We all know there are hundreds of thousands of blogs out there, and even tens of thousands of travel blogs. Yet despite this democratization of media, there remains a fundamental principle that applies to new media, just like old media: better content rises to the top. With that truism in mind, here are my picks for the best mainstream travel blogs:
- Elliott: Chris Elliott is the ultimate travel ombudsman. He’s the first place I go when I want the latest info on the ongoing air travel soap opera, deals and scams, and tips for getting the most out of my travel experience. He’s a great consumer advocate, and has a nose for finding stories that connect to the real travel experiences people have in their daily lives. He also happens to write a column for MSNBC.
- Peter Greenberg: Like Chris Elliott, Peter always has his eye out for news and tips that help make travelers’ lives easier, cheaper, and more fun. He’s quite a well-known figure in the travel media world (CNBC, MSNBC, Forbes, The New Yorker, etc.), and his “travel detective” skills, honed by years of journalistic work in the industry, pay real dividends for readers of his blog, his books, and his columns.
- The Cranky Flier: Brett Snyder’s blog is the go-to spot for all the dirty details on the world of air travel. Having spent years on the “inside” of the airline industry, Brett brings a balanced perspective as both an advocate of air travelers and as someone who understands the real challenges faced by the industry. He also just clearly loves planes, and plane travel, and his enthusiasm comes through in his blogging. He also writes original content for BNET Travel.
- Intelligent Travel: National Geographic Traveler’s blog brings together everything you’d expect from one of the world’s top travel content brands. You’ll find photo quizzes, travel trivia, travelogues, tips and advice, culinary travel postings, and more.
- Jaunted: Billing itself as “The pop culture travel guide,” Jaunted has mastered the art of the glossy, magazine-style blog, putting a culture-vulture spin on the traditional travelogue or destination profile. As an added bonus, you’ll also find juicy bits of gossip to satisfy your celebrity cravings.
- Bonus: OK, so this makes it more than a Top 5 list…I just couldn’t resist. This category gives a shout-out to the best mainstream travel blogs affiliated with large newspapers. Winners in this category include:
- Jen Leo for her Daily Travel & Deal Blog at the LA Times (though she’s currently on maternity leave after the birth of daughter Cora) and her Travel Web Buzz column.
- Ben Mutzabaugh for his Today in the Sky blog at USAToday. Ben, Brett Snyder (mentioned above), and Randy Petersen of Inside Flyer make up the Three Kings of airline industry experts.
- Globespotters, which is affiliated with the International Herald Tribune. Globespotters is the place to go for insider knowledge on the world’s top international travel destinations, with postings by real local experts on the ground (hmm, where I have heard of that concept before? Oh yeah…NileGuide). Here you’ll get timely news and advice on getting the most of your travel experiences from London to Rome to Hong Kong.
Check back soon for our picks for top 5 blogs in specific categories like independent travel, green travel, family travel, and travel technology.