A few years ago, before I had kids, I wrote a week in the life of a travel blogger, a blog post that followed what I got up to during a typical week. Of course, I made sure it was a fairly fun week but this was pretty much a normal week for me when I wasn’t actually travelling.
It was interesting to write because most people assume that when I’m not travelling I’m just sat at home but there’s a lot of extra work, writing, networking and socialising to be done in blogging!
And I’m so glad I did all that extra work and networking before I had kids because I barely have time for any of it now!
My days are quite different now and I’m often asked how I find the balance between having a family and being a travel blogger. I know there are a few of my fellow travel bloggers out there who are starting to think about kids in the future and they’re not really sure how to make it work. There are many weeks when I don’t feel like I’m making it work at all, but some weeks everything slots into place perfectly! This post is for my fellow travel bloggers but also for other parents or couples who have careers they love and don’t want to give them up if/when they have kids.
So here goes, this is a typical week for a travel blogging mum!
I’d spent Monday at home with the boys. I’d been doing proper ‘mum stuff’. It was normal mum chores like cleaning the house, endless loads of washing and shopping, all slotted in between games of peekaboo, afternoon naps, hide and seek, trips to the park and hunting for conkers. It’s all the kind of stuff I don’t share on social media or on the pages of this blog because I doubt anyone else would care but I love these days.
I love walking the dog and picking up all the colourful autumn leaves. I love taking a flask of hot chocolate and a packet of Wotsits to the park and the boys genuinely thinking this is the biggest and best treat I could give them. I love going to soft play centres with my mum friends and moaning about not getting enough sleep and how nobody understands how hard it is to have young kids.
But on Monday night I flipped from mum-mode into travel-blogger-mode as I took a late night flight out to Tenerife.
I arrived at the airport 2 hours early and then my flight was delayed for 2 hours. It was then a 4 hour flight to Tenerife and I worked for the entire time so that was almost 8 hours of work. I’m not going to lie, it’s tiring doing a full days work after spending a full day with the boys but it’s the only way to get things done!
I got to the hotel just after 4am! It was a bit of a nightmare because I was meant to be picking up a hire car but because my flight was so late everyone had gone home. I probably would have panicked about this a few years ago but so many things have gone wrong over the years I’m getting pretty good at dealing with them! I joined a very long taxi queue and decided the only thing to was join Elle at the hotel, get some sleep and sort it out the next day!
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
I spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning exploring Tenerife and creating content for Teletext Holidays.
I was out there with Elle and it was none-stop adventure. We drank wine and cocktails each evening, went to bed too late, got up too early, we got lost, we got found, gossiped about all the things women gossip about and chatted none-stop about our careers.
You can see exactly what I got up to in this epic blog post about our three days in Tenerife.
For years I felt guilty about these blog trips. They’re hard work but they’re amazing fun. I almost forget I’ve got kids while I’m away and I feel exactly how I did three years ago. It sounds awful and as much as I love having kids, I also love being a travel blogger. And I love how my days are complete contrasts with one day spent singing nursery rhymes and folding laundry and the next day jetting off on an adventure.
My life is pretty hectic and full-on but I think it’s because of the huge contrasts between my days that gives me the energy to keep going.
If I was on back-to-back press trips I’d be exhausted and fed up. And likewise, if I was at home with the kids 24/7 I think I’d be exhausted and fed up too. I feel like I’m living a double life but it’s these opposing lives that make me love each side so much.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Then on Friday I was back in mum-mode. Only this time it was ‘adventure mum mode’ and this is where the boundaries between being a mum and being a blogger are sometimes blurred as we were off on a family press trip for the weekend.
We packed up the car and travelled to Anglesey to stay in an airstream trailer. It was an amazing couple of days filled with long beach walks, splashing in waves, splashing in puddles, petting animals, long lunches and having very little to think about other than the boys.
These trips can be hard work but I feel so lucky we’re able to get away with the boys at least twice a month. If I wasn’t a travel blogger we’d never be able to afford these holidays and I love showing them the world.
George can be quite a nervous child. He loves his routine and prefers to stick to places and people he knows but when we go away for a weekend he really relaxes. On the Friday he’ll be tense and shy but by Sunday he’ll be happy and chatty and confident making friends with other kids. I think it’s really good to get him out of his comfort zone, just a tiny step at a time. George is two and a half now and I’m just starting to understand what people mean when they say how lovely it is to travel with children. You can see them learning new things and it’s so fun to watch them inquisitively explore. They really do make you see the world from a completely different perspective!
We left Anglesey at around 2pm and when we got home I got straight to work.
Before I had kids I’d spend 2-3 full days at my laptop. That was probably about 25 hours a week spent replying to emails, writing blog posts and getting general blogging admin done.
I now squeeze that admin into about 4-5 hours.
I don’t keep on top of it. I’m not even going to pretend I do. I miss important emails, I forget to send invoices, I delete emails that haven’t been personalised and I forget to do a million and one things every single day.
I have become much more efficient but there’s only so much I can do.
I have some days where it really gets me down. Days where I long for more time and more energy and I consider spending more time at my laptop and less time with my kids. I try to work late into the night, fuelled by coffee and chocolate biscuits, but none of my writing makes sense and I’m a sleepy mess (and a terrible mum) the next day.
And then I remember that I didn’t become a travel blogger to spend days and days doing admin. I work for myself so I can have the flexibility to fit my work around my kids and turn down work when I’m too busy.
I also have to remind myself that this isn’t forever. Next September George will be starting pre-school and Joseph will soon follow. It’s just a few short and precious years when I have my babies at home with me. It won’t be long before they’re too cool to hang out with their mum, when I won’t be the funniest person in the world and when it takes more than a conker hunt to make them happy.
In a few years they’ll both be in school fulltime and until then I’m happy blogging about the places I love and working with a select number of brands and clients to keep things ticking over.
My mama travel blogger facts
- Sam works full time from about 7.30am – 4.30pm so he’s able to take the kids to nursery when I’m away
- The boys currently go to nursery 2 days a week but their nursery is fabulous and they can be quite flexible, so sometimes they’re able to squeeze them in for a few extra days if a travel job comes up
- I try to travel during those 2 days the boys are in nursery – which is part of the reason why I have a bigger focus on weekend breaks on The Travel Hack because I can easily get away for 48 hours
- If I’m required to go away for longer than 2 days then sometimes the boys will have a few extra days in nursery and sometimes my mum will have them
- I aim to do one hour of ‘email admin’ each evening
- Our dog, Louie, often goes to stay with Sam’s parents while I’m away so he’s not home alone all day
- I love going on family press trips but it can be quite difficult, especially because the boys are still so little. It can be tough to get all the content I need while also looking after two little ones! It can often mean that Sam spends his whole ‘holiday’ alone with the boys so sometimes it’s not worth it.
- Before I had George I worked really hard on upping my affiliate income through The Travel Hack so I had a passive income while I was on maternity leave. I can now rely on affiliates to pay my monthly bills and it takes a lot of the pressure off when it comes to working. If any other bloggers are thinking about having kids, I 100% recommend working on your affiliates!
If you’d like to know more about how I’ve turned my blog into my business then take a look at my 12 week blogging e-course, The Blogger Course,