Travel Writer of the Week: Frank Bodelier of Maps ‘N Bags

Frank’s website is Maps ‘N Bags and was launched in January 2018.

Bio: Frank is a 30-something Dutchman who blogs part-time at Maps ‘N Bags. When he is not blogging, he is working in a technology company as a designer or simply cooking at home. Yes, you read that right. Although he loves traveling and discovering new high-tech gadgets, he is also passionate about cooking delicious dishes–or at least, that’s what his wife says!

Here is Frank Bodelier’s Q&A About his Life as a Travel Bloggeraspiring travel writer of the week

 

Frank Bodelier of Maps 'N Bags

 

Frank is a Part-time blogger and also works as a designer.

Where do you call home? Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

How many countries have you been to? 16.

How many continents have you been to? 2.

Top 5 destinations on your travel to-do list: Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Mexico, and Argentina.

Earliest travel memory: The very first place I can remember my family and I went on vacation was to Lake Constance on the German-Swiss border. I remember my mom, dad, and I were in a boat, and my father saw a zeppelin on the horizon. He took about 100 photos of that zeppelin until it was right above our heads. Later when we saw at the pictures, the first 60 were useless, to say the least–the zeppelin was way too far away to see any detail.

Favorite Travel Writer: Uh, that’s a difficult one. I don’t read much travel content. Obviously, I’ve read plenty of great books, but honestly, I can’t pinpoint a favorite. That being said, a writer that I can definitely remember loving his work is Anthony Bourdain.

Favorite Travel Blogger: Can I say my wife? I love her writing, especially when she writes about her country–she is Brazilian. She becomes so passionate without taking her feet off the ground. I love seeing the passion in a writer’s work, and she has it.

Favorite Travel Photographer: I love the work of Bobo and Chichi. Their photography is not fairytale-ish, but down to earth, and I like that.

Favorite Travel Website: Some of my favorite blogs include The Broke BackpackerI Heart Brazil, and Savored Sips.

The trip that turned me from a vacationer to a traveler: I had never traveled that much before meeting my wife. She is the traveler who drags me around the world. I think I became a sort of traveler when we backpacked in Brazil. It was a unique experience, and I would love to go back.

The trip that turned me into a travel blogger: Well, the journey that brought me to the travel blogging world was a road trip we made in Ireland. While there, I noticed how important it is to write helpful content for such trips. When we got home, we started writing a guide together for the same trip, and that’s how I became a travel blogger.

My first steps to become a travel blogger: My first steps into this world weren’t so challenging as I had a teacher at home. We sat together while writing the article I mentioned above, and she taught me everything I needed to know. I was definitely lucky.

Do you plan your own travel or look for media trips?  We have planned and paid for all our trips ourselves. We want to start working with brands; I just need to be more proactive and make a plan for that. To be honest, I haven’t had much time to pitch companies in the past year.

The social media platform driving the most traffic to my site is: Pinterest.

My top tip to use Pinterest for traffic: Don’t give up! Study what works best with the Pinterest audience, write for them, and keep pinning. It took me a long time to understand how this platform works because most of the users are female Americans, and I’m a Dutchman.

My favorite tool/app for social media: I like using Tailwind because it saves me a ton of time. I would never be able to be consistent on Pinterest without it.

My favorite WordPress plugin: WP-Rocket is impressive for site speed. I don’t know how we survived so long without it.

Favorite Travel Blogger Facebook Group: I like The Business of Blogging and Mediavine (only for Mediavine members) a lot. Both are very useful and full of tips.

If only I had the time, I’d… write all the articles on my “Articles To Write List” to increase my traffic. The only thing holding me back is the lack of time at the moment.

My top tip for aspiring travel writers and bloggers!

My top advice for becoming a travel blogger is to change your mindset to get on the right track and establish a successful business. Be strategic about every single decision you make for your blog. Write with a plan in mind.

Best travel tip for travelers: Plan your trip, but don’t freak out when things don’t go as planned. Also, leave some time free to enjoy the local vibes and experience the place for real rather than running a marathon through the city so that you can “say” that you visited every major attraction.

Connect with Frank!

Website: Maps ‘N Bags

Social: PinterestInstagram

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More Travel Blogger of the Week Features!

Aspiring Travel Writer of the Week: Maggie McKneely with Pink Caddy Travelogue

Aspiring Travel Writer of the Week: Jorge and Claudia with Travel Drafts

Nominate a friend (or yourself!) as our next Aspiring Travel Writer of the Week!

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