Yes, TravelSmart Woman wants you to find other travel bloggers to follow. Just like in the movie “Miracle on 34th Street,” when Kris Kringle tells Macy’s shoppers where to find the perfect gift, I’m going to suggest some bloggers that specialize in travel topics that might be perfect for you.
I’ll list them by their niche. If they seem interesting, subscribe. (You can always change your mind.) Because none of us can cover everything, we rely on each other…and want you to do the same. We just try to get you where you’ve dreamed of going–or maybe some place you don’t even know you want to go…yet.
Some of these other travel bloggers are established and wildly popular; they earn six-figure incomes. Others aren’t particularly interested in money. They love to share information, or they might get compensated with free or discounted travel in exchange for writing posts. There is no right or wrong…I’m just letting you know.
You may be surprised that the many of the best travel bloggers come from outside the United States. Maybe because other countries have a longer and deeper culture of exploring the world.
Travel Nomads: Living in the Moment
These bloggers live on the road. They may be backpackers, like Nomadic Matt, or they may be more upscale. But they have no permanent address. I could never do this (Where would I put my souvenirs??) but am fascinated by the concept and their stories. I’m not the only one–all are incredibly successful, maybe because so many of us live vicariously through them.
Hand Luggage Only: Two British lads, who seem to go everywhere, all at once. They dreamed up their travel plan while at Cambridge University back in 2014. They have a massive following, because they’re that good. They’re funny, smart, and energetic. Besides their jam-packed website, you’ll find them on every known social media.
Expert Vagabond: Matt Karsten is an ex-pat American, currently based in Italy, but who knows where he’ll be next week? He’s been at this nomad thing for nine years. His website is amazing, with everything from photography tips to how to get paid to travel to a guide for hitchhiking across the United States. Oh, and lots of destinations, too. He wears me out, just reading about all he does…I mean that in a good way.
The Planet D: Deb and Dave might seem tame compared to the others I’ve recommended. After all, their tagline is “Adventure Is for Everyone.” Married for 20 years, the Canadian couple was working in the film/entertainment industry, always trying to find a way out. Well, in 2008 they certainly did. They quit and started to travel…no “home” for seven years. Simply put, they are adorable. And they make every single list for “Top Travel Bloggers to Follow.” Give them a try!
Solo Travel: You’re Never Alone!
Okay, I’m biased here. This is my niche…about to get even narrower. (I’m soon going to re-brand and specialize in “Solo After Sixty.”) For lots of reasons, solo travel is not just a trend, it’s a real thing. Here are some other travel bloggers to follow. Just promise that you’ll stick with me.
Solo Traveler: Janice Waugh–and now her collaborator Tracey Nesbitt–are probably the queens of solo travel bloggers. Janice began after becoming a widow and empty-nester all at once, and has expanded to cover all-things-solo-travel. Today, the Toronto-based website is encyclopedic, with many links to travel companies, gear, and itineraries. Solo Traveler even sponsors contests and hands out awards to the travel industry every year. I subscribe to it. If you like to go alone, you’ll find most everything here.
Legal Nomads: Ever wish you could ditch your job and travel the world? Jodi Ettenberg did. A Canadian corporate lawyer and storyteller, she initially took a year-long sabbatical to go to…Siberia! Along the way, she started to write about food and how it influenced her travel. The amazing thing? Jodi has celiac disease and must avoid gluten: no bread! Jodi also offers storytelling courses and has a store. Her blog is often voted one of the Top Ten in the World.
OttsWorld: Sherry Ott is my fave. She was one of the first travel bloggers that I discovered. When I was preparing for the Camino De Santiago, she kindly let me use one of her photos for a blog post, and assured me I’d love the Camino. Another former corporate executive who quit so she could travel, Sherry has been traveling since 2008. When she needs money, she works or volunteers. Teaching ESL, housesitting, writing…whatever it takes.
Budget Travel: Yes, You Can!
Some of my favorite travel bloggers to follow are budget-minded. Not many of us have unlimited funds, and most of us can use tips on stretching our travel dollars. Stop saying, “I’d love to, but I can’t afford it.”
Budget travel can be challenging; some of the most popular bloggers are also backpackers who stay in hostels, the stuff of youth. And combining solo with budget is never easy, partly due to the hellish single supplement. Still, here are several for your consideration.
Budget Traveller: National Geographic Traveller’s 2016 Blogger of the Year, Kash Bhattacharya (“Just call me ‘Kash'”) has been on the go for ten years. The Brit wants you to go, too. His website is fun and full of tips. You’ll like him.
Big World Small Pockets: Steph is another seasoned traveler, whose mantra is “Spend less, travel more.” She’s come a long way from Jersey (in the British Channel) over the past ten years. She left at age 19 to go to South Africa, and like many other travel-holics, hasn’t stopped. All on a budget. She won the 2019 British Travel Award for Best Travel Blogger.
Nomadic Matt: One of the All-Star Budget Travelers, Matt is one of my favorites. His Travel the World on $50 a Day is a classic. Yes, he’s young and yes, he started as a backpacker…but his tips are useful for all of us. He also writes about sustainable travel, and his city guides are worthwhile, too.
No matter which budget travel bloggers you decide to follow, you’ll find they all believe you can travel more, if you know where to save and when to spend. And that depends on your personal goals, travel style, and your willingness to be flexible. Example: I don’t eat in upscale restaurants…but maybe that’s important to you. No right or wrong, spend on what makes travel meaningful.
Two-by-Two: Couples Extraordinaire
Traveling with someone else–whether a partner or a like-minded friend–is a different type of journey. While it can be nice to share expenses and adventures, there’s always a level of negotiation. These bloggers make it look easy!
Goats On the Road: Nick and Dariece (yet another Canadian couple) left home in 2008 to “live abroad indefinitely.” That includes finding work along the way to support themselves: House sitting, teaching English, and remote jobs. Their website is jam-packed with cheerful advice to encourage others; they even have a quick course on how to set up your own travel blog. You can’t help but enjoy them.
2 foodtrippers: You’ve got to love the tagline: “We eat. We travel. We eat and travel.” Daryl and Mindy Hirsch won the Saveur Magazine 2018 Editor’s Award for Best Travel Blog. They decided to be food travelers in 2012, and did it as a hobby. In 2016, they made the leap to full-time. Click on any city and they will give you everything you need for your own “delicious” trip.
Nomadic Boys: Stefan and Sebastian focus on gay travel. These Londoners inspire other gays–single or coupled–to discover the world by sharing their own adventures. Here’s what they say: “We want to show gay travellers that they can visit more places in the world than they thought possible.”
Beautiful: Photographers Share the World
Everything Everywhere: Gary Arndt does it all: photography, blog, podcasts. Since 2007, he’s been to 130 countries (and counting) and won all kinds of travel awards. Heck, you even get a free e-book with his 100 favorite photos just for subscribing to his website! I’ve seen his presentations at travel conferences…he’s even a nice guy. Definitely one of the best travel bloggers to follow.
Lola Akinmade: So much more than a photographer! She’s an inspiration, motivated by hope and encouraging us to “explore culture through food, traditions, and lifestyles.” Born in Nigeria, educated in the United States, based in Sweden. She’s a National Geographic photographer…need I say more? (I could, because you’ll find her work in every big travel magazine.)
Swedish Nomad: Another Swede, Alex Waltner’s photos will dazzle you. He’s an easy-going guy, but manages to really get around…and wants you to do the same. His website is a balance of photography, travel tips, and destinations. It’s a pretty and practical place to learn more about the world.
Need more nudging?