Melvin Boecher loves to travel, to discover the world, to travel free and untroubled and still likes to be informed like an insider! Melvin started Traveldudes.org, a homepage where travelers can exchange their passion and experiences. For Travelers, By Travelers! Follow Melvin on Twitter @Traveldudes
Cheapflights: Was there a single trip that turned you into a travel addict?
Melvin Boecher: Hard to say… I guess that the first trip ever started it and the passion for travel got more and more. But my first bigger trip was when I was 4 years old and my parents took me on a road trip from the US Atlantic coast all the way to the Pacific.
CF: What inspired you to start Traveldudes?
MB: We were traveling through Indochina for 3 months and we wanted to share our experiences with our family and friends. So we’ve started Traveldudes.org. At the beginning it was more a blog with diary entries and we soon added our own travel tips. But we realized that there were so many more experienced travelers and opened the site for them as well. A paper guidebook is very limited with space and the “insider tips” are no real tips as so many travelers use these guidebooks. The internet give us the chance to include many more tips and still in a structure that travelers find what they are looking for and tips not just by one author, but from many experienced travelers.
CF: Do you plan your trips from beginning to end or do you prefer to be more spontaneous?
MB: When I find the time, I like to plan a trip. But at the moment I land, the whole plan vanishes and I start traveling day by day. There might be still parts of the plan in the back of my mind, so that I still see most of the destinations which were the reasons why I came, but it’s not a must and I go easy and see where the trip takes me. A 2 – 3 night planned stay in Havana could suddenly turn out in a week. Love it!
CF: Do you have any favorite travel gadgets?
MB: No, not really. But I guess the most important one for every traveler is the travel adapter? This is a gadget, which is always in my bag.
CF: How does what you do for a living influence you as a traveler?
MB: It’s influence my life completely, as I work on Traveldudes.org full time. So whenever I’m on the road, it’s always a kind of business trip. Even if I would travel for leisure, I would always have my photo camera with me and I would later add some photos and would share some useful travel tips on Traveldudes.org.
CF: How do you recommend anxious travelers stretch their comfort zone?
MB: There is a nice quote for that: “Don’t listen to what they say. Go see.” Or another nice one is: “A ship is safe at harbor, but that is not what ships are for.” William Shedd
I would really recommend to just go for it. Most of the problems you’ll think about before a trip, vanish at the moment you arrive and you realize that it’s much easier than you thought.
CF: Of the airports you’ve passed through – Stateside and abroad – which is the most convenient?
MB: I really like the Cologne airport. It’s quite small, so you find your way along easily. But it’s also offers enough flights to get you around Europe.
CF: Do you have a routine for staying healthy when you travel?
MB: No, I don’t. I get up and what I really need is a good breakfast. That gives me the energy for the day. But apart from that, there is nothing really. Think positive! That keeps me healthy, unless you fight a delhi belly… hahaha.
CF: How do you incorporate fun into a business trip?
MB: A business trip usually lasts only a couple of days. So you can do a bit more on activities and relax later again. Go out, meet people, do some fun things. Use the time you are there. Expect a few tough days, as you still need to be fit for business, as this is the reason why you came.
CF: Have you ever had a near-death experience on a flight?
MB: Not that I know off. I remember that I’ve landed once in Calgary while there was a really bad storm. It felt dangerous, but was it? The pilot landed the plane and haven’t shared his thoughts with me.
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