Challenges of being a travel blogger during the Coronavirus pandemic

The Coronavirus pretty much bought the travel industry to a halt overnight in March 2020. For most people, this meant staying at home and possibly working from home. But for the travel bloggers and digital nomads around the world, this was a complete lifestyle change. So how did travel bloggers cope mentally and financially with the restrictions caused by the pandemic?

Losing their Income overnight

Many travel bloggers around the world rely on their websites for their income. Their websites and blogs usually host advertisements, sponsored content and make affiliate sales. Of course with the flights being grounded and international travel no longer possible, the ads and sponsored content completely dried up for most. Affiliate sales, which could include marketing travel products for companies such as Amazon, also dried up.

One travel blogger, Rachel, told us that her website revenue dropped from $800 a month to just $40 a month! Thankfully, she had other sources of income to get her by while she was grounded in the USA.

Getting Stranded around the world!

Many travel bloggers were finding themselves having to travel back ‘home’ from lands afar during the height of the pandemic. We spoke to a travel blogger called Amy who writes about cultural travel around the world.

‘I’m a backpacking minimalist and love to travel internationally as a digital nomad, with the occasional trip back to the UK.’ She tells us. ‘During the height of Coronavirus, I was in Oman and had to get an urgent flight back to the UK before lockdown. It was tough when I realised that I was going to be grounded for some time. I had several trips cancelled. But I decided to focus on something new and different to pass the time and feel like I was achieving something, so during lockdown I started learning Portuguese on Duolingo!’

Mental Health can Suffer

Being forced to be locked down in a country they don’t want to be in or not being able to live the life that they want to live has certainly caused anxiety and depression.

Many travel bloggers are digital nomads and sold everything to live the travel lifestyle. This meant that when everyone was telling them it was safer to go home, they didn’t really have a home as such. For some, they stayed with friends, parents or other relatives temporarily. But that temporary stay turned into 6 months and for some even 12, and this consequently had a negative impact on people’s friendships and relationships.

Amongst the travel bloggers that we spoke to, over 60% of them reported symptoms of anxiety and depression. The main symptoms included feeling lethargic and some even reported panic attacks triggered by major travel events such as cancelled flights and impossible border crossings.

Travel Bloggers Diversify!

Many travel bloggers that we spoke to continued to do blogging and online marketing, but diversified. They have switched to fashion blogs, pet blogs and blogs for other hobbies. Hopefully, this should put them in an even stronger position when travel returns as they will have several sites to bring in an income rather than just one.

Travel bloggers often teach English online or receive client work as freelancers. Many travel bloggers upped their freelance workload or teaching hours to compensate for the money that they were losing on their travel blogs.

What does the future hold?

Now that the vaccines are being administered, it offers a great deal of hope for travel. Many travel bloggers in the UK have already had their first dose of the Astra Zeneca or Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and are eager to get their second shot. Some of the USA based bloggers reported that they had received both doses of Moderna, particular teachers who were prioritised.

Although travel is not going to come back immediately, and international travel is unlikely to be back on the agenda before May 2021, it is believed that when travel does come back, it will be on a bigger scale than ever before! Our travel blogger friends can get back to the countries and lifestyle that they love and hopefully see a massive increase in traffic to their websites.

Travel bloggers, well done for surviving this difficult time – probably the most difficult period that the travel industry has witnessed during the modern era. Things can now only go one way and that is up!

About Shahbaz Ahmed

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