So the time has come. You’ve got the bags packed, flights booked, and have decided to take a leap of faith into the adventurous world of travel. Even if you plan to go only for a few weeks, several months, or for the foreseeable future, travelling is one of the most fulfilling gifts you can give to yourself.
And it also opens the door to the possibility of creating endless unique and engaging content. When you travel, everywhere you go and every experience you have is an opportunity. This may be why the travel blogging niche is a very saturated one.
However, I believe that there is space for everyone and nothing should deter you from chronicling your travel experience. No matter how many people are out there doing travel content, no one can tell your story from your perspective in the way that you can. And if you believe in your story, then your audience will too (no matter how big or small it is).
If you are serious about travel blogging, you can do yourself a favour and start to equip yourself with the tools to make creating and sharing valuable content as easy and efficient as possible.
Here are 7 things that I could not live without when starting my travel blog.
I like to use a variety of different cameras for capturing my content. I use a DSLR camera to capture stunning photography. I use my action camera to capture video and creative travel pictures. I even like to have my smartphone on hand to capture candid pictures and videos quickly. You don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on expensive high-end cameras especially if you do not know how to use them. My recommendation is to invest in a budget-friendly CSC camera. Consecutive compact cameras (CSCs) are only growing in popularity due to their usability and stunning quality.
They have many of the functions of a DSLR and produce photos to rival them except that they are smaller, lighter, cheaper, and more user-friendly for those of us who are not professional photographers.
I am not suggesting that you need to go out and buy several brand new top-of-the-range devices but having one decent shooting device (even if it is just your phone) will really stand to you as you start out in the blogging world.
2. Camera equipment
No blogger can have a photographer on hand at all times to snap their perfect photo.
Unless you have a partner or friend who is a photographer or you can afford to pay a professional, when starting out us bloggers have to take full control of the creative process. I honestly believe this is the best way to start your career because it allows you to learn what works for you and will help you to define the type of content you really want to create.
In order to effectively capture the content we want, it is very helpful to have some camera equipment on-hand. Whether you work with a selfie stick, a tripod, a remote, an app or you like to use a combination of the above, these are the items that will allow you the most flexibility for capturing content as you start to learn your creative style.
You may only want to shoot landscapes, perspective shots, selfies, or a combination of the three. Having the appropriate equipment will assist you in capturing high-quality versions of all these types of photos.
It may seem like a lot to carry around and a bit of a liability, but I could not achieve anything without my laptop. Whether I am planning my blog schedule, writing posts, using photo editing software or updating my website, I would be lost without this device.
My laptop gives me the freedom I need to get my work done effectively. My advice is to invest in a compact laptop that you can use to write your posts, edit your footage and share your content. It does not have to be top of the range but you will achieve much more with a laptop than just a smartphone or tablet.
Consider getting travel insurance that covers your valuable tech equipment for peace of mind as you travel the globe. Most travel insurance policies offer cover for the damage or theft of valuables up to a certain cost limit so make sure to read the policy details carefully before purchasing.
4. Portable Chargers/ Spare batteries
There is nothing worse than heading out on a four-day hike or trip, only to have all your filming equipment die on day two. This is why having spare fully charged spare batteries for your devices or a portable charger for your phone comes in very useful. They are relatively cheap and compact so there is no excuse for running out of juice.
I have managed to burn out batteries in one day of intensive shooting so trust me when I say that your spare batteries and chargers will save your life at least once during your blogging lifetime.
5. External Hard drive
Having a back-up of all of your content is a boring but vital reality of being a content creator. It is so important to have a hard-drive with you on your travels on which you can back-up all of your photos and videos. This is simply blogging 101.
I have heard horror stories of people losing years of work down to a faulty laptop or a lost memory card. It is so important to have your content backed up to an external location and to keep that location safe. External hard drives are compact, light, and not too expensive depending on how much memory you require. However, you will be so thankful to own one the day your laptop screen goes blank.
6. Memory Cards
I can’t tell you the number of times I have gone out to shoot and realised I had left my memory card on my laptop. This is why I usually tend to have about four memory cards in rotation.
I have one or two constantly in my devices and then another two either in my camera bag as handy back-ups. These little items seem so insignificant but at the end of the day, they are the powerful little tools that hold all of your content and therefore should be looked after and in abundance.
7. Cable bag
When you have this much tech with you, the chargers and cables become a load to carry and to organise in themselves.
Having this many cables and chargers can become a nightmare so it is best to be organised from the get-go. I like to have a dedicated cable bag that holds all of my cables neatly.
I also use hair bobbins or elastic bands to wrap up each cable to that they do not become entangled in each other. Having a see-through bag also helps to give you quick access to the specific cable you require.
This may seem like the most simple tip ever but trust me, it will save you a mountain of inconvenience down the line.