Charlotte Plans a Trip | Looking back at one year of blogging!

Time to celebrate! On June 2, it was the first anniversary for Charlotte Plans a Trip! In this blog, Ries and I will look back at one year of blogging!

It feels like yesterday when we sailed the Amsterdam canals with our friends Lester and Jeremy and popped champagne because our new website went live. After two months of hard work, a lot of late hours and little time for friends and family, we finally launched Charlotte Plans a Trip on June 2, 2018.

However, this was not our first time having a blog. Using the name Travel Planners we had been blogging for quite a while already, keeping our friends and family informed during our first trip around the world. All articles that were on our previous website are also on this one (just search far back ;-)). The reason we got a new name? Travel Planners was also a travel agency in Pakistan … not very handy. Eventually, we came up with the name Charlotte Plans a Trip, after which many people thought that Ries was not part of this website. Nothing could be further from the truth, Ries and I are both working on this website, however, I write all the articles, so it is ‘my voice’ that you hear.Charlotte Plans A Trip


The days before launching this website, I hinted on social media that something big was coming (I thought that was really cool to do), after which a lot of people asked if we got engaged or were moving abroad … I think I set the expectations a little too high!

But that was certainly not the only thing we learned this year. For example, I crashed our website quite often (after which Hans Wassink from Wavelabs had to help me again). I knew nothing about SEO (luckily nowadays I know a bit more) and had no idea how to do business or how to deal with collaborations. Thanks to other bloggers such as Sabine from Oh My Foodness and Karlijn from Karlijn Travels, and sparring sessions with colleagues, friends and family, we started to learn and develop little by little.

English blogs

The change to writing bilingual was sometimes difficult too. I am Dutch myself and even though my English is ok, I am not a native speaker. When I started translating our blogs, I sometimes got pretty disappointed since I wanted everything to be perfect, but just wasn’t skilled enough to see my own spelling errors. That’s why I sometimes gave myself a hard time because blogs with spelling mistakes were not ‘good and professional enough’.

Now I try to let go of these feelings a little more and hopefully my English will progress more and more! By the way, a huge thank you to good friend Erik, who at times when I really have to provide a flawless English text, is so sweet to edit the blog!Charlotte Plans a Trip

My own writing style and doubts

In the past year, I developed my own writing style: long, extensive and with too many superlatives … ;-). Writing concise and short simply does not occur in my vocabulary and when I am enthusiastic about something I have a tendency to express that.

It was sometimes more difficult to keep the balance between my normal job, working on this blog and taking time to just relax and do nothing. In the past year, it has happened several times that Ries had to scold me for not taking enough rest. Writing is 95% of the time fun and a way to relax for me, but sometimes it just takes a lot of energy.

And finally, both Ries and I had to learn to deal with doubts and the question “What would other people think about this?”. At some moments Ries just didn’t find any motivation. Then it was my job to give us a good boost and energy. Other times I had a hard time writing down very personal things and knowing that everyone would have an opinion about this. Luckily we do this together and at those moments, Ries could tell me that if people didn’t like our blog, they should simply stop reading it!Belize Caye Caulker

Stats and facts

Ha, and now it’s time for my favourite part, statistics! I secretly remain a terrible nerd.

Number of blogs written last year: 202

Of which English blogs: 107 (I also started translating some older articles)

The average number of revisions before a blog is published: 8, that seems a lot, but I usually write four blogs at the same time (just like I read four books at the same time). Every time I open a blog and continue working on it, it is counted as a revision.

The average number of hours it takes to write a blog: 10, yes that sounds a lot. However take in mind that my blogs are long, should be checked for spelling and then translated.

Best read blog: “Packing list: What is in my backpack and what is not?“. Soon there will be a new blog with our packing list for Africa!

My favourite blog:Charlotte, will you marry me?” The most personal blog I ever wrote.

The number of countries visited last year: 10; Morocco, Spain (Andalusia), Switzerland, Guatemala, Belize, United Kingdom (Scotland 2x), Italy (Naples), France (Paris), Finland (Lapland), Belgium (Ardennes), Madagascar.

The Number of nights in a strange bed: 64, this might sound a bit weird, but of course I mean just sleeping in a hotel/campervan/ at friends abroad!Marokko Merzouga desert camp

Other facts

  • On 9 May, three weeks before Charlotte Plans a Trip went online, I registered with the Chamber of Commerce. Not that I earned anything at the time, but I just wanted to be well prepared!
  • Did you know that you can also read my blogs in chronological order? Click on the “recent blogs” heading on the homepage and there you will find all my blogs in chronological order.
  • I received my first hate mail this year! Yes, you know who you are and hereby are your 10 seconds of attention. But I had a good laugh with it, so thank you!
  • Did you know that each (Dutch) blog is first read by one of my parents? I sometimes make spelling mistakes and they try to hammer them out! Sweet of them, don’t you think?

Charlotte Plans a Trip KVK

Guest blogs and interviews

In the past year, we have also been interviewed a number of times or wrote guest blogs for other blogs. Here you will find all these articles:

↠ Interview with Get Croissant
↠ Interview with ABN AMRO
↠ Interview with Travel Junk
↠ Interview with Azamara Club Cruises
↠ Gastblog on the website of Circum Navigate
↠ Gastblog on the website of Spaceships UK
↠ Gastblog on the website of Reismeisje

All in all it was a good year. We have learned a lot and we are very proud of where we are now. And now off to the second year! With a lot of trips planned and hopefully also a lot of blogs.

Love, Charlotte and Ries

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