If you’re planning a sunshine break, the odds are you’ll be taking your phone with you. After all, the average Brit can’t so much as visit the bathroom without fitting in a game of Candy Crush; a fortnight abroad sans smartphone is almost unthinkable. When we’re abroad, most of us use our phone to keep in touch with friends and family. That’s what the mobile was invented for after all. Well, that was the plan at least.
As travel blogs have exploded across the web detailing holidays and travel to just about every corner of the earth they have grown into an excellent resource for any traveller. Today’s travel blogs are well written and extremely professional: they include in depth destination guides, travel advice and tips for getting from A to B and what to do when there. Bloggers take us deeper than a simple brochure or travel guide can. We get to see the real colour and flavour of a country, both the good and the bad.
At HomeAway we like to follow travel blogs too, but every year a flurry of new travel bloggers come to the fore. So we keep our ear to the ground and every year compile our list of the top 10 travel blogs we like to follow, well done to those who made this year’s list.
Each year brings a new flurry of travel blogs to the fore. Whilst some are established bloggers who have now found their feet, others are just starting out on their journey. So each year it gets a little more difficult to decide which you should follow. Travel tips and ideas often come best when they are from actual travellers. Their blogs are vibrant, interesting and often very colourful. They show the reality of travel, both the good and the bad. Travel bloggers share each destination with us and we can get a glimpse of the culture, attractions and cuisine of somewhere exotic and new all from the comfort of our living room.
This year, HomeAway.co.uk is proud to be sponsoring the Best Family Travel Blog category in the 2012 MAD (‘Mum And Dad’) Blog Awards – the UK’s biggest awards for parenting blogs. The MADs celebrate the diversity and excellent talent to be found among the writers, who blog on everything from pregnancy, to family life, photography, crafts, food, homes, travel, fashion and more, and who all provide daily inspiration and entertainment to their readers.
So, if you haven’t checked them out already, take a look and get inspiration for your holidays from this year’s Family Travel Blog finalists below. Then you can vote for your favourite at: http://www.the-mads.com/vote.htm. The final winner will be announced at the award ceremony in September – we’ll keep you posted!
Emma, an English stay-at-home mum previously based in Denmark – now lives in Bavaria writing A Bavarian Sojourn. Lead by poetic titles and a charming diary-like form, she writes about how her young family is settling in to her new country, as well as recipes, traditions, and festivals. In the midst of blogging on life in Bavaria, her “Silent Sunday” features a piece of her own original photography, once a week.
Emma’s Bavarian Sojourn can be found at http://www.thesojournseries.com/bavaria
It’s A Small World After All
Victoria and Steve were inspired to take their children out of school for nine whole months. The family of five from London decided to start their own blog, It’s A Small World After All, to journal how they creatively travel the world on a budget. From travel insights and holiday photos, to 101 Things To Do With Bamboo – Victoria and Steve have put together an enjoyable and inspiring travel blog.
You can keep up to date with them at http://itsasmallworldafterallfamily.wordpress.com
Jennifer Howze, the Times’ former Alpha Mummy blogger is a journalist, and co-founder of BritMums. She calls on her experience living in New York, Paris, and London to write Jenography. Jennifer shares her voice on a thoroughly insightful blog, covering a vast list of destinations in the UK, US, Europe, and International, as well as UK Fun and Days Out. Among travel writing, she also specialises in lifestyle, and parenting.
You can keep up to date with Jennifer and Jenography at http://www.jenography.net
Cathy is expecting her first baby soon and blogs at Mummy Travels. She writes a thoroughly enjoyable and informative travel blog, as she tries to work out how to be a mum and cling on to normal life at the same time. Cathy brings all sorts to her readers – from adventures and travel experiences, to “useful paraphernalia” and valuable advice.
Can you really keep travelling with a baby in tow? Find out how Cathy gets on, at http://mummytravels.com
Mum’s Gone To…
Trish records her travel memories in Mum’s Gone To… – a blog inspired by her hand written travel diaries. It began with her first trip to Iceland in 2007, and has since continually flown-off with her husband and teenage son, from Canada to Cyprus, Barcelona to Berlin. As she adds blog-miles to her growing list of destinations, she never forgets to show her love for music theatre!
You can find Trish’s blog at http://mumsgoneto.blogspot.co.uk
So, those are our 5 finalists! Who do you think should win this year’s Best Family Travel blog award? Have your say and vote at: http://www.the-mads.com/vote.htm
Looking for travel inspiration for your next trip? The internet is full of websites that makes it easier to discover new and exciting places. From video websites to social recommendations, travel idea sites are always a good start for planning a memorable holiday whether you are looking for a weekend break or a trip to far away lands.
Looking for something more than just visiting a place? Golearnto.com gives you the possibility to learn new skills while enjoying your holiday. The site offers a wide range of holiday courses to choose such as learning Spanish in 13 different locations in Spain, scuba lessons on the Red Sea coast or cooking holidays in France. For example, seven days of Spanish and cooking in Malaga costs from £361 per person. You can even try flamenco dance in a professional dance studio.
Insider Perks is the idea come true of Brian Searl, a guy from Cleveland that one day thought it could be a good idea to produce travel videos without charging for it. Searl started filming museums in his home town and now Insider Perks has a large video library where travellers can watch videos of unique places in the world and get inspired for their next trip. The site is divided by categories so you can find travel videos according to specific topics such as museums, theme parks or outdoors places.
Among all the flight comparison websites available Kayak is hard to beat. Its flights search tool, called Kayak Explore, is an ‘inspiration map’ that shows flight prices from any origin to destinations all over the world. Select your place of departure and the continent you aim to fly to, click on the desirable month and budget and compare! You can even filter by activities and the weather you would like to have during your holiday. But if you really want to find inspiration just keep everything by default and go with the flow.
Have you tried Touristlink.com? This social platform helps you discover new destinations based on rankings and reviews from hundreds of travellers. By signing up through Facebook members can participate by sharing information about visited places and connect with other travellers around the world. In Touristlink.com you can find tour guides recommended by people about unusual topics such as cemeteries, hills or bridges. Trust social recommendation in your next trip!
Pinterest is the perfect place to discover new destinations by following travel related boards. The site is used for a lot of purposes but travel inspiration is a popular topic. Its members pin hundreds and hundreds of travel photos from beaches, cities and stunning landscapes so you can easily find interesting people and brands to follow. To use Pinterest for travel inspiration just search for the category travel and places and pin pictures that interest you.