Travel blogger Caitlin Fitzsimmons has come up with a novel and innovative way of raising money to get to this years TBEX’10 Travel Bloggers Conference.

She has set up a Send Caitlin to TBEX in NYC project over at Kickstarter with the aim of raising $500 to help cover the costs of travel and accommodation in NYC during the conference.

In return for everyone’s support, Caitlin promises to provide up to date summaries of conference content and conversations to help people who can’t attend.

And within two weeks of her trip to New York, will create and publish the following on her Roaming Tales blog:

– an edited video
– at least one post from each of the five boroughs
– two restaurant reviews
– a hotel review

As of today, the Send Caitlin to TBEX in NYC project has raised $455 with 14 days to go.

All this got me thinking that maybe now is the time that  a  travel bloggers scholarship fund,  similar to the one created by the Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC),  was established to help travel bloggers get to TBEX.

Last year I was one of the grateful recipients of WBC’s scholarship fund. And while what I received wasn’t financially huge,  it did make a huge difference to me being able to attend the event.

Dependent on donations on wineries, PR agencies, wine business industry members, and individuals, the WBC scholarship fund will be funding up to 11 wine bloggers at this year’s conference in Walla Walla, Washington.  Anyone with a wine blog is encouraged to send in an application describing their blog, their financial needs pertaining to the Wine Bloggers Conference, and why they are deserving on sponsorship. The successful wine bloggers are then chosen through a committee selection process.

Sounds like something that TBEX travel bloggers could easily do. After all, travel bloggers are a generous lot.

All you have to do is look at the results of the Passports with Purpose fundraisers organized by four Seattle travel bloggers. The first one raised over $6000 dollars, the second one well over $25000.

So maybe it’s time we start being generous to each other as well by creating a TBEX scholarship fund for TBEX’11

Sure sounds like something that everyone should be discussing at this year’s TBEX.

In the meantime, why not make Caitlin the ‘inaugural TBEX scholarship’ recipient by donating to the Send Caitlin to TBEX in NYC fund.

(For more on TBEX’10, check out the TBEX facebook page and follow on the TBEX twitter.)

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Liz Lewis is a New Zealand based writer who favors wine tasting and food markets over bungy jumping and mountain climbing.