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We always try to travel slowly and off the beaten tourist paths to see more of the country and especially its people. “Live like a local” is the name of the game. Tobi & Marcel, Home is where your Bag is

Interview with Tobi & Marcel from Home is where your Bag is
What should your visitors be expecting while researching your blog?
Marcel: Since we are a Southeast Asia blog in the first place, they will obviously find many interesting topics about these countries. If you love beautiful islands with gorgeous beaches, you can be sure to find loads of them on our blog. We don’t only provide travel reports, we also try to help the reader when it comes to how to get to these places and what you should do or see there, accommodations, transportation, food etc. So it’s not only about entertainment but also solving problems. When it comes to the entertainment part, we often create travel videos with our GoPro cams and make short films about the best places we visited.
Be it good or bad, which Asian city/town left you the deepest impression? And why?
Tobi: It’s kind of a cliché, but it was a digital nomad hotspot. Chiang Mai. The city has everything except a beach. That’s why I left at the end. In Chiang Mai you can find everything – nice cafés and co-working spaces to work on your blog, lots of temples, markets, festivals etc. There is so much to explore and even the month I stayed there wasn’t enough and I’m coming back. Beside the digital nomad scene, it’s also a hotspot for backpackers, so if you want to meet new people that’s the place to be. I’m a beach lover, which means at the end I had to go somewhere else, but as a city is Chiang Mai in my opinion just perfect.
What is your definition of an ideal/perfect holiday?
Marcel: Try to be unique. Don’t just start a blog, make your thoughts first and think about what will make the reader come to YOUR blog. What are your goals and what do you offer to your readers that other blogs don’t have? A blog is basically a brand and it should be treated like that. A nice and consistent corporate design is important in my opinion, but you and your personality, your writing style etc. can also be crucial. Communicate with your readers, answer every single email and question and build your fanbase. Without all this, your blog will be just another little one in the huge blogosphere.
What advice would you give to other travellers who will be starting their own blog?
Marcel: Well, as trivial as this might sound like: There should be a beach! For us, it’s always about nice places with amazing beaches. New experiences and meeting nice people is also important. Especially when you meet some awesome people, it can make your holiday unforgettable. You probably will remember these moments and people more than only the sightseeing parts.
What do you wish to see more or less of the travel blogging community?
Marcel: I love these HD aerial videos taken with drones. I know it’s probably not easy for a traveler carrying around such a huge box with a drone inside PLUS their luggage. For me personally, that would be way too much. This is why I like to enjoy these videos from other travel bloggers and hope to see more and more this year 😉
Editor Review of Home is where your Bag is

Home is where your Bag is – a strange name for a website, but a well-designed and good said sentence.

This is a blog developed and maintained by two German guys, Tobi and Marcel, who had an idea of round-the-world trip, which was planned from January 2013 to end of July 2013, but this changed when they embarked on Southeast Asia and Australia/Oceania, where they got fascinated by the culture, beautiful scenery, and nature.

With the new idea, the guys went on exploring this corner of the Earth happily, and go for this creative blog name with the mission to give the best info and insider tips on the countries they visited. Tobi & Marcel are true Digital Nomads now, and they cover lot of the world, with their travels, since the “travel bug bit them”. With an average of 30,000 visitors in a month, they obviously give some good tips; let’s see how they did it in our review.

Visual Appeal – 84%

The first thing that you see when the site loads up (at medium speed) a yellow menu beneath the dark grey header, and a lovely quick slider which shows you 3 featured items: 25 things to do on the Gili Islands, 20 things you should do in Bangkok, and 15 things you should see on Lombok. Interesting and catchy, since there is not a big loop, and it switches fast to keep the attention.

Many of the photos used are wide angled, with retouched colors and 200 ISO range, f/10 aperture, with good distortion corrections. Some would prefer different touch, but to the average visitors they look lovely.
The site is maintained and developed firmly. WordPress installation with a nice and responsive theme is an industry standard. There are some slight problems in the footer with Deutsch and English versions of the site, but a casual reload of the site can solve this easily.

Originality – 88%

There are hundreds of big blogs in this sphere covering mainly Southeast Asia. Tobi and Marcel diversify their site by good looking design, and nice color combination. Good placing and interesting categories are well implemented. When you land on Home is where Your Bag Is, you can find travel advice, financial tips for saving money, planning trips, packing, and accommodation. Health, insurance and transportation tag along in this section. There are also separate photo and video sections, as well as Ask a traveler section, like Reditt’s AMA. Good and original ideas implemented in blog, well done.

Practical Tips – 72%

Lots of useful information on this blog are implemented, but there are several “under construction” sections, like “insurance”, “Ask a Traveler” and “Digital Nomads”.

This ideas are really good, and different and when implemented well, could mean difference and uniqueness. To have useful information about the place, inside info, proven tips & tricks and smart advice will give lots of value to the reader. And in this case, those categories just need to be written and published.

Web Usability – 86%

Bright white background and thin font used on this site work. If your device has a contrast setting on the high side, readability can be a bit tougher and eye tiring. Mobile responsiveness is well optimized, and maintained well. Good work is done also on navigational panel, in famous “hamburger” menu. Images are well optimized for every device, which is a bonus point.

Summary

With an interesting name, and good design, Home is where Your Bag is can be a good source for readers looking for fresh travel ideas. There are rooms for improvement, and for the writing part, the guys need to fill their categories with content. And they owe it to their visitors.

    Media Feature on

  • Travelbook Blogstars
  • Reiseblogger Kodex

Average Score of Home is where your Bag is – 82.5%

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Visual Appeal

  • Photography 82%
  • Website Design 86%

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Originality

  • Uniqueness 86%
  • Creativeness 90%

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Practical Tips

  • Usefulness 70%
  • Inspiration 74%

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Ease of Navigation

  • Readability 85%
  • Ease of Navigation 87%