Brave Travel Writers Write Real Budgets
Brave Travel Writers Write Real Budgets
Lome, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I do not like to read about travel, I become too annoyed as the travel writers avoid or do not know the real budget costs of travel.
I will admit, I have never tried to tackle the job of explaining global travel budgets. I write about specific costs, I do not go global; I stay in the specifics and have not tried to explain how to travel the world in one areas of the site. I feel I maybe think I need to travel to the Stan Brothers, Russia, Australia, Japan, Korea and parts of the Middle east before I can say, I know, or am close to knowing the planet.
The sad part is, let us be real, who has really traveled the whole planet, there are not many who have traveled on a backpacker budget, some who traveled on a Business Budget know the most places, not the cultures. However, off the top of my head, I know only one couple who I would say, comes close to knowing he world.http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/forwood/country.shtml
Why does a travel writer need to be brave to write about real budgets?
Easy, if you say or recommend Hotels for 500 US dollars per night, you just excluded about 95 percent of your readers. The same is when I talk about finding a room for 4 dollars; I have just annoyed about 95 percent of the click, browse, and click away readers. Say any specific dollar amount and some reader is annoyed and stops reading.
Recommend anything cheap and people complain, they want a Five Star Hotel on a minus One Star budget, geez grow up.
Why am I annoyed with travel writers, they normally only take the fantasy writing route. The fine dining restaurant, dream what I would do if I was rich and famous, Princess Diana, become a King fantasy adventure too safe to be an adventure trips. And a reader has to be brave to say a Five Star Hotel is bad.
I am laughing to myself; do you know why there are not very few travel writers in West Africa? It is because they cannot afford to travel here. Price an air ticket to Lome, Togo from your home round-trip and see if you do not get a little weak in the knees.
99 percent of Travel Writers make 1 percent of the money and 1 percent make 99 percent of the money. It is the rich who get richer and the poor get poorer scenario in as a nut you eat.
Annoyed readers is not a way to sell Books, Magazines, Newspapers, Expensive Tours, Hotels and Airplane Tickets.
I annoy more readers by talking about a 5 dollar room, then I talking about a 50 dollar room, I would annoy even less at 100 and start to annoy more at the 200 level and again to start really annoy if I say good valued rooms for 5000 per night.
Explaining how to cook rice with an alcohol cooker, buying bananas, how to cut up a pineapple in your room, or how I got sick eating does not make prime time travel readers happy.
If I talked about drinking wine on the French Riviera or having dinner in a with the USA Embassy workers in Togo French Restaurant, complete with wine testing, and clean table clothes, this would entice the fantasy travel reader more.
How could I write about real travel budgets? I first have to define the budget of my readers, and then write for them.
(I really thought first the words stereotypical tourist.)
I feel most wanna be travel writers dream about writing in one of these price ranges, and wanna be famous with some of these example of travel market stereotypes.National Geographic Traveler Magazine OnlineRick Steves' EuropeConde Nast Traveler on Concierge.comNew York Times Travel T MagazineAmerican ExpressJourneywoman Travel magazine for womenFrommer-s Budget Travel GuidesVisa Everywhere You Want to Be
These groups are all focused on very specific markets, they are trying to appeal and write to a group with X amount of money, with this X amount of education and has this much time vacation and spend X amount of money per trip.
To write about a global real budget, I then make some general broad comment or copy that somehow appeals to each of ten price levels for real budgets, and then explain how to live within their budgets.
I would the need to explain all ten budgets to adequately explain how much it cost to travel the whole planet. Ergo, think, 10, this is why these magazines only try to manage one to three budget levels and normally where they can make the most money from the most people, it is about money, not about travel.
Learn a budget, ask a Business Traveler, and he will tell you,
- The company gives me this much per diem and I have this much money for room, they require that I normally stay in this Hotel Chain and kiss this mans wife. I can travel with these airlines and they allow me to get the Frequent Flyer miles so I can get a bonus. -
The will tell you their budget, this is what the writer has to keep as the top and bottom of their writing budget, they write about things to do inside this price range… hehehe If this was the groups you wanted to focus on, I would recommend you learn the per diem allowance for hotels for various cities of the planet as dictated by the US Internal Revenue, and have a laugh when you read about Lome, Togo.
I am a stereotype, however, the truth is, I fit in all the above categories better than I do in the one normally write about and truthfully everyone fits into all and none at the same time.
I be Hobo, who cares, I can do what I do, and be anything I wanna be, today, tomorrow or yesterday, because nobody pays attention to a tramp.
Which stereotype do you wish to be today? or maybe go Hobo...Brave Travel Writers Write Real Budgets
The way I see it, I always try and get the best bargain. You could say 'I am tight with money'. I would say 'I am not used to having money, so I like it to last.'
When I went travelling, I took with me about £2000 (about $3,400 US at that time) in my bank account. I could afford to stay in the better hotels of the planet and get taxi instead of bus to far away places.
But my instincts tell me to always search the bargain. what is a) good quality but b) cheap.
After 2 months, I came home with still half my money left over, and that was after paying £350 ($600US) for a plane ticket home. And for sure, I was still ripped off at times, and I still got lazy sometimes in searching the bargains.
I always look for the cheapest hotel. If it is appaulingly bad, I will look for the next cheapest, and so on until I find somewhere that is acceptible and where the owner looks decent/ not drunk or asleep
Don't forget the niche publications who are looking for the opposite of what travel writers put in glossy guides and publications.
There are publications out there who would welcome your budget ideas, even down to how to cut a pineapple in your room!
There are also great new websites, one that comes to mind is So Much World (www.somuchworld.com) who are trying to get real people, like you and me, to write reviews! I think that's a great way to get over the information that, as you rightly say, the current affluent articles cover.
Keep up the good work.