FAQ

Who can enter?

Anyone can enter the Big Blog Exchange, the only thing you need is your own blog. All genres of bloggers are welcome, in any language, in any country.

Do I have to create a blog within bigblogexchange.org website?

No, you just need to add a link to your blog URL.

Is the competition free to enter?

Yes, the competition is completely free to enter. You have nothing to lose!

Can I submit more than one entry?

One entry, per blog, per person is accepted. Multiple entries will not be counted.

Which languages are accepted?

All languages are accepted. Whatever language you blog in, you are welcome to enter. Our site can be translated (using the Google translate tool provided) into your own language if you do not blog in English.

How will my entry be judged?

Aside from two ‘wildcards’, the majority of the competition relies on readers’ votes, so make sure you write a compelling motivation in your profile and you blog frequently. Then encourage your family, friends and readers to vote for you by writing about the competition on your blog or your social media networks. At the end of the competition, an international jury will pick 14 bloggers amongst the 100 top voted bloggers from around the globe. Our two ‘wildcard’ bloggers will be chosen based on their content and motivation regardless of votes, so everyone is in with a chance!

What is a “wildcard”?

The two wildcard choices will be chosen to take part in the project based purely on their motivation and written/video content, rather than on votes. This ensures that the project is accessible to all and does not rely purely on popularity.

I don’t have my own blog, can I still take part?

If you are interested in entering the competition, but don’t yet have your own blog, you are welcome to create a brand new blog exclusively for the competition, as we welcome small blogs and big blogs with any sized readership. Or, you may get involved with the competition as a reader voting for and promoting your favourite bloggers, and then watching the project unfold! This year we are also allowing new platforms to blog such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or YouTube.

I am under 18, can I still take part?

Yes, BBE is open to under 18’s. However, if you are a winner and selected to take part in the exchange, you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is able to financially fund every aspect of their trip themselves.

If my exchange country does not have any HI hostels, can I still be a winner?

Yes, if you are chosen as a winner and are to exchange with someone from a country without any HI hostels, HI will decide on a different destination with HI hostels.

Can I enter with my Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube or Instagram account?

Yes, these social media platforms are accepted as participating blogs. As long as you tell a story, we don’t mind the platform you use.

What does the prize include?

The final 16 lucky selected bloggers will be exchanging places with another blogger from across the world. Hostelling International (HI), as well as the rest of the world, will be following each of the bloggers’ journeys as they explore their exchange destination, immersing themselves in local culture. Flights, accommodation and a daily allowance will be provided for the duration of the winning bloggers’ stay.

If I am selected, what will I be doing during the ten day exchange?

Once we have the final 16 bloggers, and have announced where you will be jetting off to, we will be able to start planning an itinerary and activities for you. We have National Associations in over 90 countries, so we will have international representatives in your exchange destination who will act as a guide or mentor throughout your stay.

Can the deadline be extended?

No, entries and voting will close on the 3rd September 2014 at 12pm GMT.

What if I am selected but unable to take part in the exchange?

If you are unable to take part in the exchange, for any reason, we will have to replace you with another blogger. Unfortunately, due to the nature of this project, we cannot change or alter the dates to meet specific bloggers’ requirements.

Am I literally swapping ‘lives’ with another blogger? Will my family have to host the blogger that I exchange with?

You will be swapping countries and blogs with the blogger you are paired with, but you won’t literally be swapping ‘lives’, so no homes, cars or families will need to be exchanged. You will only be swapping destinations with the blogger, and will travel around the exchange country staying in our accommodation with a planned itinerary and, where necessary, an HI representative. Plus, exchanging blogs means that your exchange partner will be writing in your blog during the exchange and vice versa.

So, I’ve entered, how do I get people to vote for me?

Once you have entered your blog in the competition, we are sure you are going to want to start getting as many people to vote for you as possible. Some ideas you could do to promote your blog and start getting your votes up is to write a blog post to your readers letting them know about the project, your inspiration and why you want them to vote for you. Readers will be able to vote for you on this site, so make sure they know where to go to vote. You could also spread the word about your profile on Twitter, Facebook, Google + or other social networking sites. Similarly, you could always write to your local paper, magazines or other blogs, promoting your part in the competition.

The 16 selected bloggers will be flown to different countries? What countries are they?

This depends completely on which bloggers we have who enter and who makes the final 16. As we are a global network with contacts in 90 countries, we are hoping to attract bloggers from all over the world, so although a specific destination isn’t guaranteed, you can be sure it will be somewhere exciting.

If I am one of the winners, what is required of me?

If you are lucky enough to win one of the 16 places on the exchange, you will be expected to have a passport valid for at least six months before and after the exchange dates (31/10/14 to 09/11/14), and, if required by your exchange destination, you may need to organise vaccinations and/or visas. Winners will also be required to purchase a SIM card for their exchange country. Additionally, we will expect you to keep to any blogging guidelines provided to you by HI throughout your exchange.

If I am a winner, when will I be travelling to my exchange destination?

Winners may be required to travel to their exchange destination in advance, dependant on their distance and length of travels, in order for the exchange to commence on the 31 October.

Bloggers will be divided into four regions and the countries that form these regions according to the UN are:

Africa & Middle East

Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Iran , Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Benin, Bahrain, Angola, Algeria, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South ‎Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tanzania (United Republic of), Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

America

Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Asia Pacific

Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam.

Europe

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland (Republic of), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.



If you have any further questions, please email tbbe@hihostels.com with your query.