Over the last half a year I have been all around the world, food blogging while traveling at the same time. I love how my job as a food blogger gives me so much freedom and flexibility and combining my two biggest passions: the love for healthy food and my excitement for seeing new countries makes me feel like I created my own dream job. In this blog post I would love to show you and explain how you can travel and still keep up the quality of your food pics along the way.
My story of blogging while traveling
I became a self-employed food blogger in February 2018 and couldn’t be happier ever since. Turning your hobby into your profession is something extremely special and I am grateful every single day to be able to do this kind of work. Since I am very flexible with my working hours and do mostly everything online I decided last year to travel the world while still working and creating content like I would in Austria. I figured it shouldn’t really matter if I sit at home in Austria or work from a beach in Panama. Simpler thought as done – this I can tell you already. Obviously there are quite some challenges when you want to travel and still produce the same quality results for your clients as you would at home in your familiar surroundings. In this blog post I would like to share some important food blogging travel tips.
In the fall of 2018 I planned my first big international working trip. I set out together with my boyfriend to travel through Costa Rica, Panama and Mexico, both working full time. For our first trip we were gone for almost three months. After that we came back home for Christmas and left again for our trip to Asia, visiting Taiwan and the Philippines. The second time we were gone for one month, creating content and doing company promotions just like I would have at home. By now I would say I have gotten pretty good at knowing what things are essential when blogging while traveling and would love to share these insights with you in this blog post.
Challenges you will face
On your trips there are quite some challenges you will face at some point. Especially when you travel to developing countries like I did. The infrastructure simply isn’t the same as you would find it in Europe, America or Australia. You simply can’t expect to find internet everywhere, good lighting or a quality working place. Here are some challenges I ran into on my trips:
- Time difference
- Shipping difficulties of products
- Non availability of certain ingredients
- Poor internet connection
- Terrible lightning situations
- Broken props (plates, bowls) due to rough airport handling
Food blogging travel tips
Here are my major tips for food blogging while traveling that will help you to smoothly create content on your trips without frustrations. Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools, services and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful. This is not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement. The products are simply the ones I use when blogging while traveling and where I thought you might find the direct Amazon link helpful as well
- Use waiting time: Especially in countries with polychronic tendencies, meaning they don’t really value the concept of punctuality you will run into a lot of unnecessary waiting time. There will be a lot of time lost waiting for planes, buses or being stuck in traffic. Especially in the Philippines I had to learn the hard way to use my waiting time wisely for work projects. Literally every plane, bus or taxi was delayed and it always took us twice the time than expected. That is why I recommend you always save some work you can do offline. For me that was usually editing my pictures, planing my gallery or like right now – just sitting on a flight to Coron island right now actually – writing a blog post. This way you will use otherwise dead time super efficiently and will have more time for yourself once you arrive at your destination.
- Always have your charging devices with you: This is a mistake I kept making for a long time. I would charge my laptop and phone thinking it would last for our traveling days. Each time we had another airport delay or spent another hour in traffic I ran out of battery not being able to charge my devices. Blogging while traveling means keeping your batteries charged! I would also recommend buying a strong power bank so you always have a charging opportunity. This is the one from Anker that I have and can greatly recommend. Another tip I can give you regarding managing your device compatibility is buying an charge-all-in-one device. Like this you only need to bring one cable and can charge all your devices. This is the one from VONMÄHLEN that I use and can recommend.
- Schedule in enough working time: When blogging while traveling make sure to schedule in dedicated working time every day. I was better with this on my Central America trip than now on my Asia trip. I simply had too many things planned changing location almost everyday leaving very little time to work. In Panama and Costa Rica I defined a pretty fixed working schedule for me. Work from 6am-12am then time for beach or activities until 6pm and back to work from 6pm-8pm. Since the sun set at 5pm I really wanted some daytime to enjoy and scheduled in that long lunch break. Now in the Philippines I tried to travel more, see more places and I really noticed how much it reduced my quality working time. Now on this trip I did the bare minimum. So my take-away is definitely to schedule in definite working days where you have no trips or excursions planned or like I did in Central America go to one location for longer (at least 7 days) work from Monday to Friday with a fixed schedule and do day trips on the weekends.
- Thoroughly screen your accommodation:
- Kitchen: This will be one of the most important things to consider before leaving for your trip. When you work and travel at the same time you simply won’t be as flexible as the average backpacker booking the accommodation one night before and rearranging the entire trip from one day to the next. When food blogging while traveling you must consider a couple of things: you need a kitchen, good lightning and at least a supermarket close by. From experience I can tell you that hotels are generally a really bad idea because it is quite impossible to prepare your own dishes. I recommend booking an Airbnb with a full kitchen. Inquire about the kitchen appliances. Do you need a baking dish and a stove? What about a blender?
- Lightning: Besides the kitchen inspect the lightning situation on the photos of the Airbnb listing. Is there enough natural light coming into the apartment? I have gotten quite creative here, also shot outside in front of the door because sometimes the actual accommodation ends up looking different than you imagined on the photos.
- Internet: Last but not least, make sure the apartment has a good internet connection. I always ask them for a speed test. I can recommend this one by Ookla showing you the exact download and upload speeds. The results of the upload speed should be somewhere around 3mb and the for the download around 2mb. Having good internet is really the most vital thing for a productive work day. Especially when traveling to developing countries the connection can be unstable. We had internet blackouts because of Typhoons, earthquakes and over-usage already. So make sure you always have a back up plan like a close by Café with Wifi. I think this point is the most crucial one when blogging while traveling. One time I was stuck on an island without internet for 8 days and wasn’t able to do anything which created quite some problems for me. So make sure you always check the internet situation before you go somewhere!
- Find a co-working space: When we stayed in big cities we were usually looking for co-working spaces. This is a great way to get out of the apartment and mingle with other like minded people. Internet is usually fantastic there and it’s great to switch up the work atmosphere. Co-working spaces provide you with great infrastructure and are designed to give you the best working experience possible. I always found myself super focused there and having the most productive work days.
- Be aware of time difference when blogging while traveling: My tip is to write emails at least one day earlier than you would have done at home. Since you won’t have the entire day to monitor your inbox the email conversation will just take longer than it usually would if you were in the same time zone. Try to work at least 2-3 hours overlapping your home country’s time zone or the time zone where most of your clients are. When I was in Costa Rica and had an 8 hour time difference I was always working from 6am-9am so I would still reach them in Austria for their last 2-3 working hours of the day. In the Philippines I was mostly working at night time because of the 7 hour time difference in the other direction. I was usually working from 5pm-8pm to reach the Europeans in their first working hours of the morning.
- Plan your gallery/blog posts ahead: This is something that has help me tremendously on my trips. When I know I have a big trip coming up I usually already take a lot of photos before. So when I leave I have a buffer of about 10-15 recipe photos that I can post without having to produce anything in between. I also already pre-take all the photos for my long term cooperations. So in case I won’t have good photo opportunities on my trips I can at least go back to these photos I took beforehand. Like this it is also much less stressful because you already know you have got your „posting to-dos“ covered for the trip. I schedule my posts with an app called UNUM, which I can highly recommend you to use as well to plan your IG gallery ahead.
- Preorder products for promotion: When I know a long trip is coming up I give my cooperation partners a heads up and get the products I need to promote during my time abroad shipped to me in advance. I made the experience that companies don’t want to ship overseas because it is simply too expensive for them. That is why my suitcase is usually pretty full when I travel. I would say 1/3 of the space is taken simply by the products I need for my cooperations. Plan ahead of what you are going to promote on the trip and then just bring the essential things for those posts or IG hauls.
- Get a local SIM card: Blogging while traveling means you will probably need internet on the go. If you want to make your life a lot easier I recommend getting a local SIM card. You usually already find little SIM card stands at the airport and the prepaid plans are really affordable connecting you to the internet without a problem. This can also be super useful if you need taxi services like Uber or Grab. I however decided against a local SIM card because I consciously wanted to force myself to some internet free time when away from the hotel or restaurant.
- Bring the right props: Being gone from your save home set-up can be quite challenging. At home its quite easy to get a good photo because if you are like me you will probably have various plates, kitchen towels, decoration items and other fancy props to choose from. On your trip however you can only bring the essentials. This is what I brought with me on my trip: 3 of my best plates (neutral but unique), 1 white background fabric I could always use for a nice blurred out background, my favorite little spoons, a golden knife and fork, my mini cookie cutters for decoration and one coconut bowl. Like this I could create a wide array of different settings. It might also be a good idea to ask the Airbnb host about the color of plates and silverware. Another insider tip is to buy plastic backdrop paper. In Austria I usually use wooden backdrops which are bulky and quite heavy. Before my trips I bought this marble backdrop paper that I can simply roll up and is super light!
- Bring the right equipment: When you are gone for a longer period of time you surely still want to keep producing amazing content but simply can’t take all your inventory with you. Photo equipment can get really heavy and your suitcase is usually limited to 23kg per flight. This is what I had with me: A super light travel tripod, my reflector, my favorite 35mm 1.8 lens together with my Nikon D7500. Since I travelled together with my boyfriend it was a bit easier to bring more equipment because he also had some suitcase space. Therefore, we brought also the drone and the gimbal.
Blogging while traveling and still keeping up the quality of your content can be a challenge at first, but also presents amazing new opportunities for different content and unexpected shooting possibilities. I hope this blog post was helpful. If you have any unanswered questions feel free to put them in the comments and I will make sure to answer them all. You can also always reach out to me on Instagram. You might also be interested in my online food blogging course that will teach you some more about the art of food blogging.
I recommend you also check out my top food blogging tips as this blog post is teaching the essentials of amazing food pics and could be super helpful for you as well!