Annoying Things About Travel Blogs

Since I’ve started my blog and been introduced to the Wonderful World of WordPress, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs, in particular travel blogs as that is my genre and I tend to attract and gravitate towards other writers of the same vein.

Credit: venere.com

I’ve probably clicked through hundreds of travel blogs by now – the good ones I follow, the not-so-good ones I quickly click past and forget about. The reasons that I don’t follow a blog tend to be the same.

Too many words

One of the reasons most people visit travel blogs is to see another part of the world. Yet there are many blogs out there, particularly from study abroad students, where the author recounts in extreme detail everything that happened – with no pictures. This is fine if I am your mother or grandmother and am pouring over every single word you write, but since I’m not, I quickly grow tired of that. Of course telling stories and recounting what you did is interesting and part of a travel blog, but put some pictures up!

What beautiful letters

Too many personal pictures

That being said, show some discretion and common sense when you post pictures of your trip.

Picture of you in front of the Trevi Fountain = cute.

Pictures of you in front of every single monument in Rome = ok…

Repeated pictures of you and your friends riding a bus, jumping, eating, etc = I’m already on the next blog. Save those for Facebook.

Give us more!

Simple spelling or grammatical errors

Many authors of travel blogs are writing as they travel, during a brief moment of rest. I appreciate and applaud the effort, although that usually means they’re writing in a hurry and therefore make multiple mistakes. I get that you don’t have a lot of time, but you can read over your post at least once before clicking Publish. It’s hard to read a post with repeated errors.

A picture as the background 

I understand that the picture of you in front of Machu Pichu is so cool you want the whole world to see it, but please refrain from using it as your backgroud!! This goes for all blogs. It’s hard on the eyes, the picture repeats itself endlessly as the reader scrolls, and it just plain looks bad.

Misspelling words in foreign languages

Before you use a word or phrase in another language, you should check to make sure you’re spelling it right. If not, you could commit the blogging equivalent of getting a tattoo of a Chinese character that doesn’t mean what you thought it meant or means nothing at all.

Case in point: One time I was reading a post written by someone professing to be an author, when I came across this:  j’ ne se qua. I could assume from context that he meant je ne sais quoi, but come on! A quick Google search can show you the right spelling – don’t be lazy. Once I wrote a post with some Romanian words, and you better believe I Googled that junk before putting it up!

Wannabe philosphical posts with vague references to how travel “changes you”

You’re preaching to the choir on this one. People search out travel blogs because they like to travel. We get it. Traveling’s awesome. But seriously, we get it.

Some people have profound experiences while travelling that can only be described as life-changing. Others have witnessed extreme poverty and suffering that has truly given them a new perspective on life. But please spare us the story of how your capital-hopping, university-sponsored, summer study abroad trip “changed your life”.

Credit: jezebel.com

These girls have just had an epiphany that they will surely blog about later.

______________________

Am I being a giant stick in the mud, or do these things annoy you too?

**Confession Time: I committed egregious error #3! I had misspelled words in this very post, which my own mother had to correct! They are now corrected, I hope no one noticed them…

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About emilytoulouse

In love with all things travel and culture.
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20 Responses to Annoying Things About Travel Blogs

  1. LaVagabonde says:

    Yep, especially the misspellings in foreign languages.

  2. Lilee says:

    I kind of like the words and personal pictures. I think the personal pictures on the bus, eating, etc show more about the reality of travel than pictures in front of monuments or fountains. I want the true experience not just the tourism side that any travel agency will show me.

    • Oh I’m all about words too – I often write long posts, but when I do I add pictures to keep it visually interesting and show people what I’m referring to. And it’s not that I don’t like personal pictures, some people just put way too many pictures of silly things. But it’s all relative!

      • Lilee says:

        Oh agreed! Long wordy posts should definitely be accompanied by pictures. I just remember when my brother was in Armenia some of my favorite pictures were the most mundane little things that I would never see in travel guides or other websites. I always love to see the pictures that make me want to visit the whole city, not just the famous monuments.

  3. amelie88 says:

    I agree with all your points–mostly because I used to commit these “cardinal sins”! When I was studying abroad in undergrad, I used to write every.single.little.detail and I never posted pictures. You can go back to my posts from 2008-2009–reading those posts are kind of painful. I thought about deleting them, but then I didn’t because it shows how much I’ve improved as a blogger (and I definitely have way more room to improve!) Last January, I realized the way I blogged was awful so I started adding pictures and keeping my descriptions to a minimum (and editing posts–it’s sometimes hard to catch all the typos the first time around). Now I actually have followers and people who comment and like my posts. Before last year, that hardly ever happened. I’m also trying to find a way to redesign my blog and make it look more fresh/original.

    • Probably the only reason I didn’t make those mistakes in the beginning is because I had read A LOT of blogs before starting my own, so I knew what I liked and what I didn’t. So now I just write the blog I want to read, and it turns out others do too! It’s interesting you can see a difference in reader response since changing your style; I think the more effort you put into your blog the more people appreciate it. And I think the way your blog looks now is great, but I’m never one to stand in the way of improvement ;)

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  5. I really like this post and totally agree with most of it. The only thing I’m not 100% behind is the last point. While I think it’s good for Uni students to get out and see beyond their little bubble, I wish more were actually *changed* by it. I studied abroad and I feel like I learned tons from the experience. It definitely changed the way I see the world- and that’s the point of it. But you’re probably talking about culturally-insensitive kids who think that partying in multiple big cities adds depth to their character (“I drank Heineken in Amsterdam, I’m soooo worldly!). And in that case, cheers to you.

    • Thanks for your comment! I studied abroad too, in Buenos Aires, and I learned a lot as well. But perhaps it’s because I studied abroad that I’m wary of people’s claims that their lives were changed. I’ve been there, so I know that most students spend their time drinking! Also the professor led, capital hopping drinking trips are very popular at my university, but the students only spend time with each other and spend so little time in each place, how could they really learn anything? That leads to some eye-rolls on my part when they come back and talk about what a lfie-changing experience it was haha! I definitely agree with you that I wish more people were improved and changed by their travels :)

  6. Yes spot on, I get my wife to read and correct most of my posts. Do you put in a slide show to any of your blogs I find that some people have miles and miles of photos and it gets a bit tedious scrolling down and down. Being obviously lazy, it is easier to just sit and watch the slide show go past and then you can put as many photos as you want.

  7. freedman121 says:

    I would say the overly personal photos and spelling / grammatical mistakes are turn offs no matter what the blog style. Also, I know that I struggle in my own blog with balancing words with pictures because I don’t tend to take as many photos, and it can be a turnoff on other blogs too. But I know *exactly* what you mean by study abroad blogs that often hold meaning only for close family members. That said, there’s nothing wrong with that – I don’t consider that type of blog to be anything more than a personal newsletter and as a third party you should just move on to the next one.

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  9. Tisha says:

    I completely agree with your points… they are annoying. I’ve definitely spent time really considering how many pics to post and whether to include personal pics or not. I throw one in, here and there to keep it personal, but agree… the plethora of pics belong on Facebook!

  10. Ha, love this post. These are things I try to remember when writing my own posts. Blogging is a personal expression so it can really be whatever you want it to be, but for those wanting to build an audience outside of family and friends it’s important to see your posts from the reader’s point of view, and make changes accordingly. It’s easy to lose sight of that subjective/objective balance, in any form of art really.

    And you’re so right — I could please my mother with any old slapped-together text; I think she mostly just likes to hear from me, haha. And there’s also something humbling about the fact that you too made some mistakes in this post, which shows that we’ve all got little improvements to make no matter who we are. Thanks for the post, I liked it!

    • I’m glad you liked it! You made a good distinction “for those wanting to build an audience outside of family and friends”, that’s who this was really aimed at. And yes, it was embarrassing at first to realize I made mistakes, but then I thought “Well by correcting my mistakes it shows I care about the readers and what I write”, so it helped prove my point more haha. Btw I liked you on fb!

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