The way we travel.

A screen shot from my personal travel blog, Miss LaQuist.

A screen shot from my personal travel blog, Miss LaQuist.

Travel blogging—an idea unique to the last quarter-century; a platform that has shaped the way people share and research travel experiences, an activity that is in my opinion the dream job.

Travel blogging as a whole is hard to define, ranging from small series of posts targeted to independent travelers’ friends and family to mainstream sights teeming with practical information for the vacationing masses.  Some people have turned traditional forms of social media like Facebook and Instagram into a version of travel blogging.  Others use photography-centered sites like Flickr and Tumblr as their own form of a travel blog.  Platforms like WordPress and Blogger have made personal travel blogs more of a possibility than ever before.

Although the depth and range of travel blogs is highly subjective, one thing that is certain is that travel blogging in all its forms is growing.  Membership and page views to sites like Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor are increasing, attendance at blogging conferences has more than doubled in the past year alone, travel related tags and keywords are among the most popular on sites big and small.

Each form of travel blogging seems to have its own benefits and specific practicality.  Facebook, for example, has the greatest influence over the vacation choices of 25-34 year-olds.  TripAdvisor has the greatest impact on female booking habits.  Social networking sites as a whole have a large influence on hotel choices, travel methods, and dining options.

Personally, I find a different value in each of travel blogging’s different forms.  Mainstream sites like Lonely Planet are typically the dominant factor in my decisions on which cities to visit.  Small, independent travel blogs are my next step in investigating specific information on how to make the most of those cites.  Social media shapes my travels in a more abstract sense, influencing my attitude and approach to travel in general.

As broad is the range of value readers find in travel blogs, similarly is the range of value travel bloggers find in their content creation and aggregation.  Whether it’s a way to make money, to share experience with loved ones, to offer insight to the masses, to promote certain places and excursions, etc. every travel blogger and site has its own intended purpose. Personally, my travel blog Miss LaQuist is a type of public travel journal where my intended purpose is centered on documenting and finding personal value in my travel experiences.

At the end of the day, I believe that the future of travel blogging is bright.  This prediction is subjective, and would vary depending on how one defines travel blogging and its success.  For me, however, the steady increase in travel related blogs, readership, and interest are a positive sign in making my future dream job a reality.

Sources:

http://www.stikkymedia.com/blog/social-media-and-tourism-industry-statistics
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/travel/travel-blogging-today-its-complicated.html?_r=0
http://advertising.bbcworldwide.com/home/mediakit/reachaudience/brandedentertainment/lonelyplanet

This entry was posted in Culture.