Thinking about becoming a travel writer? Before you head out on your first trip, there are a few things that you’ll want to take with you to ensure you can write from the road.
Starting a travel blog is more than just writing about a few tourist spots. It’s about giving your followers an inside look at the places, the routes, and the experiences they won’t find in just any travel guide.
Here are some of the tools I’ve found that help me do that:
One of the first mistakes I made when I started travel writing was relying on public wifi. I’ve paid for wifi on planes if the airline even offered it, but apparently, it doesn’t usually work when you’re flying over the ocean. Who knew?
I’ve even gotten to an Airbnb that promised wifi only to discover it wasn’t working upon my arrival. That’s why I now always travel with my Netgear Mobile Wifi Hotspot. Once I got the hang of using it, this little device has been a lifesaver on several occasions.
Even when I’m at home, it’s nice to have this hotspot for times when there are power outages or rough weather in my area. I’ve worked straight through a hurricane without electricity until my laptop died. It’s connected to my AT&T cell phone plan, so I do end up using more data than usual, but it’s more than worth it when I’m on a tight deadline.
I’ve used numerous tablets and tiny laptops over the years, always looking for the best way to take my writing on the go. While my laptop is great, it can weigh down my bag a bit which is a big mistake for travel writers who do a lot of backpacking.
Currently, I’m loving my Amazon Kindle Fire as it’s light and fast. It allows me to have all of my Google Docs right at my fingertips so I can work anywhere, either online or off.
I also love it because it allows me to stay on top of my Netflix and Hulu shows, read my books on the Kindle app, and share my writing with my followers on social media without having to lug around my clunky computer. It’s perfect for traveling.
Like any professional travel writer, I need a keyboard to do my work and using the one on my tablet’s touchscreen just wasn’t cutting it. I recently purchased this Fintie Folio Keyboard Case for my Amazon Fire, and I couldn’t be happier with it.
Not only does it serve as a hard case to protect my tablet when I’m on the road, but the keyboard and stand make writing far easier. Yes, the keyboard is tiny. But so are my hands, so it works for me.
As a travel writer who’s constantly on the run, having a portable charger is absolutely necessary. I carry it around daily to charge my cell phone so that I know an Uber back to my hotel or Airbnb is always just a few finger taps away, Google Maps is always accessible, and my camera will always work.
Having a portable charger with several USB ports allows me to charge my tablet at the same time, which is convenient when I’m held up in a coffee shop for a few hours getting things done. You can’t always expect an outlet to be available! I usually carry two or three around with me, depending on how long I expect my day to be.
When I travel, I like to pack as little as possible. When I went on my 30-day train trip around the country, all I brought was this SwissGear Travel Backpack and a large purse. Not only was this enough to fit all of my clothes and personal hygiene products, but I was also able to fit my dog Chelsea’s necessities in there with my full-sized laptop.
I chose to bring my laptop on that trip instead of my tablet since I knew I’d be doing a lot of writing and web design. This backpack was like a tiny clown car as I couldn’t believe how much stuff I could fit in it. On top of that, the shoulder padding made it so comfortable that I hardly felt like I was lugging around half my body weight.
Since then, I’ve used it for flying as well. It has a separate zipped section and pockets for a laptop and a tablet that makes going through airport security much easier. Perfect for any travel writer!
Some other things you might want to consider taking with you are a notebook and pen for when inspiration hits at an unexpected moment, or you meet someone you’d like to interview for your blog.
A camera is also something you’ll want to have with you at all times. While I personally use the camera on my phone, some travel writers focus heavily on photography and like to carry more advanced equipment around with them.
Thought of more items to recommend to writers who are heading on the road? Leave it in the comments!
*Originally posted on WritingsOfTheSatiricalFeminista.com