This week, I’m delighted to introduce another influential male from the travel blogging and travel writing industry. Melvin Boecher is the founder and CEO of Travel Dudes and COO of iambassador and in this week’s Q&A, he offers a brilliant insight into online travel guidebooks, social travel guides and why travel writing is more than just taking a holiday!
If you haven’t caught up with my other blogger Q&As, feel free to check some of them out, including Josh Burrell of LOOKDWN, Connie of Connie Consumes, Zoe of The ZRW, Binny Shah of Binny’s Food & Travel Diaries and Catherine Lux of Lux Life.
And if you are an established blogger and fancy taking part in a future Q&A, feel free to get in touch.
But for now, it’s over to you Melvin…
Q&A | Melvin Boecher, Travel Dudes
Tell us about yourself
My name is Melvin and I’m the founder and CEO of Travel Dudes and COO of iambassador. I started Travel Dudes in 2004 and have run it full time since 2007.
Why did you set up your site?
I wanted to create a platform that shared travel experiences and encouraged people to get out to see the world. I got the best tips from locals and other travellers. Print guidebooks are limited in space, so that’s why we created Travel Dudes which was also one of the first online guidebooks and the first Social Travel platform, created by a community of travellers. Over the years, it’s grown bigger and bigger, and has become an industry leader.
What’s been your journey to where you are now?
In 2006, I decided to quit my job at a travel agency and to work on Travel Dudes full time. Since then it has grown bigger and bigger, so that it’s not just me anymore, but a team of 11 great personalities. I have a home office and my team is from Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Canada, South Africa, India and Norway.
What do you love most about travel writing?
It’s about sharing travel experiences and encouraging people to get out to see the world. I got the best tips from locals and other travellers on my trips and I love to share my own experiences. But it’s not only about my own experiences. Even if you have seen many parts of the world, there are always travellers who have seen more or something different. It’s just awesome if you can share ‘your’ experience with others and inspire them to make their own. That’s why Travel Dudes is not the typical travel blog, but a team of travellers and a big community.
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learnt about the blogging world?
A lot of people think that travel blogging is only about having a holiday and traveling the world. A lot of travel bloggers do it like that, but it looks completely different if you want to make a living of it. If you want to run it full time and professional, you must treat it as a business. Each trip should still be fun and exciting, but it’s far away from being a holiday. We have years of experience and have created this industry of professional travel blogging. We have also been running our own Social Travel Summit very successfully for 4 years. There we discuss, teach and learn all about professional travel blogging.
What kind of content can readers expect from your site?
Thousands of travellers share their unique experiences in the Travel Dudes Guidebook section, which covers most parts of the world. It’s full of inspiration and good info. Then we have the Social Travel section, which helps you to find travel related content from the different social media platforms. Usually it’s really good stuff which you would normally never find, as social media is nowadays a lot of ‘noise’. Travellers can connect and follow each other, but on Travel Dudes you can even follow your interests. So, you like to travel & to cook? Then follow the interest/keyword ‘food’ and your timeline will show you all travel related content about food. So suddenly you might see a blogger’s tweet about a cooking school in Italy which just fascinates you and that’s how you might find your next travel destination.
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know..
I love to travel… but I also love to stay at home. It’s the combination of both which I love. I would not be a good digital nomad. I travelled twice long term and it was good, but I was also missing a base.
What are your favourite travel / lifestyle blogs?
Name 3 things or places that are still on your travel wish list
This would be my biggest travel wish, I’ve seen amazing photos of the ice and whales and it is the only continent I haven’t been to. In all honesty, I am actually quite critical about trips to the Antarctic and If I did go, it would have to be with a small expedition ship – perhaps as part of the crew of Greenpeace or Sea Shepherd where I would be able to do something good…
I love nature! The Amazon is still an amazing place for fauna and flora. There are these small river boats, which go up the river and I would love to get on a very simple one – one that just has a hammock to sleep in. Just imagine lying in your hammock on deck & listening to all the noises of the forest.
This would be another boat trip! I should consider becoming a captain… I would love to do island hopping on the Philippines as it just looks like an awesome part of the world. After a few weeks there, I would go south to explore Papua New Guinea.
Where are your travels taking you to next?
I’m heading to London next. Then I’ve got a trip planned to Graz in Austria, followed by 1-2 snowboarding trips in the Alps. After that I have no clue where I’ll be heading. There is so much to explore in the world and I am quite spontaneous about how I travel.
Thanks Melvin for taking part in the Q&A And sharing your story. I hope you get to the Amazon one day. If you want to find out more about Travel Dudes, follow on twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
and visit the website.