5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs

5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs

Our travel blog, like all of Spot Cool Stuff, runs on WordPress. Over the months we’ve downloaded and activated many dozens of WordPress plugins. And then deactivating almost all of them. Most plugins are too buggy, too time consuming, and/or too unimportant to bother with.

There are, however, five plugins that we think any WordPress travel blogger should seriously consider using. Each works with WP version 2.7 and 2.8.

wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs


wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs
wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs
wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs

Automatically Convert Currencies

What a great plugin this is for customizing your travel blog for your international readers! In your posts you write prices in your home currency and LocalCurrency will detect each of your visitor’s IP address and automatically convert that price to their currency.

Let’s say you are in the United States writing about a cool hotel and mention that it costs $100 per night. Your blog readers in London will see the price listed as $100 (GBP£69.59) per night, those in Beijing will see $100 (CNY元684) per night, those in Seoul will see $100 (KRW₩135,744) per night and so on. How cool is that?!

wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel BlogsOnce activated LocalCurrency is super easy to use—a button will automatically wrap < —-> tags around the figure you highlight. Unfortunately, the plugin assumes you are always listing prices in the same currency (ie. it will always convert from U.S. dollars, or yen, or whatever currency you select). That limits how much we can use it on the Spot Cool Stuff travel blog where we cover global destinations and list prices in the local currency. Hopefully the next version will be able to convert from multiple currencies.

See the plugin at work in one of our many posts about unusual accommodations: Berlin’s Billboard Hotel.

GET THE PLUGIN

wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs

Organize Your Categories

Travel blogs tend to have posts in many more categories and sub-categories than other kinds of blogs. Take our post on Four High Design, High Value, South Beach Miami Hotels for example. That post is in our Miami category, which is a subset of the Florida category, which is a subset of United States, itself a subset of Destinations. That post is also in our High Design Hotels category, a subset of Hostels & Lodging. It’s also listed under Affordable Luxury, a subset of the Superlatives category.

Altogether we have 121 categories and counting. The only thing giving any semblance of order to the chaos is the fantastic Folding Categories plugin.

Activate this plugin and you can put a widget in your sidebar that will show only your top level categories on the homepage. As your readers click down into your blog’s content the relevant sub-categories will unfold. It is all highly customizable. You set the order the categories appear and can even control the font attributes.

GET THE PLUGIN

wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs

wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs

Add Google Maps

We’re surprised at how many travel blogs don’t incorporate maps into their content. Especially when there are so many great plugins that make adding Google maps so easy.

We’ve tried most, if not all, of the mapping plugins and found Geo Mashup the best. The plugin puts a mapping tool is on the same page you use to write your post, so there’s no need to go to the Google Maps website. Input the address you’d like to map, type [geo_mashup_map] in your post where you’d like your map to appear and that’s it.

In fact, you don’t necessarily even need to know the street address you want to map. For our post about an ice bar in the Mandalay Bay Resort all we had to do is type “Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas” into the Geo Mashup location field and our map appeared.

GET THE PLUGIN

wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs

wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs

Optimize Your Photos

Almost every great travel blog has great photos. Yet few travel blogs optimize their photos so that they appear high in the Google Image Search results, probably because adding all those title and alt tags is time intensive. At least, it is without the SEO Friendly Images plugin. This is the sort of plugin you install and forget. The plugin does all the work. And you’ll see dozens—potentially hundreds—more page views as a result.

While we’re on the subject of photos, Flickr Gallery is our favorite plugin for incorporating Flickr photos onto a blog and Slimbox is the best plugin for displaying photos with a lightbox effect.

GET THE PLUGIN

wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs

Create A Calendar Of Your Future Travels

If your blog is travelogue, telling the story of an ongoing trip, then a good calendar of your future travel plans is key. And Event Calandar 3 is the best of the calendar creating plugins.

Event Calendar is easy to use. Events are added in exactly the same way you’d write any post—simply list a post in the calendar category (or whatever category name you’d like), assign it a date (or time, if applicable) and that’s it. Your calendar can be incorporated into a post or page or placed on your sidebar. You can also link blog posts to specific calendar events.

GET THE PLUGIN

wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs

wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs
wordpress seo website building seo website building  5 Great WordPress Plugins For Travel Blogs

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Travel Website Reviews
Travel Links



Responses

  1. Ruann says:


    Twitter:
    Some really great plugins for travel blogs, haven’t even thought about some of them. Thanks!
    Ruann recently posted..African Children: A Photo Essay on Emotions

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. Ben Hanna says:

    Does anyone know what plugin is best (if there is one) that can help me create a hotel listing section (by country and city) for my site? and a submission form for owners to add thier property easily

    any advice would be appreciated

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. Xclamation: Website Design + Development says:

    Here’s a nice simple currency conversion shortcode plugin for WordPress:
    http://www.xclamationdesign.co.uk/free-currency-converter-shortcode-plugin-for-wordpress/

    [Reply to this comment]

  4. Shanes Travels says:


    Twitter:
    I’m just starting my travel blog so this post has given me a few ideas!

    [Reply to this comment]

  5. travel says:

    The plugin puts a mapping tool is on the same page you use to write your post, so there’s no need to go to the Google Maps website.

    [Reply to this comment]

  6. Long Term Nerja Fan says:

    I just thought I’d comment on the calendar plugin. We have a holiday website where amongst other things we have holiday properties available for rental with availability calendars. I tried lots of different calendar plugins, but in the end found that Google Calendar is the easiest to use – its very easy to incorporate into a webpage, and you can add events (we use it to show property rental availability) without having to log in to your blog. You can also share the calendar so other people can add their own events. In short its brilliant.

    [Reply to this comment]

  7. Hotel charme Marrakech says:

    Very good plugins for blog..I was looking for these plug-in and finally got from here..

    [Reply to this comment]

  8. Malta says:

    Currency and Google maps are a must have plugins for any travel blogs. Thanks for shering this, I never thought about the currency plugin!

    [Reply to this comment]

  9. Mike @ renewable energy information says:

    Awesome plug-in list. I can think of a bunch of uses for the Google maps one. Thanks for sharing.

    [Reply to this comment]

  10. Steve says:

    Thx for sharing – the currency plugin is really helpfull!

    [Reply to this comment]

  11. San Jose SEO says:

    Definitely a great list of plugins; I’d have to say Google Maps is my favorite. Saves my visitors a lot of time from having to go on Google Maps and search themselves; it’s all already on my website for them.

    Cheers,
    Eric

    [Reply to this comment]

  12. Esteban Buffagni says:

    Hello from Buenos Aires, just wanted to thank you for the post. I work in the travel business and the information is great.

    [Reply to this comment]

  13. Jim says:

    Nice list!
    What do you think of this blog?
    http://www.thisboundlessworld.com
    not a bad travel blog…
    J

    [Reply to this comment]

  14. Steve Pccebu says:

    Great write up…i was looking for a good google geo mapping system to incorporate into my wordpress travel blog…thanks for the great information!

    [Reply to this comment]

  15. Martin Pekar says:

    Will try them too, thanks.

    [Reply to this comment]

  16. World Travel Nomad says:

    This is an excellent post. I will use many of these plugins for my travel blog that is documenting my trip around the world.

    [Reply to this comment]

  17. Kyle Morgan says:

    Thanks for the recommendations, I’ll be trying out the Organize Your Categories plugin on my site.

    [Reply to this comment]

  18. ilham ali says:

    I did not heard of the plugin “Organize Your Categories”, which will be really useful for me. thanks.

    [Reply to this comment]

  19. Chisinau Hotels says:

    Thats a really and informative posts. I will definetly use the category and google maps plugin.

    Besides these 5 plugins we can use weather plugin to show the weather in certain destinations

    Thanks,
    John

    [Reply to this comment]

  20. Neil says:

    Another good curreny-converter pluggin is CurreX. I use it on my sites. It is much simpler than the one suggested here, and provides much less functionality, but sometimes it is sufficient

    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Stuff Reply:

    Thanks for the suggestion, Neil.

    [Reply to this comment]

  21. onestep4ward.com says:

    thanks for the tips :) im still learning wordpress as i go, its a maze for sure, can’t wait for my website to look awesome!!

    [Reply to this comment]

  22. Barefoot ink. says:

    The travel plug ins are a great tips, thank you. I particularaly like the SEO plug in for photos – I don’t have the time (or the patience) to individually tag and optimise each of the photos on my blog. Like Justin, I’m using the free wordpress interface, but I’m weighing up the options of getting hosting for my site as its starting to grow quickly. Any advice?

    Regards,
    Barefootink.

    [Reply to this comment]

  23. RatesToTravel.info says:

    Great plugins collection, thanks for sharing!

    [Reply to this comment]

  24. Tom Greenwood says:

    That currency converter is fantastic. On Hotels Fairy we’ve got a lot of posts that mention hotel prices and we’ve been banging our heads trying to figure out what to because most of our visitors are split between the UK and US. Now its all taken care of!

    [Reply to this comment]

  25. Liongress says:

    Hi, I found cool flash photo galleries plugin for WordPress. Named GRAND Flash Album Gallery – multi category flash skin based photo gallery with powerful admin. I used it in my blog. There are so many different settings. You can adjust the color scheme for your blog as you wish. There are many different skins. You can present your photo gallery in a wonderful way, there is a full-screen mode. This is a very cool plugin for travle blog.

    [Reply to this comment]

  26. Adam says:

    Thanks for sharing! I hadn’t heard of the Flickr gallery plugin. The one I’d been using wasn’t quite as in-depth as that one.

    Oh and the Folding Categories plugin will definitely come in handy.

    [Reply to this comment]

  27. Stas says:

    I suggest to use free PHP IDE Codelobster PHP Edition with special WordPress plug-in.

    [Reply to this comment]

  28. Heather says:

    I’m getting my travel blog up and running before a four month trip and really appreciate these tips. Can you recommend a good plugin to add a map widget to the sidebar that can show each place I’ve been, after I’ve been there (no set agenda for the trip)? Maybe one that’s linked to my categories so that people can click a pinpoint on the map and go the category for that country??

    Thanks!

    [Reply to this comment]

  29. Hostelio says:

    Great post! That currency conversion plugin makes the whole post worth bookmarking for me, for future reference!

    [Reply to this comment]

  30. Melody Moser says:

    Wow, thanks, this is a great list. I’m just learning WordPress now so this will be very helpful.

    Great blog, by the way!

    [Reply to this comment]

  31. brian says:

    Hi,
    You can get a free wordpress blog with these plugins at triwp.com . For use while traveling!

    Brian

    [Reply to this comment]

  32. Rob @ Travel Affiliate Blog says:

    Thanks for this, very useful. Will certainly be having a go with GEO Mashup and SEO friendly images.

    [Reply to this comment]

  33. Susan says:

    These are great! Thanks for sharing.

    Susan’s last blog post..i’m reminiscing about san francisco

    [Reply to this comment]

  34. The 4 Season Travel Blog says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for a good list. I prefer to list everything in US Dollars, so I will probably not start using the currency converter.

    But Google Maps would be a great addition to the 4 Season Travel Blog! I am sure you will find maps in a lot of my posts in the future!

    So thank you again for giving me some good inspiration for the blog!

    The 4 Season Travel Blog’s last blog post..Travel Pictures from Norway ’s Nature – Fjords and Mountains

    [Reply to this comment]

  35. Torri says:

    Thank you for sharing; really cool tools!

    Torri’s last blog post..Making Traveling with Kids Easier

    [Reply to this comment]

  36. sagar says:

    really awesome plugins for travel blogs. I liked your site. iTS TOO good…

    [Reply to this comment]

  37. web design Brisbane says:

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future. And as a designer, I think you have a pretty nice layout :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  38. Tim Dodwell says:

    This is a really help ful blog, and as a design of a travel blog website user I will take into account these useful plugs ins.

    Ideally I would like to take my site to another level by allowing bloggers to great a world map of locations they have blog about. There are similar things out the web, but there is little or no open source that I can find. I guess one solution is to design my own, yet I fear my web design and programming isnt up to the task yet.

    Can anyone giving me a helping hand.

    Thanks for the article again, keep up the good work.

    Tim Dodwell’s last blog post..Waitomo Caves

    [Reply to this comment]

  39. Spot Cool Stuff says:

    Hey Justin,

    My understanding is that you can add any plugin that’s on the WordPress official site (which Geo Mashup is but which LocalCurrency is not). However, I’ve never used the WordPress-hosted interface myself. Maybe some one else who finds their way to these words could confirm?

    For a good blog like yours, though, you should consider getting a proper host for it. As it happens, we are working on a review of the best hosting companies for WordPress blogs. We’re still going through all the options (there are MANY) but the early favorite is Host Gator:

    http://web.spotcoolstuff.com/host/hostgator

    [Reply to this comment]

  40. Wandering Justin says:

    I’m wondering … does a travel blog need to be self-hosted to use these plug-ins? The Google Map feature would be a nice addition, so I hope I can use it.

    Wandering Justin’s last blog post..The world’s coolest hotel … and one of the coldest!

    [Reply to this comment]

  41. Caroline says:

    Wow. Thanks! I’m in the process of creating my travel blog now and these tips are hugely helpful.

    [Reply to this comment]

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