Check out our step-by-step guide on How to Start a Travel Blog so you can start sharing your travel story with the world. But do read on about the pros and cons in this post as well.
Before embarking on a semester abroad or a round-the-world trip, it’s common for travelers to start their own blog as a way of keeping friends and family back home in the loop on where you are and what you’re up to.
In fact, it’s how many travel bloggers, myself included, got their start, as it’s easy to run a basic blog on sites like Blogger and WordPress for free.
But is it safe to put your plans out there on the Internet?
Here are a few things you may want to think about before blogging (and micro-blogging – think Twitter!) about you travels.
The Pros of Blogging Your Travels
- It’s easier than sending mass emails to everyone in your address book.
- It doesn’t junk up inboxes and your friends can read at their leisure.
- It’s easier in terms of media, as you can upload videos and photos easier than you would via email.
- You can also post by destination or in one post for a whole week’s worth of experiences.
Blogging can also serve as a scrapbook of your experiences, something to look back on your trip fondly with. Barring any sort of technical malfunction, it will always be there. I started blogging about my travels in 2009, so I now have five years of posts to remember. It’s also great for saving random details you may want to remember later, like that family-style restaurant in Florence you want to recommend to a friend visiting or how much it costs to visit that art museum in New York.
On the flip side, blogging lets others see where you are. This can be a good and a bad thing. On one hand, worried mothers will be able to see that you safely arrived at your destination after an overnight bus or that you survived your trek through the Amazon.
The Cons of Blogging Your Travels
It could make you a target of crime. If someone knows that you are traveling, they could break into your home or even follow you in your destination. Blogging that you’re a solo female traveler and then checking in to a hotel on Foursquare could give potential weirdos a lead on a target that is unfamiliar with the destination and culture.
I recommend blogging with at least a day’s delay for this reason. If using social media, like Twitter and such, try not to give away too many specific details, like hotel room numbers for example.
You could also be prone to government interference or censorship, depending on where you are going. While it won’t be a problem in most countries, it’s probably not a good idea to talk negatively or to criticize the governments of particular destinations. Even in the United States, people have been questioned about their political beliefs and had their laptops seized at the border.
Setting Up Your Travel Blog
If you’ve decided that you do want to set up a blog about your travels, here’s how to begin.
- Decide on your blogging method. Each hosting service offers something different. If you’ll be posting more images, a Tumblr might work just fine. If you want lots of features but don’t want to pay a premium, go with Blogger. If you want to turn your blog into a full-time site, or have more personal touches, go with WordPress. Here is our insanely simple guide for starting a self-hosted WordPress blog: How to Start a Travel Blog
- Set it up. Create your domain name and set the layout up how you want it. I also recommend purchasing storage for your photos so that you don’t lose them.
- Send the link to friends and family. You can even write it on postcards to hand out before and during your trip!
- Have fun! It’s up to you how often you want to post or what you want to write about. Don’t feel obligated to write every day like you would a diary.
>> You might also be interested in our post on female travel safety advice.
We’d like to hear from you. Do you think about the potential safety issues that come from blogging, or using social media, while traveling? Thoughts?