Top 25 Travel Blogs: 2014 Viator Travel Awards

January 3, 2014 by

Press & Publicity, Travel Advice & Inspiration, Viator Travel Awards

Viator Travel Awards

Find out our picks for the Top 25 Travel Blogs of the Year!

Editor’s Note: This post is part of the Viator Travel Awards, an annual awards competition where we – along with our readers, travelers, and fans – select the top things to do and see in each of the major regions we serve, the top things to do in our most popular tour categories, and more.

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Welcome to the 2014 Viator Travel Awards: Travel Blog edition, your annual guide to the Top 25 Travel Blogs You Should Be Reading. We are big fans of travel blogs here at Viator. They can be valuable resources for tips, recommendations, photographs and inspiration. They are also great places to share your own experiences and adventures.

It can sometimes seem like a new travel blog is launching every minute, which makes it hard to keep track of all the great reading that is out there! As we chose the top travel blogs of the last year, we decided to divide them into categories to recognize the ones that really stand out in their particular niche. Thus, you will see we have chosen the Best Nomadic Travel Blogs, Best Family Travel Blogs, Best Baby Boomer Travel Blogs, Best Solo Female Travel Blogs and Best Food Travel Blogs.

Keep in mind that this isn’t meant to be a definitive list of the best travel blogs in the history of the universe – “best” is subjective, and we’re sure there are amazing blogs out there that we missed. We hope you will find at least a few blogs in this list to add to your reading list (if they aren’t there already).

Please note that we focused only on blogs written mostly by a single traveler or a couple, and which aren’t backed by a larger company or media outlet. For that reason, sites like National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel blog, World Hum, Vagabondish, Fathom Away, and Culture-ist aren’t listed (even though we love them).

And now, in no particular order, here are our 25 favorite travel blogs.

Best Long-Term Travel Blogs

Hecktic Travels

Hecktic Travels

Hecktic Travels

Dalene and Pete Heck, the Canadian couple behind Hecktic Travels, have been on the road since 2009. Their writing is entertaining and insightful and they often tackle difficult topics, like when they witnessed protests by sweat factory workers in Phnom Penh or when they visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Choeung Ek Killing Fields in Cambodia. They have literally written the book on housesitting around the world and provide great advice to would-be digital nomads in How We Do It (And Why You Shouldn’t Listen to Us).

FoxNomad

Anil Polat, the man behind FoxNomad, has a way of making you want to visit places you never even considered – like Yemen and Iraq. We were glued to his in-depth posts on Yemen this year, especially as he addressed many of the obvious safety issues in visiting the country. On a mission to visit every country in the world, Polat is also a bit of a techie and offers great tips when it comes to travel technology, like The Best Point and Shoot Cameras Travelers Can Buy Right Now and the Best Travel Laptops of 2013.

Brendan’s Adventures

Brendan van Son’s blog just might be the craziest we followed this year as he rode a scooter from Mali to Cape Town, South Africa chronicling it all on Brendan’s Adventures. This excerpt from his recent Christmas letter pretty much sums up his year: “Through the journey I fought through a nasty crash in Cameroon, suicidal drivers in Nigeria, cases of malaria in DRC and Togo, and countless flat tires and tough roads.  It really was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  To this day, I’m completely confused by how I got through it all.”

Time Travel Turtle

Time Travel Turtle

Time Travel Turtle

Michael Turtle is an Aussie who left his corporate job at the age of 30 to travel the globe slowly and really experience the places he visits. On Time Travel Turtle, he delves deep into destinations, with a focus on the people, history and culture that we really enjoyed. From writing about the Etruscan tombs in Tarquinia, Italy, to touring a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica to advising on how to visit North Korea, Turtle is informative and insightful and leaves us wanting more.

The Expert Vagabond

Matthew Karsten’s goal is to inspire readers with entertaining stories and beautiful photography from around the world and we think he does just that. Everyone can learn a thing or two from his collection of top travel tips and you may find yourself laughing out loud while reading some of his posts. We especially love his photo essays, like the one from his motorcycle trip through the Canadian Rockies this summer and the one about traversing the Darien Gap.

Never Ending Voyage

Simon Fairbairn and Erin McNearney are a couple from the UK who have been traveling more or less since 2008. Not only do they write about the myriad of destinations they have visited, their blog is a thorough guide to living as a digital nomad, providing detailed information about how they fund their travels and the ups and downs to their nomadic lifestyle. As vegetarians, they also highlight vegetarian food around the world in “vegetarian survival guides” to nearly a dozen destinations. We are especially impressed that they manage to travel long term with carry-on luggage only and they provide great tips on how they do it.

Mapping Megan

While you wouldn’t guess by the name, there is actually a husband and wife team behind this long-term travel blog. Megan Claire and Mike Jerrard have both been on the road for more than five years, but only met each other in 2010. She’s Australian, he’s American, they met in Africa and got married in Hawaii! Their blog is a mix of travel tips, photos, interviews with other travelers and personal travel stories. We particularly enjoyed Megan’s account of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and her rundown on the coolest people she has met while traveling.

Best Family Travel Blogs

Escape Artistes

Theodora Sutcliffe’s popular blog began as “Travels with a Nine Year Old,” chronicling her travels with her then nine-year-old son, Zac. Well, Zac is now 12 and they are still on the road. This year saw Zac try out school in China before breaking his arm in Mongolia – which led to a series of posts that provide valuable insight into medical treatment overseas, medical evacuations and dealing with travel insurance companies. Sutcliffe has also written a great FAQ post addressing a lot of questions about long-term family travel.

The Mother of All Trips

The Mother of All Trips

The Mother of All Trips

Mara Gorman’s blog is part travelogue, part memoir, part meditation on motherhood, all with a dash of how-to. Married with two children, Gorman’s goal is to offer inspiration for her readers’ adventures, whether they are large-scale trips or just visits to the next town. She’s written about everything from visiting the Louvre with kids to tips for smarter family travel planning and even published The Family Traveler’s Handbook this fall.

yTravel Blog

More than just a family travel blog, Caz and Craig Makepeace’s site is about inspiring people to travel in general. Now that they have two children of their own, the topic of traveling as a family is a natural fit. Originally from the Central Coast region of Australia, they have been traveling the world since 1997, first solo, then as a couple and, for the last few years, as a family. They provide some great tips, such as the pros and cons of staying at a hostel as a family and tips for flying with children, and refreshingly honest confessions, such as the time when one daughter threw a tantrum at a major temple in Bangkok.

Delicious Baby

Debbie Dubrow travels often with her three children, all under age 10, and shares her tips for making travel with kids fun at Delicious Baby. Her travel tips posts range from how to pack to baby proofing hotels and her detailed city guides provide information on kid-friendly restaurants, shopping with kids and things to do with kids in some of her favorite cities. She also writes some great reviews of internationally focused books geared toward children and we especially enjoyed her series about visiting Scotland with her kids.

Best Solo Female Travel Blogs

A Dangerous Business

A Dangerous Business

A Dangerous Business

Amanda Williams provides a great mix of story-telling, factual information and compelling photos on A Dangerous Business. She spent much of 2013 on a round-the-world trip that kicked off in Europe, but soon realized that long-term travel was not for her and returned home to Ohio. We appreciate her honesty and agree that you don’t need to be a permanent nomad to see the world! We also loved Amanda’s post about solo female travel last February and her other insights into traveling abroad, from the value of taking a group trip to why travel is important.

Flora the Explorer

Flora Baker is a writer, poet and traveler who is on a mission to visit every continent twice before she turns 31. Currently in South America, she previously spent six months in Nepal, Thailand and India. One thing we love about Flora is that she doesn’t just travel, she immerses herself in the local culture and often gives back through volunteering. Her posts about what you need to know before volunteering with children abroad and about lessons she has learned while teaching English abroad are must-reads for anyone thinking of doing either.

Helen in Wonderlust

Helen Davies is a thirty-something traveler with a serious passion for Africa. She often travels solo, but also with her significant other or with friends. Through Helen in Wonderlust (and yes, it is misspelled on purpose, combining “wanderlust” and “wonderland”), she writes about not just the places she visits, but the inspiring people she meets along the way, including a series of interviews with both people she has met and those she hopes to meet. While she has traveled all over the world, Helen’s in-depth posts about Africa, from riding the train from Zambia to Tanzania, to getting her braided at Lake Malawi, left us smiling and laughing.

Backpacker Becki

Originally from Britain, Becki Enright has been traveling around the world solo since 2007 with no end in sight. Her quest for cultural immersion has led her all over Asia and beyond, including to untouched destinations like Myanmar and North Korea.  She shares her experiences in great, honest detail – the good and the bad. Her post about visiting the Demilitarized Zone from both North and South Korea was fascinating and we were touched by her experience visiting an elephant sanctuary in Thailand.

Ashley Abroad

After growing up in Michigan and going to college in Chicago, Ashley moved to Paris 3 weeks after graduation to work as an au pair.  After a stint in Paris, she took off on a backpacking journey around Asia, dealing with some initial culture shock before settling into a groove. Her posts touch on a little bit of everything in Asia, from partying in Thailand, to a yoga retreat in Bali, to a motorcycle trip across Vietnam. Ashley’s adventures around Asia will continue this winter before she moves on to Europe in the spring and we are excited to follow along!

Kami and the Rest of the World

Kami Napora is a Polish blogger based in Warsaw who is perfectly situated to see a lot of Europe and beyond, even though she is not a full-time traveler.  In 2013 alone, she managed to get to France, Germany, Morocco, Spain, Slovakia, Ukraine, Canada, Estonia, Lithuania and Finland, as well as several lesser known spots around Poland.  Her in-depth posts about the places she visits include great practical information and dozens of photos that make us feel like we were there too.  She also likes to focus on the quirky aspects of destinations, like street art in Toronto, Canada, a flea market in Lviv, Ukraine and the cities of Cieszyn and Cesky Tesin on the Poland/Czech Republic border.

Best Baby Boomer Travel Blogs

Changes in Longitude

Changes in Longitude

Changes in Longitude

Larissa and Michael Milne sold everything in 2011 and set off on a one-year trip around the world. After visiting countries on six continents, they returned to the U.S. in 2012, but with no home to return to, decided to keep the adventure going, exploring North America as true nomads. In 2013, they have shown us unique things to do in Buffalo, New York, introduced us to a D-Day veteran in Texas and made us want to visit places in the United States that we never even really thought about before!

My Itchy Travel Feet

Donna and Alan Hull are the couple behind this guide to baby boomer travel. Donna started an online travel journal in 2006 as a way to keep in touch with friends and family while they were on a 42-day cruise and that journal eventually became My Itchy Travel Feet, with Donna doing the writing and Alan adding the photography. In addition to sharing their travel adventures in the U.S. and abroad, they provide luxury cruise reviews and have sections on topics like road-tripping and hiking around the world. While much of their advice is geared toward baby boomers, we think a lot of it can be useful for any age traveler.

The GypsyNester

Now that their children are grown, David and Veronica are embracing travel as gypsy-nesters rather than empty-nesters and celebrating “life after kids.” Not only do they write about their adventures, they truly make them come alive through action-packed photos, video and live-blogging.  We got a kick out of their visit to the 52nd Annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival in Illinois and enjoyed following their every step as they explored the Great Wall of China for the first time as part of a trip through Asia.

Best Food Travel Blogs

Legal Nomads

Legal Nomads

Legal Nomads

Jodi Ettenberg has been on the road ever since leaving her legal career in 2008. While she appreciated good food growing up, her travels have intensified her understanding of the importance of – and meaning behind – what we eat. Since being diagnosed with Celiac disease, Jodi has focused even more on food, especially helping people find great meals when they travel, no matter what their dietary needs.  We loved her Celiac’s Guide to Northern India and her photo essay from the Mekong markets in Vietnam was mesmerizing. Jodi published her first book (The Food Traveler’s Handbook) in 2012 and this spring, she will be launching Jodi Eats Food Walks.

Migrationology

Mark Wiens grew up traveling the world with his family and, after attending college in the United States, he decided to continue doing what he loves the most: traveling the world, learning about other cultures and eating local food. He highlights regional cuisine from all over Asia and Africa, dishes on local specialties and even shares some of the stories behind the restaurants themselves.  Based in Bangkok for the last few years, Mark also shares tips on what to do, what to see, where to stay and, of course, what to eat in and around Bangkok.

Bacon is Magic

Ayngelina Brogan is a Canadian who quit her job to travel and find inspiration in Latin America a few years ago.  The more she has traveled, the more she has realized that the culture of a place is found in its food and the focus of her blog has shifted to reflect that. In 2013, she delved into Ecuadorian culture and cuisine, checked out the food culture of Prince Edward Island and then headed to Spain to discover the wine and food of Costa Brava. Ayngelina has also begun to focus more on video, including gems like How to eat cuy: guinea pig in Ecuador and How to make Pancetta in 30 seconds, and we are looking forward to seeing what else she comes up with in 2014.

Accidental Epicurean

Joanna is an American expat currently based in Shanghai and Accidental Epicurean is about stumbling upon the good life, savoring food, discovering wine and exploring places – mostly in Asia. She takes readers on photo treks through cities around Asia, provides informative guides to many of the cities she has visited in Asia and Europe. More than anything, Joanna focuses on food, providing recommendations on where to eat and drink, offering an “epicurean concept of the week” and even sharing recipes. We certainly learned a thing or two (or three) from 20 Words/Terms That Every Food & Wine Lover Should Know and her Guide to Dumplings Around the World left us drooling.

Eat Your World

Eat Your World

Eat Your World

Laura Siciliano-Rosen and Scott Rosen are behind this global guide to local food. Their mission is to spotlight food and drink that are native or traditional to particular places around the world and tell readers how to find them. They also have an interest in culinary preservation, tracking down some of the more esoteric dishes that provide a glimpse into a city’s past life. More than anything, Laura and Scott opened our eyes to finding food delights in the places we were least expecting. Who knew you could find great Portuguese food in Fall River, Massachusetts or that tiny Rhode Island needs a food guide all its own?

- Viator Travel Team

Disclaimer: some of the writers behind these top blogs also contribute to the Viator blogs, but our picks were not swayed by our association with them. In fact, many of the writers began to contribute to Viator  after we had found their blogs and enjoyed reading them. If you’d like to write for Viator, check out our contributors page! 

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24 Responses to “Top 25 Travel Blogs: 2014 Viator Travel Awards”

  1. Christina Says:

    You provided definitely a list of great bloggers worth to read and to follow. Happy travels. Christina from City Sea Country

  2. Ayngelina Says:

    Thanks so much for including me in this list of such talented bloggers.

  3. Ashley of Ashley Abroad Says:

    Thanks so much for including me! It means a lot :)

  4. Dalene Says:

    Thanks so much for including us! :)

  5. Jo Says:

    Some really great choices here, featuring some really inspiring people. Great list!

  6. Donna Hull Says:

    Thanks for including us in such a great list of travel blogs. We’re honored.

  7. Ruth Says:

    Great list! What better way to start the year than checking some new travel blogs!

  8. Jeff johns Says:

    Love this list guys, some of our favorite blogs are on here! Hope you do a best couple travel blogs section next year and we make the cut!

  9. JR Riel Says:

    There are some definite gems in this list, especially Mapping Megan, Migrationology and Bacon is Magic! Some of my favorites for sure. Great list, thanks for putting this together for us!

  10. Laura Says:

    Many thanks for the inclusion! Glad you found some of our lesser-known coverage ;)

  11. The GypsyNesters Says:

    WOW! We’re so honored to be among these fabulous sites! Did we say wow? WOW!

  12. Larissa Says:

    Thanks–We’re thrilled to be included on this list with so many other wonderful blogs!

  13. ThailandTur.no Says:

    Great to see Mark Wiens on your list :-D

  14. Devlin @ Marginal Boundaries Says:

    Congratulations to all those who made this awesome list. Some we know and some we don’t it’s always nice to find new bloggers to check out who are clearly on their game!

  15. Erin Bender (Travel With Bender) Says:

    Great list – I love a lot of these and some I’d never heard of so some new reading.

  16. Anne @ Pretraveller Says:

    Thanks for putting together a great list of top travel bloggers! Fortunately I am already following most of these bloggers but I still found a few more to add to my ‘must follow’ list! I have also recently published a list of the top 40 travel bloggers in Australia and New Zealand which has generated some great interest and comment. As a result I know how hard it is to put together these lists as there are so many great travel blogs out there!

  17. Sara GowithOh Says:

    We are so happy to see our blogger friends on the list! Keep on rocking on and inspiring our world!

  18. Corinne Says:

    I love these types of blogs…I always find new and great blogs to follow…keeps my addiction going!

  19. Frank Says:

    Gee, never heard of some of these blogs. Will make sure to check them out! Frank (bbqboy)

  20. Sarah Fazendin Says:

    Great list! Some I hadn’t heard of before either, making for fun reading. Have you thought about destination-specific blogs for next year’s awards? Some great specialist travel bloggers out there (beside A Week a the Beach of course!)

  21. Sarah Ebner Says:

    Great blogs – some I knew and some I didn’t. Now I’m going to find out more about them.

  22. Flora of Flora the Explorer Says:

    Thanks so much for including my site in this list! I’m honoured to be among such great company :)

  23. Justyna | OnePennyTrip.com Says:

    So many great blogs here and fantastic travel experiences here! Never heard of some of these but will definitely check them out

  24. Kiersten | TheBlondeAbroad.com Says:

    Great list of familiar blogs and lovely people!

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