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More Discussion About The Price Of Free

A few weeks ago I met Andrea Fellman, and she was telling me about a trip she would be taking to Mexico with some amazing Mom Bloggers. My reaction was, “Oh my gawd Mexico! You couldn’t pay me to go there, make sure they get kidnap insurance. You can’t tell anyone you have it, but you absolutely must have kidnap insurance.”

According to Mindy, you don’t have to pay anyone to go there.

I get it. There are plenty of trips I’d love to take, but they almost all involve my family, or at the very least a little weekend with my husband. There’s one more trip I’d like to take without my family, but there really has to be an alignment of the stars for the scheduling to work well. Hopefully the stars align for Mindy and she enjoys this trip.

Blogger trips (junkets seems to be a bit of an overstatement) are the new perk. They appear to be first class travel that may or may not have anything to do with the actual product.

Which is fine.

I want nothing more than to take my family to Arusha and meet the twitter kids. I’d probably take a trip from any brand for that opportunity (but I doubt it would come to fruition).

What do y’all think? Are these trips good for moms?

18 thoughts on “More Discussion About The Price Of Free”

  1. As with so many other things, my answer must be, “It depends.” I am assuming that the trip to Mexico was to an area that hasn’t had 4000 homicides this year?

    No, you couldn’t pay me to go to Mexico, either. That place scares the crap out of me, and it SHOULD.

  2. I am going to have to blog about disclosure, influence and why I am not interested in hearing/reading complaints about free trips not being everything that they want.

    Free isn’t always free- some of these people are being bought and paid for. I wonder how many really are aware of it. Not saying that I would refuse to go on any of these trips, but….

  3. I’m ok with trips that are to learn about products and services (i.e. a trip to oh-so-awesome Iowa to learn about ethical farming practices, or to beautiful New Jersey to get a tour of the Marcal paper plant) but those trips are to actually learn about a product and a company. I fail to see what trips to Mexico or wherever can be all that educational if you’re not actually touring a property/company.

    And ditto Jack, you’ve still got taxes to pay on all these trips. Free isn’t free.

  4. “Oh my gawd Mexico! You couldn’t pay me to go there, make sure they get kidnap insurance. You can’t tell anyone you have it, but you absolutely must have kidnap insurance.” I can’t help but be appalled byt your ignorance.

  5. As with anything, it depends on the blogger and her personal circumstances. 99% of blogger trips I’ve been offered aren’t right for me because I value my time with my family. While first class travel and hotels sound nice, they don’t make up for the cost of child care or time my husband would have to take off of work in order to go. And of course, children are never welcome which I can understand to some extend. But at the same time, my primary job is being a mom, my work never ends and I can’t just punch out at 5pm leaving them behind.

  6. I think it depends on what you want to get out of the trip and what the brand or company wants to get out of the trip. I just wrote about mom bloggers taking these trips and what does the company get out of it and what should the blogger be doing for the trips. For me, I almost always get paid while on the trip for something. Free trips aren’t worth it unless I want to have a foot in the door with the company.

  7. I don’t know. I guess I don’t really see the benefit of a free trip that doesn’t serve a good purpose. And yeah, a free trip would be nice, but not much fun without my two favorite guys. But that’s just me.

  8. Nothing is ever free. Even if all expenses were paid, my time has value too. As a wife and mom to really young kids, its price soars higher with each day. So, no I don’t see any blogger junkets in my future, although I do hope Mindy had a good time on hers!

  9. I agree with the above comments nothing is every truly free and I think its important to look again at the bloggers that are on the trip sure if they have huge (like mega large reach) maybe there should be something else given but ifs it a blogger thats just starting out I dont know a free trip sounds plenty nice to me – especially if its first class (with the family) and provides me time to enjoy my family and for us to enjoy the trip and now get on plane fly hours on end get off plan shuttle to resort and then tour resort back in cab to airport to fly back home – at that point I’d rather be kidnapped :P

  10. It’s mostly Mexico City you should worry about, in terms of kidnapping.

    Outside of Mexico City — Phoenix, Arizona is the #1 city in the WORLD for kidnapping. I live in Phoenix, btw.

    Do you get kidnapping insurance when you come to Phoenix, btw? ; )

  11. I love to travel. I traveled a great deal with my husband before we had the kids. Now, however, it is costly to travel with a family of four and I do not feel comfortable leaving my young children behind.

    If I were offered a trip to a vacation-type place and could bring my family–sure, I’d take it if I felt comfortable with the sponsor and the terms.

    I agree that free is not usually free. There are taxes, the value of your time, and whatever strings may or may not be attached.

    It all depends…

  12. My husband and I were just discussing this very thing over dinner this evening. I was invited on another press trip (to Aruba). It may be free for me, but leaving my family at home is not an option and therefor the trip is NOT free. If my family is invited as well, no problemo, but by the time we pay for my husband and the kids I am actually paying for the coverage myself.

    And just a little food for thought. If you are pitching “mommy bloggers” for a press trip to a family resort, wouldn’t you consider bringing their families along? After all, how do you think they received their “mommy” title?

  13. This will be interesting, because if the people going on this trip are the people I think are going on this trip, I’ve seen quite a bit of discussion without disclosure.

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