Travel Bracketology: The Indie Travel Take Down

Introducing: March Madness-inspired Travel Bracketology

For a massive sports fan like myself, this is one of my favorite times of the year. Spring training has begun, the NHL is in the final push for the playoffs, and NFL free agency is underway. But those pale in comparison to the madness of the next three weeks – college basketball’s NCAA tournament.

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Vote for the Finals

Vote for the Final 4

Vote for the Elite 8:

Vote for the Sweet 16:

Vote for Round 2:

Vote for Round 1:

The Facebook polls are complete and the field of 64 is set.  The people have voted in their favorite countries within each region, and now the tournament is underway.

Read on for more information and the rules:

Each year around this time people get worked up into a frenzy over college basketball’s biggest event. The Cinderella teams steal the spotlight from the big boys as the upsets mount in the early rounds.  The traditional powerhouses remain optimistic in their push to cut down the nets on April 2.  And starting Monday, millions of Americans will come into the office with brackets in hand, hoping to win a little extra cash and bragging rights for the next year.

I know what you’re thinking – what the hell does this have to do with travel?

We’re always looking for interesting ways to connect with all of you and get you involved with what we’re doing. Making meaningful connections is part of what we’re all about here at BootsnAll.  The 30 Days of Indie Project from November was a great start and gave us a chance to connect with so many of our readers. We continued it with our year-long Indie Travel Challenge, and it’s been awesome.

Now it’s time for another way to get involved – our first annual March Madness Indie Travel Tournament, where one country will be crowned Indie Travel Champion.  You don’t have to like basketball.  You don’t have to like sports for that matter.  But if you love travel and are looking for a fun way to both learn about and debate the indie-ness of different countries around the world, then this project is for you.

Just like the NCAA tournament, we’ll  have 64 teams within 4 regions –  The Americas, Europe, Asia/Oceania, and Africa/Middle East.  Much like the tournament, countries have to earn their way in.  There are no automatic bids in this tournament.  The goal with this tournament is to see which country in the world is the most indie.  We want to know what you think are the best countries in the world for independent travelers – from budget, to experience, to ability to connect with locals.  Which country stands above all the rest and coincides with the values in the Indie Travel Manifesto.  Best of all, you get to decide the outcome.

The Rules

We want you to start voting for countries within their specific region via our Facebook polls:

THE AMERICAS: What’s the best country in North, Central, & South America for independent travel?

EUROPE: What’s the best country in Europe for independent travel?

ASIA & OCEANIA: What’s the best country in Asia & Oceania for independent travel?

AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST: What’s the best country in Africa & Middle East for independent travel?

You can even write-in your own candidate in case you know of a great destination that we missed.  If enough people agree with you, that country can earn its way into our final field of 64.  Initial voting will end this upcoming Tuesday, March 13 (noon PST), and the final field will be announced.

On Wednesday and Thursday (March 14 + 15) we’ll highlight the match-ups for those days.  ESPN meets BootsnAll as we’ll break down each game and discuss who has the best chance of moving on.  Each team will be seeded based on the preliminary Facebook votes, and again, you’ll be the ones deciding who advances in our tournament.  Just like the real NCAA tournament, we expect there to be plenty of drama and a multitude of upsets on the road to the championship game on April 2.

The Schedule

Once the tournament begins, readers will be able to vote on each match-up using our new Indie-o-Meter.  The team with the highest score at the end of that round moves on.  Here’s the schedule:

  • Friday, March 9:  Facebook voting begins for round 1 to find out who makes the field of 64
  • Tuesday, March 13:  Voting ends for preliminary round 1 (noon PST); field of 64 is set
  • Wednesday, March 14:  Voting for round 2 begins
  • Sunday, March 18:  Voting ends for round 2 (11:59pm PST)
  • Monday, March 19:  Results announced, match-ups for round 3 set; voting begins
  • Tuesday, March 20:  Voting ends for round 3 (11:59pm PST)
  • Wednesday, March 21:  Results announced; match-ups for the Sweet 16 set; voting begins
  • Thursday, March 22:  Voting ends for Sweet 16 (11:59pm PST)
  • Friday, March 23:  Results announced, match-ups for Elite 8 set; voting begins
  • Sunday, March 25:  Voting ends for Elite 8 (11:59pm PST)
  • Monday, March 26:  Results announced, match-ups for Final Four set; voting begins
  • Thursday, March 29:  Voting ends for Final Four (11:59pm PST)
  • Friday, March 30:  Results announced, match-up set for the Finals; voting begins
  • Monday, April 2:  Voting ends for the Finals (11:59pm PST)
  • Tuesday, April 3:  Indie Travel Champion is crowned
The more people who get involved, the better.  Please feel free to pass this along, share it via Facebook, Twitter, or any of your favorite social media sites, then start voting via our Facebook poll to set the field of 64.  We all have our favorite countries around the world to travel, so now’s your chance to highlight that country and tell everyone why you think it’s the best.  Bragging rights are on the line here, so head on over to the Facebook poll and get started!
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Leave a Comment

  • Mandy Moore said at 2012-03-09T17:15:33+0000: Fun. I think I'll make the winner my next destination... :)
  • Colette Kimball said at 2012-03-09T17:58:17+0000: Looking forward to seeing who the top contenders are. Will a Cinderella team take it all, or will it be a favorite standby......
  • Sean E Keener said at 2012-03-09T17:47:13+0000: Good idea Mandy. I think I'll join you in that.