Along Dusty Roads is a brand-new entry in the Top 10 UK Travel Blogs. Written by Andrew Sim and Emily Gough, Along Dusty Roads celebrates slow travel and focuses on savouring the country you’re in. We caught up with the self-confessed tea addicts, who told us how travel blogging has changed, the joy of chicken buses and working on positive PR collaborations.
What makes your blog unique?
Aside from our unrivalled ability to drink lots of tea, we think there’s a few things that make Along Dusty Roads a little different.
Our photography and travel story-telling style, with a strong design aesthetic, helps us to stand out in a crowded space and seems to genuinely grab people’s attention. Our readers really value our in-depth and experience-based advice on destinations to help them plan their own adventures and make their own travel memories; the number of messages we receive each month about how people have relied solely on our posts for short and long-term trips is quite remarkable! In the age of instant and constant social media, having content that looks at things a little differently, a little more in-depth, and in a way which feels like a conversation between like-minded travellers, most certainly still has a place and powerful voice.
We know how we like to travel, and everything we do is to really help people to travel more and travel better – we think that resonates with people once they find us.
How has travel blogging changed since you started?
The growth of Instagram and YouTube has certainly changed the expectations of what some travel content should be and look like, while also increasing the overall numbers of sources that people go to for travel advice and inspiration. This has meant that travel bloggers have had to diversify their product and focus on several different platforms. When we started, Instagram took up none of our time – now it takes up an awful lot.
However, our main platform is our blog and we’re immensely proud of that. Despite the growth of various other channels, we’ve found that established blogs remain extremely valued, trusted, and respected by travellers looking for inspiration, advice and guidance.
What’s the community of travel blogs like to be part of?
When we moved back to London after two-and-a-half years on the road, it meant that we had a ready-made network to plug in to. That made such a difference for us and we’ve made life-long friends out of it. Starting the blog, we had absolutely no idea about the existence of such a community, and everyone is incredibly supportive to help the travel blogging sector improve its professionalism, reach, and output.
What’s the best travel experience in the world?
Hopefully something we haven’t done yet! For us, it will usually involve a road trip, a hike, and a moment that feels utterly unique. Ranking experiences in travel is something that’s difficult to do as well – so often something which could be very simple and forgettable to someone else, may actually make your entire trip!
What’s the best mode of transport you’ve ever experienced?
Public buses in Guatemala (usually referred to as ‘chicken buses’) are mostly colourful refurbished American school buses. Usually jam-packed, usually bumpy, they are always an experience; much more fun than a tourist shuttle with air-con.
What was your scariest experience while travelling?
Honestly, we’ve both been incredibly fortunate in our time travelling (both individually and as Along Dusty Roads) – up until now nothing, touch wood, has gone majorly wrong. A big part of that will be luck, but we also like to think that we’re overall quite sensible when on the road and very much aware of our surroundings.
What should PRs know about you?
Our partners often tell us that our professionalism and business-like approach is refreshing within the blogging industry. We also work bloody hard because we want our partners AND our readers to be happy.
Essentially, if they like what we do at Along Dusty Roads and partner with us, they can rest assured that all the content we create will be as thoughtful, meaningful and unique as everything that made them want to work with us in the first place.
What are the best campaigns you’ve worked on?
All the campaigns have been overall positive experiences for everyone involved, but the very best have been those that have really allowed us the time and space to deliver a true ‘Along Dusty Roads’ experience somewhere. A degree of flexibility on both sides of the table is so important in the initial stages when devising what will work best for our partner’s aims, and our audience.
We’re currently GWanderers (brand ambassadors) for G Adventures, a global adventure travel company, and it’s great to have a partner that values our ideas and approach to content creation so that we can deliver something beautiful, different, and engaging.
Do bloggers need their own industry association?
Any body that supports standards, shares best practice and creates clearer guidelines for both bloggers and their potential partners is always a step in the right direction.
What other blogs do you read?
We don’t tend to read any blogs on a regular basis, but when we’re seeking information or inspiration on a new destination, they are our go-to resource.
Andrew, Emily and Along Dusty Roads are listed on the Vuelio Influencer Database along with thousands of other bloggers, vloggers, journalists and opportunities.