As a travel blogger, I try to read a lot of other travel blogs to get a feel for the current state of the industry and improve my own work. I’m also part of a few social media reciprocation groups where I participate in comment threads; I read the posts of others and give them feedback in their comments section, and they do the same for me. While there are a lot of good travel blogs out there that document exciting destinations and add nuanced discussion to the conversation of ethical travel, there are certain travel posts that I’m so sick of reading.
Hotel Review Posts.
These posts are my absolute least favourite. In my opinion, this is what Trip Advisor is for, and I’m sick of reading boring reviews of mediocre hotels. I understand that travel bloggers are doing these reviews in exchange for a free or subsidised stay in these hotels, but I don’t think that it adds any meaningful content to their blogs.
I think I would be more open to it if the hotels were amazing, unique places, but the majority of them are run-of-the-mill midrange places that you could find in any city. There is only so much you can actually say about these hotels, and the posts reek of “I was paid to write this”.
Leave hotel reviews to the review sites and if you value your creative integrity, please leave the boring ones off of your blog.
Packing Lists/Gift Guides for Travellers.
Packing list posts are often destination-themed and show a collection of clothing and accessories recommended by the blogger. These items are usually pretty generic and could be applied to a variety of destinations. I think that there’s some value to be had in dedicating an entire review post to an item that is particularly special, like a reliable backpack, rather than lumping it all together in a desperate attempt to garner some affiliate sales.
Gift guides for travellers are even more egregious. I have seen a lot more popping up recently in the lead up to Christmas and they are often full of items that the blogger recommends but has no experience with. To me this is the clumsiest attempt at trying to make affiliate sales and adds nothing of value when the travel bloggers have no experience of these items.
I don’t object to travel blogs trying to make money through affiliate sales, but I think that posts should have some value beyond “please buy these things so I can make a cut”.
Generic City Guides.
Huge cities like Barcelona or Paris have been written about to death. Unless you have encountered a strange or interesting attraction, à la Atlas Obscura, then there’s little value in drumming out another “Top 5 Attractions” post.
I realise that I’m inadvertently guilty of this myself, with my post Top 5 Attractions in Cartagena. However, this post was originally accepted for paid publication before this organisation unfortunately went bankrupt. I didn’t want the work to go completely to waste and so I re-purposed it, but I accept that it adds little to my blog or to the community.
These posts often contain the same major attractions that you could easily find in a Lonely Planet or on the front page of Google. Unless you are a major travel resource site like Nomadic Matt, there is little value to be had from writing highlights posts about major cities.
Travel blogs that I genuinely love reading.
I love travel blogs that blend stories with personal experience and opinion. I also particularly admire bloggers who visit little-known destinations, and who take a stand on ethical issues within the travel community.
- Adventurous Kate: I have been reading Kate’s blog for several years now and she is never afraid to state her informed opinion. She regularly takes stands on issues like racism and white privilege within the travel community, and writes with a likeable, personal tone.
- Nomadic Matt: The original and one of the best. Matt is one of the most knowledgeable bloggers on the internet and a genuinely reliable source, particularly for those aforementioned city and country guides.
- Atlas and Boots: This is a hiking-centric blog that follows the adventures of Kia and her partner Peter. They produce comprehensive guides on hiking in lesser-known locations, and take a stand on travel ethics.
- Forever Roaming the World: Amit writes about budget travel, which is a huge category dominated by a lot of larger bloggers. However, I particularly enjoy his personable writing style and sense of humour, which brings me back for more.
- Beer and a Backpack: Although he does have a travel blog, Justin is much more active on Instagram, where he catalogues his adventures volunteering around the world. He visits obscure places like ostrich farms in Bulgaria, and is always an entertaining read.
What kind of blog posts are you sick of reading, and what would you like to see more of in the travel community?