Traveling around the world is one of life’s most exciting experiences – just ask anyone who has caught the travel bug. It is no wonder that travel videos are a big hit on YouTube. Any viewer can be instantly transported to another part of the world, all from the comfort of their seat.
With all the high-quality cameras and video editing software that are much more accessible to the general public now than even a few years ago, it has never been a better time to make a travel vlog.
Below, I have prepared a comprehensive guide on how to become a travel vlogger.
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PART 1: TRAVEL VLOGGING EQUIPMENT
In order to make travel videos, you’re going to need camera equipment. Below, I’ve prepared a comprehensive list of cameras and accessories that would be good for travel vlogging.
1.1 Travel Vlogging Cameras
How To Choose A Vlogging Camera
When it comes to travel vlogging, you should look for a camera that ideally has the following eleven qualities:
It has a fully articulated screen (flip screen)
It has good continual autofocus while recording video
It has good focus priority through face recognition
It has touched to focus
It has good low-light performance
It has an external mic jack and a hot/cold shoe bracket
It has optical image stabilization
It is lightweight and portable
It has a good battery life
It is durable and weather-sealed
It has hyper-lapse/timelapse/slow-motion shooting modes
Considering my list on what to look for in a travel vlogging camera, I’ve prepared a table below of thirteen cameras I’d recommend for travel vlogging:
Canon EOS M50
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S
GoPro Hero6 Black
Canon EOS M100
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Canon EOS Rebel SL2
Canon EOS Rebel T7i
Canon EOS M6
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC RX 100 V
Panasonic Lumix DMC G85
Panasonic Lumix DMC LX10
Canon EOS 80D
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
Lenses That Are Good For Travel Vlogging
Every travel vlogger should have a wide-angle lens. Wide-angle lenses fit much more of a scene into your camera frame, making it ideal for capturing establishing shots. You’ll also need a wide-angle lens if you plan on holding your camera out in front of yourself with an extended arm to get selfie footage.
As a travel vlogger, you’ll also want to show some close-up shots of the various subjects in your scene. If you don’t mind walking up to these subjects, the lens I recommend for this is a standard lens.
If, however, you want to be able to shoot these close-up shots from a farther distance, you’ll need a telephoto lens.
But you probably don’t want to carry and switch so many lenses as you travel, right? A convenient solution is to get a zoom lens that covers a wide range of focal lengths. For example, travel vlogger Sam Kolder shoots with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 lens – that’s a wide-angle lens, standard lens, and telephoto lens all in one lens!
If most of your travel video shooting will be done handheld, you should also definitely look for a lens equipped with optical image stabilization.
Camera Accessories That Are Good For Travel Vlogging
Record stabilized shots and timelapse footage with a tripod.
2. GorillaPod SLR-Zoom with Ballhead
Wrap your camera around structures that your regular tripod can't stay on. You can also hold out your camera further away from you using the GorillaPod as a selfie stick to fit in more of your background into your selfie shot.
3. Stabilizing Gimbal
Get super-smooth shots with a stabilizing gimbal.
4. On-Camera LED Light
Is there not enough light? Add an LED light to your camera's hot/cold shoe.
5. Neutral Density (ND) Filters
Is it too bright outside to have your aperture wide open but you still want to get that cinematic look? You can add ND filters to your lenses so that you can do just that in very bright conditions.
6. Camera Cleaning Kit
While traveling, you can get all kinds of unwanted substances on your lens and in your camera like dust, dirt, fingerprints, raindrops, snow, and sand, to name a few. If you bring along a portable camera cleaning kit with you on your travels, you can remove those things immediately so that your shots won't be affected.
When it comes to travel vlogging, wide shots that establish the scene and setting are important. Drones are great for taking these kinds of wide shots from high places that you would not be able to get to by foot.
Smartphone Accessories That Are Good For Travel Vlogging
Using your smartphone as a travel vlogging device is a great idea! Your smartphone is a light and portable piece of equipment that you likely have with you at all times. Upgrade your smartphone travel vlogging setup with any of these 9 Best Smartphone Camera Accessories For Vloggers:
RAVPower Portable Charger
Arkon Tripod Mount
Mega Tiny Anti-Gravity Case
FLII Selfie Ring Light
Rode VideoMic Me
Aukey Optic 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Set
iOgrapher Go for Android and iPhone
Manfrotto TwistGrip System
Zhiyun Smooth-Q 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphones
D-ring clips (to prevent your equipment from slipping out of your grasp)
Smartphone SD card tray key (if you’re storing your recorded footage in your SD card)
PART 2: TRAVEL VLOGGING IDEAS
If you’re needing some travel video ideas either to get you started or to bring some fresh content into your channel, here are ten travel video ideas that you can try.
1. Travel Vlog
Travel vlogging, the kind where you film yourself just going about your day in a different part of the world, is a great way to not only document your travel moments and memories for yourself, but also a great way to share your experience with others.
Rather than being too picky with your video shots and possibly ending up with a lack of footage to work with, shoot as much as you can.
Try to capture your thoughts and feelings around the things you taste, smell, see and hear. Sharing these details can help your viewers feel more like they’re with you on your travels.
2. Tips or Tricks for Traveling
Although learning from mistakes during your travels can be a rewarding experience, most people want to avoid them and, rather, enjoy their trip as much as they possibly can. After all, travel, for most people, happens in intervals that seem too short. You can help this sizable group by offering travel tips and tricks.
Prepare a list of tips and tricks, a shot list of all the footage you’ll need to go along with those tips, and then capture all your footage. As you go through your list, you can then cut away to your associated travel shots.
3. Video Tour of a Location
Many people are curious about different parts of the world and would love to join a tour without the high cost of flights, hotels, meals, and admission tickets. Give them that experience by making a video tour.
4. Review An Attraction or Experience
A lot of travelers having a limited amount of time and money to enjoy their chosen travel destinations want to know which attractions and experiences to prioritize and which ones to skip. Help them make their decision by making a video review.
5. Timelapse Videos
All you need in addition to your camera is a tripod to get started with making timelapse videos. Your tripod stabilizes your shot as your camera captures all the changes that take place in a given location.
When your footage is sped up, your viewers can appreciate all the changes that take place that they may not have had the patience to sit through in real-time. It’s also interesting to observe the passage of time in a different way.
6. Average Daily Cost
Before going on a trip, many people try to make a budget and figure out how much money to exchange into foreign currency. Making a good budget and getting just enough foreign cash, though, requires you to know how much, on average, things cost.
Make a helpful video on the average cost of daily expenses including meals and transportation like Paolo did in the above video “Average Daily Cost in Tokyo Japan | Is it Expensive?.” His video actually helped me a lot when I was trying to come up with a budget for my recent trip to Japan.
7. Interview Locals
People don’t travel only to see popular attractions. A lot of people travel to connect with and understand people from different parts of the world.
Interviewing locals and sharing their thoughts can help to provide that kind of connection.
8. What's in My Backpack?
Packing for a trip can say a lot about who you are as a person because it involves prioritizing items based on your personal values.
For your next trip, share a little part of yourself with your audience through a video about the things you’ve packed in your bag.
9. Talk About Your Own Home City
When you’ve lived in your own home city for so long, you might forget that people all over the world may marvel at the things you take for granted because all those things just happen to be at your doorstep.
Take advantage of the expert that you already are in your own home city and make an informative video for others who are taking a trip there.
10. How To Become a Travel Vlogger
After you’ve done a lot of travel vlogging and learned so much along the way, you can make a video about how to be a travel vlogger.
In the above video, Andrew Santos teaches how to make a travel video, all while hilariously poking fun at many of the cliché trends in the travel genre.
PART 3: TRAVEL VIDEO EDITING
Video Editing Software
When it comes to editing your travel video together, there are different kinds of software you can do that with.
If you use Filmora Video Editor, you can also take advantage of a variety of travel-themed video effects packs, like the one shown in the above video, filled with titles, transitions, filters, overlays, and other visual elements.
For my recent trip to Japan, I actually used Filmora Effects’ Japanese set.
At the 2:10 mark of the above video, I used an overlay of falling cherry blossom leaves. At the 3:03 mark of the same video, I used an anime-themed overlay.
At the 2:48 mark of the above video, I used a shoji door transition.
Music is an important component of a lot of travel videos. Here’s where you can get them:
Give yourself more time at each location if you want to have a good balance between getting the shots you need and enjoying your present moment.
Carry a backpack that doesn’t have zippers on the outside that thieves can easily get to.
If you’re shooting with a flashy smartphone, make it look less appealing to thieves with a grotesque smartphone case, like an Otterbox.
In locations with high crime, pre-plan the shots you want to capture and take your SLR camera out of your bag only to take those shots. Otherwise, keep your SLR camera concealed.
Never leave your equipment unattended in a visible area, not even in a locked car.
Pre-Production and Planning
Before shooting, make a shot list of all the footage you need.
Have all your filming equipment that needs to be calibrated all calibrated and ready to use.
Look into your lens, not the projected image of yourself on your camera’s flip screen.
Show a lot of energy as you film yourself.
If you’re nervous about talking to the camera in public, keep your talking head clips short and gradually build your way up to longer clips. You can break up longer sentences by saying a few words from one scene, saying a few more in another, and finishing off your last words, again, in another scene. Later, in editing, you can stitch all of those clips together to make one fluid sentence.
If you’re nervous about talking to the camera in public, you can capture your talking headshots later when you find a more secluded space.
Silence everything you don’t want your mic to record.
Put your mobile phone in airplane mode.
Block wind from reaching your mic with windscreens and dead cats.
To avoid crowds, wake up early and grab your footage early while everyone else is still sleeping or getting ready.
Capture wide shots, medium shots, and close-up shots for better coverage.
Use the Sun Seeker app to set up your sunrise/sunset shots better.
If your camera can record 4K footage, record in 4K all the scenes that you want to zoom in closer later in editing without losing quality (your video project in editing has to be at 1920p x 1080p for this to work).
If you’re trying to get shots with movement by walking, rather than walking as you normally would walk with your knees bent for steadier shots.
If you’re shooting something in front of your handheld, lean your arm against your own body for steadier shots.
Use a stabilizing gimbal with your camera.
Select scenes where you can see a lot of change over time (not a still building in front of a cloudless smoggy sky).
Set longer intervals for scenes that change very slowly over time.
Pre-set your focus. Turn autofocus off.
Shoot time-lapses/hyper-lapses in manual mode to prevent the flickering that occurs with changing light conditions in automatic settings.
If your camera is set on a tripod in a fixed position, turn your optical image stabilization off.
If you aren’t holding onto your camera as it's in the middle of making a timelapse video, at least keep your camera and tripod attached by some kind of leash mechanism.
For moving time-lapses or hyper-lapses, try to keep one point of reference in the same position within your camera frame.
Shoot slow-motion videos when there is plenty of light.
For actions that are as slow as walking, slowing down your footage to 50% of the original speed looks good enough. If your video editing project is in 30 fps, shooting your video in 60 fps will give you a 50% slow-motion video. If your video editing project is in 60 fps, shooting your video in 120 fps will give you a 50% slow-motion video. Any slower is overkill for slowing down the speed of walking.
For actions that are as fast as water splashing, slowing down your footage as little as 15% of the original speed can look good. For a video editing project in 30 fps, you would need a camera that can shoot at up to 240 fps to slow your footage down this much.
Storage and Back-Up
If you’re using a phone that can store images and videos on a separate SD card, take advantage of that and record your travel footage onto your SD card. Later, you can easily get to your travel media as it will all be in one place.
If you have your laptop on you, regularly transfer your media files from your cameras to your external hard drives.
If you don’t want to bring your laptop on your trip and plan to video edit once you’re back home, use a USB memory card reader that connects with an app on your phone to transfer your files into your external hard drive.
If you have access to a reliable internet connection and you leave your laptop at your place of accommodation, have your computer upload your files onto cloud storage while you are out to travel vlogging.
Take advantage of Google Photos’ free, unlimited cloud storage for video files up to 1080p.
If you’re editing a video project with videos from multiple different cameras, make sure to set the correct time and date on all of them before you start filming. Later, in editing, you can import all your image and video files and sort them in the exact order that they were taken.
If your video editing software can work with proxies, transcode all your video files into proxy files for much faster editing.
Posting On YouTube
Choose a title that people will search for. Keep your target keywords at the beginning of your title. “S01E01: My Summer Backpacking Trip” is not an effective title. Instead, a title like “Going Up The Eiffel Tower… Beautiful View of Paris!” would be better.
Ready to Become a Travel Vlogger?
Here in this article, I shared travel vlogging cameras &accessories, travel video ideas& resources, and travel vlogging tips. Did you get more hints to become a travel vlogger? Stay tuned and start your own travel vlog! Leave your comments below if you have any suggestions about this travel vlogger guide.
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.
Follow @Shanoon Cox
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