– Written by Victoria Philpott
We love travel blogs, but there are a few that really stand out for their witty writing, beautiful pictures and impressive count of countries visited. We’ve already crowned a few travel bloggers of the month so far this year, including:
But as we head towards 2012 it’s time to reveal our Travel Blogs of the Year 2011. Whether you’re looking for family travel blogs, travel blogs by couples, the best photography travel blogs or the top solo female travel writing on the web, we’ve unearthed the best in travel 2011. We’ve also got the extra special, highly coveted category of ‘everything you could ever want in a travel blog’. *Drum roll, please…*
Best Family Travel Blog
WINNER: The Vogel Family from familyonbikes.org
The Vogel family – John, Nancy, Davy and Daryl – cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina, making the 10-year-old twin boys the youngest people ever to make the journey. It took three years and a lot of hard work, but has spurned many blog posts along the way about moneysaving travel, keeping the kids entertained and enthusiastic on the road, and the post on what the boys had learned from the trip bought a tear to my eye.
NOMINEE: Lainie and Miro from raisingmiro.com
Everybody wishes their mum was like Lainie – two years ago her and her son Miro uprooted for Central America to explore life there. Since then they’ve visited Ecuador, Argentina, Belize, Panama, Peru and everywhere in between. They tackle the subject of on-the-road schooling and citizenship head on and have ridiculous amounts of fun along the way – they seem to like pulling faces too…
Best Couples Travel Blog
WINNER: Deb and Dave from ThePlanetD
I know they might seem like an obvious choice, but it’s just because they deserve it. They give advice and support to help and inspire upcoming bloggers. They’ve also had some incredible adventures around the world, and the best thing is both Dave and Deb get to explore it all together. Jealous? Me? I love all the pictures of them together and having a lovely time – hmmm I sound like an old romantic here. All their posts on Jordan, are making my passport practically jump out of its case.
NOMINEE: Eric and Karen from trans-americas.com
I want their life. Eric is a photographer, Karen is a journalist, and they’re on a 5ish-year adventure across the Americas. So far they’ve driven 128,161 miles – the equivalent of more than 5x around the world, and they’re on a mission to see the 23 countries that make up North, South and Central America. The time they spend in each destination means us readers get some real in-depth blog posts and unique photographs, and they’re writing is fun and informative too.
Best Photography Travel Blog
WINNER: Dustin Main from skinnybackpacker.com
Dustin’s travelled to more than 20 countries and taken some incredible pictures. From New Zealand to Berlin to Finland and plenty of countries in between, Dustin has snapped many unique and insightful images, including this pig mobile in Vietnam complete with pig-shaped cage too. His website allows you to track his location around the globe, so you can wait with baited breath for his resulting photos.
NOMINEE: Ilya Genkin from genkin.org
For beautiful landscape images Ilya Genkin is number one. Her lively and vibrant images from Australia are incredible and the moody black and white ones from China are uber expressive too. She’s taken photos in more than 20 beautiful locations around the world and has them all fully organised on the site. I hope that one day I can take pics like this on my newly purchased DSLR, my blurry offerings don’t quite make the cut at the moment.
Best Travel Blog for Female Travellers
WINNER: Kate from AdventurousKate.com
I’m English so I probably don’t appreciate what’s around me, but I love how excited Kate gets about cities like Chester and Birmingham. I’ve lived in both, and in quite a few places around England before settling in London and it really please me to see someone going out of London to explore the real England. I digress. Kate is also an inspiration for any women a little fearful that they can’t travel alone without a guy to carry their bags and protect them. She’s been everywhere and writes about her travels in a fun and inspiring way.
NOMINEE: Shannon from alittleadrift.com
Her most recent post, a touching story of taking her niece to see the elephants in Laos, is just one reason why we love Shannon’s blog. Tales of Jordan, waterfalls and cooking on the road keep us entertained. She’s inspirational, without being patronising, and her site is simply laid out with great pictures and easy navigation. Congratulations Shannon, and good luck with your six months in Asia with your niece!
Best Travel Blog for Everything You Could Ever Want
WINNER: Johnny from onestep4ward.com
Johnny has travelled to more than 5o countries over the last six years and spent a good amount of time in many of them – enough to be able to give some real insider information. He’s got tips on backpacking, health while travelling, visas and how you too can make travelling your life, among many other articles. He’s been everywhere on the tourist trails, as well as many places out in the sticks. And his photographs are pretty incredible too. Congratulations Johnny – we’re loving your work!
NOMINEE: Matt from nomadicmatt.com
Aw, we love Matt at HostelBookers. His site is an invaluable resource for travellers, and it’s all written with a sense of fun and disbelieving pride in what he has managed to achieve. He’s one of the most insightful bloggers in the blogosphere and is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to this world that we all live in. He’s been on the road for more than four years now and has the eBooks and photos to prove it.
Thanks to all the travel bloggers for an incredible 2011. Please keep entertaining us all with your amazing musings, and see you all in 2012!
Cheers to San Sharma for the top image from Flickr.