As a travel blogger I often come across many misconceptions about travel blogging. I see them in comments, from questions from followers, from even friends and family who don’t actually know what it is to be travel blogger. Although I’m not a blogger by profession, I’m definitely an enthusiast and have for years now learnt to work out why a lot of people have these misconceptions about travelling. So this blogpost is dedicated to busting those myths and giving people a small and honest glimpse into the world of travel blogging.
Myth 1: Travel bloggers take professional photographers with them everywhere.
Fact: Most of us go on holidays with friends and family, not photographers! My photos have been taken by my parents, my sister, my friends, my husband, other tourists. I’ve said this before as long as YOU know photography and YOU know how you want your photo to turn out, you can show ANYONE how to take your photo. Place them in your position first and take a picture yourself so you can show them exactly what you want. You do not need a professional photographer. Some might hire one for photoshoots but that’s generally for special occasions like engagement shoots.
Myth 2: Travel bloggers have to be rich, or have a rich husband or rich parents to travel so much
Fact: No just no. The number of budget travellers you’ll come across on social media is literally massive! People are under the misconception that in order to travel you must stay in expensive hotels and eat in expensive restaurants – this is not true. Also, a lot of people tend to follow more luxury travellers over budget travellers which lead them to this conclusion that travelling must be expensive – you need to find the right bloggers to follow otherwise you’ll only ever see one side of travelling. Who you follow is completely your choice, please don’t follow luxury travel bloggers and then accuse them of having and spending too much money.
Myth 3: Travel bloggers take too long taking photos in one place
Fact: Not true for every blogger. This is just a classic example of tarring all bloggers with the same brush. I mean maybe some do take an excessive amount of time but most actually don’t. I personally take a few and only take a further few minutes to experiment if there’s nobody else waiting to take a photo in the same place. A lot of bloggers choose to take photos very early in the morning to avoid causing problems for others. I myself have done this several times, particularly for places I know is likely to be crowded. Also, even non- bloggers do this at times.
Myth 4: Travel bloggers do it to get followers on Instagram
Fact: Nah some people just like holidays and taking photos and sharing them. And even if it is about getting followers, why is that a problem for you? If people enjoy your content, it can actually motivate you to hone your skills and continue that passion. Also, remember a lot of people earn through social media, that is a job for them, so follower count is actually quite important.
Myth 5: All travel bloggers get free hotels, outfits etc
Fact: Not ALL travel bloggers get freebies. Most bloggers are actually the average working person who have to research and pay for their accommodation, outfits, food etc. Travelling is very much like a holiday for them – they go through the exact same process that you go through when booking and planning holidays. Your process might actually be better! Especially at the beginning of a blogging career this is very unlikely, maybe down the line brands and businesses will approach you to advertise their business.
Myth 6: Travel bloggers spend all their time during holidays taking photos
Fact: Maybe some do, I don’t know. But most of us spend a few minutes taking photos as soon as we arrive at a place and that clears the rest of the day for us to do other things. Also remember there are only a handful of “instagrammable” places in a place so you can’t really be taking photos all day anyways. Also, the reason we do take a lot of photos is because we EXPLORE more than tourists and because of that we know how to spot hidden alleyways, streets, doors that most tourists wouldn’t. We don’t take a taxi from one place to another, we will literally walk miles just so we can explore a city to it’s fullest. Attention to photography teaches us that.
I once had a conversation with someone who visited Marrakech and told me they stayed in their hotel all day because it was too warm. I went to Marrakech mid summer and still made the effort to see every single place there – those are the characteristics of a travel blogger, not how many photos we take.
Myth 7: Travel bloggers travel 365 days a year.
Fact: I wish 😂 No seriously, for those working in full time jobs we get about 28-35 days annual leave. Sprinkle in some bank holidays and long weekends and soon planning more than one holiday can seem pretty difficult. But yes ofcourse, we travel more than most people, so it may seem like a lot!
Myth 8: All female travel bloggers wear pretty dresses
Fact: Maybe you’re just following the ones that do…? Some of us love to yes. I personally love shopping, dressing up and I LOVE making my photos aesthetic with my outfits – it’s something I get from my mum. Having an eye for aesthetics basically runs in my blood. But to be honest even if I didn’t take photos, I’d still wear the same outfits that I do now, it’s all part of my personality – I’m sure other bloggers will have their own special reasons. But there are many bloggers who dress casual when travelling and their photos are just as amazing. It all depends on the blogger’s personality – some girls like dressing up and some don’t. Simple.
Myth 9: Travel bloggers must take a lot of luggage full of clothes
Fact: As mentioned previously, the outfits you take depends on your personality. But even for those who, like me, like to dress up, I can tell you that my dresses take up as much space as your jeans and coat – probably less! Maxi dresses are thin material which can be packed tightly. Tulle skirts are a bit more difficult. Winter coats take up the most space…but hey you need to wear them too! Also, because we do it so much, we are efficient at packing.
Myth 10: Travel bloggers are all extroverts and super outgoing
Fact: Firstly, travel blogging is what you make it. Yes it does take a certain level of boldness to take the type of photos most bloggers take especially when people are watching but your style of blogging could be totally different! You might be the quiet explorer who writes strong and powerful stories about culture and art. What I can say is that travelling will certainly help boost your confidence. So maybe it’s the other way around? You don’t need to be confident and outgoing to become a travel blogger – becoming a travel blogger will make you confident and outgoing.
Myth 11: Travel bloggers use expensive camera and equipment when taking photos
Fact: You definitely don’t need expensive equipment to make your photos look good. I take all my photos on my mobile and edit them on Snapseed which is a free app! And my pictures are alright I think 😅 I started off using a Canon 60D and 50mm lenses but then got fed up with carrying them around everywhere. I definitely think it’s more about having an eye for photography, picking the right locations, right colours, lighting and also getting to know your equipment well rather than the price of the equipment.
Myth 12: Travel bloggers blog full time, that is their job
Fact: I wish 😂 But if you follow me you know this is not true and I also know many bloggers who manage a 9-5 job while travelling and blogging on the side. I think it would be so cool to be able to be a full time blogger but I know it’s a highly competitive field and would probably require some financial and personal sacrifices. Those who do it are absolutely amazing and hugely dedicated to blogging! Also try explaining to Asian uncles and aunties that your occupation is a travel blogger – “whattttt you’re not a doctor?”
Myth 13: Travel blogging is not a “real” job
Fact: I read a comment on a post by quite a prominent blogger saying “so do you guys also have a proper job?” I mean really? Yes it’s not your bog standard office role but I personally would say it’s more difficult to become a blogger because no one sets out the path for it. You don’t get to plan this from childhood, your parents never tell you to become one, you don’t know which university to go to, which courses to take, this is a profession which you can only be successful in through pure will, talent and hard work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and the career I’m in but to get paid to travel and blog would be a dream come true.
Also, cut the arrogance of thinking certain professions are more important than others, it’s up to our generation to change that.
Myth 14: Travel bloggers need thousands of followers on social media to be successful
Fact: Firstly, this all depends on your definition of success. There was a time when I was very much focused on followers too but now I enjoy genuine engagement much more. In particular, I love travel writing and I literally have no idea how many people follow my blog. I understand why follower count may be important since it may determine the number of collaborations and endorsements bloggers get but at the end of the day quality of work is just as important. Genuine followers are much more important than the number – quality over quantity always.
Myth 15: You can become a travel blogger overnight
Fact: I think myths like this come from a place of jealousy whereby people assume blogging is an easy profession. Even for people like me who don’t do it professionally, it took years to build my portfolio. Thankfully I never planned on becoming a travel blogger so when I did start blogging I had loads of material to share (I still have photos from 6 countries which I haven’t even started sharing on Instagram yet!) so making content didn’t become frustrating. But even then we need to post consistently, maintain the quality of our work, our writing, our interaction with other bloggers and we have to do this for over a period of time. So no you can’t just travel to a place, share some photos, get some likes and become a travel blogger overnight.
Myth 16: You have to travel far to be considered a travel blogger
Fact: If I’ve learnt one thing this year is that this is not true at all! I decided not to travel abroad at all this year which meant I finally decided to explore more of the UK! And how I regret not doing this earlier! I wish people would learn to travel more within their own country. You do not need to travel to Europe to become a travel blogger, there is much to blog about within even your own city!
As a side note – you also don’t need to travel to many countries to become a travel blogger. Ofcourse it will help broaden your experiences but there’s no harm in visiting the same country over and over again. I’ve visited Spain I think 3 times now and let me tell you, each city felt like a different country in its own right 💛
Myth 17: There is no diversity amongst travel bloggers
Fact: So in a blogpost I read before writing this, the author described this myth as “all female travel bloggers are blonde, blue eyed, fair skinned women.” The truth is, yes there was a time when this was probably true. Women living in the west had more opportunities to travel, passport privilege, open minded families, freedom to dream outside the box – and they’ve set such excellent standards for travel bloggers. Truth is Southasian Muslim parents are still reluctant to allow their daughters to even study in a different country if they’re not married, let alone travel. Which is why traditionally more female bloggers were of a certain origin.
But now there is so much diversity amongst female travel bloggers! Women from all over the world, from all cultures and religions are travelling and they bring so much to the world of travel blogging. The more bloggers you discover, the more you’ll see this!
Myth 18: Travel bloggers never repeat outfits
Fact: I always feel like this is like a last resort complaint by those who are finding reasons to dislike bloggers 😂 When all else fails, let’s bring this in.
Firstly, I know so many people who aren’t bloggers but still own hundreds of outfits. Secondly, ofcourse I will not repeat outfits when I travel. Most of us lead quite average lives with 9-5 jobs (now most of us are even working from home!) so we’re wearing the same clothes every other day – so the few days a year we get the chance to dress up we deserve to do it to the absolute fullest. If you love dressing up and you’re good at it never ever change that about yourselves – it’s a talent.
The only problem I feel is when you feel “embarrassed” about repeating outfits – there is absolutely no shame in repeating outfits. I repeat outfits all the time, the only difference is I don’t post a photo every time I go out on a date with my husband, or to an invitation or out with friends.
So if you want to wear 10 outfits in one day when you’re travelling, please do it, because I’m not paying for your lifestyle and you’re not paying for mine.
Myth 19: Travel blogging is too saturated a field, there’s no point in entering it
Fact: Actually this is somewhat true. The first part anyways. Travel blogging is definitely quite a saturated field and social media is full of travel bloggers of some sort. However, that does not mean you should not enter it. If travelling is your passion you should definitely share it with others!
I think the problem is when you start seeing blogging like a competition or if you’re constantly focused on followers/likes. Then it does become more of a chore and you’ll end up feeling like there was no point in entering. Remember you will never be satisfied with how many followers you have, when you hit 10k you’ll want 20, when you hit 20k you’ll want 50. So just focus on enjoying the blogging and if you get a decent and genuine following along the way then yayy!
Myth 20 and the last one! Travel bloggers are all competing with each other
Fact: Travel bloggers on Instagram are more like a community. I take so much inspiration and ideas from others, it’s just amazing how much knowledge bloggers store about the world. I bet you anything – travel bloggers are some of the friendliest people you’ll meet on social media.
And with that I conclude my “20 myths about travel bloggers” series! I hope you guys enjoyed it and most importantly I hope it gave you a bit of an insight into the world of travel bloggers. At the end of the day, these myths come from lack of understanding about blogging which makes complete sense if you don’t blog yourself but, unfortunately, I feel a lot of these myths also come from a place of jealousy and ignorance as well. So let’s overcome this negativity and support each other with their hobbies and dreams. See people as inspiration and learn from them rather than hoarding negative feelings about their ability to travel the world and live their dreams.
Excellent post, I really loved how you described the myths. This was totally needed! I would like to share my thoughts on the point where travel bloggers take professional photographers with them – I also thought myself photography being a travel blogger, so no need to take professionals along. Haha, although cannot afford anyone! Loved the Post! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for a great post! I really appreciate these tips x
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Thanks a lot! Glad you liked them! xx