Travel Blogging on the Road
How to travel blog while travelling
Travelling is as much about the journey as the destination, which is just as well considering the amount of time we spend in transit on buses, trains, planes, tuk tuks and even horse & carts!
If you're interested in writing about your gap year, finding time to write about your travels can be difficult, especially when you're having so much fun.
So how do we find time to write? We have a few tips and tricks to make it easier for you!
1. Decide why you are writing
First up, writing shouldn't be a chore. Consider why you want to document your trip. Is it to inspire others to do the same? To keep in touch with family and friends? To organise your thoughts and photos as you go?
Writing invigorates us as we travel, it helps to fix memories in our minds, and ensures we have a summary of how we felt in every part of the world. Feelings can fade, so writing ensures we continue to relive those memories. Primarily we write for ourselves, but also we hope to inspire others. Many people think travelling isn't for all, but we feel everyone should at least have a go, even for a short period of time. Travel invigorates us, enriching us as we move, allowing different values, beliefs and cultures to seep into our unconscious. We love to travel.
There are many travel blogs out there: how to travel on a small budget, how to volunteer around the world. On our website Worldly Nomads, we decided to focus on travel inspiration, or travel porn if you prefer! Simply showing people that there are some incredible sights to be seen around the world, in the hope that some will decide to get up and work out how they can see these places too. We still do things on a budget, for example our daily budget for South East Asia was $50 for both of us ($25 each), so we still travel on a budget, but not so much that the experience of travelling is ruined.
2. Plan ahead
Planning ahead is important; its amazing how quickly weeks can fly by as you travel. How often do want to publish an article? Once a month? Once a week? You'll read all sorts of conflicting opinions on this, so choose what you think is achievable for you and stick to it!
For example, we publish an email newsletter once a week which features two new articles which we find is enough to keep growing our site, is manageable and also doesn't overload our readership. Some travel blogs publish more often, but we prefer quality over quantity, writing great articles with great images that inspire others to get out and experience another part of the world. We also we don't want to have to write something just for the sake of it, as that would bore our readership. Two articles a week gives us a framework to plan around.
3. Use transit time wisely
Use long journeys to your advantage. For example, we're currently sitting in Perth airport awaiting our flight to the east coast. Transit time is when we do the majority of our writing and photo organising. A five hour bus journey can quickly pass when you're editing a video, or writing a blog on something you've just experienced.
You also don't need to set aside a day for travel blogging. We tend to do what we want during the day, and then spend a couple of hours in the early evening doing some work, sipping a beer or fresh fruit juice. This way we have a good mix of experiencing a place, and having time to document it.
When you arrive in a new place, you will tend to take a walk around to get your bearings. This is the best time to be snap happy with your camera! We get the majority of our photos on this day. The reason being that many times you arrive somewhere and think, "ah we'll come back and see this again" and never get the chance. But most importantly it means you can spend the rest of your time there simply enjoying yourself.
Also, and this may come as a shock to you, sometimes you'll simply be having too much fun to write a blog, imagine that?! If so, take a few very brief initial notes on your iphone focusing on how you felt in a place. It's amazing how strong feelings of a place can fade with time, write it down, it'll help spark deeper memories of your experiences.
4. Choose your equipment wisely
Planning what to take on a gap year or longer journey can be difficult, particularly when it comes to what you will use to document the journey. Many travellers struggle to find the right balance between documenting everything (and in our opinion diluting the experience) and documenting little (missing opportunities for once in a lifetime memories). We feel we've found the right balance, and you can read our full backpacking packing list on our website, but in particular for documenting our journey we have the following:
- 13 inch Macbook pro
- NIKON D3000
- Sony Handycam HD video
- Gorilla pod
- Vivitar tripod
Again you will find many opinions on this. We already owned the Macbook, and we use it for blogs, going online and photo and video editing. If we didn't own it already, we would have purchased something smaller.
5. Choosing themes and topics
Whilst travelling, themes can come easy, and we focus primarily on destinations and what they are like. We are less about list of things to do, and more about how a place makes you feel, why you would go there. We don't write for other travel bloggers, we write to inspire people to travel, and if they choose to travel, a road map of where they could go.
The crux of our blogs are the photos. We know this is what people love above all else. You can write the most eloquent, descriptive post, but without photos we find the level of interest drops significantly. A sign of short attention spans? Or a sign that travel and photography are an important marriage? We think the latter, and spend a lot of time with our cameras.
So that's it in a nutshell for us. Travelling and blogging can sometimes be difficult and at times feel like its detracting from your experience. But our experience says you'll feel enriched and glad that you have your memories written as you go, ensuring the memories of your travel live on for many years to come.
If you're thinking about travel blogging on the road then read our guide on how to write the perfect blog post - it's packed full of hints and tips.
Also, make sure you read our top 10 tips on how to become a travel writer (if that's what you're in to).
And of course, if you're interested in blogging and telling your fellow gappers what you're up to then blog on gapyear.com!
About the Author: Barry Best
Barry's a bit of an adventure addict and he loves to travel. Him and his missis Laura make up the Worldly Nomads and they're both travel bloggers. Currently on a round the world trip, they've been to over 30 countries and counting. Their first big trip together was in 2005 where they spent two months backpacking around Asia. Now, armed to the teeth with equipment, they're documenting their travels around the world.