A Day in the Life of a Travel Blogger: Melissa Douglas

As someone who has been obsessed with travel for as long as I can remember, I’m so happy that I’ve managed to turn my passion into my lifestyle and source of income. Some travel bloggers will tell you that the lifestyle isn’t as glamorous or easy as it looks—and that’s true. My Instagram and travel blog make it seem as though I’m living the high-life 24/7, but my social media doesn’t take into consideration the hours spent leaning over a laptop all hours of the day, writing, researching, and pitching to travel publications, or the amount of time spent alone as I travel from one destination to another. However, as far as careers go, I’ve found something where I’m my own boss, and it offers me the flexibility to do whatever I please. If I decide tomorrow that I want to rent an apartment in New York to work for a few weeks, or I want to head to a beach in Thailand, I can go at the drop of a hat. That kind of freedom is perfect to me.

7:30 a.m. – Wake up. At the moment, I’m in South Korea where I’ll remain for a few more months before traveling on to China and Mongolia. I have a few businesses in Seoul to meet today, but the first order is to check my e-mails.

I make a coffee, rustle up my bowl of chocolate cereal (no, you’re never too old!) and fire up my laptop.

I need to check in with my editors of a few magazines and travel sites that I do freelance work for. I have a few ideas for unique angles on travel in East Asia, and I’ve been bouncing these back and forth with them. At this time, I also respond to my reader’s comments and questions both via social media and e-mail. 

10:00 a.m. – I take the subway across Seoul. I’ve been invited to review a luxury spa today, and luckily it is in the middle of a neighborhood which I’m writing a separate itinerary guide. I head there early to explore and take some photographs and initial notes for my article.

2:00 p.m. – Exploration is done, and I picked up lunch at a sweet little boutique brunch spot that was highly recommended. I’m at the spa now for my facial.

The owner shows me around the facilities and I need to photograph everything, so that I can be as thorough as possible in my review before I discuss the spa, its history, and its future goals with the owner.

I think there are a lot of negative associations with bloggers getting paid to review places or getting things for free. I always make it clear to the company that I’m working with that I intend to be 100% honest in my article, and I never work with brands or businesses that don’t identify with my blog brand (I focus on travel for girly girls), or that I wouldn’t visit myself as a paying customer. Being a “blogger” is still a relatively new job choice, but it’s no different for companies to be working with us, as it is for them to be working with a marketing or advertising company.

4:30 p.m. – My facial was fantastic! I feel like a whole new woman! It took a little longer than I expected, and I’m supposed to be meeting some friends for dinner; so, I head across the city.

5:00 p.m. – Korean BBQ with friends in Seoul. I can’t even begin to tell you how damn good the food is here.

8:00 p.m. I make my way to Bukchon, an old neighborhood in Seoul where I’ve been invited to review a new luxury hotel. It’s a “hanok” hotel, which is basically a traditional Korean house previously inhabited by nobles and has since been turned into a hotel. The neighborhood is beautiful, and I wonder what the owner will say if I ask him if I can live here permanently, rent free if I promise to blog about it?!

A traditional “hanok” means sleeping on a futon on the floor (much nicer than it sounds, I promise!) However, I’m staying in one of the more westernized rooms with a nice, cozy double bed.

The owner gives me a tour of the hotel and all of its different rooms, and we discuss all the details and amenities of the hotel and surrounding area.

Normally, when I check into a hotel, my first instinct is to face-plant the cozy bed, but I have to photograph the place from every angle while it’s still pristine and new before I can consider getting comfy.

9:00 p.m. – All set! I make myself a cup of green tea and fire up my laptop once again. Though I’m spending most of my time in Asia, I’m also writing for people in the UK and the US; so, we’re all on completely different time zones. I need to respond to a few more e-mails and start sorting through the notes and photos I’ve taken today. There’s also the management of social media to take care of— promoting via Pinterest, writing posts for Facebook and Twitter.

11:30 p.m. – Bed time. I’m more of an early bird than a night owl; so, I prefer to get up early and make the most of my day. Tomorrow I’ll spend a few hours working from a coffee shop (quirky coffee places are abundant in Seoul!) before heading to another new hotel for a few days which I’ll review.


Follow her adventures: High heels & a backpack | https://twitter.com/girlynomad


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • This is my first time reading your blog. Though I have lots of questions, I want to wait and read more first before I dig into all my questions. Thank you for sharing your experiences with anyone who wants to read it! Safe travels!

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