10 Cool Travel Blogs to Check Out
I don’t usually make ‘top 10′ lists, but I had to stop somewhere. This post is a collection of my favorite travel bloggers and their websites. I felt I should share these with my readers, this is actually a legitimate list of blogs that I read, not a generic ‘Nomadic Matt’ ‘Y Travel Blog’ ‘Everything-Everywhere’ list of the most popular ones. This is not a popularity contest, all these blogs are handpicked for quality content and character, regardless of their luck in the social media scene. These authors are creative, down to earth, super-cool and not afraid to express themselves.
A lot of travel bloggers have started to become boring of late, instead of great, candid travel stories and true expressions of adventure, the scene has become some sort of battle for travel ‘authority’ online. Some bloggers are afraid to do anything out of the box and religiously stick to travel blogging ‘community guidelines’ like a bunch of squares, the following bloggers don’t follow any guidelines.
I emailed all of them asking if I could use one or two of their photos in this post, but I didn’t say which, some of the photos I used may come as a surprise, it may be an even bigger surprise to some of them, because I didn’t get a reply but used the photos anyway.
Paul Dow, the British editor of the extremely well-kept and polished website TravMonkey, is one of the coolest and most vocal characters in the business at the moment. Paul recently caused a stir with his response to when a square tnooz writer criticised the travel blogging calendars. Tnooz labelled the creative calendars as ‘jaw dropping madness’, thankfully, the Tnooz writer isn’t a qualified psychiatrist, it turns out Paul is right, we’re all sane and the travel blogging calendars are a great idea.
Back in June, Paul got a little tired of a lot of blogs being positive and biased all the time, and called out for some travel blogging innovation, he promptly released his own example of innovation and came out with the WorldTravelist website. WordTravelist is a great site both for bloggers to share and readers to discover the best of the webs travel content, all in an easy to digest undiluted format.
Whilst looking around Paul’s website and social network profiles, I found this photo:
This was in Paul’s ‘Profile Pictures’ album on his Google+ Profile. I started laughing because I have no idea what’s going on with it. I’m not sure if it’s a botched Photoshop job where the colour has gone way off, a hallowe’en photo, he wants to be the incredible Hulk, or Paul is actually a zombie. Paul! Whatever you do, don’t show this photo to Tnooz, they will think it’s ‘A jaw dropping example of travel blog profile picture madness’.
Nomadic Samuel is a Canadian travel blogger with big hair living in Korea, Samuel recently took us around his Korean apartment in the video tour you can see embedded above. Travel photography is a passion that Samuel does well, he has a website dedicated to taking travel photos of smiling faces, called, you guessed it, Smiling Faces Travel Photos, there is some great shots on there, so check it out.
Samuel has a travel-blogging girlfriend called That Backpacker (not her real name), they seem like a really fun couple to hang out with. I have to admit that sometimes when I see their YouTube clips, I’m in two minds whether to think they are strange or being funny. Needless to say, it’s not for me to judge them, and as a reader the funny/strange one-two combo makes their outfit very entertaining and worth following. That Backpacker and Nomadic Samuel are creative, and you never know what they will come out with next, they have a YouTube Channel together that is called Backpacker Travel TV, subscribe and be entertained.
What can I say about Samuel that has not already been said? Well, to put it mildly he’s very active on YouTube, I’m a subscriber to the Nomadic Samuel Channel. ‘Sam the man’, as locals like to call him, uploads close to 50,000 videos per day. If an infinite amount of monkeys watched Nomadic Samuel’s YouTube channel for an infinite amount of time, Tnooz would go apesh*t about it.
Backpacks and Bunkbeds, sounds like a hostel, right? Wrong! This is the travel website of Neil Barnes, a QPR fan from London, but don’t worry, he’s nothing like Joey Barton. Because of Neil, myself and a bunch of other travel bloggers recently got a free Filofax in the mail.
Neil is worth following on Twitter, he’s very active and has a great sense of humour. Backpacks and Bunkbeds is rammed full of travel tips, interviews and entertaining travel stories, don’t miss out on any of this and follow him immediately.
Neil made a post a few days ago regarding how he feels about settling down and getting his own apartment, it must be the time of year or something, I’m not tied down, I’m actually moving country soon, but I made a post in a similar vein a couple of weeks ago. From what I know about him, I actually have a fair amount in common with Neil, so if you like my blog, you’ll like his, I’m no QPR fan though, Man City all the way!
I’m currently gagging to go to the Philippines, but these crazy bastards make it worse! I’m talking about Ron and Monette from Flip’n Travels, a pair of travel bloggers that have probably put in more work for Philippines tourism than the tourist board itself. When I say ‘work’ I mean it, these two not only have a great blog, but have published articles in magazines, such as the latest copy of Dispatch Magazine and others.
It does not stop at writing, the PHL360º project is a totally bad-ass travel series which Ron and Monette have been heavily involved in. PHL360º involves a group of backpackers adventuring around the Philippines, these experiences form a creative reality TV travel documentary that can not be missed, watch it and see for yourself.
Don’t be under the impression that this dynamic duo’s travel portfolio is limited to the Philippines either, because it’s not. Check them out in Kathmandu, Borneo, China, they have probably been to more places in Asia than me, after reading up on them in depth, I think I hate both of them now!
Check out Flip’n Travels, follow them on your social network and stay connected with Ron and Monette, I’d describe them as ‘real’, genuine down-to-earth people. From what they have achieved so far in such a quick time, this creative duo will go far, I’ll probably be asking them for a job soon.
I haven’t even mentioned the quality of photography on their blog, it’s top-notch to say the least.
Anil Polat is a super cool travel blogger with a technology twist, an ex professional hacker (this sounds cool already), Anil’s foXnoMad is the go-to website for travel tech tips and advice. You don’t even need to hound his inbox for travel gadget tips, you can just buy his Ultimate Tech Guide for Travelers eBook which contains pretty much all you need to know about travel tech. One thing a backpacker who shoots a lot of video and photos can get stuck on is backing up the files, this guide even goes into all that. Anil isn’t just some blogger trying to make quick cash off a random eBook, he is a professional who is passionate about the technology we use on the road.
foXnoMad is not all tech-related, though, readers who love travel stories will love to check out posts such as his honest u-turn in Azerbaijan, those hungry for tips will make use of his travel guides, such as how to sleep in airports, his post about removing old luggage tags is something I’d never even thought about, but I will from now on!
Myself and Anil have different styles of travel, Anil likes to plan, and more or less always knows where he’s about to go, whereas I like to take whichever turn takes my fancy at that point in time. Either that or he’s just more organised than me!
Even though they have been married for over 8 years, Shaun and Erica Kuschel don’t want to kill each other, in fact, they want to do quite the opposite – travel the world together, which they are doing, right now. This funky duo have plenty of tattoos, colourful hair and travel with attitude.
The Over Yonderlust travel blog pair are coming to the end of a trip to Europe which they have been on for over two months now. My favourite highlights of their Europe trip so far are: looking for craters in Lake Myvatn, Iceland, checking out the street art in Barcelona and cycling on Vies Verdes on the Costa Brava in Spain.
Over Yonderlust were in Paris just after I was there in September, copying me again.
The OverYonderlust Facebook page is almost a live stream of what they are up to, there’s a TON of cool photos on there that you won’t find on their blog, including some trendy instagram shots. Definitely worth a ‘like’, but make sure you hover over the thing and press the extra button because Facebook won’t show anything in the feed, or something.
Kristen from Hopscotch the Globe is a good-looking female travel blogger who is serious about adventure, and serious about having fun, it seems like she’s open to try almost anything. One of the best travel blogging YouTube channels is Kristen’s, she has grown the channel to a point where a recent clip she made (about peeing standing up) has had over 30,000 views in two months. My whole channel hasn’t even had 30,000 views yet!
Even though Kristen is a natural in front of (and behind) a camera, she’s got some entertaining writing on her blog, too, one of my personal favourites is describing her emotions travelling solo for the first time in India, where she faces some fears and comes out of the other end stronger. This is an example to me of how travel can change people for the better, make them stronger and more open to different experiences, you don’t find writing like this on most other travel blogs.
Kristen would probably be great to party with, in fact, this list of 10 bloggers would be the ultimate travel blogger drinking session!
Cezar, AKA the Imperator (see what he did there?), is the webmaster of Imperator Travel, now that is one cool, dominating name for a travel blog. Cezar is a prolific travel writer, he publishes a high quantity of high quality blog posts, not only in English, he has another travel blog in Romanian which he started in 2009.
The list of travel experiences around the world that Cezar has put on the board, is simply staggering, 88 countries and counting, he has been on the road for 20 years, yes 2-0, TWENTY! I guess this is how long it takes to properly experience what a country has to offer, instead of just ‘country-collecting’ and hopping from one country to the next, stating ‘I’ve been there’, when really, you’ve not seen much of the place.
Despite all these experiences (more than most people ever will in their life) and travel blogging accolades, Cezar is a down to earth all-round good guy, he lives not only to experience this planet, but to share these experiences and inspire others with travel stories and destination ideas. How many of us could be bothered to have a second-language travel blog? Not many, I’ll give you that tip!
Hogga’s blog is one of those blogs that is perfect for a quick entertaining read, to me it’s like the travel blog version of a cheezburger site, I get stuck on it and lose track of time, one month surfing The Traveller World Guide feels like a second.
Just check out a couple of Hogga’s travel stories and you will be hooked, maybe I’m wrong in the head, but I found her story about getting stalked in Phnom Pehn incredibly funny. Open, candid travel stories are hard to come by these days, but The Traveller World Guide is rammed full of them.
Hogga used to have a website for cartoons, but I have no idea where it’s gone, the URL says her account has been suspended, which is hilarious! What happened there I don’t know, she’s either drawn one too many cartoons of genitalia, or she never paid her web hosting bill.
If you’re looking for a blog with brutal honesty and a lot of personality, you will find it in The Traveller World Guide, she’s probably drunk right now.
Giselle and Cody are the combo behind the creation over at Mindful Wanderlust, a website where they keep us updated about their budget travel adventures. Their website design is minimalistic and super-slick, it looks awesome, they have been going around the world together for 9 months now.
The ‘mindful’ part of their title suggests caring for the environment, but they go much further than this, even so far as to take risks for the good of animals, this is all for a good cause and everything, but for the average follower, this is also very exciting.
The only real gripe I have with Mindful Wanderlust is that I selfishly feel they don’t post often enough on their blog, luckily though, they are very active on their Facebook page, you can also check out some of their photos and videos on that page, definitely worth a follow, especially if you care about animals as much as these two!
Well there we have it, a selection of some of my favourite travel bloggers, there’s probably around 20 more that I keep up with, I should do another post like this, it was fun to write. Even though they are overused to the max, Top 10′s are actually quite well-structured content, easy to put together, I hope this one goes down well.
Everyone in this list has to keep blogging forever now, I don’t want any dead links! Hogga – try not to piss off your web host again!
As always, please leave a comment below if you want to, err… comment, you could add your favourite travel blog for us to check out, too.