Today we’re featuring Sean Keener in our “4 Cheapo Questions For…” interview series. Sean is the co-founder of Portland based BootsnAll.com, one of the web’s pioneering community sites for independent travelers and a favorite resource of Cheapos here in the office.
(Editor’s note: not all interviewees need to be named Sean. But we suppose it helps.)
1. Can you please tell our fellow Cheapos a little about yourself and the mission of BootnAll?
G’Day Pete. I co-founded BootsnAll back in late 1998 with 2 travelling friends, Chris Heidrich (An Aussie) and Nick O’Neill (A POM). We loved independent travel and the folks that you meet on the road. We decided to start BootsnAll in an effort to keep the feelin’ alive of travellin’, even when you ain’t. So if you participate on our community section on BootsnAll, you’ll feel the vibe as if you were travelling.
Our Mission: Inspire, Educate, and Cultivate an organic community of independent travelers. Putting this into regular words, we love connecting travelers with expert information and with each other.
2. What’s the best budget travel advice you’ve ever received?
“Let go, of the side of the river”. There are a lot of unknowns when you are traveling, especially on a budget. Letting go of what you are used to and most comfortable with can let you have experiences that you never thought of or would have tried if you just held on to the side of the river. Make sense?
3. It sure does! And speaking of “letting go of the side of the river,” what do you think is the next “up and coming” European destination for budget travelers and why?
I’d say that anything that used to be under the Soviet Rule is up and coming. Economies have grown and folks like Easyjet bringing hoards of visitors to previously unvisited cities has opened up the bloc. So up and coming for me would be the places in eastern europe, that easyjet/ryanair does NOT have flights to as of yet. I reckon those places will have “come” at some point in the near future when the low cost folks open up the floodgates.
4. When and where is your next trip, and how are you doing it on the cheap?
I am doing a 4+ month backpacking trip with my lovely girlfriend from March – July 2009. We have a 1 way ticket to New Zealand and are planning on coming back to the US of A via Australia, Bali, and some parts of Asia. Half the fun is deciding on the way so that might not be the route
How are we doing it on the cheap? – Airmiles to get there and around, staying at hostels and budget hotels for sure. We may hitch through parts of NZ and Oz as well. As I get older, I can’t say I am as cheap as I once was, though I am always looking for ways to stay within my budget.
* Bonus round! Other than a passport, money and clothes, what’s the most useful thing you pack every time you travel?
Netbook. I’m super stoked about these. We did a feature on the best netbooks for travelling and we are bringing one with us on this trip. Small, light, cheap and you can do almost anything you can on a traditional laptop.
Many thanks for your time, Sean. And have a tremendous trip over the next few months – don’t forget to send us a couple postcards!