4 Reasons Travel & Tourism Businesses Need a Blog

travel tourism blog copywriter
Photo credit: fdecomite, Creative Commons

One of the most powerful marketing tools in the travel industry, yet surprisingly often overlooked, is the travel/tourism blog. If your business is to draw people to your destination; book villas; or craft itineraries for travelers; you need to be blogging. Today.

Let’s skip past the “I don’t have time” and “I can’t write” speeches for now. That’s an easy fix I’ll address in a bit. If your travel website is currently blog-less, consider this simple fact: Businesses with blogs have 55% more web visitors. More web traffic equals more leads, and leads become clients.

If that fact doesn’t convince you, here are reasons that will:

  1.  Your competitors have blogs! If you want to establish yourself as a thought leader and set yourself apart from the pack, blogging is the way to go. A consistent blog with quality content establishes your credibility to potential and current clients, and shows that you’re an authority in your industry.
  2. A blog improves your SEO rankings. When new content with relevant keywords shows up on your website (Ahem, fresh blogs!); Google and other search engines take notice. When you write compelling, keyword-rich posts, it’s likely that Google will serve up your posts in their search results. Every fresh page is like a golden ticket for the search engine factory. In addition, if you’re not updating your website weekly with new content in other areas, blogging is imperative.
  3. A blog builds traffic. When you post a blog, it provides fodder for your other social media outlets. Your Facebook friends and Twitter followers will share and retweet your posts. It’s a beautiful and free advertising chain reaction! A regularly updated blog also allows you to direct targeted traffic to your business. And we know what more traffic means! (See paragraph two if you’re still fuzzy on that.)
  4. A blog makes it easier for people to interact with you. We’re social creatures. We like to connect with others. With a blog, you can communicate with future and current clients on a greater scope. Comments from readers often result in new bookings. That “Five Cool Things You Didn’t Know About Our Town” prompts a couple to book a hotel for the weekend and go through your list. Or, a “How Villa Rentals Save You Big” post proves to a family they can afford that Caribbean vacation they’ve dreamed about.

Now that you understand the importance of a blog, it’s time to get started. Don’t let the “I don’t have time”/“I can’t write” argument keep you from building your brand and growing your business. That’s why I’m here.

As a travel copywriter, I can craft blog posts that attract new clients organically. Whether it’s a blog about your company’s future events, or a highlight on unique excursions your destination offers, readers will see why you’re the right choice for their next trip.

 

 

5 Compelling Reasons Your Marketing Strategy Should Include Hiring a Copywriter

marketing strategy for travel copywriter
Photo credit: Death to Stock

When hammering out your marketing strategy for your travel or tourism business, you might be forgetting a key component. Hiring a professional copywriter.

“I can write blog posts and a few pages of our website!” you might say (with the very best of intentions). Here’s the reality. You’re busy running your business and working at making it successful. Your plate is already teeming with day to day responsibilities that come with that.

And let’s face it. You may be an absolute genius at what you do, but brand strategy and persuasive writing may not be in your wheelhouse.

There are many advantages to hiring a professional copywriter. Here are five important ones.

You aren’t a writer. 

Simply put – everyone can write, but not everyone should write. Copywriting isn’t just writing. Copywriters take into account your specific audience and brand message. They craft content that creates clarity and excitement about your brand. Well written content captivates the reader and incites them to act.

There’s a lot of noise in the digital world. A copywriter can help your business stand out from the masses. Your online content and marketing pieces reflect your company. If they aren’t up to standard, your prospective customers will move on. Professional content sells. Amateur content repels.

A copywriter incorporates SEO practices.

Through keyword research and analysis, copywriters can fully optimize your content without sacrificing the flow of text. Copywriters write for people and search engines. There’s a good chance you aren’t familiar with identifying keywords, creating title tags and meta-description tags, and making them fit without sounding goofy. Copywriters do. Their goal is to make your website visible to search engines and engage and connect with your potential customers.

A copywriter saves you time.

Business owners and busy marketing directors already have a stacked calendar just managing their daily tasks. Writing quality content takes time. Instead of spending a couple of days writing a blog post, a copywriter can probably write it within a few hours. Business owners are often so harried, they shove the writing to the bottom of the to do list and it never gets done. No fresh content equals missed opportunities.

A copywriter writes to sell and convert.

Copywriters use dynamic descriptions and strong calls-to-action to convey your brand’s message. A well written website motivates the reader to take the next step – download a free e-book, call you for a quote, or book a room or a tour.

A copywriter has a different perspective.

You have an intimate knowledge of your business, which can be a disadvantage from a content marketing perspective. It’s difficult for you to see your brand from a customer’s view point. A copywriter focuses on your company’s benefits and not just features. Copywriters ask those probing questions your potential customers will ask like Why should I care? and What’s in it for me?

Compelling content seals the deal, and can be your most effective marketing tool. Could a professional copywriter add that “umph”  your website and marketing materials? Let’s chat!

Related articles:

3 Quick Trips to Attract Travelers and Boost Revenue

A Social Media Strategy for Your Travel Business in 7 Easy Steps

4 Reasons Travel and Tourism Businesses MUST Have a Blog!

3 Quick Tips to Attract Travelers and Boost Revenue

attract travelers with travel copywriter
Photo credit: Death to Stock
The original version of this post was published on May 13, 2014.

We’ve often heard the phrase “Build it and they will come”.

But how will they come if they don’t know you’ve built it? And when they do show up, how can you get them to return?

To successfully attract travelers and boost revenue, you must answer those key questions. Luckily, the solutions are simple. Here are three of them.

  • Blog! Even though I touched on the importance of having a blog in this previous post, it’s a vital tip that I’ll repeat often. When you share posts about the wine tastings you host, refurbishments on your property, or new attractions in your area, you highlight more reasons for past and future guests to visit. In addition, when you work in tandem with other travel partners in your area, it benefits everyone. For best results, you should be posting at least twice a month. If your busy schedule prohibits you from taking time to write quality, relevant blogs, hiring a professional copywriter is an ideal solution.
  • Check your photos. Are the photos on your website high quality? Do they accurately depict your property, destination, or attraction? Outdated, grainy, or too small photos are a deterrent. And fewer, bolder photos are better than lots of smaller photos. Make sure each photo is significant. Visual content drives engagement. Amanda Sibley over at HubSpot wrote a compelling article on the importance of visual content. Check it out here.
  • Nurture relationships. This article by Neil Patel from QuickSprout sums up the importance of this nicely. He includes a helpful infographic to explain how to best appeal to your customers’ emotional triggers. Are you active on social media outlets like Facebook, and Twitter? If not, you should be!

Aruba Tourism does a phenomenal job engaging past and future visitors. Heck, I want to return to Aruba every time I read one of their tweets! Also, consistent and genuine dialog is critical. Being inactive on Twitter is actually worse than not having an account at all.

Freelance Travel Copywriter follows Aruba
Recent Twitter feed from @Aruba

In addition to social media outlets, be proactive on review sites like Trip Advisor. Responding to both positive and negative reviews of your property, restaurant, or excursion boosts your credibility and wins the trust of those reading said reviews. St. Lucia’s Fond Doux Holiday Plantation really gets it. In a resolution-minded way, the owner responds to every review posted – good or bad – respectfully and tactfully.

Respond to reviews says freelance travel copywriterRespond to reviews says freelance travel copywriter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helpful tips are only helpful if you follow through with them, yes? Don’t let your busy schedule of running your travel business keep you from growing it. If writing and maintaining your blog or managing social media for your travel or tourism business seem daunting, I’m happy to help. Give me a call!

Kings Courtyard Inn: One Night in Charleston is Never Enough

Photo courtesy of Kings Courtyard Inn
Photo courtesy of Kings Courtyard Inn

I recently spent an all too brief 24 hours in Charleston, SC. I was there for work, and my schedule (unfortunately) didn’t allow for more time. I happily sequestered myself in the Kings Courtyard Inn. There’s definitely a reason Condé Nast readers recently named it one of the Top 10 Best Hotels in Charleston. Actually, there are a few reasons.

This Greek revival-style beauty was built in 1853 by Colonel J. Charles Blum. Its construction altered the overall use of lower King Street from mainly homes to mixed-use buildings with rental units above retail spaces. After she was left in disrepair in the early 60s, Kings Courtyard Inn was brought back to life in 1983. Appointed with antebellum reproductions and new additions like marble countertops and spacious showers, today the inn is a nice confluence of historic charm and modern accouterments.

The inn is perfectly situated for exploration. The Old City Market is just a block away, and there are many shopping opportunities and restaurants within walking distance.

My room was a Deluxe King, which was quite commodious. With the tall ceilings and wooden floors, I feared the room would feel cavernous. However, with the ginormous four-poster bed, comfy chairs and ottoman, and inviting fireplace, it exuded a homey vibe. Sadly, it wasn’t quite cold enough to make use of the fireplace. But that’s just another reason to return in the winter months, yes?

I really enjoyed the wine and cheese reception with varied cheeses and spreads and a nice selection of wine. The bricked open courtyard areas offered nooks to enjoy your glass, read a book, or socialize with other guests.

When it came time to retire, I was a little worried the street noise would impede a restful sleep. I’m not sure if it was the comfortable bed or ample amount of pillows that ensured a solid 7 hours, but the street noise wasn’t even a factor.

I had a good bit of work I needed to do in the morning, and I appreciated the option to have my complimentary breakfast delivered to my room.

Time in Charleston, no matter how brief, is always well spent. I hope to be back in the winter so I can utilize that fireplace.

Do you have a favorite Charleston accommodation? Please share!

Interested in more getaway posts? Here ya go:

6 Best Spas in the Carolinas

There’s a lot to be Happy About in Aruba!

A Social Media Strategy For Your Travel Business in 7 Easy Steps!

Social Media Strategies for Travel Businesses

Many times travel businesses freak out a little about the prospect of creating a social media strategy. It’s really pretty simple. Just create and nurture relationships with people who care about your brand, and then turn them into your cheer squad.

Having a clear strategy helps you stay focused on your goals and increases your success rate. Here are 7 tips to get you started.

Know your audience.

Ask questions like: What interests them most? or How do they use social media? When you have those answers, it’s easier to figure out what kind of content you need to post to capture their attention (and keep it!).

Conducting customer surveys or reading up on social conversations that relate to your brand are a couple of good ways to get those answers.

Define your goals.

Do you want to elevate your website traffic?

Focus on adding links to your website within your content. Create quality content that people will use and share. A weekly blog is an ideal way to keep your content fresh and increase the chances of people visiting your site often. Here are four reasons why blog posts are awesome for travel and tourism businesses.

Do you want to heighten awareness?

Don’t just clog your social channels with mindless promotional dribble. People will check out quickly. Put out great content that makes your brand personality stand out, but not overwhelm. Also, avoid overusing meaningless hashtags. Use them thoughtfully. If they don’t increase your brand’s overall awareness, omit them.

Do you want to deepen loyalty?

Post relevant topics. The occasional “Happy Friday” post is great, too, especially if you can weave your brand into your message (without being spammy). Here are a couple of good examples from Visit Scotland and the Ocean Conservancy. Both posts received a healthy number of shares and likes.

Social Media Strategies for Travel Businesses VisitScotland

If possible, answer all comments posted on your website. Also, respond to tweets and Facebook comments. This will help you make a connection with your audience. A good rule to live by is to respond to all comments and shares – not just the positive ones! Here’s a helpful blog from Hootsuite with tips on how to respond to negative reviews and comments.

Using social media effectively can be a boon for your travel and tourism business. Brainstorm ways to get your customers to share their enthusiasm for your brand. Consider ideas like offering a 10% discount on their next tour when they tag you in their Instagram pics of their tour. You could also offer a free glass of wine at check-in when guests check in on Facebook or Twitter.

Decide what networks work best for you.

A multi-platform approach to social media is best. Whichever ones you choose, be consistent in your engagement. The only thing worse than not having a Twitter or Facebook account is having an inactive one.

Here are popular outlets with travel and tourism businesses:

Facebook

It’s relatively easy to monitor and engage your traffic here. And just about everyone’s on Facebook, right?

How to make it work for you: Travel and tourism businesses can post pictures, respond to comments in a timely fashion, and offer contests.

Instagram

This platform is especially great for those in the travel industry. Consider it a virtual postcard of your brand.

How to make it work for you: Post those swoon-worthy shots of your spa or salivary gland busting photos of your restaurant’s new menu item. Hotels and resorts can also post pics of local events coming that potential guests might want to check out.

Here are Instagrams I’m crushing on at the moment:

Social Media Strategies Travel Businesses

 

Social Media Strategies for Travel Businesses

 

Twitter

Travel and tourism businesses can really shine on Twitter – especially if your content is on fleek and you stay actively engaged with your followers.

How to make it work for you: Post original (and fantastic) content, retweet content that relates to your brand, acknowledge and chat with your active followers.

YouTube

This is definitely a “next best thing to being there” kind of strategy. YouTube is perfect for travel businesses to build excitement and increase brand shareability.

How to make it work for you: Do virtual tours of your hotel or B & B (but not too many); or post a Go-pro view of your tour. Including YouTube videos of your business from guests and customers is an excellent idea, too.

Periscope

This live streaming video mobile app is part of the Twitter family. It lets you “go live” from your mobile device from anywhere and at anytime. You’re like a one-person broadcasting station. People following your live video can leave comments that you can respond to in real time. It’s an easy way to engage your Twitter audience.

How to make it work for you: Periscope at an industry event or trade show. Give people a behind-the-scenes tour of  your resort or destination (we love that stuff!). Use it for product launches or sales promotions.

Don’t be a spammer.

I’ve said it before, but it’s important enough to repeat as often as necessary. Only 10% of what you post should be promotional. Click To TweetIf you aren’t sure how much to share of what, here’s a quick breakdown:

Curated content – 40%,

Original content – 30%

Replying and engaging with your followers – 20%

Promotional posts – 10%

These percentages are just a guideline and aren’t etched in stone. They may vary a bit depending on your current marketing campaign or other events related to the travel and tourism industry.

Use social media calendar.

True confession here – I sometimes struggle with consistently using my social media calendar. However, when I do use it, I notice a huge difference in the quality of my engagement.

I could list a million reasons why a social media calendar is vital, but Neil Patel over at QuickSprout sums it up nicely in this post: Why You Need a Social Media Calendar and How to Create One. 

Use a content marketing tool to keep it together.

Sometimes the thought of wrangling all your social marketing efforts seems a bit daunting. There are a ton of content marketing tools that will make you more efficient.

I like using Hootsuite. I can post on multiple platforms, schedule posts for later, and organize my list of industry leaders. However, that’s just from an organizational standpoint. Whether you need content ideas, writing help, or tips on using infographics, there’s a tool for that. For an extensive list of really great content marketing tools, read this post over at Kissmetrics.

Don’t forget visual content.

Adding images to your content is a smart way to build your travel brand’s awareness and increase the likelihood of people sharing your stuff. Click To Tweet.

Why? First, our brains process visual content 60,000 times faster than written text. (source) In addition, tweets that include images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets. (source) Also, Facebook posts containing photos made up 87% of all network interactions last year. (source)

Not sure what kind of visual content to add?

Post infographics that relate to your travel and tourism business. For example, spa owners could create an infographic about the latest study on how regular spa visits help people live longer. You can make your own infographics on sites like Piktochart, or share someone else’s through Dailyinfographic.

“Useful tips” lists are almost limitless. Share a list of local attractions near your hotel, or include a helpful packing list for potential guests.

Surprising or entertaining photos work well, too. Got a shot of your resort’s resident iguana lounging beside someone’s margarita? Or how about that happy pic of the couple who got engaged in your restaurant last night? You get the idea.

What next?

If you recognize your need for a social media strategy but aren’t sure how to get moving, I’m here to help. I can help boost your social media efforts by outlining a plan that works best for your business. I can also create fresh (and shareable!) content  and increase interaction with your followers. Call me and let’s launch your social media strategy today!

6 Best Spas in the Carolinas

Photo credit: The Spa at Ballantyne
Photo credit: The Spa at Ballantyne

The lure of the Carolinas is strong for visitors seeking respite and renewal. Whether it’s along South Carolina’s sun kissed coastlines or sequestered in the lush mountains of North Carolina, here are 6 of the best spas in the Carolinas.

This article originally appeared in AAA Carolinas’ GO Magazine.

South Carolina

The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place

Best Spas Charleston Place Hotel
Photo courtesy of Belmond Charleston Place

The recent addition of “Belmond” to its name is quite accurate. Belmond means “beautiful world”, and that’s exactly what you step into when you spend time here.

The lobby’s light and airy atmosphere immediately begins to peel off a layer of stress before your treatment even begins. Ambrosial therapies like the Luxe 24-Karat Gold Facial and Moroccanoil treatments are unique to the Spa. Combining 24-karat gold with modern Japanese technology, this facial leaves your skin positively radiant. The Moroccanoil Scalp and Neck treatment not only eliminated my neck pain, but also transformed my crunchy, color-treated hair into soft, shiny locks.

Roughly 50% of the spa’s clientele is local. That’s largely due to community involvement with projects like the “I Will Reflect” melanoma initiative. The Spa partners with MUSC Foundation to raise skin cancer awareness and prevention through events and products. One product, the “I Will Reflect” bracelet, glows purple when your skin is exposed to the sun’s harmful rays.

The rooftop pool is an ideal spot for a post-massage lunch and a glass or two of the hotel’s exclusive Pampered Peach Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka Cocktail.

Wentworth Mansion

Best Spas Wentworth Mansion
Photo credit: Wentworth Mansion

The charm of luxury living in a bygone era you feel while wandering about this meticulously restored 126-year-old property is enough to sate your soul. Details like exposed brick and 14-foot vaulted ceilings of what was once the stable make this historic spa quite unique. As you pad down the dimly lit brick hallway to the spa, you’ll feel as if you’re being let in on a special secret. Though not a secret, the fact that this spa offers Charleston’s only couples massage facility, complete with a dual headed shower and spacious treatment room, may not be widely known.

Relax in your own cocoon with their signature treatment, Rubbed and Wrapped. Enjoy a vigorous rubdown with your choice of warmed oils, then swaddled to “bake” blissfully before your massage.

If it’s raining the day of your massage, try and score one of the two treatment rooms under the tin roof. If it’s not raining, head up to Wentworth Mansion’s rooftop cupola after your treatment for unparalleled vistas of historic Charleston.

The Inn at Palmetto Bluff

Best Spas Palmetto Bluff
Photo credit: Inn at Palmetto Bluff

Cradled among forests of live oak, magnolia, and palmetto trees, the waterfront village within the Inn at Palmetto Bluff embodies Lowcountry charm.

Once the hunting estate of a wealthy New York banker in the early 1900s, the land was later purchased by the Union Paper Company for clear cutting purposes. With the almost mystical lure of the landscape, it’s not surprising the paper company opted to leave the land untouched, using it instead as a hunting lodge.

“The land clearly has a voice,” notes Christine Wrobel, Marketing Manager for the Inn at Palmetto Bluff. “We’re thankful that those caring for the land at different times listened to it.”

“The land clearly has a voice,” notes Christine Wrobel, Marketing Manager for the Inn @PalmettoBluff . “We’re thankful that those caring for the land at different times listened to it.” Click To Tweet

The Cottage Spa is a seamless extension of the property’s southern enchantment. It’s easy to get into relaxation mode as you sip a cool beverage in the screened-in porch that overlooks the water. The inn’s signature therapies like the Palmetto High Cotton and the May River Revival incorporate products infused with indigenous and natural ingredients.

North Carolina

The Spa at Ballantyne

Best Spas Ballantyne
Photo courtesy of The Spa at Ballantyne

Harried schedules and endless traffic are typical of city life in Charlotte. Perhaps that’s why locals comprise 85% – 90% of their client base here. With 12 massage rooms, six facial rooms, and several hair and manicure stations, Ballantyne provides ample pampering opportunities for locals and visitors alike.

Contrary to the childhood poem, sticks and stones rejuvenate your body here. The signature River Rock Massage incorporates hot stones, and rosemary and ginger oils to soothe sore muscles. Warm bamboo sticks used during the Bamboo Massage also release muscle tension.

The resort’s well-equipped fitness center is available to spa guests, too. It includes an eight-person staff specializing in different modalities of fitness.

Westglow Resort and Spa

Best Spas Westglow Resort
Photo courtesy of Westglow Resort and Spa

Sequestered within the luxuriant Blue Ridge Mountains, this stately Greek revival mansion was once the summer home of noted writer and artist Elliott Daingerfield.

The 42-acre property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the views alone are enough to lull you into a state of extreme bliss.

In addition to detox therapies and varied luxury massages on offer, Westglow integrates Vichy shower services into several treatments. For a total mind and body transformation, consider the Metamorphosis. First you’re enveloped in a cocoon of detoxing mud, then rinsed by a warm rain from the Vichy shower. The treatment concludes with a massage and rain therapy combo.

All spa packages include the use of the resort’s Life Enrichment Center, which boasts an indoor swimming pool, steam room, whirlpools, a tennis court, and a fitness center.

Old Edwards Inn and Spa

Best Spas Old Edwards
Photo credit: Old Edwards Inn and Spa

Also situated within the Blue Ridge Mountains, this European style retreat is poised on the picturesque southwest plateau. Local stonework, cascading greenery, and impressive wood furnishings throughout create a sense of oneness with nature.

Signature therapies like the Sweet Mountain Metamorphosis uses herbs grown in the resort’s garden. For a unique spa experience, try the InFusion Bath Ritual. Hot herbal poultice balls are used to increase circulation, blood flow, and lymphatic drainage. A traditional Balinese massage and soaking bath infused with healing herbs rounds out this decadent experience.

Treat yourself to a holiday getaway to Old Edwards with the Comfort and Joy package, which includes accommodations for two, dinner and spa treatments.

All of the above mentioned spas are located in or near charming Carolina towns. Make a weekend of it, and soak in some local experiences after you soak away your stress.

For more getaways in the Carolinas, check out these posts:

FEAST Food Tour: Experience the Tasty Side of Charlotte!

High Country Skiing: Why Have I Neglected You?

Hilton Head Island Under the Radar

Fitness Pro Shares Surprising Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling

Fitness Traveling
Photo Credit: Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

As a travel writer and rabid foodie, I know firsthand the challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle on the road. Busy schedules of work-related trips and a lazy mentality I often acquire during vacations often railroad my workout mojo.

Fitness TravelAccording to Remembrance Staber, personal trainer and wellness specialist with 25 years under her belt, keeping up with a fitness routine while traveling is easier than you might think.

I got to chat with her recently about ways to reboot my travel and wellness mindset. I gleaned so much information during my time with Remembrance, I decided to share the entire interview with you. In addition, at the end here I’ve included a list of three hotels with stellar health and wellness programs.

Enjoy!

Why is it so important to stay on track with your workouts when you travel?

There are several reasons. First, you don’t want to fall off of your at-home fitness routine. The body can fall out of shape within 10-12 days of neglecting your workouts. As a result, when you go home, it’s like you’re starting from scratch.

Another good reason to stay on track is that you eat and drink more when you’re on vacation. To combat the higher caloric intake, you want to increase your activity.

In addition, exercise is an enjoyment for the body. Your mind maybe not so much, but your body loves it. Let your body enjoy vacation, too!

Finally, the trend in fitness and adventure is huge right now and continues to grow. When you travel, you have more opportunities to get involved in fitness. It’s the perfect time to try something you’ve never done. Try a spin class, take a hike, or do that sunrise beach yoga session. Try something new!

So, we have varied exercise options. What are ways we can keep our food and drink in check while traveling (without feeling deprived!)?

Lots of bars and restaurants offer a skinny cocktail option. Go for that. Other ways you can cut back on sugar is to ask the bartender to make your drink with Agave instead of simple syrup. There are quite a few gluten-free beers out there, too.

A good idea for food is to keep hard-boiled eggs in your mini fridge. You can buy them by the bag in most grocery stores. Boiled eggs are a staple in my diet when traveling. They’re great for breakfast or as a quick snack. I always travel with Kind Bars, too. Just throw them in your suitcase or carry-on. They’re ideal for snacks or as breakfast.

I also try to pump up my fruit and veggie intake when I travel. Order sautéed spinach as a side dish during meals. Even if it isn’t on the menu, they can make it. I also nosh on cucumbers (instead of crackers) with hummus. Just stash them in your room fridge. You can even add a couple of slices to your eyes and pretend you’re in the spa! Add some to your water, and you’ve created a private spa treatment in your room!

When you’re dining, make sure to take time to enjoy your food. Slow down and smell the aroma of your meal. Chew slowly and let your body enjoy it. Your brain sensors will be more responsive and you’ll feel fuller faster.

Another thing to try is to drink a glass of fresh lemon water first thing in the morning. It’s good for digestion and excellent for your skin!

In addition to hitting the hotel’s fitness center, what are other ways to work out?

Running hotel stairs is one of my favorites. I’ll stop at each landing and do ten squats, lunges, or jumping jacks. Recently, I stayed at the Marriott in New York City, which has 75 floors. Wow! That was a great workout!

If you can do so safely, running or walking around the city or town you’re visiting is a great way to get a workout in while touring the area.

Don’t forget to slow down a little. Do a quiet meditation in the evenings. Take time to recharge and relax. Controlled breathing is just as important for your body as working out is.

What are your favorite fitness apps and resources?

You definitely want to follow Chris Freytag’s Instagram. She’s the fitness editor for Prevention Magazine, and posts a new work out every day. Her posts also include nutrition helps and encouraging quotes.

Apps I’d also recommend include: Hot5fitness, which offers quick workout videos designed by personal trainers and Calm.com which provides seven guided mediations sessions with varied background scenes and sounds to help you relax.

You should also check out Acefitness.org, website for the American Council on Exercise. It’s a huge resource.

A little more about Remembrance: She founded Fab4Fitness, a program that embodies the components of fitness, fashion, food and fun. As a wellness consultant, she also helps resorts and country clubs create fitness and wellness programs for their guests. Currently at Mountain Air Country Club in Asheville, North Carolina, Remembrance crafts fitness and adventure programs and organizes fitness camps for kids.

You can find Remembrance on Twitter at @memfitwellfit or on Instagram (@fab4fit).


Where to Stay

Whether it’s business travel or a an extended getaway, here are a few hotels that help make staying on track with your workouts super easy – and really fun.

Kimpton Hotels:

Wellness programs differ from hotel to hotel, and include things like complimentary in-room yoga mats and their own fleet of PUBLIC bikes (free for guest use). Some properties also offer a morning jogging station equipped with fruit-infused water and chilled towels – a perfect a.m. run refresher.

Westin:

Has runWESTIN, which provides guests with detailed map of three- or five-mile runs. Go it alone, or run with a group led by the hotel’s run concierge. In addition, hotel menus include SuperFoodsRx – low calorie dishes that are nutrient rich and flavorful.

EVEN Hotels:

Rooms in this InterContinental brand boast luggage racks that double as workout benches. They also offer varied fitness equipment you can borrow for use in your room. Business travelers will appreciate a clutter-free rolling desk with ergonomic chairs.

 

If you liked this article, you might also like this one!

7 Secrets to Traveling on a Dime

7 Secrets to Travel on a Dime
Photo credit: Kate Ter Haar, Creative Commons

Itching to hit the road (or the skies), but worried your bank account won’t make the trip? Traveling on a dime is easy with these 7 tips. You’ll be packing your bags in no time!

1. Visit Caribbean islands in the off-season.

From around mid-April to mid-December, most hotels, condos, and inns discount their winter rates from 20% to 50%.

2. Be a flexible flyer.

Give yourself some wiggle room on your departure date to capture the best deals on flights. Here are a few booking engines that make it easier: Airfarewatchdog – they keep track of deals on flights and will alert you of price drops. Skyscanner – they provide instant comparison of flight prices for over 670,000 routes Kayak – they compare hundreds of travel booking sites at once.

3. Check out free stuff where you’re going (museums and local attractions).

Scour their websites to see if they offer free days, free visiting hours, or other discounts.

4. Rent an apartment or a villa.

This is ideal for larger groups or families who want to spread out. Plus, you’ll save money on food because you can make use of that handy kitchen. AirBnB is immensely popular. It’s an online community marketplace that connects hosts looking to rent their homes with people who need accommodations. More than 192 countries are represented. For Caribbean travel, check out WhereToStay.com. Here, you’ll find a good variety of villas and hotels that have been checked out personally by WhereToStay staff.

5. Get around like a local.

Cab fare and personal drivers can quickly diminish your travel budget. Using local transportation is a great way to spend less. In addition, you’ll gain knowledge from the locals and enjoy a more authentic travel experience. Walking everywhere is another great option!

6. Eat local.

Sampling local cuisine is my favorite part of every trip. Area restaurants and vendors often use locally sourced produce – making it cheaper and tastier!

7. Skip the souvenirs.

It’s really just one more thing to dust, right? Photos, journal entries, and memories of your experiences are perfect souvenirs that don’t take up much bookshelf space.

Interested in more travel posts? Check these out:

FEAST Food Tour: Experience the Tasty Side of Charlotte!

5 Caribbean Islands, 5 Family-Friendly Ways to Explore Them

Budget Travel: Caribbean Camping

My Top 10 Favorite Travel Blogs

I could spend hours exploring my favorite travel blogs. They often inspire me as a traveler and challenge me as a writer. Here are ten blogs I’ve been crushing on for awhile (in no particular order). This list reflects my passion for visiting new places, eating great food, and reading lots of books.

If I’ve missed one of your favorites, let me know!

Shermans Travel

Shermans TravelShermansTravel Media is a leading publisher of top travel deals and vacation destination advice. Founded by James Sherman in 2002, ShermansTravel Media has built a loyal audience among travelers who share a passion for the best travel deals on flights, hotels, vacation packages and cruises.” 

JetsetSarah.com

travel blogs Jet Set Sarah“I’m a trip-loving, shopping-craving travel editor and writer on a mission to see the world in style and to share those adventures with everyone who appreciates my kind of crazy.”

Visit NC

VisitNC

Visit NC is a gold mine of tourism information for North Carolina. Trip ideas, travel deals, accommodation suggestions – it’s all here. “Whether you’re into scenic tours, cultural attractions, outdoor adventure, or great local food and drinks, we’ve got you covered.”

Hotel Mockingbird Hill

travel blogs CaribbeanIt may seem odd to have a hotel on this list, but once you visit their website you’ll understand. It’s much more than a “here’s how awesome our property is” site (though the property is pretty freaking awesome).  Fresh blog content includes recipes, local attractions and events, and wellness articles.

Cruise Radio

Travel blogs Caribbean Cruise“Cruise Radio delivers web-based radio-style podcasts, along with interviews, news, unique industry insights, interactive listener Q&As, and other highly topical items of interest, along with YouTube videos, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other leading edge social media platforms.”

Uncommon Caribbean

travel blogs Uncommon Caribbean“Uncommon Caribbean is Steve and Patrick Bennett, two brothers from St. Croix changing the way people think about travel to the Caribbean by putting authentic aspects of island life and the region’s unique cultural heritage in the spotlight ahead of the glitzy, one-size fits all tourist trap image popularized over the years.”

The Travel Bite

Travel Blogs Food“Rachelle believes the best way to learn about a destination is through its flavors and often collects recipes from her trips and recreates them here onThe Travel Bite.”

Johnny Jet

travel blogs Johnny Jet“This is the place where travel experts share their tips and expertise to make you the expert. It’s also a place to have fun, explore, learn and just kick back.”

Eat This Poem

I especially love the “Literary City Guide” section, where locals share their favorite bookstores, coffee shops, and restaurants. Travel Blogs Reading Books“Eat This Poem launched in January 2012 as a way to fuse two of my passions, food and writing. I hope you’ll stay a while (preferably with a hot mug of tea or coffee in hand) as we explore how poetry moves from page to plate, and inspires our palates along the way.”

Beach Bar Bums

Travel Blogs Beach Food“A travel blog for those of us who believe very few things in life can beat spending the day at a beach bar. The motto: Livin’ de life one beach bar at a time.”

If you’d like more travel inspiration, check out these posts:

FEAST Food Tours: Experience the Tasty Side of Charlotte

Playing With CHUKKA in Grand Turk

Jamaica: More Than One Thing to Love!

10 Travel Clichés Stealing Business From Your Tourism Website

Whether you own a five-star beachfront resort or a small mountain inn, you’re losing business with travel clichés on your tourism website. Snooze-able, bland, and overused phrases don’t incite desire or create a compelling call to action.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m pretty sure within the 17-year span of my travel writing career I’ve been guilty of using some of these. However, if your travel or tourism website contains any (or all!) of them, it’s time for fresh content!

Breathtaking: Did you physically lose your ability to draw breath? If not, find another word.

Melting pot: The word means a cultural assimilation caused by a blending of heritage and traditions of ethnic groups. If you take some time to get to know the residents of just about anywhere, you’ll find that every place you visit is a melting pot.

Hidden gem: Apparently it’s been found – since you’re writing about it and all. A few replacements to consider: remote, isolated, or little-known.

Off the beaten path: This phrase needs to die and be buried somewhere along said path. And with so many people traveling off the beaten path these days, it’s probably a well-forged route by now. Why not try away from the main thoroughfare or a little out of the way?

Nestled: Is your property physically naturally or pleasantly sheltered? If it really is, consider using another adjective like situated, ensconced, or surrounded.

Like traveling back in time: Unless you got your flux capacitor up and running, it’s likely you’ve never actually time traveled. How can you compare something to an event you’ve never encountered?

Must see / must do: According to whom? Don’t be a travel bully. Just because you’re enthralled by your town’s rubber band museum, doesn’t mean your reader will be.

Azure: It’s a lovely word, and so tempting to use. However, by definition it means a light, purplish shade of blue. Often, it’s used as a blanket adjective for most bodies of water that are a completely different hue.

Travel cliches

Mouth-watering: A few times my salivary glands were actually activated by a meal. But this word has been so used, it has lost its power to create a vivid picture of the food being described.

Charming / quaint: Typically attached to boutique hotels or historic properties, these words have also lost their effectiveness over time. Instead, use the adjectives that show the qualities that set you apart from other properties or destinations.

Ready to revamp your content and ramp up your sales? Give me a call for a free 30-minute website diagnosis!