I know. I have disappeared into oblivion for more about three weeks without leaving any comments, saying anything at all or even mentioning I too was going to take a vacation. Why? Frankly, it wasn’t part of my plans. But once I reached Spain to visit family and friends and traveled around to visit new and exciting destinations I realized I needed a break. You might not be aware of it, but keeping a blog like this is a lot of work, and I mean A LOT. Like doing something every day, weekends included, sometimes working with the computer for more than 8 hours. There’s emails to answer, technical bugs to fix, content to create, photos to select and edit, contests to prepare, social media to manage…and the list goes on.
But I’m back! These holidays have allowed me charge my batteries to the fullest and put some thought into what 2012 was like and some insight into what I want 2013 to deliver.
Looking back into 2012
2012 has been a difficult year for many -if not most- people around the world in one way or another. The global economic situation has had a huge impact on the travel industry and most families are looking at their spending money very closely, which of course has affected how they vacation and where. Believe it or not this site has seen this change as well. Where as traffic built steadily for almost all year the feedback and questions I have been getting from you readers show that you are looking to become smart travelers. You want to see as much as possible but not pay more than necessary, where as at some other time you wouldn’t have minded if it meant less effort to prepare your well deserved vacation. The good news is that one of the main purposes of this site is to help you travel more for less, and I will be writing more “How to” articles this year to help you out. Hopefully I will be getting more comments like this one after publishing an article on how to save money when visiting Oahu in Hawaii:
Thanks so much for posting this info! You saved me a ton of money on the rental car for my wedding/honeymoon!Thank you thank you thank you!!! Krystal
2012 also marked the beginning of the free travel guides series I am creating and publishing. Available in PDF and ePub for smartphones they are really all you need to get going when visiting the featured destinations. Currently there is one for Mexico and another for Colombia, but I am currently preparing one for Ecuador and next to come are Australia and Spain.
Continuing with this site’s purpose of providing free tools and travel tips in 2012 I also published my first ebook which includes almost everything I know that I regularly use to save money when traveling- if it isn’t there it’s because I forgot to include it, not because I’m holding back. Titled “Going Solo: a Complete Guide to Help You Plan Your Trip of a Lifetime” the book has over 40 pages of information that explain how to save money when booking flights, what gear I use, recommended destinations for your first long term trips and lots more. To grab a copy all you have to do is subscribe to this site (at no cost, of course) by following this link, and if you’re still hesitant just look at what this full time traveler had to say about it! If it can help her, how much can it help you?
Hi Federico. Your guide on traveling solo is awesome!! I can’t stop reading it. Thanks x! Agness from etramping.com
Of course there have been the usual changes in appearance hoping to make the site more user friendly for you. While most are still done there are still a few to be released. Stay tuned and let me know if you like them!
Something else you have probably not noticed visually but maybe performance-wise is that I moved MaiTravelSite to a VPS (Virtual Private Server) with a new host to make it faster, more reliable and have better technical support. This new service is more expensive for me and moving was not easy, but I am happy to say that my new host Inmotion Hosting also strives to be eco-friendly and does its share of things to help the environment, something this site and probably you are concerned about,
What’s Happening in 2013?
Planning ahead helps us plan a path and set goals to reach that, if reached, will result in accomplishments and progress, making one feel better, and this site is no exception. This said 2013 is one of the weirdest of this site, as in it’s three years of existence I was happy to announce where I was heading and things I was working one, but this year… I can’t. At least not all. Yup, I’m not in a position to make public some things I’m working on because they are quite big and not yet defined, but there are several I can. So what can you expect in 2013?
More free travel guides. As mentioned before I plan to publish a few more starting with Ecuador, Australia and Spain, and once this happens I will launch a site specifically for them.
More “How to” articles. I have been answering all your questions via email, but I think that publishing these answers as articles with common topics will help other readers., so expect more of these , all of which will be reachable from the Travel Tips page.
Conferences and speeches. In October of 2012 I gave my first speech about travel blogging and how to travel on the cheap at a university in Mexico which was a total success, and in 2013 I plan to do more and hopefully not only at universities. Whenever one is confirmed I will announce them via Facebook and Twitter, so stay tuned and drop by if you can to say hello!
More traveling. In 2012 I didn’t travel as much as I wanted, but 2013 will be different. I will also attempt new challenges like climbing Mexico’s highest peak at almost 6,000m!
MaiTravelSite’s newsletter. Boy have I been slow with this. It took me almost two and a half years to decide to choose one and my first issue is still to be released. No worries though, it will come out soon to keep you updated on what has happened and what is to happen!
Secret stuff. Sorry, as it’s secret I still can’t tell you…but I will hopefully soon! 🙂
Q&A video sessions. Besides the articles you mention before, I will also be answering the questions you regularly ask me on video. I will be publishing these videos once per month or once every two months…any preference?
Contests and free giveaways. I’ll be having more of these, I promise. I want to keep you readers happy and eager to get cool prizes, trips and travel goods. This said I’ll need your help! Spread the word about these contests, participate! A month ago I gave you readers the opportunity to wint two entrances to swim with dolphins anytime in 2013 in several locations in Mexico and the Caribbean, and only two people participated. So guess what, they are both winners and have agreed to share the prize among them. Congratulations Victoria and Amber (again! This is the second time Amber wins a prize in MaiTravelSite), you are the winners of the swim with dolphins contest thanks to DolphinDiscovery.com. I’ll be reaching you via email soon with the codes for you to redeem whenever you want.
What about you? Do you have anything to look forward to? Anything you’d like to see or not see in this site? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section below, I will reply as I always do!