Travel Blogger Geoff Moore explains what the job can entail.
What does a travel blogger do? I get asked this all the time so I hope the following may be of some help to those that ask.
Most if they do know think that you travel the world for free going from one exotic location to another.
Actually I do some of that, but its really a very tiny part of the overall work.
TRAVEL BLOGGER GEOFF MOORE AN INSIGHT INTO HIS WORK ON VIDEO
However my interests are much broader and run over the whole range of the travel sector.
I am personally interested in not only visiting lovely destinations but checking out the trains, boats and planes that get you there too.
Airports, transport hubs and how they work, all have an interest for me as much as what the beaches or cafes are like at a destination.
Knowing how a suitcase at Gatwick for instance gets from a passenger’s hand to the plane is for me great background in understanding the workings of travel and what it can do for the people that use an airport.
Seeing new aircraft as they come into service and what they offer travellers often fills in areas of blank knowledge about what a passenger can expect. Not a specialist cruise writer myself but again when I get the chance to look over one visiting my local port like one at Portland in Dorset UK then I do that too.
BEHIND THE SCENES KNOWLEDGE
Railways seem to feature, be those contemporary or heritage. Often plenty to write about them, be that good or bad. Modern trains today are often very good, but sometimes the service or lack of itself can generate stories. Plus that behind the scenes knowledge helps.
Working from my home office on the Jurassic Coast when not travelling then its researching and catching up on travel trends and news. Speaking with destinations, resorts, airlines or a country’s media travel team.
Once on the road then it does get rather full on.
By the way I am not looking for sympathy, far from it, I love my job.
However these days you do have to be multi-skilled across all media and their requirements. Just being a writer or just a photographer then those jobs hardly exist today either in the print or the online sector.
This then includes writing, photography, shooting and editing video and certainly using the main current popular social media platforms. FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter maybe some LinkedIn perhaps Pinterest as well.
If I am away on some exotic shore or in a city in central Europe by the time I have made several visits to look at some hotels or a resort you have to get some of that information across and on social media as you go. Often no matter what time zone you happen to be in at the time.
The photo’s and video need to be backed up safely and stored. If you are for instance away for a week or maybe longer you do not want to lose vital material that you shot 7 or 10 days ago as returning again is unlikely and could be very expensive!
Sounds trivial I know, but it is ‘work’, it does take time and you need to be methodical and to have a system to look after what you have already done.
As you are away not to drop into the role of ‘well its a holiday’ type of mode! Stuck in your room writing, editing or pushing social media whilst fellow guests are enjoying a great dinner well that’s the job and I know I would rather be doing that than sweeping the streets or working in an office 9 to 5!
PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE INTENSITY OF THE WORK
Also the intensity of most organised media visits is hard for people to comprehend.
A typical one from last year I travelled to India and back in 6 days to cover a rail holiday. However the actual holiday offer from this one company being sold to clients but is taken by them leisurely over a 13 day period.
Do I travel in luxury? No!
Economy or ‘cattle class’, any upgrades that have come my way I ended up paying for!
Mini-buses often seem to be the order of the day getting you quickly to the next destination without the need to be tied to some other public transport service and keep writers together. Herding cats comes to mind and will be a reaction that many travel public relations staff or destination managers will be aware of when working with travel bloggers on the road!
On a personal level I have been travelling the world for over 40 years and I am a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. Work like this does not come along that often and if it takes getting bundled into a mini-van with 5 other sweaty writers for a 200mile drive in the Far East is what it takes, then that’s what I have to do.
The job gets me to some amazing and over the years many world famous places and I love it!
Over last few years I have been in Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, Southern, Central and North America. I have swam in the Pacific, Indian Ocean, Atlantic, Mediterranean, South China Sea, Red Sea and Baltic. Visited many islands over the years too.
The Pyramids, the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat and Myanmar’s version Bagan have all been seen by me recently. I rode zip wires, white water rafted, a Himalayan hill train, flown in a sea plane, dived, canoed (just about after a brief capsize), quad biked, rode several camels, stared into a bubbling volcano caldera of lava, flew in a hot air balloon, rode on several steam train footplates, drove a tram and played golf on a stunning European championship course next to Black Sea.
I fully appreciate how lucky I am and hope to keep on the road, on rails or in the air for many years to come.