Some years ago, I took an extended trip to Europe. During that vacation, I kept a travel journal in which I made notes of the places I visited, the people I met and the events that occurred. I still get out that travel journal and read through some of the entries. The problem with the journal was that the entries were not easy to share. I still had to write postcards and letters to my family and friends.
Now, with the advent of blogs (web logs) your travel journal can also serve as a way of sharing your vacation with your family and friends. Your friends will be able to immediately read about your adventures as soon as you've written about them. No need to buy stamps or send letters via snail mail.
Because you're writing a blog, there's also no need to send out multiple emails either. Write it once and your done. Your friends and family can subscribe to your blog and they are automatically notified when you make an entry. Additionally, your friends can make comments on your blog post that are available for others to see, giving your friends an opportunity to actively participate in your vacation.
The best part about your blog is that while you are sharing your vacation with your family and friends, you'll also be making a record of your vacation so that you'll be able to easily remember what you did and reminisce about the great times or the challenges that you faced.
Because blogs are web-based, you can make an entry from any location that has access to the Internet. Many of my friends have started to make regular trips to an Internet cafe a standard part of their vacations. Many hotels also offer and Internet terminal that you can use for a few minutes.
There are many websites where you can post your blog for free. Many of them even allow you to post pictures. Some blogs even specialize in travel logs. Two of my favorites are:
Travellerspoint - Allows you to create a public travel blog or a private travel diary that is password protected for selected viewers.
TravelBlog - Provides blog space and allows for unlimited photos in your travel journal.
If you've got the travel bug, but can break away from work or don't have appropriate funds, you can go on a virtual vacation by subscribing to a travel blog that someone else is keeping. You may also want to read through a blog of someone who's been to the destination that you're planning to visit. You'll get first hand travel tips and advice for that destination.
A travel blog can enhance your vacation by allowing your friends and family to participate as well as creating a record of the trip that you can enjoy later. Make sure you create one for your next vacation.
Jed Clark is a travel writer, photographer and long-time San Francisco resident. For more travel tips and information about San Francisco destinations, attractions and neighborhoods, visit http://www.zurdogo.com/ - a destination guide to San Francisco.