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Posts Tagged ‘metablogging’

What’s going on at the blog? Inquiring minds want to know!

There are lots of good changes coming soon — check out the beta version of the new site here.  How do you like the new look?  Something broken in your browser?  Leave a message in the comments.

For the next couple of weeks, continue to check this page while everything gets sorted out at the new domain.  When it’s time to change your bookmarks and your rss feeds, I’ll let you know.

shoestring-mar2009Since I was hoping to launch at the beginning of March, I’ve been sitting on this month’s desktop calendar.  No longer!  Download a piece of spring for your computer by clicking on the “For Your Desktop” tab above.

Finally, I will be at the ITB here in Berlin for the next five days, making contacts with fellow travel bloggers and travel professionals.  If you’ll be there, do send me a message via the contact tab.  Let’s network!

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Focused readers (and those feed reading rather than bellying up to the trough) may have overlooked two new elements in the sidebar.  Let me draw your attention to them now.

Further down the page I’ve added a “Crossing my Radar” box in which I share links to some of the most interesting and useful posts I’ve spotted across the blogosphere.   If you like what I’ve got to say, I think you’ll like these too.  This is constantly updated as the articles, ahem, cross my radar, so keep checking back to find the latest and greatest in no-budget travel news.  It is even possible to add these as a feed piped directly to your prefered feed reader, if you swing that way.

For the month of December, I’ve added a link to the Passports with Purpose project.  If you haven’t read about it yet, here it is in a nutshell:

Passports with Purpose is a travelblogger-driven fundraiser for Heifer International, a nonprofit organization that seeks to eliminate hunger and poverty around the globe.  I know many of you are kind-hearted souls who have probably given or received a duck or sheep or two with this organization and are familiar with their programs. 

If you haven’t given Heifer money yet this year, or if you’re still unsure what to give some of those hard-to-shop-for ninnies on your list, let me suggest you donate by purchasing a raffle ticket from Passports with Purpose.  All proceeds go directly to Heifer, but you (or your chosen ninny) are also eligible to win some amazing (and expensive) prizes, donated by travelbloggers across the globe.   You can find the full list of prizes here — there’s plenty for travelers and non-travelers alike.

All tickets are sold through 29 December over the First Giving site.  For each $10 donation you make, you’ll be entered into the raffle for the prize you’ve selected.  Be sure to enter your email address and the prize you want to win in the comments field.  The organizers will pull winners and notify them via email on December 30th.

For even better chances at a teensy-tiny prize, I’m still looking for reader suggestions for NYC and DC.  I’m surprised that no one’s left a comment on New York yet (meaning your chances of winning currently stand at 100%).  So click through and add your hard-won experience today!

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Debbie at Delicious Baby (tagline: Making Travel with Kids Fun) has started a new Photo Friday feature, allowing us web voyeurs to travel around the globe with everyone who chooses to participate (if you’re photo-happy, find out how you can join in at the link above). Since I’ve already got a Friday Freebie feature and because I’m difficult, I’ll be posting my contribution for now on Saturdays.

So without further ado, here an image shot in July in Rostock, Germany:

Does anything say summer more than shoes and socks removed with abandon to play in the fountain?

Thanks to those of you who’ve taken the time to write or comment on my absence. I recently started a new job and am on the road (actually, rail) for the entire month of August and half of September. I hope you can forgive this one-man show for needing to put major plans on hold and take a little hiatus from intensive posting. Many thanks as always for reading along!

 

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To my fellow travelers:

Friday marked the 200th post on Less Than a Shoestring. The blog is just one month shy of her first birthday, and in that same month we should reach 100,000 visitors. Right now, everything seems to be coming up 8s — July saw the climb to over 88,000 readers and 800 comments. In that vein, we’re aiming for big changes, to be unveiled 8/8/08 . . . so stay tuned, and have your air sickness bags at the ready, just in case!

(On a related note, if you are a regular reader, will be traveling soon and plan to blog about it, send me a message with your (pen)name, blog URL, short itinerary including dates, and bio, and I will get back to you with more details.)

Most importantly, thanks to everyone for reading and for what you’ve done to help spread the message that no-budget travel is not about deprivation. Keep linking, recommending, social bookmarking and commenting away! As always, I love hearing from readers, so feel free to contact me personally with concerns, suggestions or ideas; you can find the email address in the “Contact” tab above.

Since my last rundown, Backpackers.com named Less Than a Shoestring a “Travel Blog Top Pick,” PC2Paper honored us with Travel Blog of the Week, and the folks behind the Facebook presence of Hostelling International USA included us in their list of Ten Great Travel Blogs.

Pam of Nerd’s Eye View, blogging about travel at BlogHer, has kindly referred to U.S. to Require Online Registration for Visa-Free Travelers in her post More in the American War on Tourism and Will I EVER Feel Sorry for Any U.S. Airline? in her post Pity Poor Airlines. The first post was also mentioned at New York Traveler.

It’s not too late to enjoy Travel Events in 2008 Tips from the T-List reminded its readers.

Baring My Budget: Malta was singled out in The Roundup at the Digerati Life and Value For Your Life after its appearance in the Festival of Frugality; it also featured in the Carnival of Money Stories #51, the Money Hacker’s Carnival #5, and the Europe Travel Blog Carnival.

Baring My Budget: Madrid and Barcelona was found in the Carnival of Cities, the Carnival of Travel Guide, the Carnival of Europe, and Destinations Carnival #2.

WiseBread’s article “Europe Reborn as a Budget Destination?” linked to three posts in the Baring My Budget series: Hamburg, Venice, and London. Venice was also included in the Carnival of Money Stories and London in the Carnival of Financial Goals.

No-Budget Tips for Venice and Mestre was selected for the Amazing World Blog Carnival and the Carnival of Doing It Differently. London Tips from the Ground was highlighted by the crew at EuroCheapo. More No-Budget Tips for Stockholm and Nyköping made the rounds at the Europe Travel Blog Carnival, the Carnival of Cities, and the Carnival of Tips.

From my visit to the largest travel show in the world came two posts of ITB Impressions: Beer Tourism was the editor’s pick in the Carnival of 20-Something Finances, also appearing in the Carnival of Living Cheaply; Send your Teddy Bear on Vacation was published in the All for Women Blogging Carnival and the Life Lessons of a Military Wife Carnival.

Timeless Friday Freebies are also popular. WiFi in Europe’s Capital Cities was featured at Vagabond Traveller; U.S. State Tourist Information and Highway Maps in the Money Hacks Carnival; City Guide Podcasts at EuroCheapo; U.S. National Parks Passes at the Outdoor Adventure Carnival, Georgia Blog Carnival, and Carnival of Everything Finance; Seattle Wooden Boat Rides at the Festival of Frugality; and U.S. TV Tickets at The Ironic Mullet.

Other blogs have been kind enough to send their readers over to that week’s Travel on a Shoestring Carnival: Thrifty Mommy and Americas #3, Money Smart Life and Americas #4; Tip Diva and Americas #5; Europe String and Europe #3; and the massive SUPERCARNIVAL #1, also seen at New York Traveler, Tip Diva, and Cheapest Destinations.

Posts on the airline everyone loves to hate have been picked up around the blogosphere. WARNING: RyanAir Online Check-in has been discussed at This Just In, Europe Traveler @ Stripes Blog, Student Scrooge and Oz Traveller. Why I Love/Hate RyanAir was spotted at Tight-fisted Miser, EuroCheapo, and the Festival of Frugality. More Trickery: RyanAir Travel Insurance made it into the Carnival of Tips and the Carnival of Food and Travel. Wednesday Transportation Update got a thumbs up for its RyanAir fees coverage from Euro Cheapo.

Some of the blog’s core posts have also seen good traffic. Travel in your Own Backyard was at Small Actions to Change the World Carnival, the Carnival of Living Cheaply, and A Carnival of Environmental Issues. The Art of Being a Gracious Houseguest was featured in the Carnival of Financial Planning, the Life Lessons of a Military Wife Carnival, the Carnival of Family Life, the Mom’s Blogging Carnival, the For Women Blogging Carnival, the Carnival of Tips, the Carnival of Australia Bloggers, the Carnival of Travelers, and the Festival of Frugality, with special mention from Tight-fisted Miser. Budget Eats was included in Plonkee’s 21 Resources for Budget Travel and given a shout out at Vietnam Travel Notes. Reducing Accommodation Costs appeared in the I Want to Change my Family Tree Carnival, Solid Recommendations for Travel Beauty Products in the Bits of Beauty Carnival, Bargaining Tips for Market Shoppers in the Carnival of Tips, and Smart Uses for your Camera (Phone) in the Geek is Sexy Carnival. Random Travel Tips #3 was cited for its usefulness by Euro Cheapo.

Finally, though the post has now expired, Claim your Refund for Foreign Credit Card Transactions was included in the Carnival of Everything Finance and the Carnival of Debt-Free Living.

If you’ve made it this far, you’re a dedicated reader and I thank you!  Have you already added the Less Than a Shoestring feed to your daily reads? With the click of a button, the latest no-budget news, advice and daily blather is delivered immediately via your host of choice! It really is that simple. Use the link above, at the top of the blog, or in the sidebar to subscribe.

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Check out the new “For Your Desktop” tab at the top of the page. You’ll find a regularly-updated desktop background, created especially for each month, featuring some of the photographs I’ve taken on my travels.

Here’s a peek at this month’s download: Cactus, June 2008

You can find all the information on how to upgrade your wallpaper underneath the images in the tab. I hope you enjoy this new feature and welcome your feedback in the comments.

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Less Than a Shoestring reached 20,000 hits this week, doubling total page views in just one month! I’m so happy you’re reading along and I thank you for your comments, questions and bookmarks.

This feat is in no small part due to the wider coverage the blog has gotten in the last month. Here’s a quick rundown:

Budget Travel Magazine This Just In, Budget Travel magazine’s blog, encouraged readers to check out Less Than a Shoestring in their February 12 post “Max out your vacation fund effortlessly.”

My recent post on solid alternatives to travel liquids was featured by BlogHer in the February 18 post “WTF and Other Travel Odds and Ends” and in the February 15 post “Tips on Traveling with Toiletries” from the Go San Francisco Card Blog.

msn logoMy free state maps and travel information guide was highlighted in the February 5 Festival of Frugality #111, by msn Money blog Smart Spending in the February 14 post “One-stop shopping for free state maps and tourist info” and in Rambling Traveler‘s February 4 post “From Other Travel Blogs.”

The latter was also kind enough to recommend my safety tips for solo travelers in her January 28 roundup. The post was also included in the February 15 Carnival Against Sexual Violence 41 and the February 6 post “Advice for solo female travellers” at Confessions of a Career Breaker.

My warning to RyanAir fliers on the airline’s questionable online check-in policies for non-EU residents got a lot of leg this month, with citations at upgrade travel better logoUpgrade: Travel Better (“Upgrades and Downgrades,” January 24), Eyeflare (“Great Reads #6,” February 3) and Curiouser and Curiouser (“RyanAir: Chiselers?” February 4).

wise bread logoWise Bread pointed readers to my advice on printing your own passport photos in their January 27 post “Save 50% on your passport application?

Illustrating that the reach of a blog has no bounds, Slice of Life featured my post on alternative uses for your camera (phone) in a January 25 post.

Life Lessons of a Military Wife Carnival #6 included my post on the currency conversion fee refund.

Organic Picks accepted my post on fuel-saving advice for the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Carnival #7.

Last but not least, Less Than a Shoestring made it into the Travel Blog Hall of Fame!

If these fine publications have added the Less Than a Shoestring feed to their daily reads, why haven’t *you* done so yet? With the click of a button, the latest no-budget news, advice and daily blather is delivered immediately via your host of choice! It really is that simple. Use the link above, at the top of the blog, or in the sidebar to subscribe.

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