10 Ways in which Traveling Changes for a Travel Blogger

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a travel blogger.

There is nothing better than to have your work revolve around your passion. However, traveling has changed so much for me since I started my travel blog. I am not sure if others can relate but here are my two cents.

How travel blogging has impacted my travels

travel as a travel blogger

1. Travel becomes work – Traveling is no longer a carefree, fun, impromptu activity. Surely, travels are always fun but once it becomes your work, it is totally different. Making top 10 lists in your head, choosing places that are blog-able, staying in hotels that are pitch-able, taking pictures that are pin-able – It’s all part and parcel of your travels and its all hard work.

2. Always hunting for Wifi Spots – From your destinations to your hotels, cafes and restaurants – you always pick places which have Wifi. This also means that many adventure activities like – camping in dense jungles, rafting for several days or hiking into the mountains is off limits (Unless you have a virtual assistant checking your emails, blogging and staying on top of your social calendar on your behalf). Wifi is a must as you need to be connected all the time – What if you are at an awesome place (Opportunity to check-in on your FB page) – What if you click an amazing picture (Opportunity to geo tag it on Instagram & Pinterest) – Now you can’t miss these, can you? So, before you book your hotel, choose your destination or even enter a cafe – You always check for Wifi – and mind you, it “must” be free!

3. Constant need to hone your photography skills – Remember the good ol’ days where travel pictures used to be fun? Silly selfies, stupid pictures where you don’t really care about how you look or act? When you didn’t have to worry about colors or resolution of the images? Well then – Bid adieu to those days – they are just distant memories. As a travel blogger, you are bound to take “good” pictures and have decent photography skills, if not excellent. Also, you must click everything. As soon as you get your food, instead of diving right in (like a normal hungry traveler would do), you would take out your camera and take pictures till you have the perfect shot – and you might just end up adding filters and uploading on Instagram for real time benefits. Of course, you need shots of everything – beach, feet, mountains, clouds, sun rise, sun set, moon, flowers, birds, nature, wine, beer, locals, architecture, rural life, urban life – heck – just about everything you see! After all, you need to tell your followers how awesome your vacation is going – at least few times a day. Later you will need the best ones for your blog, tweets, pins as well – so more the merrier!

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4. Always thinking about new blog post ideas – Everything you do – a tour, eating out, cooking in, making friends, meeting locals – everything is a probable blog post. In your head, you are always thinking about the best ideas and titles for your blog post during your vacation – it’s like your mind is never at rest.

5. Everything should be complimentary – You work 15 hours a day on your blog, so when you travel, everything must be free – And its not really “Free” because you are working for it. After working so hard on promoting your blog and pitching to brands, if you end up in a nice restaurant (without a prior pitch), the bill sure does pinch! As compared to when you were just a traveler and never expected anything remotely discounted unless you bag an error fare or come across a great deal by some sheer luck.

6. You cannot go anywhere hands free – Going to the beach or a club? As a traveler, you would just stuff some money in your jean pocket and head out. As a blogger, you cannot go without your camera, phone, selfie stick & notebook (at least).

7. Making notes ALL the time – As a traveler, you would happily trot around, exploring new places and just enjoying tours – without paying much attention to what your guide is saying or where you are going – The idea is to just have a great time. As a blogger, you need to note down every single place you visited, exactly how much you paid for entry/ transport/ food at every attraction, what you ate & hopefully even what it was made up of – So, you are always making notes. Notes are no fun at all – remember how you used to cringe when you had to do it in school – arrrgh! Welcome back, school days.

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8. You cannot travel light – Now this one is really super annoying. You need to carry the stuff you need to review (usually travel gear, clothes etc – which you happily accepted from brands in exchange for reviews/ pictures) plus you need to dress better. As a traveler, a pair of run down denims and few casual tees would be more than sufficient for a week at the beach. As a blogger, you need to be more careful about how you dress – after all, you have thousands (or millions) of fans looking at your pictures via tweets, grams and pins. What if your post goes viral and you are dressed like a hobo? Plus, you will be meeting your sponsors (if you have a sponsored stay/ restaurant/tour review and you wouldn’t want to look shabby). So, traveling light is just not an option.

9. Working with brands comes first – Your schedule revolves around the brands you want to work with and reaching out to bigger audience. You would choose a travel meet over a fun night out. You would choose a sponsored tour instead of chilling at the beach or doing something you would’ve done – as a regular traveler. Your plans revolve around work, brands and pitches.

10. Writing – You find yourself writing every chance you get – Be it a flight or a long bus ride – You have your laptop handy and you are writing your next blog post already – I mean, why would you talk to the person sitting next to you & make a new friend, when you can “Write”? duh!?

Here’s a question for all fellow bloggers – Does it ring any bells for you? Tell me if you can relate to any of the points in my list.. I would like to know I am not the only one (Or maybe I am .. In which case I probably need a “blog detox” vacation).

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  • Live Learn Venture

    Great post Jo! These are all so, so true. I don’t think any of us travel bloggers realized how much life would change once it became our job! It is one of the best jobs though, isn’t it? 🙂 Hope you’re loving your current adventure!

  • Hi Jo! I loved reading this post and I can totally relate to pretty much every one of your points – especially writing and making notes all the time and always thinking about potential blog posts! When I experience something or explore someplace new, I often find myself writing the future blog post in my head haha.

    But I love documenting my travels and experiences, and I am always thankful that I kept such detailed notes when I sit down to actually write the post and when I re-read my travel notes in the future and am able to re-live my experiences and emotions I felt during those times.

    Have an awesome day!

    • Reliving your journey through the blogposts is surely one of the positive things about travel blogging – I am about to start living my 2 weeks South African adventure through my month long series of posts – Grab my coffee and get writing.

  • Blogging is definitely hard work. Well, actually, the blogging is easy, the promotion is hard. I would definitely try a blog-detox vacation once in a while where you just enjoy yourself and forget the rest.

  • Blogging takes a lot more effort and work that a lot of people realize, but I appreciate travel blogging and my dreams of living off of its income one day as a motivator. Travel blogging gives my travels meaning, so I feel less guilty and have more purpose taking all these trips and seeing so much of the world that other people don’t if I consider it my job to inspire others.

  • Chantell Collins

    Oh man I so agree with most of these! I am always thinking – “Did I get enough good photos?” to make that post. Sometimes it means staying longer to take a few extra snaps. I love that someone below mentioned a “blog detox vacation” – sometimes we will go on activities or shorter trips and choose not to blog about it. Just to give ourselves a break :).

  • Truth. Haha.

  • Elaine J Masters

    Most of this is too true! I’m aways striving for balance. My obsessions (for pictures & notes) go with me daily! Good to know I’m not alone in being a bit manic. Must share with family & travel buddies (who don’t blog.)

  • I’ve been travel blogging for about 5 years now, and I can’t really relate, although I get where you’re coming from. Maybe since I work mostly with brands that emphasize outdoors travel, I can be pretty laid-back while I travel since the brand is (or at least, the brand understands laid-back people). I’ve heard this from many other travel bloggers, though.

  • Vyjay Rao

    We are on the same page as you, need to maintain a balance so that the whole experience is enjoyed and that translates into good posts. That is what we are all struggling for 🙂

  • Luxury Travel Diva

    I’m a newbie, and not trying to make a living from blogging but I can understand how you must be feeling. I think the comment below makes a good point and finding a good balance is so important.

  • Paige Brown

    I think this is definitely true. When I tell people back home that I’m a travel blogger, they say things like, “Oh that’s pretty cool to just get to travel and write about it.” Not that it isn’t cool; I love it very much! BUT it is so much more work than anyone who doesn’t blog realizes. I especially related to three of them – not being able to pack (as) light, doing things that are more “readable” and constantly having blog posts running through your head. Here’s to living a life with passion, though! Cheers!

    • Haha I know, right! Well, this time when I met new people and they asked me what I did – I am a travel blogger – wow, that must be so cool. Well, it is but… (there goes my 10 point list of “buts” and how I am not directly making money off my blog, yet). At the end of the convo, they don’t seem as impressed but def still curious 🙂

  • I’ve been blogging for over a year but just rebranded as a travel blog a month ago. While I’m not making any money from my blog it definitely takes up a lot of my time. Trying to promote my blog on social media is a killer for me. It’s difficult to find a balance because you don’t want to be constantly on Facebook or Twitter, you have to live your life.

    http://itsatravelfullife.com

  • Restless Heart

    I agree, blogging about my travel definitely changed the way I travel in some of the same ways but at the same time it’s made me more likely to take a hold of opportunities and try new things because I think of what a great story this would be and since I’m anxious traveler with hermit tendencies, having that motivation to go out and do things for the story is good for me.

  • Janna C.

    I agree with some of the things you posted here. Being a travel blogger is not as easy as what everyone might think. Creating content, engaging readers and taking beautiful photos takes a lot of work.

  • Jamporter

    I try to keep it as organic an experience as possible and write/post on social media in the evenings, but you’re so right in saying you’re constantly thinking of blog posts and what to include and where you were and taking pics of everything! It’s an adjustment for sure!

    • I agree its a big adjustment and since I already did few trips now as a blogger, I found some balance 🙂 *(some) lol

  • I don’t quite agree with numbers 1, 5, 9 and 10 but yeah, all the rest sounds like me. :p

  • Jonny Blair

    Hi Jo, I agree with all of these, well said. However number 6 is the one that I can contradict only because I travelled to Africa on a challenge recently with no luggage. It seems we work in the same way, our minds think the same. Safe travels. Jonny

    • Haha well indeed I think even I would totally do it as a challenge 😉 Can’t really back off from a challenge now, can we !?
      Did you had a carry on atleast? How many days and where in Africa?