Get to know one of our Travel Insurance Master affiliates, Bethany of Travel Without a Plane! Based in Washington, DC she is a travel blogger with a focus on road trips, and exploring towns big and small!
Bethany, when did you start your blog?
Walk me through how or why you started?
Prior to 2020, I traveled a lot for work, covering most of the Southeast US (and some fun trips like Las Vegas, Key West and Park City) over the last five years. Whether I’m tacking a personal trip on the end of a work trip or venturing out on PTO, I am a huge fan of road trips. Even when I travel abroad, I rent a car so that I can fully experience the area outside of my chosen destination. I realized I had something to offer a 2020 world: providing advice and itineraries for a safer travel option.
Do you feature a specific type of travel or area?
My focus is on road trips. I’ve done many across the US, but I’ve even done a two-week road trip in Iceland and taken a rental car through southern England. Despite my name, I do travel by plane, but I find car travel more liberating. You’re not tethered to a tour group’s schedule. You can pull over at any point to snag a random photo. You can pit stop in small towns and see how other people live around the world.
What is your favorite part about being a blogger?
The community! I’ve been introduced to so many lovely fellow travelers through Instagram and The Nomadic Network. I’ve met other female travelers I plan to meet up with when travel with friends is safe again! I’ve also truly enjoyed the creative outlet, particularly in a year like this. Living in Washington, DC, it’s been a very tumultuous few months. Being a part of a positive community and having the opportunity to be creative has really lifted my spirits the last three months.
What is your favorite or dream destination?
My favorite destination is Iceland – it’s like another world! My dream destination is Peru. My college roommate is Peruvian and I hope we can visit the country together in the future!
What is your favorite travel tip?
The best travel tip I can offer is to plan a rough itinerary but leave room for the unexpected. I always have an outline of my days so that I can try to see everything I want and eat at all the best places, but sometimes an opportunity arises that overrides that schedule, or maybe I’m too tired to tackle something on the list. I like to leave myself 30 minutes to relax between the day’s activities and dinner. I’m an adventurous traveler, so others may want more flexibility, but this is what works for me! I also keep a list of everything I was interested in seeing, so in case something goes wrong, I have some options for a backup plan. Google Docs work well for me with this.
What other suggestions do you have for travelers?
Be mindful of the impact your travel is having on the local community. Instead of stopping for Starbucks, is there a small coffee shop you can try out instead? Concerned about your carbon footprint, especially with that roundtrip flight? Use a carbon footprint offset program like carbonfootprint.com. The site can help you calculate the effects your trip will have and offer suggestions for offsetting that use. Overall, shoot for your travel to be a positive impact on the local and global community.
What suggestions do you have for bloggers or what has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome with your blog?
Plan ahead. Schedule time to work on your posts, marketing, and updating your website. Something that has forced me to write on a schedule is my commitment to a series. Every Saturday I share a Weekend Round-up: five articles, videos or other interesting things from the travel community that I think my readers will enjoy. This ensures I’m putting out at least one blog post a week. Having a full-time career makes blogging a bit more difficult, but because it’s something I enjoy and I’m passionate about, I can often overcome it “feeling like homework” (although sometimes it still does, ha!)
How can our readers follow your travels?
I update my Instagram daily with helpful tips and travel inspiration. If I post a new blog, this is the best way to get an update about it. You can also find all of my stories at www.travelwithoutaplane.com.
Anything else you would like to share?
At least once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before. Traveling somewhere new is the best way to introduce yourself to other perspectives. It’s made me more resourceful and more compassionate. Highly recommend!