Monthly Archives: February 2015

Twelve Travel Questions with Because We Camp

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Name: Lynn & Noah Camp / Because We Camp
Home Base: Wherever we are, but we hail from Tacoma, Washington
Last Trip: Mexico
Next Trip: South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, India, ????
Website: becausewecamp.com
Facebook: facebook.com/becausewecamp
Twitter: @becausewecamp

1. What are three things you take on every trip?

Besides the obvious that is our camera gear, we’re never without our headlamps, our quick dry towels and our USB game controller to play NES games on our laptop!

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag?

Sadly, we have none. If we’re tired, we sleep. If we’re hungry, we eat. We figure our bodies will sort it all out later.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place?

Nap. Seriously.

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4. What place has the best food? The worst food?

The best food we had was in Thailand and the worst food had to be Mongolia. If we never eat mutton again for the rest of our lives, we’d be OK with that.

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life?

China. We traversed the entire country knowing only “Hello”, “How much” and “Thank you” in Mandarin (and not very well) but we were able to travel all the way from Hong Kong into the Chinese/Mongolia border of Erlian all through the help and kindness of strangers. We were told before going in that we’d hate China and it just reaffirmed to us that everyone has their own experience and one’s opinion doesn’t make it so. Get on the ground, have your own experience and don’t be afraid to put your trust in others. More than likely, they will never let you down—despite what a lot of us are being told each day.

6. What is your favorite travel quote?

“Just Go.” – Unknown

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7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

We love everything from Little Dragon, Grimes, David Bowie, and bossa nova to video game soundtracks and everything in between. A single song has the ability to set the mood for our entire movie or sequence so it’s important that we listen to a lot of different artists and styles.

8. What is your craziest true travel story?

Driving a motorcycle for hours through Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh highway before realizing our kickstand was down. So many locals kept pointing to our bike and yelling but we had no clue what they’re trying to say! That could’ve been bad news had a little girl not pointed at our bike (at least the 20th person) and we realized our error.

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9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

We stumbled onto making travel videos by accident. We wanted to document our trip for ourselves and then something happened… people began to tell us that it felt as if they were experiencing it right along with us! We remember watching travel videos on YouTube while we were in the planning stages of this trip and it gave us the inspiration and strength to make it a reality. If it helped us, we’re hoping it can help others.

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos?

We strive for 100% honesty. We want to show you the good, bad, and everything in between. This includes the bus rides, our embarrassing miscommunication and we don’t shy away from “tourist traps” because a lot of travelers know that there is always someone hawking stuff and to not show it as it really is is a shame for that future traveler that isn’t getting the full picture. More importantly though, our goal is to interact with the place and people. Starting out, we were too shy to film people without their permission (due to language barriers) but realized early on that being on an island of Lynn & Noah is not interesting—it’s ALWAYS about the people.

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11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

Work with the gear you have now, and just start doing it! Be brave and try your best to capture what’s in front of you. Our travel videos have changed so much over the past year. We found our own voice and style but draw lots of inspiration and techniques from others who inspired us! Find a mentor(s), and make it your own. You got this.

Oh, and another little trick we abide by: Have things gone completely sideways for you? Are you mad, emotional, or overwhelmed? Turn on the camera and speak your mind. That’s going to make a great video later.

12. What is your best travel tip?

Go with the flow.

Watch travel videos by Because We Camp here.

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New TripVlogger Series: Catch Carri in Canada

In this new TripVlogger series, Carri Wilbanks of Catch Carri goes north to Canada to show us the experiences that you can’t miss when you visit, from taking in the views from the top of CN Tower in Toronto to flying through the snowy forests in Muskoka behind a pack of sled dogs or on a snowmobile. Check out the videos below to find out some of the best experiences that Toronto, Niagara, and Muskoka have to offer.

Top 5 Things To Do In Toronto

Niagara, Ontario

Muskoka, Canada Overview

Toronto Explodes in Growth, Especially Around Pan American Games

Twelve Travel Questions with Adam Baker

Adam & Anais filming in Osa Peninsula

Name: Adam Baker
Home Base: San José, Costa Rica
Last Trip:  NYC
Next Trip: Buenos Aires
Website:  www.vacationscostarica.com
Facebookwww.facebook.com/costaricanvacations
Twitter:  @crvtravel
YouTube:  www.youtube.com/costaricanvacation

1. What are three things you take on every trip? 

Firstly you never know where you might end up or at what time of day so I always have my LED divers torch—or flashlight as its called stateside! Second, the essential clothing: good breathable hiking pants, lightweight sweater, and rain/wind-resistant jacket. And for me good lightweight walking boots. This helps in the tropics! Third, a map. I love maps so wherever I am going I make sure to have a map of that area. Always good to have some idea where you are!

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag?

Have a shower upon arrival and then stay awake until the evening of the time zone you are in, that way you will get a good night’s sleep and be ready the next day.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place? 

I get my bearings and check for landmarks near the place where I’m staying. This always makes getting around a lot easier. I look at a map and make sure I have read up on the area I am visiting. Then go explore!

Flying to work

4. What place has the best food? The worst food? 

Living in Costa Rica I have had the good fortune to visit some of the best restaurants in the country and the capitol. Recently I made a short ‘travel vlog’ to highlight the Best Restaurants in San Jose. Outside of Costa Rica I am big fan of many flavours on one plate, so every time I am in Spain I love going out for tapas. The old town in the heart of Madrid is a must as well as the famous Calle Laurel in Logroño, La Rioja. For worst food, well recently I was walking around central London and was pretty hungry and ended up in a ‘typical tourist pub’ near Buckingham Palace. Classic error. Terrible food.

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life?

I think every place you visit has the opportunity to have an effect on each individual. This is why we love travelling so much, because with each new experience we learn something new about ourselves and others. This is the wonder of each new culture and every new scenery. None the less my home town of Totnes in Devon was always a place I was ready to escape growing up, but the older I got the more I appreciated it every time I returned. I guess home is where the family is.

6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

This is an easy one, as it relates to my two big loves, travel and film. The Lord of the Rings is for me the greatest story and film trilogies of all time. TLORT and travel are synonymous for me: ‘It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step onto the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.’ This is the wonder of travel, the excitement into exploring the unknown firsthand with your own eyes. It’s a wide world after all.

Volcano Borading - Nicaragua

7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

In keeping with the The Lord of the Rings theme, the film score of the trilogy gets me every time. Especially The Shire theme. In having its roots in the Shires of the English countryside it always conjures up imagery of home and the pending excitement of a new adventure.

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

Well this is a tough one! Whenever I think about stories I always have three that pop into my head for different reasons…

1. Magical: Back in 2012 we went to do some diving in Utila, a small island near Roatan of the coast of Honduras. It was my first night dive and I was keen to jump into the pitch black water as I was feeling seasick. Being the first down, I descended into the darkness with nothing but my flashlight landing on a perfect patch of white sand. It was like landing on the moon in zero gravity. Once we were all down the divemaster asked us to switch off our flashlights. Once our eyes acclimatized to darkness we started to drift forwards and with every flick of our hands and arms blue, bioluminescent plankton would glow all around us. It was like floating through a scene in Avatar! Floating through stars doesn’t nearly do the experience justice!

Night Dive - Utila

2. Craziest: In 2013 when out on a diving/work trip to the Corn Islands off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua we faced a rather large storm when travelling between the two islands. We were on a flat, open-top wooden boat for 20 people. Solid wooden benches for seats. The normally 20-minute journey turned into 40 minutes of hell! We were crashing down waves of at least 15 feet trying to avoid smashing our faces on the wooden panel in front of us, whilst doing our best not to fall out. Not pleasant!

3. Amazing – Hiking over the Andes on the Salkantay trail to Machu Picchu. Reaching a height of around 4,600 meters this is easily the best, most scenic, most challenging way to get to the famous Inca City. Sleeping out under the stars with no light pollution was truly wonderful.

9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travellers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

Having been making travel videos since 2011 I have seen the firsthand effect it can have. Bringing the truth to an area is something not even a photo can do these days. Everyone knows how pictures in tourism are manipulated so much these days. With small travel videos on small production it brings a reality to an area that can be seen for real. So the trust that’s created is powerful and helps travellers make the right decisions for their own travel experience.

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos?    

Firstly to bring Costa Rica and Central America to life, not just for those that are looking to travel here but for those who want to be entertained and informed. To highlight not only the best aspects of a country but to highlight the aspects that matter. In due course I hope our Costa Rica Travel Channel will be the leading source of travel info, news and entertainment for Costa Rica.

Camera filming Rain Forest

11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

To simply start! With the access we now have to platforms such as YouTube and Tripfilms your videos can be seen by millions. All you need is a personality, a camera, a good mic and some basic storytelling and editing skills and a bit of creativity! With these ingredients anything really is possible. A great attitude will go a long way in the travel business as you get to meet so many new people all the time and you never know where the next video or trip will come from.

12. What is your best travel tip?

Be yourself everywhere you go and with everyone you meet. Be open-minded, approachable and outgoing and honestly treat others as you yourself would wish to be treated and go out into the world considering that this is your one and only life so live it well and see as much as you can. I try, every now and again to step back from the bubble of work and look at the bigger picture and I’m reminded of the good fortune I have to be doing this. This approach enables me to get the most out of each new place I visit. And finally, make sure that a trip to Costa Rica is right up there on your bucket list!

Watch travel videos by Adam Baker and Costa Rican Vacations here.

Costa Rica Sunset

Twelve Travel Questions with Jason Leppert

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Name: Jason Leppert
Home Base: San Diego, CA
Last Trip: Disney Fantasy Christmas Cruise
Next Trip: MSC Divina Caribbean Cruise
Website: PopularCruising.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PopularCruising
Twitter: @PopularCruising

1. What are three things you take on every trip? 

I must admit the first three things that come to mind are my crucial pieces of gear: Apple iPhone, Apple MacBook Air, and Sony Alpha 5100 camera and lenses.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

Good question. Generally, I find it helps to sleep as much as you can flying eastbound and stay awake as much as you can flying westbound.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place? 

As it’s often on a cruise, I explore the ship and try to get acclimated to the deck plan as much as I can. It’s always a fun time to see a ship that’s entirely new to me for the very first time.

4. What place has the best food? The worst food? 

In my experience, the best food is in Paris, France, and the worst is in my own kitchen.

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life? 

The Holy Land will do that to you for certain. There’s nothing quite else like walking through and experiencing Biblical settings firsthand.

6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

My all-time favorite music genre is film scores actually because it’s so emotionally charged. A good film score, especially from Hans Zimmer or Michael Giacchino, will take you places.

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

It may not be the craziest, but the coolest thing I’ve had a chance to do in my travel career is visit the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany and see the Disney Fantasy, Celebrity Reflection and Norwegian Breakaway under construction at the time. The enormous scale of the facility is super impressive.

9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

I think in the case of cruise reviews and ship tours, it gives travelers a visual sense of what they can expect onboard and off in a way that a static brochure or website never can.

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos? 

I hope to inform people about cruises to inspire them to take one and continue to come back onboard.

11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

Technology has made it so simple to put filmmaking in the hands of everyone, so just get out there and do it, even if it’s just using the camera on your phone.

12. What is your best travel tip? 

Take a cruise. There is not a more relaxing way to see several iconic destinations in a single trip.

Call for Entries: Ciclismo Classico Bike Travel Film Festival

cc bike travel film festival

The 6th Annual Ciclismo Classico Bike Travel Film Festival is now accepting video submissions from both professional and amateur filmmakers. Films can be from 3 minutes to 60 minutes long and should focus on bicycle travel, group or solo, in any destination whether domestic or international. The official entry deadline is March 15th, 2015. It would be awesome to see filmmakers from the ultra-talented Tripfilms community featured in the festival. Let’s see your bike travel videos!

The film festival will be held on Wednesday May 27th, 2015 at The Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA and will benefit MassBike. For more on the festival’s mission and submission requirements, visit www.ciclismoclassico.com/filmfest.

Twelve Travel Questions with The Planet D

at work

Name: Dave and Deb
Home Base: Toronto, Canada
Last Trip: Peruvian Amazon
Next Trip: Banff Alberta
Websitehttp://theplanetd.com
Facebookwww.facebook.com/ThePlanetD
Twitter@theplanetd

1. What are three things you take on every trip? 

OK, I’m not going to be all boring and list our camera and electronic gear. Instead I’m going to give you the staples for travel that we pack every time….Gold Bond, a lightweight down jacket, sarongs.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

Jet lag is a constant battle for us but we tend to go against the grain and take that mid-afternoon nap that everyone tells you you’re not supposed to do. It feels so good to get to the hotel, have a shower, and then take a nap for an hour or so. We then get on with the day, try to stay up until a decent hour and turn in for the night. For the most part, we can always sleep through the night. It’s getting up that’s the problem.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place? 

The blogger in me says take photos and video. The traveler says, check out the bathroom and then flop on the bed.

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4. What place has the best food? The worst food? 

I know it’s everyone’s go-to answer, but Thai Food. Thailand has the best food. Worst food, Mongolia. Contrary to popular belief, there aren’t any Mongolian Grills in Mongolia. Haha.

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life? 

That would also have to be Thailand. I say that because it was the first truly foreign place Dave and I travelled together for an extended period of time. It was 2000 and it was completely new and exciting. It was here that we caught the adventure bug and realized that there was life outside the film business. Before that trip, we only focused on money and careers. After that trip, we focused on living a full life.

6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

I have so many. We actually post a quote a day with one of Dave’s travel images on our Facebook fan page and looking through quotes is one of my favourite parts of my daily routine. When it comes to choosing a favourite, it always depends on my mood. Some days I feel pumped and want to read something really empowering, other days I’m down and need a pick-me-up. But the one that really holds true no matter how many times I hear it or read it is “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,” by Mark Twain. It is a quote that holds so much truth. If you travel, you see the world and understand people and different cultures. It’s difficult to be prejudiced once you’ve seen the beauty of the world and kindness of strangers.

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7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

Yes, but we’re old school. I love “Africa” by Toto and “One Night in Bangkok” from Chess. Dave would probably say “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash. The old school songs just really capture the vibe and flavor of the destination. I have yet to hear a newer song that really captures the essence of travel like the classics. (Or maybe I am just out of touch.)

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

Well, Dave breaking two vertebrae in his back while cruising down the Peruvian Amazon this past November is pretty high on the list. He had to be airlifted out of the Amazon which turned into a 10-hour ordeal of pain and torture. He then spent a week in the hospital in Iquitos hopped up on serious painkillers while laying flat on his back. He was then finally flown back to Canada via Air Ambulance where he spent another 8 days in hospital and two months recovering. He’s still recuperating and undergoing physiotherapy, but he is going to make a full recovery. Yay!

0 accident in Peruvian Hospital

9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

I look to travel videos for inspiration. I want to see people having fun in a place. I want to see the beautiful scenery or get a taste of the culture. A video should grab people and make them want to see more. It should make them feel that they are right there with you. It’s about the hook. You give people gorgeous images, excitement, and adventure and they want to book a flight to experience the destination exactly the way you did!

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos? 

We try to capture the spirit of the destination in our videos. We want people to see the video and say “I want to go there.” Our aim is to keep them upbeat and fun and reflecting our personalities. It’s less about the hard facts and more about the inspiration. I find that I want to watch a video to be inspired and then I will go and do the nitty gritty research of what to do in that destination. What we really want is a story told. It can be a very shallow story arc, but we want a purpose to our videos. It’s not our nature to just walk down the street with a GoPro and selfie cam. We want to shoot it and show us doing adventures or activities while portraying how we’re feeling in the moment.

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11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

Think about what story you want to tell beforehand. It helps with the editing process and it keeps you from shooting footage aimlessly. I’ll have a shot list in mind where I’ll be thinking about movement and cuts. I am always looking for something to cut to and for a way to move the story along. And make sure to have good sound. Invest in a microphone and pay attention to levels and sound when editing. People will forgive a little bit of shaky camera work, but they won’t forgive terrible sound.

12. What is your best travel tip?

Eat where the locals eat. When you are searching for a place to eat dinner, take a walk in the neighbourhood. Go away from the tourist haunts and look for a restaurant packed with local people. You can almost guarantee the food is fresh, authentic, and affordable.

Watch travel videos by The Planet D here.

dave and deb

The New York Times Travel Show Recap

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From Friday January 23 to Sunday January 25, The New York Times Travel Show came to the Javits Center in New York City. Friday was the Travel Industry Conference Day and featured a number of seminars and panels directed at professionals in the travel industry, from travel agents, marketers, and tourism boards to travel journalists, filmmakers, and bloggers. Industry professionals were also allowed first access to the Exhibition Hall, which was filled with tables and displays from tourism boards from around the world. All the seminars on Trade Day provided interesting ideas on the current state of travel and what the future may hold. In the keynote panel (pictured above), David Pavelko of Google said that the growth of video would continue to be a major influence online—good news for Tripfilms!

I attended the Focus on Travel Media seminars and the Focus on Travel Bloggers seminar led by Michael Hodson (Trippy Award winner goseewrite on Tripfilms). What follows are just some notes from the presentations, but I think there are some gems in there that may be helpful to those hoping to gain insights shared by some of these leaders in the travel industry. Feel free to email me, connect on Twitter, or leave a comment below if you have any thoughts of your own to share on these topics!

FOCUS ON TRAVEL MEDIA

What’s New and Relevant in Social Media
Sree Sreenivasan – chief digital officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art

See Sree’s slides here: http://bit.ly/sreetravel2015 

It’s not how many or who follows you, it’s who follows who follows you.

Tools:
Twiangulate – to find most influential followers
Crowdbooster – to find most loyal followers

Audiences are overstimulated, hyper-connected, overcommitted, culturally promiscuous, cynical, self-focused…but curious.
Social media’s dirty little secret: Almost everyone will miss almost everything you do on social media. Until you make a mistake.
@EricaAmerica: “If you are good in real life you can be great on Twitter.”

It takes effort. Everyone wants a peek behind the scenes. Mobile is more important than you think. Aim for useful, simple, delightful.

You have to help your audiences to understand, participate, and share. Use Timehop to help with #tbt

Use Twitter and Facebook widgets on your site so that it is updated every day.

Try to have a hashtag, photo, and mention in every tweet. Be generous.

“If you come to the Met, my kids eat.” Come to the Met. “What we’re really in is a battle for attention, and you gave me an hour.”

The Power of Influencers
Adrien Glover – deputy digital editor, Travel+Leisure

Instagram is emerging as an important influencer for travel.

@beautifuldestinations
@sweatengine
@gypsetgoddess
Extreme travel instagrammers.

“Influence” varies from platform to platform. Who follows your followers? Micro-influencers. Travel + Leisure posts an average of 140 posts per day. “It is a lot of work but the results are huge.”

Johnny Jet – travel expert, editor in chief, JohnnyJet.com

Johnny’s stories and experiences.

Use hashtags, mentions. Follow up, participate in Twitter chats, offer contests.

Paula Froelich – editor in chief, Yahoo Travel

You have to know who you are. Can you explain it in two sentences? Yahoo’s goal is to find the escapist in all of us. Over 70% of women are planning on taking a solo trip. You have to know the zeitgeist. It’s quality, not quantity of readers, followers. Go to people you respect and admire. At the end of the day, we are more powerful together than we are alone. Solo travel is small travel.

Facebook and Pinterest may be better at driving traffic. Add a photo, a video.. Video—it can be annoying if I have to spend 8 hours trying to research it.

Reinventing Travel Media
Jeremy Saum – executive editor, AFAR Media.

AFAR magazine: AFAR aims to be the voice of experiential travel. Inspire, guide, and enable travelers to have a deeper, richer experience. Their audience shares a mindset, not a particular demographic. The print magazine is the flagship. The meaning of travel. Not where you go but why you go. AFAR Custom, AFAR Collection, AFAR Experiences to connect offline too.

Monica Drake – travel editor, The New York Times

The New York Times has a long history covering travel, all the way back to a story in 1852 about a journey from NYC to Cincinnati. In the 1930s Travel got its own section in the The New York Times. Now it is a weekly section and lives online as well. There are four elements of the Travel section: 1) Beautiful narratives that inspire you to travel, 2) Service, which are informational pieces to assist travelers plan their travels, 3) News, and 4) Community. She used a piece by a fiction writer traveling in Norway as an example. 36 Hours.

See slides at travelshowstw.tumblr.com.

Simon Leslie – founder, Ink

Airline inflight magazines, Ink. 80% of passengers read the inflight magazine. Passengers also spent about 20 minutes on average reading inflight magazines.

FOCUS ON TRAVEL BLOGGERS

michael hodson

How to Find and Work with Travel Bloggers
Michael Hodson – past president, Professional Travel Bloggers Association (PTBA)

Advantages of working with bloggers:

– Dedicated followers
– Live in social media
– Evangelists, not just content sources
– Timing/duration of content
– Can also be content creators
– Co-marketing campaign possibilities
– Developing relationships with bloggers as a future knowledge resource.
Other: – niche, language, target audience, style of content, content types

Qualitative Analysis of a Blog: design, self-hosted, niche, age of site, frequency of posting, appropriate content, photo v. video v. text, informational v. narrative, comments and interaction with readers

Numbers alone are NOT the key.

What social media platforms does a blogger use? Who are their followers? Are they contributing regularly? Are people interacting or just broadcasting?

Provide Google Analytics (industry standard) stats. If you want to work with travel bloggers, ask for stats, references, previous posts.

The PBTA – travelbloggersassociation.com

Consult: what’s your niche? The more narrow, the better.

Good example: Australia.com Facebook page

Try a contest or a giveaway to get people to sign up for newsletter.

Shoutout to Tripfilms!