Video is something that I’m constantly looking to do more of, but due to its time-constraining nature I’ve filmed a lot, but edited not so much. It’s frustrating, but while on the surface the travel videos you see on the internet look seamless, a lot more goes into the finished product than you might imagine.
So while my files twiddle their thumbs on my hard drive, I thought I’d put together a list of my favourite travel videomakers on YouTube. These are people who inspire me to want to create a portfolio of my own travel content, while also smashing it on quality and entertainment.
Technically speaking, Johnny Harris stands head and shoulders above everyone else on this list. The Vox video guru does some of the most ambitious and informative videos on the video-sharing platform.
One of my favourite series that he does is Borders, where he travels to some of the most interesting convergence points between countries, uncovers their history and explores how they have shaped the futures of both sides. His storytelling is absolutely compelling, and I couldn’t recommend him enough.
While they might not be as much of a technical masterpiece, Tom Scott’s videos are just as awesome. If you visit YouTube to really engage with content and learn about the world around us, then Tom’s video’s should be one of your first ports of call.
Travelling across the world and United Kingdom, Tom uncovers some of the most interesting and lesser-known places on the planet and turns them into informative, quick-fire videos. He’s been making videos for a long time, and in addition to his travel ones, he does game-show style programmes such as CITATION NEEDED, where the contestants guess facts about a randomly-selected Wikipedia article and get a point for each one they get right.
Simon Wilson is one of those YouTubers who is absolutely nailing it at the moment. This filmmaker’s speciality is travelling to places on either a shoestring budget or no money – which is the theme of his main series. He recently undertook the challenge of visiting the Seven Wonders of the World in seven days, has done videos on dark tourist destinations including Chernobyl and North Korea and rose to prominence after he snuck into the Floyd Mayweather versus Conor McGregor fight in 2017.
Abroad in Japan
I mentioned in a recent post about Tokyo that I applied for the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Programme for last year’s intake, and while I was preparing for my interview I watched each and every one of Abroad in Japan’s videos. The channel is by Englishman Chris Broad, who moved to Japan for the JET Programme, fell in love with the country and ended up staying there indefinitely.
While many travel YouTube channels focus on worldwide exploration, Chris’ in-depth look at a single country through the perspective of a curious foreigner is highly-entertaining – especially as he adds a comedic twist to it all.
A collaboration between journalists Janek Rubeš and Honza Mikulka, two Prague-based Czechs who make videos about their own city and country. Whether it’s busting rip-off currency exchange kiosks, highlighting Prague’s underrated attractions or highlighting the problems with mass tourism in the capital – this is a travel channel with a difference.