“Philosophy calls for simple living, not for doing penance, and the simple way of life need not be a crude one.”
― Seneca, Letters from a Stoic
I don’t really read travel websites. Which is a little unreasonable, because I want everyone to read mine. When I do look at travel sites, they’re usually centered around things I want: Like cheap or free flights. The problem with travel blogs is every time I look at them I experience waves of professional (amateur) jealousy. How does this person have so much traffic? How is this person doing so well? Why isn’t my blog doing so well?
1) Nomadic Matt
I mostly look at this site as a template for how to make mine. This guy is huge. He’s achieved what some might call the holy grail of travel blogging, i.e. earning enough from his blog that he’s able to go wherever he wants, whenever he wants, and document it. There’s a common theme in the most successful travel blogs: The people all have their name in the URL somewhere. Was changing from Whereswetzler.com to Ordinarynomad.com a massive mistake???
Just look at this sample article I found on the home page. Look at this luxury. This opulence. God, how I want to fly first class like that. This guy has a whole apartment on a plane to himself. Why is it that if you were confined to a compartment like this on a the ground it would instantly be devoid of meaning, but at 35,000 feet it’s somehow the coolest thing in the world? Some mysteries are better left untouched.
This is my favorite points website, A) because I think the content is great, and B) because the guy’s from Seattle. I do find it a little dubious he calls himself “Lucky.” What kind of adult calls himself Lucky? Is he a ranch hand? A craps dealer?
I had an interaction with this guy a few years back when I sent him an email asking if I could review Aerolineas Argentinas’ first class for his site. He explained that he wasn’t looking for guest bloggers at the moment, and was kind and professional in his email. Which made me even more of a fan.
The main reason I check this site out from time to time is I’ve had work featured on it (see: buried). I’ve tried to submit a few feature articles, but they’ve always rejected me saying the pieces are too “personal narrative.” I try to explain that the only person I care about is myself, and thus am only capable of writing about myself, but to no avail.
5) Vice Travel
Very little beats Vice in terms of edgy, unique content. I don’t go to Vice specifically seeking travel content, but when I see something travel-related from them I often check it out. The Vice North Korea documentary is still one of my favorite travel documentaries. Someday I’d like to have something published for this site. I’ve submitted several pieces, but never gotten a response. Sest la vee.
Honorable mention: Scott’s Cheap Flights
I don’t have a subscription to this site, but friends often send me deals. And there have been crazy deals. The last one I saw was for a $300 round trip flights from the US to New Zealand. I have no idea how that’s even possible.
I applied for two jobs at this company and got turned down for both of them. Apparently spending half your waking hours hunched over your computer muttering to yourself and looking at Google Flights doesn’t cut it. Oh well.