Tips to create a travel blog

By: Jackie Norman, Photography by: Gareth Scurr

jackie journey How much do most of us truly remember about our travels? jackie journey
You can personalise your blog to suit you You can personalise your blog to suit you You can personalise your blog to suit you
20171116 091836 Casper is growing fast but I’ll always remember him as a wee baby 20171116 091836
Us at Tunnel Beach right after Gareth proposed Us at Tunnel Beach, right after Gareth proposed! Us at Tunnel Beach right after Gareth proposed
We can keep in touch with all our new friends from around the world We can keep in touch with all our new friends from around the world We can keep in touch with all our new friends from around the world

NZMCD writer shares her tips on how to start and maintain a travel blog

How much do most of us truly remember about our travels? Despite leading a leisurely life, time flies, and when you’re constantly on the move, it doesn’t take long for people you meet, places you stay, and all those little details that made it special to become a distant memory.

Not for us, however. Despite living on the road only for the past year and a half, thanks to the wonders of technology, Gareth and I can look back on our journey at any time and enjoy reliving almost every moment. How? I write a blog. In fact, I’ve been blogging about my life for the past 13 years.

What is a blog? 

Many people have heard the word ‘blog’ but don’t know what one is. Blog is simply short for ‘weblog’ and is a type of a diary or journal written on the internet. It is popular because it’s quick and convenient to update and can be read by as many or as few people as you like. Perfect for happy wanderers who delight in sharing their adventures. 

I started my first blog back in 2005 just for fun. I didn’t realise what a precious and valuable pastime it was until an elderly lady wrote to me several years later and said, "Do you have any idea what an amazing legacy you are creating for your family and loved ones? They will be able to enjoy this personal insight into your life for generations to come".

To be honest, I had never thought of it like that! But as the mother of two sons who are now grown, I am incredibly glad that one day, should they wish to, they will be able to read in great detail not only about their mother’s interesting and unconventional life but also many stories about their own happy and often hilarious childhoods—stories I have long forgotten and could never hope to remember otherwise.

Starting a blog

I-can -write -and -blog -from -wherever -I-am!

Blogging is completely free and it only takes a few minutes to set up one. I write mine using a service called Blogger ( All you need to do to get started is to set up a free Gmail account from Google, which many people already have for their e-mails.

Once you have that, you can go onto Blogger and it will guide you through the process of setting up your blog page, as well as personalising it with a choice of colours, backgrounds, and other whistles and bells. Once that’s done, you’re good to go and can write your first blog post.

You can write as much or as little as you like and as often or as rarely as you like. It’s your blog; there are no rules. You can also upload photos to your blog page. And if you would like others to read your blog, all you need to do is share the link to your blog page.

Create a Facebook page

A more convenient and accessible way to share your travels and preserve memories is to make a Facebook page. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Facebook is a fantastic resource, and many travellers wouldn’t be without it for its friendly and helpful motorhoming groups and sources of information.

When you join Facebook, you automatically create your own personal profile page where you can add friends and keep in touch with the people you know. However, you can also create other pages within Facebook specifically for sharing the things you love and want people to see. Gareth and I have two such pages on Facebook: Riches Have Wheels where we share news and photos specifically about life on the road and Camper Van Kitchen, which is where we indulge our love of cooking. 

Unlike your profile page, which is personal and can be viewed only by people you know, anyone can ‘like’ these types of hobby pages and enjoy your posts without having to know you personally. One great example of how a page like this works belongs to a couple

I met recently at our campground. They have a Facebook page called Lynette and Johns Travels that provides an enjoyable record of their adventures, with photos, videos, and anecdotes of places they have stayed. Pages like these are brilliant for several reasons.

John -and -Lynette -with -their -9-metre -bus

Other motorhomers can follow and learn about new places worth visiting (as well as those to stay away from). It’s also a great way for Lynette and John to keep their families and loved ones posted on how they are and where they’re at, which is both enjoyable and provides peace of mind that they are safe and well. Not only that, John and Lynette are also making a priceless page of memories for themselves at the same time.

Technology doesn’t have to be scary. Without it, people and places, funny things that have happened, heart-warming acts of kindness and other many life-enriching moments would be forgotten all too soon. If travellers relied on posting letters to keep in touch, we’d never hear from each other for months until we got a chance to retrieve our mail.

As it is, thanks to the likes of Facebook, we are able to easily keep in touch with many of the wonderful people we meet on the road and can continue to inspire one another and follow each other’s adventures. It’s never too late to start preserving your memories. So why not start now?

Other social media platforms

Social media isn’t all bad. In fact, when it comes to travel, it’s invaluable. Here are a couple more to embrace if you haven’t already.

Instagram If you’re not much of a wordsmith, or just want to share your favourite photos, Instagram is a free app that allows you to quickly and easily upload pics from your phone. With lots of cool photo-enhancing whistles and bells, this is a brilliant place to preserve your travels in pictures. To begin sharing, you simply create an account with your own personal username. You can either make your account private, where only people approved by you can see your photos, or have a general account where anyone can marvel at your best shots. It’s a great way to showcase our beautiful country.

Join a Facebook group When it comes to quickly sourcing information from reliable sources, you can’t beat Facebook groups. These are simply groups of like-minded people who love to learn about a specific topic and help others. They are an amazing free resource for both new and experienced motorhomers and also a fun place to discuss the lifestyle with lots of genuine, friendly people.

My favourite Facebook groups are Living On The Road in N.Z. and Motorhoming With Pets in N.Z., which provides invaluable support for those travelling with four-legged friends, as well as plenty of chuckles!

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