Becoming a travel blogger has significantly changed the way I tackle trip planning. I used to do the bare minimum when it came to research & planning but now I really care about finding off-the-beaten-path things to do, finding the best photography spots and inspiring my readers to visit a particular destination.
To achieve that, I’ve come up with a checklist with travel planning resources and tools that I religiously go through during the planning stages of the trip.
If you’re looking for a bit of travel inspiration on how to plan your next vacation, use these travel tips to find out how travel bloggers like myself do it!
How To Plan A Trip Like A Travel Blogger: 17 Practical Tips To Plan Your Next Vacation
How to find local experiences and unique things to do
These are the tools that I use to discover hipster coffee shops, where locals love to eat and fun things to do.
Go on a follow spree
- Hashtags (e.g. #visitBuenosAires)
- Location-specific feature accounts (e.g. @igersBsAs)
- Tourism board accounts (e.g. @travelbuenosaires)
- Local bloggers (e.g. @turistaenbuenosaires)
Save your favorite images using Instagram’s “save this post” feature
- Create different albums for photography inspiration, eats and must see places.
- If you have questions, don’t hesitate to leave comments on those accounts’ photos or stories, they are often very helpful and personable!
For example, these are some of my saved albums on Instagram:
Follow me on Instagram @inbetweenlattesblog
Use Pinterest as a search engine
- Use keywords recommendations to find specific travel guides and articles.
- Narrow down your search results by pins, boards or people to get more targeted info.
Use Pinterest as an information repository
- Create your own board to keep all the pins and articles organized.
- Download the ‘Pinterest Save Button’ Chrome extension to pin to save any articles as you browse the internet.
- Follow Group Boards that focus on that particular destination.
Some of my own Pinterest Boards:
Join Facebook Travel Groups
- Use the search tool within the group page to see past posts related to your destination.
- Post any questions/doubts you have to the group.
- Ask the group to share their articles and travel guides (members are always keen to share their content and give you tips!)
Tap into your own network of friends & family
- Let your connections know you’ll be heading to that particular destination and ask for travel tips! You’ll be able to get genuine and personable recommendations that you wouldn’t find on a guidebook.
One Facebook Group to get you started: Girls Love Travel
Browse forum archives
- Most of the times you will find other travelers asking similar questions so this way you can get an answer on the spot.
Post a question
- Tripadvisor is a very active and collaborative community so it’s worth posting your burning question on their forum.
Browse relevant destination articles
- I personally love reading other travel blogs for curated city guides. I often look for bloggers within my age group and with similar interests as myself.
Ask the blogger a question
- Let’s say you found a great article but you have some additional questions. In that case, don’t hesitate to reach out the blogger and ask! Majority of bloggers will be delighted to hear from a reader and will try their best to help you out.
How to take Instagram-worthy photos during your trip
As a travel blogger, I had to learn how to capture the beauty of each place I visit. These are a few tips to raise your travel photography game.
- Research techniques, watch how-to videos on YouTube, and practice, practice, practice! I enjoy Peter McKinnon‘s tutorials
- Use photo-editing apps to enhance the brightness, sharpness, and contrast. I’m a big fan of Adobe Lightroom CC (mobile version) – it’s free!
- Don’t know how to pose in front of the camera? Browse Instagram & Pinterest to find examples of poses and photography composition that you feel comfortable with.
- Your outfit makes a difference in your photo. Plan your travel wardrobe with photography in mind. Hats are always a good prop!
SHOP STYLISH HATS
How to make the most out of your trip
You saved hard to go on a trip so you’ll naturally want to make the most out of it. Laying out all the activities & places you want to visit using organization tools can really make a difference.
Two essential trip planning tools for me are Trello and Google Maps:
Trello is a free productivity tool that can be used to keep boards and lists that come very handy when putting all your travel information in one place and safely stored in the cloud for easy access anywhere, anytime.
Trello stands out for its flexibility. You can create a schedule-type board like the one below as well as other lists for “Places to eat”, “Accommodation”, “Flights”, “Pre-travel to-dos”. There’s a desktop & mobile version.
Save places that you want to visit with a flag or star. You can create different lists for restaurants, cafes, sightseeing spots, etc. Make sure you save the map offline in case you don’t have WIFI while on the go at your destination.
Having all the places recorded on Google Maps helps me not only during my travels but also later on when I put together my travel guides.
- To save a location, open Google Maps > find the place on the map > click “SAVE” > and “Save in your lists.”
Hope you found these travel planning tips useful! If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends!
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Reading this was like reading a summary of my day to day life planning trips I have no immediate intention of going on. Very accurate list of things travel bloggers do! Nice work.
These are such great tips! I love Peter McKinnon’s tutorials. I’m just beginning to find my way around Lightroom. And I think I need to find some good hats! I love the element that they add to the travel photos that I’ve seen.
Maria – this blog is amazing and for a newbie blogger like me – invaluable! Thank you, I really need to up my photography game so going to give Lightroom a try! x
Happy to hear Kellie! The Lightroom free mobile app is amazing, you can create your own presets and edit photos with one click. I love it so much I ended up getting the paid desktop version as well. It’s an investment but totally worth it for me.