It probably comes as no surprise that some of my favorite content to share on the blog is travel-related, and much of that includes trip recaps and travel guides. They’re usually really fun to put together–both during the content creation stage on the trip, and while compiling the blog post post-travel–but sometimes they can be really cumbersome, depending on the length of trip and how I took the photos (whether they were all on my DSLR, or split between that, my phone, and sometimes J’s phone). I feel like it’s been well-received whenever I’ve shared behind the scenes blog content so figured it was high time to give a little insight into how I put together this type of post!
Travel posts typically take the longest to put together out of any other vertical–there’s just a lot with the details (including relevant background, historical references, travel logistics, and of course the actual recap of what we did), linking to different places (hotels, restaurants, etc.), and narrowing down + editing photos! I’d say the average time spent in total is between 2-5 hours per post and it varies based on the trip length and how many pictures we took.
If the trip entails air travel, I typically spend part of the flight home creating a thorough outline of exactly what we did each day and in many cases, writing out little blurbs that can eventually be strung together to form a blog post. This happens in the Apple “Notes” app so it syncs between my phone and computer and is easy to update on the go! Depending on the trip, we go into it with something between a detailed or rough itinerary so that’s a good jumping off point and I’ll just fill in the details or tweak accordingly based on what we actually ended up doing. Our whole trip is obviously most fresh in my mind at this point and given how productive I tend to be while working on planes (which is where I’m actually writing this post right now!), it makes sense to knock out some of the content right then and there.
For car trips, I’ll try and basically do the same outline method in a note on my phone or right after we get back in town. I get carsick easily so try not to work on the drive, plus I’d rather be present for whomever I’m with! Essentially, it’s way harder to put together a post if I don’t get the ball rolling right after the trip.
While it would definitely be most efficient to maintain the detailed itinerary updates throughout my trip, blogging has made me really value unplugging when I can on vacation so spending the extra time on my phone or computer when we already have a preplanned outline of activities just doesn’t feel worth it! I end up working on my computer nearly every night of the workweek and even more on the weekends, so this is really the best time to take a break. If I’m on a press trip I’m more likely to take thorough notes during the day if there’s something detailed I want to make sure and include and am not sure I’ll remember exactly, but even on media-related trips, I’d rather get the most realistic “normal” experience as possible—rather than be distracted by writing everything down, since I’ll also be taking photos and have to snap those in the moment!—and document my account after the fact.
The photography is one of my favorite parts about putting together travel content! It’s allowed me to really grow my technical skills both on the camera and in photo editing (I use Lightroom), and I’m grateful that it’s a hobby of J’s as well so he’s usually snapping alongside me and flagging potential good shots.
There are some trips where I “unplug” by not taking one of my “big” cameras (I have this DSLR and this mirrorless) given that the iPhone takes incredible pictures, and there are some where photos live on different devices since we’ll use a combination of each of our phones and whatever camera we bring along. Compiling the photos and selecting the best ones takes the longest, followed by editing. Lightroom makes it easy to batch-edit which is a good starting off point, even though each image typically needs custom edits as well. I’ve learned a lot in this space but it’s still an area where I’m really looking forward to improving!
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
I’ll usually finalize most of the copy in my “Notes” before moving it over to WordPress. I edit the photos separately and have them good to go so they can just be plugged into the post depending on how much text there is. Then it’s just reading through everything to make sure it flows and the photos are paired with relevant copy! I ideally like to write these posts over a few days so I can pop back in to make sure things are still logical because it’s easy to assume things make sense when you’re the one who just traveled! A few paragraphs usually get reordered at this stage.
And that’s it! Hopefully this was an interesting behind-the-scenes look if you’re interested in how some blog content comes to be…and this is why I always appreciate when anyone reaches out saying they utilized my travel content! :)
UPCOMING TRAVEL PLANS
We got back from Dallas on Sunday and I’m heading to Chicago tomorrow to visit one of my college BFFs! We don’t really have set plans except my number one request of Lou Malnati’s, so feel free to leave any can’t-miss spots below.
We’re in town for the next two weekends but they’re packed with plans, and then we head to Newport for a long weekend (just over two years after our last trip!) and then NYC over Labor Day. Hot days are really not my thing so I tend to be desperate for fall by this time of the summer. It’ll be a crazy few weeks but I’m happy to have plans that’ll pretty much drop us in September!