As a frequent traveler — and as someone who writes about being a frequent traveler all the time on the Internet — I get a lot of e-mails asking for travel tips. Many of them are specific: about traveling in New Zealand; about taking a U.S. road trip; about where to eat in Iceland. Others are not so specific: about how I save money; about how I find the time to travel when I usually live a fairly “normal” life at home; about what destinations I would recommend.
I always do my best to answer any and all e-mails sent my way. And I try to answer all the travel planning questions as best I can. This is what I'm passionate about, after all.
But the e-mails do sometimes pile up. And sometimes I simply don't have time to be as thorough in my answers as I would like to be.
Being a freelancer is hard. There's always a post to write, a tweet to send, an advertiser to chase up. Payments never come on time, and I stress about money way more than I would like to.
So I decided to sign up to be a travel “expert” with ThinkPlaces. This new travel start-up aims to gather a bunch of travel pros in one place, and then offer up their expertise in the form of consulting sessions to people planning travel.
It's pretty simple:
1. Decide where you want to go
2. Search the site for an expert on the area you'd like to travel to
3. Schedule a session with said expert on Skype or G+ chat (sessions are measured in 20-minute increments)
This is not a travel planning service; I won't book a hotel for you in New Zealand or set up car rental for you in California. What I COULD do, though, is tell you about all my favorite spots in NZ and how best to get around, or give you suggestions for an awesome U.S. road trip itinerary.
I'm not expecting to get rich being a ThinkPlaces expert. But I'm hoping that, this way, I can actually give people the quality of advice that they deserve.
Check it out if you feel so inclined. It's a way for YOU to get some solid travel advice, and a way for travelers/bloggers/freelancers like me to pay for dinner.
Tell me — is this sort of service something you would ever use?