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Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions

Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: The First 50! [Links]

Over the last two years, we’ve interviewed 50 of our talented filmmakers and filmmaker teams. Here is a collection of some of the best travel tips, crazy travel stories, and filmmaking philosophies from these expert travelers:

1. What are three things you take on every trip? 
2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 
3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place? 
4. What place has the best food? The worst food? 
5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life? 
6. What is your favorite travel quote? 
7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?
8. What is your craziest true travel story? 
9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers?
10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos? 
11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?
12. What is your best travel tip? 


Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: Best Travel Tips

Over the last two years, we’ve interviewed 50 of our talented filmmakers and filmmaker teams. Here is a collection of some of the best travel tips, crazy travel stories, and filmmaking philosophies from these expert travelers.

We asked 50 filmmakers: What is your best travel tip? 

Be kind. Be humble. Be respectful. Be patient. Smile! Get off the beaten path. Push yourself. Scare yourself. Open your mind. And never take a moment for granted. Okay… that’s like, ten tips. Sorry. Bottom line: travel is a privilege that (unfortunately) so many people don’t ever get toreally experience. So above all, be thankful. And be careful out there! – Two for the Road

Never plan out every last minute of your trip, leave room for some adventure, some spontaneity, and let the wind blow you in some unexpected directions. – James Alexander Adams

Learn from the locals. Don’t just go to museums and eat at McDonalds. Travel is about living culture and the locals are the holders of most of what is valuable. Immerse yourself. – Nomadic Frames

Stay as open-minded, positive and un-structured as possible. Your best experiences will come from things you hadn’t planned on doing, on people you may never have met or talked to during the regular course of your life, and allowing adventures to happen, even if you weren’t expecting them to. Over-planning, timidness and negativity will destroy the chances of any of these things happening. – The Expeditioner

Document the things that you do when you travel, keep a diary, a blog, a photo library or video. It might not seem that important at the time, but you’ll regret it afterwards when your memories begin to fade. – Eight Miles from Home

Just do it. But never do anything while travelling you would not do at home. – Gary Bembridge

Be very open-minded and don’t be judgmental or you may miss out on potentially life changing experiences! – Etherium Sky Films

Keep an open mind. Stuff happens and things go wrong, but if you roll with it you’re way more likely to enjoy yourself. Learn about where you’re going. Educate yourself about not just the places you will see, but the culture. Take an interest in the people and lifestyle of where you’ll be traveling and respect it. – Rural Movement

Don’t judge. Take your time, and enjoy. The world is such a beautiful place and we think everyone needs to see how wonderful it is. – Mindful Wanderlust

Tripfilms Exclusive Secret Tip: Go postcard window-shopping. Not for the postcards, but for ideas on what to shoot. Guaranteed you’ll find some beautiful scenes and angles of landmarks you can go investigate for yourself. – Mike Corey

Don’t let fear hold you back. Remember that the good judgement that serves you at home will also keep you safe on the road, and the majority of people in the world want to help you, not hurt you. – Alex in Wanderland

Live each trip as if it were the last one of your life. – Rubén Alonso

Have no expectations, be prepared to change plans and be open to any possibility. – Kristen Sarah

Give yourself time, be an independent traveler. Fast travel isn’t necessarily the best. Slow travel allows you to really get to know a place, its people, gastronomy, and culture. – David Hoffmann

Trust. – Joshua Johnson

Just get out there and start moving…everything will take care of itself. It’s amazing how things always work when you’re on the road. You’ll meet new friends, have unforgettable experiences and be set for a life of fulfilling adventure. – Ryan Van Duzer

Not an uncommon tip, but one that certainly has helped a lot in the past. Learn a few local language phrases. A simple “good morning” or “how are you” in a local language, goes a long way to breaking the barrier. – Travizeo

Get out of your comfort zone. Some of the best experiences I’ve had while traveling involve breaking out of my comfort zone. Whether it was exploring one of the largest underground caving systems in the world outside of Budapest or reaching out to strangers while I waited and making new friends, the best experiences have always resulted from breaking out of my bubble. – John Piazza IV

Be respectful with other cultures, spend time with the locals, read about the place you are going ahead of time so you don’t end up saying or doing something inappropriate for the people there, don’t be afraid of trying new things, dare, be mindful, and come back safe. – Eduardo Gato

Try not to leave for your trip exhausted. I can’t count how many vacations where I’ve spent the first couple of hours decompressing with a nap in the hotel room—fail! – Gloria Powell

Open yourself up to new experiences, and don’t let the comfort of a routine hold you back from any adventure. – Patrick J. McDaniel

Trust your gut and have fun. – Cailin O’Neil

The way I enjoy the most in a trip is when I live the experiences surrounded by nice people. The best memories I have are the people I have met traveling. So the best tip I can give is to enjoy the travel accompanied and if it is possible with local people. – Josep Gutierrez

Don’t listen to your friends + meet locals, they always know best. – Justin Weiler

Talk to the locals. Leave your “holier than thou” attitude home. Smile and be humble. And try to put your camera down once in a while and take in everything around you. – Sarah Zareen

One of our family traditions is to start planning our next trip on the way home from our current trip. We’ll talk about what we liked and didn’t like. We tend to think “outside the box” and have often planned future trips that were amazing. The trip doesn’t ever happen when we first plan and sometimes a smaller weekend-getaway trip will pop up. But overall, we find talking about our next trip chases away the end-of-vacation blues. – Wesley Adventures

Research, and know where your information is coming from. What kind of person, what their motives are. Take things with a grain of salt and in the end, explore a little more than you thought you would. – Andrew Kamphey

Have fun. Prepare for the unexpected. Enjoy those little moments that are less than perfect, they will make for a great story. – Juliana Broste

Be flexible. We are big planners and usually travel ready with a huge list of to-do’s. We will always be advocates for planning ahead, because that way you can return home knowing you made the most of your time in that place. But, we’ve also had great experiences when things didn’t quite go as planned or a new opportunity arose and we took it as opposed to “sticking to the schedule!” So be prepared, but be flexible. – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

Always bring more underwear than days you plan to travel. Buy a good power adapter. Have a home. – Bobby Christian

Pack light. Just a couple of changes of clothes. Wash along the way. You’ll thank yourself later if you do and curse yourself (every time you move) if you don’t. – SPESUS

Embrace every moment whether you think it’s good or bad. Ultimately it’s all about the experience of life and opening our minds. Live it! Love it! Capture it! – Gina DeGirolamo

Meet, interact and listen to locals. This is the simple philosophy that I travel by. – Gareth Leonard

Pack light! Step out of your comfort zone and embrace the unknown! – Monique Soltani

Best travel advice? Just go with it. Don’t overthink yourself out of doing something. – Kien Lam

Eat where the locals eat. When you are searching for a place to eat dinner, take a walk in the neighbourhood. Go away from the tourist haunts and look for a restaurant packed with local people. You can almost guarantee the food is fresh, authentic, and affordable. – The Planet D

Take a cruise. There is not a more relaxing way to see several iconic destinations in a single trip. – Jason Leppert

Be yourself everywhere you go and with everyone you meet. Be open-minded, approachable and outgoing and honestly treat others as you yourself would wish to be treated and go out into the world considering that this is your one and only life so live it well and see as much as you can. I try, every now and again to step back from the bubble of work and look at the bigger picture and I’m reminded of the good fortune I have to be doing this. This approach enables me to get the most out of each new place I visit. And finally, make sure that a trip to Costa Rica is right up there on your bucket list! – Adam Baker

Go with the flow. – Because We Camp

Drink plenty of water, be open to the unexpected and flexible to change. Go outside your comfort zone in all areas! – Eszter Vajda

Don’t stick to an agenda too much. I always like to go in with somewhat of a plan but I always love taking suggestions from locals or following my instinct to see what I may stumble upon. When I travel, I also find I sometimes try to fit too much in. My mom always tells me to save some things for when I come back and that they will always be there. I am thankful for this advice because it allows me to take in the moment tenfold. – Carri Wilbanks

Smile, laugh and don’t sweat the small stuff. A smile is internationally appreciated and goes a long way when there is a communication barrier. – Travelista Teri

If you have a goal to travel somewhere, make it your priority, no matter what situation you’re in. – Mark Wiens

When it comes to travelling, do it as much as you can. – Mick Hobday

I remember the first time I went to NYC I didn’t even go to Statue of Liberty, Times Square, or the Empire State Building, etc. I was just skating all over the city for 30 days. I guess just pick a place that you can do whatever you dreamed about and be happy doing what you love. – Gustavo Matias

Pack light! Use packing cubes and compression sacks to stay organized. It’s so freeing to be mobile and not weighed down by a bunch of stuff. Bring only what you absolutely need—you can always buy something along the way if you need to. – Wander The Map

NEVER eat at an empty restaurant. It’s empty for a reason. – Lost & Found Travel

Be patient and adaptable. You might have detailed, specific plans, but dealing with curveballs are part of the travel package. Enjoy the quirks when they come. – Armando Costantino

Know what you want to do and see, but don’t stick to any one itinerary. Be fluid and really open to however your trip unfolds. Sometimes, overplanning can kill the whimsical and adventurous nature of travel. I always make a list of things I want to see or do, but I don’t stress about hitting every mark. There have been many times where I change my mind once I’m there, or I find something even MORE amazing than I ever anticipated, and the trip itself changes. It’s actually fun when that happens, you just have to be open to it! – Nathalie Basha

Leave room in your schedule to wander, indulge in local culture and you’re never fully dressed without a smile ☺ – Global Lipstick

Why Upload Videos to Tripfilms?

why upload

At Tripfilms, we feature amazing travel videos uploaded by filmmakers around the world. Sharing your videos on Tripfilms is a way to connect and share your videos with a star-studded and marvelous community of travel filmmakers and travel video fans on, as well as to get the chance to have your videos more widely distributed on our media partner channels.

Thinking about uploading your own travel videos and joining the Tripfilms filmmaker community? Here are four reasons why you should upload your travel videos to

1. Travel videos inspire.

Your videos can inspire travelers and bring travel inspiration to people all over the world. Travel videos can “motivate, inspire and help organize. Travel videos are also just fun to watch especially on a destination you have recently visited, or are feeling nostalgic about,” says SPESUS. Filmmaker Justin Weiler says, “Videos have the magic ability to emotionally engage with an audience and it’s what we all seek when traveling, and to be able to share that with others is a real privilege.” Filmmaker Joshua Johnson says that travel videos are “inspiration—straight up. Travel videos can get you stoked and can be a catalyst for the journey.”

“Travel videos can give you insight to places you’ve never been but may have wanted to go to. They can even attract you to places you never thought you would ever venture. That’s what is great about being able to get different perspectives through travel videos. And some filmmakers have such unique experiences that they inspire us to revisit places we’ve seen already. That’s the dopest thing about travel film—motivating someone to explore.”  – Global Lipstick

You can find 50 more ways that travel videos help travelers here: Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: What Travel Videos Can Do For You.

2. Reach a wide audience on and beyond.

When you upload your travel videos to, your video could be featured on our homepage. We constantly promote top videos and filmmakers on and on the Tripfilms blog, Facebook, Twitter, and in the weekly Tripfilms email newsletter. We have distribution agreements with MSN, Yahoo!, USA Today, Frequency, and Amazon that help Tripfilms videos be seen by an international general audience. And of course, uploading is 100% free, so it’s an easy way for you to get free promotion and distribution for your videos. You still own and retain all rights to your videos when you upload to and you can continue to upload your videos anywhere else you choose. You can find our full terms of service here:

One tip: your videos are more likely to be chosen as editor’s picks and shared with our media partners if they are HD and use only non-copyrighted, royalty-free music. Your videos will also have a better chance at being distributed if you remove any “click to subscribe” tags or similar scenes that don’t apply to or partner sites.

3. Earn rewards like Amazon gift cards and paid filmmaking assignments. 

Tripfilms has an awesome rewards program where you earn one point each time someone watches your video. Once you hit 1,000 views (1,000 points) you can redeem your points for a $25 Amazon gift card.

If you are interested in paid travel assignments, consider applying for a TripVlogger assignment. The TripVlogger program is a way for us to reward top Tripfilms contributors with paid assignments all over the world. All you have to do is continue uploading your amazing travel videos and then apply for a TripVlogger assignment here. We also occasionally reach out to filmmakers in the Tripfilms community to connect them with other paid commercial assignments.

Another great opportunity for travel filmmakers is sharing hotel video reviews on Hotel Confidential, our site for hotel video reviews. Next time you stay in a hotel when you travel, you can earn money for your short smartphone video reviews. Click here to learn more and sign up.

4. Become part of a vibrant community of travel filmmakers.  

By sharing your videos on Tripfilms, you are joining an active community of passionate travel filmmakers who are bringing the world’s most unique places and experiences to life. Our Twelve Travel Questions interview series profiles some of our top filmmakers so you can learn expert travel and filmmaking tips from people who know. When you like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@tripfilms) you’ll get regular doses of travel inspiration right in your newsfeed.

If you have any questions about Tripfilms or if you have any comments, suggestions, or other feedback, we’d love to hear from you! Email Tripfilms Community Manager Jamie at 

Hope to see your travel videos on Tripfilms soon! Click here to upload your travel videos.

filmmaker on ice

Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: Advice for Travel Filmmakers

Over the last two years, we’ve interviewed 50 of our talented filmmakers and filmmaker teams. Here is a collection of some of the best travel tips, crazy travel stories, and filmmaking philosophies from these expert travelers.

We asked 50 filmmakers: What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

Just. Do. It. Most importantly though: don’t be intimidated by anyone, or by all the fancy-shmancy technical talk about cameras and accessories and frame rates and compression rates and such. Start small. Start with what you’re comfortable using. It really is as easy as pressing the record button on your phone or your camera, and using it to tell a story. Then do your research and learn as you go. Cruise Tripfilms and watch lots and lots of other travel videos. Pay attention to what you think works and what you think doesn’t work. Ask for help when you need it! And use all that to help you develop your own style. As you hone your skills you will find your groove, grasshopper. But you’ve gotta just do it! – Two for the Road

Making a travel video is fun. There are a lot of things to learn, but the number one thing is to always have your camera handy, shoot everything no matter how mundane, and always be trying to make your next video better than the last. – James Alexander Adams

To quote a shoe: “Just do it.” #1. Watch travel video. #2. Don’t hesitate, go out and shot and edit and learn from your mistakes. #3. A camera is just a tool. There is no ‘best camera.’ Get what you can afford and learn to use it. The story is more important than the tools. – Nomadic Frames

I would suggest, like anything else, watching other people’s videos and stealing (and learning) from them what you like about their videos, whether it be the way they tell their story, the shots they use, the music they incorporate or the editing techniques they use. – The Expeditioner

Buy a tripod :-) Then watch other filmmakers to see what inspires you the most. After that it is up to you to put your own stamp of creativity onto your work and create something unique and special. Most importantly, if you are passionate about what you do, it will show in your work and eventually you will get noticed. – Eight Miles from Home

Do what you enjoy. Don’t try and copy other people’s styles and approaches. Do what feels right for you—you will find your audience. The only other tip I have is don’t keep moving around all over the place. Take separate shots instead. – Gary Bembridge

Think fresh, avoid crappy presets in cheap editing software, and have fun with it! And perhaps most importantly, don’t be full of yourself, especially when starting off. Even after 10 years of professional work experience in the field, I’m still learning new things on every project I take on. – Etherium Sky Films

Shoot, shoot, shoot! The more you film the better you get—and always make sure to have fun while you’re doing it. If you make it stressful it begins to feel like a job or homework (which 99% of the time, isn’t fun). Be creative, be yourself and stay true to your own unique style. – Rural Movement

DO IT!! Practice makes perfect, and don’t be too hard on yourself. But make sure that you enjoy your trip and don’t end up spending all of your time behind a lens. – Mindful Wanderlust

I often use this answer when asked this question: “It’s not hard to dance to your favorite song.” Create content you’re inspired by. If you’re making a video about drinking wine, when you’d rather be drinking rum strait from the bottle at 4 a.m. at a Thai beach party, your heart is not into the topic. Pursuing this lifestyle is too tough not to do exactly what you want to do. I really don’t like to repeat answers, but that’s important. Here’s something that’s on my mind now: Am I a filmmaker at heart, or a creative at heart, who found his path through video? – Mike Corey

Shoot plenty of what we call B-Roll—it may not be your primary focus, but these shots give a more rounded-out sense of the story. You can never have too much footage. – Alex in Wanderland

To really respect the places they go and the people who live there, and to go to new places wanting to learn and appreciate the culture, especially when you go to places that have a very different culture from yours. – Rubén Alonso

Buy a camera, get out there and do it! That is the only way you will learn and develop your own style and persona. – Kristen Sarah

Practice, practice, practice… and try to get someone to travel. If you can’t manage to produce travel videos on your own, ask someone to accompany you and help you out. You don’t need fancy equipment, just an iPhone and a passion for what you’re trying to show/teach others. – David Hoffmann

Start now. – Joshua Johnson

Make them in your own voice! This always leads to the most natural and genuine storytelling. – Ryan Van Duzer

Just start! It doesn’t matter what you use or how little you know. You are likely to learn more from your mistakes, than from most anything else. – Travizeo

Research and plan ahead. You have a limited amount of time (unfortunately), and you should want to capture as much as possible. Shoot to edit. Don’t be that jerk that sticks a camera in strangers’ faces. – John Piazza IV

Buy a cheap camera, (Go Pro is the best option: cheap, full terrain, waterproof, easy to use…) and learn how to use a simple film editing software like iMovie (Go to and for $35 you can learn how to shoot and edit). If you enjoy the experience, then think about upgrading your equipment. Most important, don’t make your trip about the movie, make the movie about your trip :) – Eduardo Gato

My advice would be to get started and use whatever you have. Whether it’s a camcorder or an iPhone, just start shooting! You can always invest in better equipment later, but when you’re starting out, focus on the heart of your videos and the story you want to tell. – Gloria Powell

Go out and put all your effort into it, there’s never been a better time than now to get into film. You don’t need a big budget production to create captivating videos anymore, you just need a passionate filmmaker. – Patrick J. McDaniel

Firstly making travel videos isn’t for everyone. Secondly audio is just as important as the visual aspect if not more, avoid wind, and make sure you choose good and legal music. – Cailin O’Neil

The main advice I can give is to enjoy as much as you can the experience of the trip and then it’s easier to show those feelings. I like to mix in a video information with the feelings of the trip. – Josep Gutierrez

Stop thinking about it and grab a camera and go do it. The only difference between them and the people who are making videos is that they’re doing it. – Justin Weiler

Just grab your camera and shoot. Don’t overthink it. – Sarah Zareen

Don’t underestimate the power of today’s cell phone cameras. In full daylight a Samsung or iPhone camera can take video comparable to a $3000+ camera. For “documentary style” videos we make on Tripfilms this is perfect! You’ve already got a fantastic camera in your hand! You’d be surprised how often I mix and match my footage from a Canon, Sony, GoPro, and cell phone footage. Spend $90 on a cheap editing software and start using it. – Wesley Adventures

Find your voice, one way or another. Find the thing that nobody else can do, that nobody else would attempt to do, especially if it’s hard. And do it. – Andrew Kamphey

Do it! If you love to have new experiences and document your adventures, grab your camera and let the magic happen! While making travel videos can be tons of fun, just remember, there’s no need to capture EVERYTHING. Think carefully about how you want to tell your story before you hit the red “record” button. Avoid having too much footage at the end of the day and only roll camera when everything is perfect! – Juliana Broste

Think about what you want to know about the location/destination before you decide to go there. Then give that information in your video. It will make your video more genuine. – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

I’m being 100% serious when I say this: Only want to make the most amazing, life-changing videos/films ever. Seek out how to make your work the best is can possibly be. Try hard, try new things, never accept enough. Want to tell stories and study how to tell stories. Know yourself. Love and hate yourself and let that be seen in your work. Be honest. Get good glass. Shoot more than you need and in the end make it work. Above all, don’t let your failures overcome you and always be there for yourself when you have to lick your wounds. So, all that, and most awards you’ll get will mean just about nothing in comparison to the amount to work and love you put into your best work. – Bobby Christian

I remember a scene from the movie “American Beauty” where Kevin Spacey’s character Lester is arguing with his wife about her over-attachment to material possessions. He picks up a sofa cushion and begins to swing it around whilst lamenting: “… It’s just a couch! This isn’t life, it’s just stuff. And it’s become more important to you than living. Well, honey, that’s just nuts.” After the exchange, he then goes on  to live the life he wants to live (rather than the one that is expected of him). Live like Lester everyday and whatever you do will nicely fall into place. Travel videos and all. – SPESUS

Spend some time learning some basic filmmaking skills which can easily be done by watching how-to videos. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a lot of gear. You can easily use your smartphone as your full production studio to create some amazing videos. Practice shooting and editing and watch other people’s videos and see what it is you like about them. The video really comes together in the editing process so shoot lots of footage of different places, people you encountered and things that captured your attention. If you love photography and filmmaking like I do, the act of shooting becomes part of your travel experience and allows you to see things in new ways. It allows you to focus in on the things that capture your attention. These shots are the ones that will put your fingerprint on your videos. If you are traveling to a place that is very popular, like Paris for example, when you shoot the Eiffel Tower don’t just shoot a wide shot and be done with it. Show some details of what caught your eye. Look for unique angles that the rest of us have not seen before an express your feeling and emotion of your experience. – Gina DeGirolamo

Go further, do more, be creative. Be original. Too many people follow the same patterns and make the same content. Be yourself and push the envelope. – Gareth Leonard

Baby Steps… Step One: Shoot everything. My motto is if I didn’t shoot it it didn’t happen. Meaning video is a visual medium (stating the obvious I know) so therefore if you don’t capture it on camera you can’t show it to your viewers. So shoot, shoot, shoot away and figure out what to do with all the footage once you get home. Step Two: Get a mic. There is nothing worse than bad audio. Step Three: Find your voice and have fun! – Monique Soltani

I would tell them to not worry so much about equipment. It’s easy to get bogged down with technical specs, making sure you have every lens for every occasion that arises, etc. While that’s nice, it could also end up restricting you as far as mobility or ease of use when something happens that’s waiting to be filmed. By the time you get set up, you will have missed the shot. I think there’s a distinction between making travel videos as a job and making travel videos as a visual diary. If you are just looking to capture your trip and retell it in an interesting way, you just have to be ready to shoot at all times. Nowadays, you can get pretty nice high quality video in even a point and shoot, so there’s no excuse there. – Kien Lam

Think about what story you want to tell beforehand. It helps with the editing process and it keeps you from shooting footage aimlessly. I’ll have a shot list in mind where I’ll be thinking about movement and cuts. I am always looking for something to cut to and for a way to move the story along. And make sure to have good sound. Invest in a microphone and pay attention to levels and sound when editing. People will forgive a little bit of shaky camera work, but they won’t forgive terrible sound. – The Planet D

Technology has made it so simple to put filmmaking in the hands of everyone, so just get out there and do it, even if it’s just using the camera on your phone. – Jason Leppert

To simply start! With the access we now have to platforms such as YouTube and Tripfilms your videos can be seen by millions. All you need is a personality, a camera, a good mic and some basic storytelling and editing skills and a bit of creativity! With these ingredients anything really is possible. A great attitude will go a long way in the travel business as you get to meet so many new people all the time and you never know where the next video or trip will come from. – Adam Baker

Work with the gear you have now, and just start doing it! Be brave and try your best to capture what’s in front of you. Our travel videos have changed so much over the past year. We found our own voice and style but draw lots of inspiration and techniques from others who inspired us! Find a mentor(s), and make it your own. You got this. Oh, and another little trick we abide by: Have things gone completely sideways for you? Are you mad, emotional, or overwhelmed? Turn on the camera and speak your mind. That’s going to make a great video later. – Because We Camp

Study the history of the place and put your personality in it! – Eszter Vajda

To just go for it! Oddly, I was intimidated to make travel videos on my phone. I came from a video production background where we shot on high-end gear and videos needed to be near perfect. I rarely pulled out my phone for videos or interviews because it wasn’t the quality I was used to. I have been shooting on my phone much more and have had some really fun segments turn out.  Sure, there may be no striking time-lapses or jib shots but the point isn’t always in the production value. It’s showcasing the unexpected in a destination. – Carri Wilbanks

Capture a lot of b-roll so you can have enough transitions when editing. My favorite b-roll captures are: country or state flags, street signs, vast landscapes, people walking and enjoying life and cute animals. – Travelista Teri

Go for it, and don’t make excuses as to why you can’t do it. Even with just a small point and shoot camera, you can start making travel videos. Also, no matter where you are, even if you’re in your own home city, you can make travel videos. – Mark Wiens

Be patient and don’t be too shy to get your camera out. – Mick Hobday

Go into filming with a plan on what you hope to accomplish with your finished product—it makes it so much easier in the back end with post-production. Also, try to pick music that goes well with the footage you have captured—it really can make all the difference! – Wander The Map

Good sound makes all the difference. Put your lens cap on and record 2 minutes of “location audio” wherever you shoot. It helps bridge the gap between shots. Also—pay a street performer a hefty tip if you record their music for use in your videos. – Lost & Found Travel

Don’t just shoot everything randomly; find a passion or your vision/personal experience and have a general idea on how you want to cover it. Be willing to make mistakes and constantly learn new skills. – Armando Costantino

Be honest! Both in your take, and in your personality. A lot of people either clam up or act differently in front of a camera, and if you look stiff or false, it will overpower whatever message or point you have in your video. You could be standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, but if you look uncomfortable, that’s the only thing people will see. – Nathalie Basha

Just do it! Everything doesn’t have to be perfect before you start. Do a few testers on your phone or any inexpensive equipment to see what you like/dislike. When you decide to proceed, make an educated purchase when camera shopping. – Global Lipstick


Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: The Philosophy of a Travel Video

Over the last two years, we’ve interviewed 50 of our talented filmmakers and filmmaker teams. Here is a collection of some of the best travel tips, crazy travel stories, and filmmaking philosophies from these expert travelers.

We asked 50 filmmakers: What is the goal/philosophy of your work? 

To inform, educate, entertain and inspire. And along the way to try and capture the essence of our personal experiences in each place. – Two for the Road

The goals and philosophy of my videos are always changing and evolving. My goal for a long while was to only bridge the gap between my photos and videos. I was only trying to make videos look as pretty as my pictures. In the past little while my goal has been to focus more on telling a story and sharing an experience. Pretty videos and photos alone don’t really share what traveling somewhere really is about. I really want to start sharing the experiences that I have, the people, the highs and the lows, etc. – James Alexander Adams

The Nomadic Frames motto is: “The world is our passion. We travel. We record. We create stories.” Our goal is to inspire others to travel. We also want to show that people and places around the world are wonderful in their own way yet also similar to our experiences. We also want to show that travel is not only beautiful but also rewarding. In other words, travel is important and worth the costs. – Nomadic Frames

World peace, empathy and universal compassion. Oh yeah, also landing my own globally syndicated travel series starring myself as the host.  – The Expeditioner

To show that absolutely anything can be beautiful if you know what to look for. We like to promote lesser-known areas and invite new visitors to follow in our footsteps. There are so many great things to see in the world within a few miles of you wherever you are. You just need to believe that, and then you can see it. Our goal is to show others exactly that. – Eight Miles from Home

To show places, attractions, and things that go beyond the brochure. Show things as they really are. – Gary Bembridge

There is no grand overall goal. I approach each project individually and just try to do a nice job with it! – Etherium Sky Films

Get out there, explore, and document things as they happen naturally. – Rural Movement

To educate others, and have a lot of fun doing it. We want to show people through our videos that the world is a beautiful, incredible place. Yes, it can be scary at times but we wouldn’t change what we do for anything in the world. We have learned so much about the people of the world and so much about ourselves as well. – Mindful Wanderlust

I think for most of us there trying to “make it” in travel video… We have videos we make, and the videos we’d like to make. I can maybe only speak for myself, but I feel we all start making videos from the heart, we want to turn a passion into a career, and we start to think about money. It’s not always easy to make work from the heart when you have a client. After a while of producing content that hovers somewhere in between both of your wants, you start to be given opportunities where you can flex those creative muscles and make videos that are truly yours. Your creativity, your message, your voice. I only talk about this because I feel that I’m finally coming out the other side. I put blood, sweat, and years into what I do, and am excited on creating content that continues to challenge people, to inspire people, and to make them ask: “Wow, you can actually DO that?” – Mike Corey

When I think back on a trip a highlight reel often plays in my mind, accompanied by a song that I strongly associate with the destination. I try to move that highlight reel from my mind to my screen. – Alex in Wanderland

My videos are a tribute to the Lonely Planet series. I’m a big fan of theirs and it’s my humble homage to their great series and great idea that’s inspired so many people to travel. – Rubén Alonso

I want others to feel like they are going on the adventures with me, even if it is in the comfort of their own home. At the same time, my videos aim to inspire and encourage others to step out of their comfort zone and go on their own adventures. I also teach people everything they need to know to take that first step and how to prepare themselves for a life of travel. – Kristen Sarah

Informational, short and to the point! – David Hoffmann

The goal of my videos is to create an experience that is akin to magic. I want to show people a version of the world that is new and unexpected. I want my videos to present images and a version of reality that the viewer has never seen before. – Joshua Johnson

My goal is and has always been to inspire people to get ‘Out There’ and explore this beautiful world. That’s been my slogan ever since my cable access TV days in 2006. It doesn’t matter if you’re climbing a tree or climbing Mount Everest. My goal is to show people how accessible travel can be, and that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. – Ryan Van Duzer

To educate and inspire and ultimately… to sell more holidays. – Travizeo

To convey the same energy and excitement to my audience that I experienced when I was filming them. – John Piazza IV

Give people that have never been to the location a heads up of what to do, where to eat, and how to experience the best out of it. For people that have been there, show them things they maybe missed and give them an excuse to go back again. – Eduardo Gato

I hope people who watch my videos will be inspired to travel wherever they can. I’m really passionate about discovering the heart of one’s local environment. So even if you don’t have the means to travel abroad, I want my videos to show that you can always find something new to explore in your backyard. – Gloria Powell

To create an engaging and accurate representation of the places that I visit, and the things I do there. (Inspiring others to travel is an added bonus.) – Patrick J. McDaniel

The goal of my videos is to show the world to the world. I want to encourage people to travel, help them plan their trips and show them the world isn’t a big scary place and it is full of amazing things. – Cailin O’Neil

I enjoy showing colorful places. I like to show as much details of the place I can. I think is important to make the viewer feel that he is in that place. On the other hand, I like to tell personal stories of local people and use local music. – Josep Gutierrez

Shoot it like a magazine spread, focus on the details and let the viewer connect the dots. Simple. – Justin Weiler

To explore and shoot a place not as a tourist but as a local. I like to keep my videos simple and honest. – Sarah Zareen

Honestly, we make the videos for ourselves. Sharing them with others is just icing on the cake. We’ve made over 500 family adventure videos over the past decade. We want our family to remember the good times we’ve had. Tammy and I love to hear the kids laughing at an old family video we’ve made. Yes, we watch them often. It’s also more fun to show a friend well-edited video than sitting down for hours looking at a vacation slideshow. – Wesley Adventures

Make your mouth water and open your eyes. – Andrew Kamphey

I aim to produce informative and entertaining travel content that inspires viewers to jump out of their seat and explore this amazing planet, too. Let’s go! – Juliana Broste

Our goal is to always be authentic in our summaries. We also try to provide an extra tip or trick that we have picked up along the way. – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

Real quick, I don’t like the term video. I mean I use it and it’s not a pretentious thing (at least I don’t think) and I don’t like the term film a lot better, but saying film I think makes travel videos seem less of a new thing that’s hanging out on the fringes of society. I think travel videos are a part of the storytelling that the movies have been doing for over a hundred years. But like I said, I don’t really like film either (it sounds pretentious). I guess I haven’t been satisfied with a term yet. Anyway, the goal/philosophy of my projects is to find some deep more profound connection to the places I go. I aim to share the experiences I have with others, but not in a raw way—in an edited way that, while it can make us of raw moments, gives the audience a through line. I haven’t made videos of walking and talking in a while because I think that begs too much of the audience (if I had an audience that loved everything about me I would act differently). Wow, this is a lot of words. Let’s get real and simple. I only want to make things that really impress and inspire me, and while I don’t make these videos often, I want to move my work to more storytelling as a way of illuminating a place. Oh, and I never want to make the same thing twice. I heard this interview with the sound FX guy from Raging Bull once. After every project he destroys his tapes so he won’t repeat the sounds. I don’t want to forget what I learned and what I failed to succeed at. I want to take that and move forward. – Bobby Christian

To make our videos aesthetically pleasing, in addition to being as red-pilled as possible. – SPESUS

My goal is to share my passion of the place I am visiting and to teach people how to make better videos. Travel and filmmaking are two of my passions so I just want to do them both and have others be inspired to follow their passions as well. – Gina DeGirolamo

I want to entertain viewers and motivate people who wish for a life of travel. That’s the correct answer, right? The real reason is to make all my exes jealous… Hey Lisa who dumped me in 8th grade, how do you like me now!? – Gareth Leonard

Every person, place, and thing has a unique story to tell. Whether I’m interviewing a person, highlighting a region or uncorking a beautiful bottle of wine there is an extraordinary story in there somewhere and it’s my job to discover it. – Monique Soltani

When I make my videos, I want people to get lost for a few minutes and share the world as I was able to see it. It could just be visual eye candy, or it could be a story that elevates what otherwise might be an everyday or seemingly ordinary experience into something that is memorable. If I’ve captured your attention until you get to the end, I’ve done my job. – Kien Lam

We try to capture the spirit of the destination in our videos. We want people to see the video and say “I want to go there.” Our aim is to keep them upbeat and fun and reflecting our personalities. It’s less about the hard facts and more about the inspiration. I find that I want to watch a video to be inspired and then I will go and do the nitty gritty research of what to do in that destination. What we really want is a story told. It can be a very shallow story arc, but we want a purpose to our videos. It’s not our nature to just walk down the street with a GoPro and selfie cam. We want to shoot it and show us doing adventures or activities while portraying how we’re feeling in the moment. – The Planet D

I hope to inform people about cruises to inspire them to take one and continue to come back onboard. – Jason Leppert

Firstly to bring Costa Rica and Central America to life, not just for those that are looking to travel here but for those who want to be entertained and informed. To highlight not only the best aspects of a country but to highlight the aspects that matter. In due course I hope our Costa Rica Travel Channel will be the leading source of travel info, news and entertainment for Costa Rica. – Adam Baker

We strive for 100% honesty. We want to show you the good, bad, and everything in between. This includes the bus rides, our embarrassing miscommunication and we don’t shy away from “tourist traps” because a lot of travelers know that there is always someone hawking stuff and to not show it as it really is is a shame for that future traveler that isn’t getting the full picture. More importantly though, our goal is to interact with the place and people. Starting out, we were too shy to film people without their permission (due to language barriers) but realized early on that being on an island of Lynn & Noah is not interesting—it’s ALWAYS about the people. – Because We Camp

To educate, inform and inspire. – Eszter Vajda

My videos are meant to inspire people to engage with the world around them. I also want people to know that breaking out of your comfort zone, though terrifying at the time, leaves you with a rush that propels you in so many other aspects of your life. Within the last year I have told my mind to shush by learning to flyboard, longboard, mountain bike, ski and rock climb. Granted, this is no bungee jumping or skydiving but it is a way to break bounds and learn new ways to travel actively. – Carri Wilbanks

To inspire people to Live Better and Travel More by sharing my experiences and what I’ve learned from other cultures, lifestyles and customs. – Travelista Teri

One of the things I love about travel videos is that I’m learning about something at the same time as I’m sharing. So my goal is to inspire, but to also try to offer something valuable, like tips or advice at the same time. Also my goal is to try to be a positive influence by connecting with other cultures. – Mark Wiens

To show people that you actually get a more genuine travel experience when you travel on a budget. It’s more like travelling than going on holiday. – Mick Hobday

I’m a programmer at Tripfilms, so I basically spend some time maintaining the website and backend softwares we have, and I also work on some B2B projects. – Gustavo Matias

Our goal is mainly to share the beauty of the world and inspire others to pack their bags and travel! – Wander The Map

We’re not here to be the stars of the video. We let the location do the talking whenever possible. We want our videos to feel like you are walking around the destination yourself. – Lost & Found Travel

I like sharing my own experience, especially finding unique places—the less touristy parts of our journeys—to encourage anyone who wants to travel to go ahead. Take the chance. – Armando Costantino

I always have the goal to tell a story with my travel videos. I try not to make it simply about the facts. That’s why I hyper-focus on specific aspects of travel for each video—be it the views, a rainy day, the laid-back vibe of a place, etc.  I want people to walk away from my videos feeling like they were there with me, and I want them to always have a smile on their face. And in the process, if I inspire someone to go beyond their comfort zones and travel more, awesome. – Nathalie Basha

We like to be informative and entertaining.  We also want to show that Black people travel—to places beyond the islands—and have a good time doing it. – Global Lipstick

globe + hand

Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: What Travel Videos Can Do For You

Over the last two years, we’ve interviewed 50 of our talented filmmakers and filmmaker teams. Here is a collection of some of the best travel tips, crazy travel stories, and filmmaking philosophies from these expert travelers.

We asked 50 filmmakers: How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

Without a doubt, a well done video can give you insight into a location and a culture better than anything out there. There are tons of great blogs and books and guides, photos, etc… but video really is the next best thing to actually being there. It gives you a sense of place like nothing else can, period. And that’s especially useful when you’re traveling somewhere you’ve never been. – Two for the Road

Travel videos are the best way to remember the experience of a trip. Photos are always good, but making a video of it allows you to experience the ups and downs of a trip all over again. – James Alexander Adams

First, they inspire. A good travel video gets us excited to visit a place and meet its people. As soon as we buy a plane ticket, we immediately download whatever Anthony Bourdain has produced from that country. From his videos, we not only learn about local food but also about customs, social norms, geography, travel challenges and so much more. If a photo is worth a thousand words, video – with audio – is worth a million words. – Nomadic Frames

Any time that you can tell a story can have a powerful effect on people, whether it be through words, music or images. What’s great about travel videos is that they are a combination of all three, which make them unique, and oftentimes a much more powerful vessel for telling your story. – The Expeditioner

I honestly think that a travel video can make or break a destination. It depends on how it is filmed. I find that some videographers can butcher a beautiful landscape or scene by using the wrong exposure settings or uncomfortable movements. On the flip side, I usually find that Documentary filmmakers really know how to compose a scene in exactly the right way to capture its appeal. Travel videos show travelers much more than a photo or article ever could and because of that, the filmmakers’ perspective is a strong influencing factor. – Eight Miles from Home

See before you try. It lets you know what to expect and how to plan and prepare. – Gary Bembridge

While I’d selfishly like for the world to remain undiscovered (so that I can be the first to see it all ha), I guess communication is instant now. If you’re planning your travel and want more than plain guidebook info, video can give you a much nicer and more enticing view of wherever you are headed! – Etherium Sky Films

A lot of people are visual learners and can’t quite grasp what something will be like unless they see it. It helps to see it rather than read about it, so it becomes more of a reality. Videos have the power to make people feel like they’re present—it’s the same reason we love to watch movies. Moving pictures transport their viewers to another place and make you feel a part of it. – Rural Movement

Visuals are always more entertaining and you can easily get a understanding of what a place is like through videos, so they may help people to decide where they would, or wouldn’t like to go. – Mindful Wanderlust

Travel video making is interesting in a certain way. The video you create is your own experience, a narrow slice of what makes a place what it is. Even if you spend a year there, you’ll still be biased to activities, foods, and people you enjoy. Another person can have a completely different experience. Then there’s the element of editing, which has a huge impact on the feelings you want to broadcast. The more I create videos, the more I realize the openness and power of this medium. Videos created with heart, with emotion, with careful creation, I believe can permanently determine someone’s perception of a country. For the average traveller, I think seeing videos like this are like a shot of motivation straight to the jugular. It drives you to pursue a travel lifestyle outside of travel life. It makes you plan that next trip because you want that feeling again. – Mike Corey

I think videos are the best way to convey the energy of a destination, and can really inspire people to get out and travel. I am planning a trip to the 2014 Tomorrowland festival based solely on the after-movies I’ve watched from previous years! – Alex in Wanderland

Bloggers have the freedom that nobody tells them what to say or what they have to show off in the videos. We show places the way we want to and say what we think, so there’s an honesty that comes through. – Rubén Alonso

Visuals have a power of inspiring people in a way writing cannot. Videos can make people feel like they are experiencing everything with you. – Kristen Sarah

Pictures are great, but video is the only thing that can make a destination come alive aside from actually visiting. Travel videos give people the ability to imagine themselves in a certain place. It helps them to visualize themselves far removed from their everyday lives. Why do you think the Travel Channel is so successful? – David Hoffmann

Inspiration—straight up. Travel videos can get you stoked and can be a catalyst for the journey. – Joshua Johnson

Travel videos really allow someone to tell a unique story in their own special way…every travel filmmaker has their own style and something can be learned from everyone. Videos can teach you about dance, food, adventure…pretty much everything under the sun! – Ryan Van Duzer

Videos have become a very big part of the traveller’s journey, from the dreaming stage to the planning stage and certainly to the experiencing and sharing stage. There is a misconception that people watch videos because they are lazy… People watch videos because they can get more information in a shorter space of time. In this light I see video as one of the most useful tools for travellers. – Travizeo

Actually, I think that travel videos are probably more useful for people who aren’t filmmakers. Travel videos, if they’re done well, allow the viewer to get an idea of a destination without actually visiting it. That way, travelers are able to narrow down the multitude of destinations to the places they really want to see. In my opinion, travel videos are invaluable to any person who is planning a trip. – John Piazza IV

To create a memory beyond a picture, to share experiences with others. We are a visual society. Unfortunately people don’t like to read much, so the new trend to remember and let others enjoy what we do in life is make a video. – Eduardo Gato

Travel videos are a great way to get excited about a trip. Done right, they will make you want to book a ticket right away! Not everyone has the privilege to travel. For some, watching a travel video may be the only way to experience traveling. These videos are like a portal that allows everyone the chance to escape. – Gloria Powell

Film is just such a powerful medium to use to communicate to each other, and I think it’s amazing that it’s becoming so widely available now. Anyone can pick up a GoPro or tiny camcorder that shoots HD videos, and they can make an incredible travel video that accurately captures their experiences. The biggest use for travel videos is simply being able to communicate and share our incredible adventures with each other. – Patrick J. McDaniel

I think my travel videos are useful to everyone, filmmaker or not. I don’t think I cater to one specific niche audience except for people that love to travel or dream to travel that is. I have a series of videos called “City in a Minute” where I show people some of the awesome things to see and do in a city in a quick one-minute video. I hope these videos inspire people to travel and help them plan their travels as well. I also like making videos because I think you can only show someone so much about a place in a blog post or photograph and a video gives people movement and audio and takes it to a whole other level. Now if only we could get smell-o-vision invented… – Cailin O’Neil

I think the videos made by travelers that aren’t filmmakers have something special. Something different than filmmakers. The travelers can appreciate special moments and tell their stories in a very fresh way. I think what is important in a video is to transmit feelings and a person that enjoys with an adventure is the best to tell it. – Josep Gutierrez

Videos have the magic ability to emotionally engage with an audience and it’s what we all seek when traveling, and to be able to share that with others is a real privilege. – Justin Weiler

Videos can more effectively show the flavor of a place in ways blogs and pictures can’t. A traveler’s video has freshness and honesty that is hard to find in syndicated travel shows. – Sarah Zareen

In decades past, travel videos were done by large production companies for television. Travel advice and tips are so much more effective if they’re coming from local or seasoned travelers, not some TV script writer on a deadline. Give me raw and candid advice from a local any day. – Wesley Adventures

Videos are the closest we can get right now to experiential forms of media. They can be kept for days, months, years, and watched and re-watched. I think travel videos are powerful on their own and also when combined with photos, words, and sounds. Google is doing a great job of combining all of these. I think we’ll see a new kind of travel video soon. Not sure what it’ll look like but I’m trying out new stuff all the time. – Andrew Kamphey

Travel video can take you to a place way faster than an airplane. It gives you the feel of a place without the time and expense of going there. And, hopefully, the moments you see on screen will inspire you to set out on an adventure you can call your own. – Juliana Broste

Travel videos are THE best way to recap a country, area, or even a visit to a small town. Videos can show the atmosphere, the people and the experience all in a FEW minutes! A view that can convince travelers of why they’d want to visit! With video you can also help your viewers HEAR the sounds of the destination; the native language, or the waves crashing against the rocks, or the birds singing in the jungle, or the laughter of the guy selling hot dogs on the corner! – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

This is probably the hardest question because it’s essentially asking “Why do you think what you do is worth doing?” which is a dangerous hole to go digging around. For me, all of this started as a way for me to show my family, specifically my Grandmother, the places I was going. I wanted to let viewers feel the place. I did a lot of close-up shots of textures and colors, but I wasn’t adept enough yet to see the vision clearly through the edit. Umm….I think the answer is that a successful travel video—a video that I will watch and be engaged by—doesn’t try and show you the entirety of a location. It takes on the creator’s view and shows a location through their colors and their passions. (The creator is the person with the final control of the finished product.) I think getting bogged down in the concept of “Well, why is that worth watching or making?” is dangerous because that question begs for a hard answer. It’s worth it because it’s the core of what makes people human. Like all storytelling, putting these pieces together offers the viewer a possibility of a different magical place where they can do things that are uncommon to them and succeed. Let me say that another way. When someone shows an audience their worldview and how he/she interacts with the world, the audience is offered the chance to see the world in that way possibly for the first time. The knowledge they gather from the person sharing then gives them the tools to take on this new world they have been opened to (i.e., watch Anthony Bourdain and you can go eat good food and know that it is good food. Watch Steve Irwin and you can go interact with animals properly). I don’t think travel videos are best used to simply point out places to see or things to do. Text is fine for that. A video shows how to see or do the thing in a new way. If you can’t tell, I struggle with this question a lot. – Bobby Christian

To motivate, inspire and help organize. Travel videos are also just fun to watch especially on a destination you have recently visited, or are feeling nostalgic about. – SPESUS

I think creating travel videos is an awesome way to capture the true experience of your trip and it can be an awesome way to share your experience with others. While photos are awesome and I do shoot tons myself, videos help you to convey the emotion you felt about your trip, especially when you choose music that means something to you and you put that in the video. It’s an incredible memoir to have. I also love the feeling of creativity I have when making them. The video has to be done well though  and it’s not that hard once you learn some principles of filmmaking. There are a few simple things that one needs in order to make good travel videos. One is good sound, another is a tripod, and a third is an understanding of good composition and lighting. – Gina DeGirolamo

Travel videos are meant to inspire and educate people about the world around them. As a traveler, it’s great to have some visuals of where you’re going or where you’d like to go. – Gareth Leonard

I think travel videos are fantastic for people who aren’t filmmakers. Whether you are planning your next vacation or never have any intentions of leaving the comfort of your couch. When you watch a travel video you can explore the world without leaving your living room. – Monique Soltani

I find travel videos to be most useful when they simply inspire. It could be a second of stunning landscape or the way the history is told, but whatever it is, it captures the viewers attention just enough to plant that desire or need to travel into their consciousness. There’s nothing wrong with informative travel videos, but I don’t think a travel video needs to be informative to be useful. Sometimes, you just need to see a place and you’ll be caught surprised that such a place exists and it gets you to start digging around to learn more about it on your own. – Kien Lam

I look to travel videos for inspiration. I want to see people having fun in a place. I want to see the beautiful scenery or get a taste of the culture. A video should grab people and make them want to see more. It should make them feel that they are right there with you. It’s about the hook. You give people gorgeous images, excitement, and adventure and they want to book a flight to experience the destination exactly the way you did! – The Planet D

I think in the case of cruise reviews and ship tours, it gives travelers a visual sense of what they can expect onboard and off in a way that a static brochure or website never can. – Jason Leppert

Having been making travel videos since 2011 I have seen the firsthand effect it can have. Bringing the truth to an area is something not even a photo can do these days. Everyone knows how pictures in tourism are manipulated so much these days. With small travel videos on small production it brings a reality to an area that can be seen for real. So the trust that’s created is powerful and helps travellers make the right decisions for their own travel experience. – Adam Baker

We stumbled onto making travel videos by accident. We wanted to document our trip for ourselves and then something happened… people began to tell us that it felt as if they were experiencing it right along with us! We remember watching travel videos on YouTube while we were in the planning stages of this trip and it gave us the inspiration and strength to make it a reality. If it helped us, we’re hoping it can help others. – Because We Camp

A video can transport a person to a place and bring them sights and sounds that will hopefully provoke a “I want to experience that!” response. – Eszter Vajda

They can inspire travel. I love the way the millennial generation is all about experiences. If I had the choice to own a fancy car or backpack through Europe for a few months there is no question that I would cross borders. The way we are able to share experiences socially and through video has shown people the power of travel. It’s not about material items but the connections you make in the real world. – Carri Wilbanks

Travel videos inspire people to visit different destinations, have new experiences, and provide ideas on what to do once you’re there. There are so many unique perspectives on travel and these videos are a gateway into the mind of a fellow traveler’s experience, which is a thousand times better than an ad or a brochure. – Travelista Teri

I think travel videos can be watched for entertainment and for inspiration, or they can actually be filled with practical tips and used as travel guides. – Mark Wiens

They are visual guide books so people can get tips on places to visit or not visit and tips on how to make their travels cheaper. – Mick Hobday

They’re definitely helpful for many things, for example: checking out what food you can eat, places you can visit and things you can do. I think if you’re planning to go somewhere it’s definitely because you saw it somewhere before, magazine, TV or pictures. Videos will help you get a better idea of how it feels to be there. – Gustavo Matias

We feel that travel videos give a more personal look into a destination—they allow people to really get a good feel of an area and see what a place is like before they visit. – Wander The Map

We use social media and other travelers’ videos as the core of our travel research. Guide books are great as a reference when you are THERE. But quality videos by other travelers convey information so much faster. AND you make travel friends by being active socially. They’re a great source for hotel recommendations. – Lost & Found Travel

I think videos give an inside scoop of places, a near-reality of an experience that’s accessible. And they can be really inspiring to the watchers. – Armando Costantino

I think travel videos are more honest than guides, or even reviews. In my videos, I’m not afraid to share both the good and the bad, or even just the mundane. I’m not alone here, either—lots of travel vloggers share it all. To have a really great travel experience, I think you have to be extremely informed, and travel videos take it to a whole new level. Also, I don’t think we should overlook the value of escapism here…sometimes, simply escaping from life for five minutes is exactly what we need!! If I had a bad day, I turn to videos that evoke a really clear mood and transport me, and I think there is lots to be said for that. – Nathalie Basha

Travel videos can give you insight to places you’ve never been but may have wanted to go to. They can even attract you to places you never thought you would ever venture. That’s what is great about being able to get different perspectives through travel videos. And some filmmakers have such unique experiences that they inspire us to revisit places we’ve seen already. That’s the dopest thing about travel film—motivating someone to explore. – Global Lipstick

abandoned bus

Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: Craziest True Travel Stories

Over the last two years, we’ve interviewed 50 of our talented filmmakers and filmmaker teams. Here is a collection of some of the best travel tips, crazy travel stories, and filmmaking philosophies from these expert travelers.

We asked 50 filmmakers: What is your craziest true travel story?

There are lots, actually. But three things come to mind right off the bat:

  • A few days into our first extended visit to Costa Rica we got caught in the middle of a massive bar fight in Quepos that developed into a near riot. Guys literally smashing beer bottles over other guys’ heads and such. Then worrying about getting knifed on the way home because we had to walk through a dark, terrible neighborhood. Good memory.
  • Getting caught in an awful sandstorm, followed by a power outage, in Uyuni, Bolivia. Missed our train as a result and wound up stranded there for four more days. That was fun.
  • And getting accosted by half a dozen policemen with assault rifles at the bus station in San Miguel de Tucaman, Argentina. Dusty was walking through the station with his laptop open (looking for a wi-fi signal) and they all thought he was up to no good. They surrounded us and a tense interrogation followed. We talked our way out of it, but not before learning a very valuable lesson: there’s no free wi-fi at the bus station in Tucaman. – Two for the Road

On the way to Fiji I was delayed 5 days because of a typhoon over the country. I managed to talk my way onto a flight that was heading back just to bring flight crews in to get more people out. I met one of the pilots in the hotel and managed to be one of 20 people on an entire 747 from LAX to Nadi. Another time while walking down a side street in London during the Olympics I came across Bill Gates just walking down the street with his wife–really weird and random, but said hi, shook his hand, talked some Olympics, took some photos, and went on my way. – James Alexander Adams

Morgan: We were filming drum-frame builders in the bush two hours north of Accra, Ghana. All were super friendly except the biggest guy who thought we were making lots of money with this video while only buying them lunch and beers. He got really, really angry, raised his machete over his head and threatened us. The two Accra drum sellers who brought us there talked him down but I thought we were going to die that day. Vân: We had just embarked on a two hour camel trek to a Berber camp in the Sahara desert on the Morocco/Algeria boarder. A lightning storm quickly blew in just as we set out. Sitting high on the camel’s back easily made us the tallest objects as we submitted the many mountainous sand dunes. As the sand whipped us from every direction, I though for sure I would get struck by lightning. It was exciting and terrifying at the same time. – Nomadic Frames

I caught malaria in Africa. It happens to plenty of people around the world (unfortunately more so to children in Sub-Sahara Africa), but it still seems crazy to me and to the people I tell that to. – The Expeditioner

The one time when we were going through a bit of a financial struggle in Australia. A shady man came to Jmayel and offered him $100 AUD to buy his urine. No questions were asked, a pot was provided and urine was delivered for cash. We never saw that man again. – Eight Miles from Home

When my boss was waiting to get picked up by a work colleague in Stockholm and was waiting outside the hotel. This lady pulled up and they greeted each other, loaded his cases and headed off. About 10 minutes into the journey they realised they were both not who they thought they were. The poor lady freaked. – Gary Bembridge

Soo many…  Before Nepal, I have never seen an elephant in the wild. Then while trekking through Chitwan National Park, a baby elephant came out of the jungle straight at me and then put his trunk in my hand as if to shake my hand. I was pretty frozen, touched on a spiritual level and scared at the same time. I was later told that touching an elephant’s trunk signified one of the highest blessings in their beliefs. Later that day, I saw wild rhinos nearby and nearly stepped on a crocodile bigger than my boat, near the river. – Etherium Sky Films

It was late at night, dark, and we got dropped off in the middle of nowhere (Jipijapa, to be exact). After several busses, we ended up walking the dark streets looking for the bus station we were promised in Jipijapa. Joke’s on us! There is no bus station. We were literally dumped in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. What are two foreigners supposed to do? We turned the corner and found ourselves in a bargain deal with an unmarked vehicle. He offered us a ride to Puerto Lopez, the next town we were headed to (about an hour away). After mixed emotions and feelings I decided may as well die in a car instead of the street.

Reluctantly and faithfully, we ended up in the car with a Ghostbuster logo on the back. I remember this because I thought it would be the last thing I saw. I was quite confident it would be the end of the Turleys. That perhaps this once, we wouldn’t make our destination safely. Here is why.

I sat there, wary and loaded with bags, and looked at Spencer and said, dare we trust this stranger? We literally felt like we had no other choice…. either die in this iffy town with NOWHERE to sleep (there were no hostels) or go with these strangers and trust they will do what they say they will do. I had a sinking gut feeling but we did it anyway.

The whole time I was smitten with absolute fear. Nobody in the car spoke to us. There were two men and a boy(outnumbered!). I sat in the back huddled to the rickety door with all its metal exposed, waiting to roll out and make my escape if it became absolutely necessary. I even thought in my head, well, at least my family will have some really cute footage of us to watch when we die (if they don’t take my camera). I was a bit upset with the whole situation, but Spence assured me it was going to be fine. Little did I know he too was plotting our escape the entire time in his head. He would demand me to run and hide in the bushes while he fought them off with a pocket knife… ummm… no way. I’d go down fighting!

The miles seemed endless, and time eternity. We winced in worry and tried to understand their rapid Spanish. I was pleading in prayer that we would be safe, that these men could be trusted, and that this was all just a blessing in disguise. I thought about how we trusted two random strangers in the middle of the night. How easy it would be for them to make us disappear! What fools we had been. Nobody would know where we went.

I prayed for a sign that we were indeed going where they said, because it was dark and the roads were EMPTY for miles. Minutes later I saw a sign that read “Puerto Lopez,” our destination. Then, as my muscles relaxed, the men started talking about vegetables and fruits and all the things they want to sell in their fruit stand that week. After words like aguacate, pepino, papa, y fresa repeated a million times I couldn’t imagine two farmers trying to butcher us.

The car slowed to a stop, and parked in a tiny little town with a single bulb hanging in front of a dark door. It was a hostel! We paid $5 for the gesture (and for not disappear-ing us), and hustled off. It was quite wonderful indeed, to be free. Like hitting the beach after nearly sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

Turns out the next day we found the guy who drove us. What a nice jolly ol’ man, and he owns an Internet cafe. The very cafe from which I write this message. HA! Life is funny. While I don’t recommend hopping in unmarked vehicles with several strangers in the middle of the night in a strange town, I will admit we were being watched over. Never again, I tell Spencer. Never again. – Rural Movement

We don’t really have any crazy travel stories but there was one time in India when Cody was approached by five or six teenagers. They started asking for his autograph and taking photos with him. “You are our favorite actor and welcome to our country.” Cody just went along with it sighing autographs and taking photos. We still have no idea who they thought he was…..any ideas? – Mindful Wanderlust

An elderly Asian woman once showed me Polaroids of naked young men in the Hong Kong Airport. I’ve slept with wild dogs in the Australian Outback, swam with pigs in the Bahamas, had flesh eating disease in Honduras… There have been a few. – Mike Corey

In Laos my travel companions and I had a rental motorcycle stolen by a band of ladyboys. That alone would have made the cut, but days later one of those companions was cycling around the outskirts of Vientiane, found the bike, and proceeded to steal it back while an aggressive ladyboy chased him down the streets. I have no need to ever write fiction if my real life continues on in this manner. – Alex in Wanderland

I was in Lithuania and I wanted to visit one of the weirdest places on the planet—Stalinland. To get there, we had to go almost to the border with Belarus. I got to the nearest city to the park, but the only way to get there was with a taxi. The locals explained that the taxi drivers worked in a kind of organized mafia, and you couldn’t trust them. Luckily, I was traveling with very pretty and clever local friend, who managed to convince the taxi to take us to the park for free, almost like a private chauffeur! – Rubén Alonso

The time I was invited in an Indian wedding by a renowned Indian drummer in the middle of the Rajasthan desert and danced for a king. – Kristen Sarah

I got my laptop stolen out of my hotel room (in a 5-star hotel) in Marrakech, Morocco. I left the door cracked open for five minutes while I went down to the reception to ask a question. It turned out that another hotel guest stole it. When the hotel searched his room, they found it and turned it over to the police as evidence. The thief was arrested, but the laptop was technically evidence. I never got it back from the police, but two years after the incident I got an email from a man who said he had my laptop and wanted to sell it back to me. Talk about being hustled! FYI, I never bought it back and lost all my pictures and contacts. – David Hoffmann

Oh god, I will have save all of the juicy details for campfire and a flask of whiskey but suffice it  to say that it involves a lot of hallucinogenic mushrooms and automatic machine guns in central Laos. – Joshua Johnson

Oh boy I have a ton…I once had two Bot flies living in my arm for two months, Google ‘Bot Fly’ on Youtube and you’ll be extremely grossed out. Was robbed at machete point on a Guatemalan Volcano and lost all my camera gear, had a gun pulled on me in Honduras, oh yeah, and that one time I lived in the Venezuelan jungle for a month living off the land. – Ryan Van Duzer

We’ve gotten ourselves into all kinds of trouble, but the memories that stick out for me normally involve animals somehow… I’m not sure why. In South Africa I was sitting in the tracker seat, which is right in front of the land cruiser, filming a rather large square-lipped or white rhino cow and her calf, they began grazing closer and closer and we didn’t want to start the vehicle in case of frightening them. She ended up less than 2 meters away. You can see some of those shots in the end of this video. In Langkawi, Malaysia our producer Yusin somehow managed to convince the local aquarium to let me scuba dive in the big tank and hand-feed the fish. Hungry fish are not to be messed with, especially when you aren’t wearing gloves, and stingrays and moray eels swimming between your legs and nudging you for more food is rather unsettling, but something I won’t forget. – Travizeo

This is hardest question by far. Haha there are so many. The one that jumps to mind, however, is from when I studied abroad in Italy during the spring of 2012. The semester had just ended and I was spending a week on the Amalfi Coast with my best friend. We were eager to visit Capri, so after a long day spent figuring out the local transportation and conversing with Italians who all told us a different story, we arrived in Sorrento, ready to hop on a ferry to the famous Isola di Capri. We were about 10 minutes too late and had taken the last bus. With night quickly approaching, we had two options: accept defeat and rent accommodations or seize the day and make the most of our situation. We chose the latter. We enthusiastically rented two Vespa scooters and drove along the legendary Strada Statale 163 to Positano. I would argue that it is the most beautiful road in the world, albeit, rather dangerous. Upon arrival, we were met with a ferocious onslaught of wind and rain. We were forced to take cover in an abandoned Piaggio Ape (the tiny 3-wheeled Italian utility vehicles) alongside a cave and wait out the storm. We almost froze to death but we managed to wait out the storm. Afterwards, we were rewarded with the view of a lifetime. The moon came out from behind the clouds and shined brilliantly over Positano, reflecting in the calm waters of the Mediterranean. We then grabbed a couple panini and camped out on the beach for the remainder of the night. Great times. – John Piazza IV

For my mothers 60th birthday, my wife and I decided to get her to Las Vegas. It was the first time in her life that she stayed in a hotel. We went to the Aria, which had just recently opened at that time. Her room was fine but mine was dirty, so after we complained they moved and upgraded us. My mother asked me if she could take the vanity set from the bathroom with her and I not only encouraged her, I also gave her the set from my bathroom and a towel. When we got to the new rooms, they were dirty too and they moved us and upgraded us again—more shampoo and more towels for my mom. This happen another two times, for a total of four. We ended up in a corner penthouse with free hotel credit for eating at the hotel, free rooms, and my mom with lots of vanity sets, towels, and a bathrobe, too much fun and that was only the first day. – Eduardo Gato

So during that family cruise I mentioned before, we went shopping in Florence, Italy and this lady came up to me and started talking to me in Italian. I think she was asking me about the shirt she was trying on, not wanting to let on that I had no idea what she was saying, I kept saying “Mi piace!” and “Va bene.” She totally fell for it. :D – Gloria Powell

Last summer I ended up joining one of my friends on a spontaneous last minute trip to see a three-day music festival called Friendly Gathering. With almost no notice, I managed to get free admission into the festival in exchange for filming and received a VIP wristband that allowed me access into backstage/sectioned off areas. The entire music festival took place on an abandoned ski/snowboard resort so the view was incredible and camping out was perfect. It ended up raining so filming wasn’t the best, but dancing in the mud for three days and being surrounded by great music was something I’ll never forget. – Patrick J. McDaniel

I have a lot of crazy adventures that are all different in their own way. The most recent one I can think of is that time I got stuck at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe… – Cailin O’Neil

I took a train to Belgrade without a passport. We, the European people, can travel through European Community countries only with ID. We don’t need a passport. In that moment I didn’t think that Serbia was not an European Community country. I realized this fact when I was inside the train and the train was starting to go.

I was afraid because if I couldn’t get into Serbia, I would have to leave the train at the border of Hungary and Serbia, in the right middle of nowhere, at 4 a.m. of a cold night. Nobody on the train knew if I could get into Serbia without a passport so I couldn’t sleep waiting for the border policemen. When the moment arrives, the policemen asked for the passport. I told them that I only had my ID, no passport. They looked at me with serious faces and they told me that I should wait a moment until they came back. In the moment that I was preparing my luggage to get off, the train started with me inside and the policemen didn’t come back. I have never been so happy to arrive to a city than when I arrived to Belgrade. – Josep Gutierrez

I was able to witness a 73 yr old man get his cleft lip repaired + seeing his wife’s reaction will live with me forever. After being rejected by his sons + grandchildren for 50+ yrs, he was welcomed back into the family. – Justin Weiler

Being chased in the streets of Bangalore by a wild horse. I saved myself by ducking into a narrow alley. The horse kept running. – Sarah Zareen

Brian: I travel a lot for work. One time I was in Asia and tried to get some work equipment into a country… legally. I could have easily lied and just snuck it in but I wanted to do it correctly. I had a brand new $100 USD bill that I was going to use to pay the import taxes. They wouldn’t accept it because it had a single crease down the middle. Besides the crease it was in mint condition and completely valid. Both money changers at the airport wouldn’t accept it. They wouldn’t even try because of the crease. Sigh, it’s money, it gets creased. They had never heard of the silver stripe embedded in the paper, watermark, or those money markers. I ended up having to go to the local black market to exchange for local currency. The funny thing, I got a much better exchange rate at the black market than the legal money changers. I eventually got the equipment into the country but it didn’t increase my faith in that country’s money system. – Wesley Adventures

Getting three days into a trip to the rural parts of Mongolia. Got to a lakeside village. My phone rings and it’s my friend telling me that if I’m not back in a day to get my visa to China, I won’t be able to stay. I took a 22-hour bus ride straight from there to U.B. and got to the embassy in time before they closed for a week, and then boarded a 16-hour train to the border to renew my visa. A 16-hour train ride back and I was good. Not to be locked up abroad for any visa troubles. – Andrew Kamphey

That time I was in a reality TV show on Outside TV and had to camp overnight on the snow in the Colorado backcountry the middle of winter and then climb up a mountain with 50 pounds of gear on my back while producing a short film in a matter of days…yeah, that happened! – Juliana Broste

Laughing at the time we hitchhiked franticly trying to catch the ferry leaving in minutes. You see we had to catch a plane the next morning! The kind soul who picked us up didn’t know any English but he didn’t need to. No, he knew exactly what was going on as we pointed to the dock just visible over the cliff. He weaved his way through traffic and around every tight corner only to come to a screeching halt just as the metal ramp scraped off the dock. I’d be lying if I said we didn’t consider jumping. Hours later. Another ferry. We finally rolled into the mainland near midnight only to find out a 48-hour transportation strike had been issued. No planes. No trains. No buses. We were able to leave the city only a few hours before the Syntagma Square riots broke out. – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

OK, everybody, you really have to hear me tell you the story to get the whole impact. But the synopsis is that me and some friends fell in love with Prague and especially its iconic bridge. I asked a stranger to kiss me and her whole family got really really upset, like causing a scene angry. You really have to hear me say it. – Bobby Christian

We were caught up in the May 1998 riots in Indonesia. After being holed up in our flat for a week whilst the city (Jakarta) burned, we were graciously given seats on an American government evacuation plane and dropped off in Singapore. With very little funds we had to live rough for a couple of days while we waited to get back home. Either that, or being inside a collapsed building during the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated eastern Japan; but that’s a long story. – SPESUS

Hmmmmm…….not sure I have one. Other than the time I was approached by gypsies  in Florence. Three young people came up to me. One had a newspaper and held it up to me, another touched my hair and tried to tell me I was beautiful and the third was reaching in my pocket. They didn’t think I would feel it because of the others distracting me, but I did and I grabbed her hand and she had some of my money. She immediately let go of it and they ran off. – Gina DeGirolamo

It involves two Colombians, mango slices, a bottle of aguadiente and a small, back-alley salsa club in Medellin, Colombia… that’s all I can say in writing. – Gareth Leonard

I don’t know how crazy it is but it’s true. My sister and I traveled internationally for the first time when we were in our early twenties. We were headed for Spain and ready to paint the red or on our budget perhaps it was closer to a light shade of pink. We wanted to go to Ibiza but were staying in a remote part of Spain called Calp. Why were we staying in Calp you ask? (See budget comment above.)

I would like to remind you that this was pre- Tripfilms, TripAdvisor, pre- just about everything useful. We had heard about these fun party boats to the island of Ibiza but of course we didn’t have anything planned in advance. So we got all dressed up in our best twentysomething party boat to Ibiza outfits and wondered into the first place that said turístico boat rides to Ibiza we could find.

I was pretty fluent in Los Angeles restaurant Spanish at the time and figured I could crack the party boat code. So I sauntered in my stilettos up to the counter and asked the lady for dos entradas barco de fiesta to Ibiza (pronouncing it (eye-bee-za)). The lady shook her head No comprende. Now I knew she was mistaken because even with no TripAdvisor at my finger tips I knew Ibiza was the place to partaayyy! So I tried again: “Dos entradas barco de fiesta Ibiza” only this time I did a little dance move to really accentuate the PARTAAAY. Then she looked like she was finally starting to pick up what I was putting down and said Si Ibiza! Only she pronounced it the Castilian way (Ee-bee-tha) not my LA way (Eye-bee-za).

She handed us two tickets to Ee-bee-tha and we handed her a small fortune in pesetas (pre-euros). Keep in mind, this party boat ride was at least three hours long and we didn’t arrive at the island until 2 a.m.! No matter to the twentysomething Soltani Sisters who were ready to meet our future boyfriends on the best party boat to the hottest island in the galaxy.

We rushed to the boat as fast as we could only to find it filled with chickens, pigs, and a few sad looking fisherman. Then the ship set sail into the dark abyss in the middle of the night on a three-hour tour, yes, a three-hour tour. As my sister and I sunk down in our seats shivering in our halter tops and capri pants we huddled in a in a corner and reality started to sink in. With no boys, no booze and no party boat, we realized we were taken for a ride all right… – Monique Soltani

I was nearly late to meet the Dalai Lama. You’ll have to read about that one on my site. – Kien Lam

Well, Dave breaking two vertebrae in his back while cruising down the Peruvian Amazon this past November is pretty high on the list. He had to be airlifted out of the Amazon which turned into a 10-hour ordeal of pain and torture. He then spent a week in the hospital in Iquitos hopped up on serious painkillers while laying flat on his back. He was then finally flown back to Canada via Air Ambulance where he spent another 8 days in hospital and two months recovering. He’s still recuperating and undergoing physiotherapy, but he is going to make a full recovery. Yay! – The Planet D

It may not be the craziest, but the coolest thing I’ve had a chance to do in my travel career is visit the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany and see the Disney Fantasy, Celebrity Reflection and Norwegian Breakaway under construction at the time. The enormous scale of the facility is super impressive. – Jason Leppert

Back in 2012 we went to do some diving in Utila, a small island near Roatan of the coast of Honduras. It was my first night dive and I was keen to jump into the pitch black water as I was feeling seasick. Being the first down, I descended into the darkness with nothing but my flashlight landing on a perfect patch of white sand. It was like landing on the moon in zero gravity. Once we were all down the divemaster asked us to switch off our flashlights. Once our eyes acclimatized to darkness we started to drift forwards and with every flick of our hands and arms blue, bioluminescent plankton would glow all around us. It was like floating through a scene in Avatar! Floating through stars doesn’t nearly do the experience justice! – Adam Baker

Driving a motorcycle for hours through Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh highway before realizing our kickstand was down. So many locals kept pointing to our bike and yelling but we had no clue what they’re trying to say! That could’ve been bad news had a little girl not pointed at our bike (at least the 20th person) and we realized our error. – Because We Camp

Crazy and dumb—While in line at the airport to go to Ireland I discovered my passport had expired the week before! I ended up taking a flight 6 hours later with a new passport! Don’t ask me how. – Eszter Vajda

The most recent was in Winter Park, CO when I fell off a chairlift. I was so amped because during a ski lesson, I felt a huge improvement in my skiing. So, when it came to getting on the chairlift my mind was in celebration land. I let my ski tips dig into the ground instead of keeping the tips up. I ended up with a good laugh and a mouthful of snow after tumbling five feet to the ground. – Carri Wilbanks

The time when me and a girlfriend (both fluent in Spanish) almost went to jail in Cuba after getting pulled over at a check point without our passports to prove our American citizenship. Our accused crime—being Cuban while riding in a tourist taxi, which is illegal. – Travelista Teri

Not sure about a crazy travel story, but something I think it crazy amazing is how many generous and kind people you will meet when you travel. From Argentina to Sri Lanka, I’ve shared meals with people, and connected with so many incredible people through food. – Mark Wiens

I guess the craziest sounding was when I was almost kidnapped by the Al-Qaeda in Mauritania but visiting the Cocaine factory and my live performances on Colombian TV and Peruvian radio were also pretty crazy. – Mick Hobday

I think when I dressed like a woman and hung out with my other “drag queen” friends, got my body shaved, eyebrows “re-designed”, etc. or traveling to Thailand just to get married–that’s kind of crazy, right? – Gustavo Matias

I think that would be when I (Jenna) lost my wedding ring while scuba diving—don’t ask why I was even wearing it because I have no idea myself. We were diving along a wall that was over 150 ft deep, and we thought my ring was gone forever. Fortunately, around 5 minutes later, I found it sitting on a tiny piece of coral! We couldn’t believe we actually found it! – Wander The Map

When in Hanoi Vietnam, we went out for duck with our local friends. Since we were guests they insisted we try the first bite of each course served. During the “fried duck” course I took what looked like a wing. Everybody got real quiet. I (John) was nibbling away and not really getting anywhere. My friend Minh asked me what I thought and I replied “not much meat on these wings” to which he replied “that’s because you just ate the head.” – Lost & Found Travel

Living with a traveling circus for a week in Italy. It was an Italian family, 3 generations, who were so generous and hard-working. Eye-opening, really. – Armando Costantino

While on safari in Tanzania, our car broke down on a back road that not many safari cars drive through (our driver was trying to save time). We were sitting there, cooking under the heat, and two Masai guys saw us from a distance and ran down the road to help us. We were shoulder to shoulder, pouring water into the engine (I had no idea if that helped or hurt the car, I think we all had no clue what we were doing, ha!) trying to simultaneously navigate fixing a car plus translation issues, with nothing but hand gestures and noises. It was kind of surreal, and so cool. I would never have had a reason to meet and communicate so closely with these Masai men, much less try to work together and problem solve. We ended up getting rescued, and gave our new friends a ride on the way. – Nathalie Basha

Our first unchaperoned trip was an all-girl road trip to Virginia Beach for the 4th of July. There were eight of us in total. It’s so funny because we actually filmed it but we’ll NEVER publish that footage! We don’t have nearly enough time to share all the crazy stories. On the way down, we got into a fender bender. We stayed at a raggedy motel and the owner had the nerve to try to give us a curfew! We met a crazy group of guys that tried to kidnap us. The list goes on… – Global Lipstick


Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: Travel-Inspiring Music

Over the last two years, we’ve interviewed 50 of our talented filmmakers and filmmaker teams. Here is a collection of some of the best travel tips, crazy travel stories, and filmmaking philosophies from these expert travelers.

We asked 50 filmmakers: Is there any music that inspires you to travel? 

Nik: Well, I’m from a really small town. And I love small towns. But whenever I hearsongs about small towns it actually makes me want to travel more. I don’t know why really… maybe it has to do with the idea of making an escape and seeing the world. But it makes me feel really blessed, and inspired. Dusty: I listen to just about anything and everything, from hip-hop to classical to everything in between. But I love music that tells a story… that transports you to a place and time, where you can almost see the landscape and the story in your mind. That inspires me to travel and to tell stories myself. Good stuff. – Two for the Road

M83, The Naked and Famous, Röyksopp, and Liquid Stranger. – James Alexander Adams

Thievery Corporation is the first band that comes to mind. The film Latcho Drom by Tony Gatlif is an amazing document about Roma (Gypsy) music and the people who make it from India to Spain. Ravi Shankar transports us to India, Ali Farka Toure teleports us to West Africa, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan makes us want to pack bags for South Asia. Ry Cooder has done some inspiring music all over the world as well. – Nomadic Frames

I love traditional African music, and whenever I hear it, it has the oddly transformative effect on me that makes me want to ditch wherever I am and hit the road. – The Expeditioner

Cinematic music always inspires us to travel. We make cinematic travel videos so when we hear a beautiful score by Hans Zimmer or Two Steps from Hell it really makes us want to get out there with our cameras and film our next adventure. – Eight Miles from Home

I love music and always listening to it all day. There is though none that especially makes me want to travel. I see them linked! – Gary Bembridge

Lots. I have different songs that I associate with different destinations/experiences I’ve been/had. One most immediate song that comes to mind is Iggy Pop’s “Passenger.” – Etherium Sky Films

“Empire State of Mind” – Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys & Jonathan Wilson – Rural Movement

We are both musicians and huge lovers of music so the list would be quite long. Some of the most inspirational travel music for us would be Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Tycho, Do Make Say Think, of Monsters and Men, Recession Fighter….OK seriously this list could go on forever. – Mindful Wanderlust

Music by Emancipator, Tycho, and Tor. – Mike Corey

Ever since I did a student exchange in Costa Rica, reggaeton has had a special place in my heart. Listening to it always makes me want to hop a flight just to shimmy away at a bar anywhere in Latin America. – Alex in Wanderland

I usually travel with 16GB of all kinds of music, so for me any music is great. – Rubén Alonso

All types of music inspire me to travel. It depends where I am traveling. But listening to music in a certain country and then again when I’m home can take me back to that place immediately. – Kristen Sarah

Too many good songs to name., but if I had to choose I would say the Legend album by Bob Marley. It energizes me! – David Hoffmann

Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On.” When I hear that I just want to shoulder a backpack and RAMBLE!! – Joshua Johnson

Any kind of street music that inspires spontaneous dance parties! – Ryan Van Duzer

There sure is… This is my Spotify playlist aptly titled ‘Something to travel to’ – – Travizeo

Music inspires me in every aspect of my life, but as far as traveling is concerned, the music that inspires me the most are the songs that talk about being adventurous, living while you’re young, and making the most of your time. When I hear music that I enjoy that is specific to a certain region, I’m always more inclined to travel to that area. – John Piazza IV

Music is a big part of my life—all of it counts, all of it inspires. – Eduardo Gato

Yes! Movie soundtracks are always very inspiring to me. I also listen to a lot of international music, which makes me want to visit different destinations even more! – Gloria Powell

There’s definitely certain songs that spark some interest in travel, but I think it all depends on the time of day, or the place that I’m listening to the music. I have an Alt-J CD that’s been in my car since December, I think that’s definitely inspired a good bit of my travel ideas. – Patrick J. McDaniel

Not really. – Cailin O’Neil

Beirut, the band, is the biggest inspiration for me. I feel in their sounds and lyrics all the travel experience of Zach Condon, a musician and singer that learned about music in every place he visited. – Josep Gutierrez

All of it! It’s like wine and you pair it. – Justin Weiler

“Dekha Hai Aise Bhi” (“I’ve Seen This Before”) by Lucky Ali. The essence of the song is that you’ll find what you are searching for, as long as you go look for it. I remember listening to this song as a teen. Made me want to grab my bag  and explore the world. – Sarah Zareen

When we make travel videos we’ll usually edit two versions of the video. Version one will be with royalty free music legal to place online, other videos often have “radio versions” of popular songs. For example, last fall we took a short cruise to Catalina and Ensenada. We used Katy Perry’s “Unconditional” as the background to the family version of the video. Every time we are at a market or store and hear that song we think of the trip and want to go back or travel. With over 500 edited family videos there’s quite a few songs that get us pumped up to travel. – Wesley Adventures

Travel inspires music. Music festivals, and also finding record shops to browse in foreign countries. I have a small collection of albums from places I’ve been. Five-year-old singer in Chile, old Italian piano men, picked up a Pink Martini album in Spain. – Andrew Kamphey

Every trip has its own tone and “theme song.” I love that about travel. Just like the radio, you can dial up a trip that fits your mood and then dance to the rhythm of the music. – Juliana Broste

Not in particular. Every trip has ended up with its own playlist that forever reminds us of that place (which inevitably makes us nostalgic whenever we hear it and gives us the itch to travel more!). – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

I just got into this obscure band called Distant Cousins. They have kind of a version of the new folk scene that still is able to pull off epic. Anything that feels like driving with it would feel like a hero’s journey. “Are You Ready” by Distant Cousins. “Hero” by Family of the Year. Also, my music makes me want to travel: Chattavon Bratts. – Bobby Christian

The master of melancholic-melodies: Morrissey. – SPESUS

Anything Santana. – Gina DeGirolamo

Any Salt-N-Peppa song. – Gareth Leonard

Hide the credit cards when this song comes on! Somewhere over the Rainbow – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole – Monique Soltani

I wouldn’t say there’s music that inspires me to travel, but I know that music always complements my journey. I listen to a pretty diverse range of music and sometimes it’ll shuffle to the right song at the right time and I’m lost in that moment. From then on, I can always associate that feeling, time and place with the song and it’s a great way of bringing me back somewhere special. – Kien Lam

Yes, but we’re old school. I love “Africa” by Toto and “One Night in Bangkok” from Chess. Dave would probably say “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Johnny Cash. The old school songs just really capture the vibe and flavor of the destination. I have yet to hear a newer song that really captures the essence of travel like the classics. (Or maybe I am just out of touch.) – The Planet D

My all-time favorite music genre is film scores actually because it’s so emotionally charged. A good film score, especially from Hans Zimmer or Michael Giacchino, will take you places. – Jason Leppert

In keeping with the The Lord of the Rings theme, the film score of the trilogy gets me every time. Especially The Shire theme. In having its roots in the Shires of the English countryside it always conjures up imagery of home and the pending excitement of a new adventure. – Adam Baker

We love everything from Little Dragon, Grimes, David Bowie, and bossa nova to video game soundtracks and everything in between. A single song has the ability to set the mood for our entire movie or sequence so it’s important that we listen to a lot of different artists and styles. – Because We Camp

Not really any that stand out. I always try to take in a cultural/musical show wherever I go. – Eszter Vajda

Yes, a lot of reggae music because it inspires happiness and peace in cultures. – Carri Wilbanks

Salsa and Caribbean soca music make me want to travel and dance. – Travelista Teri

Lingala music from DR Congo. – Mark Wiens

When I hear African music it makes me feel like packing my bags and I have heard so much Manu Chao on the road that when I hear it, it awakens my travel bug. – Mick Hobday

There are a lot, it depends on my mood and where I’ll be going. Can’t pick one, but generally solo piano songs or some nice MPB with acoustic guitar. – Gustavo Matias

We love finding local artists when we travel—they always inspire us to return to our favorite spots and head out on new adventures. Asgier from Iceland is one of our favorites right now.  When his songs come on our playlist, we always want to pack our bags and head out on the road! – Wander The Map

Traveling Band by CCR. – Lost & Found Travel

Classics from the 70s, like Bowie, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Clapton are great for road trips. A personal fave is Fredrik and Luna, a fellow I met when I started to travel. – Armando Costantino

Thievery Corporation is pretty solid music to put me in the moods! I love that they blend Middle Eastern and Asian sounds with modern house and ambiance. My all-time favorite, though, is bossa nova jazz! It makes me immediately think of Rio in the 1960s, SUCH a great mood lifter. When I’m bored at home or need to set a mood, I put bossa nova on, always! I just did it today and swam in my pool and I had a party all by myself. – Nathalie Basha

We love internationally filmed music videos. It’s interesting to see how the culture is portrayed musically and yes, they makes us want to visit the location. Ex: “They Don’t Care About Us” by Michael Jackson in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “Pound the Alarm” by Nicki Minaj in Port of Spain, Trinidad. “Losing You” by Solange in Cape Town, South Africa. – Global Lipstick

Tripfilms Videos Featured on MSN Travel

Tripfilms Videos on MSN Travel

Tripfilms is proud to partner with MSN Travel to feature selected Tripfilms videos on the MSN Travel Video page. Only hand-selected editor’s pick HD videos will be distributed via MSN Travel and a byline is always given to the filmmaker in the video description. We are very excited about this partnership and hope that it helps increase awareness of travel video and Tripfilms filmmakers in the travel community as well as among general audiences.

To have a better chance of getting your videos featured on MSN Travel, remember the following guidelines for an editor’s pick video:

  1. Editor’s pick videos are relevant to travel destinations and travel topics like food, hotels, accommodations, activities, shows, and events.
  2. Editor’s pick videos are not explicit advertisements.
  3. A user would recognize the high quality footage that is clear and not shaky, and HD footage is required.
  4. A user would hear clear sound and or music.
  5. A user who is trying to plan a trip could watch an editor’s pick video and come away with useful information about the destination or topic that they could use to plan their trip.
  6. A user who is looking to “armchair travel” could watch an editor’s pick video and be inspired to visit the place.

Additionally, to be featured on MSN Travel, videos should not have a screen at the end of the video asking users to subscribe. However, showing your own brand logo or your website address is just fine, and could even help you grow your audience.

Get your videos featured on the MSN Travel Tripfilms channel—Upload your travel videos to today!


Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: Favorite Travel Quotes

Over the last two years, we’ve interviewed 50 of our talented filmmakers and filmmaker teams. Here is a collection of some of the best travel tips, crazy travel stories, and filmmaking philosophies from these expert travelers.

We asked 50 filmmakers: What is your favorite travel quote?  

It’s so widely used it’s almost cliché, but it’s still one of the best: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain. Truer words have never been spoken. – Two for the Road

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddha – James Alexander Adams

Vân: “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien. Morgan: “The journey is the destination.” – Not sure if this quote originated from photojournalist Dan Eldon, but I heard it from him first. – Nomadic Frames

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” ― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It – The Expeditioner

Ask not what life has in store for you, but what you have in store for life. – Eight Miles from Home

One I used in my book “The Cruise Travelers Handbook” that I love is by Gilbert K. Chesterton: “The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” – Gary Bembridge

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes – Etherium Sky Films

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius – Rural Movement

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru – Mindful Wanderlust

“Only the curious have, if they live, a tale worth telling at all.” – Alistair Reid – Mike Corey

“Pilgrims are poets who create by taking journeys,” by Richard Niebuhr. I love to think of travel as an art. – Alex in Wanderland

Travel hard, party harder! – Rubén Alonso

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag – Kristen Sarah

“The world is a book, and those who don’t travel only read one page.” – St. Augustine – David Hoffmann

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu. This quote reminds me that the journey is always afoot and that the only barrier to travel and all of its benefits is your willingness to take the first step. – Joshua Johnson

“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” – Emerson – Ryan Van Duzer

“Holy sh*t, we’re in…(insert place name)” – Anyone who’s ever experienced the excitement of somewhere new. – Travizeo

“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild. Not just my favorite travel quote, but one of my all-time favorite quotes. – John Piazza IV

“I don’t understand why people are so afraid of dying, when the real fear should be not living the life they have. Stop dreaming about it and travel, my friend.” – Eduardo Gato – Eduardo Gato

“I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list!” – Gloria Powell

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu – Patrick J. McDaniel

I have always been a fan of “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Cailin O’Neil

“Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar,” by the Spanish poet Antonio Machado. The translation is “Walker, there is no path. The path is made while you walk.” You can enjoy the song  by the songwriter Serrat about this poem. – Josep Gutierrez

Life, it’s like a roller coaster + I’m gonna ride it till the wheels fall off.  -jw – Justin Weiler

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an Hour” – William Blake
Gives me goose bumps every time I read it. – Sarah Zareen

“Never let schooling interfere with your education.” – Mark Twain. Technically, the quote is believed to have originated from Grant Allen and often quoted by Mark Twain a decade later. – Wesley Adventures

Veni, Vidi, Vici. – Andrew Kamphey

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.” – Anonymous – Juliana Broste

We believe it was Greg Anderson who said “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

The quote I think about most often is probably T.S. Eliot:
“You shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our journeying
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
Though in my head it sounds more like “then return where we began and see it again for the first time.” – Bobby Christian

I’ll miss the sea, but a person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow. Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken. – Duke Leto Atreides to his son Paul – SPESUS

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia de Castro – Gina DeGirolamo

“Dreams don’t work unless you do.” Not exactly a travel quote, but it’s definitely true. The harder you work the luckier you get. – Gareth Leonard

Do I get extra credit for two quotes? :) “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain and “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu – Monique Soltani

“Wherever you go, there you are.” – Kien Lam

I have so many. We actually post a quote a day with one of Dave’s travel images on our Facebook fan page and looking through quotes is one of my favourite parts of my daily routine. When it comes to choosing a favourite, it always depends on my mood. Some days I feel pumped and want to read something really empowering, other days I’m down and need a pick-me-up. But the one that really holds true no matter how many times I hear it or read it is “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,” by Mark Twain. It is a quote that holds so much truth. If you travel, you see the world and understand people and different cultures. It’s difficult to be prejudiced once you’ve seen the beauty of the world and kindness of strangers. – The Planet D

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Jason Leppert

This is an easy one, as it relates to my two big loves, travel and film. The Lord of the Rings is for me the greatest story and film trilogies of all time. TLORT and travel are synonymous for me: ’It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step onto the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.’ This is the wonder of travel, the excitement into exploring the unknown firsthand with your own eyes. It’s a wide world after all. – Adam Baker

“Just Go.” – Unknown – Because We Camp

“While sightseeing take a moment to stop, look up, down, all around, including behind you… this way you get the full experience of any place.” — Eszter Vajda OR “To have visited Italy with out having seen Sicily is like not having seen Italy at all.” — Goethe – Eszter Vajda

“Not all those who wander are lost.” This quote speaks to me because I love getting sidetracked in a city with no agenda. The people, sights and culture you allow yourself to stumble upon are often the best travel memories. They allow you to have experiences away from the top tourist sights. – Carri Wilbanks

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Mary Ritter Beard – Travelista Teri

Our whole perspective on life can be altered by the digestion of a heavy lunch, I feel quite a different person before and after a meal. – Michel de Montaigne – Mark Wiens

“Travelling leaves you speechless then turns you into a storyteller” – Ibn Battuta – Mick Hobday

“Don’t let your dreams be dreams.” I don’t think that’s a “travel” quote, but it inspires me for anything in life. – Gustavo Matias

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” — Henry Miller – Wander The Map

“Not all who wander are lost.” – JRR Tolkien – Lost & Found Travel

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine – Armando Costantino

Aww, do I really have to pick one?! I can’t do that, so here are my favorite two: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine. “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – ? – Nathalie Basha

Ebony’s wins—“I got ho*s in different area codes”, Ludacris – Global Lipstick