One of the questions that I get asked the most is how I plan for a content creation trip! The thing is, it takes way more than just booking a plane ticket! 🙂
Now, let me make one thing very clear. A trip for content creation isn’t a regular holiday were you have days on end lounging by the pool and drinking cocktails. It will require you to get up before sunrise and go from location to location to take photos. And usually evenings are spent chasing the best sunset spots and editing photos.
In this blog post I will go through every step and also explain my thought process when planning for a content creation trip!
A few months from before
Step 1: Choose your destination
If you’re traveling a lot like me you can’t just go and pick a random destination. A lot of factors are included and brainstorming usually starts a few months from before. For one if you also have a job at home you’ll want to be able to give notice ahead of time.
So my suggestion is to first make a list of all the places that you still want to visit!
Maybe some of these destinations are located close to each other and believe me, you can do a lot in just 2 weeks!
One thing I always do is check for special events! For instance blooming of certain flowers, a lantern festival or balloon flights can add a lot of value to your trip.
Also important to take into account is to check the amount of daylight that you will have. Sometimes you’ll be very keen on visiting a certain place but when the sun already sets at 5pm you simply don’t have a lot of time to create content. If this is your first time planning for a content creation trip I advise you to avoid the winter season and give yourself the benefit of the extra hours of daylight! Also if the sun only rises at 8 am, chances are high there will already be a lot of people around and you won’t be able to take as many photos as you would otherwise do between 5am and 8am!
Avoid high season! Prices will rise and there will be a lot more tourists around, making it that much harder to get amazing photos.
Step 2 : Book your flights
The advantage of planning a head of time is that you’ll have higher chances at finding cheap tickets.
I usually turn to Google Flights to help me out and make great use of their Explore function.
I simply type in the airport that I want to leave from, select the dates that I can travel and then check the map to see which prices are the most interesting! Sometimes this will mean that you have to go back to step 1 and rethink your destination.
Step 3: Location, location location
Probably the most important step when planning for a content creation trip! Before I even look at hotels I do my research on which places I want to visit. I usually end up with two folders: one on Pinterest and a saved map on Instagram.
Pinterest is an amazing search engine to discover new places. And I simply pin all of the related blog posts to a specific folder dedicated to that trip. You can check out my Pinterest board here.
On Instagram I will create a new map and save all of the images of that location that I like.
To make your search easier I also dedicate my time to write blog posts about “The Most Instagrammable Places” on every country/city that I visited.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to all of these locations I make sure to pin every single one of them on Google Maps.
This is what my map of Bali looks like after pinning every spot that I want to visit!
Step 4: Check the best times to visit these locations
This will ultimately determine how much time you’ll need to spend in each area! I can’t stress the advantage enough of 5am sunrises. This will give you 3 hours of having certain locations almost all to yourself!
All of these photos were taking in 1 morning, starting at 6am and ending at 9am.
When visiting a popular temple or castle always make sure to check if the best time to go is at opening hour or right before closing.
Cause for instance with the White Temple in Chiang Rai it is better to go 1 hour before closing!
Once you have done your calculations and have an idea on how much time you will need in a certain area/city you know how many nights you will need at a hotel.
Step 5: Scout for hotels
When traveling I always look for a combination of luxury and cheap. I make a list of all the hotels that I not only want to stay at but that would also benefit my content creation. I am not in this job to get a free stay, you won’t last long if that is your end goal to be honest. Cause some hotels may look fabulous but simply don’t provide the option to create stunning content.
Where to start
Before I reach out to a hotel I always, always go through a lot of photos of the location and see if I can really bring something to the table for them. Focus on what you can do for them, not how you can benefit from it.
I try to find around 25 hotels for every area and make a list. Next up is finding the correct email address.
Either check their Social Media page, website or official Facebook page.
When sending out an email ALWAYS be professional and ALWAYS include what you have to offer. The more specific you can be the better.
For your convenience I decided to sell my own templates that I use for emailing hotels and brands.
Sending out the right email can lead to amazing opportunities!
What if I don’t get an answer?
Don’t get discouraged when you don’t immediately receive a response when you’re just starting out. You have to realise that hotels receive hundreds of applications each and every single day and a lot of them are simply fed up with it. This doesn’t make it easier of course. These days everyone thinks they deserve a free stay in return for just a sloppy Iphone photo. If this is what you’re after I advise you to stop reading.
I can’t emphasise enough of how important it is to actually putting in the work! Showcase the quality of your content and what you specifically can bring to the table!
On the other hand, don’t let them take advantage of you! Sometimes a hotel can ask an outrageous amount of content in return for just 1 night. This isn’t something that you should agree on in my honest opinion. Cause creating content takes up a lot of time and you do want to be able to also explore the area around the hotel ;). So always weigh the pro’s and cons and then decide if you want to accept an offer.
If I haven’t heard back from anyone after 1 week I send a follow-up email and repeat this process a week later. Sometimes your email just slips through the cracks or the person in charge of marketing is on leave. Don’t immediately get discouraged.
What if they say no?
If you weren’t able to get a collaboration ask yourself what you really want to do. Is there a specific photo that you absolutely want to take at this property? Then check if you can afford to stay here for 1 night.
If this is not a possibility for you don’t despair! Simply ask if it is possible to come by and take a photo. If you’re allowed to do so always make sure to be respectful towards the other guests that are actually staying there.
Another option is to ask for a discounted press rate. I used to do this when I was just starting out but wouldn’t do it anymore.
Step 6: What vibe do I want to create?
Once I have scheduled everything I start to think about the vibe that I want to portray. I always go for the dreamy look but there are plenty of more options out there!
You can go for adventure, urban, romantic, colour coördination, vintage… Honestly, the options are endless. The following accounts prove that you don’t just need flowy dresses to create stunning content!
Step 7: Getting the right outfits
If you’re like me and you have a specific vision in mind it’s not always easy to get the exact outfit that you want by collaborating. That’s why for most of my outfits I simply choose to buy them myself or I will re-use older items.
Why do I tell you this?
Cause scrolling through Instagram and seeing everybody tag brands can become very frustrating. Do know that not every brand tag means that this person got this for free or is being sponsored to wear the outfit. In some cases it might be the case. But a lot of times this is done to get the attention of the brand, in hopes of collaborating together in the future.
Ofcourse this means that I can’t spend too much money on it so to make things a little easier for you here are some of my favourite dresses that won’t break your bank and that are perfect for creating content!
A few days before
Step 1: Start charging and packing your gear
If you’re like me and you also have a regular job, you don’t want to leave everything until the last minute.
I usually charge everything 2 days before I leave and put all of my gear together in one spot in my apartment. I make sure I have at least 2 spare SD cards with me and extra batteries for my camera. Below you can find a list of all the items that I can’t leave without on a content creation trip!
My beloved Canon 6D Mark II, can’t go anywhere without this baby!
I use 2 lenses on a regular basis
Before visiting a country I always make sure to check the drone regulations to see if it’s worth it to bring it along!
I use the DJI Mavic Pro FlyMore combo. This way I have 2 spare batteries and extra propellors.
You can’t go on a content creation trip and not have a hard drive with you! I love the LACIE one cause it is shockproof which comes in handy when traveling around.
To keep all of my cables organised I use this little pouch. I also store my extra SD cards in here + a copy of my passport and extra passport photos.
You will be using your phone a lot so make sure to bring a portable charger along!
Step 2: Time to pack your suitcase!
When it comes to packing I love to stay organised during a trip. This year I travelled through Asia for 3 months and simply knowing where everything is not only saves you time but also tons of space!
My favourite suitcase ever!
Packing cubes to keep everything organised
When packing your clothes it can help to roll your dresses. Do know that this works best for printed dresses cause they tend to look less wrinkly.
If you’re only taking solid coloured dresses with you I would consider folding them. You also might want to invest in a travel steamer.
If you really don’t have space for this here is a lovely little tip! Make your dress wet the day before and hang it up to dry. This will take out the wrinkles and you can add the finishing touch by using your hair dryer!
Make sure that your clothes are appropriate for the country that you’re visiting. Depending on the religion you will have to take more maxi dresses with you than short ones!
Step 3: Board your flight and have fun!
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! If you’re not feeling it on one day, take it slow. The most important thing to do is listening to your body. If you’re tired, take a nap.
Chances are high something will prevent you from taking every photo that you had in mind. When that happens try to set it aside. I used to be really really bad at is and would be upset for hours. Now I know better, cause this one photo won’t sky rocket my career.
Don’t just focus on the locations that you saved! Keep your eyes open, cause that’s when the magic will happen!
If you have more questions regarding this topic, drop them below in the comment section!
If you like this post, make sure to pin it for later!
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