Please give a warm, Bring Me The News reader welcome to Twice The Baggage, who we're happy to announce will be our guest travel bloggers.
The blog by Minneapolis couple Ashlee Kronforst and Ryan Monk launched earlier this year, and the features they write for us will review the best destinations to travel to and from Minnesota, as well as travel tips and cost-saving guides.
Why are we teaming up? Well from our perspective, they asked really nicely. But also because we think these seasoned travelers will provide entertaining and useful content for our readers as we continue to grow BMTN.
Anyway, about Ashlee and Ryan. They're both 26, they live in Uptown and met at MSU-Mankato.
They're passionate travelers, and somehow find the time to get away on vacation 5-6 times a year (yes, we're jealous too), using tried and tested techniques to find cut-price deals.
Ashlee is a social worker and Ryan works in e-Commerce, but they're hoping to make their writing a full-time gig eventually.
Want to know more? So did we, so we asked a few questions of their traveling lifestyle.
How often do you two get away?
We started traveling a lot in February 2017 and will have had 4 large European trips come February 2019.
However; we also love to travel locally within Minnesota, to Wisconsin for Ashlee's family, as well as other states. On average we are traveling 5-6 times/year but hope to continuously increase that amount.
What made you create the blog?
We have always wanted to live abroad, but found getting a VISA is quite difficult in many countries. We then thought of ways that we could work while traveling. A blog seemed like an amazing way to do so.
It felt perfect as we were always asked so many questions upon arriving home from a trip, and we had wanted to be able to share in a more effective way. Plus, we love talking, or now typing, about our trips to anyone who will listen.
How do you find the time and money to do this?
It's what we love to do, so it's what we spend our time on. It's quite rare for one of us to take PTO for anything other than a vacation. It's also what we spend our money on.
We budget a lot throughout our lives as the small things (coffee from Starbucks, Happy Hour, new clothes) add up quickly. We have plenty of tips and tricks we are able to share. We very much consider ourselves average, and want to show others how they can afford to travel as well.
What's your favorite place you've visited?
Ashlee: Too hard to pick one, so I'll choose France, Denmark, and Kenya. My answer is always changing.
Ryan: Santorini, Greece.
What's your top travel tip?
Ashlee: Don't be scared to get out of your comfort zone, you won't regret going on the trip. It's not as scary to travel abroad as you think.
Ryan: Don't settle for the first price you see on anything, flight mostly. Always do your research and look for a deal.
What's your favorite place to go in Minnesota?
Ashlee: Duluth for Grandma's Marathon every year. I ran it once and it brings back how proud I was that day. Plus, Portland Malt Shoppe.
Ryan: Boundary Waters.
Read more about Ryan and Ashlee's travel adventures at Twice the Baggage.