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TBU – Totally Worth It

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waiting for TBU to begin

Waiting for TBU to begin.

I remember a couple of times during the period leading up to, during, and just after the popular TBEX conferences that I actually almost felt the need to block the TBEX hashtag on Twitter in order to avoid the incessant rants and “I’m having a super fun time” tweets. It was so annoying!

Ok, I was just completely and utterly jealous. Being in Australia, it’s not easy, quick, or cheap to fly to the USA — or with the institution of TBU in Europe, there, too — just for a conference.

Only this year, things changed. I was a part of that group of annoying twitterers sharing my photos from the sessions and talking about the great experience I was having while at Travel Bloggers Unite in Umbria. To my followers that felt annoyed, I’m very sorry.

Finally, I made it to a travel bloggers conference! When Pat and I started planning the Silk Roadistan tour, we had no idea that it would put us in close proximity of Italy at just the right time. Boy, am I glad it did.

tbu session

Pat and Meg (@landingstanding) in a TBU session.

I’m all about getting the most out of travel; to anyone considering going to a TBU, I highly recommend it as the value for your money and time there is extremely high.

  • We got the opportunity to stay in a beautiful resort – Valle di Assisi – at a discounted rate.
  • We were able to take part in some deluxe meals and buffets, for free.
  • We were given the opportunity to hear some famous and inspiring people talk (think Steve McCurry)
  • We networked with travel companies and PR’s, as well as other travel bloggers.
  • We got a 2 day blog trip afterwards that stuffed us silly and introduced us to the region’s best cultural attractions.
banquet hall tbu

Picturesque banquet hall where we partook in amazing buffet dinner.

pat and chocolate guy

Pat and chocolatier at fantastic buffet at TBU.

Yep, you read that right… we got a FREE 2 day blog trip in the region of Umbria after the conference – with like 4 star hotels and top-notch dining – all thanks to Umbria Tourism. It was a perk that just seemed like a logical inclusion to a blog conference (all these travel bloggers right in one place, ripe and ready to share an adventure), and I take my hat off to Oliver for putting it into action, and to Umbria Tourism for hopping on board.

Besides that, it was really good to put – after so many years – faces in real life to blogs and social media accounts. I’m real! They’re real! Cool.

brooke melvin kash

Melvin of @traveldudes, Brooke, Kash of @budgettraveller

Of course, I wish I could have done more in the networking realm – meeting more bloggers and having better conversations with everyone there. A lot of really clever and business savvy bloggers were walking around during that weekend. However, I did get to meet a smaller group of bloggers and media people throughout the event and build some pretty good relationships, and I’m truly grateful to have had the opportunity.

Would I go again?

Uhm… heck yes. The next TBU is happening in Porto, Portugal on September 8 – 9, and I wish I could say I’m booked and planning to go. Of course, Porto is like the furthest part of Europe from Australia, but there’s still a bit of time in between now and then so I guess anything could happen!

Stay tuned, blog friends, as I divulge more about my key takeaways from the conference, plus insight into all the cool things my group did on the post-conference blog trip, in future posts.

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12 Responses to TBU – Totally Worth It

  1. Caroline Eubanks June 6, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    I was eh on TBEX NYC so I hadn’t planned on attending another, but from what I’ve heard, TBU is the way to go! This next one is right before I was planning to go to Germany, so I may just add that on to my trip! Glad to see you had such a great time!

    • Brooke June 9, 2012 at 10:07 am #

      Well I hope you get to go! Great opp for a stopover in Portugal!

  2. Candice June 7, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    Wahh I wanna go! I’m even missing TBEX this year cuz it’s so gosh darned expensive. I should prob move to Europe.

    • Brooke June 9, 2012 at 10:06 am #

      Moving to Europe would sure make my travel life easier! 🙂

  3. Amanda @ Adventures All Around June 7, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    Sounds great! Now I’m the jealous blogger in Australia….. I’ll definitely try to get along to one of them in the future. Thanks for sharing.

    • Brooke June 9, 2012 at 9:55 am #

      I hope you get to go! Hopefully Oliver will get one in the Asia/Pacific region going in the future.

  4. Elliot June 8, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    I always eager to meet more bloggers to have better conversations and i enjoy making friendships and visiting different places

  5. Adam June 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    I definitely agree that TBU was worth it and I’m glad we got to meet—albeit briefly! It was my first travel blogging conference… I never seem to be on the right continent at the right time!

  6. Cherina June 11, 2012 at 1:32 am #

    Haha, I have been thinking the same thing about the TBEX conference coming up in Colorado next month – it’s going to be torture reading all the tweets etc. I agree that TBU was totally worthwhile. Was great to meet you and Pat there too. I had the same thought about Porto…could it BE any further from Australia?! Really!

  7. Vira June 20, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    oh you’re so lucky!
    how much did a participant actually have to pay for the conference itself?

    • Brooke June 21, 2012 at 8:56 am #

      The ticket was like 60 pounds. The rooms were 60 euro a night at the resort, but you could split that with 2 other people in a triple.

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