Travel Blog WordPress Plugins (12 Best Picks of 2020)

Travel Blog WordPress Plugins (12 Best Picks of 2020)

When creating travel WordPress blogs, you need to handpick every plugin you install.

WordPress plugins are there to enhance the user experience with minimal effort. You can create stunning image galleries, build eye-catching opt-in forms, improve loading speed — without ever touching code. 

Without further ado, let’s talk about the top plugins for WordPress travel blogs. 

These are the best WordPress plugins for Travel blogs:

1. Divi 

Let me tell you an interesting fact. 

Even the biggest travel blogs on the web right now weren’t knowledgeable website developers when they started out. 

If you want to build a captivating blog fast, you can use drag-and-drop page builders like Divi by Elegant Themes.

Divi lets you set up professional-looking landing pages, homepages, and custom posts using a WYSIWYG editor. That’s short for “What You See is What You Get.”

Since the page’s preview is updated in real time, you can check your progress as soon as you make changes. 

To speed up the design process, Divi comes with a bunch of layouts for niches like food, lifestyle, and business. These layouts are highly customizable, with a powerful “Transform” tool that lets you adjust images in 3D. 

Keep in mind that Divi and a few other plugins in this list are accessible via an Elegant Themes membership. 

Learn more about the benefits of an Elegant Themes membership here

Quick features list:

  • Ready-to-use layouts
  • Unique transform tool
  • Custom CSS control
  • Pre-built website elements
  • Shape dividers
  • In-depth fonts and text styling
  • Animations

2. Bloom

Bloom is another plugin created by Elegant Themes. 

I’ve seen a lot of opt-in form builders as a blogger for over a decade. With that said, I think I’m qualified to say that Bloom creates some of the best-looking signup forms around. 

Screenshot here

Bloom supports six display types for opt-in forms:

  • Automatic Opt-In Pop-Ups — To make sure readers see your opt-in form, you can use bloom to present it as a pop-up. You can set it to appear when readers reach the bottom or after performing a specific action to maintain engagement. 
  • Automatic Opt-In Fly-Ins — Just like automatic pop-ups, fly-ins are also designed to grab the reader’s attention. The only difference is, they don’t appear at the center of the screen to help visitors focus on your content. 
  • In-line Opt-In Forms — An in-line opt-in form can be placed anywhere within your WordPress post. Use this to strategically place your opt-in form, like after building up your value proposition within the content. 
  • Below Content Opt-In Forms — If a visitor finishes reading a post, there’s a good chance they’re satisfied and impressed with your work. An opt-in form at the bottom can convince them to sign up for more content updates. 
  • Widget Area Opt-In Forms — Sometimes, you just need a straightforward, traditional approach when positioning opt-in forms. Bloom lets you create form boxes within the widget areas of your WordPress blog. 
  • Require Opt-In to Unlock Content — Are you confident in the quality and value of your travel blog’s content? You can use Bloom to create “gated” posts, which requires readers to sign up in order to unlock them. 

Quick features list: 

  • Six different display types for opt-in forms
  • Advanced conditions for pop-ups and fly-ins
  • Integrations with 19 third-party marketing services 
  • 100+ fully customizable templates

3. Genesis Author Pro

A lot of travel bloggers make their fortune by publishing and selling their very own books. 

If you plan to go the same route, you can use Genesis Author Pro to showcase your published works. It lets you create a custom post that contains details like price, ISBN, available editions, publishing date, and more. 

Take note that Genesis Author Pro must be paired with a Genesis child theme to work. While StudioPress offers a tailor-made theme with the same name, the plugin is compatible with all HTML5 Genesis child themes. 

Click here to learn more about StudioPress and why I recommend it to new bloggers

Quick features list:

  • Feature a book from your library into a widget area
  • User-friendly interface
  • Taxonomies for authors, series, and tags

4. Geo Mashup

Geo Mashup is a simple, lightweight plugin that lets you compile information on your previously-visited destinations. 

The plugin pulls map data from Google Maps, Leaflet, or OpenLayers then integrates interactive elements for your users. Marked locations can be tied to a specific post or page in your WordPress blog. 

This lets you provide visitors with a fun way to check out the places you’ve visited. 

Did I mention that Geo Mashup is an open source plugin that can be used for free?

Quick features list: 

  • Geo Search widget lets users search for content near a location
  • Acquire map data from Google Maps, OpenLayers, or Leaflet
  • Easily insert a map to any post or page via shortcode

5. Travelers’ Map

Just like Geo Mashup, Travelers’ Map lets you present your blog posts as markers on an interactive map. 

What makes it different is the visual map’s customization settings. With Travelers’ Map, you can change the appearance of your map using OpenStreetMap tiles. 

Of course, the exact steps in creating and geolocating your posts are also different from Geo Mashup’s.

Fun fact: Travelers’ Map is created by Camille V — a travel blogger. Do note that she wasn’t included in my top travel bloggers list because her blog is in French. 

She has a cool blog design, though. 

Quick features list: 

  • Customize your map’s appearance using OpenStreetMap tiles
  • Built-in search module to help readers find posts on specific locations
  • Easily add posts by clicking on the map
  • Customizable markers

6. Photo Gallery by 10Web

As a travel blogger, you need to learn how to weave high-resolution images into your content strategy. 

Let’s face it, it’s extremely difficult to be an online storyteller using only words. This is especially true if want to describe your outdoor experiences and the locations you’ve visited. 

While the WordPress editor makes embedding images easy, there’s a more aesthetic way to show off your travel photos.  

I’m talking about image galleries. 

Photo Gallery by 10Web is one of the most popular gallery plugins you can use right now. It allows you to display your travel photos using several gallery views, including carousel, mosaic, masonry, and thumbnails. 

The design factor is just one of the many strengths of Photo Gallery by 10Web. You can also insert videos into galleries, bulk import images from Instagram, sell products seamlessly, and more. 

Quick features list: 

  • Beginner-friendly, drag-and-drop interface 
  • Galleries are designed with mobile-responsiveness in mind
  • Modify lightboxes with 15 transition effects
  • Gallery groups and tags
  • Protect your images with a watermark
  • Instagram integration
  • eCommerce store extension

7. Social Snap

You know what goes well with an image library on your travel blog?

On-image sharing buttons. 

Social Snap can help you with that. It lets you add awesome social media sharing buttons virtually anywhere on your blog.

Why do travel bloggers need social media sharing buttons? Simple: it lets you leverage the power of social media for traffic generation and brand building.

This is recommended for bloggers who want to capture and share a lot of travel photos on their blog.

With Social Snap, readers can easily share your posts on major social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also add share button overlays on images, which are proven to spark social media engagement.

Quick features list:

  • Insert sharing buttons anywhere via shortcode
  • Create a floating sidebar with social sharing buttons
  • Create a sticky bar that follows readers as they scroll
  • Use a page view counter to show how popular posts are on social media
  • Free widget to feature your top-performing posts
  • Over 30 social sharing networks 

8. Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed

While Social Snap enables the sharing of your content on social media, Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed does the opposite. 

Imagine you’re on the road — passing by dozens of Instagram-worthy photo opportunities. Wouldn’t it be great if your blog readers get to see your snaps as you take them? 

Long story short, this plugin lets you display your Instagram posts on your blog. 

Photos are uploaded to your feed as soon as you post them on Instagram. You may link multiple accounts to the same feed or their own separate feeds. 

Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed also gives you complete control over the appearance of your feed. You can customize its width, height, columns, image sizes, background color, and so on. 

If you want, you can also add a convenient “Follow on Instagram” button to win followers along the way. 

Quick features list: 

  • Create multiple Instagram feeds from multiple Instagram accounts
  • Infinite “Load More” button
  • Create a custom header for your Instagram feed
  • Fully customizable feed 

9. Smush 

Alright, we’ve talked about a lot of plugins that can spice up your travel blog with stunning visuals. 

However, you shouldn’t forget that visual content, including images and videos, can slow your site down. This results in poor user experience, which leads to annoyed users, low traffic, and subpar profitability. 

Smush, formerly known as Smush It, is a plugin that can prevent all that. It’s packed with features to make sure images won’t impact your website’s performance. 

Lossless image compression, for example, shrinks your images’ file sizes without any noticeable effects on quality. You can use this feature to optimize your entire media library through the “Bulk Smush” tool. 

Smush also allows you to implement lazy loading, which is a smart strategy that defers the loading of images off-screen. This means your website will load the images readers will see first — not all at once.  

Quick features list:

  • Automatic optimization compresses images as you upload them to WordPress
  • Optimize all your images with one click — 50 images tops with the free version
  • Smush Pro subscription grants a free CDN or Content Delivery Network service
  • Easily implement lazy loading
  • Convert PNG images into JPEG

10. WP Rocket

WP Rocket is undoubtedly one of the best performance optimization plugins of all time. 

Why, you ask? 

It’s not rocket science — no pun intended. 

WP Rocket has a comprehensive toolbox full of features to fine-tune your website’s performance. This includes the following: 

  • GZIP compression
  • Lazy loading
  • Database optimization
  • Code minification
  • Browser caching
  • Defer JS loading

I know — these terms may sound technical to WordPress beginners. The good news is, WP Rocket completely removes the technical side of these optimizations. 

You don’t need web development or coding knowledge to implement WP Rocket’s features. Just follow the prompts shown to you during the configuration process and you’re good to go. 

Quick features list:

  • Beginner-friendly 
  • Page and browser caching
  • Database optimization
  • Google Fonts optimization
  • GZIP compression
  • Lazy loading
  • Sitemap preloading
  • Compatible with CloudFlare

11. The Events Calendar

A handful of travel bloggers have made it their mission to organize events that readers can participate in. 

How amazing will it be if you can go on a camping or hiking adventure with your loyal readers? 

The Events Calendar can help you organize these events and announce them to your blog audience. You can easily create events using the visual interface, integrate Google Maps, display upcoming events through a widget, and more. 

The base version of The Events Calendar is free and can be downloaded straight from your WordPress dashboard. This has all the basic features you need to have an interactive calendar on your travel blog. 

Quick features list:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Google Maps integration
  • Quick event search feature
  • Multiple views for your events
  • Highlight featured events
  • Upcoming events widget
  • Schedule recurring events

12. LinkWhisper 

This next plugin is something I would recommend travel bloggers who’ve had their sites for a while.

Let me just tell you three words: internal link structure?

Don’t know what that means? Then you probably need LinkWhisper.

Put simply, it’s an incredibly handy plugin that scans your website for juicy internal linking opportunities. It can present you with internal link suggestions, find “orphaned posts” without any links, and so on. 

You can learn more about internal links by reading my in-depth internal linking guide

Quick features list:

  • Find orphaned content 
  • Easy-to-use configuration page
  • Quickly look for old posts that need internal links


Ready to piece together your travel blog?

Whatever happens, don’t forget to install one plugin at a time and assess your website’s performance per installation. Doing so will make sure your travel blog runs as smooth as butter.

To help you with this, I’ve included a few useful links about WordPress performance and plugins below. Also, don’t hesitate to leave a comment for any question, opinion, or feedback — I’ll surely appreciate them.

Good luck!

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