On my previous post about how you shouldn’t always trust what you read on blogs, Alan made the following insightful comment:
The reality is many travel bloggers dont even travel much and are not very good at traveling.
This is true. Surprisingly true. And this is part of why I generally try to make a distinction between “travel” bloggers and “points/miles” bloggers (for the record, I consider myself part of the latter category).
There are some points/miles bloggers who travel a lot. At the most extreme, you have bloggers who travel full time and don’t have a permanent home. But there are others who hardly travel or really don’t know the first things about redeeming their miles or wouldn’t be able to manufacture spend $5,000 without a guide with giant red arrows from Million Mile Secrets.
Example: I’ve done some points/miles consulting where I help people use their miles to book awards. One of my clients was a BoardingArea blogger. This blogger didn’t know how to redeem miles for flights! I ended up booking flights for this blogger’s family, and this blogger then proceeded to write up a lengthy trip report about said trip where he/she tried to portray him/herself as an “expert” in miles/points redemptions and travel. And this was not a particularly challenging award redemption.
Now, I don’t expect people to be experts in everything. Some great blogs focus exclusively on MS (well, not really any more), and you can be an expert in MS without traveling at all. But if you’re going to be a blogger, you should probably have at least some expertise in something (a unique perspective would be helpful as well), which is surprisingly untrue for so many blogs.
This is also part of the reason why I think that certain memes get propagated through the miles/points blogosphere: so many bloggers don’t have adequate experiences or context to form their own opinions about their experiences, so they resort to repeating those things that they’ve read on other blogs. It always astounds me when I talk to people (non-bloggers too), and it sounds like I’m talking to Lucky’s parrot. Similarly, so many experiences are duplicated between blogs because many aren’t able to go beyond what they’ve already read and seek out novel opportunities.
Granted, this post might come across as hypocritical because I’m guilty of many of the things I’m complaining about. But as a reader, question if you should really believe or trust the blogger’s opinion. If a blogger eats primarily at the Olive Garden, then maybe you should discount his/her opinion about food. If a blogger doesn’t actually travel that much, then maybe you shouldn’t be reading his/her “travel” blog.