Itching for a vacation? Listen to what the travel bloggers have to say!
You are exhausted from the back-breaking schedule of daily life and desperately need a ‘break’. A touristy place which attracts a lot of crowd is a big no-no. How about a few days in the lap of nature, in a forest rest house in Karnataka? Or some other quaint little place in the hills, away from the crowd? The internet with its barrage of information could give you clues, but not all of it may be reliable. So how do you plan your trip? Coming to the rescue are travel bloggers whose honest, first-hand feedback you can count on to plan just the kind of vacation you need, and probably more.
The biggest USP of a travel blogger’s post is that it’s written by someone who has a passion for travelling. So a tiny cafe that serves some great food or authentic cuisine but is not advertised on travel brochures nor has a web presence, will make it to the blogger’s post. Or a scenic and interesting place that is known to locals but not to tourists will probably have been mentioned in the blog. The result? You could have travelled to a well known destination and come back experiencing much more than others. Or explored a destination that many would have not even heard of.
Blogger N. Prasad of www.desitraveler.com for instance says that he likes to write on lesser known aspects of a place, along with other useful information like how to reach a place, where to stay, and the likes. “I like to list unique experiences that a tourist would otherwise miss. Also, since my focus is travel with family, I write about places that can be enjoyed by everyone,” Prasad says.
With 440 blog posts till date, some of Prasad’s popular posts have been on forest rest houses in Karnataka and one on Hyderabad to Nagarjuna Sagar dam. “For very remote places I try to put as much information as possible, like where to eat and where to stay. Sometimes I even suggest locations to take photographs from, like that of the evening aarti in Varanasi which can get crowded”.
Readers, on their part, lap up all the ‘reliable’ information they can get, knowing fully well it has been based on first-hand experience. Some even seek help in planning their itinerary!
“Recently, blogger Saru Singhal approached me to help her plan a Melbourne trip and told me that my posts on the Melbourne series (http://www.myyatradiary.com/2015/06/planning-melbourne-itinerary-72-hours.html) had helped her a lot,” says Arti Shah of www.myyatradiary.com.
“Over the years, many people have kept contacting me via email with queries about planning their trip. Just a few days back I got one enquiring about a place to stay while visiting ISKCON, Varanasi”.
Sherwin Robello of www.TheLandOutThere.com has similar experience of happy readers. “One of our long term travellers had planned a solo backpacking trip to the temple town of Gokarna in Karnataka for five days. He called back to tell us that our information about Gokarna and the neighbouring beaches was spot on,” Sherwin said.
Some like Paramvir Singh of www.theuntourists.com say that they take the effort to even share phone numbers of places to stay or visit over private email exchanges as and when a reader requests for it. “We had someone write to us about Todgarh (near Ajmer, Rajasthan), a little known place, after we blogged about it. So in a separate email we gave more information about the place and phone numbers—something we cannot share in a public forum without permission—and helped them plan their trip,” Paramvir says.
Improvising based on readers’ feedback is crucial to a successful blog. It keeps the platform interactive, like it should be, as well as throws up interesting ideas to make the blog more informative and popular. “We improvise based on our readers’ feedback. In fact we will soon be adding videos to our articles so that travellers get a preview of the place,” Sherwin says.
So next time you feel the itch of the travel bug, let the travel bloggers help take care of it. They have, after all, ‘been there, done that’.