Grounded Travel

Creating the go-to-guide for people wanting to travel the world without flying.

The Idea

Having never really liked flying, and with environmental concerns increasing, we hit upon an idea to help people get to their chosen destinations without having to fly. The idea was to collect as much information on as many routes as possible, to be able to present a definitive guide to overland travel; by road, rail or sea.

On top of the researched content, we would also call for information from the travelling community, encouraging them to share their knowledge with the rest of our visitors. Content would remain up-to-date thanks to these user contributions.

The site would support itself financially through partnerships with ticketing agencies, hotels etc. Affiliate links would be embedded unobtrusively within the site to facilitate purchases as and when required.

Our Approach

From the outset, we knew that Grounded Travel would be particularly content-heavy. There is a wealth of information to include for each route that we would feature. One of the first steps on our journey was the creation of a detailed information architecture, looking at forming a logical hierarchy of information to distill information in a clear way. Once we knew what information we were going to present, we began the lengthy task of collecting relevant information, populating various spreadsheets and databases.

We studied the web’s most popular travel websites to identify design trends to be embedded within our own site. From there, we set about developing our own style and design, opting for a simple palette of colours, and allowing our content to be the focus, rather than over-the-top styling.

We fostered partnership links with a range of travel-related companies, with a particular focus on rail ticketing agents, who would become the main source of revenue for the site.

In addition to the main website, we created profiles on Facebook and Twitter to encourage further social interaction with the site. Quora, the popular questions and answers forum would become another good way for us to spread word about our site, by answering overland travel-related questions as and when they were asked.

A full branding exercise was undertaken for the website, incorporating logo design, as well as the creation of business cards and document templates.

Progress to Date

Grounded Travel has become one of the internet’s leading authorities on overland travel. It receives a considerable number of hits, and performs well in search engine ranking results for related search queries.

The website has been featured on a number of blogs, as well as in print.

BrightPie continues to maintain the site, and is looking forward to future developments to the site, further addressing the public’s increasing interest in alternatives to flight.

If you have a project that you might need some help with, whether big or small, we'd love to hear about it.