I have put together a list of travel blogging resources that I use for all things business and photography.
These are the tools that I use myself for planning my travels, editing my photos, maintaining and monetizing my website and social media accounts and the courses that I have invested in to build and grow my business. I wish I had a comprehensive list like this when I first started blogging but over the years I have discovered so many things that have helped make my business life easier and I hope that they will help you too! I have broken them up into categories to make them easier for you to browse.
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Blogging & Productivity
Bluehost – £3.11/month
If I could change one thing from my blogging journey it would be this – begin with a self-hosted website right from the very beginning! My early days began on wordpress.com but if you want to monetize your website and really grow it into a business then you need have a website that is your own (like wordpress.org) and be on a platform like Bluehost. Save yourself a lot of hard work further down the line and either set up your own blog/website or transfer your current one NOW. Bluehost begins at just £3.11 per month for a domain and hosting, which is an absolute bargain if you ask me. It is used by thousands of bloggers across the globe (myself included) and is very simple and straightforward to use.
Skillshare – Free To Start Then £9.98/month
I discovered Skillshare through a friend who recommended it for their amazing online courses and tutorials. There are thousands of classes available from photography courses, how to build a brand, marketing, search engine optimization, growing your social media and so much more. I use Skillshare all the time and can’t recommend it enough!
This is ALWAYS my first port of call when I’m planning a trip away and I am looking for somewhere to stay. Especially since having Heidi. You are able to rent out entire homes so we found it perfect for finding places with two bedrooms so she was able to get a decent sleep undisturbed as she would be in a one bed hotel room and there is the added bonus of having your own kitchen which is perfect for us as we often like to prepare our own meals. There are some amazing properties on Airbnb from treehouses to penthouses with the best views over a city. Get £25 off your first trip by clicking here.
If I’m looking to book a hotel room instead of a home for a trip away, then instead of Airbnb I head to Booking.com where I’ll find the perfect room for my stay. I usually use this if I’m travelling alone and a hotel room is more than enough for me instead of booking an entire home as we like to do for family trips.
This is my little piece of luxury. I regularly pop onto this site to get inspiration for all the BEST places to stay in an area. They have so many gems! My favourite is this cave hotel in Matera. What an absolute dream!! As is the whole of Matera. I am currently writing up a blog post on our stay in the city and I have to say that if you are ever in the area then it is a must visit. It took my breath away.
I absolutely love browsing through Trip Adviser to find all the best places to eat and visit around me. Where ever I am, I always make sure to have a quick search of what’s nearby. More often than not I have found unexpected gems, even in areas I have been to time and again! I am a firm believer that you can never fully explore a place and I highly recommend checking out what’s around you as I can guarantee you’ll find something new. I also use Trip Adviser to find local attractions and to book experiences for my trips away.
When it comes to searching for flights I head to two places. Firstly, I use Skyscanner which allows me to compare the prices of flights across multiple airlines, ensuring I find the best deal at any given time.
If I am searching for flights coming up in a short space of time I always head to lastminute.com to get some excellent last minute deals. I once got a return flight to Bangkok for £374!!!! How amazing is that?! You can’t always guarantee you’ll find something but I have regularly found some fantastic deals if dates are flexible.
My current go to travel insurance. I first took out insurance with Avanti on a month long trip around Thailand and have used them ever since. Easy to book, excellent service and offer cover for trips up to a couple of months long – I have never had a problem with them. They are also one of the best insurance companies to go to if you are slightly older or have medical conditions. The other travel insurance company I have used is InsureandGo and they too offered excellent service on the multiple times I used them.
My go to destination to plan my upcoming trips! The Lonely Planet offer the best tips and advice and are the only travel guides I have on my book cases. Italy and France have been thoroughly well thumbed and it goes without saying that you should all own a copy of Lonely Planet – England (of which I could add some fantastic jewels to!!)
When I travel, 9 times out of 10 I hire a car to explore the area. Unless of course I am only visiting one city such as a weekend in Barcelona when I will always explore the city on foot or if I am visiting somewhere like the Amalfi Coast where it is just completely impractical to have a car as it takes you 2 hours to drive 15 minutes down the road only to find you can’t find anywhere to park the car when you get there anyway…honestly, when we were last in Amalfi we left the car at our Airbnb villa the whole week and took the bus to each village we wanted to visit. Driving was a nightmare. But excluding city breaks or other areas where driving really isn’t on the cards, I always like to hire a car so that I am able to explore more of the countryside and seek out those picture perfect villages and find all the hidden restaurants where the locals eat. There are three companies I use regularly to book hire cars through. These are:
Auto Europe (car hire from £5 per day!! – I use these most)
There are masses of car hire companies out there to choose from but these are the three that I personally use and have never had any trouble with.
Adobe Lightroom – £9.98/month
I don’t think Adobe Lightroom needs an introduction. I couldn’t do what I do without Adobe Lightroom. It is hands down the best photo editing software out there and is worth every penny I have spent on it over the years. And lets face it..£9.98 a month in return for beautiful images is an investment worth making. This is one piece of software that every photographer should have in their arsenal.
This UK based printing company allows you to turn your images into beautiful prints on materials that have been sourced to have a minimal impact on the environment. I have mini square prints and even photo books for my own personal collect to remember my travels by! I worked with them back in September 2018 and loved the prints of my photos. You can see the photo I took of one of my favourite Peak District pubs here.
I couldn’t get anywhere without my camera – the FANTASTIC Nikon D750. I will do a post breaking down all my photography equipment but I had to include this beauty on here! It is responsible for all the images you have seen from me in the past year and I just can’t fault it. A full review is upcoming!!
I will do proper reviews of all the courses I have taken. I have been very selective in the course I have paid for as I know there are so many on the market and I made sure to do my research beforehand to try and make sure I picked the most beneficial ones. Two of those are:
Build Blog Freedom – Sharon Gourlay
I have nothing but positive feedback for this course! Of them all, this has been the most thorough, informative and I feel the most helpful to me. The amount of detail and information Sharon gives on each of her courses is detailed enough for those who have been blogging for a couple of years, yet explains each topic right from entry level of the novice blogger. I genuinely can’t recommend this course enough. On top of that, the BBF course offers entry into the members only Facebook group, one of the friendliest and most helpful I am a part of – you will get help on any and all questions you have! If you aren’t sure if you want to invest in Sharon’s course then she does also offer a multitude of free help in the form of free email challenges. The one’s I took are:
These will get you off to a flying start and were so helpful to me! Sharon also gives away a free chapter of her book on Sponsored Posts and how to make money from blogging, which you can find here.
Super Star Blogging – Nomadic Matt ($149)
Super Star Blogging provides you with all the information you need to know about setting up a travel blog and how to make a success of it. The course is broken down into nine units on how to set your blog up and make it look visually appealing, how to create engaging content to grab your readers attention, the basics of SEO and how to optimise your website to rank highly in Google search engines, how to grow your social media, how to supersize your email list, how to make monetize your blog and work with brands – ultimately how to create a business that will sustain you for years to come! And at $149 Super Star Blogging is nowhere near the cost of some of the other courses out there, so well worth the investment and offers great value for money! It’s the perfect course to learn the fundamentals of blogging from one of the most successful travel bloggers out there and will significantly boost your chances of success in the travel blogging world.
If you are wanting to make money through affiliates on your website then you will want to join the following affiliate schemes. There are tons more out there but these are the ones that I use most myself!
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