The travel blogging field has exploded exponentially over the past decade. What began as a simple way for a few adventurous souls to share their journeys with friends and family has become a lucrative industry. These days, the best travel blogs are transforming the way people travel.
As a result of this rapid growth, there are tens of thousands of blogs out there catering to just about every travel interest you can imagine. From Baby Boomers to family travel, budget to luxury, cultural travel to sustainable travel, the world’s top travel blogs are increasingly niche-driven.
What they all have in common are engaging stories, beautiful photography, and an adventurous attitude that encourages travelers of all experience levels to get out there and explore our amazing planet. Check out our guide to some of the top travel blogs to follow in 2017, and please let us know your favorites in the comments below!
A recent Gold winner in the North American Travel Journalism Awards, the Amateur Traveler podcast and blog were created by Chris Christensen. The informative podcast focuses on in-depth interviews with experts and travelers guiding listeners through destinations they may want to travel to. From the jungles of Costa Rica and the city of Cape Town to the mountains of Patagonia and Rwanda, the show’s 546 (and counting episodes) are designed to inspire people to explore the world.
Geared primarily towards intelligent, responsible travelers, Around the World in Eighty Years is packed with informative posts on everything from adventure and archaeology to culture and photography. The site was founded by former archaeologist Jim O’Donnell, who– in addition to award-winning writing and photography– has also consulted on community-based natural resource planning issues, permaculture development projects, and wilderness protection movements.
Born in a small Canadian town called Rocky Mountain House, journalist/ photographer Brendan van Son was bit by the travel bug after completing degrees in Political Science and Geography in 2008. Upon graduation he went to South America to take a job that paid just $50 a week, but allowed him to explore at his leisure. He’s since visited 80+ countries on 6 different continents, including crazy adventures such as driving a $600 scooter down the west side of Africa.
Becki Enright– a British Travel Press award-winning writer and avid explorer– runs this responsible travel site that combines destination inspiration with informed social, historical, political, and cultural reporting. Currently based in Austria, Becki puts a priority on traveling with a social conscience. Her stories dive deep, ultimately challenging perceptions and shedding light on misunderstood aspects of a given destination.
Traveling the world non-stop for over years now, Matthew Karsten is a travel writer and photographer specializing in adventurous outdoor activities. His blog is packed with useful travel tips, fun videos, and amazing photography. But what really separates him from the pack are his entertaining stories on crazy adventures such as trekking Greenland’s Arctic Circle trail, camping on an active volcano in Guatemala, and visiting remote parts of Afghanistan.
Born in Brooklyn, with family roots in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, Carol Cain left behind her career in public relations to be a wife and homeschooling mother of 3. She started blogging in 2008 on NYCityMama before transitioning into Girl Gone Travel, which focuses on food/culture and her adventures (both solo and with her family). Her passion for exploring the world is contagious, as is her desire to inspire readers to “taste, travel, and live life to the fullest.”
A British travel writer with a penchant for narrative storytelling, Emma Higgins has been traveling for three years and has lived in Spain, Canada, and Thailand. Gotta Keep Movin’ is both a travel website and annual print journal that discovers the world by dedicating an entire year to one destination. Over the course of 365 days, Emma gives her readers a sense of immersion in the place, shining a light on its myriad curiosities and igniting readers’ passion for the world.
A midwestern girl who made it in Manhattan, Susan Portnoy left her career as a VP with Conde Nast behind to celebrate the magic of world travel through stunning photography and award-winning storytelling. She gravitates towards exotic destinations with authentic cultures, wildlife, or remnants of ancient civilizations. In short, Africa, Bhutan, Cuba, Machu Picchu, Mongolia, and Myanmar are high on her list of favorite places.
Currently President-Elect of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association, Amanda Ponzio Mouttaki is a curious, world-traveling woman from the midwest. She and her Moroccan/ American family (including two sons) left the US to find their dream in Marrakech. MarocMama is her fearless guide to food and travel, inspiring others to eat, live and travel the world more adventurously.
Before launching her adventure travel blog, Laurel Robbins earned a a B.Sc in Primatology and worked in environmental education at a zoo. Her site covers everything from soft adventures like day-hiking to diving with sharks, extended mountain treks, and epic cycling tours. Laurel is also passionate about animal conservation and getting outdoors as much as possible. Based in Germany, you’ll find her in the Alps most weekends!
Born in Portugal and based in Morocco, João Leitão packs Nomad Revelations with exotic narratives to inspire independent travelers and audacious backpackers. Traveling since 1999, his often intense journeys have taken him to more than 126 countries across Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and Oceania. He describes himself as a people person inspired by sunrises and sunsets, gastronomy, history, arts, and Nature.
A keynote speaker at the 2017 Women In Travel Summit, Oneika Raymond is a Toronto-bred, New York-based travel writer who’s been to over 90 countries. She’s married to a German man and speaks English, French, and Spanish fluently, so it’s no surprise that her blog has a truly global appeal. We love it for its frequent dives into the sociopolitical aspects of travel, touching on topics such as racism, feminism, and cultural bias.
Founded in 2010 by Catherine Sweeney, this baby boomer blog has a strong focus on culture, lifestyle, the arts, food, and historical landmarks. Approaching under-the-radar attractions in North America and Europe with anticipation and enthusiasm, Sweeney and her husband (known as Mr. TWS) entertain readers through compelling photos and personal stories. They also offer tips and perspectives designed to help travelers of all ages and experience levels.
Based in Michigan, author Dr. Jessie Voigts and her husband, marketing guru Ed Forteau, founded this site in 2007. It has since grown into an extensive travel library for people curious about the world. They also created the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program to help teens prepare for life in a global economy, and founded the Family Travel Bloggers Association. They are strong proponents of slow travel and living like locals.
Ian Ord’s passion for travel took root at age 16, when he hitchhiked from his hometown of Guelph, Ontario all the way to British Columbia. After 6 years in IT for a global tour operator, he launched WSE to document his off-the-beaten-path travels and examine how to create positive impact on the cultures and natural environments that we visit. A permanent nomad, he focuses on transformative travels that change the lives of travelers and locals alike.
This adventure travel blog was launched by Nellie Huang, a Singaporean writer currently based in Spain. Nellie and her husband Alberto have been traveling the world together since 2003, exploring over 100 countries on all seven continents. Nellie specializes in outdoor adventures, wildlife experiences, and unusual destinations, inspiring readers to get off the well-trod trail of convention and seek out extraordinary experiences.
Matt Gibson is the Canadian-born, Southeast Asia-based adventure travel writer/ photographer behind Xpat Matt. He’s also current President of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association. His greatest passion is “attempting ridiculous adventures in far-flung places with a total lack of planning and common sense.” He believes doing so helps us become more self-reliant, sharpen our abilities, and realize our full potential. –Bret Love; photos provided by the travel bloggers featured