If you want to become a travel vlogger but you don’t know where to start, you’re in the right place.
The allure of travel vlogging is felt by all of us. Traveling is a great passion for so many people, and in the past few years, YouTubers have really started to capitalize on that. The number of travel vlog channels seems to be increasing by the day, which makes some aspiring vloggers question whether they will successfully stand out among the vast sea of travel vloggers already on the platform. Hopefully, in this article, we will help you in that regard.
Let’s dive straight into this ultimate travel vlogging guide.
Essential Equipment for a Travel Vlogger
The first step to creating a travel vlog channel is choosing your vlogging equipment. While some pieces are optional, you will need to be equipped with the basics. We’re starting off with the most obvious choice of all – a camera.
A good camera will greatly contribute to the overall quality of your videos. That being said, given that most smartphones come with incredible cameras nowadays, it’s perfectly doable to film your vlogs on your smartphone as well. So, the first step would be deciding whether your smartphone is good enough for vlogging or if investing in a good camera is a better idea.
If you decide to go for a new camera, you’ll want to think of some of the qualities that an ideal travel vlogging camera should possess. For instance, your audience will appreciate your vlogs if they’re shot in amazing quality, so look for cameras that have HD video resolution (preferably full HD or Ultra HD).
The next thing you want to think about is image stabilization – you’re likely to move and shake your camera while you’re traveling, so make sure you find one that has good optical image stabilization. Another important thing is the weight of your camera. Look for cameras that are lightweight and easy to carry around and fly all over the world with. This will make traveling a whole lot easier, trust us.
That being said, here are some specific camera recommendations for any future travel vlogger:
- The Panasonic FZ300K is an outstanding choice for travel vlogs. It has Ultra HD, a flip screen so you can control what you’re filming, and amazing video stabilization.
- The Sony a7R II is the perfect travel vlogging camera, especially if you’re not new to vlogging. It has 4K Ultra HD, solid stabilization, and fast autofocus.
- The GoPro Hero8 Black is another great choice. Its image stabilization is impeccable, it has 4K video, and it’s waterproof – all the features you’d need for a great travel vlogging camera.
If you’d like an in-depth guide about the best vlogging cameras in 2020, check out our guide on the topic.
Although not crucial for vlogging, microphones can contribute to higher audio quality in your videos. If you’re just starting out with vlogging, then we recommend going for a cheaper option, or simply using the microphone on your camera or smartphone.
But let’s say you’re ready to invest in a mic in order to improve your audio quality. Our recommendation would be to look into The Rode VideoMic Pro – a professional microphone that’s especially useful for travel vloggers and interviewers, or anyone who wants to avoid any unnecessary background noise in their videos. It’s a battery-powered mic that comes at a very reasonable price, so you should definitely check it out.
If you want to learn more about microphones and how to pick the right one for your needs, check out our article on the best vlogging microphones for 2020.
Travel vlogging is a very specific job, so you have to be mindful of the little details when it comes to the equipment you choose, like lenses for instance. Even though you could get away with using random lenses, it’s best to go for a wide-angle lens if you want to execute your travel vlogs properly.
Canon has lenses that are extremely travel vlog-friendly. Specifically, we like the Canon EF-S 10-18 mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM. It’s quite affordable compared to some other options, and its performance is faultless. Lenses might not be the first equipment you’d want to invest in, but they’ll certainly make your job a whole lot easier.
Let’s face it – you will be moving and shaking and doing all sorts of sudden motions while you’re vlogging away your travels, so a stabilizing gimbal will definitely come in handy at some point or another. It will improve the overall quality of your videos and make filming a lot more pleasurable since it will make it easier for you to carry your camera around in different places. Shaky videos aren’t pleasant for your viewers either, so at the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with investing in one.
Here are our top three recommendations for gimbals for both cameras and smartphones:
- The Ikan FLY-X3-PLUS 3-Axis Smartphone Gimbal Stabilizer (for smartphones)
- The Zhiyun Crane M2 Gimbal
- The 3axis Gimbal Stabilizer for GoPro Action Camera (if you’re using GoPro)
If you’re planning on traveling in locations that are known to be windy, then you’ll want to get your hands on a wind muff. Wind mufflers will help you with any unpleasant wind sounds that might show up in your videos, and they’re pretty inexpensive.
There are a few types of wind mufflers to choose from depending on what kind of equipment you’re using. You could also purchase a mic that comes with its own wind muff.
Drones are optional equipment. Some travel vloggers prefer to have a wider angle for shooting, and it doesn’t get any wider than shooting with a drone. If you want to capture captivating sights while you’re traveling and insert cool montages in your vlogs, then you should definitely invest in a drone.
The DJI Phantom 3 Standard Quadcopter Drone with 2.7K HD Video Camera is an outstanding choice if you want amazing video quality, but the Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera is a perfectly adequate option if you want something more affordable.
Now that you know the basic filming equipment for travel vlogging, it’s time to move onto creating a YouTube channel.
Types of Travel Vlogs
Let’s first delve into the most common types of vlogs that you can encounter on YouTube.
Family Travel Vlogs
If you have a big family that likes to travel and isn’t shy in front of the camera, then you’re in luck! Family travel vlogs are a lot of fun to watch, and you won’t even feel like you’re working when you’re filming fun places to visit with your family. On top of being interesting to watch, these types of travel vlogs are incredibly helpful to any parents who want to travel to a certain place with their children.
Solo Travel Vlogs
There’s no better way to learn more about yourself than solo traveling. Regardless of how old you are, you can always go on a solo adventure somewhere, and if you decide to vlog your trip, you can look back on those moments in a few years’ time. Viewers appreciate solo travel vlogs because it gives them ideas about what to do when solo traveling and a little inspiration to go ahead and book that single airplane seat.
Source: Allison Anderson
Van Life Vlogs
If you’re a van life enthusiast, there’s no better platform to share your passion with the world than YouTube. There are plenty of van life vloggers who continue to help their audience with this lifestyle by sharing valuable tips, ideas, and tutorials.
Source: Max and Lee
In between travels, many travel vloggers upload informative videos to their channel in the hopes of helping more people and teaching them about a certain culture or country. You can make specific videos about how to dress in a certain country, give food recommendations, and elaborate on some faux pas to avoid.
Source: Wolters World
Create Your Own YouTube Channel
Creating your own channel has never been easier. Most of you reading this article already have a YouTube channel, but if you don’t have one yet, check out our guide on how to start vlogging and create your own channel.
Before you start a new channel, make sure you read YouTube’s Community Guidelines.
In order to start monetizing your travel vlogs, you need to become a YouTube partner first, so you will need to become acquainted with their guidelines.
Find Your Niche and Define Your Story
Source: 40 North Designs
If you’ve ever deep-dived into travel vlogs on YouTube, then you must’ve noticed that there are a couple of different types of travel vlogs.
The next step to becoming a travel vlogger is to find your niche.
Think of the following questions:
- What kind of videos would you like to film most?
- What kind of videos would come naturally to you?
- What kind of knowledge and expertise do you possess?
- Finally, what kind of interests do you have?
If you’ve ever been really drawn to watching a certain type of vlog, there must be a reason for that, so maybe explore recreating that in your own way. You have a unique personality and skillset, so give your viewers a chance to experience that.
If there’s a particular hobby or interest you have, why not base your travel vlogs around that? For instance, if you’re a chef who likes to experiment with food, then maybe your vlogs can center around exploring different cultures’ foods and tasting different flavors around the world. Or, if you’re a literature lover, why not show your viewers some quirky and charming bookstores around the world?
The options of choosing a niche are endless, and all you have to do is look deep down and be genuine about what you would like to film and where your passions and talents lie. Combining those things together is bound to help you make a decision about your niche in particular.
But why should you bother with choosing a niche in the first place?
Well, finding a niche will help you attract a certain kind of audience – one that is particularly interested in what you have to say and show. They will have certain expectations of you, but you will know what they want from you in return. Finding your niche and sticking to it (with some carefully planned deviation, of course), is the key to finding a loyal audience that will stand by your side, watch your videos on a regular basis, and support your channel.
When you explore the different types of vlogs out there like family vlogs, solo traveling vlogs, food-focused vlogs, or van life vlogs, you can think about your own personal story and where you find yourself within those vlog types, and go from there. This step requires a little planning ahead and dedication, but it will undoubtedly bring you success and clarity.
Film Your Travel Vlog
Source: Kelsey Robinson
Now it’s time to share a few tips about filming a travel vlog.
Don’t Be Afraid to Branch Out
Even though it’s smart to include more popular and mainstream locations in your travel vlogs, don’t be afraid to branch out and explore cities and countries that aren’t as well known. By sharing your travels with your audience, you have a unique ability to influence people’s travel decisions, so take advantage of that and share the locations you like. Who knows, you might be surprised to find out how many people find certain places as charming as you do.
Balance Filming and Living in the Moment
It’s only natural that you’d want to share with your viewers every second of your trip, but be careful about filming to the point of not getting your eyes off the screen and forgetting to enjoy the moment. Traveling will become a part of your job, however, you have to set some boundaries and take time out to simply enjoy yourself and be present in the moment. Filming a lot of clips at once will also make it harder to edit all that footage later on, so find that delicate balance between not having enough clips to make a vlog and filming every second of your travels.
Find New Perspectives
Many travel vloggers have already captured the places you’ve been to or have yet to go to. This shouldn’t discourage you from making videos in those exact places, but rather inspire you to find a new perspective to share.
Learning about the local culture and history should be of help to you in this regard. The more you know about a certain place, the more likely it is that you can find something new to share with the world. This will not only result in a great learning experience for you, but it will also be extremely interesting and informative for your audience.
Capture the Locals
Even though you have to put yourself at the center of your travel vlogs, it doesn’t mean that you should be the only person in them. Meeting new people with different lives and worldviews is what makes traveling so rewarding, so don’t forget to include locals in your travel vlogs. You’d be surprised to find how eager some of them are to share their culture with the world. Always ask for permission first before filming someone directly.
Editing Your Travel Vlog
Source: Haylsa & Kyle
You have all this incredible footage from your travel vlogs, but there are a couple more steps before you can share it with the world. Editing your clips and putting them together to form a cohesive vlog is one of those steps.
If you’re new to vlogging, then the concept of editing a video might seem intimidating at first, but the truth is – editing your videos has never been easier.
Most computers come with their own editing software (iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Windows Movie Maker). You also have the option of purchasing an editing software or choosing one that’s free like OpenShot or VideoPad.
Here are a few tips about editing your travel vlogs:
- Make your transitions smooth and seamless. This will make your video appear more fluid and polished.
- Switch up the angles every once in a while so that you can keep the viewer interested. It’s okay to have a favorite angle to film from but try to add different shots in between so that you can spice up your video.
- Pay attention to your audio quality. It’s no use having stunning and smooth visuals if your audio is out of whack. Notice if any wind, loud background noises, or unpleasant sounds come up in your video, and edit them out by cutting them out completely or inserting music over them.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. If you’re used to following one format when you edit, why not change it up every once in a while? You might surprise yourself and create something better than you had expected. Let your creativity flow uninterrupted every once in a while and see what happens.
Source: Morgan Yates
Promote Your Channel
Once you have uploaded your first video on YouTube, it’s time to promote your channel so that you can reach more people.
Learn About SEO
When it comes to promoting your channel, learning about SEO should be at the top of everyone’s list. SEO stands for search engine optimization, so you need to include frequently searched keywords in your descriptions, video titles, and tags. SEO applies to Google as well as YouTube, so invest some time in researching popular keywords. You can use the Google Keyword Planner if you want some help in this department.
Pay Attention to the Little Things
If you think that your thumbnails or your descriptions don’t play a large part in attracting viewers, you’re very mistaken. These elements are vital to acquiring views, so don’t forget to use the above-mentioned SEO skills when creating your video descriptions . The right thumbnail should reveal what the video is about, convey emotion, and be truthful to the video content. Avoid using clickbait thumbnails or video titles because it often has an opposite effect and actually puts off your viewers.
Utilize Social Media
Most of us have at least a couple of different social media accounts. Take advantage of the popularity of social media and share your videos once you upload them. Sometimes videos don’t come up in subscription boxes, so this is a good way to ensure that your subscribers are notified about your new uploads. Additionally, you can attract new audiences on social media if you use tags and digital marketing tools correctly.
Another strategy you can make use of is asking your family and friends to share your videos on social media. This will allow you to reach a larger audience and gain more subscribers over time.
Be Consistent with Your Uploads
Source: The Desert Carnation
YouTube promotes channels that upload frequently, so once you establish a certain upload schedule, do your best to stick to it. Needless to say, you won’t be travelling the world every single day, so if you’re out of travel vlogs, try uploading informative videos about your travels that you can film from the comfort of your own home.
Collaborate with Another Travel Vlogger
One of the best ways to promote your YouTube channel is to collaborate with other YouTubers who make similar videos to yours. Such collaboration is often fruitful for both parties, and all they require is for you to make an agreement about the nature of the collaboration.
You have two options: to meet up with each other and film two separate videos that you will later upload on your channels, or create a theme and film two separate videos which you upload to your own channels and announce the collaboration separately.
Giveaways are an amazing way to give back to your audience. You can choose between various types of awards: a Skype call with you, a part of your merch, filming equipment or vouchers. When you go through with the giveaway, mention few easy-to-follow rules and tell your viewers to subscribe to your channel and leave a comment on your video so they can enter the giveaway. This type of interaction will increase the engagement on your channel, which will rank your videos higher.
Another option would be to collaborate with a certain company and do a giveaway with their products.
More Travel Vlogging Tips
- Don’t shy away from appearing in your videos. Although people will initially click on your videos to find out more about a certain place, they will remain subscribed to you because of your personality. Don’t be afraid of adding these personal touches in your videos and always be yourself while vlogging.
Source: Haylsa & Kyle
- Remember that everyone gets self-conscious when vlogging. The truth is – you will be in an entirely new place, out of your comfort zone, surrounded by people you don’t know. It’s only normal to feel a little shy when pulling out your camera or smartphone and talking to yourself while walking around. You have to remember that it’s normal to feel this way and that you shouldn’t let those feelings stop you from vlogging and enjoying yourself. As the years pass, more and more people are watching vlogs and filming vlogs, so in a few years’ time, vlogging will be the new normal, and you will be proud for sticking to it.
- Add some music to your videos. Bonus points if you add music pieces that are unique to the place where you’re traveling.
- Get inspired. Before going on a new adventure, watch a couple of other travel vloggers. Examine their style, pinpoint some things you like or appreciate about them, and write down if you have any ideas about your future videos. Watching other people will always help you find your own strengths and interests.
Video Ideas for a Travel Vlogger
If you’re really passionate about travel vlogging but don’t know where to start, we have a few ideas that might help you out and inspire you to create new content. Some of these you can film everywhere, so if you’re currently stuck at home, it will hopefully give you some ideas about videos you can add to your channel.
Essentials videos. Whatever your expertise might be – camping, beach holidays, or mountain climbing, making videos about the essential products you’ll need while doing any of these activities can help your viewers on their next adventure.
Tips about traveling on a budget. Another helpful video idea is about traveling on a budget. You can share tips and tricks from your own experiences, or research the topic thoroughly. Not all countries are affordable to travel to, so it will be a highly informative video for your viewers.
Discuss interesting travel stories and adventures. What are some memories that you haven’t been able to forget about? Share them with your viewers and relive those thrilling times once again.
Bucket list destinations. Almost everyone has a travel bucket list, and your viewers probably want to know about yours. If you don’t have one already, maybe include writing one in a video!
Blooper videos. Your viewers will appreciate humorous, spontaneous, and lighthearted videos like bloopers and outtakes, so include them every once in a while to spice up your content.
Plan-with-me videos. These types of videos are very popular on YouTube. You can make a travel version where you plan your trip ahead including your accommodation, transport, activities, tours, and any sightseeing you’re planning to do.
Talk about events/festivals/concerts. If you’ve ever visited a specific place only for a concert or festival, then you can make a video where you discuss the event in great detail. Elaborate on the ups and downs of the trip and give your viewers advice if they want to do the same.
Discuss your favorite travel destinations. Sharing your favorites in a certain category with your viewers is a great way to become more connected to them. They will appreciate you opening up and sharing something intimate, and they might even be inspired to visit some of the places you mention.
We hope you found this travel vlogging guide helpful! If you want even more ideas, be sure to check out our article on 51 Vlog Ideas You Need to Try.
Vlogging your travels is an exhilarating job, and you too can become a travel vlogger by following these steps and investing in your channel.
Starting travel vlogging has never been easier. The first step is thinking of what kind of vlogs you want to film and finding your niche. Once you have a clear idea of this, you can go ahead and create your own YouTube channel if you don’t already have one. Then, you need to be consistent with your uploads until you quality for becoming a YouTube partner. From then on, you simply need to explore the world and film yourself doing so!
You can make money through sponsorships, affiliate links, creating your own merch or your own Patreon account. If you’re wondering where to start from, focus your energy to qualifying for YouTube’s partnership program so that you can monetize your videos and add adverts on them. This is the most consistent way of earning money from YouTube.
If you want to become a travel vlogger, investing in a high-quality camera is a good idea, although you can always film on your smartphone. Our personal camera recommendations are the Panasonic FZ300K, the Sony a7R II, and the GoPro Hero8 Black.