I just returned from a whirlwind week at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade show. Let me tell you, wandering the halls of the trade show alone was incredible – there were over 11,000 exhibitors present with 187 countries represented. My travel must-go list easily quadrupled. Hope Chet is keen on the idea of going to Botswana – because I was sold after only 5 minutes of talking to a booth rep.
But the highlight of the show, for me, was the PhocusWright Bloggers Summit. I not only learned a lot more about how social media and travel can connect but was introduced to a bunch of very cool bloggers and their work. Granted, these bloggers do not write about traveling with kids. But for those of us who like to armchair travel on our weekends when we’re stuck at home, their writings and photographs are definitely worth a gander.
Here’s just a sampling:
Got a consumer travel issue that needs addressing? Tell Darren Cronian, editor of Travel Rants. I think of him as the British Clark Howard of the travel world. But not only is he on top of getting to the bottom of common travel issues, he loves to travel himself. You can follow his rants, travels and just hang-out time with his nephew on Twitter at @travelrants.
The Happy Hotelier
Guido van den Elshout is a hotelier based in the Hague, Netherlands. I can’t honestly tell you whether his property is family friendly but he’s such a great guy that I want to find out. I plan to get out to Den Haag soon to both chat with him again and check out his fabulous hotel. He is also on Twitter as @HappyHotelier.
Remember when you were young and single and your backpack did not house (a) diapers, (b) Handy Manny DVDs, or (c) petrified raisins? You can relive those days by spending some time at Sam Daams’ online travel community, Travellerspoint. Read blogs, check out photos and live vicariously through twenty-somethings on this fantastic site. And Sam, father to the cutest little girl ever, is also tweeting @samdaams.
Interested in learning more about the business of travel? Then definitely check out Kevin May’s blog at Travolution. Great stuff about the travel industry. And, like the rest of us, Kevin is tweeting at @travolution.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Hope to one day engage in a “dirty” weekend that doesn’t involve four and a half cups of sand from a zoo playground dumped on your hotel bed? Then definitely check out the blog from Mr. & Mrs. Smith Boutique and Luxury Hotel Specialists. It’s fun, irreverent and will remind you that it is, indeed, okay to consider traveling without the really dirty people in your life. James and Tamara, the couple behind Mr. & Mrs. Smith, also are on Twitter at @smithhotels.
Of course, this is only a small sampling of some of the great bloggers that represented at the conference. I wish I could mention them all! But it was these that reminded me that whether you are traveling solo, as a couple or with three kids, the travel blogging community is ready, willing and able to embrace you with open arms. And isn’t that what all this is about anyway?