WELCOME AT THETRAVELTESTER.COM!
Thank you for being curious about the story behind The Travel Tester. On this page, we will tell you all about how we got started and you’ll get the chance to get to know us a bit better.
We are Nienke Krook (Amsterdam, 1983) and Nick Vullings (Venlo, 1983). While both from The Netherlands, we met in Sydney, Australia in 2008 and have been living in London, England since 2013. Nick is a full-time architect and Nienke works full-time on the blog, for which she gets to travel all around the world. But even though Nienke is away from home quite a bit, we like travelling together the most.
Between us, we’ve visited over 40 countries on 5 continents… and the list keeps on growing!
THE FIRST BEGINNINGS OF THE TRAVEL TESTER…
When we met each other in a hostel in Sydney, little did we know the adventures we would be going on in the years to follow. We toured New Zealand on a party bus, discovered most of Australia on long road trips, hiked a mountain in Nepal, ate heaps of undefinable food in Japan, drank all the wine in Portugal and couldn’t stop looking up in New York, just to name a few memorable things. Ever since we started travelling and living abroad, we kept our family and friends in The Netherlands up-to-date through the stories on our blog.
What started as diary-style blog, slowly evolved in a website with more practical tips, reviews and destination guides. Nienke has been online in one way or another since about 1995 (yes *that* long), and you can read her full blogging history in this blog post, but she decided to take her travel blog to the next level when we moved from Sydney (where we had been living for the past 2 years) to Amsterdam and onward to London in 2013.
In the years that followed, we connected with the blogging community (both in London as internationally) and found ourselves travelling with, learning from and working together on campaigns with many of these creative people. Neither of us would have guessed it was possible to make a full-time living out of blogging (Nienke used to be a primary school teacher in a past life), but fast forward … and yet here we are!
In 2017, Nienke even launched a second website called The London Tester, aimed at Dutch travellers visiting or relocating to London and the rest of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
THE IDEA BEHIND THE TRAVEL TESTER
The Travel Tester is a cultural travel and self-development blog. We bring you in-depth destination guides, tips on travel planning, blogging and responsible living and we write thorough reviews of products, hotspots and experiences around the world.
We both have a strong interest in topics such as architecture and design, entrepreneurship, self-growth and all areas of responsible living and sustainability. We are open to change and take (small) steps to live a more conscious life, for example by trying to eat less meat, go plastic-free as much as possible, buy quality and locally made furniture and making more sustainable and ethical travel decisions.
We are curious about other cultures, languages and love finding out about innovating brands and initiatives that make the world a bit of a better place. We believe that everyone should recognize their power to take steps towards leading a healthier, more curious life and that you actively educate and equip yourself with the skills and knowledge needed to take care of the world and people around you. And we hope our website helps you with that!
And to top it all off, you will notice that our blogs often have a bit of a geek-flavour to it. We can’t help it that we’re also interested in topics such as bird watching, space travel and movie locations (to name a few).
WE LOVE TO HAVE FUN!
Whenever we travel together, whether it’s a short weekend break or long (road) trip, one thing that’s guaranteed, and that is that we always have heaps of fun together! If you’re curious what sort of silly things we’re doing at the moment, the best place to check is our Travel Tester Instagram Account or our London Tester Instagram Account. We try to update our stories here as much as we can.
We also like to create travel videos for our YouTube Channel, so make sure to tune in every now and them and subscribe to not miss any updates!
THE TRAVEL TESTER BUSINESS MODEL
Like many other professional travel bloggers, we rely on advertising on The Travel Tester. As you can see, we have quite a few banners on the site (hosted by Mediavine), but we also create unique content in collaboration with brands and destinations. We always disclose our partnerships at the bottom of our articles.
How it works is that partners contact us (or we contact them if we have a cool idea of how we can work together) with a concept that fits the mission of our website. We only work together if we can share our personal experience, so that means we’re getting send products or are invited to visit a certain locations to see things for ourselves. For example, one day we might be testing a backpack on a weekend break, another day we test a flight-delay website and then we’re off to experience a guided tour, or review a hotel, airline or restaurant!
Because our partners are so different, it can be hard to choose who is the best fit, but in the last few years, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t and currently we’re saying NO to about 80-90% of all offers that we get. This way, we only work with brands and destinations that we’re really excited about and that we would love to recommend you.
For those collaborations that do go ahead, we either get compensated with the product or experience itself, with a fee for creating a certain amount of content, or we get into an affiliate-partnership, where we get a small cut if you book anything through a specific link in the article. Everything of course with no extra costs to you. All of these partnerships keep the content that your read on our website 100% free and we’re sure you’d like us to keep it that way!
DO YOU WANT TO ASK US SOMETHING?
You can best email us at email@example.com. We get a LOT (like… A LOT LOT) of email, so it can take about a week for us to get back to you, unless it’s super urgent of course. Please be patient with us! If we haven’t responded in about 2 weeks, please mail us again, as we might have missed your message!
DO YOU WANT TO WORK WITH US?
That’s amazing! We have a different possibilities to work together, please check the options here.
DO YOU WANT US TO SPEAK AT YOUR EVENT?
Are you organising an event and would you like to invite (one of) us to speak? We’ve done many presentations, workshops and panel discussions in the past and are available to talk about blogging, social media, expat living and of course travelling the world! Please email us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
DO YOU HAVE TIPS?
We are only human, so please do let us know if we’ve made any mistakes on the website or if you have a tip to add information or miss any topics on the site!
READ OUR DISCLAIMER
Nienke & Nick
BONUS: NIENKE’S FUN FACTS
- Nienke grew up in Diemen-Zuid, a small town next to Amsterdam that is almost two centuries older than the popular capital of The Netherlands!
- Nienke is the granddaughter of a travel writer Hans Krook, with several books on faraway destinations, lightweight travel & wilderness survival on his name.
- With an archaeologist/photographer dad and a cartographer mum, Nienke and her brother have been taken all around the world …camping in a massive trailer tent!
- Nienke is a fond collector of brochures and other travel memorabilia. Nick however, is not. We’re working on this.
- While Nienke likes most food, she is really fussy about eggs (only hard boiled), bananas (only as bread) and carrots (only NEVER).
- Nienke and her family lived on the Caribbean island of Saint-Martin when she was 7 and again when she was 9.
- Being a huge fan of The X-Files and many other Sci-Fi series as a teenager, seeing a real (alien?) crop circle in a field in South-England years ago was a highlight not easy to forget!
BONUS: NICK’S FUN FACTS
- Nick grew up in Venlo, a city in the Southern Netherlands, right on the German border. Because of that, he is fluent in Dutch, German and his local dialect which Nienke can understand, but probably can never speak properly.
- With his older brother, sister and parents, Nick also travelled in a trailer tent or in hotels around Europe.
- Nick made many trips all around Europe with friends from university (to see architecture) and with his home-town friends (to taste the local beer).
- Nick spent a semester at the University of Sydney in 2008, the year he met Nienke. Originally, he wanted to go to San Francisco, but they didn’t have an exchange program. Nienke thanks them for that. Since being together, Nick has spent more time with her overseas than in his home country!
- Having discovered meat pies while living in Australia, Nick has perfected the recipe and bakes them often on the weekend.
- Nick is very patient. He probably got that from the many hours spend fishing with his dad -and never catching anything.
- Nick only send 1 Tweet in his entire life. It went viral. Not even Chuck Norris can do that.