The Best Travel Blogs of 2020

“Traveling shouldn’t be just a tour, it should be a tale.”

Amit Kalantri

I’m not going to lie: I think I have a pretty good travel blog. You probably do too if you’re here and if you’re like me, then you already understand the importance of curating your social media and inbox to only include the best of the best when it comes to travel blogs and travel-related content.

If so, let’s get straight to the best travel blogs of 2020→ 

You have a busy life and other things to do, so while you may have the best of intentions when signing up for a newsletter, you can also easily find yourself inundated with advice and “hacks” that aren’t necessarily relevant to you.

So why bother?

Why should I use (and support) travel blogs?

Travel blogs can be rich with highly in-depth travel and destination information that could prove very very helpful when it comes to dreaming about, planning, and executing travel. 

These are great resources for a variety of audiences, from students to nomads, budget backpackers to travel agencies, and beyond. 

Travel blogs didn’t used to be so popular. Let’s be honest. Even 5 to 10 years ago, if one of your friends told you they were going to start a blog, would you not respond with a tired groan?

Related: My Bucket List and Ideas for Yours

But over the years, as more and more people choose to spearhead their own adventures rather than opting for a professional travel advisor, free online resources like travel blogs became an integral part of the planning process.

At the end of the day, reading a good travel blog should feel like you’re getting advice from a personal friend who knows what you like and what you don’t.

“Who actually follows travel blogs anyway?
Can’t I just search for a specific topic on Google or Pinterest and move on?”

Planning a trip in 2020 means that finding travel blogs you “click” with (no pun intended) are no longer optional.  

There are sooo many reasons why you should actually take the time to get to know your favorite travel bloggers, rather than just taking a “skim and pin” approach… 

It’s tempting when you’re planning a trip (or even searching for destination inspiration), to search on Pinterest and take the first ten links as gospel.

But then you wouldn’t be really doing your homework.

Related: This Must be the Place

Remember when I said reading a travel blog should feel like getting advice from a personal friend? Well, I should probably be more specific. You wouldn’t just go to any friend to ask for inspiration or advice. Could you imagine if someone asked you for places to eat, where to stay, and what to do at a destination you’ve never been to? 

I didn’t think so.

You would go to a friend that knows a good deal about that topic and can help guide you based on your own specific interests and goals.

But unfortunately, not everyone has a friend like that in their IRL circle. Even a well traveled friend could potentially know ZERO about where you want to go.

When you’re investing money into travel, you should only seek the best tips and advice from the people who know best. 

The internet is FULL of people who love to talk and share. But if you don’t know who a blogger is and what they’re about, it’s difficult to know whether or not their advice is, or will eventually be, helpful to you.

So how can you tell?

Every travel blogger starts their blog for a reason. These reasons can be all across the board, from simply a way to make money to fund their travels, to a creative outlet, to a platform to share with a variety of friends and family what they’re up to.

But they all have one thing in common:

People start travel blogs because they don’t believe their stories, insights, or advice (read: their content) can be found anywhere else.

There would be little point to me writing content if I didn’t think you could go elsewhere to find it. Not only do I not want to have to compete for a number one spot in Google, but I also just don’t care what anyone else is doing.

Related: On Free Spirits

I’ve researched all corners of the internet far and wide to find you the best, most unique travel blogs that you should be following in 2020.

I’ve researched all corners of the internet far and wide to find you the best, most unique travel blogs that you should be following in 2020.

How to find the best travel blog to reference for your next trip

The best travel blogs shine on their own.

Nevertheless, if I’m going to tell you I’ve found the best of the best, I can’t pick and choose based on a gut feeling alone (though I definitely used that, too). 

What’s the saying about teaching a man (you) to fish (find the best travel blog for your personal needs)? Sure, I can give you a list and send you on your merry way. But what will you take away beyond yet-another bookmark in your sea of 20,000 other travel blog links? 

Related: 25 Lessons from the Road

I want to teach you how to find the best travel blogs on your own. The internet changes every minute, and while publishing a “best of in 2020” list is helpful right now, who knows if or when this list will get dated and I’ll have to start from the beginning? 

You shouldn’t need to wait on me, that’s for sure.

So what’s the criteria to be considered one of the “best” travel blogs? Here’s what you should look for when sourcing travel inspo for yourself and your friends:

1. Minimal ads & pop ups.

Needless to say, it’s a nightmare when you click on a Pinterest link thinking it’s exactly what you’re looking for, only to be so inundated with pop-ups and ads that you can’t even find the information you actually need. 

It isn’t just a bad user experience; it can get damn near impossible to wade through everything just to get what you need, especially if you’re on mobile.

So if you get more than one pop-up in the first 10 seconds of your browsing experience, go ahead and say your goodbyes to another bad blog.

2. Actual experience.

Everyone has to live somewhere (unless you’re a nomad, but just stick with me for a second). So generally, you know your favorite places to eat and drink, where to stay, and fun activities to do in between. So a travel blogger should at minimum be an expert on their own city. That’s step number one, and usually pretty easy to tell. 

Where it gets tricky is when they start to travel. What kind of advice are they offering about travel itself? Are they sharing personal stories of various destinations, or just sharing “tips and reviews”? 

It should go without saying, but it’s surprisingly easy to “fake” experience if you know enough about internet trends, keyphrases, etc. So you’ll want to be sure that the travel bloggers you follow have actually been to the destinations they’re writing about. They should include personal stories, photos of themselves doing the things that they’re talking about, and even names of people they met along the way. 

Related: Why it’s okay to be selfish

This will not only help you get to know them to see if your personalities align, but it will also make sure that the advice they’re giving you is legit.

3. A clear voice & niche.

Every travel blogger should have a strong sense of their own identity. They can’t be everything to everyone, so knowing where to hone their travel blogging skills will not only be helpful for creating great blog content; it’s also helpful for you as the reader.

In other words, if you know what to expect from them, it’s a lot easier to feel like that travel blogger can be your “go to” on their topic of expertise.

Here are a few different “niches” in the world of travel blogs that you might be on the lookout for depending on your personality or individual trip itinerary.

Types of Travel Blog “Niche” Examples

  • Adventure
  • Backpacking
  • Budget
  • Luxury
  • Nomadic
  • Parents & Family-Friendly

There are also a variety of different types of travel blog
topics that most people have their own expertise in. Here are a few examples:

  • Adrenaline & Amusement Parks
  • Art & Theater
  • Destination-Specific
  • Food & Cooking
  • Photography
  • Sports & Fitness

Once you not only realize that there are different types of travel blogs, but that you can actually pick and curate your own feeds to fit your own goals, finding your own favorite blogs to follow is relatively easy.

In case you were dying to know, Of Whiskey & Words is more than a travel blog; it’s a lifestyle blog that involves a significant amount of traveling (with a focus on adventure travel).

Related: OW&Ws Pre-departure Checklist

To take it one step further, I’ll give you an example. Let’s say your goal is to visit every baseball stadium in the USA. How do you even know where to start? 

While you may want to feel like you’re planning the trip yourself, you’re also probably going to need some help (unless you’re an expert road tripper, baseball fanatic, and bucket list guru. In which case, maybe you should start your own blog instead!).

Would you rather: 

  1. A) Find a bucket-list blog that talks about how to visit every [insert destination here] in the country;
  2. B) Find a USA road-trip niche blog and adapt certain advice for what you need; or
  3. B) Find a baseball-themed blog with reviews of some specific stadiums?

The answer: All three! If you follow these three (hypothetical) travel blogs, you should be able to feasibly combine the best of all of their expertise to make your trip the best it can be. 

Hack: You can also personally contact each of the blogs above and ask them to do a write-up of the best ways to hit every baseball stadium in the country. Who knows? Maybe they’ll write a whole article with your trip as the inspiration! At the very least, they can give you some pretty dope advice straight back at you, each from their own point of view.

4. Routine Updates & Maintenance.

There are two main things to look for in the quality of a travel blog: Updates & Maintenance.

Routine Updates on a Travel Blog: Too much versus not enough

When you visit a travel blog, you should expect to see an entire timeline of posts surrounding fresh topics. If you visit a travel blog in 2020, and the last post they created was dated 2019 or before, there’s not to say that there aren’t good resources somewhere inside; what that does tell me is that the person is probably not as much of a frequent contributor as I would like.

Do you know how many travel blogs have been abandoned because travelers can’t keep up with them? (Spoiler Alert: It’s in the thousands.)

Related: 9 Tips for your next trip

So when they don’t post at a minimum of once a month, there should be a proper explanation for why. Are they revamping their platform? Going on a silent retreat for six months? You as the reader should not be expected to invest time into seeking advice from a travel blogger who isn’t very active. 

Travel Blog Maintenance

Because I work for a web agency, I know how easy it is to break a website. If implemented incorrectly, a single plugin can take down the entire infrastructure of a blog! 

So if someone takes their travel blog seriously, they’ll know better than to go without proper maintenance. You should not see ANY lines of code anywhere on the site; scrolling should be smooth; the reading experience should be easy; and (again) pop-ups should be minimal.

Additionally, if a travel blog doesn’t look good on mobile, you can probably guess that it won’t be very helpful for you in the long term.

How to support your favorite travel blogs

1. Frequently visit the site & sign up for emails.

Many travel bloggers make their money on a combination of ad revenue and being able to leverage their “influence” to get services at a discount or for free. By visiting the site frequently, you’ll be empowering your favorite travel blogs to continue doing what they do best—serving you great content.

2. Reach out personally & ask questions. 

I personally love when people reach out to me—especially strangers who discovered my travel blog organically. Not only do I love helping people, but it also just lets me know that I’m doing a good job with publishing content and providing resources to the travel community (and aspiring travelers) if people see me as a resource myself. But more than an ego boost, it’s a chance for me to help give you more personalized advice and suggestions for your specific situation, dreams, and budget.

3. Save their links on Pinterest.

Remember when I said travel bloggers can make money on site visits? A big part of generating new users to a travel blog in 2020 is via Pinterest. So one of the best ways you can support your favorites are to save their links on Pinterest, especially for articles you actually want to bookmark and reference later!

4. Follow their other social media—and share their links on your own feed.

Pinterest may be the content king when it comes to travel blogs, but that doesn’t mean other social media isn’t important, too! Most travel blogs post reminders and updates to social media that you won’t find on their website or newsletter list. After all, the best travel bloggers diversify their content across platforms, so you can enjoy a variety of different types of content from your favorites. It’s also a really easy place to engage with them and show your appreciation by commenting on and sharing their content with your own friends and family.

5. Follow their advice—then follow up afterwards.

I remember when I first started traveling, I leaned heavily on the advice of travel bloggers to help get me started. If it weren’t for my favorites, I wouldn’t be the travel blogger I am today. So when someone gives you advice on where to go, what to do, or what to eat in a destination (or simply just how to quit your job and live abroad) trust that you can take it. But the best part? Tell them afterwards that you took their advice. Tell them where you went, what you did, and what you ate. They’ll love hearing your feedback, and if they haven’t been back to a particular destination, you may even be able to provide them important updated information about their advice that they can then share with the rest of their audience!

Ready to find your new favorite blogs? Without further adieu, here is the official Of Whiskey & Words Ranking of the Best Travel Blogs of 2020.

The Best Travel Blogs of 2020

1. Wandering Earl

If you’ve been at all interested in the online world of travel bloggers in the last 20 years, you’ve probably already come across Wandering Earl. He’s been in the game since 1999, before a lot of us even knew what blogs were or why we should use them. #MadRespect

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

Wandering Earl is a decisive, actionable blog. In other words, it doesn’t just share stories; it gives you actual advice and helpful resources to help you achieve all of your travel goals. It’s where I got a LOT of the advice that made me the traveler I am today.

Wandering Earl is best for anyone looking for a wide scope of travel resources, from practical advice to insane stories. (He actually got kidnapped at one point… and then wrote a blog about it.)

Bonus: Derek does a great job of categorizing his posts so you can easily find the travel info you need.


2. Jones Around the World

Jones Around the World was started by Dave, who over the last 10 years has been guiding groups on tours and generally making the world his playground. 

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

With a focus on Asia & Australia, Dave writes in an easy-and-breezy tone while giving you the best insider tips on where to stay and what to do. Perfect for a quick read if you’re looking to skim, and even better for a dive down into the details.

As someone who frequently visits music festivals, I can personally attest to the advice on Jones Around the World. It’s one of the best at finding unique and uncanny hacks and tips you won’t find anywhere else. He also shares a lot of great inspiring diatribes and quotes to help kick your butt into planning your next trip.


3. Expert Vagabond

Featured by big players like Nat Geo, Lonely Planet, and the Travel Channel, Expert Vagabond has been blogging about his travels over the last 10 years and has a lot of great content to show for it. He travels both solo and with his wife and baby, so he’s got plenty of tips and pointers for a really wide audience.

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

The best bloggers don’t just write their own content; they share exciting and useful information for others. Expert Vagabond not only publishes high quality travel advice, but also tips and in-depth advice on blogging and photography to help you grow your own brand.



4. Travel Freak

TravelFreak is a great resource for not only destination-specific tips, but also information you need to know before you leave. Jeremy (founder) often writes helpful, in-depth travel gear reviews and tips about travel insurance, among other subjects.

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

TravelFreak is a really versatile travel blog that lets you curate the content YOU are looking for; its easy-to-use search function allows you to find exactly what topics you need, from working abroad to destination-specific tips and write-ups. In other words, if you’re just starting out with following travel blogs, TravelFreaks should definitely be on your short list.



5. Flying the Nest

Flying the Nest is a clean, “aesthetic” blog geared towards traveling couples. Stephen and Jess hail from Australia and have been together on a variety of adventures all over the world (and in life) since 2015. Their biggest following is actually on YouTube, as they have pretty consistently put out high quality travel vlogs basically since they started on their adventure.

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

If you’re into video content, Flying the Nest is a great place to start—especially if you’re planning on doing any amount of travel with a significant other. 



6. Passport to Eden

Ahh, a blog after my own heart. Not only does Passport to Eden feature destinations and travel tips, but she (Anshula) also shares a monthly book club series to help you get into the traveling spirit even while you’re at home saving for your next adventure.

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

A clean blog design, colorful Instagram account, and a YouTube account filled with videos about book shopping in various cities round out Passport to Eden as a must-follow travel blog in 2020.




7. Goats on the Road

Canadian couple Dariece and Nick have a modest following on Goats on the Road. What’s up with the name? I asked that too. In their FAQs section, they explain that goats have a tendency to wander; and that they tend to run into them a lot. Who would have thought?

The Goats on the Road blog is extremely easy to navigate to help you find what you’re looking for. They also provide a great mix of video and written content, so you can browse topics in the way that works best for how you learn.  

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

Goats on the Road takes travel blogging to a whole new level, literally. They provide in-depth resources, such as free e-books and e-courses, for future travel bloggers to understand how to earn money and make a living on travel blogging. Essentially, they’re a blog for travel bloggers, and simply love showing off their own travels along the way. 



8. The Blonde Abroad

The Blonde Abroad is a beautiful travel site geared toward female solo travel. Kiki lays out a TON of great tips for any type of travel you can think of; and even provides a helpful how-to guide to getting started with solo travel. She doesn’t leave anything to the imagination; she breaks down all of the fears and challenges that come with solo travel for females so you can be fully prepared for your own adventures down the road.

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

Speaking as a fellow travel blogger, I can vouch for how much time and dedication it takes to get your blog looking this good. Your experience on her travel blog from start to finish will feel exciting, inspiring, and helpful. Plus, with Kiki and her husband having just purchased their own home, you can expect even more diverse content from her account in the coming weeks and months!



9. Nomadic Matt

Nomadic Matt is well known in the travel community; if you’re looking for one of THE best travel blogs to follow in 2020, you should probably start here. Nomadic Matt has literally written the book on a variety of travel destinations over the years and has been featured by major world media platforms. His site has had millions of visitors and he even hosts a widely popular travel forum called The Nomadic Network.

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

You could say Nomadic Matt sort of re-invented the game for aspiring travel bloggers. He does so much more than publish content. He turns the idea of “travel blogging” into a two-way street. It’s not him preaching or simply pushing out content month after month. He creates a dialogue between him and his users so that every visit to his site feels like a conversation.



10. Adventurous Kate

Named as a Forbes Top 10 Travel Influencer, Adventurous Kate is another great resource for female solo travel. Don’t be fooled by the large amounts of USA-focused content, either. Kate has been to 83 countries, starting with a solo backpacking trip through Southeast Asia. Chances are, if you’re looking for advice on a particular destination as a solo traveler, Adventurous Kate will be a great resource for you.

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

Kate creates well written content, as well as video content, to help you put the “fears” of traveling aside and to start getting excited about new opportunities. She also offers one-on-one consulting calls for anyone looking for advice on quitting their job, traveling, starting a travel blog, and anything else they want her advice on.



11. Karina Keeps Escaping

While Karina Keeps Escaping is written primarily in English, Karina herself is actually from Slovakia, and she even shares translated content on her social media accounts. Before every blog, she offers an easy-to-read Table of Contents that allows you to skip to the sub-topic you’re most interested in. (We all know the struggle of the “infinity scroll” when reading a travel blog!) 

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

Now more than ever, we need a lot less fear and fighting in our feeds, and more positivity. Karina has been adamant about sharing positive messages and inspiration through all of the various stresses and challenges that come with being a woman in 2020. If you’re looking for a travel-themed refuge from the next piece of bad news, Karina Keeps Escaping is the right travel blog for you.



12. TravelBreak

Like me, Stephanie of TravelBreak left America and started her travel journey in Australia. This blog takes a unique spin on the “American dream” by creating rich, female-centric travel stories and advice that have been shared and read by hundreds of thousands of people.

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

Not only is Stephanie an insanely talented writer; she also donates 10% of her proceeds towards tuition for students in need. So if you’re looking for high-quality photos, well-rounded content, and a warm-and-fuzzy feeling added to your feed, take a pause here to follow TravelBreak now.



13. Hand Luggage Only

Two lovable guys named Yaya and Lloyd run the amazingly put-together travel blog Hand Luggage Only. They tell honest and comprehensive travel stories and also share a lot of personal anecdotes that help their audience feel a connection with them and their content. After meeting at Cambridge University, Yaya and Lloyd started this blog to have a place to house all of their crazy stories and awesome photos.

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

Hand Luggage Only produces super high quality travel content and “life hacks” that a lot of people could probably find useful! They also provide a great and diverse perspective on the world of travel. Oh, and don’t skip following these guys on Instagram. When they’re not posting travel stories, they’re posting other hilarious content you definitely need in your feed.



Bonus: The Points Guy

For those especially savvy, financially conscious travelers, The Points Guy is one of my go-tos.
His focus on finding a “deal” without sacrificing quality makes him one of my own personal favorite travel bloggers in 2020.

Why it’s one of the best travel blogs of 2020:

The Points Guy is an expert in utilizing credit cards and rewards to get places and stay for free.  He’s been ‘travel hacking’ using credit card points and hotel rewards for years and has helped me learn how to get (at least) one international flight free each year.  After all, traveling is a lot more fun when it’s free.



Honorable Mentions

Here are a few other travel blogs you should check out!

Legal Nomads (Best for: Alternative Careers)

One Girl One World (Best for: Coaching Aspiring Travel Bloggers)

The Sunday Chapter (Best for: Instagram Spots)

Spirited Pursuit (Best for: Storytelling & Influencer Tips)

Not a Nomad Blog (Best for: Photography Tips)

The Culture Map (Best for: Scandanavia & Arctic Content)

Migrationology (Best for: Foodies)

Minority Nomad (Best for: Amazingly Rich Photography)

Torn Tackies (Best for: Hiking & Outdoor Adventures)

Will Drink for Travel (Best for: Finding Black-Owned Businesses in Your Destination)

None of these travel blogs scratching your itch?

Start your own!

There are so so many free options available, across a variety of providers, for you to be able to share your own unique experiences with the world. Maybe you can’t find your niche because it’s unique to you and nobody has thought of it before—or maybe they did, and you weren’t impressed.

That’s probably a good sign that you have potential to be the expert in a new topic. Plus, how cool would it be for you to pioneer a new niche in travel blogging?

If you aren’t quite ready to make the leap, you can also reach out to collaborate with other bloggers with established platforms. I am personally always inviting guest bloggers to use my platform to share their own stories and insights that I know I couldn’t get anywhere else.

Stay Gold.

Todd Smidt

8 responses to “The Best Travel Blogs of 2020

  1. Hi Todd! How sweet of you to mention my blog. Thank you for your kind words. I’ve just been poking through your website and absolutely love your blog layout and posts (just read the John Steinbeck one and several of the quotes definitely made me stop and think). 🙂

    1. Ah thanks Anshula!! Your blog is amazing. Definitely couldn’t have a ‘top travel blog’ list and it not be on it :). What are you reading right now?! If you ever want to do a guest post (travel or book related) I’d love that!

  2. Thank you. I’m reading An Orchestra Of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma and Woven In Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez right now (I’m not very far into either at the moment though). And yes, I’d love to do a guest post.

  3. Hello from Morocco! i like your blog.. it’s very important to have bloger like this and well informed about travelbloger went above and beyond the expectations to show us how to get something very important and exactly the kinds of things we most interested in, and so much more that gave us a really memorable experience that i saw here in this bloger.

    Thank you so much for this amazing things.

  4. Hello from Morocco . i like your blog it’s very important to have bloger like this and well informed about travelbloger went above and beyond the expectations to show us how to get something very important and exactly the kinds of things we most interested in, and so much more that gave us a really memorable experience that i saw here in this bloger.

    Thank you so much for this amazing things.

  5. Hello from Morocco . i like your blog travel it’s very important to have bloger like this and well informed about travelbloger went above and beyond the expectations to show us how to get something very important and exactly the kinds of things we most interested in, and so much more that gave us a really memorable experience that i saw here in this bloger.

    Thank you so much for this amazing things.

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