A Love Letter to CouchSurfing in NGT

1395332406000-Afternoon-tea-051Despite having been an active CouchSurfer for almost seven years, I’ve only ever written about the hospitality site for niche publications. So I’m delighted that I have finally had a feature-length love letter to CouchSurfing published in the great National Geographic Traveller.

‘Sleeping with Strangers’ features in the May issue of the magazine, which is now available in UK newsagents – and on the NGT website.

Here’s the opening paragraph of the article to whet your appetite…

“I am folded in half. My knees are tucked up to my chin; my chin tucked into my chest. I can’t even feel my feet. In fact, my only sensation is a sharp jabbing below my shoulder blade, where the spout of the tap has found its home. I pull a rough, damp towel across my midriff, and resign myself to the sleepless night ahead.

Thankfully, this doesn’t represent a standard ‘surfing’ experience…”

My First Feature for USA Today

1395332406000-Afternoon-tea-051I am delighted to reveal that I have had my first piece for USA Today published on their website! The feature article is titled:

How London Surpassed Paris as Europe’s Dining Capital

And it discusses how the city has developed its dining scene to now claim its place as the true king of continental cuisine.

The piece appears within the travel section of the USA Today site, under the sub-categories Experiences and Food & Wine, and was published this Monday. You can READ IT right here!

Online Travel Content That Sells

ExpediaWhat’s the key to creating successful online travel content?

From blogs, photos and videos to competitions, surveys and social media campaigns, travel companies are very adept at creating content that brings traffic to their websites – but are surprisingly poor at converting those visitors into customers.

So what should these companies be doing differently? In my new role as Editor-in-Chief for Melt Content, I spoke to three travel experts to learn how to create great content that sells.

The interview article was written for Melt Content and published on Travolution. Read the complete article here.

The Purple Passport for Private Air

ExpediaI’m pleased to reveal that my first magazine article of 2014 has now been published.

It’s a profile piece on The Purple Passport for Private Air Magazine.

I interviewed the founders of TPP, Jennifer Garcia-Alonso and Emily C. Brands, to find out what makes these ultra-stylish, luxury travel guides different from all of the others.

You can find out what they had to say in this extract from the latest issue of PA.

As well as this article, my World Words writers contiributed several more pieces for the January-February issue of Private Air Magazine. You can read them all on the WW site.

The Express Guide to Venice

Earlier this year, The Express and Monarch Airlines teamed up with the clear aim of creating a series of European city guides for their respective readers. And I am now delighted to confirm that I, along with my team at WorldWORDS, was selected to create the first six in their portfolio. All of these guides were recently published on The Express website, and you can find links to them below. I hope they come in handy. Happy travels!

THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO VENICE by Joseph Reaney (that’s yours truly!)

THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO BARCELONA | THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO ROME | THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO VERONA | THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO PALMA | THE EXPRESS GUIDE TO DUBROVNIK by Mandy (a WorldWORDS writer)

London’s Best International Dishes

Forbes Travel Guide has recent published my run-down of the tastiest international dishes to enjoy in London. England’s vibrant capital is one of the most multicultural destinations in the world, with more than 300 languages spoken throughout the city, and with foreign-born residents accounting for a third of the population. This diverse range of influences results in a great gastronomic smorgasbord – so I’ve selected some of the most interesting culinary treats currently being served up in the capital. From Indian vindaloo of ox cheek at Cinnamon Soho to finger-licking Jamaican jerk chicken at Cottons in Camden, you can read all of my recommendations right here.

A Stay at Exclusive Resorts Costa Rica

At the end of April this year, I was treated to five-day press trip to Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica, courtesy of the world’s leading luxury destination club Exclusive Resorts. It is an incredible resort in a beautiful location, and the varied activities on offer – zip lining through the forest canopy, jet-skiing around the peninsula’s bay, spotting dolphins on a cocktail-crazy cruise – were beyond my expectations. I subsequently wrote an article all about the destination club for Private Air Luxury Homes Magazine… and this has just been published! You can read it by clicking on the image, or this here link.

On a side note, my team of writers at WorldWORDS also penned more than a dozen articles for the latest issue of the magazine, on topics ranging from repurposing historic buildings in London to magical museum exhibitions in Geneva to legendary farm properties in New York State. You can read the majority of these in the WorldWORDS portfolio, and the rest on the Private Air site.

Audio Guides for Cities Talking

Since May 2013, I have written a variety of audio city walking tours for Cities Talking – and my team of writers at WorldWORDS have written even more!

You can now listen to extracts from one my more recent city guides, on the Castle District in Budapest, by clicking this here link – or if you’re allergic to shortcuts you can also go looking for it in the Eastern Europe section of the Guides & Itineraries page. And if you’re considering a trip to the city, why not download the entire three-hour walking tour through the Cities Talking site?

Plus, as an extra bonus thing, I did this here interview with them. Lovely stuff.

A National Geographic Runner-Up

Way back in October 2012, I entered National Geographic Traveller‘s annual travel writing competition. Now, a mere six months later, I have discovered I was the runner-up! Alas, I missed out on the rather wonderful prize of a 10-day polar cruise to the Norwegian Isle of Spitsbergen, but I did land myself a(nother) year’s subscription to a fantastic magazine! Far more importantly, my article was then also published in the May/June 2013 issue of Traveller!

My near-winning piece was called simply ‘The Flight’, and it began like this:

“I heard the plane before I saw it. Sitting mutely in a pallid departure lounge, the dirty put-put-put of the engine gradually trickled into my subconscious.

Rubbing my face, I turned to the runway and there it was: my peeling, patched-up biplane. My journey had begun…”

Read the entire thing by visiting the National Geographic Traveller website – or by clicking that image to the left.

P.S. Huge congratulations to the winner, Ben Taub. ‘Set in Stone’ is a beautifully evocative piece – a worthy winner!

The New London Correspondent for Forbes

At the beginning of January, I took on a brand new position as the London Correspondent for Forbes Travel Guide. The role involves contributing a monthly selection of Q&As on the British capital, ranging from handy hints like best city bars to cultural insights like quirkiest local customs, as well as writing two blog posts on London-centric topics during the month. With my latest blog published today, here are the four I have completed so far.

- Feast On These Ways To Celebrate Pancake Day … (11th February)
- Taking a Fashion Tour of London … (8th February)
- The Most Promising West End Musicals of 2013 … (29th January)
- Where Are The Best Views of London? … (17th January)

I will be contributing content on London every month for the foreseeable future, so you can can keep track of all my Q&A contributions on my Forbes biography page and watch out for my twice-monthly posts on the blog homepage.