A Broad Abroad Talks Traveling Solo

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Paula Froelich, our favorite travel pro, is coming to Nashville to speak at our Red Letter Day and we couldn’t be more happy. Because she is the real thing – an adventure traveler, a storyteller, a speaker and an expert in travel marketing to women. In fact, she created a whole new travel category for women who travel solo – and enjoy it.

Overall, solo travelers comprise about 23% of all leisure travelers, according to the U.S. Travel Association and other research says nearly 40% of travelers say they would take a vacation by themselves if given the opportunity. Some 65% of women are taking vacations without a partner.

American women top the list in solo travel. Nine million American women traveled overseas alone last year. Reasons for solo leisure trips are different than business. The solo trips allow women to escape from everyday life, experience new cultures, travel at their own pace, and be free to make decisions and be themselves.

Couples like to take separate trips, especially when it comes to passions like adventure trips, interest-specific trips and taking up new activities.

Some might think that solo travel is for the 18-30 age group, but research suggests that the average solo traveler is 54.

Women often encounter special challenges in traveling solo such as getting the best rates when they travel solo. Dining solo or single rooms can still offer less than desirable options in some resorts. Travel companies are beginning to use less “romantic language” when marketing to solo travelers, understanding that not all solo travelers are single or looking to hook up.

Paula can help us navigate the travel space with ease. She was named one of Folio’s Top Women in Media in 2015 and is now Editor-at-Large at Yahoo. She spends her time traveling, writing, building partnerships and expanding her blog and video series “A Broad Abroad” across multiple platforms. In four short months as Editor in Chief of Yahoo Travel, Yahoo Travel became the largest travel content portal in the world, winning awards and consistently ranked #1 in the travel category under her leadership. Paula also launched several shows, including “A Broad Abroad,” the first female-hosted, travel adventure series of its kind.

Her adventures have taken her from Mexico to Egypt, from the ski slopes of Afghanistan to swimming with giant manta rays in Hawaii.

Banana Caramel Mini Muffins

IMG_3083You need to make something for a brunch, a small coffee gathering or just a Saturday morning. If you keep a cake mix in the pantry and a couple of bananas in the kitchen, you can always stir up these tasty tidbits.

Shortcut Spiced Banana Muffins

1 Spiced Cake Mix

2 large eggs

1/3 cup oil

¾ cup water

2 large ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 12 mini loaf pans with non stick cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together until smooth and well mixed. Put into mini muffin pans and bake 8 minutes OR until toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm or cool. Top with Easy Caramel Frosting! Makes 45-55 small muffins depending on size of pans.

Easy Caramel Frosting

2 Tablespoons Butter

3 Tablespoons Milk

½ cup packed brown sugar

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, and mix in 3 tablespoons milk and brown sugar. Boil vigorously for 1 minute.

1 cup confectioners sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Remove from heat, and beat in 1/2 cup confectioners sugar. Cool slightly, and beat in the vanilla and remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick.

Do You Watch Brand Videos with the Sound Off? Most People Do.

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Okay, I admit some of my favorite videos on Facebook are things like dogs smiling, recipe videos, Dr. Jane Goodall releasing a gorilla back to nature, and a salsa dancing golden retriever.

And guess what? I watch all of them with the sound off. To marketers, that is autoplay video with sound. As much as 85% of video views on Facebook happen with the sound off, according to multiple publishers. Most of us have news feeds full of short videos that feature text or captions narrating what is being seen on screen. The videos usually have narration, music and sound effects, but marketers make sure the videos can be understand without sound.

The new rules seem to be that you have to catch someone’s attention in three seconds and without sound. According to MEC North America, their branded videos average 85-9o% silent video views. Silent doesn’t mean consumers are less engaged. Internal studies conducted by the agency showed that KPIs like brand lift and intent to purchase were not affected by whether the viewer watched the video with the sound on or off.

So here’s the new rules for Facebook video, make sure your content can be understood without sound by adding readable captions, easy-to-understand visuals and an engaging start to capture their attention.