This years bootcamp was located in Queenstown, and after I traveled to New Zealand earlier this year, I jumped at the excuse to travel to New Zealand again.
I mean… Look at this view *head explodes*
Roy’s Peak, Wanaka, New Zealand
So, you’re probably wondering… What’s the Travel Bootcamp?
The Travel Bootcamp is an annual event that is run by a group of travel influencers: Lauren Bath (Australia’s first professional instagram influencer), Liz Carlson (of the very successful blog The Young Adventuress) and Georgia Rickard (editor of Virgin Australia inflight magazine and all around travel media expert).
The bootcamp is as its name suggests is travel focused, and was set up to help educate and inspire others who want a career in travel influencing, blogging or writing.
I’ve been wanting to attend the bootcamp for years, but the dates always seemed to coincide with existing travel plans!
Finally this year when the dates worked – I jumped at the chance!
Why I decided to attend the Travel Bootcamp
As an Australian-based blogger, there are very few travel blogging conferences in this part of the world. Most of the travel focused events are held in the US or Europe (with a couple in Asia).
I knew I eventually wanted to attend a conference, but as someone who’s super introverted, I wasn’t sure if I’d get any value.
Additionally, flying to the US or Europe is incredibly expensive from Australia, so I’ve always held back.
Enter: The Travel Bootcamp!
The bootcamp has always been based in Australia, especially given where the founders Lauren, Liz and Georgia are based (Lauren + Georgia are Australian based and Liz lives in New Zealand).
Even though this year’s bootcamp was in New Zealand rather than Australia, for this Melbourne based blogger, that meant I only had to travel 3.5 hrs by plane!
My main objective for this bootcamp was to meet more locally based bloggers and learn as much as I could from the highly successful founders.
And honestly – this bootcamp didn’t disappoint (read more below!)
Queenstown Hill, Queenstown
My experience at the Travel Bootcamp
Firstly, I will preface this by saying that the Bootcamp really focuses on beginners + intermediate bloggers. If you’re making bucket loads of money, this might not be the place for you – though you might still learn a thing or two!
Many of the attendees either had just started their blogs, Instagram accounts or photography businesses or hadn’t started anything at all.
As someone who’s been blogging for a couple of years now (I think maybe 3? It’s hard to remember!) I definitely felt like the talks were catered towards beginners.
BUT I’ve always had the mindset in life that you always get out what you put in.
So even though I wouldn’t consider myself a beginner (or an expert) I still learnt ALOT.
I especially loved leaving the conference inspired and ready to chase my goals even more.
Queenstown when I visited earlier in 2019, during Autumn
So what was covered at The Travel Bootcamp?
The event is 2 full days (veryyyy full!) with the option to add on your choice of Fast Track Day with either Liz, Lauren or Georgia.
I didn’t attend the Fast Track day, as honestly I couldn’t afford to spend $499 USD (price for 2019 Fast Track Days) on a single day.
So now that we’ve got the basics covered, what topics were covered?
Day 1: Lauren, Liz and Georgia sharing their personal journeys + expertise
The first day was really about learning from the bootcamp organisers. Each Lauren, Liz and Georgia held sessions covering each of their areas of expertise.
We learned from Lauren about her career, her advice for instagram and what it takes to be a superstar on Instagram (hint: consistency, commitment and quality content!)
Even though I’ve been a long time user of Instagram, Lauren’s session really forced me to think about my strategy and intention behind using the platform.
Next was Georgia’s sessions! While I don’t think becoming a travel journalist is for me, I can’t help but feel inspired by her career, especially as at one point she was the youngest editor in chief of a major publication!
Liz’s session is what I was really looking forward to the most, and while she covered pitching, content creation and income my main take away was how Liz is so uniquely herself in everything she creates. Her talk was very raw and honest (she even talked about mental health + how this has impacted her work and life) and honestly for me it was less about hard skills and more about how important it is to chase your passions.
Day 2: learning from others
The second day was learning from guest speakers, including Sarah Polger from National Geographic (*freaks out*), Matt Abbot, a super passionate Australian journalist, Mark Sariban who is in charge of the travel section of Vogue Australia and Emma Kate, a Instagram influencer and stationary entrepreneur.
While the speakers were varied, hearing from people who work in the travel space was inspiring. It was less about hard skills and more about passion.
We also had a couple of workshops around pitching. While these activities were sometimes difficult to do as a group, it was a great way to meet fellow event attendees and made you think about pitching in a non-scary, supportive environment!
Glenorchy, New Zealand
Do I think it was worth it?
I will preface this by saying I have never been to a travel influencer / blogger / writer event before, but for me, I would say YES.
It’s been 4 weeks since I attended the Travel Bootcamp, and I’m still buzzing with inspiration and motivation every day I wake up to work on my blog.
Not to mention the many aspiring or fellow bloggers / instagrammers who I met, who I still keep in touch with!
Another thing to add about the event is that the sponsors (at the 2019 Travel Bootcamp this included: Olympus, Intrepid and Stayz Australia) run competitions that only attendees can enter to win gear, trips abroad or opportunities to create content!
I won the Stayz Australia Instagram competition (watch this space guys!)
View this post on Instagram
It’s easy for me to say that “yes it was worth it” because of this opportunity, but honestly before I found out that I had won, I already thought the event was worth the money I spent.
The only thing I would change if I were to do this again would be to purchase VIP tickets with my order.
These cost an extra $100 USD, but at the time I didn’t really understand what I would gain from this (what can I say, I’m bad at reading *shrugs*)
The VIP tickets mean you get better seating and the ability to network with VIPs (including visiting brands and speakers!) This is the only thing I regretted from my experience, but otherwise I learned so much and would 100% do it again!
(Not going to lie: I’m definitely down for next year’s bootcamp!)
Leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you!