Kathleen Curry, a self-professed travel guru, has spent many of her days and future retirement savings on travel. She has worked in the travel field as a travel agent/owner, travel writer and works with hospitality companies as an evaluator to review and report on service, accommodations and food and beverage service with upscale hotels and restaurants. She also has a great interest in travel photography.
Geoff Griffin is a recovering attorney who started his journalism career as a sports writer and editor before moving to outdoor and travel pieces. He also writes on variety of other subjects including business, politics, editorials, entertainment and book reviews. He has also worked as a book editor and had his writings appear in anthologies.
We love to to travel and share our stories and let people about the amazing places we go so they can be exited and get the travel bug themselves. The question is how do we get there and experience those places. We joke that we have spent our future retirement savings and the kids will have nothing but our travel journals to inherit because it’s somewhat true. There are many ways we get to these adventures. Sometimes we pay our own way. Sometimes we get an industry discount. Sometimes we are “hosted” or “guests” when we experience accommodations, dining, activities or tours. Sometimes we set our own itinerary, sometimes we work with visitors bureaus, and sometimes we get invited on media familiarization trips. Readers of our articles and listeners to our shows should not be able to tell whether we found that little diner on our own or were sent there on the suggestion of someone we worked with. We try to deliver the same information to our listeners and readers no matter how we ended up somewhere. Our experience has been that being “hosted” does not mean we have to give up our independence and we are the only ones that decide what and how content is shared.
Before becoming a travel writer, Geoff worked as a sportswriter and book reviewer. Sportswriters are allowed to have access to games and are even given choice seats and food. However, nobody thinks it will change how they report on the game. It’s a way for the teams and leagues to get out information. Book publishers send reviewers copies of new tomes, but don’t expect that the reviewer will necessarily write something nice. The analogy extends to travel writing. Just because somebody hosts you at a hotel, for a meal or on a tour, it doesn’t mean anybody has to write about it or be included in any particular way.
Before the Internet, there were a limited number of newspapers and magazines that did travel writing and they prided themselves on paying for everything and not taking anything for free. They had the money to do so, and it was important at the time because there were only so many publishing outlets and they had tremendous sway on the general public. Travelers had nowhere else to turn.
Now there are thousands of people writing and blogging about travel, and very few of them have the kind of bankroll that a newspaper or magazine had in 1988 when they were awash in ad sales. All of these new voices, even if “hosted,” give travelers so many more options. We are living in a much better travel world today than we were 25 years ago. Another nice feature of the Internet is that if you post or write something that isn’t true, there are people out there who will call you on it. If you accept a dinner at a restaurant that is horrible, but you write that it’s great, other people who have been there will call you out and you’ll lose credibility. In a way, travel writers have an even tougher standard to adhere to than they did in the past because of the transparency of the Internet.
There is nothing we value more than the trust of our listeners and readers. That is always at the forefront of our thoughts when traveling. We hope you continue to “Enjoy the Trip!”