The Best Travel YouTube Channels In 2021

International travel is starting to become a reality for many weary travelers with itchy feet and an all-consuming sense of wanderlust. It’s time to dust off the backpack and get hyped for a future of travel that could potentially be mere months away for some of us.  

In the meantime, you may require some re-education on travel etiquette, some inspiration, or simply some entertainment. There’s no need for a cable subscription nowadays when the content on YouTube is so eclectic.

Vloggers can gain access to unknown worlds without the need for paperwork or permission from a network. These channels represent the true freedom of travel. If these videos don’t reignite your travel bug, it may be time to hang up the backpack and start focusing on your garden.

Harry Mateman

Have you ever heard of Slow TV? It’s a genre of video content that can be enjoyed in a similar way to ambient music. You can either have the footage playing in the background while you do other stuff, or you can give it your full attention, enjoy the nuances, and be transported to another time and place.

Harry’s channel follows his travels around the world. Many of the shots have been filmed using a tripod and act like moving pictures. The videos filmed in Myanmar are particularly vivid and may make you pine for the country despite its current status.

This channel is a million miles away from the big-time travel vloggers of YouTube, where every country becomes a montage of sped-up drone shots set to familiar Lo-Fi beats with manically-smiling selfie addicts who tell you more about themselves than the country they are in. Instead, Harry gives his viewers an immediate sense of immersion and is perfect for watching at the end of a tough day to get rid of any residual anxiety.

Bald and Bankrupt

Where to start with this channel? This Englishman is one of YouTube’s big boys (he’s almost at 3 million subscribers), but he’s not like the others. There’s none of the previously mentioned editing styles here, just a man and his camera where the core of the content is his interactions with other human beings.

Benjamin Rich has a talent for creating unique experiences for himself and the viewer, which is helped greatly by his ability to master foreign languages. It allows him to get himself out of some sticky situations (and into them) and creates moments that most vloggers simply don’t have access to when their native English is all they have.

The bulk of Ben’s channel is set in post-Soviet states (he has an obsession with Soviet history) and the Indian subcontinent. From walking the streets of a Mumbai slum to really testing the limits of dangerous travel in Mauritania, Ben will have you hooked and coming back for more.

Shiey

Despite the name, this guy is not shy about travel or breaking laws to get to the types of locations he desires. Shiey enjoys urban exploration and will enter abandoned buildings, among others that he doesn’t have the legal “right” to be in. This, coupled with his train surfing, means he is a prime target for getting in trouble with the law.

Even though it may look normal in our current times Shiey has been masked up for years in order to keep his identity private. Let’s hope it helps him look less conspicuous so he can keep train surfing his way around Europe.

Rare Earth

This is one of those channels that makes you feel smarter from just watching it. Rare Earth brings us mini-documentaries from countries around the world. Imagine if Tom Scott and Michael Palin had a baby. The channel’s description sums it up quite well:

“I fly somewhere.

I film it.

I find cool stories about it, and write them down.

Then I tell them to you.

I hope you like them.”

Videos will lure you with clever anti-clickbait titles like “How Gods Die (The Collapse of Easter Island),” “The Town Where Gap Year Kids Went To Die,” and “Why Okinawans Live Longer Than You.” It’s a great channel to revisit when you want to digest educational stories from countries you may have forgotten about.

Mark Wiens

Another of YouTube’s travel giants (7.69 million subs and counting), Mark’s content is food food food. Aimed with the metabolism of steel, this man can eat anything and still look lean.

If you’re one of the few people on earth that isn’t bothered about food, give this one a swerve. Otherwise, stick around for a channel that will make you hungrier than a bear that just woke up from hibernation.

They say that food programs have a tough job conveying the joy of eating when the most important senses of taste and smell are impossible to emulate. But Mark does a damn good job of his mainly Asia-focused food showcase videos. Who knew watching one man eat could be so fascinating.

Mark does the same smile and “mmm” noise for every meal he eats though, it’s up to you to decide how genuine his reactions are.

GeoWizard

This channel isn’t primarily even a travel channel. It’s a Geoguessr channel. But, you need some Tom Davies in your life. You just don’t know it yet.

Travel channels often prioritize far-flung locations and video firsts over making content that is engaging and entertaining. GeoWizard may not travel far (his videos haven’t made it out of Europe yet), but his humble view of the world and himself is refreshing. He’s an instantly likable British bloke.

As mentioned in a recent Adventure Blog article, Tom is an expert Geoguessr player and a connoisseur of traveling countries in straight lines. Tom is taking some risks akin to the aforementioned shiey, but he’s not hiding anything.

He has just started a brand new straight-line mission crossing Scotland with a new episode every Sunday. So if you’re new to the channel or an old fan who hasn’t checked in for a while, it’s the perfect time to watch his semi-legal shenanigans.

Escape To Escape

Watch these channels to get your travel bug back, 2020 is behind us and a better life just has to be on the horizon. We travel to escape the drudgery, but in the meantime, these channels will do the trick.

Hopefully these intrepid souls will have you back on that unknown road sooner than you think. If not, sit back, grab some popcorn and let them do all the hard work for you.

Thomas Board
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