Is the NATJA Conference Worth it For Travel Bloggers?

I'm not going to lie, I joined NATJA primarily because their 2019 conference was located within driving distance from me- not because of the organization, not because of any other member benefits, it was purely out of the convenience I have in getting to Syracuse (2019's host city).

My decision to do this came in 2018 when I quit my job to blog full-time. Around that time I made a conscious decision to start attending new conferences, because at a certain point if I want to grow I need to get outside of my comfort/knowledge zone to learn new topics and meet new people. (I like conferences like TBEX and Travelcon just fine, but I found myself only attending these for the networking opportunities- not the sessions.)

As such, I figured it was time to broaden my horizons when it came to conferences to see if I could get more out of the industry at large. The first was IMM in NYC, and now NATJA (the North American Travel Journalists Association) for their annual conference.

While I did not get anything at all out of the sessions (sadly), I have to say, it was a pretty nice trip all the same.

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5 of Our Favorite Napa and Sonoma Wineries to Visit

In a previous article, we broke down the differences between Napa and Sonoma to give broad views on these two rather unique winemaking regions.

In it, we loosely mentioned some of the vineyards we checked out during our first trip to the area, but spent most of the article speaking in generalities about the regions as a whole.

Today, we wanted to dive into the Napa Valley wineries and Sonoma wineries themselves, and highlight a few that stood out to us as being must visits!

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Tips to Improve Page Speed Insights Scores with a GeneratePress Theme

If you're like me, you're probably obsessive about your site speed. It doesn't matter the service, I want to do whatever I can to get the best possible scores, load times, and ratings- even if some don't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Out of all of the services that are out there, one that is the holy grail is Google's Page Speed Insights (PSI) as it is one of the few tools provided by the search giant that gives clues on how website owners can improve. (Plus non-Google tools like WebpageTest at GTMetrix to round out further analyses.)

Naturally, we latched on to it and made it our quest to top out in the highest category on our sites.

Unfortunately, our site on our old theme (Elegant Themes) only took us so far, and we knew it was time to upgrade. We switched to GeneratePress, made some customizations, and both our desktop and mobile scores jumped (with mobile scores in the high 80s and desktop flirting with 100 most days).

Today, I wanted to share the techniques I used to make this happen as it won't come out of the box.

Note: Before we begin it is worth pointing out that at the end of the day site speed is king. Google PSI scores are mainly a suggestion. Although we're in the weeds with it you can have a fast site without a high score, and no one is really certain if a high score provides an SEO benefit like a fast site. Our interest in this is purely because we can optimize it over a more practical reason. This could change in the future and we'll update accordingly.

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Napa or Sonoma? Find Out Which California Wine Region is Right For You

When planning a trip to enjoy Napa Valley wineries or Sonoma wineries, it is very easy to get a bit of planning paralysis. 

By some estimates there are well over 400 vineyards in the bay area, with the bulk centered around these two popular regions thanks to their unique terroir that results in delicious wines.

But odds are good you won't be able to make a dent in the 400+ vineyards when you visit. In fact, depending on your trip length you may find it hard to hit more than 10 or so in a couple of days.

So how do you pick where to go on a short visit? In this one we want to break down our thoughts in the big picture of comparing Napa Valley or Sonoma (and give a few of our favorite vineyards in each).

Note: We drove around Napa from North to South, but in Sonoma stuck mostly around the Russian River Valley portion. The below summaries are anecdotal based on our own experiences at about 10 vineyards between the two locations only and may not be true for every vineyard. Please keep this in mind when reading as some points are simply limited generalizations.

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