I’ve been away, it’s true. On a two week trip to Israel to visit in-laws, wineries, and 3000-year old stones.
And while I regret leaving nothing to read in my absence I admit I had little to say. I’m just not the kind of blogger who cranks out miles of boilerplate posts, researched through keywords and scheduled for future release. My ideas come rather on the spur of the moment according to what I feel my readers need to know at the time. And the way technology cycles, that can be very last minute.
So here I am, back from the land of the Bible, to share a few thoughts on travel blogging.
Travel blogging is something every writer dreams of doing because it appears so glamorous, but what I’ve discovered is that blogging while traveling is a lot harder than it looks.
But unless your whole aim is to cover the best beaches to sit on or the best hotel pools to swim in, it’s like who’s got time to blog when you’re busy touring?
On this trip, hubby and I traveled with our daughter and nephew, so everyone had a mutually agreed upon agenda. We wanted to experience history, culture, wine, food and nature, which is not hard to do driving a rental car across a country smaller than Vancouver Island.
Each day we were up about 8:30 am and would check emails until heading out around 10 am. All day, we moved from sites to cities and back again, walking our shoes off and shooting pictures until batteries were exhausted. Keeping our devices charged was the perpetual obsession, just behind food.
I shot with an SLR and an iPhone, with another iPhone ready for recording interviews and tour guides. At the end of the day, I could barely stay awake long enough to jot down notes about the places we went and my dominant impressions of them. The next day was the same, as was every day for two weeks. I’m still digesting it all.
How could I post well written, keyword rich, well linked, optimized posts with gorgeous photos among all that touring? I couldn’t! But I still managed to get information out to my followers. Here’s how.
7 technology tips for travel blogging on the fly
- Post to social media. Your social following isn’t expecting 2000-word posts, so offering nuggets to chew on will make them happy, easily.
- Post with your smart phone using local wi-fi. It’s easy to upload images you shot on your phone to Facebook, Instagram, Google+, etc using your phone.
- Use Waze to avoid getting lost. While it won’t help you post faster, this phone app will save the time of reading maps and getting lost in a foreign country. Just set your destination and go with the voice of Colonel Sanders or Morgan Freeman guiding your route.
- Carry a portable battery charge to boost your phone’s power. Using Waze will suck your battery dry, so have an alternate charging method in case your rental car doesn’t have a USB outlet.
- Record a voice memo anytime someone speaks to you. It’s quicker and more accurate than taking notes and can be used to remember names of people, places, and things, as well as quotes for your post.
- It’s a smart idea to download images on your travel laptop as you go, just in case you lose your camera. If you don’t have time for that, then email pictures to your laptop using local wi-fi.
- Use a clip-on lens on your smart phone. The wide-angle lens is particularly useful when touring small places, like underground tombs.
Travel writing symposium coming soon
If you live in the Vancouver area and want to learn travel blogging or writing, I suggest you attend the BCATW’s 2016 Travel Writing Symposium on April 10 in New Westminster, BC.
This one-day event features keynote speaker, Lucas Aykroyd, a travel industry panel, and an editors panel, as well as pitching sessions with the editors. In addition to Twitter, blog and photo contests, there will be travel-related prizes given out all day. Register now for BCATW 2016!