Thousands of new travel blogs are launched every year, as adventurers set off to explore the world and – perhaps – to build a group of online followers. While we love travel blogs, the sheer volume of words and images uploaded every day makes it almost impossible to keep up. So, in order to sort the wheat from the chaff, we’ve selected 15 of the best recently-launched blogs – and a couple more established ones – that we feel you should be following in 2013.
1. Time Travel Turtle
What it is: Michael Turtle, a former broadcast journalist from Australia, marries great writing with evocative photography.
Why we like it: Michael covers a huge range of topics including light-hearted posts from how to make the perfect gin and tonic in Spain to what it’s like to drive a Lamborghini around the Imola race track. Then there are more serious, eye-opening articles covering the realities of life in Rio’s slums and the ethics of orangutan tourism. His years of experience as a journalist shine through as he delves deep to the heart of the story.
2. Notes of Nomads
What it is: Jessica and her photographer husband, Hai, both from Australia, have lived and travelled in numerous countries and continents and now blog from their base in Tokyo.
Why we like it: From the colourful celebrations of the Nebuta Festival or swimming with pink dolphins in the Amazon to spur-of-the-moment hiking in the Himalayas, Jessica and Hai share a wonderful collection of travel adventures. For the last three years, following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, they have been based in Japan and have become quite involved with the rebuilding of Tohoku, both volunteering and raising funds.
3. Globe Trotter Girls
What it is: Another great combination of a writer travelling with a photographer, Jessica and Dani have been house-sitting, blogging and travelling as they go for more than two years, successfully combining full-time work with full-time travel.
Why we like it: Their blog is full of fascinating and sometimes moving stories, such as watching the arribada in Costa Rica, when hordes of turtles crawl out of the sea to lay their eggs, and a visit to the spectacularly strange White Temple of Chiang Rai in Thailand. They also cover issues affecting gay and lesbian travellers, and their series of On a Shoestring posts has some useful tips, even if you don’t consider yourself a budget traveller.
4. Mrs O Around the World
What it is: If luxury travel is more your style then head over to the blog of Ana Silva O’Reilly, which is bursting with sassy tips and opinion.
Why we like it: Here you’ll discover where to find great cocktails with a stunning roof-top view in Barcelona or the perfect hotel in Rio de Janeiro. This likeable blog is bursting with great tips on the best places to stay, eat and shop whether in Sao Paulo, Dublin or Cape Town.
5. Accidental Epicurean
What it is: Born in North Carolina, Joanna now lives in Shanghai and writes about the finer things in life, whether intentionally sought-out or stumbled upon by chance.
Why we like it: Joanna uncovers such exotica as Belgian beers with mussels and frites in Singapore, the best restaurants in Tokyo, the luxurious spas of Shanghai and how to shop like a local in Bangkok. She points you in the direction of the best in high-class living, avoiding unnecessary pretence and with a keen eye on value.
6. Bare Feet
What it is: Mickela Mallozzi is a dancer and traveller experiencing the world one dance at a time.
Why we like it: Mickela shares her joy of dance and her passion for exploring local customs and traditions. Whether learning La Bomba in Puerto Rico or trying out clogging in Virginia her energy and enthusiasm are beautifully captured in her videos, which clearly demonstrate how dance is a crucial aspect of so many cultures throughout the world.
7. Destination Unknown
What it is: Kellie Netherwood left her job, family and friends in London for 15 months of travel, adventure and blogging. She has now returned to work but still travels when she can and is planning a second career break.
From eating spiders’ legs in Cambodia to volunteering in Bolivia, Kellie has written many eye-opening stories, supported by strong photography. At the end of this year she is off on another adventure in which she’ll be taking part in the polar plunge, that is to say, jumping into the sub-zero waters of the Antarctica for charity. In 2013 she is planning to quit work again for a photography workshop in Tasmania and a visit to the Arctic.
8. Leah Travels
What it is: Tales by a girl from Texas with a severe case of wanderlust, sharing her thoughts about the people she meets and the places she visits.
Why we like it: Leah Walker’s blog has an eye-catching design which shows off her colourful photographs a treat. She has a friendly, approachable style that can be sometimes moving, often witty and always easy to read, as she demonstrates in her post Travel Through the Eyes of a First-Time Flyer.
She’s currently coming to the end of a whirlwind tour of Europe and her plans for early next year include Switzerland and Colorado. From there … who knows!
9. I’m Not Home
What it is: Maddy and Steve from Tasmania travel the globe, guitar in hand, looking to discover the bizarre and the unusual.
Why we like it: With travel misadventures such as how not to eat laksa in Kuala Lumpar and images that will make you fall in love with Canada, this blog is a wonderful collection of useful travel tips and interesting personal accounts. Particular highlights for us included walking through an ancient rainforest and a sitar lesson in India.
10. Chasing the Unexpected
What it is: Travel writer Angela Corrias blogs about her native Sardinia as well as many other wonderful places around the world.
Why we like it: Intriguing stories of giants and fairies and stones that make music bring to life Sardinia’s rich heritage, which is steeped in mystery and folklore in Angela’s beautiful blog. Her journey doesn’t end there, as she regularly travels throughout Europe and further afield. Whether studying Mandarin in Shanghai or revelling in the natural wonders of Brazil she is always chasing the unexpected.
11. Finding the Universe
What it is: Incredible photographs and quirky tales from passionate, long-term traveller and writer Laurence Norah.
Why we like it: Laurence’s blog revolves around his stunning photographs from all over the world, including a one year exploration of New Zealand describing scenic drives, and hobbit hunting in the land of Mordor. He also gives out excellent tips on photography, blogging and technology. Laurence will soon be heading off to Thailand and at some point in 2013 returning to travel around more of Europe.
12. Wild About Travel
What it is: Solo travel addict, Simon Falvo, shares her experiences, emotions and travel inspiration.
Why we like it: An attractive site with great photos, it’s a pleasure to read and easy to find your way around. Simon enjoys everything from adventure travel to art and culture and is equally at home in the wilderness or off the beaten path in Pesche, an enchanting hamlet in Molise, as she is on a wild photo tour of ancient Rome. She will soon be setting off on a new journey travelling across New Zealand until the end of February.
13. Green Global Travel
What it is: News, tips, stories and advice on all matters related to conservation and eco-tourism.
Why we like it: Bret and Mary describe themselves as two adventurers with a passion for eco-tourism, conservation and culture, saving the planet one story at a time. With posts such as an interview with Jean-Michel Cousteau on his father’s legacy and the future of marine conservation we learn how each of us can help to protect our planet’s precious habitats and the wonderful creatures within them.
14. Monkeys and Mountains
What it is: Laurel Robbins, is a Canadian now living and blogging from Germany, sharing her thirst for new experiences.
Why we like it: Laurel is as happy pretending to be a princess in a German castle as she on an adrenalin-fuelled adventure jumping off mountains and diving with sharks. Her passion for life clearly shows in her writing.
Laurel has many exciting plans for next year including diving with the world’s fastest shark (Mako) in the Azores, observing endangered primates in their natural habitat in Africa and hiking the Zugpspitze, Germany’s tallest mountain.
15. Eating Asia
What it is: A food and travel blog by freelance writer Robyn Eckhardt and photographer David Hagerman, based in Penang, Malaysia.
Why we like it: The colourful food photography is superb, as is the writing, and I challenge you not to feel hungry if you check out where to find great street food in Siem Reap or the kitchens of Chengdu. With posts on fascinating culinary traditions, unusual food finds and some exquisite recipes, this blog should come with a warning, as reading this will seriously taunt your taste buds.
Next year Robyn and David will be road tripping in Turkey as well as visiting Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
About our writer
Kathryn Burrington has worked in the travel industry for more than 16 years as a designer, photographer and writer. Her photographs are regularly published in the national press and have been exhibited at the Royal Photographic Society in Bath. As well as her own blog, Travel With Kat, Kathryn writes a monthly Best Travel Posts column for 101 Holidays.