We might not be able to travel for the rest of the year, but we can experience the beauty of travel virtually.
As someone who has never had Netflix in her life (no, I’m not a psychopath), I prefer good ol’ YouTube for most of my daily distractions. I’m constantly fascinated by how people have monetised their channels successfully while sharing beautifully-edited videos of their travel adventures.
Here’s my hand-picked list of the best travel videos to watch in quarantine. (All are listed by channel owners & names)
Andy To, an Oakland native who now lives in NYC, has become my hands-down favourite travel videographer. I only discovered him a few months ago, but I’ve watched every single one of his beautiful videos.
It’s a bit crazy that even his old ones from 2013 are just as incredible as his latest ones, showcasing his true craftsmanship. His edits and time lapses will truly blow you away.
Known for shooting a lot of his videos on just his iPhone, he even got a personal shout-out from Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. My absolute favourite is this Japan one.
His girlfriend also has a channel, in which she switched from beauty to a travel niche.
Louis is a British travel aficionado who uploads a daily vlog of his life. He’s got this incredible chilled demeanour about him, which is why I’ve followed his videos for years.
And the best part?
He’s always doing something death-defyingly crazy. Check out his content:
World of Wanderlust (Brooke Saward)
Brooke, an Aussie now quarantining in Capetown, can quite frankly be labeled as the queen of solo female travel blogging.
Her recent Instagram story captions about her dumpster fire dating experiences in LA have allowed her near-million followers to read her authentic stories that haven’t always matched up to her picture-perfect, flawless photos. Her blog and YouTube channel are just as incredible:
Watch her vlogs on Pakistan here:
Forrest’s channel was sent to me by one of my best friends, since her fiancé is best buds with him. His dry humour coupled with witty commentary and beautiful video edits will leave you wanting more, which is why he’s been featured on large media outlets like UNILAD Adventure.
After six years in the Army, Forrest has been traveling the world and documenting all of his wild adventures through video format.
He even attended a Hong Kong protest last year to gain a better understanding of the ongoing atmosphere and current political tension there:
Nadine is a travel vlogger who sprinkles in humour with travel hacks, tips, destination and packing guides, and much more. Despite quarantine, she’s still going strong and cranking out useful travel content at home!
Christina is a Canadian travel wiz currently living in Munich who shares her colourful, offbeat adventures in Europe and beyond. Her videos are beautifully branded with vibrant text and theming (aligned with her stunning blog and Pinterest boards).
She landed a dream gig on Europe’s largest river cruise line as their sole photo reporter intern, and since then, has been sharing her wealth of Europe travel knowledge with the world.
Riley and Elyana are an Aussie couple who have documented their circumnavigations around the world… despite having no prior sailing experience. They have now sailed over 90,000nm across many oceans in hopes of raising ocean awareness and alternatives to living.
Watch their first vlog from six years ago, discussing how they bought a yacht in Italy and have eventual hopes of getting it back to Australia:
They’ve amassed over one million subscribers and are currently on track to sail around Lagos:
Alex and Marco are the creative brothers behind this channel who focus on promoting an understanding of all culture (and culinary delights) equally.
Founded in 2012, the channel now has over a million followers from over 140 countries, and it’s impossible to stop watching all of their unique advetures.
My favourite is their 4K New Zealand video:
Migrationology (Mark Wiens)
Mark’s YouTube description reads, “Food is the reason you should travel.”
HELL yes it is! Watch all of his drool-worthy videos here and see why over six million people subscribe to him, making him one of the world’s most famous food bloggers/vloggers:
G Adventures is an example of an account using their channel effectively to show virtual tours of various countries in a time without travel. It brands itself as not only a small tour group company, but also a social enterprise.
The channel is also promoting Virtual Moments, in which G Adventures team members worldwide have been teaching skills like yoga, origami, salsa, and cooking in their respective home countries. It’s a beautiful way to stay connected to the world of travel while still learning!
This might not be travel-related per se, but Jun’s channel actually has more subscribers (4.55 million+) than ANY of the people listed above.
The videos all revolve around Jun, a home cook, creating 5-star-esque Japanese meals for his adorable cats, and people can’t get enough of them. Some of the meals aren’t even for the cats, but they sit patiently and admire the food throughout the process of him cooking. Check out the below video that garnered 14 mill. views:
He claims not to be a professional chef, but with his beautiful presentation of all the meals, we know he’d be terrific in the field.
Honourable Mention: TikTok
I know, you either love or hate this app. But if you’re into videography and photography, it’s actually now a missed marketing opportunity if you’re NOT on TikTok (no, you don’t need to dance).
As a Millennial who is extremely impatient and restless, TikTok is the ideal app for me since I end up spending way too much time scrolling beautiful, entertaining, and educational videos, most of which are less than 15 seconds.
And yes, I’ve caved and already made way too many videos. Hey, it’s a mindless way to express your creativity!
The algorithm makes NO sense at all, and this Japan video I posted ended up getting over 187k views (and 33k likes) in less than a WEEK.
You curate your own feed depending on all the videos you continue to watch and like, so my feed is constantly showing me beautiful travel montages and cute Corgis.
Hailed as the new version of (the now dead) Vine, it’s probably on track to be the App of 2020, especially since it’s how so many of us are using it to cope with quarantine.
Thus, while we can’t travel for now, hopefully some of these videos inspire you to live out your dreams and explore more of our beautiful world when this pandemic is over.
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