You’ve probably seen these types of posts on travel blogs before, but the Portuguese case is a particular one. This ties in very well with some of the things I talked about in a previous interview about TEMA magazine and Lisbon by the way.
There seems to be the general assumption that those who travel are rich, selfish, careless, lazy. God forbid you actually travel and write about it! Gasp! *enter all the not-a-real-job memes*
The Portuguese travel bloggers community is small but, I believe, tight. This travel blogging business and influencer marketing are entirely new when compared to other more established industries. So I get that it raises a lot of questions. The one I get asked the most (and that you’ll find at the end of the post) has to do with work and money. Between ourselves, the Portuguese travel bloggers, I find that question normal. When I was starting out, I wanted to know too, so I try to give back to the community as much as the community has given me in the past.
So, this post started as a Facebook thread, half-serious, half-joke. And the more we wrote, the more we realized we had the same questions popping up. Unconformists and untraditional career choices will always raise questions. We’ve developed a thick-enough skin to let some slide, and to the others, we answer with our best sense of humor.
Oh! I almost forgot! In Portugal, workers get 22 paid vacation days a year. This, my dear readers from elsewhere in the world, seems to put non-frequent travelers in the most suspicious mode. Hence, the question pops up A LOT!
Behold, people, it’s August. Summer is here in full (in the North hemisphere), so let’s welcome it with some light reading.
You have more than 22 vacation days a year, for sure…
Raquel and Pedro run the Portuguese travel blog Um Dia Vamos
Okay people, let’s debunk this myth that has everyone wondering if we have some voodoo magic spell on vacation days. Unfortunately, like everyone else, we only have 22 vacation days a year (*crying face*).
However, our last trip’s duration was 22 days, and we still have seven vacation days left. Is it black magic? No, dear people, those 22 travel days also include weekends and holidays. In fact, this time we didn’t even optimize it that well because we used up 15 days. There was this time when we took a 12-day trip using only six vacation days.
There is no secret or magic trick. Just make the best of ALL the days in the calendar. It’s that simple 🙂
How can you afford to travel so much?
Plano(V)ida is a Portuguese travel blog run by two twin sisters, Lena e Ana
Have you ever heard those famous sentences about this thing called traveling? All those clichés that people who don’t understand what travel is tell you all the time? Well, we have!
No, we don’t earn a huge income. No, we didn’t stop having a social life… But every month we try to save some money. Whatever it takes, that piggy bank has to fill up so we can make our biggest dream come true, getting to know the world! The first step is deciding to save. Saving to travel is like dieting in the Summer. It’s imperative!
Travel now because it all comes to an end once you have kids
João and Marina run the Portuguese travel blog Let’s Run Away
We’re afraid we might cause some people to have a heart attack with what we’re about to say, but we don’t plan on stop traveling when we have kids. With so much to show them outside our home, why would we keep them from that?
We’re both lucky we traveled since we were little and I don’t think that harmed us (on the contrary). We’ll have to think about budgeting more, of course. It will be more expensive and, later, we’ll have to adapt our travels to time off school. We’ll also have to adjust our trips to their age, but we’ll make sure we’ll show them the world from the beginning.
Did you win the EuroMillions* lottery?
Mónica, Soraia, Cláudia and Catarina run the group travel blog Nunca Paras Quieta
Our first reaction when we hear this is to laugh! Our second reaction is to laugh even louder! None of us is rich, quite far from that. Our secret was learning to save, cut back where we could, and only buy what we really need (we’re four girls we still have our guilty pleasures!!).
We manage to travel in the cheapest way possible. We look for travel deals, share a room when needed, and pack our own meals (we’re quite the experts on this). Long live the baguette! Nowadays, anyone can travel if they make some life choices!
*EuroMillions is a very popular lottery in Europe (and extremely popular in Portugal) with millionaire prizes every week.
Are you always on vacation?
Ana and Marco don’t have a travel blog yet but you can follow them on Instagram on O mundo em duas mochilas
This is one of those trick questions. If people ask us this out of curiosity, we tell them it’s all about planning. For example, planning a trip is easier than planning a wedding! Each year just grab a calendar and look for every possible way to take advantage of weekends and National holidays so you can stretch the paid vacation days to the max.
But if people ask us this to upset us, we can say we got a special grant from the Social Security that includes payment in full for five years, as long as we travel as much as we can. 😊
Traveling again?? I wish I had your life!
Ana and Ricardo is the couple behind the Portuguese travel blog Gato Vadio
Yes, again! We have 365 days a year to travel and, although one of us is a freelancer, works on Saturdays, is irreplaceable, and can’t take as much time off work, we try to make the best of every Sunday and National holiday. We prefer to travel in the offseason.
It’s not easy for a freelancer to stop working to travel because if you don’t work, you don’t earn. But we’ve concluded that experiencing life does make us richer. “Our life” is achievable by anyone… All you need is good financial management skills and a well-organized yearly calendar, planned in advance.
So, you don’t work?
Catarina is the travel writer behind the Portuguese travel blog Wandering Life
Yes, my friends, I do work! These days that are lots of different ways to work that don’t involve being stuck at the office, Monday to Friday, from 9 am until ungodly hours in the evening. I write about traveling, in my own schedule, at home or at the café where I spend a lot of time, and wherever I am in the world.
Writing about my travels means I have to research, visit, photograph, film, and actually write it down. But of course, none of this matters if no one is reading, right? Then you have to know how Google works, what you need to do to show up at the top of the search results, how to publish on different social networks and what’s the best time, or what are the best Instagram hashtags.
And yes it’s possible to live off a blog, except it’s not the blog that brings you work and an income, but the influence and exposure you gain from it.
Now that you’re pregnant, you’re done traveling
Teresa runs the Portuguese travel blog Por Aí com Amor e Contigo
I’ve been hearing this for the past two months since I started to tell people I was going to be a mother again! I don’t know who told the world that pregnancy (a healthy, risk-free pregnancy of course) would prevent you from traveling.
If I tell people I’m going camping, they call me crazy. If I tell them I’m traveling to Asia, they’d be better off committing me to the lunatic hospital! Yes, I have to be extra careful but fortunately, I’m well-informed, and I know how to take care of myself and my family. I’ve missed out on so many opportunities in life that it’s about time I don’t miss one more. Even as a pregnant woman 😉
You’re always out and about enjoying “the good life”
Marina and Axel run the Portuguese travel blog Destinos Vividos
It seems like people who enjoy traveling are out and about doing nothing with their lives. But, we have a job (like everyone else), we only have 22 paid vacation days a year (like most people), and we still have a side hustle, our blog.
Those who know us well know that we’re actually always working because our minds never stop. On top of our 40 or 60 hours of work a week, we still have to work when we get home because we don’t have the kind of job that allows us to “shut down” when we leave the office. And still, on our “free time,” we research and plan trips, we write and edit articles, we manage and post on social media and, when we travel, we’re already thinking about the next articles.
We can’t stop but we love every second of it, so maybe it is true. Perhaps we do have a “good life.”
How lucky! We wish we could do the same
TravelB4Settle is a Portuguese travel blog run by Matilde and Miguel
We believe feeling sorry for something you didn’t do is a poison and we live to avoid the midlife crisis that hits at 40! Basically, we believe there’s time for everything and, like the name of our blog, we plan to settle some day, have kids, etc. But until then, we want to travel the world and experience life in a way that wasn’t otherwise possible!
We knew that our dream was to travel more than two or three weeks a year, so we had to go a different way. When we found out there was a big community of people who travel the world while working online, we knew we had found our path! Is it easy? Of course not. Spending time away from the family, letting go of a college degree that our parents invested in, and giving up a steady job is not easy. But who said that following a dream was easy?
We started the blog not only to motivate travelers but to show that luck doesn’t just happen, we can build it!
You don’t actually work, do you? Ah, no, wait. You work at the airport, so you get free tickets
Onde Andam os Duarte? is a Portuguese family travel blog run by Samanta, António, and little André
We have the same 22 paid vacation days as most Portuguese have. We don’t get free tickets or special flight deals although one of us works at the airport (it’s a shame, really). And, behold, one of us is part of the one-thousand-euro generation*; the other one, not so much because of a part-time job to spend more time at home with the kid. Imagine that! 😊
Some people need to buy motorcycles, houses, expensive clothes and high-end mobile phones. They need to make a lot of money for their kids to inherit it. They need to have more and more. It’s a life choice.
Traveling with your children, push them out of their comfort zones, benefits their development. We refute the idea that kids won’t remember a thing, showing that the memories and the advantages go far beyond family enjoying time together. Traveling has a positive impact on the cognitive development of the little ones.
*In Portugal, we call the one-thousand-euro generation to the people who, despite their high qualifications, aren’t paid more than €1,000 a month on average.
Oh, you’re here today?
Inês runs the Portuguese travel blog Sempre Entre Viagens
I live in Vila Praia de Âncora, a tiny town where people bump into each other all the time. Although I’m only out of town ten weekends a year, it’s amazing how many people I run into in the other 42 weekends who are genuinely surprised to see me. Unfortunately, like other people in the country, I only have 22 paid working days a year.
*Vila Praia de Âncora is a small town in the county of Caminha, in the district of Viana do Castelo (Northwest of Portugal).
Some people have great lives!
Rute is the Portuguese travel blogger behind The Blondie Traveler
This is the ironic thing I hear the most! Usually, I say something like to each their own! I get it that people who travel a lot make everyone curious, but it’s amazing how there are so many people focusing on criticizing and being jealous instead of feeling inspired or being supportive!
Behind a traveler or a travel blogger, there’s a normal person, who works a lot to earn what they have, who compromises and prioritizes. A few years ago I’d be happy buying an expensive pair of boots or a bag, but these days I value experience and life a thousand times more. Money is no longer something I use to buy things to make me happy.
Some people have great lives, indeed, but don’t forget that behind someone who travels there’s a bunch of sacrifices and choices! I’m not a guru, but I think the formula is simple. If you’re not happy with your life, try to change something about it! And I’m so happy when traveling, sharing, and inspiring!
But how do you make money with a blog?
(This was my contribution. The money topic comes up a lot.)
I had just left a corporate job in another area, completely burned out when I started the blog. It was (and still is) my online portfolio because I wanted to be a professional travel writer but lacked the work samples that proved I was skilled.
“Oh, so you started the blog and then got discovered?” No. I learned more skills on my own in the past four years than I ever did in corporate training. SEO (learning to write online content in a way that people will find you when googling) is the one I value the most. It is because of the blog that I find work and “make money.”
There are no miracles! There is a lot of work and learning how not to put all eggs in the same basket.