Could You Start A Travel Blog Without Actually Traveling?

Last Update: October 12, 2020

Last week I wrote about an easy website idea where you could just make book and movie lists based around the media you'd personally like to read and watch. Based on what I know about zombie movies, you could write a lot just about that!

There are many other creative website formulas that could be repeated over and over again. In opinion, no niche is ever saturated, even popular and well known ones like travel. For example, big travel sites might do big posts like "best places to travel in the world", while smaller sites could do something like "Top 10 Vegan Brewpubs In Sacramento, CA".

Starting A Travel Blog Without Traveling

It's pretty obvious that most people are not traveling right now, at least not for leisure. But what if your passion is traveling and you just joined Wealthy Affiliate? Should you not start a travel blog? Should you wait?

Personally, I think you could still start a travel blog even if you aren't traveling, and even in a global pandemic.

For one, the pandemic won't last forever. People have been traveling since the dawn of time, and they will continue to do so. Things will go back to normal eventually. In fact, now's a great time to hunker down, push out lots of content, and be ready for the next travel boom. Skate to where the puck is going to be, right?

Aside from the pandemic though, it's still possible to create a travel blog without traveling. All you need is some great stock photos and some keyword research.

The Best Travel Photos Are Stock Photos

I'm not a professional photographer by any means. Even with the most advanced smartphone or DLSR camera, I'm just not going to be able to compete with the amazing photos that professionals take. What's crazy is that many of these photos are on stock photo websites.

While you may not find a super wide range of pictures on free image sites like Pexels or Pixabay, you can find a ton of great stuff on the bigger stock photo sites like Shutterstock, or especially Getty.

What that means is you can get great photos of far away places and you don't even have to go there. The better stock photo places even have pictures of famous tourist attracations, restaurants, and points of interest in every country in the world.

I think with a bit of keyword research to discover what to write about, and a bit of intuition to find some undiscovered topics, you can leverage these photos to create excellent travel guides, listicles, and even affiliate reviews in the travel blog industry.

In fact, if you are good at writing and sourcing quality material, your content may turn out better than the people who actually went to these places! After all, would you rather read a well-organized, well-researched, beautiful blog post, or some 500 word quick-thought word salad from someone on the road?

Travel Affiliate Programs

There are tons of travel affiliate programs to choose from, but many may be outside the box of what you're considering right now.

Of course, there are typical things like airline tickets and hotels (yes, there are travel affiliate programs for both). There are tour package affiliate programs as well. Travel insurance as well.

But what about credit card affiliate programs? Plenty of people like to rack of travel points and fly for free. What about affiliate programs aimed at expats trying to settle down in an area, or kids books in foreign languages for families settling in a new area? What about traveling with pets? What about storage units for your stuff while you're away, or a house sitter for home owners taking a month off to travel the world?

There are many types of travelers out there, not just a solo backpacker looking to rough-it Europe.

Final Thoughts

There's always a new angle. There's always a sub niche. There's always undiscovered keywords. There's always a way to make content in your own voice. No niche is ever saturated, and blogging is not dead.

No matter what your passion or interest is, you can leverage it to make money online with your website. Have a great week everyone!

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Quaker Premium
My interest for several years has been genealogy and people have often asked, "How can you monetise genealogy when there are so many websites on the topic. Yet often people have to travel to do family history and they may even take side trips on their way to their primary destination. It sounds to me like there may be many opportunities for affiliate income. What are your thoughts?
AbieAJ Premium Plus
Hi, A niche can honestly be anything, are you passionate about it? Can you write plenty content on the subject matter? Can you break it down into sub categories starting out? If so great I would go for it.

What would you like to help people with ___________.?
YvonneBray Premium
Hi Quaker, I love genealogy and I believe if you have interesting stories and advice that can help others. You should do very well. You could approach, Ancestry and see if they have an affiliate program or Find My Past. All the best.
enriquetrips Premium
Hey, Nathaniell,

I'd meant to leave my opinion earlier as I'm in the travel niche but never got around it.

Anyway, I agree and disagree with your post. I'll explain why. While certainly traveling is not a requirement for creating a travel blog, it's expected of us in many cases.

I follow many travel bloggers and YouTubers and am a member of several travel groups on Facebook and Reddit and most of them agree that travel is something personal. It's all about experiences. When they read something that they can tell was not experienced by you, they won't hesitate to call you out on that. Such is the case of famous sites like Lonely Planet.

Even if we're honest with our readers from the beginning and let them know that we never went to X place or did X thing, we run the risk of losing credibility. Our readers will always have questions or comments about our posts, and we have to be prepared to answer.

Personally, I prefer to write about things I've done or places I've visited, in other words, things I have experience with. I try to do it 90% of the time. I don't want to complicate myself unnecessarily.

I wish I could travel full time, but it's not possible for several reasons. Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, my job restricts my time. And let's not forget travel is expensive. You can save some money by staying in hostels and eating street food, but you still need money. You get my point, right?

Well, that's my two cents. Thanks for sharing.
DCarpenter1 Premium
Thank you Nathaniell,

A great post.
You have provided added encouragement.

I am working on a travel website & after cleaning up the theme & adding content it will be live.

I am an Australian living in South East Asia, & will be providing helpful advice to people wanting to travel to this region.
It is appreciated that COVID has stopped all travel, however it is a good time to "get my house in order", as I am sure once the virus has gone - it may be a while, travel will be on many people's minds after a long period of restriction.

Linda103 Premium
Some great ideas there Nathaniell. I would not have thought of many of those ideas. I suppose it's thinking outside the box and digging deeper.
Thank you for sharing.
nathaniell Premium Plus
Thanks for reading Linda!
Palatia Premium Plus
I love this idea. Special travel destinations for certain diets.. intrigues me. Great ideas as always, Nathaniel..!

nathaniell Premium Plus
Happy to inspire you Paula! I hope it help you get creative this week.