Blogger Press Trips: The Lowdown

Photographing the lagoons near El Tatio, Chile

“You’re a travel blogger, so you’re basically on holiday all the time right?” Ummmm… not exactly. But what’s an average day travelling with a travel blogger really like?

I started this blog three years ago, and it’s been my full-time job for a year and a bit. It’s a strange lifestyle, and as a lot of people ask how I structure my life, I thought I’d break it down a little. I don’t write about the world of blogging very often, but there are a few elements I’ve been dying to write about!

So there are two distinct variables… being away and being at home. Days at home are usually spent tapping away on my laptop creating content about previous travels, editing photos and videos and meeting clients about future travel campaigns and trips. I also try to squeeze in some local trips and hotel and restaurant reviews.

While occasionally I go away on self-planned trips, the majority are organised by a PR company or tourist board. Some are solo like my week in Austria this summer, some are with my partner or friends, while others are group press trips. A year ago I was doing a lot of group press trips, but over the last six months I’ve really enjoyed having opportunities to travel with friends and my partner (Macca from An Adventurous World).

Usually on a group press trip there will be 5 or 6 bloggers/journalists plus a PR representative from the UK. PR companies carefully select bloggers according to their niche, quality of content and number of readers/followers. I enjoy group press trips as you meet a great bunch of people, all learn from each other, and we all understand each other’s needs, so it’s a supportive environment! I’ve made a lot of great friends on these trips and we’ve shared some unforgettable experiences.

There was the hilarious gourmet trip through Slovenia I did with Jen from She Gets Around, the Blogtrotters Greece trip where I met Emily Luxton (one of my best blogger pals), Hayley from Frock Me I’m Famous, Amelia from xAmeliax and Megan Ellaby. There was St Kitts (more on that below) with a fun group including Vicky Flip Flop. Oh and then there was #itrekhere – a Trek America trip through California with a fab bunch including a few of my faves – Amy from The Little Magpie, Laura Bubble and Scott from Intrepid Escape.

iTrekHere group in Hollywood
#iTrekHere group in Hollywood
A view I won't forget in a hurry!
A view I won’t forget in a hurry!

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The Disillusioned Travel Blogger

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Motivation, disillusionment, and getting sh*t done.

Hello. Are you listening? It’s time to get something off my chest.

Probably just like you, I have a to do list. It’s bright yellow, resembles a post-it note, and sits on my desktop. I add to it. I cross things out. Sometimes I sneakily add things to it I’ve already done just to feel like I’ve achieved more. Guilty. Shh, don’t judge!

After months of it seeming like a never-ending, unachievable list of humungous projects, campaigns and reports, I hit the end. The deadlines were reached, everything submitted… hurrah? Hmmm or not. Rather than popping corks and raising a toast to a successful few months (which, when I think back, it has definitely been with a dream gig for Lonely Planet in New Orleans, video projects in Hawaii, adventures in Spain and Austria ) I freaked out. Yes, yes, yes there will always be things to do. SEO I should study to improve blog post rankings (yawn – that’s one thing I’ll never get around to), Pinterest graphics to make, and blogs I’ve never got beyond a catchy-ish title.

Freelancers fear quiet. Quiet is scary. Quiet is an unknown future. And August is notoriously quiet in the travel blogging world. Why? Most people take holidays around now so a) places are booked up, b) travel prices are high and c) destinations don’t need to increase tourism as they’re busy enough!

It’s funny because I have trips to Berlin, Sicily, Mauritius, the Caribbean and Florida coming up. I’m about to show the world why England is amazing with my Visit England Ambassadorship! WOW what a dream role that is.

If it’s about to be anything but quiet, why am I not savouring this mini silence? 

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So what do you do when you run out of things to do? Either a self-starter instinct kicks in, or you have a mini-meltdown.

Usually, being a positive, glass half full kinda girl I choose the former, but this time I went for the latter.

I felt disillusioned by Instagram after it seemed to turn its back on content creators like me, who loved posting inspirational travel pics, only to see followers disappearing and likes limping to an all-time low.

I felt disillusioned by my self-made videos after being fed inspirational, big-budget viral vids on Facebook, feeling like I’d never come close without years of training and a tonne of new tech kit.

I felt disillusioned that I was struggling to scramble together enough money to rent a decent flat in London, while others were living in a rose gold world, decorating their designer flats, complete with an endless supply of Jo Malone candle.

I felt disillusioned by far–flung travel after too many back-to-back long-haul trips across the Atlantic led me to the point of exhaustion.

I felt disillusioned by my body after endless Instagram photos of girls in pretty dresses and bikinis, while I attempted to rid myself of my muffin top… while reaching for a muffin.

I felt disillusioned by my wardrobe, realising I was still wearing dresses from 10 years ago.

I felt disillusioned by my relationship, worrying I’d chosen a career that took me away from someone I cared about, more than it allowed me to be with him.

Taking in the incredible view of sunrise from Mount Batur, Bali
Taking in the incredible view of sunrise from Mount Batur, Bali

But, this isn’t a pity blog. It’s a get sh*t sorted and get on blog. I’m usually a positive bean but everyone has off days. And it’s good to share right?

And reassuringly it’s not just me… a heap of my travel blogging pals have talked about similar struggles recently.

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