The Danger in Reading Travel Blogs

You should be careful about the advice you take from travel bloggers. Yeah, I said it. But let me explain.

I love travel blogging and sharing my perspective with my readers. I do my best to explore where I am to offer tips and suggestions in order for others to learn from my successes and failures while traveling. But that's just what they are. My successes and failures.

When I went to Martinique - on a sponsored press trip - I had a wonderful time. The proverbial red carpet was rolled out for me. Great dinners, lux hotel stays, and locals' perspectives to guide me around the island. But that isn't always the case when you book and pay for trips on your own. In fact, it's the exact opposite. You're responsible for creating your own itinerary and making all decisions that will ultimately determine if your trip was everything you wanted it to be and more...or not.


At the time, Norwegian Air was offering very low-priced flights to Martinique and Guadeloupe from a few east coast cities, which means everyone and their mother were booking flights left and right to escape to the French Caribbean. That means I received a ton of questions about what to see, eat, do and where to stay in Martinique. And I gave great advice. Or so I thought.

After one of my friend's returned, she told me she had horrible service at a restaurant I recommended. So much so that they ended up leaving without even being served. That was the first time someone gave me negative feedback about one of my suggestions. And I felt pretty bad about it. Until I didn't.

I realized that my experiences were mine alone and I can only offer my perspective. This is the case for my travel blog and any others you read. And believe me, I take my own advice. I have a few travel bloggers I enjoy following and even check out others from time to time if I see an interesting article. But travel bloggers are people too and they are only sharing what they've experienced. There's a high probability that my experiences will be different.

For example, several well-known bloggers have documented their experiences in Zambia, home to one side of Victoria Falls. I spent nine months in Zambia last year, so I am pretty familiar with Zambian culture. One particular blogger made comments that I could tell were supposed to evoke reactions about travel through Africa from their followers. And they did. But their comments weren't genuine to me or indicative of Zambian culture (albeit being positive) and as I was reading, I was reminded that they were only sharing their own experiences. I hope that their comments inspired other people to visit Africa, despite me slightly disagreeing with them.

I'm not saying don't read travel blogs (don't put me out of business!), but I am saying to read them with a grain of salt and check several sources before making any travel-related decision. However, if I make a recommendation or suggestion and you take it and it wasn't everything I said it was and you thought it'd be, please let me know! I am always open to hearing other people's experiences and to create a more realistic, inclusive travel blog.

5 of My All-Time Favorite Destinations

As far back as I can remember, I've always traveled to various destinations with my family and friends. The first trip I can remember was taking a train to New Orleans with my aunt and grandmother around the age of 5. It's safe to say I've left my heart in many places around the world. But there are certainly some places where I've left more of it than others. Sometimes the love was at first sight while others grew on me over time. In either case, here are my top places around the world where I plan to return one day sooner rather than later.

5. Negril, Jamaica.

Jamaica was my very first international trip. I went in 9th grade during my Spring Break and it secured Jamaica's place in my heart forever. I've been back three times since then to Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Negril. However, I do have a desire to visit with a more mature and informed eye for travel. Instead of only staying near the resort areas, I'd like to do more exploring in towns where locals live.

4. London, England.

As I wrote here, I never had the desire to visit London. I only went because there was a cheap fare on WOW Air and I figured I might as well go. I had no idea I would love it as much as I did. The city was way more vibrant and diverse than I thought it'd be. I'm heading back in September and I can't wait to see more of this amazing city.

3. Rome, Italy. 

What can I say about Rome? The food, the people, the culture. It was everything. What amazed me most was the juxtaposition of its rich history with its modern current culture. I remember getting off the metro, looking up and staring directly at the Coliseum. I felt like I stepped right into my 8th grade history book. 

2. All of Tanzania.

Tanzania was the very first country I visited in Africa, so it will always be special to me. Bias aside, it's an amazingly beautiful country. There are so many different kinds of landscapes that it's impossible to say I like one city over another. Zanzibar still holds the record for the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen. Ngorongoro Crater was so lush and green. Dar es Salaam was a bustling city center. I say this a lot, but there is literally something for everyone.

1. Cape Town, South Africa.

What's there not to love about Cape Town? It is my favorite city in the world (to date). There's something about Cape Town that just makes me feel at home. The water, the mountains, the vibrancy and laid back feel. Ahh! It makes me miss it just thinking about it. If ever given the opportunity, this needs to be on your travel wish list.


While I didn't include it in my list, an honorable mention goes to Iceland. Iceland was gorgeous and also had a variety of beautiful landscapes. The food was delicious and the people were surprisingly friendly. With only a 5-hour plane ride from the East Coast, I'd definitely recommend going for those who want a different travel experience.

What I love about this list is that it could change with every new country or city I visit. I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list! So what are your favorite places? Tell me so I can go too!