I wrote the following travel stories this year, with the help of talented editors.
For Budget Travel and elsewhere:
8 Foreign Fast-Food Chains Worth a Taste (CNN.com; 6,000+ Facebook likes)
World’s Prettiest Castle Towns (Yahoo; 2,000 likes)
10 Gorgeous Pools You Won’t Believe Are Public (NBCNews.com)
Top Travel News of 2011 (Yahoo)
8 Common Air Travel Snafus
— And How to Beat Them (CNN)
How to Score Tickets to the 2012 Summer Olympics (Today.com)
World’s Most Amazing Hotel Pools (co-authored; Yahoo!,CNN)
25 Most Photographed Places on Earth (NBCNews.com)
10 Best Beachfront Hotels For Under $150 a Night (Bing/MSN)
North America’s Most Charming Fall Islands 2011 (NBCNews.com)
8 Items You Never Pack…But Should (NBCNews.com)
6 Foreign Car-Rental Fees to Watch for (Oct. 2011, print edition; CNN)
The Problem Solvers: Four New Online Travel Tools (print edition, Mar. 2011)
Top 10 Most Shocking Mummies in the World (FoxNews.com)
Top 10 Beaches From the Movies
Quiz: Think You Know the National Parks?
20 Spectacular Carnival Celebrations
I’ve been freelancing for BBC.com/travel’s blog since its first day in March 2011. As of June, I’m also the site’s tech travel columnist. Some representative posts:
“Booking holiday rentals gets easier”
“Five favourite travel apps of 2011”
“The best photo-sharing and storage sites”
“Maps that give more than directions”
“Tools that (almost) make travel easier”
“Small victories in the war against lost luggage”
“Gift guide 2011: Europe”
“Teleport yourself via new image search apps”
“Better tools for making friends with like-minded travellers”
“An analysis of Google’s travel plans”
“Rent an electric bike in London”
“Compact cameras add GPS”
“Is your airline any good?”
“The future of travel search”
“Must-have apps for looking like a local”
“Tech tools for surviving travel emergencies”
“Top picks for portable entertainment”
“New developments in making calls overseas affordable”
“3D audio may revolutionise travel”
“Tools to plan your itinerary faster”
“Taxi apps get into gear”
“Best tools to track travel rewards”
“Google’s new travel plans”
“New photo-driven websites can inspire travel”
Since July 2011, I’m the London guides editor for BlackBookMag.com and its app, writing (and editing) about the city’s newest cool spots.
NBCNews.com has re-published many of my Budget Travel blog posts:
“Zipcar is driving competition in rental cars”
“Wendy’s goes gourmet in Japan”
“Some cruise lines take the ‘all’ out of ‘all-inclusive’”
“How to avoid flights that may get canceled”
“The 5 smartest vacation photos you’ve never taken”
“Open secret websites for booking hotels”
“Travel tips for Android and iPhone users”
“Electric bike rentals smooth out sightseeing”
“How to spruce up a vacation rental”
“5 ways to keep your cords tidy, organized”
“In Britain, paying to skip long security lines”
“New Site TripAlertz Is Groupon for Travel”
“Get discounted travel by buying gift cards”
“Know these mind games for a better vacation”
“4 trip-planning services often overlooked”
“Talking travel on Facebook can invite dilemmas”
“Is Legoland Florida worth the cost?”
“5 surprising foreign laws that put travelers at risk”
This year, I’ve also done some writing for The New York Times‘s In Transit blog, with posts such as “Plane or Train? Sites to Help You Decide,” Expedia Offers Free Room Upgrades for Top Customers, and “In Bay Area, New Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Offers.”
I wrote a bunch of city guides for the redesigned Away.com, such as for New York City and Dublin. I did a brief stint at AOL Travel News: In-Flight Movies Could Go 3D, Visit PBS’s Downton Abbey on Your Own, and other posts. I also did a brief stint at Frommers.com included such mini-features as How to Avoid Being Pickpocketed While Traveling and Credit Card Rewards: Hidden Bonuses in Your Pocket.
I did a piece for AARP, the first one I’ve ever seen on “gay senior travel,” titled “5 LGBT-Friendly Vacations.”
I do a monthly afternoon Q&A on with Twitter users via the @budgettravel account. Personally, traction for my recent work includes Lisbon becomes an even more lovely bargain (150+ Facebook likes) and Should we tip flight attendants? (125 Facebook likes).
Gorked. PFO. Jabs. — I tried to humorously explain British medical lingo for BBC America’s Anglophenia blog (timed to coincide with the new TV documentary series 24 Hours in the ER). I also wrote a round-up of interviews with working class Londoners in the aftermath of the summer 2011 riots.
In April, I did a stint on the royal wedding for CNBC. This year, I was also a guest on the Peter Greenberg US travel radio show in April 2011 and August 2011; and on the This Week in Travel podcast in May 2011. Since I moved to London, I’ve done live media hits on behalf of Budget Travel at ITV studios for MSNBC, Fox News, and NBC Nightly News. In July I was interviewed about my editing and freelancing experiences by Travel Writing 2.0.
I’ve done ghost-writing and I’ve edited annual reports for non-travel commercial clients, mostly related to tech start-ups. I’ve also done some advertorial for the promotion of a few TV shows. I keep that work separate from my travel editorial work. Details on request.
Press trip policy
I have never taken any press trips, media discounts, or free gifts of travel gear intended for review, etc. I’ve been lucky enough to have steady editorial work every since I graduated from university. I don’t look down on people who have accepted rewards from travel companies they report on; in the UK, for example, it’s a standard practice; it’s just something I haven’t done.
For the short version, you’re better off clicking on the “About Sean” page.
Updated 1 December 2011.