Our Journey Is Coming to an End

Fellow travellers and bloggers, we have some sad news to report. After 20 years of leading the travel blogging revolution, we’ve made the difficult decision to close TravelPod on June 19, 2017.

We realize that this will probably come as a surprise to some, but for others it may seem like a natural development, as the nature of sharing travel experiences continues to evolve in unexpected and exciting ways.

From the start, TravelPod led the way in helping people share their travel experiences with friends, family, and the world. Over TravelPod’s 20-year history, our members logged over 2 million blog entries and shared tens of millions of photos and videos, sharing short road trips, multi-year trips-of-a-lifetime, and everything in between. We’re incredibly proud of TravelPod, and the amazing contribution to connected travel that Luc Levesque made when he founded it in 1997, when travel blogging was new and blogging services were still just an idea. We’re equally proud of the many talented people who helped to make TravelPod the best way to share your journey on the web, whether you were on a laptop, in an internet cafe, or on your tablet or phone.

However, as all great journeys eventually end, we’ve decided the time is right to bring this amazing adventure to a close.

Our top priority is that members are able to back up their blogs, photos, and address books quickly and efficiently, so we have built an easy-to-use tool to do just that. All you have to do is request the backup archive using the tool found on your TravelPod Dashboard, and we will handle the rest. We’ll email you when your archive is ready for download.

The archive consists of a .ZIP file that you just double-click to install a folder on your computer. Inside this folder, you’ll find :

an HTML version of your profile page, including your Address Book. You can link to the other html files in the archive by opening this page in a browser.

an HTML version of each of your travel blogs, viewable locally on your computer in any browser

an XML version of each of your travel blogs specifically designed to upload easily into WordPress, which is a free and excellent blogging platform. (We’ve posted instructions for importing your TravelPod content into WordPress here.)

– within each blog folder, a folder containing all of your photos as they were saved on TravelPod

You can learn more by visiting your Dashboard, or by reading the blog post here.

We have also published an FAQ for quick answers to your questions about the archive tool and more.

 

A community-driven alternative: TravelArk

We would also like to mention that one very dedicated TravelPod member has started a project called TravelArk to create an alternative online copy of travel blogs for members who are interested. In addition to using our backup tool, we recommend you check out the site here: http://www.travelark.org/

Thank you for being a part of our journey and for using TravelPod to share your travels with the world. It was an amazing adventure!

The TravelPod Team

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WordPress Import Intructions

With TravelPod closing, some TravelPod members may wish to move their blogs to an active blogging platform to continue writing or to keep their travel blogs on the web for others to read. While there are many great services out there, the most popular is WordPress.

First, you’ll want to download your TravelPod archive by visiting your TravelPod Dashboard. (See our post about the archive and download process here.) In your archive, you’ll find XML files that can be used to import your blog content into a new blogging platform. These files have been optimized for WordPress.

WordPress offers both a hosted option (which runs on the wordpress.com domain) as well as an easy installer that allows you to run the WordPress software on any Internet Service Provider that supports PHP. On their hosted version, WordPress has both free and paid products, one of which should suit your needs.

The importing of TravelPod blogs to WordPress will be relatively straightforward for someone with medium experience with blogging tools. On WordPress, as with TravelPod, each of your TravelPod trips would become its own separate blog. You can import as many of your trips as you like, by creating a new blog and importing the content to it.

The following instructions should help you get started with your TravelPod content on WordPress.com:

WordPress Import Instructions

First, if you haven’t already, create an account on WordPress.com. You’ll be asked for basic login information and asked to pick a name for your blog and a template. Pick any template you like, you can always change it later.

Next, you’ll see an admin screen similar to this one:

Screenshot 2017-04-25 11.47.44

The “First blog post” is a placeholder post that you can leave alone for the time being. Later, you’ll want to delete it.

 

For importing, go to Settings (lower-left menu option).

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If you click on Import at the top, you’ll see this page, where you can choose which type of import file to use. We have optimized the import file for WordPress, so choose that option by clicking Start Import.

Screenshot 2017-04-25 11.49.24

Now you can either drag the appropriate XML file from your TravelPod archive to the big empty rectangular target area, or just click there to navigate to the file on your hard drive.

Screenshot 2017-04-25 11.49.43

WordPress will recognize your XML file as an import file, and let you know that all content in the blog will be assigned to you. (Since TravelPod blogs only have one author, this should make no difference to you.) Click Start Import again to begin the import process.

Screenshot 2017-04-25 11.51.06

The next step is the longest part of the process, where WordPress imports the file and turns your entries into WordPress posts. It may seem like nothing is happening, but in fact, WordPress is processing your file in the background. When you see the message Finishing up the import, you can go do something else as it processes. WordPress will email you when the import is complete.

Screenshot 2017-04-25 11.51.19

Once you get the confirmation that the import is done, click over to your new blog and check it out. You’ll see that we have included both published entries (now called “posts” in WordPress lingo) as well as drafts, which have been marked as draft in WordPress.

Next, import your images. For technical reasons, we are not able to import images to your WordPress blog from the XML file in the archive. You will need to insert them in your WordPress blog from the Images folder that is part of the archive.

There are many ways to do this, but the fastest way to get started is to upload all of the photos at once to your WordPress Media Library. Go to your blog and click on Media in the left hand column.Screenshot 2017-05-11 14.46.36.png

The photos from your blog are stored within the blog folder in your archive. You can simply drag and drop all of the photos into the Media Library page, and they will automatically start uploading to WordPress. Once there, you can use the WordPress blog post editor to place photos into your blog entries from the Media Library.

A word about videos:

TravelPod saves your videos as flv files, and this format is unfortunately not supported by WordPress.

You can use a third-party tool like Handbrake or Adobe Media Encoder to convert your flv files into a format accepted by WordPress, such as mp4.
Please note that you must pay for a Premium account on WordPress to upload videos to the Media Library. Video uploads are not supported in the Free or Personal plans. You can, however, embed videos from other sites such as YouTube.

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TravelPod’s End of Journey FAQ

If you haven’t heard, TravelPod will be closing on June 19, 2017. Refer to this FAQ to find answers to archive questions and more. We’ll keep this updated as questions come up.

 

How can I save my travel blogs?

We’ve created a tool for you to easily create an archive of all of your blogs, photos, and address book.
Follow the instructions at this link:

 

I paid for Enhanced Membership. Will I be reimbursed?

Yes! We are issuing a refund for any unused portion of current Enhanced Memberships as of May 15, 2017. We will send these refunds via PayPal within one week of this date. If you paid for an Enhanced Membership that is still active, you will receive an email to your PayPal email address notifying you of the credit back from PayPal.

 

I have clicked the “Start Archiving my Blog” button, but I don’t see my archive. What happened?

It takes our servers some time to compile all of your work into one file. We notify you with an email when your archive is ready for download. The email contains a link to your archive.

 

I received the email, and it contained a list of links. Why multiple downloads?

A small number of members have a large amount of content that will not fit into a single ZIP archive, so we have split those archives into several smaller ones. They work just like the normal archives.

 

If I download my blog, how can I keep blogging on a different platform?

We will include two versions of each trip in your archive. One version is a file that ends with “.html” and is great for viewing your blog on any computer. We also included a version of your blog that can be used to import your writing into WordPress, a free and excellent option for blogging. You may also use the file to import to other blogging tools that can read a WordPress import file. We have instructions for importing into WordPress here.

 

Are there any other options for keeping my blogs content online?

Yes! A community-driven archive site called TravelArk can help you preserve your blog online. Visit the following link to learn more: http://www.travelark.org/

 

I received the email with my archive link. Now what?

Most members will see a single big green button that says “Download file,” but members with several large blogs will see a list of download links. (This is due to size restrictions on ZIP files.) Click the link to start downloading an archive and your browser will begin the download process. When it’s complete, locate the .ZIP file in your Downloads folder and open it. It will expand into a folder containing HTML versions of all of your TravelPod blogs that you can view on your computer, a folder containing all of your photos and videos as they appeared on TravelPod, XML versions of your travel blogs (for importing into WordPress), and a file called READ_ME.TXT, which contains instructions for using all of these things.

 

I am on a phone or tablet, how will I get my archive?

We advise you to be very cautious when downloading using a mobile device. Some blog archives can be quite large and unless you are on a free wi-fi network, you may incur charges for downloading such a large file.

Some phones and tablets will download the zip archive, but in most cases you will need to copy it on to a computer to open the archive and view your offline blog.

 

My photos aren’t high resolution like they are on my camera/phone/hard drive

This is because TravelPod saves your photos at a lower resolution. We do not store full resolution photos, but we include the highest resolution photos that were used on TravelPod.com when you uploaded them.

 

I tried uploading my videos to WordPress, but they won’t upload. Why?

TravelPod saves your videos as .flv files, and this format is not supported by WordPress, unfortunately.

You can use a third-party tool like Handbrake or Adobe Media Encoder to convert your flv files into a format accepted by WordPress, such as mp4.

Please note that you must pay for a Premium account on WordPress to upload videos to the Media Library.

 

I want to host my own WordPress site instead of using their hosted solution on WordPress.com. Will my import file work on my WordPress installation?
Yes, it should work fine.

 

I followed the instructions for uploading my blogs to WordPress. It worked, but there are no photos.

For technical reasons, we are not able to create an import file that moves photos from TravelPod onto WordPress. You will need to manually place your photos using the admin tools on WordPress or whichever online blogging tool you may decide to use.

 

I clicked the link and instead of downloading a file I was sent to a page with a list of links.

Some members have created so much content that it cannot be zipped into a single archive file. For those members, we’ve created a page to allow for multiple, smaller archive files to be downloaded.

 

I have a question about my PayPal refund. Who can I talk to?

We can help you if you send an email including your TravelPod member ID to support@travelpod.com.

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TravelPod Archive Instructions

While TravelPod will be closing on June 19, we wanted to make sure you have the ability to save your blogs, photos, and address book to your computer for safekeeping, viewing later, and even importing into a new blogging platform (such as WordPress) if you wish.

Please follow these simple instructions to create and save an archive copy of your blogs that you will download to your computer.

Please note that the TravelPod Archive Utility will be available only up until our closing date of June 19, 2017. While you may create as many archives as you like, you can only create one at a time. Once you have requested an archive, you may make changes to your blog, but those changes may not be present in your downloaded file. You would therefore need to re-create your archive once the first one finishes.

If you have questions, please get in touch at support@travelpod.com.

Instructions:

  1. Sign in to TravelPod at http://www.travelpod.com/dashboard.
    Screenshot 2017-05-16 13.14.52.png
     
  2. Click the big green “Download my blog content!” button. This will take you to the “Archive & Download” page.
    Screenshot 2017-05-16 13.10.16.png
  3. When you are ready to create the download, click the big green button called “Prepare my blog archive.” TravelPod will then begin creating the archive of your blogs. You will not be able to create another archive until the current process has completed.
    Screenshot 2017-05-15 11.48.48
  4. This process may take some time, so we will notify you by email when your archive is ready to download.
  5. In the email notification you receive, you’ll find a link asking you to login to your TravelPod dashboard to download your .zip file to your computer. This link leads to a page with a link to your .zip file. Click it to start the download process.
    Screenshot 2017-05-15 12.04.24
  6. This download can take a while, depending on the number and size of your blogs and the number of photos you have uploaded to TravelPod.
  7. Once you receive the download, which will be a “.ZIP” archive file, find the file on your hard drive and double-click the .ZIP file. This will expand your archive into a folder on your computer containing all of your your content, including your blogs in html format, all of your photos, and XML versions of your blogs that you may use to import into WordPress or another blogging tool of your choice.
    Screenshot 2017-05-15 12.51.17
  8. If you make subsequent changes to your blogs after creating your archive, you may go back to “Archive & Download” and create a new one by clicking the “Prepare my blog archive” button again. You can do this as many times as you need to up until our closing date. However, once one archive has been requested, you’ll need to wait until it is finished to start another.
  9. Double-click on the file that looks like [memberid].profile.html to start browsing your trips within the archive.

Once you’ve downloaded your archive, you can either keep it on your computer or you may choose to import the blog into WordPress, using the XML versions of your blogs. We have created a set of instructions for how to get started on WordPress here.

Alternatively, you can check out the TravelArk project, founded by a TravelPod super-fan, which will save an online copy of your blog in a different location. This is not a TravelPod project and is supported by the travel blogging community. For more info, see http://www.travelark.org.

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