Sunday, May 26, 2019

My Little Travel Black Book by Christina Sanders

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Today we are interviewing travel author Christina Sanders about her travel book, "My Little Travel Black Book."

Tell us about yourself and what got you interested in travelling.
My mom was my biggest influencer for travel.  She would always try to make sure that I was exposed to things outside of my hometown.  It was a small start - like road trips or trips with my high school band and church group, but I think I always enjoyed the thought of going somewhere.  It was in 2003 that I decided to go somewhere different every year, mostly to entrepreneur conferences but also for leisure.  

Describe your book, “My Little Travel Black Book,” in a few sentences.
"My Little Travel Black Book" is basically a guide in which I share strategies and resources to help people save money on travel.  I also share various travel tips that I’ve learned along the way.

Who do you think would most benefit from reading your book?
Anyone who wants and loves to save money.  Travel can be quite expensive, especially airfare and lodging - which make up most of the trip.  I share how one can save on both without cutting the quality of the trip itself.

What inspired you to write a book about travelling on a budget?
I like to save money, period.  That’s pretty much with any type of purchase, I am always looking for a savings.  I like quality, but I like to save as well.  So when I decided to make a yearly tradition of going somewhere different every year, I knew that I wanted it to be cost effective.  After much research as well as trial and error, I’ve found numerous ways and resources to do just that.  Most people don’t like to take the time out to research and I love to do so and because I gathered so much information, I decided to make it easier for people to get the information that they need.

For people who have never traveled, what do you think are some of the benefits of travelling?
Exposure.  Exposure is a necessary element in life.  When you are exposed to new experiences, new cultures, new opportunities, and new ideas you become a better individual overall.  You begin to think differently and a lot of inspiration comes from that.  Traveling gets you out of your own box and helps you to see that there is so much more out there and ways to do things than what you are accustomed to.

What are some of the favorite places you’ve traveled to?
Curacao was my first solo international trip. Though it is a Dutch Caribbean island, it was definitely a learning experience.  I met some cool people there and I’m still friends with them.  Curacao is a very beautiful and colorful island that is rich in history.  I can’t wait to go back.

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Christina Sanders, author of My Little Travel Black Book.
You write a lot about websites and apps that are helpful for travel. How important is technology for the modern traveler on a budget?
Honestly, in this day and age, you cannot go without technology.  When it comes to travel, you have things like GPS or location tracker for safety, apps like Yelp - find places to eat, and practically everything centered around your trip can be managed from your phone, including plane and entertainment tickets.  I am a technology enthusiast.

Is now a good time to travel? How are flight costs and housing costs now compared to a decade ago?
The thing about travel is that the industry is always advancing but rates can vary.  Travel expenses as you know, can be quite costly.  However, we live in a new ’sharing’ economy in which  makes the market quite more competitive.  Even if you don’t want to take advantage of the “sharing economy” options, there are other alternatives that are quite comparable.  You can literally pay $500 or less for a whole trip and that’s not a turnaround trip.

When planning a trip for the first-time, what do you think travelers should consider when selecting a destination?
I really want to say budget, but that might deter people.  But I always want to be realistic.  However, there are various tools out there that will allow you to pick a destination based on your budget.  My book is not to encourage people to travel if they are struggling in their finances, but if they read the book, they will find ways to save up for travel or even pay off debt. 

A lot of people are dissuaded from travel by the cost of flights. Are there ways to save money on airfare?
Absolutely.  I cover a lot of different resources in the book.

How have readers responded to your book so far?
The readers are loving the information.  In fact, I had someone reach out to me the day after they had received to book to let me know how helpful it was and how it was able to help them save half on lodging at the last minute.  That means a lot and lets me know that it is effective and valuable to my readers.

A lot of first-time travelers are recommended to stay in hostels to save money. Can you tell us a bit about hostels? Do you recommend them for first-time travelers?
Great question.  I probably would not recommend staying at a hostel for first time travelers, just because they would have to consider safety and sharing of resources and that might deter them from traveling.  However, I do know that hostels are popular and very affordable.  In fact, on a random trip, I stayed at one.  It was very interesting to say the least.  I can’t say it was a bad experience but very different, almost like staying in a co-ed dorm.  I met a lot of people from all around the world…literally!

Do you have any specific locations that are great for first-time travelers who want to experience a new country and culture on a budget?
I don’t have much international travel experience, so I really can’t recommend places per se, but what I do recommend is asking around.  Facebook Travel groups are a great place to start because you will connect with people that solo travel or even with family and friends and they can give you the best details on where to go.  Then once you’ve got a place and mind, check out my book on how to make it happen.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
I am looking to create a student guide for travel as well as break my compilation copy out into mini books, which was the original plan.  Those mini books will be for solo travelers, couples, families, groups, and business travelers.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Enjoy your life.  Don’t get stuck thinking that things are impossible because 9 times out of 10, someone has figured out a way to do something that once seemed impossible.  In the words of Nelson Mandela “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

More Information
Visit the "My Travel Black Book" website. 
Check out the author's website. 
Follow the author's travel Instagram. 
Follow the author on Instagram. 
Find the author on Twitter. 

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