When I tell people I’m a full-time travel blogger, I’m always met with quizzical looks and the question, “So…um…what do you actually do?’
I don’t mind asking questions because it’s such a new profession that I sometimes feel like I don’t really understand it. Each travel blogger has a completely different way of working. We all travel differently and make money differently, and each week is completely different than the last. This is why I love writing travel blogs. And let’s be honest, we’re all pretty nosy and like to see what other people are up to.
I thought it was about time I answered this question, so here’s what happened last week. I hope this answers the question ‘What do travel bloggers actually do?’
No.1 Traveler Lounge opens in Edinburgh
On Monday I was invited to the opening of Edinburgh’s new No.1 Traveler Lounge. As you probably already know, I’m a big fan of airport lounges, and I love how No.1 Traveler makes them more accessible without sacrificing the element of luxury travel.
I was picked up by a private car (a very high class private car) at 6am and headed to the airport to catch my flight. As I was testing out his No. 1 Traveler’s Driveway to Runway service, I was even greeted outside the airport and passed through security like a celebrity. It took him less than an hour to get from the front door to the departure gate. I live about 60 miles from the airport. I wish I could travel like this all the time.
Unfortunately, my flight was delayed by two hours, but the great thing about being a travel blogger is that you can work from anywhere. I settled into a coffee shop in Costa and finished my copywriting work while eating a croissant.
Copywriting is one of the things I do as a freelancer, and it’s also how I cover a lot of my travel expenses. Between travel and other commitments, you can carve out a few hours of writing time each day, and you can do it from anywhere.
By the time I arrived in Edinburgh I had missed the lounge’s grand opening so I headed straight for a taxi to meet the No.1 Traveler team and a group of journalists for lunch.
We ate at the Tower Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Edinburgh and with great views over the city. It’s a beautiful day so we start with champagne and canapés on the rooftop.
I loved chatting with journalists and learning more about No.1 Traveler, a brand I’ve worked with before and truly love. I know they don’t like the term “affordable luxury,” but that’s what they offer, and that’s what The Travel Hack is all about.
You might not be paying hundreds of pounds for that upgrade, but that doesn’t mean you can’t splurge before your flight.
On the way back we relaxed for a few hours in the gorgeous new lounge. Make the most of the bar, buffet, Wi-Fi and magazine selection to relax or work. Being able to work in a quiet and comfortable space makes a big difference. Traveling becomes less of a chore and more of a pleasure, especially if your flight is delayed.
The flight home was about 30 minutes, the shortest flight I’ve ever been on. At the airport, I was met by another driver in an ultra-luxury car.
I have dinner with my boyfriend and arrive home in time to watch Fargo and Gogglebox, two of my recent obsessions.
Work from home + timeout
I work from home on Tuesdays, but I try to work from home at least twice a week. I have an office and it was such a nice day that I spent most of my time working in the garden with my dog by my side.
I worked more on copywriting, writing blogs, and answering emails. In the afternoon, I had a Skype call with one of my social media clients.
I offer a combination of social media training, management and strategy services and am currently working with several small to medium sized businesses. This is my first time working with such a small brand and I love it. It’s great to be so involved in a business and see social media directly impact sales.
On Tuesday, a piece I wrote was published in Time Out magazine, so I was pretty excited. The week before, I had traveled to Barbados and St. Kitts on British Airways’ Caribbean feature, and I and I had written two small features for the magazine. Time Out is given out to everyone on the London Underground, so almost all my friends in London have read it. I love blogging and writing on the internet, but nothing beats seeing my name in print.
That night I went to my mom and dad’s house for dinner and took the dogs for a long walk in the woods. This is my favorite way to relax and no matter how much I travel, I love coming back to the countryside.
3D scan by British Airways
I started my day with a run, which I had been dreading. I’m training for the Ironman run section in Austria this summer. I am working with the Austrian Tourism Board and will be heading to Austria for training and to see more of the country before the event. This is a team event and I will form a team with two journalists. I chose the run section because I thought it would be easiest to train while traveling.
I’m still in the early stages of training and having to drag myself out of bed and push through the pain. I have a dog with me and he always keeps me entertained and his little paws give me a great excuse to stop and rest.
In the afternoon I boarded a train to London to take part in a very exciting project with British Airways. They made an 8 inch model of me and a few other bloggers of him and they send the models out on holidays. The model was created using his 3D scanner, so it was scanned very slowly by several technicians. The models will be printed over the next few weeks.
I had to wear exactly what I wanted my models to wear, so I chose a standard uniform of ripped skinny jeans, a white t-shirt, flip-flops, and a bright lip.
3D scans are really confusing so I asked the technician some questions while I was there. After many questions and answers, I can safely say that my mind became even more confused. So I’m going to accept it as one of those great inventions that I don’t need to understand.
I saw what my model looked like and I can’t wait to see it in person.
The reason we’re doing this is to send models on spontaneous trips to highlight the great last-minute holiday options British Airways has on offer with their new Last Call campaign. If you’re like me, you might not associate BA with last-minute breaks, but there are actually some pretty great offers out there.
I got home just in time to have some wine in the garden with my friends (and the pup, of course).
Celeb Cruise + Meeting + Lunch with fellow bloggers
I skipped my morning run on Thursday (which was bad) but woke up early to get some work done.
Then I got back on the train and headed back to London for lunch with some Celebrity Cruises and destination bloggers. I’ve been working with Celebrity Cruises for a while now and had so much fun cruising with them last year. We met the CEO of the company and he told us a lot about his future plans and exciting travels. We’ll talk more about that in a moment.
If you’re in London, you’ve probably seen some of the Celebrity Cruises taxis, which I used to get around the city. If you see one of these taxis, snap a photo and tweet it with the hashtag #LeaveLondonBehind and you could win a Celebrity Cruises holiday
Our next stop was Brassiere Chavot, where we met with a spokesperson to learn more about luxury hotels, destinations, and working with bloggers. Meetings like this are always very interesting and great for brainstorming ideas, as everyone is still learning how bloggers and brands can work together.
then head to Oxford Street for some shopping and a phone upgrade. I chose the iPhone 5s and couldn’t be happier with it.
That evening I met up with some lovely blogger friends for an evening of chats and wine. There was an incident involving cannabis absinthe that I would like to take back, but just remembering it makes me feel a little sick.
My favorite thing about blogging is definitely the friends I’ve made because of it. If you are a blogger and have never attended a meetup before, I highly recommend that you do. It’s great to have a group of like-minded, but at the same time very different friends. And they’re part of the reason I’ve been blogging for so long.
Personal training + fly to Bruges!
Needless to say, I didn’t feel too refreshed the next morning, but I woke up early and headed out for a training session with Anthony Fletcher from The Body Mech. This session was done in preparation for my Ironman in Austria, and Bodymec is known for training celebrities and the super-wealthy.
I’ve had many personal trainers over the years, but most were the types that you get for free when you join a gym. However, this was my first time having a personal trainer like this.
As this was my first session, Anthony was keen to assess my abilities before training began. I had to do a lot of interesting exercises that seemed like nothing, but apparently they revealed all kinds of things about my body.
Anthony noticed that my left side was more flexible and that certain muscles in my right hip were tight. It also affects my shoulders and knees. That explained the crazy pain I was feeling and he showed me some exercises to strengthen and loosen the tight muscles.
I have a running training plan that I am determined to follow and will be re-evaluated next month.
I took the train home and spent the afternoon working and frantically washing and drying clothes. Because that night I was scheduled to fly to Belgium to spend the weekend in Bruges!
I also started working on some blogging guides as I organized workshops for groups of bloggers who asked for help with blogging. I’m really looking forward to doing this because it’s so much fun and everyone is so passionate about blogging. (If you would like more information about this, please email me: [email protected])
I worked with Visit Flanders for this trip and my boyfriend came with me, so it always feels more like a holiday than a work or blogging trip. We left at 8pm so my boyfriend didn’t have to take time off from work (living with a travel blogger demands a day off from work!), but we also had dinner and drinks before the flight. There was plenty of time to drink.
Saturday and Sunday
weekend in bruges
I’ll tell you more about my weekend in Bruges next week, but for now, here are some of my favorite photos.
Every week is completely different for me, and this week I’m on the road again, traveling to the Caribbean island of Dominica. You can see what I do for a week in my Dominica itinerary. Or check out our Instagram feed for the latest updates.
if you know of any other bloggers who write about “a week in the life of xxxx,” please let me know, as I’d love to see what others are up to. (Basically, I’m really nosy).
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