In 2019, I started a weekly series of Travel Tuesdays where I asked travel bloggers questions about how they started and tips for travelling. Due to COVID, I decided to pause them for a while as it didn’t seem appropriate. What I have noticed, however, is how some of these amazing bloggers have pivoted and used their time to create new businesses, courses, write books or to explore closer to home.
How my Travel Tuesday Bloggers are coping with Lockdown
Leanne from The Globetrotter GP and Passive Income Superstars
Juggling two websites and still doing a few shifts as a doctor to keep my license up to date can be hard work at times and I often feel as though I’m neglecting one website when I focus on the other. So whilst I was gutted to cancel my travel plans and it wasn’t nice seeing my travel blog traffic plummet in 2020, lockdown at least gave me time to focus on my other website Passive Income Superstars.
When I started my travel blog, The Globetrotter GP, it was a hobby and a way to relax and escape my stressful 9-5! But it quickly became a profitable business when I started learning about affiliate marketing. I was at a travel blogging conference when friends convinced me to teach the skills I’d learnt with an affiliate marketing course. Lockdown finally gave me time to realise my ambition to become a course owner and in July, I launched my course, Affiliate Marketing Superstars.
It took me a full 5 months of intense work to get it just right – I was determined for it to be the most comprehensive affiliate course out there! It was the perfect distraction from lockdown, keeping me entertained despite living alone. I did feel a tad guilty that my travel blog was getting a bit neglected and I’m so looking forward to getting back to writing more travel content soon.
My course launch was a huge success – within days I had 35 students and some really positive feedback. I celebrated by taking my first post lockdown trip – 3 days in the picturesque Cotswolds staying in an eco-lodge. It’s given me some great inspiration to get travel writing again!
Read Leanne’s original post here.
Angela from Where Angie Wanders
This year started well with 5 trips to look forward to but took a downward curve once Covid-19 hit the world.
With all trips postponed until 2021 and that’s me being optimistic, I have spent my time enjoying what is on my doorstep – the English Countryside.
Gone are the 3-day breaks to Spain, Italy and France and in their place are days out in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Coastal towns are heaving at the seams with “staycationers” and so I am seeking out new locations such as stately homes and beautiful gardens that I haven’t visited before and giving them the attention they deserve.
2020 for me will be the first time in 30 years that I haven’t taken a flight somewhere, but right now I have no desire to do so. With regulations and guidelines changing on a regular basis and flights requiring me to sit next to a complete stranger when I have been social distancing for so long seems a backward move.
So for the foreseeable future I am enjoying what the UK has to offer and growing my travel blog with posts from home until a time when I personally feel ready for international travel.
Have a look at Angie’s original post.
Michele from The Intrepid Guide
Since I started The Intrepid Guide, my language and travel blog, the goal has always been to bring travel and languages closer together. I believe learning even just a few key phrases can do wonders for enriching your travels. It’s a great way to show respect, but also make an awesome first impression when meeting the locals.
My goal is to help enrich people’s travels and have authentic experiences through learning the local language, which is why I created my on-going series of free travel phrase guides to help my readers become travel fluent. But, I still wanted to do more.
I wanted to make it even easier for travellers, both to get started in learning languages but also to make the language learning journey more enjoyable and accessible. The lockdown gave me the space and time to take a step back and develop a new and more exciting way to learn languages.
The result is The Intrepid Guide Language School featuring a series of online self-guided courses designed for travellers. It teaches you how to speak the language before you travel to the country.
So far the series includes Italian and French, with more languages to follow. My Intrepid languages courses give my students both freedom and confidence. Freedom to travel around the country without feeling like a tourist and allow them to communicate and engage with locals in interesting conversations. Plus, they will gain the confidence to make the right decisions, like avoid tourist trap restaurants or a taxi scam and ask a local for recommendations.
After completing any of my travel languages courses, you’ll have a clear understanding of the fundamentals of the language so you don’t just survive, but thrive in typical travel situations.
For more details visit, The Intrepid Guide Language School here and learn how to be fluent before you fly!
Michele’s Italian course is such good fun. I knew a smattering of Italian before I started it, but I am now confident in how to talk in Italian and even start to think in Italian instead of just literal translation from English.
Learn more about Michele in her original post here.
Becki from Meet Me in Departures
Like with everyone 2020 has thrown a total curveball at me. My travel blog, Meet Me In Departures, was only launched towards the latter part of 2019, but was seeing continuous steady growth. At the start of the year, I’d done a little bit of projection and set of mini-goals as to what I was hoping to achieve……And then Coronavirus destroyed all those plans. On some of the worst days, my traffic had just a mere 25 people visiting, it felt like flogging a dead horse. All my travel plans and events were cancelled and even my avenues of income outside of blogging had stopped. I was pretty rock bottom for a while.
It was hard to stay motivated with the blog when there was no traffic and no one even looking to travel. What made it even harder was that no one had an inkling of an idea as to how long lockdown was going to last. So I started to invest my new ‘gained time’ into eLearning, either through online conferences, YouTube videos, eCourses or eBooks on how to improve my blog, which I’ve then slowly been implementing.
Knowing that travel will be off the cards for quite a while, I then looked into diversifying my skill set. I have over 18 years of design industry experience in total with 11 years of that being within the education sector. I wanted to try and combine these into a new venture. I started to build a new business called Creativ Squid. It’s still very much in its infancy with quite a few ideas in the pipeline for it. In a nutshell, initially, I’ll be selling graphic design services which will give me the time to work on the educating and teaching side of the business.
So although it’s not been the 2020 I visioned at the start of the year, I know for certain the time I dedicated to learning will have a positive impact on my businesses as well as giving me the time and headspace to diversify.
Learn more about Becki on her original Travel Tuesday post.
Alex from Career Gappers
Times have been tough for travel bloggers these last few months! So, we’ve been doing our best to stay positive. We have been using the time during lockdown to reimagine our blogging business and undertake some exciting new projects.
For the last few weeks we have brought together the career break resources we’ve been building for the last two years, culminating in the launch of our new ebook, How to Take a Year Off Work. The ebook lays out the tremendous benefits of taking a career break and shows how it can be done, presenting manageable strategies for each step of the process. It isn’t limited to travel – we also explore how to take time out to volunteer, learn new skills, spend time with loved ones or just relax.
Now we are turning our attention to our beautiful home city, Lincoln in the UK, which is where we have been locked down (that’s us in Lincoln in the picture). While continuing our work on Career Gappers, we’ve also been preparing to launch a new blog called Lincoln and Beyond. We’re aiming to help people love their time in Lincoln, and we hope this project can play a part in bringing visitors back to the city and help its vibrant tourism sector get back on its feet again. The blog will go live in the next few weeks, so watch this space!
Andrea from Happy Days Travel Blog
When the pandemic hit, we were coming to the end of a six-month stay in Tobago. Our family were due to fly out to join us for a three-week holiday and, when they flew home, we were supposed to be going on to Thailand via New York. Obviously, all these plans came to nothing!
Trinidad and Tobago was very quick to respond to the threat posed by Covid 19. The borders were closed before most other countries, effectively trapping us on our paradise island! Unable to go anywhere (not even to the beach a stone’s throw away from our apartment!), I spent my time increasing my range of travel-inspired adult colouring books. I now have 25 titles and I’m pleased to say that they are selling well.
In June, the UK government organised a repatriation flight to bring us back to the UK. We were grateful to get seats on it. Who knows how long we would have been stranded otherwise?
Since returning home, with our travel options limited, we decided to buy a campervan so that we could explore our home country a bit more. ‘Bertha’, our Ford Transit conversion, is now our home on wheels. We are currently in North Yorkshire with plans to tour around the Lake District and Scotland in the coming weeks. It feels good to be out exploring!
Learn more about Andrea in her original article.
Roobens from Been Around the Globe
Oh my god… So many things have happened since our interview! Who would have thought 2020 could be that bad!? It was hard for all of us travel bloggers but we’re strong and we don’t moan, we always find solutions!
Since my revenue plummeted, I worked hard during the lockdown to create my own product and make some money. It’s almost ready now! I wrote a book about travelling as a black person. It’s going to be self-published and it should be out late September-early October. I can’t wait!
Otherwise, I took time to optimize old articles on my Been Around the Globe blog in order to rank better on Google, and it seems like traffic starts to go up again.
During the lockdown, I read a lot of personal development books. It helped my mental health, I could definitely feel it. I don’t really feel like traveling right now, so I’m staying home in Paris. Right now I’m putting the final touches on the book and it keeps me busy!
Catch up with Rooben’s interview here.
Steve from Biggsy Travels
I was made redundant from my full-time career job prior to Coronavirus back in early February. Sadly I wasn’t able to get my foot in the door somewhere before “lockdown” so I was stuck indoors like everyone else. However, I wondered if there was any way of pivoting to use a combination of my “day job” (enterprise-level) digital analytics skills + my blogging (small website) skills while I waited for the job market to open up again.
I approached a number of small businesses in my hometown, offering to fix any pain points they were having with their websites. This meant pitching an initial proposal to how I could audit their site and provide them with some short/mid-term user experience, site structure and SEO recommendations. Only one business was able to commit to a piece of work but I left them with a 15-page recommendations document plus 5 Google Data Studio dashboards so they could “self-serve” insights going forwards. This gave me a flavour of the world of freelancing and working for myself. However, in the end, I happily accepted a full-time career job offer mid-August.
All this time the content creation for my blog was bubbling along in the background. I fully audited my own website at Biggsy Travels and subsequently updated all my older posts to the latest WordPress block structure, improved the “look and feel” of the content & refreshed any out of date material where appropriate.
It’s been interesting seeing how other UK-based travel content creators have adapted. From creating brand new country-dedicated websites to selling prints of their travels in online galleries.
My Travel Tuesday bloggers are an inspiration in how to use your time wisely when not being able to work as normal or travel. What inspiring things have you been up to during lockdown? Let me know in the comments below.
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Larch has had wanderlust all her life, travelling as much as she can whenever she can. Now in her 50’s, she writes about her adventures on her travel blog The Silver Nomad to encourage travellers of all ages to look at different destinations. In early 2019, she qualified as a CAA PfCO Drone Pilot and now travels with her DJI Mavic Pro and Mavic Mini to capture aerial videos and photos to enhance her work.