, but I won’t put myself out too far for a point or mile, and I don’t really care if their value changes because of this.