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Photo courtesy of Ma.tt.

I love to travel, and when I can’t hit the road, I love to armchair travel. Travel blogs are great for vicarious sightseeing. I’ve noticed that the best travel bloggers all do certain things very well:

  • They include photos. Evocative prose is great and all, but we also want to see that stunning vista.
  • They don’t include too many photos. Granted, Angkor Wat is amazing, but scrolling through fifty photos of ancient temples? Not so much. Choose a few of the best, and link to the rest.
  • They eat. Everybody wants to hear about food (and see pictures of food), especially new and unfamiliar food.
  • They give specifics. Even if your readers are unlikely to ever follow in your footsteps, they’ll still want to know: how much was that kebab? What was the name and address of that guesthouse? How long was that train ride?
  • They introduce us to interesting people. Even travel stories that would seem to be all about solitude (such as thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail) inevitably include characters. We want to hear about the new friends, the fascinating strangers, the irritating seatmates.
  • They educate. They don’t just mention a monument, a tradition, or a custom; they provide history and context. Who built the monument? How did the tradition start? What does the custom symbolize? What does it mean to people today?
  • They employ humor. Traveling is all about getting outside your comfort zone, and at times it can be awkward and confusing. Entertaining travel writers see the comedy in every misadventure.
  • They focus on what makes their perspective unique. Many people have visited Paris, but everybody sees it differently. Are you a senior traveler, or do you travel with small children? Do you travel with a wheelchair (or with a wheelchair and small children)? Are you an introvert, or a scaredy cat? There are others like you who will be inspired by your example.

Everybody travels. Whether you’re riding a pony through Mongolia, or exploring a new area of your hometown, you’re having an adventure people will want to read about!

Do you have any favorite travel blogs on WordPress.com, and if so, what do you like about them? What tips do you have for making posts about travel interesting or useful to readers?

To find more great travel posts on WordPress.com, try browsing the Travel topic page!

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  1. I’ve had my own travel blog for about two years now. Its called Around the World in Eighty Years. I had a blog back in 2003 when I walked 1500 miles across Finland. I was surprised how popular it was but after the trip, I didnt keep it up. Thanks for this post.

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  2. The headline caught my eye as I have a travel blog, InsideJourneys. Currently, I’m exploring Jamaica, my home country. I do believe that the best way to see any place is to step outside the tourist bubble and explore. There’s so much life out there!

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  3. Thanks for the great info! I have just started posting my travel blog of my trip to Spain, and intend to do much more. One question: Would it be OK to have a separate post to include more photos? I don’t have a link because my photos are on a flash drive, not another web site.

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  4. I once read a travel blogger’s trip that, like you mentioned, most of your readers won’t have the opportunity to follow your footsteps. Your travel blog, in a way, is a like gift to your loved ones back home to get a taste of your experience, and get motivation to try something new on their own.

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  5. Great post – I want to blog my travels – few and far between at the mo’, but I’ll definitely keep this in mind. You’ve nailed everything I like about other travel bloggers.

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  6. Oh – also – although I’m new still at blogging, I breakdown my trips into several posts. For example, on our Thailand trip, one post was dedicated to the itinerary, the next to my bamboo tattoo, and another (still to come) will focus just on a day we rode scooters around an island. That way, posts aren’t too heavy with content.

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    1. This is a great tip! When I blog about travel, I tend to stick to chronological, journal-style entries. But posting about individual episodes or events instead gives you room to go into greater detail. It also has the added bonus of letting you stretch even a short trip into content for quite a few posts! 🙂

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  7. I love travel/photo blogs. I can visit places I’ve only dreamed of. And I’ve added a few places to my bucket list after seeing the photo blogs.
    I am currently doing a series of posts on my recent trip to Italy: a bike tour in Florence, morning mists in Tuscany, history of a villa reconstruction…
    Thanks for this post.

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  8. I’m currently blogging about our Dec 2011-Jan 2012 New Zealand travels,
    ….I make it clear every few posts that it’s retrospective because often when you are on the road and busy doing / seeing everything, there are not enough hours left in a day to write it all up and sort photos too.

    We travel with our young kids and so my daily “photographic journal” is also a way for them to later remember where we have been and what we have seen and to know of the places we stayed and activities we did worked well for us (and sometimes also which not)

    We try and include as many kid-friendly activities as possible, and we like to get off the beaten track when we can… not only in New Zealand but also other countries around the world too… it’s fun blogging about them all! …and my blog photos are very handy for school geography projects my kids are asked to make LOL:)

    if we cover a place with a lot of different aspects to it, I break it up into as many blog posts are necessary to cover each part… makes for easier reading and shorter posts.

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    1. So true about it being easier to blog the whole trip once you’re back! Blogging from the road can be tough to manage – although it’s exciting for readers at home to follow along.

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  9. Great! I blog about my travels too. Be it locally or overseas. Not only you are able to share the experience but also the wonderful pictures! Feel free to browse tru.

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  10. Lovely analysis of what makes effective travel writing! I bet my students are going to love the assignment to invent a blog that does each of the things on your list!

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  11. Great post! I started writing my travel blog many years after my travelling experiences. My blog is directed towards travel in Sardinia, Italy and often forgotten paradise in the Mediterranean. Because of my blog, I have been introduced to so many other fantastic travel bloggers! The world is a wonderful place and ours to discover!

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  12. Informative and helpful post! As for travel photos, I really appreciate ones that make you look at famous landmarks, buildings, monuments, etc. differently. These structures (e.g. the Clock Tower/Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower) are so frequently photographed that most of the photos look the same. I enjoy posts in which the blogger offers a fresh perspective – may it be through taking photos from interesting angles, including a close-up shot of the details, using tilt shift photography, including people in the shot to give readers an idea of what the scene around the structure is like, etc.

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    1. Great point! It’s also nice when bloggers vary their photos – a landscape, then a close-up of a flower, etc. And I think including people in the shot usually adds some interest.

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  13. I suppose my blog falls under the unique perspective category. My posts and photos are from a back of the bike viewpoint; my husband and I do rides anywhere from one day up to a recent 12 day adventure that I just started posting about.

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  14. it is interesting reading blogs on travel although the one thing I am not is a traveller have just come back from my brothers in wales which is only 2hrs ago but I get frazzled going to places due to aspergers and have to fight to go anywhere always be glad you have the adventure spirit not all of us do !! but suppose thats what makes the world in teresting for people like me I dont have to travel to far to see what is going on the world

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  15. Thanks for the good ideas! With our blog we are busy blogging about our travels, amongst other things, whilst living abroad in Europe, from New Zealand. It seems like we are already doing some of what you talk about, now keen to see what more we can do!

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  16. Thanks for this ! Great points there ! Would definitely help improvise my travel blog too 🙂 🙂 Also,it’s great to find so many people sharing the common interests and passion for traveling and capturing those moments in their own unique way through words or lens !!

    Cheers to the trail we leave behind !!

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  17. I’ve blogged a few pieces of travel writing and plan to do a lot more. Mine includes home travel, journeys around my own city, county and country – England, because there is so much to see here and I realised that there is pleasure for many people in the less exotic too.

    http://lucidgypsy.wordpress.com/

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    1. It’s amazing how much you can discover even in your hometown, isn’t it? No matter how well I think I know my city, I am always stumbling across something new.

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  18. This is such a fantastic breakdown. Since moving around and traveling is the only life I have ever known, I have never really thought about a specific breakdown as such. I like to give readers a sense of inspiration when travelling or moving with babies/kids, adventure doesn’t stop once you have kids!

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  19. Mine is less a travel blog than ‘adventures with my camera’ blog. During these adventures I travel to either parts of NZ or overseas and have blogged about them after I got back (and processed the enormous pile of images LOL) and lets face it, NZ is a foreign and exotic country for many of my readers 🙂

    I also found it a lot easier to break down specific trips into several posts, esp if you have a lot of things you want to cover off. I did this with my Currumbin Sanctuary visit, there was such a diversity of wildlife available to photograph 🙂

    For the poster who didn’t have his photos elsewhere on the internet, open up a free Flickr account, its a really good way to load photos while you are travelling to back them up, and its not viewer limited like Facebook is (ie if you don’t have a FB account you cannot view most of the content)

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  20. I do not enjoy traveling. Too much hullabaloo. That’s why we live where everyone else has to visit. We go out the back door and take a trip and never leave the farm. I do not blog about it because I am afraid you will come here and want my gourmet cooking. Have a few posts about nearby places, and about our 40 – 10, but no more. Sorry.

    But not really. 😉

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  21. Love this list! Am finally getting back to travel plans after a two year hiatus (I’m blaming the baby I had last year 🙂 for this downtime). I appreciate the good advice, and am now not just excited about planning the trips, but also about eventually writing the posts!

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  22. These tips are really helpful. I also maintain a travel blog. If it’s a planned trip, I usually do a summary of my travel expenses to give people an idea how much it would cost for them to travel to a certain place for a period of time. Usually, I don’t do the Day 1, Day 2, and so on recounting of my experiences. Like Liana, I highlight a specific experience and not the whole itinerary for the day. Finally, I include personal stories, subjective ones, to make my story worth-remembering. I have to say that http://wanderinground.wordpress.com/ is my favorite travel blog. It inspires me a lot.

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  23. Very excellent tips, and all the responses make me want to read so many of these blogs (and I will) because I love travel. Last year we went to Istanbul, then ventured into the interior of Turkey, to the fairy chimneys and underground cities of Cappadocia, the capital city Ankara, the ancient cities of Troy and Ephesus, and much more. So far, my breakdown of the trip includes posts on Turkish food, people and Ephesus, with much more to come. And I have a question: I’m also posting about other things between the travel posts. Is this uncomfortable or confusing for readers?

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