Reservations Open for FREE Rooms After TBEX Europe 2015


Are you interested in extending your stay in Costa Brava after TBEX? Do you want to learn more about the rich history and culture of the area? Enjoy some of Costa Brava’s renowned food and beverages? Are these ideas crying out for a story that can be written and shared? Or maybe you just need some time to put your feet up, pour a glass of cava, and start planning how you’ll put some of those ideas from TBEX into action.

Our partners in Girona and Catalunya want to make it easy for you to stay on in Catalunya and have put together a list of close to 3,000 room nights at nearly 200 different properties, all offering complimentary room nights to every TBEX attendee. That includes industry attendees as well.

The reservations cover a variety of hotels, apartments, hostels, Bed and Breakfasts, inns, alberges, and campgrounds. Some are available for small groups and some are suitable for families. Each location is different, and each offers different amenities and availability. Some properties have availability for a week, others for just a day or two. The properties are located in cities and towns throughout region, and are available for check in on May 4th and check out on May 12th.

These reservations are offered first come, first served, so click on the link below to see what is available on your preferred dates and check out the options. You can search on our reservation site based on hotel name (alphabetical) and location. If you search by location, the map will show a number that corresponds to an accommodation that is available. Click on that accommodation for a further description of the property.

The descriptions were provided by the respective property and may not be sufficient for you to make a booking decision. We also do not have photos of the properties. We sugest spending some time researching the properties that most interest you to ensure a good match, something we know travel bloggers and travelers are well versed at. You may need to do multiple searches to find the best property for your preferences. Additional properties and room nights will be added as they become available. TBEX makes no representations as to the suitabiity of any of the properties, their star rating or amenities, or accuracy of description. Additional properties and room nights will be added as they become available.

Once you’ve selected a property, complete the reservation form specifying your arrival and departure date and the number of guests in the room.  You may book up to seven (7) free nights, and you may divide up your stay among multiple properties. Your reservation will be sent to TBEX and we will forward the information directly to the property. You must be registered to attend TBEX or your reservation may be cancelled without notice. While every effort has been made to ensure the booking site loads and responds properly, we do acknowledge that it is a lite version of a reservation program and not a full online travel agency booking platform.

This opportunity is open to every registered attendee on a first come, first served basis. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

Book here!

You’re Invited: TBEX Meet Up in Bangkok


A few members of the TBEX team are heading out on a site visit to Thailand as part of our preparation for the inaugural TBEX Asia. We are very excited to be working with our hosts, Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, to put together a wonderful TBEX Asia 2015.

While the TBEX team is busy working in Bangkok, 30 bloggers will be getting a preview of the rest of the country. Dividing up into small touring groups, this group of bloggers will get a little taste of what Thailand has to offer when we return in October. The bloggers represent diverse niches and readership, many visiting Asia for the first time, and will be coming to Thailand from North America, Europe, and Asia.

You can follow photos and highlights of our time in Thailand by following the hashtag #TBEX on Facebook and Twitter.

If you’ll be in Bangkok next week, there’s a way for you to join us as well. We’re having a casual meet up with local bloggers, a chance to get to know you and for you to get to know us. It’s casual, not structured, and we hope you’ll stop by for some great travel and travel blogging conversations.

When:  Monday, March 23, 2015

Where:  Lake and Park Restaurant at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center (60 Ratchadaphisek Rd, map here)

Time:  2-4 pm (Feel free to join us for the entire time, or drop by according to your availability)

RSVP:  To help us prepare, we’d love to know if you’ll be joining us. Please RSVP here.

Eurail Promotion for TBEX Europe 2015

TBEX Eurail promotion

We’re very excited to have Eurail back as a sponsor for TBEX Europe 2015 in Lloret de Mar, and even more excited about the special promotion they are running for bloggers attending the event.

Eurail was launched in 1959, and since then has been helping travelers visit Europe, enjoying the sites and pace of travel that is only available by rail. The company offers a range of European rail passes based on the countries you want to visit and how many train travel days you need.

You can enjoy the Eurail experience first hand with a special TBEX Europe 2015 promotion. The promotion provides for a total of 50 rail passes for bloggers to be used for travel with their family or friends, giving you a chance to discover Europe by rail and generate editorial content for your blog. A choice of Eurail or InterRail passes is available.

  • The Eurail Global Pass gives you the freedom to discover up to 24 countries by train, including perennial favorites like France, Italy, and Spain. The pass is valid for 10 travel days within a two month period and has a value of $811 for adults. This pass is for non-European residents.
  • The InterRail Global Pass is valid for 22 consecutive days of travel and has a value of €760. This pass is for European residents.

Whether you have already experienced the fun of train travel, or have been eager to give it a try, you’ll want to check out the details of this special offer.

  • Passes will be awarded based on an application process. You can fill out the application here. Be sure to specify your address as it will be used to determine the appropriate type of pass for your travel.
  • There are a limited number of passes available for use immediately before and after TBEX, the rest of the passes can be used within one year after TBEX Europe 2015. Please indicate time frame you are applying for. Again, that’s pre-TBEX, post-TBEX, or some time later this year.
  • You can specify how many passes you are applying for, including for a traveling companion or your family (up to a maximum of four).
  • You will receive a booking form from Eurail that will be used to book your train travel. Requests for travel dates should be submitted as far in advance as possible; last minute requests for pass use may not be able to be filled.
  • Eurail will make determination on how distribution of passes shall occur and their decision is final.

Application for passes to be used immediately before and after TBEX will be processed as soon as received, with applicants notified as soon as possible. These passes are good for travel to and from Barcelona or Girona, along with such additional travel as allowed by the specific pass. You must be registered to attend TBEX to receive the pass.

All other passes (for use during 2015) will be awarded during TBEX Europe; you must be present to be awarded the passes.

Are you excited about train travel in Europe? Go apply for these passes today, and when you’re at TBEX be sure to stop by and thank our sponsor Eurail for their generosity.

The deadline to apply for these Eurail passes is April 20th, midnight Pacific Time.

What We’re Reading This Week

Do you have something you think we’d be interested in knowing about? Add #TBEX to your tweets or Facebook posts and we’ll take a look. We’ll share the best of what we find each week here on the blog.

Here’s what we’re reading this week:

About Content

About Community

About Commerce

About the Travel & Tourism Industy

About Travel


TBEX Europe 2015: Content Track Sessions

We’ll be rolling out announcements about all the TBEX Europe 2015 over the next couple weeks. We offer five tracks of education and professional development. Content, Commerce, and Community are blogger tracks, and we also offer TBEX Business, two tracks oriented for travel industry professionals.

First up, take a look at our sessions on offer in our Content track.

The Podcasting Opportunity: Enhance Your Content, Expand Your Reach, Grow Your Authority & Revenue

Speaker:  Nathaniel Boyle

Description:  Podcasts are booming. On-demand audio content just went mainstream. But where are all of the travel podcasts? With over 800-million people on iTunes alone, adding a podcast can be the best way to enhance your brand, expand your reach, create new revenue, connect with new audiences, and deepen existing connections. Audio content does not have to be expensive and difficult. We’ll explore the state of travel podcasting, along with successful case studies. Then I’ll show you how to design and launch a show with minimal cost and effort to produce to capitalize on the podcasting opportunity.

Takeaways: Having a podcast can allow you to reach a new audience beyond the written word. Adding an audioblog can be a great way to connect with new audiences while deepening the connection with your own. 3 simple ways to add a high quality podcast to your blog or brand, easily and affordably. While podcasting is booming, opportunity is still wide open for travel media producers to carve out their niche.

Skill level:  Intermediate. You should know the basics of podcasting and have an interest in learning more.

How to Craft the Perfect Lead

Speaker:  David Farley

Description:  Whether you prefer to spell it lead or lede, the first paragraph of your story is the most important. In this session you’ll learn what’s important to include in your lead and how to make it tease your story and keep readers wanting to know more.

Takeaways:  Learn how to write a compelling lead using the tools of journalism and great story telling.

Skill level:  Advanced. This session is for those who have a good mastery of story telling and are interested in honing their craft.

Improve Your Travel Photography by Working from a Shot List

Speaker:  Ralph Velasco

Description:  A shot list is a list of the types of images for which you should be on the lookout.  This is a concept that’s been around since the dawn of photography, and some people simply use a piece of paper and pen, a spreadsheet or a notes app. A shot list provides a framework that will put you head and shoulders above the unorganized photographer who’s just out to shoot whatever he or she may stumble upon.

Takeaways:  Learn how to create your own shot list and set goals for your photography that will increase your effectiveness and maximize your revenue streams.

Skill Level:  Intermediate. This session is designed for photographers who are looking for ways to increase their effectiveness in the field.

How to Integrate Beer and Wine Content to Your Blog

Speakers:  Erin De Santiago and Brett Domue

Description:  While culinary tourism is a growing niche within travel blogging, beer and wine are virtually untapped. There are a lot of beer and wine blogs, but not a lot of travel blogs who successfully have incorporated these topics. This session is designed for bloggers who are aready writing about culinary topics and are looking for a way to more fully explore and integrate beer and wine content into their repertoire.

Takeaways:  Learn about:

  • Programs and Websites to Learn More and Build Authority
  • Define your sub-niche within Beer and Wine
  • Beer and Wine Social Media Platforms and Apps
  • Beer and Wine Twitter Chats and Blogging Themes
  • How to Write about Beer and Wine without Sounding Uneducated or Pretentious
  • How to Find Breweries and Wineries on Your Travels
  • How to Make the Most of your Brewery and Winery Visit or Press Trip

Skill Level:  Advanced. This session is for bloggers with robust reraderships who are looking for additional types of content to add to their blog.

How to Make a Great & Engaging Travel Videos by Yourself

Speaker:  Caleb Wojcik

Description:  Making great videos is already hard enough without adding the complexity of having to travel with all the equipment, always shooting in a new location, and having ridiculously slow Internet connections. In this session you’ll learn how to plan out your videos in advance so you’re crafting a story, how to figure out the point of each video, how to have a consistent look and feel to your videos even if you’re in a new location every time, and what video gear is the best to travel with (no matter what budget you have).


  • A list of travel friendly gear for making great looking videos on the go.
  • A blueprint for how to set-up your video equipment every time so there is consistency throughout your videos.
  • A storyboarding / game planning worksheet for making each of your videos.

Skill Level:  Intermediate. Attendees should have a basic understanding of video use and production, with an interest in how to create better video when traveling on their own.

Think Like an Expert:  Using Reseach to Bring Your Story to Life

Speaker:  Bret Love, Mary Gabbett, Natalie Holmes

Description:  Writing a well crafted story doesn’t start when you embark on a trip or sit down at a keyboard. This session will focus on research tools and tips that will bring depth and texture to the stories you are writing.

Takeaways:  Learn research tips and tecniques to improve your writing.

Skill Level:  Intermediate. This session is designed for bloggers who already write well and are looking to improve their craft.

Updated Itinerary Information for TBEX Europe 2015 Blogger Trips

Invitations have been sent out to all participants of the TBEX Europe 2015 FAM/Blogger trips.

If you applied for a FAM/Blogger trip, and didn’t receive an invitation, please do the following:  First, check your spam and inbox to make sure it didn’t get buried or sent to spam. The email was sent from Mary Jo with a subject line of Invitation. You can use that to search your archives as well. If you still don’t have an invitation email, please contact Mary Jo via email and we’ll look into it.

Later this week, we will post information about trips that have remaining spots available, and will re-open the application process. Not all trips will be available during this second round of applications, some are full, but there is still a good selection to choose from. If you missed out on the opportunity in the first round, or recently registered for TBEX, this will be your opportunity to take advantage of these opportunities to stay on in Costa Brava.

And a special trip will be added – a family trip. This FAM/blog trip is designed for those attendees traveling with kids, and will include activities, sightseeing, and a pace suitable for families traveling together. Our hosts are putting the final touches on that trip, so stay tuned for details.

In the chart below you will find details of the start and return location of all the trips.  All trips start in Lloret de Mar, on May 4th.  The trips end in either Girona or Barcelona, on various dates. Times are listed as well. This should help you complete your travel planning.


Trip                                                                                     Starting Location/Date/Time             Return Location/Date/Time

4 Natural Jewels Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Girona 5/7/2015 18:00h
Discover the medieval coast Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Girona 5/6/2015 16:00h
Fishermen tradition Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Girona 5/7/2015 11:00h
Where the mountains meet the coast Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Girona 5/7/2015 11:00h
Gironès county: let’s move! Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Girona 5/6/2015 18:00h
Live the history Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Girona 5/6/2015 18:00h
Tradition, experiences and authenticity: discover La Selva! Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Girona 5/6/2015 18:00h
A different Barcelona Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Barcelona 5/6/2015 16:00h
Experience Barcelona like a Barcelover Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Barcelona 5/6/2015 16:00h
Fast and Chic Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Barcelona 5/6/2015 18:00h
Peace of spirit Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Barcelona 5/6/2015 18:00h
Te 4 natural elements Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Barcelona 5/6/2015 18:00h
Up and down Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Barcelona 5/6/2015 18:00h
Tarraco, Tarragona and its surroundings Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Barcelona 5/6/2015 18:00h
The Spirit of the Crown of Aragon and the Culture of the Wine Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Barcelona 5/6/2015 18:00h
The origins of Terres de l’Ebre Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Barcelona 5/6/2015 18:00h
Feel the water of Terres de l’Ebre Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Barcelona 5/6/2015 20:00h
A magical experience in the Lleida Pyrenees and The Lands of Lleida Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Barcelona 5/6/2015 20:00h
Discover the Pyrenees, Enjoy Lleida! Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Barcelona 5/6/2015 20:00h
Te real outdoor campsite experience Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Girona 5/9/2015 12:00h
#InPyrenees Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Girona 5/11/2015 13:00h
Cycling from Pyrenees to Costa Brava! Lloret de Mar 5/4/2015 09:00h Girona 5/8/2015 12:00h

TBEX Europe 2015 Adds More Speakers

speakers collage 4


Our speaker selection process continues, and we’re excited to announce the following speakers will be on the TBEX stage in Lloret de Mar.

Agata Mleczko – Agata started traveling couple of years ago. She often goes off the beaten track, but always has a book in her hand. Inspiration for many of her travels were found in a book. She is founder of a project called I Love Ferrare through which she shares her knowledge of Italy gained over many years of residence in Ferrara. She enjoys italian food and wine.

Agata will be speaking on building community when English isn’t your first language.

Amy Lupold Bair – Amy Lupold Bair, blogger, social media marketer, and mom, is the founder of Resourceful Mommy Media. In 2008, Amy burst onto the social media scene inventing the Twitter Party – a hashtagged social event with panelists and a conversational theme catering to the needs of clients ranging from e-commerce start-ups to nationally recognized trusted brands. Amy is also the author of Raising Digital Families For Dummies, a guide for parents raising digital natives, as well as an author of Blogging For Dummies. 

Amy will be speaking about Twitter parties.

Christina Guggenberger – Christina is a pioneer in gay and lesbian tourism. Ten years ago, she founded the Stockholm Gay and Lesbian Network, a unique project for the Stockholm Visitors Board which reinforces the city’s dedication to promoting diversity, openness and respect. Christina was recently awarded the first ever “Stockholm Gay Life Award” in recognition of her work in positioning Stockholm as a leading global gay and lesbian destination and nominated “Hetero of the Year” for her contribution as a straight-ally, by the leading gay publication in Sweden.

Christina will be speaking about marketing to the LGBT demographic.

Derek Baron – In 1999, Derek left home for a 3-month trip to Southeast Asia and that trip has still yet to end. He created in 2009 and has been a professional travel blogger since, by not only writing posts about a life of travel, but also offering a variety of products, including small-group tours to various countries around the world for readers. Derek is also the CEO of Plansify, a travel advice-based start-up, and is always working on several other projects as well.

Wandering Earl will be speaking in an advanced session on leveraging your brand beyond your blog.

Jason Falls – Jason Falls is a leading digital strategist, author, speaker and thinker in the digital and social media marketing industry. His strategies and ideas have touched iconic brands like General Motors, AT&T, Maker’s Mark, Humana and Cafepress among others. Falls leads digital strategy for Elasticity, an innovative agency that blends public relations, social media, mobile and SEO to help brands adjust and excel in an ever-changing marketing landscape. He is the co-author of two books and founder of, one of the industry’s most widely read blogs.

Jason will be speaking in the travel industry track about content marketing.

Katie Hammel – Katie Hammel is the Senior Travel Editor at Viator, a TripAdvisor company that sells tours and activities around the world. She manages the company blog and blogger ambassador program.

Katie will be speaking how to work with Brands, from the pitch to a long-lasting relationship.

Lanora Mueller – Blogging about travel, culture, food, and photography since 2005, Lanora Mueller has built a strong social media following. Earlier, she worked as a technical writer and editor specializing in software documentation, marketing communication, and document design. Lanora holds advanced degrees in English with a concentration in linguistics and focus on TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and has 10 years’ teaching experience at colleges and universities in the United States and France.

Lanora will be speaking on building community when English isn’t your first language.

Mitch Canter – Mitch Canter is a WordPress Developer and marketing strategist from Franklin, TN. He strives to push technology and online media to new levels to help businesses, non-profits, and industry leaders tell their story online. Mitch is the Chief Creative Mercenary of studionashvegas and binary church.

Mitch will be speaking on technology.

Natalie Holmes – Natalie has worked in the travel industry for 16 years, and since 2013 has been working with Context Travel, leaders in small-group, scholar-led walking tours in 28 cultural capitals. As well as running Context’s Central and Southern Europe program, Natalie plays a leading role in their storytelling and marketing initiatives. On the side, she continues to pen articles for travel and urbanism publications, as well as writing guidebooks on her beloved adopted hometown, Berlin.

Natalie will be speaking on how to use research to bring your stories to life.

Nienke Krook – Nienke Krook is a Dutch travel writer and Pinterest consultant living in London. She has been travelling, teaching and blogging since 2006. As The Travel Tester, Nienke helps her readers discover their motivation to travel and suggests ways to let their journeys contribute to personal development. Nienke has spoken about the value and practical use of Pinterest for the tourism industry at a variety of conferences in Europe and is currently working with brands and destinations on creative Pinterest campaigns.

Neinke will be speaking on how to boost your Pinterest results.

Tim Anderson – T.W. Anderson is a public speaker, full-time travel blogger, social media specialist, brand consultant, and editor-in-chief of Marginal Boundaries.

Tim will be speaking in the industry track on planning long term social media campaigns.

We’re putting the final touches on the program and expect more speaker announcements to be coming soon. Also, we’ll be rolling out information about each of our tracks and the programming within each of the track.

Moving From Press Trips to Paid Campaigns


TBEX Speed Dating

TBEX Speed Dating

One of the hottest discussions amongst travel bloggers is how to move beyond the press trip model and start to get paid to produce social media and content campaigns. This is the topic that Heather Cowper of and Gary Bembridge of will be talking about at TBEX Europe 2015 in Costa Brava. They are two of the co-founders of Travelator Media which is a collective of bloggers who develop and run paid-for campaigns targeted at the 40+ UK quality traveller.

In addition to covering the foundations that bloggers need to lay in order to offer clients something they are willing to pay for, the mind shift required and elements that most successful paid campaigns need to have, they are also collecting and will we be sharing data on the current attitudes and practices in the industry and those that bloggers are observing. It will be illustrated with a range of case studies of successful activities to help inspire.

You help is needed in building a robust set of data on what you as bloggers are seeing, experiencing and believe around the topic and you are invited to complete a short survey. It should take no more than two or three minutes to complete but will make the session data driven and should give insights into the trends and practice. Please complete the survey now by going here.

If you have any case studies you want to share there is the opportunity to leave those details on the above survey form. You can also ask to receive the results of the survey.

What We’re Reading This Week

ITB Berlin 2012 Flags at Entrance North

Do you have something you think we’d be interested in knowing about? Add #TBEX to your tweets or Facebook posts and we’ll take a look. We’ll share the best of what we find each week here on the blog.

Here’s what we’re reading this week:

About Content

About  Community

About Commerce

About the Travel & Tourism Industry

  • America: The new destination for rich Chinese shoppers – Chinese tourists spend more than any other foreigners at an average of $7,200 per visit. It’s no wonder that the U.S. is courting these affluent inbound travelers. Read more here America: The new destination for rich Chinese shoppers
  • Viking Cruises to Sail on Mississippi River Beginning in 2017 – Always in the know when in comes to cruise information, Cruise Critic reports that Viking Cruises will head to the port of New Orleans in Spring 2017. Itineraries along the Mississipi River wiill include Memphis, St. Louis, and St. Paul. We’re excited to see river crusising expanding here in the U.S. Read more here Viking Cruises to Sail on Mississippi River Beginning in 2017

About Travel

  • Berlin Museums Update – As the TBEX team gets ready to head off to ITB Berlin, this list of new museum openings caught our eye. We’re not going to have a lot of free time to catch any of these, but if you’re going to be in the city longer, they sound worth a visit. Oh, and if you’re going to be at ITB (that’s the fair grounds in the photo up top), be sure to look for us and say hi. Read more here Berlin Museums Update
  • Barcelona to Valencia, Three Stops on a Spanish East Coast Road Trip – If you want to extend your time in Spain after TBEX, here are some suggestions for visiting the eastern part of the country. Read more here Barcelona to Valencia, Three Stops on a Spanish East Coast Road Trip