Vacations are, by definition, temporary, but that doesn’t mean the experience has to be. Travelers have been documenting their adventures and observations for thousands of years. And writing about an experience helps you relive them in another way and store the memories more deeply in your memory. While your trip to Disneyland may not be quite as eventful as Homer’s Odyssey or Marco Polo’s trip to China, being able to relive your travels and share them with others is a time-honored tradition.
Thankfully, modern technology has made this experience far easier for the traveler (typing on your laptop in a 747 vs. dipping a quill in an ink pad on a rocking ship) and the people following along (the two-hour slideshow has been replaced by an Instagram or Facebook posting). But the best way to capture the sights and stories of your vacation is in a blog. You can add the best photos, share the best anecdotes and chronicle your trips as they happen.
Best of all, unlike a postcard to your cousin or a telegram to your mother, you get to keep every bit of it for yourself while also sharing it with your friends and family. To ensure your vacation blog doesn’t end up a slog for your readers, here are 7 tips for success:
Even a selfie is better than nothing
Whether you’re toting a DSLR or just whipping out your smartphone, there’s no excuse for skimping on photos to accompany your vacation blog posts. It really sets the stage for your witty and insightful commentary and transports the reader to the scene. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, a few awesome snapshots and captions might be plenty to create a great post and let you get back to having fun.
Plan your blog posts the way you plan your itinerary
There’s no shame in mapping out what you’re going to blog about ahead of time, just like you might decide to visit the Art Museum on Day 2, go to the ballgame on Day 3 and hit the beach on Day 4. Decide what kinds of posts you want to create (food posts, scenery posts, shopping posts) and when you think you can make them. Keeping these future posts in mind will help you pay attention to the relevant details and take the right photos to accompany them.
Don’t wait until you’re back at your keyboard
It can be tempting to think that you’ll remember everything that happens and it will all come flooding back to you when you sit down at your computer at the end of the day, the next morning or even the next week. But when you’re brain is baking in the sun and you’re partaking in the local libations, a few details might end up slipping your mind. So use a notebook to jot down tidbits that will power your future posts and end any vacation writer’s block worries.
Don’t be afraid to write about the bad days
Thanks to social media, most people want to promote the high points of their travels and don’t delve into the less-than-awesome moments. But keeping it real will make your blog much more interesting and authentic. Had a lousy meal? Cab driver rip you off? The “breathtaking vista views” was just a seedy tourist trap? If it was part of your trip, it should be part of your blog.
You don’t have to start at the beginning
If you want to get people engaged in your vacation blogging, your first post should maybe not be about packing, or the ride to the airport, or getting through security. Maybe it’s when you at your first foreign food or first dipped your toes into the sand? A blog is not a diary, so rope in your readers with something compelling.
Creating reusable, shareable content
Your vacation blog can certainly include the time your toddler got fleas from a stray dog or the hours you spent skipping stones by the lake. But expand your blog audience with a vacation post is to put on your travel writing hat and create a legitimate review or city guide. Posts with names like “The Best Gelato Joint in Napoli” and “Six Must-Do Kids Activities in Galveston” are likely to attract readers long after you’ve unpacked and your tan lines have faded.
Include a local perspective
While it is your blog and your voice, one of the best parts about vacationing somewhere far away from home is getting the perspectives of the people who live in your destination (or other fellow travelers hailing from different hometowns). Try to include their voice, thoughts and opinions in your blogging. Even if it is just recalling a conversation with a local fisherman about how the season has been or what the locals think of a new construction project, this kind of insight brings some depth to your blogging and gives readers a richer experience.
We’ve got one more tip for you to follow when you get home and unpack… Now that you’ve created a fabulous vacation blog, there’s no reason to leave it trapped on the Internet. Turn it into a beautiful blog book so you and your family can relive those memories whenever you’d like. Get started now at Blog2Print.com