How To Blog Smarter While On Vacation

Filed as Features on January 3, 2008 8:00 am

There’s a general feeling that we bloggers can write from any location, anywhere world wide. Portable computers and WiFi suggest that physical location is irrelevant. You could blog about stocks from a beach in Thailand, new Apple gear from a snow bank in Maine, or culinary adventures from a carpeted airport floor.

But after a vacation in a more rural environment, my opinion of “blog anywhere” has changed. I brought my laptop, but my access to the internet was limited, as was my interest in writing due to a flurry of holiday activity.

Some thoughts:

Internet access is not ubiquitous. Blogging by definition requires internet access – even with a WordPress blog set up to publish via email, you still have to send that email.

My experience: Some places I stayed at lacked Internet access (don’t ask) while others didn’t have WiFi. At one point I resorted to transferring files to another computer via burned CD.

Solutions: Reliable computer, USB flash drive, personal Wi-Fi router, internet enabled cellphone, Ethernet cable.


A basic level of physical comfort is required for inspiration. Imagine being locked in a completely empty room with only an Internet-enabled computer and a television. After a few weeks of confinement, you may be unmotivated to write.

My experience: Rushing about and being overly busy in the “real world” didn’t leave much time to write thoughtfully. I also felt uninspired after a particularly sleep-deprived layover. I’m reminded of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – blogging is on the top half of that pyramid.

Solutions: Comfortable and inspirational surroundings, set up distraction-free writing time.

Physical access to writing subjects. If you run a gardening blog and are away from your garden for a week or two, it wouldn’t make much difference. But imagine being away from your blog’s subject for a month or longer. Many blogs have a connection to the offline world – and therefore the blogger’s physical location – because of their subject matter.

My experience: I write about technology, and therefore require Internet access to keep up to date on technology news. I was also surrounded by people who were decidedly not interested in technology (no offense, aged relatives!). This definitely reduced my desire to blog.

Solutions: Bring DVDs and music to review, and see solutions for Internet access above.

Plan ahead. When I went to Japan earlier this year, I lined up some guest bloggers as well as wrote some posts and set them to publish while I was on vacation. I didn’t to either this time around due to poor planning.

In conclusion, the dream of blogging while on the go is achievable, but you may want to consider your blogging needs and where you draw inspiration before leaving home. It’s more complex than just packing a portable computer and vowing to write when time permits. I’ll definitely blog a bit smarter next time I board a plane!

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  1. By Mike Goad posted on January 3, 2008 at 5:03 pm
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    We travel several times a year, often camping in remote locations, and are prepared for camping — and blogging — even where there is no electricity.

    Our solution – a generator, laptops, and a internet satellite system with a wireless router.

    We’ve camped a number of times in locations where there were no wifi connection or the wifi was sporatic at best. There’s even been a couple of times where were were at a campground that had wifi but ended up using our system because of the poor quality of the connection.

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  2. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on January 3, 2008 at 7:19 pm
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    Living on the road full-time since 1996, I’m so glad I lived long enough to travel in world where WIFI is an option, as is satellite Internet and cell phone connections. Shoot, having a cell phone alone is the best convenience to the traveler. :D Makes traveling much easier today than when I started. A friend or business discussion can happen from almost anywhere.

    Yet, as Mike said, there are a lot of places where even satellite systems won’t reach, and I find myself in those places often. No cell service, nothing.

    It’s then I remember why I love these types of places. It’s time to put the virtual world aside for the real world and reconnect to what truly nourishes our bodies: a break from the real world.

    Don’t forget, your blog will be there when you get back. The world will not come to an end if you miss a day, week, or even a few months. Let the content you write be timeless, and it will continue to serve you when you take a break for a while. You’ll feel better and your readers might get a revitalized blogger in return.

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  3. Around the Web in Blogging | BlogOnExpoJanuary 7, 2008 at 4:29 am
  4. By Clauidne posted on April 30, 2008 at 10:09 pm
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    Wow. I had no idea that you can have a personal router for blogging while camping. I’m going to have to look into that!

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  5. By Clauidne posted on April 30, 2008 at 10:14 pm
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    Yes. There are times when you should just leave the virtual world alone. That’s when you get guest bloggers and advance posts!

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