Since this Cheapest Destinations Blog picked up 100 new RSS subscribers in the past month and about 400 new Twitter followers, I thought this would be a good time for a rundown on who runs this site. I’m also a speaker on the kick-off panel at the upcoming TBEX conference (Travel Bloggers Exchange), so a few curious attendees may be popping by for a visit as well.
But first a few fun facts that may be more interesting.
#1 – I used to be a semi-glamorous music business executive.
Back when the money was rolling, in the pre-Napster days when everyone bought CDs, I worked in marketing at RCA Records, in Nashville and then New York. I hung out with rock stars, country stars, and celebs, but it sure didn’t make me rich. Most of them either, actually. It’s an idiotic business model for most people involved.
#2 – Both parents were teachers and my sister is one now.
So I taught English in Turkey and Korea when I started traveling. It was in my blood I guess.
#3 – My daughter has been to more countries at age 11 than I had been to by age 30.
I got a late start on both her and the travel.
#4 – I lettered in track & field in high school.
I ran hurdles, triple jump, and 1600-meter relay. But I was also in the marching band and was one of the leads in the senior play. My mom was my art teacher.
#5 – I’ve been an uncredited ghostwriter/collaborator on seven business books.
No glory, but it pays better than writing about travel. My name made it on to one of them, about the business of hip-hop of all things. Here’s a sampling.
#6 – I went to elementary school with Mennonites in rural Virginia.
Lots of them. Boys in buttoned-up plaid shirts and gray slacks, girls in gigham dresses and pigtails, with bonnets on top.
#7 – My late grandfather worked on the Apollo missions that sent astronauts to the moon.
He was an engineer at NASA and helped develop the heat shield that kept the Apollo 11 capsule from burning up upon re-entry.
So anyway…this blog has been running since 2003, started the calendar year after the first edition of The World’s Cheapest Destinations book hit the marketplace. The reason I’ve been writing about so many different countries so far this year is that I’m researching the 4th edition right now. I’m hitting about half the featured countries in the course of one year.
Almost 1,150 posts have gone up since then, so there’s plenty to check out in the archives. I get quoted in the media a lot, I win lots of travel writing awards, and I attend conferences to find out what’s going on with tourism around the world. So hopefully you’ll find that I know what I’m talking about when I dole out advice on how to travel well for less. If you’re new at this, check out my contrarian travel book for getting a great deal every time you take off.
I also know a good bit about what’s worth packing since I’m the editor of Practical Travel Gear. I review two items weekly there and supervise three other bloggers checking out new gear.
I’m also the editor of Perceptive Travel, a narrative site featuring interesting travel stories from wandering book authors. It’s a perennial award winner (including a big award for “best online travel journalism publication”) and its writers are a staple of “best travel writing” book anthologies.
My media company runs a few other websites that span the budget spectrum. I occasionally still freelance for print and online publications run by others, but not so much anymore. I’ve got enough to do just keeping my own plates spinning without dropping anything.
The home pages of each of the sites listed here have appropriate social media media buttons to follow along and on some of them we do regular giveaways.
Thanks for reading!