Planning a travel is definitely stressful yet exciting at the same time. The thought of exploring new territories and making your dream vacation a reality is sure to keep you in eager anticipation. You may sometimes see yourself browsing on several online materials for more information about the area and the best places to go to given your limited stay and budget.
Recently I’ve discovered that watching You Tube videos of other people’s travels proved to be even more interesting. Their editing styles, the manner by how they presented the trips, their spills… all these and more make you appreciate the places you want to visit later on.
They call it Video Blogs. As opposed to the usually blogs that we read online, video blogs obviously uses videos to chronicle their travel adventures. What I love about this type of blog is that you don’t only get to understand the places, but you even get to experience it as you watch it… wanting you to either go for it or not. Ahead of time, you are already able to make a good list of itinerary and eliminate those that doesn’t appeal to you.
Here are some of the VLOGS (listed in no particular order) that I came across in You Tube that could also be a good reference, especially if you are planning to travel within South East Asia – a region that is so colorful, vibrant and very rich in tradition… not to mention a lot of beautiful natural landscapes and sceneries to enjoy.
- ONLY IN JAPAN by John Daub – In this youtube channel, the vlogger seem to have a deep understanding of the Japanese culture. His knowledge of Nihonggo can be easily noticed and an advantage if you really want to get a better grip of your Japan trip. His wide collection of videos are good references to see what’s best to include in your itinerary where practically every best place in Japan have special features.
While preparing for our own trip for example, Tsukiji Fish Market is one on my list. It’s the biggest fish market in Tokyo and famous for their tuna auction and fresh seafood restaurants. But after watching his videos, I came to realize that we have to be there very early in the morning to be able to witness the auction. And to do that, we could either stay somewhere near the place since train isn’t operational yet during these times. Otherwise, we could have gotten ourselves into the trouble of getting up so early, taking an expensive cab ride, and still not able to watch the auction as kids may not be allowed entry. The bottom line, we have to cross it out of the itinerary and hope for some other opportunities to come back in the future when the kids grow up… anyway our itinerary during our last trip were more about kiddie adventures.
Some of the other references I used before we finalized our Japan trip were the videos of Thingamavlogs who presented a very detailed description of food and places not to miss on while in Tokyo Disney Resort (Disneyland and DisneySea). We also randomly checked videos of Puroland for some tips on how to explore Hello Kitty’s kingdom.
As a planner for the trip, it’s good to have an advance preparation and ideas of what to expect so as not to waste time and maximize your visit.
- OLIVIA’S TRAVEL DIARY – this will more likely appeal to ladies, but still her overall presentation added a more personal twist to it. As a fashion blogger, it’s quite amusing to see her travelling in style. Originally from Indonesia, blogging has become her full-time career that’s why travelling is essentially her job. She also uses Airbnb during her travels so it’s really interesting for me to know how the system works.
- ITSJONATHANCHAN – a young traveler from Australia (but of Chinese/Hongkong descent), his personal videos and candid presentation of whatever goes on his travels are what makes it very unique. Riding on the train of Bangkok, walking along the streets of Osaka, and more, are some of the things regular travelers experience. And his videos show us just like that. He has a collection of his personal travels… interestingly with his families or friends most of the times.
- ERWAN HEUSSAFF – while looking for a Filipino blog, I bumped into this familiar face who surprised me with his poetic and sometimes dramatic presentation of his travel videos. A different take from the usual go-pro cam shots, his narration and well edited videos seamlessly presents the kind of life that await in each destination. As a content writer and a food blogger , I am pretty impressed with his choice of words and even how he goes out of the usual itineraries and highlight on food as a way to appreciate a country’s culture and tradition. Born in France, worked in Russia and Vietnam before heading to the Philippines, I am also amazed on how he has managed to become a successful restaurateur (he has right now about 7 branded resto bars in Makati and BGC area). I’m sure that his travels to many different countries have also inspired him to do well in his business.
Also, as a sponsor to some of his videos, his choice of Airbnb in Vietnam or Malaysia and other places has also become a great accommodation reference for our future travels. We don’t even need to doubt the descriptions because it was already presented quite eloquently on his videos.
True enough, watching their videos will not only take you to places virtually but also will get you to know different kinds of people/bloggers. Their life, as opposed to yours… how far off your exposures are, compared to them… and how you can also do better things through their inspirations.
It will not necessarily pre-empt your adventure since not everything can be shown in a 20 to 30-minute video. The actual experience is still irreplaceable. The actual taste of Japanese ramen or Thai noodles… the breeze, the cool winds… the actual interaction with the locals, videos alone isn’t enough to experience it all.
Travelling… as in life… is a great learning experience. You don’t just get to splurge on a country without knowing at least a bit of what to expect. Watching these videos could surely give you a heads up on a foreign destination… and make you prepare for an adventure that will open your mind to endless possibilities. The whole world awaits, it’s up for us to explore it.