Imagine grabbing your luggage, gallivanting across the globe, and getting paid to share your experiences. For travel bloggers, this is just another day at the office — except the office may be on a sandy beach or under a rainforest canopy. As exciting as the job is, it can quickly go south without the right tools in tow.
Your intention to blog every day is well-meant, but you might not know where you’ll be tomorrow. Rock climbing in the Andes? Snorkeling in the Caribbean? Volunteering at an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai?
There’s nothing more frustrating than a faulty setup, which is why you need useful tools for working on the go. Once the wheels go up, the train leaves the station, or the boat lifts anchor; it’s headphones in, laptop open, and work mode on.
I’ve rounded up a list of essential tools for travel bloggers to help streamline your workflow, stay organized, connected, and #neverstopexploring.
Ready to dive in? Let’s get you on the best route for optimal output, minimal fuss.
1) A Website For Your Travel Content
As you hop from country to country, you’ll need a digital hub to chronicle your adventures. The first and most crucial tool on the list is creating a home base for your blog. Travel blogging is a business, and you don’t want to spin your wheels on free blogging platforms you’ll outgrow in a few years.
Let’s explore the best professional website platforms to serve as your blog’s home base.
WordPress.com – The Industry Standard
A quick google search on the best websites for travel bloggers will place WordPress at the top of the list. Why? It’s easy to use, versatile, customizable, and trusted for over 455 million websites.
Over 38% of all global websites are on WordPress, a pretty sizable chunk, so what makes it universally adopted? For starters, it’s an efficient content management system (CMS) that allows you to quickly set up a theme, launch your site, and start blogging. Be sure to choose the WordPress.org CMS plan, not the free WordPress.com, which is less customizable and limiting for a growing blog.
Are you blogging on the go? Use WordPress’s mobile app to easily create and share content en route to your next destination.
As popular as WordPress is, it’s not without flaws. You won’t need to know HTML code to design your site, but it’s not as simple as other drag and drop platforms like Wix or Squarespace. You’ll need to purchase third-party hosting from options like Bluehost or Siteground, a domain, and a theme before your site goes live to the public.
Insider tip: As you browse WordPress themes, be sure to choose one that includes an integrated blog!
You could opt to outsource these tasks, familiarize yourself with minor CMS functioning, or choose a more streamlined, user-friendly CMS.
Squarespace – A User-Friendly Alternative
Squarespace is growing increasingly popular in the blogosphere, namely for its user-friendly CMS. If you want to get your site and blog up and running in a flash, Squarespace’s all-in-one website plans include hosting, a custom domain and SEO to put your blog on the map.
Browse Squarespace’s aesthetic templates, or search online for themes best suited to your travel content. Once you choose a theme, it’s pretty much plug and play.
The caveat? You won’t have as many customizations, plugins, and widgets as WordPress. What you will have is an up and running, user-friendly site that can grow with your blog.
So, you’ve set up your home base; what other travel blogger tools should you use?
2) Create Social Media Posts On The Go
Did you just wrap up a tour through Dubai and are already en route to Istanbul? Don’t let that epic content collect dust on your phone. You can quickly craft travel posts for social media on the go with PosterMyWall.
Need Stories templates to bring your followers along for the ride? Perhaps you want to capture a recent trip’s highlights? A travel collage is a perfect way to do that! Browse dozens of travel collage templates, drop in your favorite photos, and start customizing to turn your trip into a memento you’ll have forever. Have a blog post you want to promote? Design a blog post header to bring your post to life.
PosterMyWall is a completely free online graphic design tool that makes creating and sharing social content a breeze. Easily upload your photos into the editor, create content, and download for free — with no pesky watermarks.
Not only will you have a relic from your journeys, but you’ll captivate your audience, too!
3) Stock Up On Travel Apps To Get Going Quick
The excitement of globetrotting can dwindle when planning and organization go out the window. Here are some key apps to keep your plans tethered in place as you jet set.
- Hopper helps you find cheap flights fast. Peruse destinations to find the cheapest flights and dates. Turn on the “Watch This Trip” notification to get alerts on price drops. The more flexible you are, the better deal you’ll get.
- Priority Pass is a premium membership app, but with as much traveling as you do, it’s worth the investment. You’ll gain access to over 1300 airport lounges and restaurants across the globe. When the travel blues set in, it helps to know there’s a nearby lounge with accessible comforts.
- TripIt keeps all your travel plans and itineraries in one spot. With integrated flight bookings and reservations, you’ll stay organized by keeping all your pertinent travel details in one app. With one click, you can share your itinerary with fellow travelers or coordinators—less time figuring out where you need to be, more time enjoying the journey.
4) Find Accommodation On The Go With Hotel Tonight
Frequent travelers know first-hand what it feels like to need accommodation fast. Whether your flight gets grounded in an unfamiliar city, you decide to whisk away to a new locale on a whim, or simply didn’t have the time to plan — Hotel Tonight has you covered.
The app lets you book accommodations the same day or up to seven days in advance. Customize your filters for luxury, budget, or charming travel experiences. Browse user photos and reviews, and don’t forget to check out the Daily Drop, a 15-minute deal window where you can snag rooms at a discount.
Hotel Tonight gets you cozy quick, which is why it’s an essential travel blogger tool!
5) Add Google Keep To Your Productivity Arsenal
Let’s face it; most of your blogging takes place on the go. You don’t want to tote around a pen and notebook everywhere and then have to copy your notes to digital. Instead, log your ideas, content, to-dos, and experiences in Google Keep.
Think of it as a digital post-it note, but instead of losing those flighty papers or spilling coffee on your notebook, you’ve got everything you need when you need it because Google Keep syncs across all your devices. If you jot down notes on your phone, you can easily import them to your blog when you’re ready to create.
Keep lets you create lists, jot down notes, and even record audio, which is especially helpful when things happen a mile a minute. Set reminders to stay on track with your content and ensure you never forget those incredible experiences you’re accumulating!
6) Stay Connected During Your Travels
As glamorous as travel blogging sounds, you’ll spend a lot of time alone. You’ll absolutely make friends along the way, but it helps to have a network of colleagues for staying connected.
Good news, because there are excellent travel blogging communities on social media! You’ll instantly gain access to thriving, active communities where you can meet peers, engage, network, and talk shop with colleagues worldwide.
- Travel Bloggers Club Facebook group – Connect with fellow travel bloggers and meet up at annual conferences!
- @TravelBloggeres and @PassionPassport on Instagram – Follow these accounts for inspiring travel content and to engage with community members.
- Nomads Talk on Slack – Connect with fellow digital nomads and bloggers near you.
The more connected you are online, the more you’ll grow your network, build an audience, and have an outlet to share stories, travel woes, and highlights!
Lift Your Blog’s Wheels Off The Ground And Take Flight!
Travel blogging is an exciting career, but you’ll need helpful resources to stay organized and efficient. It’s natural to feel scattered and wayward while country hopping. The goal is to spend less time balancing tasks and projects and more time exploring.
Fortunately, the internet is chock-full of useful travel apps, productivity tools, networking resources, and design software. With these tools in your carry-on, your work stays grounded, and your itchy feet keep moving.
Now, reward yourself with a Mai-Tai, you put in good work today. Bon Voyage!