Promoting REI with The Traveling Wizard

I will inspire you to go on your dream vacation 

When you ask people about their bucket list, most will tell you that they love to travel and they will start naming off destinations that they would like to go someday. Where do YOU want to go?

The Traveling Wizard is a popular travel blog that features entertaining videos, eye-catching photos and articles from some of the most exotic locations around the world. 

The author and producer Bill Wiatrak has visited 186 countries, all 7 continents, and has traveled to the most famous cities, both ancient and modern throughout the globe. The Traveling Wizard shatters common travel myths and shows the world that anyone can travel as a lifestyle. Bill’s articles cover a wide range of topics including visits to unusual destinations, art, archaeology, food, animals, culture, natural wonders and cemetery tourism. The Traveling Wizard has also been PADI certified for 40 years and has dived in over 30 countries.


REI is a group of people striving to live up to the fullest meaning of the words used to describe the company. REI’s core purpose is to “… inspire, educate and outfit for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship.” As a cooperative, everyone in the company and customers, producers and suppliers, are invited in to the mission of REI and asked to play a part in creating the unique REI experience.

What to do if you don’t invest in REI’s lightweight gear?

Video Outline Idea

Our 10-15 minute videos will showcase products appropriate for various travel experiences.  These are not only places with different terrains or landscapes, but also climate changes that may take place during a trip, especially if customers travel economically like The Traveling Wizard where multiple stopovers on the way can maximize an experience and minimize cost. Below, you will read about three of our trips where we had to pack light for extreme temperature changes. TTW will describe each product’s benefits and uses, relate them to previous travel and explain how they are best for future travel to customers.  TTW mainly travels via budget airlines domestically and internationally, all of which have strict baggage requirements. The best products for like-traveled customers are:  packable, compact, layers, moisture-wicking, easily laundered, lightweight, multi-functional, easily removable, durable, cost-appropriate and stylish.

Trip 1: Extreme Climate Change

Houston -> Los Angeles -> Shanghai -> Sapporo -> Osaka -> Tokyo -> Shanghai -> Los Angeles -> Houston

March 2019

Two weeks

Temperature difference:  +/- 50F

TTW and his marketing manager traveled from Houston via Los Angeles on Spirit Airlines to China in March 2019.  Via China Southern and Jetstar budget airlines, they then flew to Sapporo where it was still snowing tremendously and was quite cold.  Snow drifts were in the double digit feet. Using the JR Pass, they navigated south through Japan to Osaka where day trips to Kyoto, Kobe, Nara and Hiroshima, with the latter climate resulting in no-jacket / light-jacket weather.  Being able to layer clothing while switching out a packable winter coat with a light jacket made for a comfortable transition down south while maintaining great quality travel photos and videos worthy of promoting the area. Comfortable all-weather shoes were perfect for all the walking and climbing without looking like a tourist.  TTW and his marketing manager found no restrictions with their attire in visiting the snowy north through the southern temples among the blossoming cherry blossoms all the way up to the base of Mount Fuji. REI’s multi-functional shoes, clothing and headwear lent an easy arm to dressing the part on this diverse-weather and culturally-rich trip.

Cruise for Two

Houston -> New Orleans -> Fort Lauderdale -> Bahamas -> St Thomas -> Dominica -> Grenada -> Bonaire -> Curacao 

December 2018

Temperature difference: +/- 40F

Two weeks

TTW and his marketing manager flew via Spirit Airlines with a stopover in New Orleans for the night before continuing on to Fort Lauderdale where they boarded Princess Cruise Lines.  Although carry ons were preferred, they checked their bags through to Florida in order to enjoy a night in NOLA. The weather was cold, a little damp and in need of a warmer jacket. Of course, once on the ship, tropical attire was necessary.  With five ports of call, day excursions consisted of open-air bus tours, hiking, dipping in the ocean, snorkeling, scuba diving, sightseeing and sailing. Evenings on the ship were formal and semi-formal with sit-down dinners and exciting nightlife.  The Caribbean’s vibrant colors meant it was essential to blend in, made easy by REI’s vast choices of hues, materials and styles. As laundry was not an option, quick drying clothing and some camping-style essentials, such as a portable clothes line, eliminated any potential stress of travel.  And the compact nature of the essentials meant we were not stuck paying exorbitant prices on the ship. Bug repellent, durable sunglasses, foldable hats, breathable socks and moisture-wicking shirts enabled TTW and his marketing manager to acclimatize quicker to the ports of call. For those who get seasick, REI provides several options to offset the queasiness.

Traveling Royally

Houston -> New York -> London -> Scotland -> Liverpool -> Isle of Man -> Jersey -> Guernsey -> London -> Philadelphia -> New Jersey -> Houston

May 2019

Temperature difference: +/- 30F

Two weeks

TTW and his marketing manager flew via Spirit Airlines to New York where they spent a brisk eight hours walking all over the city visiting several unique sights before boarding budget carrier Norweigian Airlines to London.  As this was a daytime layover, they decided not to check luggage and instead carried their small bags around with them. With REI’s many options in medium-sized carryons, it was no issue navigating their way through the city, through crowded subway trains and busy areas.  Plus, not only do the bags fit under the seats on the plane but they also fit under the seats of the several restaurants and bars they visited (mostly places where popular drinks and dishes were invented). TTW and his marketing manager opted for a similar packing style to the Japan / China trip as they were traveling to Edinburgh during the first half, participating in several outdoor activities in the north on the Isle of Man before venturing south.  While not as remote as the cruise destinations, the trip did require some creature comforts not available in the UK. TTW and his marketing manager flew a total of nine times with seven flights in the UK, channel islands and crown dependencies. The airports and UK’s equivalent to TSA are both a lot more strict and stringent on what travelers can and cannot take aboard. Finding that perfect bag within the size limit can be challenging, however REI does have a wide selection of appropriate options.

Where next? West Africa

The Traveling Wizard has been to every country in the southern part of the African continent, most of the eastern part of the continent and every northern country except Libya. So what’s left? A lot.

The next big adventure will take TTW and his marketing manager to the largest city in Africa: Lagos, Nigeria. From Nigeria, they plan on heading west through Benin and Togo to Ghana. Ghana has Mole National Park, one of the finest game reserves in west Africa. Togo is the birthplace of voodoo.

If time permits, both will stop into the Ivory Coast and possibly cross into Burkina Faso. This part of the world is a little more difficult than visiting….say….Europe. Visas are expensive, travel is more difficult and most of these spots are a little less familiar with dealing with travelers. Long gone are the days of cliched safari gear and luggage; now it’s lightweight modern clothing, lightweight backpacks, RFID-blocking bags and UV-blocking eyewear. REI provides an assortment of items perfect for off the beaten track of Africa including travel towels, eco-friendly water bottles, purification tablets, protein bars, stylish head gear to protect from the sun and waterproof baggage.

Inspiring Travel as a Lifestyle

Who is my audience

Followers of The Traveling Wizard are predominately in the United States, however we have a growing global following.  They are professionals with a disposable income, educated but eager to learn about the world.  They embrace travel as a lifestyle and enjoy the creature comforts, fine dining and outdoor adventures.  They are willing to pay a little extra for convenience.

How do I reach them?

Fans of The Traveling Wizard are active on social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr and Pinterest.  By utilizing the best hashtags, our followers will be introduced and exposed to brands from ideation to fruition, initial booking to posting their dream travel photos for family and friends.  Our readers engage in dialog with The Traveling Wizard daily through posting comments, testimonials and giving feedback across all channels.

Why REI?

Our readers embrace a higher quality of travel without feeling materialistic, prefer convenience over flashiness and strive to create as little disruption to nature. REI is a premier store that our followers are looking for, and through our articles, videos and photos, they will get the inside scoop to making their trip the most memorable ever using the products on offer.

So how can we make the magic happen?

With the assistance of your dedicated marketing and product development teams, we will gain access to exclusive products related to our travel destinations.

Is there a hidden gem you need us to shine?

We would love to be the first to experience new and exciting products tested in the most surreal and adventurous environments.  Our followers are mostly well-traveled however they may not have the right gear, devices and accessories to make the best of their trips. Oftentimes, travelers have to forego a hike or an excursion simply because they do not have the correct shoes, backpacks or clothing. The Traveling Wizard will promote the benefits of investing in the right gear.

Phone:  832.860.2455

The Traveling Wizard is created by Bill Wiatrak with website production and marketing by Jennie Timar.