Gorkana Meets…The Lazy Travelers
Published: Apr 29, 2014
The Lazy Travelers was named “Top 10 Travel Blogs to Watch in 2014” by First Choice and also recently won the 2014 Bloggie Award for Best Travel Weblog.
First, tell us a bit about The Lazy Travelers and what the blog covers.
We are two best friends with budgets and schedules that don't always match up with our extreme levels of wanderlust. Our blog is an attempt to connect with others who can relate, while sharing our own travel experiences in a (hopefully) light-hearted and entertaining way.
Tell us about your audience. What kind of readers and web traffic do you get? What posts tend to be most popular?
We mainly appeal to fellow travelers in their 20s and 30s who are juggling full-time jobs and limited vacation time, and our destination-specific posts are probably our most popular. We have a lot of readers find us while researching their next getaway, so we try to mix our travel anecdotes with helpful advice. Our Style Spotter series also gets a good amount of traffic, and that's great for us because it's always really fun to put together.
What inspired you both to start The Lazy Travelers? What elements of the blog’s content or format make it unique?
We were both working long hours for the same company in New York and feeling really, really unfulfilled. After entertaining a few different creative outlets, we decided to start a blog. Given our shared love of travel, it wasn't hard to pick a topic.
We realized pretty early on that a blog maintained by two best friends is pretty unique in itself—especially two girls who have known each other since they were 12. We have similar writing styles, which helps keep our tone cohesive, but with Ashley living outside of Paris and Carolyn living in Manhattan, we're also able to cover two exciting parts of the world even when we're not traveling.
You’ve been featured in a number of media outlets, including StyleList, HuffPost, BuzzFeed, and Broke Girl’s Guide, and you also just won a Bloggie award (congratulations!). How did you develop your blog into the established, widely read travel info source it is now?
Thank you! We started the blog because we just thought it'd be fun to have a place to write about our travels, and hopefully connect with other travelers. We honestly never imagined the opportunities we would have because of it, or the amazing friends we would make.
We want to say we've worked really hard, because it's true—we definitely have—but it doesn't really feel like work. Seeing that we started it as an escape from a terrible work/life balance, we don't want it to feel like work. If it ever does, then we'll probably have to reassess what we're doing and go back to our roots (i.e. getting inappropriately drunk in random cities around the world).
What have been some of your favorite destinations or travel stories to cover? Have you done any notable blog projects with them?
We're city girls, through and through, and all of our joint blog trips have reflected this. This summer, we met up for two weeks in Eastern & Central Europe for our #LTeuropa campaign. We were named runners-up in Go with Oh's annual blogger writing competition, which earned us a week in one of their Vienna properties. Naturally, we extended it to include Budapest, Bratislava, and Prague, and we worked with more amazing companies, including FlipKey (one of our favorites) and The Four Seasons.
Do you plan to develop or expand your blog to include any new content or features?
We're always adding new features! Right now, we have a weekly armchair travel series called No Travel Required that rounds up our favorite travel reads at the moment, an interview series called Jetsetters highlighting our fellow travelers (many of whom are also bloggers), Laws to Travel By, which is three parts useful and one part just a sassy way of getting our travel aggressions off our chest, and Style Spotter, which is our newest.
What are some of the advertising and PR opportunities you’ve worked with on your blog? How can PR professionals help you develop your blog’s content?
We've been really lucky to collaborate with some amazing brands, and we always make sure they're a good fit for us and our readers. For example, it's not feasible for us to stay exclusively in luxury hotels, so even if we're working with brands, we always make sure that our trips highlight a "high/low mix." We'll usually bookend our getaway with luxury options and stay in an affordable apartment or moderate hotel in between. It's definitely more relatable for people who are saving up for their one big trip a year but aren't really backpackers or aren’t great at sticking to a budget in general.
Along with our travels, we also love showcasing products or companies that help make travel more enjoyable. Planning and going on a trip should never overwhelming, daunting, or stressful, so anything that can help reduce people's anxiety is something we want to share.
Having said all that, we've connected the best with PR professionals who have made sure to read our blog before reaching out and contact us with an angle.
When you’re not working on The Lazy Travelers or jet-setting around the world, what other projects and activities occupy your time?
Carolyn is in the midst of planning a wedding, but she also spends a fair amount of time testing out the craft beer scene on the Upper East Side with her fiancé. She has a full-time job—different and far more rewarding than our last job together, fortunately—but still time-consuming. Ashley is living just outside of Paris in a little French cottage while her husband pursues his MBA. She spends most of her day hanging out with their pug who made the transatlantic journey, dreaming of their return to city life, and working on freelance projects outside of The Lazy Travelers.
We also spend a LOT of time on GChat. Long-distance friendship is time-consuming!