I left my full time job in London in July 2018 and in September I left the UK to travel full time which is nothing new for me, but what is new is that I’m also blogging full time along side it.
Travel Blogging and Working Online is the dream right?? Well so far it has been good but I have faced some issues, mainly around trying to balance working and producing content about where I am, and also experiencing where I am so I can write about it and make videos about it!
Who knew this balance would be so hard? I’m not one for compromising sleep and I said I wouldn’t miss out on experiences because I have to work, plus if I miss out on these experiences, how can I write about them??
So I took to my online community and asked for some tips from fellow bloggers and digital nomads on how they balance work and travel whilst doing both at the same time and this is what they said:
What’s The Tip? – Join a Co-Working Space!
Who By? – James from Portugalist
What’s The Tip? – Connect to the Local Culture!
Who By? – Danielle from Live in 10 Countries
What’s The Tip? – Make Time for Laptop Days & Invest in Resources!
Who By? – Alison from Sofia Adventures
While I now have a home base in Sofia, Bulgaria that I return to in between travels, I live there on a tourist visa so I still have to travel about 50-60% of the time so I don’t overstay. Building my business while being on the road more than 180 days a year has been rough – and before I moved to Sofia, I was fully nomadic for a year and a half.
One of the biggest ironies about being a travel blogger is that the more you travel, the harder it is to grow your business. So in order to combat that, I’ve dedicated myself to have laptop days and I try to give myself 2-3 weeks in a city and do some day trips, rather than moving around all the time. Every day you spend packing, checking out, getting to your transportation, sitting on a bus or plane, then getting to your final destination – sometimes changing money, time zones, and cultures – is exhausting, and I generally need 1-2 days to recover from a travel day. I recommend going deep in a city or region rather than spreading yourself thin trying to see everything. Give yourself dedicated “laptop days” where you treat yourself to a nice café and commit to at least 5 or 6 hours of work, and treat yourself with a nice day trip or some other sort of reward when you’ve completed enough “laptop days” to get all your work done.
Traveling like this may not seem like what bloggers do on Instagram, but I can tell you once I stopped moving every 3-4 days, my Instagram feed may have suffered but my income grew exponentially. Finally, I recommend investing in resources that allow you to grow your income passively. SEO has been a game-changer for me: I recommend the Make Traffic Happen e-book and the website Digital Nomad Wannabe as my two biggest resources for growth. This has allowed me to stop working for other people and invest back into growing my business!
Related Post: 18 Lessons from a Summer of Full Time Blogging!
What’s The Tip? – Set a Routine but Remember to be Flexible!
We started full-time travel in 2017, and I also started a sustainable travel blog that year to document our adventures and earn a side income for us. I find it’s important to have some good habits in place to regularly write and keep up with the work. I am most productive when I get up early to work while I’m fresh, and then get out with my family to explore later in the day. But I can’t always stick to that routine; if we’re travelling from place to place or have tours or events in the morning or evenings, I have to be adaptable, and that’s ok. Enjoying our travels without being too rigid is also very important!
Sometimes we travel through places that have little or no internet connection, and that means I have to be prepared and maximize the connection when I have it. Recently it meant I had to finish a few jobs from the side of the road before we lost service! I do try to anticipate situations like that so I can meet my obligations, and I always travel with a diary to keep track of deadlines and plans too.
What’s The Tip? – Reduce Distractions!
Who By? – Inma from A World to Travel
- Less is more: Embrace a minimal approach to life and pack as little as possible. These days we travel carry on only. It drastically reduces the number of decisions we take daily and simplifies your everyday life.
- Identify the main three things you need to get done every day. Do not waste your time doing anything else until those are actually finished.
- Block social media on your laptop. Install an extension on your browser to block social media (and other distracting websites). That’ll help you focus. We love ‘go fucking work’.
- Put your smartphone on flight mode.
- Consider joining a coworking space a few hours per day if you are planning to stay in one place a few days, days or weeks.
What’s The Tip? Travel to Travel, Not for the Gram!
Travelling in general can be stressful, and if you consider, that you actually need to provide valuable information with the best photos to inspire your followers, this can stress you out even more. And we were pretty stressed out at the beginning. Always thinking: “Will this be the best photo our followers will like?”
Of course it is a very important aspect of blogging, but this is not why we choose to travel. Our followers follow us for us, and obviously trust our judgment. We heard many times that you only need to travel to certain locations which are popular and trendy on Instagram. This is something we would never do. We learned that we travel to travel, not to focus our minds on Instagram photos etc. We decided to have fun with creating photos rather than forcing it. We learned that we can’t be perfect and it’s fine.
We love to discover new places, cultures, the history and to meet locals. That’s why we stopped and started to enjoy destinations as they are and the pictures and blog posts will come along.
Now, we have fun with taking images. We don’t force them, we won’t climb on the edge of a cliff to take a stunning IG photo and risk our lives in the process. This is the best way for us to travel, to enjoy the country, to enjoy ourselves and then, share it with the world. At the end an honest opinion and honest reactions are the best. We wish we would have known that at the beginning, but I am glad we figured it out on the way, together.
What’s The Tip? Invest in Noise Cancelling Head Phones!
Who By? Suewan at RTW Families
What’s The Tip? Travel Slower!
Who By? Me!
I wanted to add the final tip and the thing that has and is helping me balance blogging and full time travel which is to travel slower! I don’t schedule laptop days exactly but I do plan to be in a place for 1-2 days longer than most travellers so I can work all day on these days or work for a few hours each day and still have time to explore where I am and enjoy it!
I also really enjoy these days because they mean I get to sit down in a cafe or in my room for most of the day (depending on where the wifi is best!). Travel can be so demanding and if you’re visiting a lot of cities and busy places it’s nice to have down days not doing much.. but still doing a lot in terms of work and being productive.
I hope these tips help you if you are currently travelling and blogging full time or are thinking about starting.
I think it’s good to know the reality and realise it is hard to balance the two. I knew it would be but to be honest I think I thought it would be easier so it’s good to get advice from others who are doing it well!
If you have any additional tips, let me know in the comments below or by tweeting me @wandering_quinn!
You may also like these posts of mine on blogging: