DINKgo – Travel Interview

We are a Finnish adult, married couple who enjoys road trips, city escapes, cruises, Casios, entertainment, art & antiques. Our blog name DINKgo – Travel Stories Worth Sharing refers to the fact that we are double income, no kids couple. And we travel. As hospitality industry professionals we enjoy blogging as a dear side project so far, but maybe one day we can give it more time. At home we run night clubs, all available time off we spend exploring the world.

Both of us have travelled since childhood, we’ve been lucky that way. Our parents encouraged us to see the world with friends and alone in our teens & young adult years. When we met each other that was the best ever thing to happen, meeting someone who shares also the travel passion. We like laid-back luxury, we don’t enjoy the over-the-top hassle luxury often includes. We also break rules of luxury in a way, because of that. World is our oyster and we’re going to see as much as possible!

When and why did you start blogging?

We started blogging in February 2017 after thinking about it for a long time. We travel, we take photos, we write down places, addresses, ideas, quotes, feelings, memories, never again -tips and so on. We have helped endless number of friends and customers in travel planning. We felt we want to document experiences and ideas better. One evening at the kitchen table we came up with the name and the next day our blog saw the daylight.

What do you blog about? Any particular niche within travel? 

We write about us two adults traveling together in big cities, enjoying road trips, casinos, entertainment, bars and restaurants. We do cruises as well and try to find new itineraries to see new port cities and islands. We enjoy laid-back luxury, enjoying finer things in life shouldn’t be pretendous.

How did you decide your blogs names

DINKgo – Travel Stories Worth Sharing we came up with as we thought about how child free couples are referred to in marketing and how the element of travel could be combined with that. In social media we go under dinkgotravel

How long have you been blogging for 

Since February 2017 with this particular blog.

What plans do you have in the future for your blog?

So many things come to mind, but here are a couple of the core plans for the next months. We hope to find more time for more detailed planning and material production to really use the 52 weeks of the year in the best way possible. We love festivals and special days of the year, creating a varied, interesting, but flexible content calendar will include these as well. Last December we did the 24 Islands of Christmas -series on Instagram and some of the Islands got their own posts as well. This kind of themed series somehow feel good.

Building the functionality of our blog is also on our list and teaching ourselves in the field is an ongoing project.

Projects coming up

Building a mailing list and creating material for readers to upload. We are thinking of to do -lists, check lists, ready made printable for travel documentation and such.

Places to visit 

This May will take us to Shanghai and to a cruise that has Fukuoka & Kumamoto in Japan as ports. In July we’ll cruise the Mediterranean, ports in Spain, Italy, France and Malta. For the fall season we have thoughts of some Asian destinations. In the future, definitely South America, Australia and maybe a safari somewhere in Africa. We have a lot of favorites in the US and we will definitely return time and time again to old faves and new finds.

Collabs 

We are open to collabs with companies, communities and bloggers, but want to make sure these would actually be beneficial projects.

Does your blog cover anything else other than travel? If so what? 

So far we’ve concentrated on travel, but as a lot of the things we do on the road are also lifestyle related, we don’t think it’s impossible we’d write more lifestyle posts in the future as well.

What can our readers find on your website? 

We hope our website provides fun, facts and dreams for those who travel and those who dream of travel.

Do you have any travel tips or advice for our readers that might want to start a travel blog? 

The travel tip: never limit your options, be open to what the world has to offer. And if you want to start a blog, go for it! If you have never blogged before, do some research in advance, online courses and such. If you feel unsure about the technical issues, maybe consider using some money on support on that. Read blogs, analyze their styles and think of what makes you tick. Don’t rush the name game, you will want to feel happy about your chosen name and make sure it’s available in the social media channels as well. Finally: don’t compare your stuff too much to others, your travel stories are your stories.

What are some of the highs and lows of travel blogging? 

We love thinking of themes for posts before the trip, on the road and after returning. When you actually find the unique angle and get to writing it, it gives you a high. Learning new stuff about blogging and social media is always fun, it’’s easy to actually try new things almost straight away.

Blogging takes a lot of time if you want to make an impact, be seen, make a name. We have loads of material to be processed, to be written into posts, lists, fun facts and such. However, blogging for us is a darling side project, as hospitality entrepreneurs we concentrate on our actual business and prioritize. We just have to learn some patience with this project.

What type of traveler are you?

We travel 2-2,5 months a year. We run a night club business in Turku, Finland and that means we prioritize our clubs first and travel & blogging come second. However, as an entrepreneur couple we have a lot more possibilities to travel together and plan in advance: how much has to be done before going and which things can be taken care of abroad? When we are at home we concentrate on our business and our fantastic cats at home. When getting ready for our trips abroad we do have a lot of things to take care of in advance. But for this reason, when we travel we know our well trained management can run the operational business perfectly.

What sites or other resources do you use to decide where and when you will go to a certain place or destination? 

We get inspired by many things. Fellow travelers. Books, magazines, newspaper travel features. Movies, documetaries. Bloggers, bloggers, podcasts. Where and when come from when can we go to and how many days we can stay away.

Do you have any favourite travel books you have read or use? 

We use traditional travel books from different companies (we still love the paper versions as well), but fiction should never be underestimated. If your destination is a big city or (especially) a country you’ve never been to, read a fictional story first. Something that describes the spirit, the tones, the tunes, the existence. It’s crazy fun having facts and fictions side by side when planning.

What’s been some of your favourite destinations & why?

  1. Las Vegas is our all time favourite. We know it better than a lot of the locals as when we come there 2-3 times most years we explore many, many places. Locals live exactly like we do at home: regular home and work life, no much extra time to explore your own neighborhoods. LV is so much more than the Strip, that we also do love. But you have the Downtown, a good selection of museums, ballet & theatre, National Parks, Lake Las Vegas, Lake Mead, The Hoover Dam. Events year round. We actually also got married in Las Vegas, if you want to know more about the practicalities, get in touch!
  2. London. This city has everything you can dream of, we also love the historical elements of this city. Our fave part of the city is Camden with this boho lifestyle and relaxed atmosphere.
  3. Hong Kong. We fell in love with this port the moment we arrived. It’s such a perfect combo of everything. You can dive deep into the Eastern secrets and still the next moment find yourself in the most international experiences. We stayed in Kowloon and on the Hong Kong Island and loved them both.

What equipment do you use to blog?

We blog with WordPress and like that a lot. These days our mobile phones have excellent cameras and most photos have been taken with iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X cameras. Blogging is mostly done on iMac at home or MacBook, but we also use iPads and our mobile phones at times when on the road.

Do you have any photography or making travel videos tips? 

We like to be spontaneous, what we see and take photos of is mostly real life. We have no need to be something else than we are and suggest that approach to everyone. Do some planning for your destination posts and videos, but don’t write too many lines ahead. Perfection kills the fun.

What’s the TOP blog posts on your page? links 

Our blog post of our stay in Marriott Marquis Houston

 

Do you have any tips or suggestions one how bloggers can earn an income from blogging?

Providing unique material, tutorials, books and such – great way to get income if you have time to produce good quality material and update it as well. If you do more local blogging, maybe you could include local tours in your niche.  

Top 5 Bucket-list Destinations? 

Melbourne, Australia

Anchorage, Alaska, US

Tokyo, Japan

Daytona Beach, Florida, US

Havana, Cuba

Top 5 travel experiences you can’t wait to try out or do?

Business class flights by Finnair to Shanghai in May

Exploring different parts of Shanghai

Tasting local delicacies in Shanghai

Experiencing Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas Shanghai – Japan – Shanghai

Visiting Japan the first time, Fukuoka & Kumamoto as out ports

Do you have a money saving travel tips? 

Save money in your daily life and you can spend much more abroad – we really don’t go shopping, watch movies at home and basically work. If you can do overtime hours, do. Extra money for special hours? Do. We save hours and money. Anyways: Join reward programs, their email-lists and use the services. You’ll get free nights and reduced prices. If you like casinos, your possibilities are better: the reward programs actually do reward you. Do join the players’ clubs and join their mailing lists at casinos. It doesn’t cost you anything.

Do you have ay funny or strange travel experiences to share? Flight delays and cancellations are never fun at the time they actually take place. But later in life you may actually have a good laugh of the domino effect you often witness.

Once we waited for a flight from Newark, US to, as far as we remember, to Memphis. The stormy summer weather, however, delayed our flight and kept us at the airport. We sat watching the sky filling with deep blue, purple and grey clouds, lightning giving us a real show. After some hours we were told we’d have to wait as we need a new staff – they’d soon arrive. The one that was originally booked for our flight was needed for some other flight.

Finally, the new staff arrived, we got in to our plane and sat down. The plane was boiling hot. We waited for some time and the plane started rolling. Our captain informed us that we’d have to wait in line as all other flights were delayed as well and we’d be taking off as soon as possible. The plane was still boiling hot. Obviously, no air was coming through the air conditioning. Everyone in the plane was feeling the lack of air and the temperature rising.

Suddenly we saw one of the flight attendants start looking disturbed and she run away from the aisle  – we later learned she had a severe panic attack. The water she had started serving was served by fellow passengers. Shortly after our captain informed us three things: we were short of fuel, our air-con would have to be fixed and the flight needs a new flight attendant. We’d have to go back to gate, everyone has to exit the plane and wait for everything to be ready for take off again. We can’t remember how many hours the whole show took. At some point we actually boarded again and got to Memphis. At the time the whole thing felt like a nightmare, now it is fortunately just a a funny story.

Was there a place you visited that did not live up to your expectations & why. 

We think it is up to you to find interesting things. Everywhere you go to you can find something interesting. Maybe choose routes others did not take. In big attractions you’ll most likely experience crowds, lines, rude people, over charging tour guides, fake tour guides.. Also places that suddenly have became favorites of many will soon have obvious problems with over crowding, unwanted, black market  business, tourist harassing sales people, over charging.. But if you have done your homework you will soon realize what is wrong with your expectations.

What’s in your travel bag?

Passports, flight (and other) tickets, credit cards, daily meds, mobile phones.

What travel apps do you use and why

Apps by airlines and hotels for booking and managing own travels. Sometimes we try travel guide apps. We have a map app with navigation for road trips.

What are 3 things travelling has thought you? 

People everywhere have more similarities than differences

The more you experience, the more respect for the world’s diversity you have

You don’t need to pack all your belongings to your travels

Have you encountered any travel mishaps or scary moments if so what happened? 

Nothing major, mentionable comes to mind. Maybe of the mishaps we could count that one time when our map didn’t have detailed distances and the road in the desert outside Las Vegas never seemed to end – our fuel balance was pretty low at the time we finally got back to the civilization.

Do you have any recommendations for cities and beach places that you have visited and loved? What was good about these places? 

In Europe, London, Barcelona and Berlin are our fave destinations for food, culture, shopping and history. They are all also very green cities with parks and green areas. We have many favorites in the US, like Las Vegas, New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale. Las Vegas is the ultimate entertainment city. On the strip and Downtown, you’ll not need a car – very rare in the US. Every time we visit there are new things to experience. The restaurants, bars, nightclubs and production shows. Awesome nature nearby, a perfect combo of things. Airport is ten minutes from the Strip, such luxury! New Orleans is really like a Caribbean island, it is a world of it’s own. The vibe is unbeatable, goes into your veins and the history is exiting as well. Good food, lots of music. One of the cities you can hang around in without having a car. Airport is also pretty near the city. Fort Lauderdale area (including Hollywood Beach) has beaches, casinos, shopping, culture. It’s easy to drive up and down from here, exploring the coastline. And leaving for a cruise is super easy. Airport is located literally in the middle of the city.

We are not beach people in the sense of spending hours there or making destination choices just because of the beaches. Best beaches we’ve ben to must be Ft. Mayers & Sanibel in Florida because of the shelling possibilities, the beaches of Hollywood in Florida because they are so easily approached and well maintained, restaurants and boardwalk are by the beach. St. Kitts in the Caribbean because of the colorful fish you can shim among and see them even without snorkeling.

Have you visited any off the beaten track places? Pass this – both of us have done a lot of exploring in the teen and young adult days, these days our adventures are maybe a bit different : ) If you want to interview Mikaela one day of her 4 months in India, there are interesting stories to share.

Best places you have visited or want to visit for cultural experiences. 

In Panama we visited one of the Embera Indian Tribes that actually still maintain a lot of the traditional ways of living in the jungles. We learned about the daily life, arts, crafts, traditions.

In Las Vegas the Mob Museum is a fantastic way of learning about the odd history of this city.

In Macau and Hong Kong visiting temples gives you a glimpse into the daily life of the people. Seeing how faith is part of the everyday life is educating and interesting.

What are 5 things you wish you knew about blogging before you started? 

The time it takes – we knew it, but still it feels frustrating not having more time to write more, the communities, the SEO world. Still so many things to learn!

Where do you see your travel blog in two years?

We want to be known as bloggers who provide good quality stories and tips, especially as a child free adult couple enjoying luxuries in life, but without the over-the-top fuss. Laid back luxury is our thing and we hope our blog resonates to like-minded people. If we think about influencer marketing, discovering good matches in the hospitality industry are a must.

Please share one travel quote you love.

This Henry Miller quote is on our front page:

” One’s destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things.”

Any other points to add?

To be honest, first we thought cruises are for the elderly people, retired ones and that cruises are deadly boring. How wrong we were. This is an easy way to visit ports you might never end up to other ways. We are happy we discovered cruising. Our shortest cruise was 5 nights, longest has been 11 nights.

Please give a short description of your blog and what you cover. 

Our travel blog DINKgo – Travel Stories Worth Sharing (https://dinkgo.com) shares travel stories, tips & tricks of a child free, adult couple. Cities, road trips, casinos, entertainment, cruise life. Arts, antiques, fun attractions.

Social Media:

Instagram https://instagram.com/dinkgotravel

Facebook https://facebook.com/dinkgotravel.com

Twitter https://twitter.com/dinkgotravel.com

 

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