At MakeUseOf we love traveling and everything that goes with it. We’ve a team based all around the world, with many of our staff living abroad or traveling indefinitely.
One of my favorite forms of procrastination is to dive deep into travel blogs; the inspiring destinations, wonderful photos, and “you can do” inspirational posts are enough to make me miss any deadline.
There are countless travel blogs out there but for this article I’ve gathered only the best.
Some of them have been featured in major publications while others are less well known. Some are for budget travelers who are prepared to sell everything they own while others are for people who can only travel a week or two a year.
Wherever you fall on that spectrum, I guarantee there’ll be something in here that will get you drooling. Whatever you do, don’t read this article if you’ve got some real work to do!
Nomadic Matt’s site is all about traveling cheaper so you can travel longer and have a more authentic experience. He shuns five-star luxury, instead preferring to live like the locals do. He’s a big believer in the idea that you can travel the world for $50 a day or about $1500 a month.
There are countless ways to make money online and earning $50 a day isn’t an unachievable goal. Alternatively, you can just be frugal for a little while at home and save up enough to spend a few months traveling.
It’s so easy to get caught up staring at photos of luxurious resorts knowing that you’d need a second mortgage to visit them, so it’s refreshing to explore a site that’s focused on attainable travel. If Matt’s site doesn’t give you wanderlust, I don’t know what will.
To Alastair Humphreys, “adventure is a state of mind” as easily discovered in the hills a few miles from your house as the middle of the wilderness. Alastair has cycled round the world, rowed the Atlantic, walked across India, and a lot more besides. But for all his big adventures, it was when he turned his attention to “microadventures” — small adventures that can be done in as little as a night — that he got his greatest recognition. He was named one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year.
On his site you can get lost in his wonderful tales of walking across India but, more importantly, you can see how he finds adventure in just sleeping on top of a hill or jumping in a cold stream. If you want a bit more adventure in your vacations, then Alastair is the perfect inspiration.
There’s no denying it, in many areas women have it a lot tougher than men. When I go off and travel by myself people wish me good luck and tell me to stay safe, but when my female friends travel alone people are far more concerned and often try to talk them out of traveling.
Blogs like Alex in Wanderland exist to disprove the idea that women can’t see the world by themselves. Alex has traveled all over the world, but spends a huge amount of time in South East Asia scuba diving. Sometimes traveling alone, sometimes traveling with friends, she documents everything and is a stunning photographer to boot.
Whether you read Alex’s site for the scuba diving photos or for her travel advice, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Many travel blogs are run by backpacking 20-somethings or adventurers who use it to support their career. Matt Long from Landlopers is neither of these things. He’s not a backpacker, he hasn’t sold everything he owns to travel the world, he’s just a fairly regular guy who’s about to turn 40.
If you also love to travel but all the information you can find is meant for students slumming it on a gap year, then you need to check out Landlopers. If you’ve a family to support, a mortgage to pay, and all the other parts of real life that are kind of hard to ditch, Matt will still inspire you to get out and enjoy as much of the world as you can.
There is a small group of people who, using credit cards and other “hacks”, earn as many frequent flier miles as possible. They then use these to get free flights, upgrades, stay in luxurious hotels, and generally beat the system.
Ben “Lucky” Schlappig is one of the most famous travel hackers especially since he was featured in a slightly sensationalized Rolling Stone article. To Lucky, traveling isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. He loves airports, airplanes, and everything about flying.
You don’t have to love flying to get a lot from Lucky’s blog; he might be happy to stay in the airport but that doesn’t mean you need to. His site is all about the how of traveling: how to get free flights, cheap hotel stays, and win against the airlines. Many of the tricks, like using specific credit cards, will fit straight into your daily life.
Follow his advice and before you know it you’ll have racked up enough frequent flier miles for a free trip to Europe!
It’s easy to travel cheaply in Asia and South America, but, for many travelers, the cities of Europe are their dream destination. Drinking wine by the River Seine in Paris, seeing the countless treasures in the museums of London, or spending St Patrick’s Day in Ireland frequently top people’s bucket lists. Unfortunately these trips can come with a hefty price tag if you’re not careful.
Enter the Savvy Backpackers, James and Susan, a husband and wife team that adores Europe. Their site, the Savvy Backpacker, is all about seeing Europe on a budget. They talk you through everything from where to find hostels, what to pack, what to see, to how to get around. If it’s something you should know about backpacking in Europe, you can be sure to find it on their site.
If you’ve always wanted to spend a few days, weeks, or months exploring the best of Europe, you should definitely spend a few hours reading through every page of the Savvy Backpacker.
In 2010, Matt Karsten from the Expert Vagabond sold everything he owned, left his girlfriend, quit his job and hopped on a plane to Guatemala to begin a one year trip. Five years later he’s still going. Along the way he started his blog to document what he was doing and help others follow in his footsteps. It proved to be very successful!
Matt is a big proponent of “Adventure Travel”. To him, that’s not just jumping out of planes but also getting out of your comfort zone and immersing yourself in other cultures.
While not everyone wants to sell everything they own and pack everything in to take of and see the world, some people do. For those crazy few, Matt’s site is a must-read. He’s living proof that it’s possible to just travel, whatever your budget.
Kiersten from the Blonde Abroad is another female travel blogger. A few years ago, she left her career in corporate finance to see the world. Since then she’s visited more than 40 countries on 5 continents. Like Alex, from Alex in Wanderland, she’s determined to prove that traveling is something anyone can do.
A big part of Kiersten’s site is dedicated to fashion. As far as she’s concerned, traveling the world doesn’t have to mean growing dreadlocks and cultivating a “distinctive” body odour. While her exact fashion recommendations aren’t something I can relate to, the sentiment is. I like to dress up, look good, and enjoy nice food, but I also love to travel.
If you really want to travel but dread the idea of changing your name to “Sky” and living in a hippy commune then the Blonde Abroad is a great read. Unlike how it may seem from some of the other blogs, you don’t have to give up on who you are and the things you love just to travel.
Like Matt from the Expert Vagabond, “Adventurous” Kate McCulley originally planned a short trip. Her six month stint in South East Asia has turned into five years of nearly non-stop traveling.
Her big aim is to show that women of all ages can safely travel the globe solo — and have an awesome time while they’re doing it. Whether you’re a guy or a girl, if you’ve any doubts about your abilities to travel on your own then you need to check out Adventurous Kate. If she can do it so can you.
Justin Carmack from True Nomads is on a quest to dive the top 100 Scuba sites in the world. His site, however, didn’t start out that way. Carmack’s original plan was just to travel and see how things went. Instead, he found diving and has dedicated himself to it in a way few others do.
True Nomads isn’t only about diving — although there is a lot of diving! — it’s also about finding your passion and pursuing it. Carmack can be an inspiration whether you want to climb the tallest mountains, visit the most important historical sites, or just drink the national alcohol of every country.
What Travel Blogs Make You Drool?
These are just some of the best travel blogs I love to read. There are many more out there.
If you’ve got a favorite, please let me know in the comments. It doesn’t matter whether it’s aimed at young single 20-somethings or pensioners looking to blow their retirement cash; I’m always looking for new ways to procrastinate!
Image Credits:laptop on the top of mountain by RossHelen via Shutterstock