top travelers I follow

Bloggers, Vloggers, and More: Top Travelers To Follow

“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.” Oscar Wilde established the creed, the travelers below carry it on. The people below I consider some of the top travelers that are putting out useful material.

These travelers have helped me greatly. Whether it’s just the stories they write that entertained me and made me develop a case of wanderlust. Or if it’s concrete tips that they provided that directly helped me in my life while traveling. Every traveler has some advice or information they can impart that could benefit another traveler’s life. Some of the advice in past posts is advice I got from some of these travelers.

So, with that said, here are the top travelers who have influenced my traveling and I turn to them as a respected voice in travel.

Writers/Bloggers

There are plenty of writers and bloggers that I could name here. Bill Bryson and Paul Theroux are two that come to mind.

In this post, I am going to focus on writers/bloggers that have helped me in a more practical way. Bryson’s stories are fantastic reads to take you away on a journey, but they’re not packed with advice that you can use to start traveling or to help you continue traveling.

So, below, you will find writers and bloggers that will give you tools that can help you immediately. They all share stories as well, and those are just as excellent as the how-to’s and guides.

However, I’ve found most travelers want actionable advice that is going to bring them closer to their dreams and stories. This way, they do not have to live vicariously through the stories of other travel writers and bloggers.

Nomadic Matt

Nomadic Matt - one of the top travelers
Courtesy of www.nomadicmatt.com

If you’re a regular traveler, especially internationally, then you know who Nomadic Matt is, or by his birth name — Matt Kepnes. He’s arguably the most prominent voice on international travel, at least from a blogging standpoint.

What you should know

Why do I care about what this person has to say?

When I started traveling, Matt was one of the first travel bloggers I came upon — I’m confident this is a thing that many travelers will tell you. I got his book, How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, and immediately benefited from the advice he had. Whether it was how to find the best flight prices or his tips on saving money, Matt’s advice was practical. They are things that you can immediately start doing to make traveling more attainable.

In addition, Matt also provides budget guidebooks for a variety of destinations, here are some examples:

Other guides he has created include:

I can’t state this enough. Matt is an excellent resource for travelers. He’s one of those top travelers that you know is getting the hands-on experience and telling it honestly.

Anything else I should know?

Matt isn’t only a well-traveled person, he’s also a big name in the blogging arena. So, if you’re a blogger, he’s got great advice in that arena, too. So, you will find the following information helpful. If not, well, you can just scroll down to the next blogger.

If you’re still reading, then you’re a current, or future, blogger! Welcome!

Matt offers a blogging course that he calls Superstar Blogging. Unlike other courses where you often get a course that just gives you terms, some ideas, and not a lot of actionable advice. Matt describes his course as “hands-on”. With his course, you get the following things:

  • Weekly Q&A and strategy calls
  • Tech support
  • Notes and edits on your posts
  • A forum to connect with other students
  • Webinars from other successful creators
  • Assignments that will help keep you motivated

He offers two types of courses: How to Become a Travel Writer and The Business of Blogging.

How to Become a Travel Writer

In this course, Matt paired with another travel writer, David Farley, who has worked for National Geographic and was a writing professor at Columbia and New York University. Furthermore, his work has been published in publications like The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, and BBC Travel.

In this course, they will provide:

  • Video lectures
  • Interviews with travel writers and editors
  • Examples of edited stories
  • Example book proposals/pitch letters
  • Writing advice
    • Crafting a story
    • Self-editing
    • Grammar
  • Copy edits and notes on your writing

This does come at a cost, of course. Many will disagree with me, but I believe that you’re going to have to pay to get access to the top professionals in your craft. Those people spent years, or decades, honing their skills. They deserve to charge for its access. Just my opinion.

Here are the rates:

A bit pricey, especially if you’re on a budget. But, if you’re serious about travel writing, it may be worth a look.

Here are some reviews:

The Business of Blogging

The Business of Blogging is going to focus on, well, blogging. Matt does not refer to this as a course but says that it is a mentorship. With a subscription to this course, you get the following:

  • Constant feedback and support
  • Frequent email contact
  • Weekly calls
  • Forums
  • Tech support
  • Social media strategy
  • Email list and how to get subscribers
  • Content editing
  • Affiliate marketing, consulting, and selling products

You can view a syllabus here.

At the time of writing, Matt is not accepting new students for this course. I would suspect that the Covid-19 situation lead to many people applying to begin making money online. When it is open again, I will update this post to reflect the prices.

Here are some reviews:

Expert Vagabond

Expert Vagabond - one of the top travelers
Courtesy of www.expertvagabond.com

It must be something with the name Matt. Expert Vagabond, Matt Karsten, was another travel blogger that I discovered early on and has helped travelers around the world.

What you should know

  • Founder of the website: https://expertvagabond.com/
  • His website and work have been featured on/in:
    • National Geographic
    • Lonely Planet
    • Travel Channel
    • New York Times
    • GoPro

Why do I care about what this person has to say?

Expert Vagabond is another resource that is invaluable for travelers. His budget travel tips are useful and help you extend your travel plans longer than you initially thought was possible.

Budget Travel

Writing about budget travel is one of Matt’s specialties, but he also pairs this with living life as a digital nomad, and how you can continue to fund your travels indefinitely.

In addition, he has an excellent choice in travel backpacks — which is great if you’re a backpacker looking to find a pack that will meet all your needs. It may sound silly to some, but your choice of backpack is a huge decision. My travel backpack choice took longer than most of my major life decisions.

Here are some of his articles on budget travel:

As I mentioned, he also lives a digital nomad life, which means he’s location-independent and works 100% online. Here are some of his articles if you’re looking for more information about being a digital nomad:

Adventure travel

Specializing in adventure travel as well, he’s a great resource for those looking to add a little excitement (and maybe risk) to their travels. Here are some examples of his stories:

Expert Vagabond also offers travel guides:

Anything else I should know?

Matt is also an excellent photographer. If you couldn’t guess from the above description about his travels, he likes adventure travel photography. He has an entire section dedicated to photography and expanding your skills.

Whether you’re a traveler, blogger, or regular person, taking better photos is never bad. If you look at his website, you will find articles such as:

You can also find his Instagram here, where he posts some of his photos (obviously), and also where he sells some of the stills he has taken, which are pretty damn good if you ask me:

Rolf Potts

Rolf Potts - one of the top travelers
Courtesy of www.rolfpotts.com

Many long-time travelers will recognize Rolf, not Matt, Potts is a travel writer. He is a travel writer and adventurer that has made long-term travel on a budget his life’s work.

What you should know

Why do I care about what this person has to say?

Rolf is a remarkable writer (if you couldn’t tell by his accolades). He’s most renowned for his book, Vagabonding, which has helped countless travelers achieve their long-term travel dreams. If you want to begin traveling, I recommend picking this book up.

That is not the only good writing he has done, though. Here are some of his travel stories:

In addition, he does a series of interviews with travel profile writers where, each month, he will interview top writers, editors, publishers, filmmakers, bloggers, novelists, and others. This is an excellent resource for those looking to learn more about travel writing and how they can improve. Reading the work of other travel writers will only improve your writing.

Last, he has a podcast, Deviate, where he posts regularly. It isn’t only about travel, as he will interview interesting people and discuss other topics – like sports, music, etc.

Anything else I should know?

He even started the No Baggage Challenge in one of his more extreme examples of budget travel. In 2010, he set out on a trip that would take him around the globe, taking no luggage with him. The trip lasted six weeks, and he explored 12 countries.

All he took with him were the clothes he was wearing, a toothbrush, an iPod, and some extra clothing items – and he carried it all in his pockets.

Rolf is a man who has traveling in his blood, and he’s willing to go further than others are willing to. His insights are incredibly valuable to travelers of all types. Doing challenges like this and seeing how far you can go on so little is why I consider Rolf one of the top travelers.

If you’re a fan of travelers who live to travel, then Rolf’s website should be bookmarked in your browser.

Videographers

Karl Watson

Karl Watson - one of the top travelers
Courtesy of Karl Watson’s Youtube Channel

Why do I care about what this channel creates?

  • HK2NY: Hong Kong to New York
    • The videos that introduce me, and most people, to Karl and his friend, James (where is he, by the way?). Karl and James travel around the world – beginning in Asia and ending in America – and document their travels the entire way. The series is 11 episodes (now 13 thanks to the retrospective videos, which are great as well). Worth the watch.
  • Backpackers of the Caribbean
    • Meeting up with his friend, James, again. They travel through parts of Central and South America – visiting Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. As usual, watchers will be entertained by Karl and James’s chemistry and the constant laughs they bring.
  • A Taste of India
    • In this series, Karl travels to India to backpack around India and explore this giant country. In the first episode, Karl spends three weeks in the north of India, then three weeks in the south. As someone who wants to visit India in the future, this series was great for giving me a look into what India is like from a traveler’s standpoint.
  • The Quest for Everest
    • This time, Karl brings along his friend, Chris (no, seriously, where’s James?!). That joke will make a lot more sense to people as you watch Karl more. Karl and Chris start out in China, traveling through the country to reach Everest Base Camp. A series that truly has its ups and downs, don’t miss this if you have a fancy for Everest.
  • First Time in Africa
    • Africa is a continent that, in my opinion, isn’t covered enough. Pictures I’ve seen, and stories I’ve heard, have increased my interest in visiting. Karl, on his first visit, travels through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia. From visiting historical landmarks to diving with sharks, Karl’s series on Africa is a great series to give you some insight into parts of Africa.
  • Vietnam
    • If you’ve read anything I’ve written before, you know I don’t hide my love for Vietnam. It’s just a great country. So, that made this series an instant watch. Not kidding, my girlfriend and I watched all three episodes, back-to-back-to-back, minutes after they were released. Karl does another great job of showcasing Vietnam and the beauty of the country — as well as its quirks — in this series.

Anything else I should know?

In one of the most in-depth works I’ve ever seen, Karl discusses the budgets and itineraries for each of his trips. This resource is invaluable, even if you’re not planning to travel like Karl. When I first watched this, my first thought was the amount of time that he had to put into creating the video and documents. This is why I consider him one of the top travelers, he’s willing to give back and help others achieve their goals as well.

You can view all of them here. As I mentioned, he includes the itineraries for the trips mentioned above.

As I mentioned, the effort put into this is outstanding and we should all be thankful to Karl for this resource. Thanks, Karl!

The Budgeteers

 

Courtesy of The Budgeteer’s Youtube Channel

Ahh, the good ol’ Budgeteers. The videos from this channel are just good fun among three friends who aim to show that you can travel on a shoestring budget. Similar to Karl and James above, Paddy, Thys, and Lina have a chemistry that makes all of their trips just good-natured fun.

Why do I care about what this channel creates?

As I mentioned above, The Budgeteers focus on traveling cheap, like super-cheap. In most of their videos, they will actively keep track of how much their spending, and will set themselves a total budget of $1000 that they cannot surpass. This goes a long way in showing how anyone can travel — no matter your financial circumstances.

They currently have four series, all of which are in-depth into showing cheap travel:

In addition, they also have mini-series, which include:

The Budgeteers are different from the above travelers because they have a woman, Lina! Lina provides a unique perspective that is sometimes lacking with travel blogs/videos. So, it’s great to hear Lina provide her view and perspective on things.

Anything else I should know?

Paddy, one of the members of the Budgeteers, also started his channel during the Covid situation. He was making many videos solo since he was unable to connect with Thys and Lina due to travel restrictions, so he decided to branch off and have a channel where he could make videos by himself.

He’s still a part of The Budgeteers, and they are planning some awesome trips once travel is relatively back to normal. But, for now, Paddy is traveling around Thailand, showcasing different provinces and cities in Thailand that may not be as well known as the more popular tourist destinations. Sticking with the theme of The Budgeteers, Paddy is showing how you can see all of this on a budget, and he does an impressive job of providing you with a detailed look at how affordable each place is.

You can find his channel here, be sure to subscribe to catch some great videos.

Viajefest

 

Courtesy of Viajefest’s Youtube Channel

Viajefest is a favorite of mine that is more well known in Mexico. Largely, because most of their videos are focused on the variety of sights that are available when traveling around Mexico. And there are a lot!

Viajefest is a Mexican couple, and all of their videos are in Spanish. However, if you just turn on the subtitles (or leave them off to really test your Spanish).

Why do I care about what this channel creates?

As an American, Mexico is our neighbor with delicious food, vibrant culture, and the history to match. I lived in Mexico for almost a year, and I loved learning about the place, especially the food and history.

If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, then Viajefest should be one of the first channels you turn to. They have visited and shown parts of Mexico that I didn’t know existed. While living in Mexico, they were the source of information for many trips that my girlfriend and I planned. They seemed to have visited every place in Mexico!

Some great videos to check out are:

  • Tren Maya
    • In this series, Viajefest travels around Mexico, starting in Palenque and finishing in Izamal. Along the way, they stop in Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Cancun, Merida, and visit Chichen Itza as well. For someone who’s looking to visit Yucatan, Quintana Roo, or Campeche, this series is for you
  • Pueblos Mágicos
    • This series will focus on, well, exactly what the title says. They visit Los Pueblos Magicos, or the Magical Towns, of Mexico. The magical towns are places with symbols and legends, towns that showcase Mexican identity, and are important to Mexican history. This is a great watch if you’re into the cultural side of Mexico.
  • Las Mejores Playas de Mexico
    • I don’t know if you can read Spanish, but this translates to ‘The best beaches in Mexico. A fantastic title because Mexico has many beaches that are worth checking out. I was able to visit a couple, but this list has me wanting to go back to see more.
  • Riviera Maya
    • This one will appeal to Americans as this is the area most often visited by us. Viajefest hits all the hot spots — Cancun, PDC, Cozumel, Tulum, and others — but also gives some great insight into places that aren’t as well known…yet. A great resource to find things to do in the area.

Anything else I should know?

Viajefest’s videos aren’t only limited to Mexico. They also have a short series on things to do in Guatemala, which is a neighbor of Mexico to the south. In addition, they also have a short series about their trip to Europe. Here, they spent time in Spain and visited Madrid, Valencia, and Ibiza.

And I’m sure they have plans to do more outside Mexico once the situation allows for it. You can find those series here:

Conclusion

No matter who you choose to turn to, as long as you’re getting sound advice that you can put into practice, then you’re headed in the right direction.

These are some of the top travelers that have helped me greatly, and I feel others could benefit from. Each one of them lives for travel and aims to provide the truest representation of it that they can. We’re all lucky that they’re all excellent at their craft and can bring information to us in ways that entertain, as well as educate.

2 thoughts on “Bloggers, Vloggers, and More: Top Travelers To Follow”

  1. Thanks man! And yeah, he’s a good one. I strongly recommend Karl Watson if you’re into videos. Awesome stuff.

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