As the world comes to a standstill as we try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we encourage all of you to hunker down right now, too. In the meantime, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to get back out there.
Travel is one of the most rewarding parts of life. But it can take a hell of a lot of work to plan a trip, and it can be tough to find the inspiration to get out and visit our bucket-list destinations when toiling with the realities of everyday life.
Nothing inspires us to explore like watching someone else do it, and we happen to be living in a golden age for armchair travel. There are so many people making incredible travel content these days that it can actually be difficult to wade through it all. We got you. Here are a few of our favorite blogs, vlogs, and podcasts to help you find the stoke to get out there and to entertain you during long flights, layovers, and train rides along the way.
Johnny and Liz Harris are basically the king and queen of travel vlogging. Johnny is a journalist with Vox and the creator and face of their Borders video series, in which he travels to a far-flung destination to examine the influence a country’s political boundaries have on the people living next to it. Each episode is insightful and thought-provoking, revealing what life is like everywhere from Nepal to Haiti. Johnny’s wife, Liz, is a filmmaker and a vlogger whose YouTube channel is filled with charming travel flicks and all sorts of tips and tricks on how to shoot and edit your own travel videos.
Zero to Travel
Anyone looking to travel more and travel better should check out Zero to Travel. This blog is loaded with tons of how-to articles on topics like finding jobs abroad and scoring free plane tickets. It even offers full-blown courses on budgeting and how to travel full-time. The accompanying podcast also features brilliant interviews and tips on everything from how to rent a camper van in New Zealand to travel safety.
Everybody wants to be a travel filmmaker or photographer these days. If that sounds like you, check out our gear roundup for wannabe adventure photogs and then immediately head over to YouTube and click the subscribe button on Matti Haapoja’s channel. It’s oriented more toward filmmaking than straight travel, but if you’ve ever been interested in documenting your adventures on more than just your iPhone, this is the place to start.
If you have an interest in vanlife, minimalism, tiny homes, or off-grid living, or if you tend to think outside the box when it comes to travel, then Exploring Alternatives is for you. The blog and YouTube channel are filled with information about how to make full-time travel work, how to travel on the cheap, how to do vanlife right, and most important, how to make travel a bigger part of your life. There are also travel guides, gear roundups, and packing tips.
You can’t have a roundup of travel-inspiration vlogs without including Beautiful Destinations. This YouTube Channel is comprised of travel vignettes filled with gorgeous shots of places like Morocco, Paris, Peru, and the Philippines. The idea behind Beautiful Destinations is simple: to highlight people, places, and experiences from around the globe and give viewers a look into destinations they might not see otherwise. I’m particularly fond of its Slow Down series, which is pure nature porn, perfect for quick breaks from your daily hustle.
Sure, it’s not a travel blog in the traditional sense, but Bikepacking.com is an exceptional resource for anyone interested in traveling by bike. The site is loaded with how-to articles, gear guides, trip reports, and route-planning tools that are perfect for both experienced bikepackers and total novices. Its layout is intuitive and easy to navigate, and the photography is top-notch, too. If nothing else, it’ll give you a healthy dose of adventure inspiration and a working knowledge of bikepacking.
With over 500 destination-specific episodes, this Lowell Thomas Award-winning podcast is the perfect tool for anyone looking for beta while planning a trip. Just queue up the places along your route, and listen as host Chris Christensen interviews knowledgeable locals and expert travelers on the best places to eat, can’t-miss sights, and much more. Don’t have a trip planned? The podcast is also a great way to find your next adventure. Pick a show at random, and chances are you’ll be adding that spot to your bucket list.