Here at MUO, that spirit is strong – just check out Aibek’s list of 10 great travel websites just to get started. It is for this reason that I’m always in search of the most effective way for people to share their travel adventures with the world.
This is why I was so excited to find TravelPod, a free travel blog where folks with or without web design or blogging experience can open an account and start blogging about their interesting trips and the sights that they see along the way.
There are two very exciting sides to TravelPod. If you love to live vicariously through others, reading through these blogs is a perfect way to experience the world through the eyes of another. Even if you don’t have a penny to your name, you can see the pyramids of Egypt, walk the Great Wall of China or see the Eiffel Tower all from the comfort of your own home.
TravelPod Brings the World To You
I am the type of person that loves seeing the world through the eyes of others. Most avid readers are the same way – there’s something magical about not only seeing photos and maps that outline a trip, but also reading the thoughts, fears, excitement and insight of the person seeing those places. For me, even reading someone’s account of a simple walk through the forest is an amazing adventure.
From the very front page of this site, you can type in anything you want to see and view listings of hundreds to thousands of blogs that contain experiences along those lines. For example, searching for “pyramids of egypt” turn up almost 4,000 blog entries.
As an avid adventurer myself, I get goosebumps just scrolling down through these posts. Thousands upon thousands of personal experiences, maps and amazing photographs of the greatest places on earth. Whether you just want to see actual images of a certain part of the world you’ve always wanted to see, or you’re planning out a future trip for yourself, these posts contain a plethora of information you will be hard pressed to find in travel guides or tourist maps. Don’t forget to read Tina’s review of Packwhiz to help with your packing!
The Layout Of TravelPod Posts
The thing I love about TravelPod in particular is that every post has common elements that you can expect when you open up a post – a map, the blog entry, a photo gallery and then the trip itinerary at the bottom that maps to previous or subsequent posts in the trip.
The map is usually at the upper right of the post, although some bloggers use a cool format with a large map above the blog entry itself. This map traces the travel route of the traveler (and sometimes even the hiking route if that’s the sort of trip being logged).
Under the blog entry and photo gallery, you’ll find the “Table of Contents” which is actually a very useful itinerary of the trip. I love the fact that you can follow along the storyline of the entire trip by just clicking on each subsequent post. Some of these travel blogs are like reading novels – with all of the unique characters people meet and amazing experiences people have when they travel. If you start reading through these blog entries, you will find hours of intrigue, excitement, wonder and more. Try to find a novel that offers all of that!
Become A TravelPod Blogger
The most important thing I’d like to stress about TravelPod is that it isn’t so much a blogging platform as it is a large social network of adventurers. I have my own blog where I chronicle my outdoor adventures, but the allure of TravelPod is that you are submitting your adventures to a community of fellow travelers who love the same sort of things that you do – an instant audience of people who are seeking out the same insight from other travelers as you are.
Signing in is a one-step process, and you can even use your Facebook account to sign in if you want to. Once you’re in, the first thing you’ll see is your dashboard which logs all of your past travel entries, maps, stats about your visitors and even how many fans you have.
When you start a new itinerary, you can plan out your entire trip by date and location even before you start blogging. This lays out your planned trip, which you can modify later if you need to. Once this is set up, every location becomes a blog entry that’s ready to be filled in once you’re there.
Each blog entry form has the standard look and feel that you expect from most blog CMS forms – typical formatting tools like bold, italics, underline and linking – but you can also click on the “edit HTML” button to tweak the page if you have the HTML skills required – a very nice feature for experienced bloggers.
TravelPod is well integrated with your Facebook and Twitter accounts. After each blog entry, when you click on “send notification” at the top of the screen, you have the option to send out an instant update to Twitter, Facebook or even to the contacts that you’ve added to your TravelPod account.
In most ways, TravelPod is so much more than a blogging platform. It’s an ideal way for people to log their adventures in a format that’s fascinating and fun to read, and it’s the simplest way to distribute your travel experiences to friends, family and to fellow adventure enthusiasts.
Do you blog your travel experiences? Do you use your own free private travel blog, or do you like the social networking aspect of sites like TravelPod instead? Share your insight and experiences in the comments section below.