Here at 101 Holidays we love to read about travel, but sometimes even we are overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of information and opinion on the web. There are literally hundreds of thousands of travel blogs, many of them self-indulgent and badly written.
So we decided to sort the wheat from the chaff and select our 25 favourites. These are the blogs that we feel convey the sheer joy and wide-eyed wonder of travel. Their writers bring the world to life with passion, enthusiasm, insight – and a keen sense of humour.
This was not a beauty contest for the best website design. We deliberately steered away from the well-funded corporate blogs to celebrate the work of dedicated individuals.
So here we present – in no particular order – our 25 Favourite Travel Blogs. Please remember this is our personal choice – if you don’t agree with our picks or have your own suggestions, please leave a comment below.
1. 501 Places
What it is: Writer Andy Jarosz shares his extensive travel knowledge and insight.
Why we like it: In between writing for numerous travel organisations, Andy Jarosz finds time to share his wealth of knowledge and experience of 95 countries on 501 Places. His posts range from the witty – A beginners guide to people watching – to the remote and far-flung, discovering lesser known regions of popular countries. Check out his recent Spanish posts. His eye for a good photograph also makes his adventures shine.
2. Gran Turismo
What it is: Husband and wife Lara Dunston and Terence Carter on a perpetual world tour.
Why we like it: Lara and Terence might be the ultimate globe-trotting couple, having set foot on a year’s trip in 2006, and still travelling 5 years on. This is their Contemporary Grand Tour of the World, setting out in 2010 to slow their pace of life and live like locals for a year. Swapping hotels for 36 holiday rentals, they travelled sustainably, lapped up local skills and knowledge, enriching their experiences with an authenticity that is passed on to readers with passion and dedication. Each post features beautiful photography, first-hand experience and need-to-know facts.
3. Quite Alone
What it is: Matthew Teller’s personal blog documenting all things Middle Eastern.
Why we like it: As a writer specialising in the Middle East, Matthew Teller has a library of fascinating stories to share. His posts on Quite Alone are sharp, well-written and particularly poignant given recent events in the Middle East. We love the fly-on-the-wall style and the informative yet quirky nature of his blog and his knowledge and passion for the region.
4.Heather on her Travels
What it is: Far-reaching stories and inspiring tales from Heather Cowper’s years of travel.
Why we like it: We admire Heather’s blog for her unrelenting vision. Her blog is packed with multiple posts from every destination she visits, each taking a new perspective on a city, region or country. We like being able to browse by each year of Heather’s travels, allowing us to follow her ramblings chronologically and giving order to her jetsetting ways. Her My Blogging Journey section is particularly valuable – if you’re getting inspired to start your own blog, this is where you should be heading.
5. The Quirky Traveller
What it is: A hunt for anything off the travel straight and narrow with Zoë Dawes
Why we like it: Zoë travels on the hunt for the unusual, discovering strange cultures, odd delicacies and local characters along her way shared from her base in Cumbria. We love the individual stories of each of Zoë’s posts, and the personal touch that gives each a comforting hint of nostalgia that either lets you share in her trips, or gives you the push to get out there for yourself.
6. 40 Before 30
What it is: A personal mission by young writer and “travel obsessive” Jayne Gorman
Why we like it: Jayne Gorman has set herself the challenge of travelling to 40 countries before her 30th birthday – and blogging about them all. We love her ambition and her one-woman mission to share her passion for the countries she’s visited, always with an honest undertone with which anyone can identify. Check out her first impressions of India and her story of sprinting for the last ticket for a Catamaran in Croatia.
7. The Aussie Nomad
What it is: Australian native and travel mad Chris Richardson sharing his travel know-how
Why we like it: The no-frills, plain and simple design of Chris Richardson’s blog lets his travel experience shine through. We are particularly drawn to the logic of his Travel Tips section, offering accurate budget advice for a range of European cities, from Paris to Krakow, Riga to Amsterdam with tables and charts that are drawn together under the title of How Much Does it Cost to Backpack Europe - brilliant planning tool for trips on a budget, far and wide. The Vegemite Challenge section is a quirkily charming reminder of Chris’ Australian heritage that gives his blog its individuality.
8. Inside Japan
What is it: A great (commercial) travel blog from the team at InsideJapan Tours
Why we like it: The InsideJapan Blog is maintained by staff at the tour operator, InsideJapan Tours, and their obsession with the country is unmistakable. We love the unique blend of Japan-related content, from a piece on a 1962 Fodor Guide to Japan and Dragon Boat Racing in Colorado, to uncovering Japan’s unusual passions – who knew that the Japanese were avid cricket fans? Such is the personal and expert nature of this blog that it shows few signs of its commercial background.
9. 48 Hour Adventure
What is it: 48 hour itineraries and advice from weekend traveller Justin Morris
Why we like it: Away from the 9-5, Justin is a weekend traveller. We love his ’48 hours in…’ concept, packed with suggestions and itineraries for getting the most out of short city breaks, and inspiring readers of just how far from home you can find yourself in two days. We particularly love his 48 hours in Dubai with its alternative itinerary away from the bars and beaches.
10. Velvet Escape
What it is: Keith Jenkins encouraging his readers to ‘Go Explore’
Why we like it: From crossing the Andes from Argentina to Chile, to trekking with Berbers in Morocco, Keith Jenkins has seen a fair amount of the world, with a plush and rich edge, as the name of his blog suggests. While Keith’s world map taking you straight to the country in which you are interested is brilliant, we suggest you come here for well-researched itinerary suggestions, and great food articles.
11. Johnny Vagabond
What it is: One long budget worldwide adventure with Wes Nations living with the locals.
Why we like it: We love that Wes makes like a local on his travels, living low to the ground. His manner of documenting his experiences through beautiful photo essays and well-told narratives make this a collection of charming short stories of which we can easily dip in and out. We admire Wes’ unrivalled humorous twist to every tale, and his incessantly positive outlook.
12. Everything Everywhere
What it is: Gary Arndt racks up his country count and shares 4 years of travel tales
Why we like it: As the name suggests, Everything Everywhere is one of the most comprehensive travel blogs out there. Gary’s photography always gives us a glimpse of far flung and remote destinations, while his This week in Travel broadcasts keep readers up-to-date with travel happenings. Gary didn’t catch sight of the sea until the age of 21 yet since 2007 he has stamps from more than 100 countries in his passport and has visited 152 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
13. As We Travel
What it is: Nathan Schacherer and Sofia von Porat share their adventures on a budget
Why we like it: As We Travel is a treasure trove of eye-catching photos, thoughtful videos and insightful destination guides. The home page is full of attention-grabbing content that makes it much more than a simple blog. Search for any destination or question and relevant content will pop up. If nothing’s been written, email their ‘Round the World’ support crew with your questions for a reply within 24 hours. Their latest Europe Train Challenge (30 countries in 90 days, recorded by video) is worth a look.
14. Art of Backpacking
What it is: Everything to do with cutting travel costs by Michael Tieso
Why we like it: Art of Backpacking has been inspiring travellers to pick up their rucksacks and head for foreign climbs since 2008. We love it for the variety of posts and advice, easily accessible from the menu and the Asian-themed foodie posts. Nobody should set off for the Far East without reading 10 foods you must eat in China – while the techie features are well worth checking out for anyone planning a round the world jaunt.
What it is: ‘Full-time travellers’ Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott document life on the road
Why we like it: Husband and wife team Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott have been on the road for 1,717 days, and are now 65 countries on from packing in corporate life, so describing themselves as full time travellers is almost an understatement. We especially love their videography, each post carefully edited to showcase their experiences – especially in Asia – with all the colour and noise of the real thing.
16. Isabelle’s Travel Guide
What it is: Isabelle Kenis on a mission to encourage her readers to discover the world
Why we like it: Isabelle’s Travel blog hits the spot with a balance between destination advice and informative travel tips – from passport and visa queries to pointers for learning some local lingo before you leave. Isabelle’s travel experiences are browse-able by country and city and we love her Top 5 section for a quick travel fix that gets us thinking about our next trip.
17.Pause the Moment
What it is: Ryan Gargiulo shows you how to travel everywhere and anywhere on a budget
Why we like it: We like Pause the Moment’s blend of an around the world theme with budget travel resource. The site is packed with to-the-point reviews and valuable destination advice, as well as his and hers packing lists, from genuine travel experience. We love the scope of Ryan’s blog – check out How to Save Enough Money to Travel the World. How to Avoid Being Scammed in Hanoi, for example, is well worth a peek before any trip to Vietnam.
18. The Traveling Philosopher
What it is: Spencer Spellman blogs about his ambitious travel plans
Why we like it: The combination of travel and philosophy in Spencer Spellman’s blog gives an unusual take on his world adventures. His myth-busting advice is always a winner, and some great photography, in conjunction with a strong site design, keeps us clicking. Our favourite section, though, is The List, currently totalling 56 travel wishes – and we’re pretty sure he’ll get through the lot.
19. Inside the Travel Lab
What it is: Adventure and cultural experiences from freelance journalist Abigail King
Why we like it: Abigail swapped her career as a hospital doctor for a life on the road, writing as she goes. We love her unusual way of cataloguing her work, and can’t help but click where we see Make Me Smile, Make Me Think and Inspire Me, always with a strong visual element that showcases her flair for photography. The balance of adventure, culture and food is irresistible.
20. Family Rambling
A family-focussed travel blog by mum of two Jody Halstead
Why we like it: For anyone travelling with a family, Family Rambling is an unbeatable resource. The blog is filled with tips for parents and innovative ways of keeping kids entertained (as well as the odd romantic retreat for rewarding all your hard work). Follow Jody and her family from fairs, to museums and theme parks and back again, all characterised by her bubbly American outlook and some great video content.
21. Sophie On Track
What it is: Sophie Collard shares her passion for trains and rail travel
Why we like it: Train travel is often taken for granted, especially in the UK, which is why we love Sophie On Track and her passion for all things rail-related. Sophie’s best posts are her Things you could be doing this weekend blogs, providing a wealth of last minute travel ideas, often with a cultural twist, closer to home than you might expect.
22. Roaming Tales
What it is: Caitlin Fitzsimmons combines her passion for travel and food in one place
Why we like it: Roaming Tales combines the two passions in Caitlin’s life – travel and food. Her posts are wide-ranging, covering everything from sand dunes in Death Valley to Syrian democracy and recipes for authentic Italian pasta. We like Roaming Tales for its boundless enthusiasm and the personalised touch that allows Caitlin to share the progress of her twin babies at the same time as her travel know-how.
23. Wild Junket
What it is: Tales from big trips courtesy of adventurer Nellie Huang
Why we like it: The rolling panoramic photos on the home page of Nellie’s Wild Junket blog make it almost impossible not to keep clicking. Nellie’s stories have a strong adventure focus, and off-road feel – think road trip itineraries, chasing polar bears in the Arctic and her 8 top global adventure spots. We love her ambition and fearlessness which never fails to come across in her writing.
24. Europe a la carte
What it is: One of the original travel blogs from full-time blogger Karen Bryan
Why we like it: Karen was one of the first trendsetters in the travel blogging world, and her Europe a la Carte site is still going strong, 9 years after its launch. As such, we love the wealth of information and advice that is archived on the site, and the ability to search quickly by destination on the left hand side of her page. We can find what we’re after within seconds of clicking on to her site. We love Karen’s destination podcasts and her dedicated Museums in Europe section is always a feast of cultural gems.
25. Bacon is Magic
What it is: the story of Ayngelina finding her feet in Latin America
Why we like it: With the tag line ‘living life with a different set of rules’, we love the thoroughness of Ayngelina’s Bacon is Magic blog, from her diverse Pre-trip Planning posts and the range of her Latin American adventures following her all the way down to Peru over the course of 365 days. Ayngelina’s site has a bravery about it and her stories have value for anyone heading to the America’s – check out Getting robbed in San Juan del Sur for a quick reality check before you leave.
* Research by Polly Crossman