ICYMI, I taught a workshop at The Blog Societies’ Annual conference this past weekend (AKA, #TBScon). Cathy and Jessica did an incredible job putting on this event, and it’s a conference I’ve attended for many years (seriously — look at baby 24-year-old Alicia at this event!)
I had a lot of people email me saying that they couldn’t make this years event, so I wanted to take the time to share a few travel blogging tips from my workshop so that you can become a travel blogging rockstar yourself. Let’s get to it!
5 Travel Blogging Tips:
Local Content = Travel Content
Did you know that you can start creating travel content in your own backyard? If you want to get your foot in the door in the travel industry, start creating guides for your own hometown (or nearest metropolitan area!) I love Jessica’s Ultimate Atlanta Travel Guide, Greta has a pretty epic guide to Nashville Murals, and I love Sher’s guide for NYC Hotels Under $150. There’s a strong chance that not everyone who reads your blog is going to be from your hometown, so what might be local content for you, might be a great travel piece for someone else.
Have a Good Balance of Organic vs. Sponsored Travel Content
When people hear “travel blogger,” they might assume that every single I trip I go on is sponsored in some way. In reality, I have about a 60%/40% split of organic vs. sponsored travel content right now. I just genuinely enjoy traveling, and sometimes I like taking a trip without having to worry about getting that perfect hotel shot or eat my food without taking a photo of it first. Who knew?
Get Inspired by Social Media & Traditional Publications
Listen: I say reach for the stars when it comes to producing your travel content. I love reading Condé Nast Traveler, and that’s one of my favorite print magazines, and I love both how they lay out their content, as well as the visuals they produce. I also make sure to read the magazines from an airline anytime I hop on a flight. I love these magazines because they’re simply-written articles that any traveler can relate to.
For social media, my favorite source of travel blogging tips and inspiration is Pinterest. Before I go on trips, I’ll search for city guides for the destinations I’m visiting (ex. search for “Montreal City Guide,” or “Best New Orleans Restaurants”)
Find Your Voice
What travel blogging tips work for me might not work for you, so it’s important to know who your audience is and go from there. For example, I know my audience is composed of young professionals who might not have a ton of PTO yet still want to take weekend trips to as many destinations as possible, so I love to build itineraries for a 48-72 hour trip. I also don’t have kids, so I like to focus on girl’s trips or couples getaways for the millennial.
Have the Right Gear
What are some things I bring on every trip? Here are some of my favorite things:
- Field Notes Notebook: I like to jot down notes with a pen and paper during my trip rather than typing them out on my phone — if I’m chatting with a PR person or asking a chef questions, I want to make it very clear that I’m listening, and not on my email! Field Notes Notebooks are compact and will fit in your bag easily, and are pretty high quality.
- A Fast Portable Charger: Not only do we use portable chargers for our phones, but we’ll also use them for camera batteries, just in case they die out while we’re in the middle of an assignment. I love this particular charger because it has two ports, charges super quick, and it comes in rose gold.
- The Right Camera Equipment: The travel camera gear we like to use? This compact full-frame camera has a fixed wide-angle lens and fits in most of my bags. However, we also bring our DSLR and love this Sigma 24-35 mm F/2 lens for those dreamy wide angle shots. I also like this iPhone tripod: it can fit comfortably in your suitcase, can mount to pretty much any surface, and is a great way to snap a pic when you don’t have someone around you to take a photo.