The Problem I Have with too Many Blogs (& “The Travel Channel”)

I would love to get paid to write about traveling. Who wouldn’t really? Take trips to various exotic locations. Sample the drinks and write about the taste and the service.

“Sir, would you like another Mai Tai?”


“Well I can’t very well get an accurate description of this place unless I have at least 7 of every drink! Now outta my ay a nee to chase tha chicken dhtsh thu unfmble navary HEY was that penguin doin in ma chair?”

Sounds like a great time, right?! Other than the next morning when I have to write something through a splitting headache of course.

The problem is that I am just the average working Joe. I have a full time job with kids who keep me way busier than they should. So how can I travel enough in order to continue to write interesting blog posts? My most read post is the trip I took on a Disney Cruise and I guess it’s really not surprising.  People like me want to read about other people’s experiences so they can either A) Get excited about their upcoming vacation, B) Reminisce and compare experiences they had on a similar vacation, or C) Do some research so they can either decide whether to take the same vacation or to figure out what to expect when they take the same trip.  However, me, the Average Joe, doesn’t have enough time or money to just go out and take a trip every month and write about it.

I once posed this question as to how it might be possible for a father like me to get paid to write about my travel.  One of the answers someone gave me was to pull the kids from school and just go travel. My wife and I could teach the kids on the road and we could travel around, write and get spending cash by working odd jobs along the way.  It would be educational and enlightening.

bart strangle home.jpg

There are many problems I have with this answer. First, my wife would think I have gone completely nuts and there would be no way in HELL she would go for it. Two, I would likely strangle my kids as I attempted to be a teacher on the road.  I go crazy just trying to help them with their homework, I can’t imagine going through complete lesson plans with them. Finally, and maybe most importantly, this isn’t what a normal family would do so while it may be interesting, it’s not helpful or informative to other families who are looking to take a vacation. Normal families are not going to work 4 hours harvesting alligator eggs in a mosquito filled swamp in order to earn some cash while on the road. Normal families won’t purposefully drive 50 miles out of their way in order to stop at Rugby, North Dakota in order to teach their kids about the geographical center of North America and give a lesson on geography. So while that is interesting and a bit crazy, it’s not what I would do when I want to take a true vacation.

Here is the issue I have with the Travel Channel and Destination Channel.  The Travel Channel’s lineup typically is either Bizarre Foods or Mysteries at the Museum.  Bizarre-Foods-Andrew-Zimmern-Pittsburgh.jpgThe Destination Channel is full of haunted programming. I do not pick my destinations based
on the local culinary, nor on what type of museums there are, nor on whether I want to be scared….WHILE ON VACATION WHEN I SHOULD BE RELAXING. This programming makes no sense to me. What happened to the days of Samantha Brown as she would show me some unique lodging options? Places I could actually see myself staying at should I be in the area.  She would give a brief description of what there is to do in the area followed by a detailed descriptionsamantha2 of the lodge she was at for the day. It was informative and there were locations I truly
wanted to write down to keep in mind.
I’m not going to eat snake eyes when I’m in Zimbabwe and stay a night in the haunted hut….in fact, I’m just not ever going to Zimbabwe.

This is also the problem I have with some of the blogs I read.  So many of them don’t write for me, the typical vacationer. There are some interesting people out there that are going to interesting places but I am NOT going to take my kids to Chernobyl. I’m just not. They would FREAK the fuck out if we did. I would never be allowed to plan another trip ever again.  Guess what? There are many award winning blogs out there that read exactly like this. People have left their job for life so they can wander around the world with nothing but a backpack and the shoes on their feet.  Often times the pictures are a stark contrast of what I imagine they should be as they can often be dark and completely off the beaten path.

jw-marriott-santo-domingo.jpgThe flip side of this is that the average families cannot afford to spend a night in some very upscale hotel for a week…or month. The people who can afford this either go their based on a friends recommendation or they go there because the person they hired to take care
of their travel booked them there.  Trust me, these people are not reading blogs or watching the Travel Channel.  So again, while it is really interesting that a suite in a luxury hotel in Santo Domingo has its own glass pool on the top floor, I very likely would not be able to afford to spend even a minute in that room.

The average family will not be traveling to these places.  The average family will go to beaches, go camping in a campground, drive cross country, fly to another country, stay in a hotel, go to Disney World, go to an amusement park, stay at a cabin, or anywhere else that provides fun entertainment for the kids and some relaxation for the adults. For me, I want to read about people who like to go to places I like to go, take my kids to the places KIDS want to go, and have someone help me out a bit when I wonder if it pays to get my kids the ultimate drink package on a cruise when they are only 16. The answer is, NO, by the way.

So herein lies the rub. They say in order to have a successful blog is to write and write often so the people that do follow will not lose track of you.  Maybe I’m not creative enough, but this is hard to do for a family travel blog geared toward the typical family when I can’t get out enough to write about it, but I will try my best.

This is what you can expect from me, information that will be geared to the common families. All I ask is that you, the reader be patient, because like you, I don’t have time to constantly take vacations. I am in the same boat as you so I will write as much as I can when I can and I hope along the way I can get you excited to travel, wherever that may be. So please, stick with me families, and lets go on some trips together, because many of the other things out there, just isn’t for us!

If you agree, disagree, or indifferent…. for God sakes, start a discussion in the comment section below!


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