Baby boomers, do you remember those excruciating visits to Aunt Martha and Uncle Fred’s to watch movies of their summer vacation? They’d feed you a meal before trapping you in the living room where blurry, jerky images of camping in Yellowstone flashed on the wall…for hours. Well, no more.
Thanks to the internet age, a combination of digital cameras, video recorders, computers and software allows us to tell family and friends about our travel adventures while we’re still on the trip. Boomers document their experiences at free sites like TravelBlog.org or TravelPod.com while others create their own blogs at WordPress.com, Blogger or Live Journal.
“Where do I start?” you ask.
First, find a blogging platform that meets your needs. Back in 2006, I chose TravelBlog.org because I liked the layout. Today, there are hundreds of sites that host travel blogs. Pick the one that’s right for you. But remember, most free hosted sites will post advertisements on your blog to cover their own expenses.
Practice before you go. Become familiar with the process by writing a few posts and uploading a photo or two. Don’t add to travel stress by waiting to enter your very first blog post once the trip starts.
And, so that we don’t bore Aunt Martha and Uncle Fred, keep these tips in mind.
- Tell a good story. Write as if you were talking to a friend, weaving the most interesting elements of the day into your post. Avoid the “I did this then I did that” syndrome. In fact, ditch the word “I” as much as you can.
- Keep it short. What do you do when reading a web page that requires lots of scrolling? Come on, admit it, you click off, switching to something more interesting. Break the writing into several posts if there’s too much to tell.
- Describe the adventure using your five senses. What did the sea smell like? Could you hear the wind roar through the trees? Was the stingray’s skin soft when you touched it?
- Include dialogue. Adding a few comments gives life to the experience that you’re describing.
- Upload only the best photos. Yes, I know that you love every one of them but you’ll loose readers if they have to sort through hundreds of pictures. And, don’t forget that people shots add energy to your posts.
My first travel blog became an easy way to communicate with family and friends while Alan and I sailed the Pacific Ocean on a 42-day cruise. The blog still exists today, keeping dozens of travel memories fresh in my mind.