Gone are the days of projector slideshow recaps of your summer vacation. Yet in a digital age, there’s even more to share with your friends and family! I have been sharing my photos, videos and thoughts from my travels on my Facebook for years, but it doesn’t offer the organization or presentation I’m really looking for – only a travel blog can do that.
The idea of starting your own blog may seem overwhelming, but I can assure you it’s very simple. As the community director for our Wine Bloggers, Beer Bloggers and Fitness & Health Bloggers Conferences, I’ve picked up a few tips that I’m happy to pass on, in hopes it will inspire you to start your own travel blog!
- Choose a platform. WordPress and Blogspot are just two examples of websites that offer you free hosting for your blog. This is the best way to start – and did I mention it’s totally free? Their sites are very user-friendly and offer a variety of templates so you can individualize your look.
- Keep it simple. If you knew how much time I’ve spent searching through WordPress templates trying to find the most perfect (and complicated) one for my site, you’d think I was crazy. Let your travel blog be simple, and customize from there once you get the hang of it. Not to mention the more clean your site looks, the easier it will be for your grandparents to figure out how to navigate through your adventures.
- Start an online photo album. It’s tempting to post every single picture from your last trip, but I suggest starting a separate photo album for that. Choose a few of your favorite pictures to feature in your post about your last trip, but offer a link to your photo gallery for those who want to peruse more of your images. Flickr and Picasa make this easy, and you can even link your galleries up with your Facebook or Twitter.
- Journal while you’re on the road. Every time I tell my grandma about a new upcoming trip, she begs me to make sure I’m keeping a journal of everywhere I’m going and everywhere I’ve been. Not only will this come in handy when I’m in my 80s and can’t remember all the places I’ve traveled, but it also provides accurate information for me to go back through later on when I want to write a post about my trip. I recommend journaling the old-fashioned way (on paper, that is) while you’re on the road, then using that to craft your blog posts on later.
- Try something created specifically for travel-aholics. Cataloging your trips has never been easier. If full-out blog posts is not your thing, consider a travel blog-specific site. My favorite is Everlater. In fact, I flat-out think it is the bee’s knees. You can track every step you took on your trip, view a map, include where you ate lunch and dinner, where you had that amazing glass of wine, and upload all of your pictures by location. Not only does this make it very easy and interesting for your friends and family to see what you spent your summer vacation doing, but you can easily provide recommendations for them of where to stay when they visit.
I really recommend getting a travel blog started, and getting in the habit of updating it with each trip. And just think – in the time it used to take to get film developed, scrapbook all your photos in an album, invite your friends over, make popcorn and then give a moment-by-moment account of your last trip while clicking through images on the projector, your travel blog could already be going viral!
I want to know: Do you have a travel blog? How do you share pictures and stories from your trips with friends and family?