Today’s show is all about the 2019 Travel Writers Academy Mastermind and Media Trip!

2019 Travel Writers Academy Mastermind and Media Trip

Several of my travel academy members and I attended the 3rd annual Travel Writers Academy mastermind and media trip in Cancun, Mexico. This was a Three-Night Mastermind followed by a Two-Night Media trip to the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican Caribbean.

travel writers academy mastermind


Our Mastermind took place at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, which is one of the most beautiful resorts in the world. Hugging the coast where the Caribbean Sea meets the Yucatan jungle, Grand Velas Riviera Maya is a luxury all-inclusive and was a perfect place for our mastermind. It’s located in Riviera Maya, a stretch of Caribbean coastline on Mexico’s northeastern Yucatán Peninsula — south of Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo.

The mastermind was followed by a two-night media trip to the Grand Palladium located in Costa Mujeres for our media trip. At the time of our visit, this was the newest hotel in the Cancun area and exciting for us to visit as we were the first group of travel writers and bloggers set up with a media trip.

Grand Palladium media trip

About the Mastermind

For the mastermind portion of these yearly events — we meet for three days and focus on everything from writing, photography, social media, monetizing, working with PR, landing more media trips and so much more. I have even brought in special guests to visit and talk about all things travel blogging!

The main purpose of the mastermind is to allow the travel academy members a chance to have focused time to get great feedback about how to take their travel writing or blogging career to the next level.

What I think is an even bigger outcome for the attendees is quality time hanging out as a group. How often do you get 5 to 7 days to be with a group of writers and bloggers?

Beyond our official mastermind sessions, we have dinners, time at the pool, and spa time to pick each others brain, trade contacts for tourism and pr, share what is working and what isn’t.

It’s quite different than a traditional media trip — because our goal is to learn and everyone comes willing to support each other and share! It’s a chance to hang out with a group of people who understand what you are trying to build with your travel blog and be around a group of smart, motivated, and supportive people who understand — because these are your people!

Some of the attendees are new bloggers or travel writers and this might be their first media trip — and for others, they may have been blogging and writing for a year or more. Some of my attendees have been at this 4-5 or more year.

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The Amazing Travel Writers & Blogger Attendees

Susan Decoteau-Ferrier is a travel blogger and community creator for the Gen X Travel community turned Tour Operator. Her passion for travel and desire to connect eager explorers from Generation X has guided her to this calling. You can find her at

Gary House is a food & travel blogger and founder of Cooking-Outdoors and Gary’s travel website shares his travel adventures with the goal of showing how to enjoy traveling at any age.

Bob Bales is a travel, food and lifestyle writer concentrating on places of historic interest, cultural experiences and places most tourists just don’t know about. With a passion for good cigars, local foods and cocktails he writes about things that make people want to travel and see the world on his website,

Erika Beach is a Wine and travel writer from Temecula Wine Country and founder of With Love Paper and Wine. She is a full-time writer for a Public Agency by day and wine/travel writer by night and somehow finds time to study for her sommelier degree. Erika focuses on the road less traveled and has a soft spot for Spanish speaking destinations.

Jon Bailey is a travel blogger focused on family travel, lifestyle, and parenting. His website, 2DadsWithBaggage features travel stories and tips from around the world, as well as the everyday adventures of two gay dads raising two teen tempests.

Rina Baraz Nehdar is an award-winning broadcast journalist and founder of the blog, La Family Travel. She has also written for a multitude of outlets and contributes monthly to Global Traveler Magazine’s Wherever Family.   

Melanie Pollard & Marla Monk are the duo from Grans on the Go. Melanie is a travel blogger and freelance travel writer, founder and creator of Grans On The Go, a travel guide for adventurers over age 50 and foodies. She is all about encouraging people over 50 to get out and explore the world.  Marla is a baby-boomer traveler who loves to write but is new to travel writing. She has over 40 years of experience as a photographer, a degree in Communications and Journalism. She loves writing about the tempo of a place and to convey the mood of the surroundings, people, and culture discovered in my travels.

Marcea Cazel from My Cornacopia is a marketing and social media manager who loves to travel! Her blog mostly focuses on travel in Florida but includes trips to places such as Cuba and Washington DC. Her articles include solo travel, traveling with kids and couples travel. 

Listen to the Podcast >> Listen to Episode 141 Now!

Previous Mastermind Podcasts:

Episode 90: Preview of the Travel Writers Academy Mastermind and Media Trip
Listen on Itunes

Episode 92: Travel Writers Academy Mastermind and Baja California Media Trip
Listen on Itunes

Episode 119: 2017 Travel Writers Academy Mastermind and Media Trips (Part 1)
Listen on Itunes

Episode 120: 2017 Travel Writers Academy Mastermind and Media Trips (Part 2)
Listen on Itunes

Episode Resources

Grand Velas Resort 

travel writers academy mastermind

Check Out Our Coverage of Grand Velas Resort

The Best Spa in Mexico from Jon Bailey
A Luxurious Girlfriend Getaway at Grand Velas Resort from Susan Decoteau-Ferrier
Best Spa In Mexico: The Water Ceremony Grand Velas Se Spa from Alexa Meisler
Mexico’s Most Luxurious Spa (Video) from Alexa Meisler

Grand Velas Riviera Maya Resort Spa (Video) from Marcea Cazel

Connect With Grand Velas:

Facebook –

Twitter –

Pinterest –

Linkedin –

Instagram –

Grand Velas Maya

Riviera Maya Blog Grand Velas


Alltournative tour to Coba ruins

Check Out Our Coverage of AllTourNative

How To Visit The Mayan Ruins of Coba Mexico from Bob Bales

3 Best Mayan Ruins in Mexico’s Riviera Maya to Visit With Kids from Jon Bailey

Climbing the Ruin of Cobá in the Riviera Maya with allTOURnative Tours (Video) from Erika Beach

Tips for Exploring Coba and Its Ruins With allTOURnative Tours | Mayan Encounter | Part 1 from Erika Beach

Visit Mayan Ruins For A History Lesson or Adventure from Melanie Pollard & Marla Monk

Mayan Blessings and Swimming in a Cenote with AllTourNative Lifetime Experiences from Gary House

Adventure & Mayan Culture On A Cancun Eco-tour Excursion from Melanie Pollard & Marla Monk

Visiting the Ancient Mayan ruins of Coba in Quintana Roo, Mexico with AllTourNative (Video) from Alexa Meisler

Connect With AllTourNative

Website –

Instagram –

Facebook –

Twitter –

Grand Palladium  Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa

Grand Palladium Cancun Rafa Nadal tennis center

Check Out Our Coverage of Grand Palladium Resort and Spa

Grand Palladium Resort and Spa Costa Mujeres Mexico from Bob Bales

5-Star Family Fun at Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa from Gary House

Family Vacation At Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres from Marcea Cazel

Connect With Grand Palladium Resort and Spa

Facebook –

Instagram – 

Full episode >> Listen to Episode 141 Now!

Connect with Alexa, Break Into Travel Writing & My Travel Blog
The Aspiring Travel Writer, the Facebook group


  • Loved this episode about the Yucatan #Mastermind & #MediaTrip @writetotravel #Yucatan #travelblogger #twacancun [CLICK TO TWEET]

Hope you enjoyed this episode and are inspired to think about applying to the next Travel Academy Mastermind! Interested in hearing the full podcast? Click here to listen now!

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2019 Travel Writers Academy Mastermind and Media Trip

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