Lessons Learned: Blogging While Traveling (Discussion Post)

 

For me, and I imagine for most of my fellow bloggers, the key to enjoying your blogging experience is to figure out what works and what doesn’t work for you.  I’ll be celebrating my second blogoversary in a couple of months and I know so much of these first two years has been about finding my way – trying new things and discarding them if they aren’t working for me, sometimes tweaking them slightly along the way just to make sure I can’t figure out a way to make things work.

One of the areas where I think I’ve learned the most about myself as a blogger is when it comes to blogging while traveling.  When I first started blogging, there was no way I was going to go off and leave my blog sitting silently for days or weeks while I was traveling, so I would pack up my laptop, my planners, and anything I thought I might possibly need in order to blog while away from home.  I hadn’t mastered the art of scheduling posts ahead of time at that point (and I still haven’t, but let’s not go there right now, lol), so in my overly ambitious mind, I was going to vacation all day and then fit in a little blogging at night.

Source: Pinterest

I’m not even sure why I thought this would work because those who know me know that when I plan trips for myself, I pack them full of activities (tours, shows, shopping, museums, whatever) and rarely have much down time. I like to go, go, go and then crash and burn once I get back to the hotel at night, lol.  So there’s little chance I’m going to get any reading done while I’m traveling, much less write any blog posts.  So yeah, I lugged around my laptop and books that whole trip for no reason.

The second trip I took, I was determined to learn from my mistakes so I didn’t even pack my laptop.  I still had that fear of leaving my blog sitting quietly while I was gone though, so this time I did get my act together and scheduled some content to post while I was away.  So instead of packing a laptop, I just packed an iPad and decided I would confine my blogging time to the train ride and would just use that time to basically blog hop and keep up with comments on my posts as they went up.  Unfortunately that was a fail for me as well.  I fell asleep for most of the train ride in both directions and just never got around to even opening the iPad once I reached my destination.

While this was, in theory, much more practical for me than lugging my laptop all over the place, it ultimately still wasn’t the best course of action, especially since once I got home, I had days and days’ worth of comments to catch up on from the posts that had gone up.  Plus, because I’m still working on my procrastination and scheduling skills, and even though I had content ready for while I was gone, I had no content ready to go once I returned so I still managed to create stress for myself, lol.  My trip was in late October and I felt like it took me until nearly December to really get myself back on track.

Source: Pinterest

I’m not sure when I’ll be taking my next trip, but after these two experiences, I’ve finally come around to the idea that, for me anyway, it’s perfectly okay to let my blog sit for a few days.  It has taken me two years to get to this point, but I’m thinking the best course of action for me is going to be to just make a short blog post letting people know I’ll be traveling for a few days and that I’ll resume blogging once I return.  At the same time, I will be doing my best to schedule content ahead – not to post while I’m gone — but instead, to actually begin posting once I return home.  That way I have a few days to get re-settled and recover from my travels and have the flexibility to blog hop and return comments without feeling like I’m falling behind.

We’ll see how that plan plays out, but I feel like it’s the least stressful and most practical option for me based on my travel and blogging habits.

Source: kadampalife.org

 

And you’ll notice that all of this is self-inflicted.  I know the blogging community is totally cool with me taking a hiatus whenever I need to.  It has just been me putting unnecessary pressure on myself, which is apparently what I do, lol.

So what about you?  Is blogging while traveling a “do” or a “don’t” for you?  Have you learned any tips along the way that have made it possible for you to blog while traveling?  Or are you okay with taking a mini hiatus while vacationing?

38 replies
  1. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    I haven’t really gone on any “vacations” since I started blogging, but I feel like I plan far enough in advance, that I would at least have scheduled posts. I think I would worry a little about blog hopping, but people are pretty understanding about one being away and unable to do that sort of thing.

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Oh yeah, the blogging community is definitely understanding. It’e more me putting unnecessary pressure on myself because apparently that’s what I do, haha.

      Reply
  2. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog
    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog says:

    I am in the camp of letting people know I will be gone for the week and letting it sit empty. I have having to come home to a bunch of posts I need to reply to comments on and visit back blogs. I will have posts ready to go when I get back though so I don’t have to worry about that. I find that least stressful option for me!

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      That’s what I think is going to work best for me. I like the idea of returning home relaxed and ready to blog, rather than stressed out by what has piled up while I’m away.

      Reply
  3. Lisa Nightingale
    Lisa Nightingale says:

    I don’t travel much and not at all since starting to blog consistently. But I’m really good at scheduling posts. Even though I took December off blogging for mental health reasons, all my January posts were written and scheduled before Christmas. Granted, at the moment my posts are fairly simple.

    Reply
  4. Angela
    Angela says:

    I’ve only taken one big trip since I started blogging, and I decided to do a short post saying I would be taking a break for a week. I’ve seen other bloggers do it, so I figured it would be ok to do. And it worked out fine! I had stuff already planned for when I got back, so the only thing I did while I was away was keep up with my Bloglovin’ feed. I feel like a lot of us are scared to step away from our blogs for any amount of time, but it also seems to be a general consensus that taking breaks is a very good thing. It’s funny that we feel it’s okay for other bloggers to go on breaks for a little while, but it’s not okay for us!

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Haha, yes! I’m totally cool with everyone else taking whatever time off they need. I’m just now working on convincing myself that it’s equally okay for me to do the same, lol.

      Reply
  5. ShootingStarsMag
    ShootingStarsMag says:

    I don’t think I really keep it empty, but there are definitely a lot less posts, and I don’t tend to post on the weekend, and that’s usually part of whatever trip I’m on so it works out well. I think leaving your blog empty and then working on it when you get back is just fine though! I think when I’m gone, I tend to get less views/comments anyway, so I never want to post anything too terribly important if I’m traveling.

    -Lauren

    Reply
  6. Aj @ Read All The Things!
    Aj @ Read All The Things! says:

    I don’t travel much anymore, but for a few years, I was traveling back and forth between Colorado and Kentucky fairly often. I learned to let the blog sit when I was really busy. People know that blogging is a hobby, so I don’t think anybody minded when the blog went on hiatus.

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I’m really hoping I can just let it sit the next time I travel. One of my personal goals for this year is to really work on this whole ‘Don’t put so much pressure on yourself’ thing.

      Reply
  7. Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews
    Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews says:

    This is interesting since I do a lot of blogging while on vacation, it inspires me more when I’m away from home but it’s mostly either book reviews or a draft I have ready to go, it’s harder when I come back from vacations and have to get back on a schedule.

    Reply
  8. Amber Elise @ Du Livre
    Amber Elise @ Du Livre says:

    I’m not too good at going on hiatus myself! I think I did last February just out of stress but I was always checking from my phone. When I’m on vacation, I try to at least blog ahead a week or so, but blogging is always on my mind. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad!

    Reply
  9. Wendy @ Birdie Bookworm
    Wendy @ Birdie Bookworm says:

    I’m a major scheduler. I’m usually scheduled up on blog posts about a week and a half. However, I still panic when I know I won’t have time to blog, so my issue is that I cram for the week or so before and exhaust myself before I take time away. I start trying to write 3 blog posts a day, and read, AND work, and take care of my family! It’s exhausting. 🙂

    Reply
  10. Whimsically Meghan
    Whimsically Meghan says:

    It’s funny your post comes at the perfect time as I’m heading out on vacation this weekend for a week! You’d think after 3 years on this blog… and blogging on another for another 7 that I would figure it out… haha NOPE! I still don’t know what I want to do. I’ve scheduled a few for next week (when I say that I have it planned to schedule, I haven’t actually done it yet!) I don’t mind leaving my blog unattended for a week (although what I just said, says otherwise 😛 ) but it’s the catching up on all the other blogs that I’ve missed that really gets at me. I hate falling behind because I feel like it takes too long to get back on track. We’ll see how it goes when I get back. I plan to use the WP app, but it all depends on if I have wifi if I’ll actually get anything read!
    Great blog post! 😀

    Reply
      • Whimsically Meghan
        Whimsically Meghan says:

        Thank you, I did have a good trip. When I could get wi-fi (since it’s new to Cuba) I was able to get on the WP app really well and get somewhat caught up, as I only used it for an hour, but it still worked really well! I’m sure if I was to use it every day it would have worked perfectly!

        Reply
  11. Greg Hill
    Greg Hill says:

    Vacations and blogging are a mix that I haven’t quite mastered yet either. Like I’ll schedule a bit and I always think I’ll log on, but we go go go too and I never seem to. So I think I’ve gotten to the point where I just let that week go, more or less, and just let whatever I’ve got scheduled carry the weight. Plus I’m not a fan of lugging the laptop around either, and I don’t even like to use my laptop that much (I’m a dinosaur who likes to use my desktop)!

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I’m really hoping to embrace to let it go philosophy this year and stopping making it so hard for myself.

      Haha, I love my desktop too. I use my laptop a lot but I’m just never as comfortable on it as I am on the old desktop.

      Reply
  12. sjhigbee
    sjhigbee says:

    I don’t go away very often – but if I do, I certainly don’t take any equipment to blog. My phone isn’t up to the job as every time I Whatsapp my son in the States, it has a nervous breakdown and tells me the storage is full – and I normally blog from my desktop which isn’t going anywhere… In the meantime, have a lovely time away, whenever you do go travelling – and in case I miss it – a very happy second blogoversary:))

    Reply
    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who uses a desktop to blog. I have a laptop and use it often, but I’m so much more comfortable on the old desktop.

      Thanks!

      Reply
  13. imyril
    imyril says:

    …I also learned the hard way that blogging on holiday doesn’t really work for me. I sometimes manage the odd post, but the trick is definitely scheduling ahead. On the other hand, I do a lot of business travel, and blogging while on business turns out way easier. I may work long hours (but I do that at home too), but I’ve got hours on flights and then evenings/weekends on my own with hours to fill and usually very little energy left to go exploring and be a tourist – so I’m perfectly happy to curl up with a book and/or my laptop to get some blogging done. It doesn’t always work out – I did so much travel last autumn that the exhaustion fried my brain so wording was not a thing – but it’s better than I expected.

    But not holiday. Holidays are holidays.

    Reply
  14. Kate Avery
    Kate Avery says:

    I have decided the best way to deal with it is to just do what feels right at the time if I’m organised a few weeks before I go then I schedule if I’m not then I just let it sit. I can get pretty hectic and I think the best way to handle it is to accept that I’m not wonder woman and that if it doesn’t get done it doesn’t get done. The only thing I will make an effort for is if I’ve signed up for a blog tour because I hate to let people down

    Reply
  15. bookworm
    bookworm says:

    Interesting post. Like you say, it is okay to let the blog sit for a little while. As for myself, I don’t blog while on vacation, I get on total vacation mode when the time comes. I don’t like to use my cellphone either while I’m away.
    In the past when I would participate actively in blog tours, I would have to set posts to go live while I was away, I’d include a little note at the end of the post stating this is pre-scheduled etc… I’m on hiatus and will return your comments when I’m back. On vacation I will take pictures though, especially of books or libraries to share on my blog for later and it’s funny because I’ll think ‘I will blog about this when I’m home’.

    Reply
  16. Verushka
    Verushka says:

    I haven’t quite figured myself out either. I think I would schedule posts on my blog, twitter and insta, which would make it easier to interact that way. Maybe. In theory lol

    Reply
  17. Tanya Patrice
    Tanya Patrice says:

    I would (and have) scheduled posts in advance, but I don’t sweat it. I have the WordPress app on my phone and so when I’m away, I can usually keep up with replying to comments that way.

    Reply

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