11 Best Travel Blogs
The web is a vast wasteland of -let’s face it- opinions you just don’t care about. We, of which there is actually one of, have only your best interests in mind and present 11 of the best travel oriented blogs out there plus a few other resources to quell your wanderlust.
A note about selection: These sites aim to inform about general travel news, no matter the location. Most are multi-author (though not a requirement) and have an independent component to them. While there are many fantastic narrative/photo style blogs being maintained by 1 or 2 people on the road, and locale specific offerings, those aren’t what we are after here.
- Brave New Traveler
- World Hum
- Geeky Traveller
- The Traveller’s Notebook
- Intelligent Travel
- Viator Travel Blog
- Working Nomad
Motto: “Pop Culture Travel Guide”
Want to know where Angelina Jolie will be adopting her next child? This blog is your … ermm … blog.
Posts are often more than a little irrelevant to travel and the sheer number of posts makes it daunting to find articles you actually want to read. This one is geared towards fans of celebrity gossip blogs with a passing interest in hard-core travel.
10. Working Nomad
Motto: “Working remotely over the web and traveling around the world.”
So, some guy creates some websites, puts up some ads, and makes enough to travel around without a permanent home. We all want to follow, so hoards of people visit the site to learn how, enabling said guy to earn even more.
A weird sort of circular existence is born for Working Nomad, and you can even buy the PDF “How I did it.” For US $18. That’s all there is to it. $10,000/month off 5 web sites.
Of course, it’s not as easy as that and, as of late, site posts number a few per month as the author settles out of the lifestyle. Plus, I just don’t think I’m interested in articles about selling 500 copies of an e-book (but maybe if I was selling my own e-book?).
This is an early example of an enviable class of people who live in no permanent abode and generate income via online ventures. Check out a list of such people at Location Independent. Certainly, for those aspiring to follow, there is good stuff here and it is commendable what has been accomplished. Forums are an added bonus and a good place for beginners with questions.
This one is Rolf Potts’ travel blog and online advertisement of his book of the same name (which I have not read).
The site’s links dizzyingly bounce back and forth from Vagabonding to Rolf’s personal homepage where you can find useful advice about travel writing.
Various writers update his blog once a day, many of whom can be found on other sites in this list as well.
The site is a little narcissistic, but, hey, gotta make a living somehow. I’m not sure I completely trust someone who refers to his or her own story as a “gonzo classic.” Blog posts are generally well informed, though the design needs an update.
8. Viator Travel Blog
Motto: “Travel inspiration, advice & recommendations.”
Viator is a new one to me, but fast rising on my list due to the quality of the posts. Actually, the blog is an offshoot of a commercial travel agent website.
Don’t let that fool you though. Posts are not geared at selling anything and instead focus on quality pieces. Stories are in-depth, such as their ‘Suggested Itineraries’ series. They are even sponsoring a team on the Mongol Rally, an overland race from England to Mongolia!
Motto: “go there.”
In the quality vs. quantity argument, Gadling is definitely the quantity (second only to Jaunted). The AOL Weblogs blog is written by an ever-changing group of bloggers who sometimes have dubious journalistic qualifications (but, hey, who am I to talk?). The articles often are a rehash of other travel related news, meaning if you have to choose just one, this is it.
Articles rarely break the five-paragraph barrier. So while things are served in bit-sized, easily consumed chunks, sometimes you are left wanting a little more.
At any given time, Gadling features a number of ‘Writers on the Road’ in a number of recurring series and these are usually the best posts. Currently, Matthew Firestone’s Big in Japan keeps you updated about the latest in the Land of the Rising Sun; Kelsey Mulyk’s No Wrong Turns chronicles a road trip from Calgary, Canada to (hopefully) Tierra del Fuego, the tip of South America, in a ’91 VW Golf; and in the latest addition, The Cockpit Chronicles, Kent Wien offers tales from the front end of a commercial jet.
For me, my once favorite travel news site has become the Paris Hilton of travel blogs: I love to hate on it. Since I read a lot of other sites, a high percentage of their stories I have already read by the time they hit Gadling. Yet, I keep coming back because there is always that story that falls through the cracks.
Posts are a mixed bag. Mediocre entries (not to mention obvious flame bait) could easily be transformed into much more engaging articles if only a little more time was put into their construction.
That said, it would be incredibly cool to write for them and actually try to make good on my critiques.
6. Intelligent Travel
Motto: “The blog about sustainable and authentic travel.”
The good folks at National Geographic Traveler have expanded their horizons with this blog format site.
Green travel is all the rage these days, and this one can fill your environmental friendly needs (yeah, save paper and get your news online).
This travel blog and award winner is Gadling (above) done right. Featured travel photos and well quoted commentary on the latest travel news, you can really see the difference of professional vs amateur writing styles when compared to other blogs.
Negative points for hosting on Typepad, though. Come on, National Geographic can’t afford a proper URL? This one is relatively young and I suspect, as it gets more popular, we will see changes.
5. The Traveler’s Notebook
Motto: “Expert travel from the Matador Community.”
Kudos to The Traveler’s Notebook, like BNT a branch of the Matador travel community, for soliciting and publishing paid travel articles. It’s nice of them to give back a little to the readers, an in the process generate some extremely well-written articles.
They have carefully selected interest specific categories of Destination Guides, How To, Photography Q & A, Podcasts, Top 10 Tips, and Travel and Adventure Jobs.
Articles are culled via Matador’s Bounty Board, a great resource for aspiring travel writers. If they responded. From my several inquires I have had absolutely no response.
UPDATE: They have in fact returned an inquiry and I have written an article for submission. We’ll see how it goes….
4. Geeky Traveller
Motto: “Gadgets, tools, and tips for geeks who love to travel, and travelers who are geeks.”
Enter Geeky Traveller, combing both the love of gadgets and travel into one lovely place. I guess it doesn’t quite fit the theme here, but who cares since it’s a way cool site.
3. World Hum
Motto: “Travel Dispatches from a Shrinking Planet.”
Named after the rush one feels when traveling, World Hum is another polished offering with articles of a professional caliber.
Articles tend to be a bit longer and in-depth than your usual travel blog. ‘Nuff said.
Motto: “Travelzine for Today’s Vagabond.”
I know what you are thinking… “Why, yes, I am ‘today’s vagabond’ and ‘travelzine’ sounds hip. I am hip.”
Right you are, hipster, this is an elegant looking blog chuck full of relevant content in the same vain as Brave New Traveler.
Content is divided into Features, cornerstone articles that serve as the core of the site; News and Sidelines, briefer posts; and Dispatches, articles of a narrative nature about place.
See for yourself with such selections as Seven Days on a Train: How to Keep Busy on the Trans-Siberian Railway.
1. Brave New Traveler
Motto: “We publish thoughtful and entertaining articles exploring travel in the 21st century.”
What makes this blog stand above the rest is not it’s snazzy look, but it’s original content. Many blogs (we are all guilty of it) post like your mom cooks, dishing up last night’s sloppy joe leftovers in a different form. Not BNT… these articles don’t regurgitate travel news from the blogosphere but offer *gasp* content you can’t get elsewhere!
In addition, BNT offers tips and hints for the aspiring travel writer, like 50+ Travel Magazines That Want To Publish Your Writing and 6 Steps To Succeed As A Travel Writer Abroad.
Add this one to your RSS reader. Prolific travel blog writer Tim Patterson is co-editor.
The Big Guys
Don’t forget our corporate overlords. Their articles are sterile and polished, politically correct in that Associated Press cookie cutter kinda way. You will like their content, but feel a little dirty after reading.
Another overlooked resource for great travel blogging is online travel blogging communities. These communities offer a free place for today’s rucksack wanderers to post pictures and stories while on the road. It’s the Blogger platform reinvented in genre specific ways. Peruse at your own leisure.
So there you have it! Some of the best, and a few of the not so best, travel blogs available. Missing your favorite blog? Please leave a comment and maybe we can add it!
Polaroid is from flickr user Brainless Angel.