One of my favorite things about blogging is creating Instagrammable places guides for all the cities I visit. In 2018, I visited and created: 10 Most Instagrammable Places in NYC and Most Instagrammable Places in Pittsburgh. In 2019, I visited and created Instagram city guides for New Orleans, San Francisco, Boston, and Scottsdale.
One question that recently popped up on Instagram stories is:
“When you travel, is it at your own expense or do companies pay you to stay at their hotel?”
From Dawn Castillo
I usually try to take one trip each month either to create content for the blog or just for fun. So today I’m breaking down how I travel for my blog Emma’s Edition.
All my hotel collaborations are trades.
I exchange blog posts and social media posts for two nights at hotels.
I’ve learned over the past two years of working with hotels that most bloggers exchange nights for hotels for social media exposure. I haven’t yet been paid for a hotel a stay. I usually negotiate a two-night stay plus a meal to be comped by the hotel I’m working with.
Personally, getting my hotel stay covered is big perk for me. I don’t have to research a place to stay which means I have more time to research Instagrammable places in the city. Not having to pay for lodging also saves me money.
Here are also the hotels I’ve worked with in 2018-2019:
The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel in San Francisco
If you’re hoping to work with hotels as a blogger in 2020, feel free to check out: How to Land Hotel Collaborations as a Blogger.
I pay for my own flights and for photography.
Because my hotel stays are usually covered, I’m not afraid to pay for my own flights. I paid for my own flights to visit Scottsdale, Boston, San Francisco, and New Orleans.
I also always pay for photography. I hire my photographer friends for almost every single brand campaign and hotel stay. The hotels value and appreciate professional photography – especially if you give them photos to use for their social media after your hotel stay.
I use the money I make off my blog through brand campaigns to cover my business travel expenses. For example, if I make $1,000 off a brand campaign, I’ll use that to cover meals, Uber/Lyft Rides, photography, etc. for a three-day trip.
I use my Paid Time Off (PTO).
I think a lot of people forget that I have a full-time job and still work in aerospace. My first few years out of college, I felt like I barely had any vacation time. But I recently hit my 5-year anniversary at Boeing which means I can accumulate up to 3-4 weeks of vacation.
I usually take a 3-day weekend to travel and create content for Emma’s Edition. I either take a Friday or Monday off and use PTO to cover the day.
Maddy and I recently traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona to work with Hotel Adeline. We left Friday and came back Sunday and put together 8 Most Instagrammable Places in Scottsdale.
I also explore local cities.
Sometimes my work or personal schedule doesn’t allow me to schedule a monthly trip in. During those months, I try to explore local cities in Washington. There are plenty of local hotels who want their hotel featured on Instagram and social media.
I grew up in Federal Way/ Tacoma so I had a lot of fun exploring Tacoma and seeing both historic and newer places that have opened in the city.
There you have it friends! This is how I travel for my blog.
What tips do you have to travel for your blog?
Thank you for reading!