Monthly Archives: September 2015

market food

Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: Best Food/Worst Food

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 place has the best food? The worst food? 

Best food? Austin. Hands down. Which – okay – may sound like a cop-out since we live there, but that doesn’t make it untrue. From barbecue to Mexican to Asian and everything in between. From a killer $100 steak at a fine chophouse to a killer $1.50 taco at a run-down trailer on the side of the road. Our town is home to phenomenal food without being stuck-up about it. As far as the worst food? Never seen such a place, honestly. If you’re traveling and you can’t find something good to eat you’re: a) not trying hard enough or b) your standards are too high. Our standards are actually really, really low, so…. – Two for the Road

I rate the best food that I have had not purely on the cuisine itself but the experience of the meal and the journey to get there. One of the best meals I ever had was a bowl of pasta and cup of coffee after coming down from the top of Torres del Paine. I had pushed myself through a 25km day of hiking in order to make it to the top, while at the top the winds picked up and a snowstorm blew in. On the way down the park rangers had closed off access up the hill. Halfway down the mountain there is a Refugios that has a few beds and cooks some warm food. That meal after a long day tasted so amazing and was such a surreal moment, sitting there looking at the sun setting on the peaks of Torres del Paine. The worst food I have ever had was definitely in Cuba, their food is often very bland and the meat is often very lean and not flavorful. Now that is not to say that they can’t cook. Cuba is just a very poor country that lacks a lot of resources. – James Alexander Adams

Vân: Vietnam has my favorite food. Everything was fresh and delicious—from seafood to street food to exotic fruits everywhere. I loved the beer in the Czech Republic but got really tired of eating meat and potatoes everyday. Fresh fruit and vegetables seemed almost non-existent. Morgan: No food comes close to Taiwanese food for me. Hands down the best. The Filipino island of Palawan was tough as I’m a vegetarian and they ate mostly seafood. I ate a lot of eggs and rice on that month long bicycle trip. – Nomadic Frames

I love the street food throughout Latin America, but I have to admit the fish tacos I just had in Maui could quite possibly be eaten by me every day for the rest of my life. The food in any airport is pretty universally bad, no matter where you are in the world. – The Expeditioner

The street markets of Pai in North Thailand have some great stall food. We love to walk to each vendor and try to buy a small sample of everything that takes our fancy. The worst food would have to be China, we went to all kinds of different restaurants, cheap, local, expensive or otherwise and everything was really bad. That was eight years ago though, maybe things have changed since then :-)   – Eight Miles from Home

Cunard Queens Grill Restaurants. Unbelievable food from all different regions—and you can pretty much choose what you want to have every night. Worst was the street market in Bangkok. I used to go there a few times a year for work and my colleagues loved it and I despised it as had no idea what it was, it smelt too strong and tasted yuk… – Gary Bembridge

Best: Taiwan!  Also eastern Europe! Worst: eek, don’t really have a “worst” but compared to other countries and considering the amounts of trash food sold everywhere, I gotta say the US. – Etherium Sky Films

Best food = Xiangtan, Hunan, China. We always find some food we like! – Rural Movement

We would both say Thailand. It is very easy being Vegan in Thailand with the Buddhist culture. We never have any problems finding delicious food. There are so many amazing options. Thai food, Mexican, Italian, Lebanese, and so much fresh fruit! We are very spoiled in Thailand. Hands down the worst food was Laos. We thought it would be great with the French influence, but they use a lot of meat in everything. So for us it was a lot of french baguette and fried rice. After one month of that every day we were very excited to get back to Thailand. – Mindful Wanderlust

Best Food: Philippines. Worst Food: Philippines. Try Sisig or Dinuguan before you find out what they are. Trust me, the best. – Mike Corey

While it’s not a very original answer, Thailand has both my heart and my stomach. I just can’t get enough Massaman curry! The Philippines will always be the country I almost starved in—someone once described the national cuisine as “burnt meat fat” and I believe they were more or less on target. – Alex in Wanderland

It might seem really patriotic, but I think Spanish food is the best food in the world. Lots of non-Spanish visitors agree! And I’d say the worst was in Norway, because when I went there I was a student with very little money, so I was living on instant noodles. – Rubén Alonso

Best food – Greece, Italy, India. Worst – None – Kristen Sarah

Italy and Greece have the absolute most delicious food! The worst food is definitely Disney World. – David Hoffmann

Best food… besides my Grandma’s house? Italy and Vietnam, big time, by far, hands down. Worst food….I guess I would have to say Argentina. Great steaks but that is about it—no veggies, crappy bread and yeah—just meat. – Joshua Johnson

Best food is anywhere in Latin America, I’m a simple eater. A plate of beans and rice makes me a happy man. I once ate bugs to survive in Venezuela…that wasn’t so tasty. – Ryan Van Duzer

My favourite foodie location would have to be Malaysia. The fusion of Indian, Chinese and Malay cultures is a match made in heaven. Don’t think I have a worst really—if you search long and hard enough, you will find something delicious. As Chef Gusteau always says “Food will come, Remy. Food always comes to those who love to cook.” – Travizeo

I’m a little biased, but I have to say, hands down, the best food is found in Italy. The worst food I’ve had has been in the United States. Americans have a much higher tolerance for poor food and low quality ingredients than most of the world that I’ve visited. – John Piazza IV

The best, Spain. The worst, London (if it’s not an ethnic restaurant). – Eduardo Gato

I don’t have a specific country or state in mind but for good food, I always like to try someplace local and family owned! Worst food? Cruise ship food! Everything starts to taste the same after a few days! – Gloria Powell

It’s not very exotic, but I had the best meal of my life at a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Florida. The worst place to get food is when you’re on the road and in a hurry, or trying to save every penny. Gas station food and I have a long history, and a love/hate relationship when traveling. – Patrick J. McDaniel

This is the same as asking me which place is my favourite to visit. Impossible to answer. However I do really LOVE this kangaroo pizza at the Australian Hotel in Sydney, Australia… The worst food? I recently tried Durian for the first time in Malaysia… blech! However other food I ate there was awesome. – Cailin O’Neil

It was great to eat rice with chicken with my hands at Dakar (Senegal) seated on the floor with a local family. The worst food was the Serbian coffee. Serbian people have great food but I really don’t recommend to taste their traditional coffee. – Josep Gutierrez

Mexico + Vietnam! Worst…meet locals and you’ll always find a good meal. – Justin Weiler

I’ve had the best food in India. I love the way a change in zip code brings about a new flavor. Worst food has to be airplane food! My recent flight to India saw me going 14 hours on a couple of apples and water. – Sarah Zareen

Brian: Tammy and I are both from the Gulf Coast area and we have found that there is no better food in the world than from New Orleans. From the pecan pralines to the beignets to the variety of seafood, your taste buds are sure to be satisfied. The worst food for me was Filipino food from the Philippines. There isn’t as much potassium in the food as I was used to. After a few days I got really sick and all of my joints hurt so bad I almost needed a walking cane. An expat doctor told me to start eating a banana a day and everything magically cleared right up. – Wesley Adventures

Best food abroad: Italy. Best food domestic: Los Angeles. Worst food: Mongolia – Andrew Kamphey

Hands down, Thailand has the best food. Every meal was better than the last. I took a cooking class and learned some recipes to take home as souvenirs. Mmm! The worst food? The first time I went to Korea, I was really not a big fan of the food. Spicy octopus dishes and kimchi was not my thing. It really took some time to develop my palate. But, once I tasted bulgogi and kalbi (Korean BBQ), I was sold. Now, Korean food is at the top of my list for food! Mashisoyo! – Juliana Broste

Paris is always a treat. We usually sustain ourselves on a healthy diet of macarons and crepes. Also, Thailand. You can’t go wrong with curry. We’re still looking for the worst food… – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

OK, so I’m not a foodie—Jade’s boss at Travel Mindset thinks I’m an idiot because I love Taco Bell. That all being said, Nashville, Tennessee has one of the most independent and eclectic food scenes I’ve ever visited. It’s awesome because in nearly every part of town, the independent restaurants outnumber the chains. The worst food…I want to emphasize that this is not the whole island…there was good food to be had, but Maui was not that great more often than not. Beautiful, natural, so much fun…food equals blah (and while my comment is much larger in scope, to point out one restaurant in particular, Mama’s Fish House is sooooo overrated). – Bobby Christian

It’s a toss-up between Indonesian and Thai for best. Worst? Well it’s a matter of opinion, but I think everyone can agree that England is not known for its culinary delights. – SPESUS

Best food? Italy. It does not matter what restaurant you walk in to or what region you are in. You just cannot get a bad meal. A simple dish of pasta can be so elegant and the love for food just oozes everywhere. Worst food? Germany. I only say that because I went there after Italy and it was a complete letdown after weeks of orgasmic eating experiences. It’s as if food is utilitarian. – Gina DeGirolamo

My favorites include Peruvian ceviche, Colombian Bandaje Paisa, Argentine Bife de Chorizo and Brazilian Açaí. And as for the worst… Bolivia can be tough if you’re eating at a local level. – Gareth Leonard

Food is so subjective. I love bread, cheese and wine so with that in mind my least favorite place to dine is Taiwan. My favorite is Tuscany or anywhere in Italy for that matter! The worst meals in EAT-aly could rival the best meals just about anywhere else on the planet. – Monique Soltani

I don’t think there’s any one location that has the worst food across the board. Even in many Central America countries like Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where your taste buds will dull from days of eating just plain rice and beans, you’ll come across shops that serve it with delicious slow-cooked chicken thighs and perfectly fried and seasoned plantains, and all is well with the world again. That said, Asia is generally really good with working in their fresh and seasonal ingredients and that comes across in the food. Go to Vietnam and you can get a bowl of pho on the street that’s just as good as the best restaurants. No high tech equipment or large kitchen. Just a tried and true recipe executed perfectly day in, day out. In Morocco, I could not get enough of the mechoui – a slow roasted lamb, seasoned with each chef’s own blend of herbs and spices carrying so much flavor that it’s hard to comprehend it all in a single bite. So you have to keep eating one tender bite after another. I can go on and on with this question, but I think at the core of it, the best food is about utilizing regionally and readily available ingredients that have been around for hundreds of years and working with a recipe that’s been tested and tweaked until you can’t do anything to it. – Kien Lam

I know it’s everyone’s go-to answer, but Thai Food. Thailand has the best food. Worst food, Mongolia. Contrary to popular belief, there aren’t any Mongolian Grills in Mongolia. Haha. – The Planet D

In my experience, the best food is in Paris, France, and the worst is in my own kitchen. – Jason Leppert

Living in Costa Rica I have had the good fortune to visit some of the best restaurants in the country and the capitol. Recently I made a short ‘travel vlog’ to highlight the Best Restaurants in San Jose. Outside of Costa Rica I am big fan of many flavours on one plate, so every time I am in Spain I love going out for tapas. The old town in the heart of Madrid is a must as well as the famous Calle Laurel in Logroño, La Rioja. For worst food, well recently I was walking around central London and was pretty hungry and ended up in a ‘typical tourist pub’ near Buckingham Palace. Classic error. Terrible food. – Adam Baker

The best food we had was in Thailand and the worst food had to be Mongolia. If we never eat mutton again for the rest of our lives, we’d be OK with that. – Because We Camp

Best food are off the beaten path restaurants and cafes. Worst are tourist traps. – Eszter Vajda

The best food is in Denver, Colorado—my hometown! The city is exploding with a rock’n culinary scene. I am always down for a bite at a food truck or if I want something more upscale, I head to Larimer Square to dine at places like Bistro Vendome and Rioja. Plus, I love that it’s a cinch to find food that is local and organic. And people don’t look at you like you are crazy when you ask who the food provider is. The worst food is yet to be experienced as I have a pretty adventurous palette. – Carri Wilbanks

Best – Cape Town. Worst – Estonia – Travelista Teri

I’m really a lover of food from all over the world, but perhaps if I had to choose just one, I would choose Thailand. For the worst, I haven’t come across any yet. – Mark Wiens

The best food has to be in the Romanic countries—France, Italy and Spain. Generally speaking the African countries have been the worst for me due to a lack of ingredients and more of a survival mentality towards food, but Israel was my worst food experience. Due to my insufficient budget I ate hummus and pita bread for 9 out of 10 meals. – Mick Hobday

NYC has definitely the best options for delicious food, with many varieties from Brazilian to Thai, etc. The worst food is anywhere they don’t have options for vegetarians =( – Gustavo Matias

Best food? Micah: Prague. Jenna: Japan. Worst food? Micah: Although he didn’t dislike it, he would say Japan was his least favorite to date. Jenna: Nowhere yet! – Wander The Map

We find that the best food is always in the most humble locations. Our favorite meals are usually in “food courts” meant for locals. The best dish in recent memory was in the sub-basement of a Shanghai skyscraper. We find the locations with the best view have the worst food. A terrible meal overlooking the Jemaa el-Fnaa plaza in Marrakech comes to mind. – Lost & Found Travel

We do most of our own cooking in the van, but the best: street food in Istanbul is amazing. For worst? Anything from a gas station or fast food. – Armando Costantino

Oh, easy. Southeast Asia. I almost cried into my first plate of Pad Thai in Bangkok. Every single Pho Ba in Vietnam was ridiculously fresh and flavorful, I kinda became a fiend. Both have completely ruined me for life, by the way—no Thai or Vietnamese place in the US can or will hold a candle to those dishes I ate in Asia! I haven’t experienced a single place that had the worst food from all my travels, but I can say, unequivocally, the worst food is always in tourist traps. Doesn’t matter where in the world you are—if it’s in a touristy spot, and there are no locals eating there, chances are, it’s gonna suck. Finding good food is a pretty reliable formula, and the signs are easy to spot. The local places are usually less slick, smaller, usually holes in the wall, but that’s exactly where the good stuff is! – Nathalie Basha

Best food? Ebony’s is in our mom’s kitchen (brownie points). After that, one of the best meals she’s ever had was a pasta dish in Bratislava, Slovakia. For Onyx, the place with the best food is the Bahamas!  Being able to eat on the beach is the icing on the cake. Jeta’s favorite is Mexico—hands down! Worst food? Ebony’s worst is definitely authentic English (UK) food. She lived in London and thank goodness they have such a dive food scene because she wouldn’t have survived on English food alone.In Onyx’s opinion, the worst food goes to…. Abu Dhabi. It’s hard to find authentic dishes and when you do, it’s sooo blah. Jeta doesn’t have any for worst.  She’s pretty good at scouting good eats in any city. – Global Lipstick

Twelve Travel Questions with Justin Plus Lauren

Justin Plus Lauren - Gondola Ride in Venice

Name: Lauren Yakiwchuk
Home Base: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Last Trip: 1000 Islands, Canada
Next Trip: Fort Lauderdale, Florida for TBEX and Negril, Jamaica
Website: Justin Plus Lauren – justinpluslauren.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justinpluslauren
Twitter: @JustinLaurenXO

1. What are three things you take on every trip? 

The most important thing has got to be the camera! And by camera, I mean multiple cameras. I never travel without my camera, whether it’s the DSLR, the GoPro, or the camera on my smartphone. It’s important to capture all of those special moments, particularly when you’re a travel blogger and a filmmaker, documenting all of your adventures!

I also bring snacks with me on every trip. I like to pack granola bars, trail mix, and vegan cookies from my favorite bakery. As Justin and I both follow a vegan diet, you never know when you might encounter a situation where there aren’t any vegan meals or snacks handy. For instance, if an airline forgets to bring a vegan meal, at least we’ll have our snacks as a back-up. And I always bring snacks while going hiking, kayaking, or doing any physical activities for the day.

Lastly, I always bring my sunglasses! I forgot my sunglasses once when traveling to a tropical island and it was annoying to have to replace them when I reached my destination.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

I think the most common sense answer to this would be to get some rest! However, I usually want to see the place that I’m visiting right away not to waste any time. Generally, I drink a lot of coffee and power through the day, getting a good amount of rest overnight. By the next day, I’m pretty much good to go.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place? 

After I locate my accommodations, I usually find a great place to have a meal. When we reached Venice, we put all of our belongings in our apartment and set out to have pizza at a place overlooking the canals. It was a really memorable way to start our trip in Italy!

Justin Plus Lauren - Amalfi Coast Italy

4. What place has the best food? The worst food? 

Even though it’s right at home, the most vegan-friendly place is Toronto! There are so many amazing vegan restaurants, veg-friendly places, and vegan bakeries popping up all the time. I feel so spoiled! However, we loved visiting Italy. It was easy to find vegan and vegetarian restaurants, especially in the major cities. And when we couldn’t find a vegan restaurant, we could easily order a veggie pizza from any place. We did have one bad food experience there – in Rome, Justin was hungry and we wandered into a random restaurant for a pizza. We carried it back to our apartment and when we opened the pizza box, our marinara pizza looked like someone had covered a pizza in ketchup! We vowed to never eat another “ketchup pizza” again by not leaving our food decisions to chance.

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life? 

Years ago, when I was still making the transition from being vegetarian to vegan, I visited Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York. It was really the first time in my life that I interacted personally with farm animals like cows, pigs, and sheep. Looking into the eyes of those animals, I saw no difference between them and my pet cats and dogs back home. I learned a lot on the tour of the farm about how animals are treated in factory farms (particularly in the egg and dairy industries), in addition to what I already realized in my heart. It definitely solidified my reasons to go vegan and I never looked back! Justin and I visited Farm Sanctuary again last year where we were able to share the experience together.

Justin Plus Lauren at Farm Sanctuary - Watkins Glen, NY

6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

I’m not quite sure who said it, but my favorite is: “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”  I would much rather travel the world and own very few possessions. I would rather live a life rich in experiences and create amazing memories all over the world.

7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

I definitely have some favorite bands and music that I love to bring on road trips! Some of my favorite artists right now include M83, The Raveonettes, Chrvches, and Death From Above 1979. I have an old favorite that I like to bring on road trips: Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” album. I have such fond memories listening to this when I was a kid on family road trips, and I can’t resist belting out a few songs on the drive.

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

There was the time that I ended up in the back of a police car in Ohio! It’s not as bad as it sounds. I was on a road trip to the States with some friends and my car broke down on our way home. We were stuck on a Saturday in a very small town and everything was closed! Thankfully, a police officer was driving by and spotted our car, and he arranged for a local mechanic to fix it that day so we could return home. He was so nice. At one point, the three of us girls were sitting in the back of the police car to stay cool on a hot day. We joked that at the start of the day, we definitely didn’t imagine that we would be sitting there!

9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

Travel videos offer a glimpse into a particular place or experience that can fully immerse you without actually being there. Photographs can only capture so much; videos much more realistically make you feel like you’re there. Travel videos can be really useful in helping to decide if you’d like to visit a certain place. I know that I’ve added many places to my bucket list based on amazing videos! Also, if you’re unable to travel at a certain time or participate in a particular activity, travel videos allow you to view that experience from your own home.

Justin Plus Lauren - Montmorency Falls Quebec City

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos? 

I like to tell a story in my videos. It will not only show you where I have visited, but it will guide you through my personal experiences. Even though many of my videos are set to music with minimal speaking on camera, I hope that you can sense the atmosphere and mood of a place.

11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

Just go out there and practice! Practice using your camera, practice learning how to edit. The best way to make travel videos is to shoot lots of video—see what works, what doesn’t work. If you’re looking for a fairly foolproof camera, pick up a GoPro and head out into the world!

12. What is your best travel tip? 

Definitely plan your trips ahead of time…but don’t overly-plan. Leave some free time in there as you’ll always stumble upon something new or you might want to rest and fully absorb a destination more slowly. I would also opt to spend more time in one place than hopping around to a whole bunch at once. Try to do as the locals do. And chat to some locals if you can. Those moments might end up being the most memorable ones!

Watch travel videos by Justin Plus Lauren here.

New TripVlogger Series: SPESUS Travels Southeast Asia II

In this new TripVlogger series, SPESUS returns to Southeast Asia to give us expert tips on where to go, what to see, and what to eat in some of Southeast Asia’s most beautiful and impressive cities. From Cebu City, Philippines to Hanoi, Vietnam and Phuket, Thailand, these video guides give you an honest look at these destinations. Watch the videos below to see for yourself!

Explore Cebu City

Known throughout the world for its beautiful beaches, we take you on a tour of the Philippines second city.

Krabi Beach and Eats

One of the best places in Thailand for sun, surf and food. In this video we take a look at Ao Nang in Krabi.

Ko Phi Phi Island

Explore the most beautiful islands of the Andaman Sea.

Amazing Hanoi

The most beautiful city in Southeast Asia.

Patong Beach – Day & Night

One of the most famous beaches in Thailand – Patong – is perhaps a victim of its success. This unlikely spot is where you see some pretty interesting cross cultural exchanges. While somewhat dirty, tacky and more expensive than other places in Thailand, it is still worth a visit.

[All video descriptions by the filmmaker.]

For more videos from SPESUS in Southeast Asia, be sure to check out this TripVlogger series on Saigon, Vietnam; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Bangkok, Thailand. Find it here.

first things first girl

Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: First Things First

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 first thing you do when you get to a new place? 

We always try to get the lay of the land. Usually we try to find a local hole-in-the-wall pub where we can grab a local brew, get on-line and do our research. Research. So much more effective when paired with a cold beer, don’t you think? – Two for the Road

When I get to a new place the first thing I do is try to meet some local people, whether it be at the front desk of a hotel, a cab driver, or basically anyone. I do this because no matter how much planning and research I do beforehand I always trust a local to direct me to amazing experiences. – James Alexander Adams

Vân: Go out into the town for a beer. Morgan: I once went straight to a bar upon touching down in Edinburgh, Scotland. I had very little money and nowhere to stay that weekend and I wondered if buying beer was the smartest move. While at the bar, we meet a super nice young woman who said, “I’ll go stay with my boyfriend for the weekend. Here are the keys to my apartment and the address. Make yourself at home and just put the keys through the mail slot when you leave Sunday night.” – Nomadic Frames

I walk incessantly around whenever I get someplace, both to get a feel for the area, as well as due to my own excitement of being there. – The Expeditioner

Find a taxi :-) Get to our hotel and take pictures and video of the room before we put our bags down! Otherwise the room looks all messy in our videos ;-) – Eight Miles from Home

Check that there is no connecting door to the next room in the hotel room…. Yes, still obsessed about noise. Then usually get on a hop-on hop-off bus tour as soon as I can to get the lay of the land, a general overview and plot my trip. – Gary Bembridge

Find a place to leave my stuff, so that I can blend in better! – Etherium Sky Films

Eat. We love to eat and try something new right off the bat, and while we eat we discuss our game plan. – Rural Movement

We hit the streets. Try and get a feel for the place by going to a restaurant, talking to the locals, taking photos. We usually do a little bit of research before we go to a new place. Because we are both Vegan we always check to see if there are Vegan-friendly restaurants in the area. That way it saves us time from going from restaurant to restaurant looking at menus. – Mindful Wanderlust

Depends on where I’m at. In Europe I usually go find an espresso. They do it right over there. – Mike Corey

If it’s anywhere in Southeast Asia, get a massage. It’s the best way to melt away all the travel stress. – Alex in Wanderland

I look for a beautiful cafe to have a nice coffee and to connect to the internet. – Rubén Alonso

Wander around on foot and intentionally get lost. – Kristen Sarah

The first thing I do is try to take a bit of time to unwind before I start hitting the ground running. Also, I try to get my hands on a great map of whichever city I’m in. – David Hoffmann

Depends on the place, but usually I just get out and wander. I like to get a lay of the land, see what the neighborhood is like and…get a beer! – Joshua Johnson

Bounce on the bed! – Ryan Van Duzer

Just take a walk around, take in the atmosphere of the location without the camera. – Travizeo

Orientate myself. Walk around. Learn the lay of the land. If I haven’t already, I make sure I know where everything is in relation to where I’m staying, that way I don’t waste any time being lost. – John Piazza IV

Check local papers and speak with the people on the street. – Eduardo Gato

I feel like I’m always hungry when I arrive someplace new, so my first order of business is usually to find a good place to eat! – Gloria Powell

I like to drive around a get a feel for the area, scope out some places to film. Just being friendly and talking with people from the area helps a lot too. – Patrick J. McDaniel

As cliché as it might be if it’s a big city I take one of those hop-on hop-off bus tours. They are a great way to get a quick layout of the city and most of them have tickets that are good for two days so once you do the loop you can then keep taking it as free transportation to get around. – Cailin O’Neil

Meeting my friend from that place. – Josep Gutierrez

Get in a taxi, get to a destination + Drop my bags… Shoot. – Justin Weiler

Talk to the locals. Get the lowdown on the best places to eat. – Sarah Zareen

With kids, we look for a bathroom! Once we get to our hotel or campsite, and if we’re staying a few days, we’ll unpack and get settled. With six people we usually have to conserve our space so unpacking and figuring out what goes where makes things more relaxing and easier to maneuver. Also, we usually are out all day and get back late at night. Tammy and I are usually carrying one kid each so knowing where beds and clothes are lets us enjoy the evening more quickly. – Wesley Adventures

Walk around. – Andrew Kamphey

Seek out adventure! I always try to schedule in some free time to take a walk, wander around, do a little people watching, take a few photos, make friends with the locals, and explore. – Juliana Broste

Ask a local for the best place to eat then hit the ground exploring the neighborhood! – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

Panic, which usually comes in the form of shooting random B-Roll. When I’m shooting a series, music video, short, anything like that—I do tons of pre-production. I love pre-production. For a lot of low budget travel videos though, there is only so much pre-production I can do and even with that, the story or idea or concept can change. I’m always terrified (because it happens) that I’ll miss some piece of something that will fill out the whole video. Ok, I can see how I’m going to go with this, so why don’t I do this. I’ll answer the question really simply at first. Like saying, “I start shooting B-Roll”. Then if I’m unable to stop talking, you can just not listen because you’ll already have the bite. I just want to explain things because that was something no one did for me when I started and I feel even now it can be really hard to get people to actually talk about their process or their work honestly and with depth. – Bobby Christian

Step onto the street, calm my mind and compare the reality of the place we are in to the mental image I created prior to arrival. Sometimes they are pretty close (i.e., London) but others are way off (i.e., Yangon). – SPESUS

Eat. It’s the best way to dive into the culture and awaken the senses to a new place. – Gina DeGirolamo

Find the highest lookout point and the central market. – Gareth Leonard

The first thing I do after I unpack and shower is hit the streets and grab a drink. Whether it’s a glass of Champagne in Paris or a macchiato in Rome nothing says “Welcome to the neighborhood” like the local beverage of choice. – Monique Soltani

Figure out the quickest and most sensible way to get to where I’m staying. From there, I can orient myself and ask a few questions. I think you’re most susceptible to scammed, conned or being taken advantage of the first couple of hours of arriving anywhere new. – Kien Lam

The blogger in me says take photos and video. The traveler says, check out the bathroom and then flop on the bed. – The Planet D

As it’s often on a cruise, I explore the ship and try to get acclimated to the deck plan as much as I can. It’s always a fun time to see a ship that’s entirely new to me for the very first time. – Jason Leppert

I get my bearings and check for landmarks near the place where I’m staying. This always makes getting around a lot easier. I look at a map and make sure I have read up on the area I am visiting. Then go explore! – Adam Baker

Nap. Seriously. – Because We Camp

Unpack and go for a walk. – Eszter Vajda

Take a deep breath, smile and go on a run! I love exploring a city via foot. I do however wish that I could pack a bicycle so I could cover more ground. – Carri Wilbanks

Get local currency. – Travelista Teri

I like to just walk around the neighborhood, not take any photos or videos at the beginning, but just try to soak in the atmosphere and environment. – Mark Wiens

Go for a walk to explore and meet some locals. – Mick Hobday

Google for skate spots nearby for sure. – Gustavo Matias

We are usually starving when we arrive, so our first line of business is to get some great food! – Wander The Map

Walk around the area our hotel is in without any cameras or maps. Learn every inch because it’s your home for now. – Lost & Found Travel

We scout the neighborhood (in cities) or take a recon walk (in the countryside) for basics. Supermarket, WiFi cafes, water supply for the back, places to film. Figuring out the best backdrops or least crowded areas for the best shots. – Armando Costantino

I find a local market! Food, trinkets, whatever the locals frequent. Markets are the best way to tap into the pulse of a community or culture and figure out what makes the place tick. – Nathalie Basha

Well, we’re all different. Ebony likes to hit the ground running, in search of local fun. Onyx wants to find a meal. And Jeta wants to take a nap. – Global Lipstick

Twelve Travel Questions with The Global Gumshoe

Ron Stern

Name: Ron Stern a.k.a. “The Global Gumshoe”
Home Base: Fort Collins, CO
Last Trip: Saskatchewan, Canada
Next Trip: Prince Edward Island/Nova Scotia, Canada
Website: Globalgumshoe.com and Originalglobalgumshoe.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/globalgumshoe
Twitter: @RonStern1

1. What are three things you take on every trip? 

1. Camera Gear (obviously)
2. SCOTTEVEST Jacket
3. IMODIUM® A-D

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

Taking a nap when I get to my location seems to work but I only allow an hour for that.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place? 

Take a shower. Then see #2 above.

Ron photo

4. What place has the best food? The worst food? 

One of the best was a restaurant in Helsinki called Olo, a one-starred Michelin restaurant overlooking South Harbor that a great culinary experience. They brought about 12 courses of Nordic cuisine prepared by Chef Pekka Teravais who designs his dishes for maximum taste using a combination of fresh, local ingredients and precision in terms of cooking times and temperatures. The result, coupled with a beautiful presentation, wine pairing and a team approach to service was an unforgettable Finnish experience.

I also wrote a story and did a video about Manhattan, Kansas that had quite a variety of independently-owned eateries that were amazing.

The worst? Well, I have had quite a few of those as well. One that comes to mind was a sidewalk bistro in Paris. I had their steak and frites one day and it was pretty good. So, I went back the second day and ordered the same thing with the steak being cooked “well.” They brought it out and I think they must have skipped the step where you put it in the oven as it was totally raw. The server insisted that it was “well done.” I paid my check, got the heck out of there and got a street crepe. Such are the culinary perils of travel.

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life? 

I think that would be Jordan. Not exactly life-changing but it did make history come alive. Seeing the massive sandstone tombs in Petra, the ruins of Jerash and Bethany Beyond the Jordan were quite impressive.

6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

“A tourist is a fellow who drives thousands of miles so he can be photographed standing in front of his car.” – Emile Ganest

ron stern 4

7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

Movie soundtracks. These change and I currently am liking this one by Nobuo Uematsu: Terra’s Theme – Final Fantasy VI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTikC-o30ME

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

I was with a group of journalists heading  to some remote resort in Costa Rica. This was at night and neither the local guide or bus driver seemed to know exactly how to get there. It was night and we were driving on a rough dirt road with huge potholes for what must have been five hours. Add to all that a torrential rain storm on this heavily-forested jungle route and, well, let’s just say people weren’t happy.

When we finally arrived they didn’t have enough rooms and people were sleeping anywhere they could find space.

But the next day, the sun came out and events of the previous day were easily forgotten.

9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

I think people, including me, who  are visually-minded want to be able to see where they will be visiting. Sometimes, the simplest videos can make an impression vs. a high production value production.

ron stern 3

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos? 

I used to produce full 22-minute travel shows with a three-person film crew. These were a lot of work and very time-consuming. Now, I shoot everything myself and try to keep things simple. I produce 3-5 minute video montages that uses stills, video clips, music and graphics. People seem to really like these because they give you a flavor, so to speak, of the destination.

11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

All of the DSLRs now have a video function. It is usually just a matter of flipping a switch and buying a tripod. After you experiment with putting one together you will see that they aren’t hard to produce and quite satisfying.

12. What is your best travel tip? 

The old Boy Scout Motto: Be prepared.

Watch travel videos by The Global Gumshoe here.

tractors

Travel Together in Papua New Guinea with Kelley Ferro

Kelley Ferro travels to Papua New Guinea in the latest Travel Together video series from USTOA on a journey with USTOA member Swain Destinations. Papua New Guinea is the world’s second-largest island and is home to over 7 million people from the jungles of the Highlands to the riverbanks of the Lowlands. Watch the videos below to experience the vibrant culture of Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea: A Country Profile

Explore this remote part of the world with me as I go from the Highlands to the Lowlands and meet the local people.

The Lodges: Papua New Guinea

The lodges in PNG are more than just hotels—they are your basis for experiencing the country and interacting with the locals. Sustainable and true to their environments, each one had a unique personality and shaped my journey.

Papua New Guinea: The Lowlands


We visited the Lowlands, an area of PNG located along the Karawari River. This region is known as the Sepik and we were exposed to local life along the river.

Papua New Guinea: The Highlands

Explore the tribes of Tari, the famous Birds of Paradise and all the adventure of the Highlands.

Food of Papua New Guinea


Discover what the locals eat on a food tour of the country.

[All video descriptions by filmmaker.]

Read more about the #TravelTogether adventure in Papua New Guinea here.

jet lag

Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: The Cure for Jet Lag

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 remedy for jet lag? 

Rest. Plain and simple. Even though a few hours’ rest is sometimes really, really hard to come by. Oh! And a spicy bloody mary. That always seems to make things right. – Two for the Road

I have never really had a problem with jet lag. I have an amazing ability to fall asleep on flights. There have been flights where I have fallen asleep before takeoff and woken up as the plane pulls up the gate. I can honestly say that I have often arrived after 24 hours of travel and felt fresh, ready for the time zone and able to go. – James Alexander Adams

We don’t have any secret snake oil when it comes to jet lag. We just try to adjust to the local time as best we can. We often try to sleep on the plane to adjust to our arrival time. – Nomadic Frames

I firmly believe in shocking my body into the new time zone as quickly as possible. Going to sleep and waking at the local times is essential (so no going to sleep early). I also drink plenty of water avoid excess alcohol during my first few days. Okay, well at least the water part. – The Expeditioner

Staying awake on the plane, or sleeping on the plane depending on which way around the world we are traveling. – Eight Miles from Home

Exercise. I always try and do exercise when arrive in a new time zone. For about 20 years I have been travelling multiple times a month in my old global marketing job and had to get over jet lag FAST to be on the ball for meetings. Exercise worked for me. – Gary Bembridge

It’s never been as big of a problem for me as some say it is. Only when traveling with 12 hours time difference do I get sleepy, and then I simply need time to adjust, no easy solution. Otherwise with 6 to 8 hours or such, I never had an issue! – Etherium Sky Films

Sleep. If we don’t wanna miss out on something, we’ll sleep where we are (on the beach, on a bench, on the bus, in a chair… you get the idea). – Rural Movement

We have no remedy at all. Hahaha we try to sleep as much as we can but it never works. We just got home from Thailand and we are going on 5 days of waking up at 3 a.m. If anyone else has some good remedies please let us know :) – Mindful Wanderlust

No napping, none at all. Stay up until it’s bedtime at your destination. Get in the sun if it’s still up, and have a nice big stretch before bed. – Mike Corey

When you find it, tell me. Jet lag tends to knock me sideways on occasion though I do always follow the recommendations to exercise, adapt to local time as strictly as possible upon landing, and to avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water. – Alex in Wanderland

Luckily, I’ve never had jet lag (not on my trip from Europe to Central America or on my trip from Europe to Australia). I think it’s because airplanes make me sleepy. So when I arrive in a new place, I usually feel like I’ve just woken up and I’m ready to explore. – Rubén Alonso

Sleep and patience. – Kristen Sarah

The one thing I always do when I arrive at a destination is try to stay up as long as I can in order to adjust quicker. Another thing I would suggest is to wear an eye mask on long flights, as the light tends to make jet lag worse. – David Hoffmann

I don’t have a remedy for jet lag, it screws me up every time… so I guess…. SLEEP, oh yeah and beer! – Joshua Johnson

Jet Lag? What’s that? I just power through any sleepiness by being really active, like going for a run. – Ryan Van Duzer

Honestly… 5 minutes of scuba in the pool! It seems to work well for hangovers too, but you didn’t hear that from me (it’s certainly not recommended at your local dive shop). – Travizeo

The excitement of traveling always conquers any weariness I might experience. A cold, local brew is a must at the end of a long day of traveling though. – John Piazza IV

Drink if it’s just a 3-hour difference. Drink and sleep if it’s more than 6. – Eduardo Gato

Don’t give in!! Years ago, I went on a cruise with my family. After landing in Barcelona, we had a couple of hours to explore the city before the ship set sail. However, instead of taking advantage of this, my sister and I collapsed in our cabin and slept the whole time. I look back on it and slap my forehead! We missed an entire afternoon of exploration! So my advice would be to try and push through the jet lag and stick to the local time. – Gloria Powell

C-O-F-F-E-E. – Patrick J. McDaniel

If you are on a long flight try to slee’ in tune with the time zone you are flying too. This might cause you to miss getting food but honestly its only airplane food and that isn’t that disappointing to miss out on. The last long flight I took was Hong Kong to Toronto and when we landed in Toronto at 8 p.m. they were trying to feed us breakfast as it was morning time in HK. That can definitely mess a person up. Also drink lots of water! – Cailin O’Neil

If you are excited about the adventure, these kind of things are not a problem. Living every moment with energy you don’t suffer jet lag. – Josep Gutierrez

No need. Jet lag is one of my favorite things. Nothing beats waking up at 3 a.m. and getting a full day of work in before everyone wakes up. – Justin Weiler

Fresh air and lots of water. – Sarah Zareen

Brian: I start adjusting my schedule as much as possible a few days before a trip. If that’s not possible we just end up doing more stuff later in the evening and deal with the fatigue. If I’m traveling +/-12 hours difference I’ll sleep on the plane and force myself to adjust to the schedule when I arrive. – Wesley Adventures

Embrace jet lag, wake up early, stay up late. – Andrew Kamphey

Whatever you do, don’t think about what time it is back at home. Change your clocks right away so it’s easy to adjust to the new time zone and never look back. – Juliana Broste

Netflix—leave it to a good TV show to keep you awake all night and rest your clock. – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

I don’t know. I don’t really think about jet lag. I just kinda fall asleep in places and then realize I was tired….dumb. – Bobby Christian

See item 3 in the answer above. – SPESUS

Sleep. There’s just no fighting it. Also, lots of water on the flight and movement. I often get up and stretch including touching my toes and reaching for the ceiling. – Gina DeGirolamo

I strongly believe in exercise over a nap. You need to get the blood flowing with a run, swim or workout of some kind. Also, water is the remedy for everything. – Gareth Leonard

I am a non-napper. When I get to wherever I am going I force myself to stay awake until it’s “bed time.” For example, if I am on a 12-hour international flight and I land at 10 a.m. local time, I will keep myself busy and make sure I stay awake until its 9 p.m. no matter how tired I am. Then I get one good night’s sleep and I’m ready to rock the next morning. Some days are better than others but the non-napping approach works for me! – Monique Soltani

It really varies depending on where you come from, but my general rule of thumb is If you arrive before 8 p.m, stay awake at least until 8 p.m. Don’t try to overdo it on the first day (if you can). Generally, even if I fall asleep between 8 and 10 p.m, I’ll still wake up at 2 a.m. Don’t reach for your phone, or a book, or walk around. Just do your best to zone out and sleep in for a couple more hours. You’ll wake up at around 5 a.m. wide awake. Start your day. It’s early, but over the next few days, you’ll wake up later and later. The other option is to be zone-blind. Sometimes I have no idea what time zone I’m in or when I’m “supposed” to be awake or sleep. I think even my body is confused so it doesn’t try to fight jet lag and I fall asleep when I want/need to. – Kien Lam

Jet lag is a constant battle for us but we tend to go against the grain and take that mid-afternoon nap that everyone tells you you’re not supposed to do. It feels so good to get to the hotel, have a shower, and then take a nap for an hour or so. We then get on with the day, try to stay up until a decent hour and turn in for the night. For the most part, we can always sleep through the night. It’s getting up that’s the problem. – The Planet D

Good question. Generally, I find it helps to sleep as much as you can flying eastbound and stay awake as much as you can flying westbound. – Jason Leppert

Have a shower upon arrival and then stay awake until the evening of the time zone you are in, that way you will get a good night’s sleep and be ready the next day. – Adam Baker

Sadly, we have none. If we’re tired, we sleep. If we’re hungry, we eat. We figure our bodies will sort it all out later. – Because We Camp

Take a walk and stay hydrated. – Eszter Vajda

A cup of hot tea, meditation and some quick cardio to follow. – Carri Wilbanks

I stay up all night before my flight and force myself to stay awake in the new destination at least until 9 p.m. It works 75% of the time. – Travelista Teri

Take a walk or keep active. – Mark Wiens

I don’t really have one but I always force myself to sleep or stay awake at the appropriate times to try and adjust to my new time zone. – Mick Hobday

Eating a whole bunch of different type of candies. – Gustavo Matias

We don’t really have one, honestly! Micah has a hard time kicking it no matter what he tries, and Jenna never really gets hit with it because she normally sleeps at such random times. – Wander The Map

I (John) get hit by jet-lag really hard. I’ve got a 2-word solution – THAI MASSAGE. Always does the trick. Worth every penny. We don’t see it as a luxury. We see it as part of the airfare. – Lost & Found Travel

We don’t fly, we drive. Thankfully there’s not really any ‘van lag.’ Grin. We do suffer from a sort of travel daze on first waking up—trying to readjust and remember where we parked the night before. – Armando Costantino

It starts on the plane. As soon as I get settled into my seat, I set my watch to my destination. I don’t sleep on the plane unless it’s night where I’m going, even if it’s the middle of the night where I am departing from and I’m tired. And vice versa—if it’s night in my destination, but full daylight in my departure city, I will sleep on the plane (not gonna lie, sleeping pills are highly useful here). And once I land, I truck through getting onto the local schedule—no naps whatsoever! You have to suffer through one awful, tired day, or one sleepless night, but then you’re good to go! – Nathalie Basha

Try to adjust your sleep schedule to the time zone you’re visiting 48 hours before your trip. If that doesn’t work, get all the sleep you can on the plane. As a last resort, get an espresso and bottoms up! Hopefully you’ll be having such a great time on your trip, you’ll never want much sleep anyway! – Global Lipstick

Twelve Travel Questions with Elaina O’ Brien

elaina2

Name: Elaina O’ Brien
Home Base: Ireland
LastTrip: Malta and Italy
NextTrip: Asia
Website: www.nomadventura.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/nomadventura
Twitter: @Elainastravels

1. What are three things you take on every trip? 

First and foremost my camera, security locks, and comfortable walking shoes.

2. What is your best remedy for jet lag? 

I am lucky enough not to get terrible jet lag, but plenty of tea and a duvet day always does the trick!

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place? 

Throw my bags in my new home and explore. I generally walk around until I get lost a couple of times to get my bearings and settle in.

berlin

4. What place has the best food? The worst food? 

Italy hands down. Everything is of high standard and just so mouth-watering everywhere you go. Worst food for me was in Budapest—I had trouble finding food of the same quality, although the goulash was really tasty!

5. What is one place that changed your outlook on life? 

Berlin. It is one of those cities that leaves you dreaming of it, longing to return. The creativity and individuality throughout the city truly inspired me and I left with a new sense of wonder. I cannot wait to get back there and see what else the unique cultural city has to offer.

6. What is your favorite travel quote? 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ― Marcel Proust

elaina

7. Is there any music that inspires you to travel?

Kygo always inspires me, because nearly everywhere I go I hear people from all walks of life playing his music and I feel connected with them.

8. What is your craziest true travel story? 

If I had to pick one, it would probably be the 22-hour bus journey straight from a festival in Amsterdam to Sziget, another festival in Budapest. We met German heavy metal fans also coming from a festival. Safe to say there was a lot of fun had on that coach traveling through Europe all night.

22 hour bus journey

9. How do you think that travel videos can be useful to travelers, even if they aren’t filmmakers themselves?

I think there is something powerful in the visual aspect of travel. You create an inspiring montage of information and inspire more to do the same. These images get engraved in your mind and urge you to get out and explore. This for me is why travel videos are so useful and powerful.

10. What is the goal/philosophy of your videos? 

To hopefully encourage others to get out there and see the world. Never stop exploring no matter how far or wide your travels are, but to always have the mentality to wonder, question, and explore.

11. What advice do you have for someone who wants to make travel videos?

Just start recording! It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you have, or where in the world you are. Also, record as much as you can because you always end up using all or most of your footage, and it is better to have too much rather than not enough.

12. What is your best travel tip?

Understand that travel isn’t all high points, but a mix of highs and lows. Be aware of this, and don’t let the lows get you down or spoil your adventure! Enjoy the experience as a whole, from the amazing memories and the lessons learned. That is what it’s all about.

Watch travel videos by Elaina O’Brien here.

Sicily

packing

Best of Tripfilms Twelve Travel Questions: Top Packing Essentials

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 are three things you take on every trip?

We pack all the essentials of course, but we’re always sure to take our cameras, laptops and plenty of rubber bands. Never know when you’ll need one, you know. – Two for the Road

The first thing that I am always sure to have is my camera. For the past few years that would have been a Canon 5D and 7D, although I just bought a Sony FS700 so that will the first thing I pack from here on out. The second I always bring is my laptop. I believe that traveling is about disconnecting from the habits of home life, and so I try not to check email or Facebook, however the laptop is essential because I tend to capture a lot of photos and videos while traveling and like to have everything captured, saved, and archived. The third thing is to always have a book to read. I tend not to read novels, choosing rather to read Lonely Planet or National Geographic. I find those types of books inspiring while traveling and they are great to pull out of my backpack while taking time-lapse shots, sitting on a bus, or relaxing at a hostel. – James Alexander Adams

Our cameras (two Canon 5D Mark III), iPhones, rain gear. – Nomadic Frames

I always take my DSLR camera, an extra battery and an extra SD card (you can tell where my priorities lie). Everything else is optional, including clothes. – The Expeditioner

Canon SLR cameras, a 24-year-old mascot soft toy seal, and a very heavy backpack with all our equipment in it. – Eight Miles from Home

The three key ones (other than obviously passport, credit cards & tickets!) are (1) my St. Christopher necklace that my parents gave me when I was 13 and never ever leave the house without it. Ever. I am very superstitious about having it to protect my travels. (2) earplugs (I am obsessed with noise and use them every night—even at home) and (3) eye shades (as I can’t sleep unless it’s dark. As you can see, it’s mostly about sleep! – Gary Bembridge

Three is too many! Pretty much my camera—the rest doesn’t matter! – Etherium Sky Films

Besides our obvious film equipment, we always bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer (always a life saver), headphones, and a rainfly for inclement weather to protect our equipment. – Rural Movement

Besides the obvious like passports and money we always make sure to bring our iPods, computers and cameras. – Mindful Wanderlust

1. A large hooded sweatshirt. Basically a travel multi-tool. It’s a towel, it’s bottle padding, a pillow, a blanket, and an amorphous disguise for after hours walks. 2. Fizzing Vitamin C tablets for water. Take one a day for a few days after a long haul. I haven’t had a cold since. 3. A passport photocopy and extra photos. Also, digital versions saved into an Evernote document. – Mike Corey

My laptop, so I can work; my SteriPen, so I can drink tap water anywhere I go; and a guidebook, so I can read up on local history and hotspots. – Alex in Wanderland

My camera (of course), my e-book, and a travel guide. – Rubén Alonso

Pashmina, headlamp, water filter. – Kristen Sarah

My Canon 6D, my iPhone, and my Drobo Mini to back up all my photos and footage. – David Hoffmann

My Gopro, reading material and an appetite for adventure! – Joshua Johnson

I travel REALLY light, like one little backpack. But three items I always have are running shoes, video camera and electric shaver (not a fan of facial hair). – Ryan Van Duzer

Other than loads of cameras and video equipment… A multi plug and one travel adaptor, half the clothes that I think I will need (more space for cameras) and a healthy dose of “if life gives you lemons” attitude. – Travizeo

It’s tough to narrow it down because I usually bring a TON of stuff, but here’s what I would never go on any trip without: iPhone, Canon 5D Mark II, spare contacts (clear vision is everything). – John Piazza IV

My camera, my toothbrush, my iPod. – Eduardo Gato

I always take my iPhone, a hoody (in case it rains or it’s cold in the hotel), and a pair of flip-flops! – Gloria Powell

Camera gear, phone with a solid travel playlist, and a French Press with VT coffee beans. – Patrick J. McDaniel

My DSLR, my iPhone and a sleeping mask. – Cailin O’Neil

My camera, my moleskine, and the friendship of a local. – Josep Gutierrez

50mm 1.2, mini speaker, double USB Adapter, close third…sleeping pills for long haul flights. – Justin Weiler

Camera, book, hand sanitizer. – Sarah Zareen

Brian: I always bring a backup hard drive, a Sci-Fi or Fantasy book, and a hat. Tammy:  I usually bring a clothesline & Woolite. With kids we’re always having to do laundry. Also they sometimes need to go to bed earlier. So instead of running back and forth to a laundromat, we just do the laundry in the hotel room and relax and play a game or talk. The kids always need a hoodie and stuffed animals, Android tablets, and books. We also bring sports tape for minor cuts & blisters. We have found it’s much better and protects better than band aids. Okay, that’s more than three things… but hey! There are six of us. – Wesley Adventures

Toothbrush, extra underwear, brain. – Andrew Kamphey

My camera, my computer and pink lipstick! – Juliana Broste

A CAMERA[!!!], headphones, and good music. – Jesse and Kimberly Moore

I mean, some thing are obvious, like I always take my flip-flops, phone, charger…stuff like that. Some of the more unique things I take on every trip are: A legal pad (I write most things by hand at first), Extra pair of underwear (literally in case I get wet…even in the desert I’m still worried about getting wet and having to wear wet underwear), GoPro (I hate shooting with a GoPro. I really really hate it. I’m almost never satisfied with the image I get and it’s like 8x more work than an SLR, but even on trips when I leave my SLR, I pack the GoPro—just in case) – Bobby Christian

A neck-tie, two pairs of chopsticks and a bottle of Dutch Courage. – SPESUS

Camera, microphone, tripod. – Gina DeGirolamo

I never leave home without my Macbook Pro, Exofficio underwear and positive attitude. – Gareth Leonard

1. Hand sanitizer wipes, 2. Airborne, 3. Eye mask/Ear plugs. I used to get sick when I traveled. I couldn’t figure out why. I went to my doctor and she told me to wipe down the armrest and tray table and a take an airborne when I fly. I do this every time now when I fly and haven’t gotten sick since (knock on wood). – Monique Soltani

Swim trunks, massage balls, SMECTA. Swim trunks are a must. I love jacuzzis and if there’s a chance that there’s a jacuzzi somewhere, I don’t want to be standing there in my underwear wishing I had swim trunks. I try to stay in shape on the road so it’s nice to have a pair of these Gaiam massage balls to work out knots and tightness after a good run. SMECTA is a powder medication to treat gastrointestinal pain. I eat pretty much everything on the road and once in a while you have to pay your dues. Raw llama? Why not. If you’ve had some kind of gastrointestinal pain, you know it is absolutely unbearable. I’m not a doctor, so do not take this as medical advice, but this has saved me a few times and I always keep a few packets sealed away in my toiletry bag. – Kien Lam

OK, I’m not going to be all boring and list our camera and electronic gear. Instead I’m going to give you the staples for travel that we pack every time….Gold Bond, a lightweight down jacket, sarongs. – The Planet D

I must admit the first three things that come to mind are my crucial pieces of gear: Apple iPhone, Apple MacBook Air, and Sony Alpha 5100 camera and lenses. – Jason Leppert

Firstly you never know where you might end up or at what time of day so I always have my LED divers torch—or flashlight as its called stateside! Second, the essential clothing: good breathable hiking pants, lightweight sweater, and rain/wind-resistant jacket. And for me good lightweight walking boots. This helps in the tropics! Third, a map. I love maps so wherever I am going I make sure to have a map of that area. Always good to have some idea where you are! – Adam Baker

Besides the obvious that is our camera gear, we’re never without our headlamps, our quick dry towels and our USB game controller to play NES games on our laptop! – Because We Camp

My sneakers, sunscreen, camera. – Eszter Vajda

Sleeping mask, running shoes and a journal. – Carri Wilbanks

Bikini, camera and journal. – Travelista Teri

Camera, laptop, passport. – Mark Wiens

My ipod, insulin and other diabetic supplies and a notebook to write my diary. – Mick Hobday

Skateboard, Phone and Macbook. – Gustavo Matias

Photo/video gear, flip flops, and headphones. – Wander The Map

Half a dozen cameras, Gold Bond Talcum Powder and wrapped hard candy to gift to street food vendors who let us shoot their food. – Lost & Found Travel

Camera, computer and portable WiFi. And my wife, of course. – Armando Costantino

My Kindle Fire, my camera, and lots of Pepto-Bismol. – Nathalie Basha

Lipstick, of course!  We all love the shade “Sisterly Love” from our own line.  After that, a camera and a mind to dive into wherever we are. – Global Lipstick

New TripVlogger Series: A Video Guide to Malta

Ever been to Malta? Elaina O’Brien gives us a video tour in her new TripVlogger series. These four videos will show you the gorgeous natural wonders in Malta, Comino, and Gozo, as well as your best bets for dining, nightlife, and outdoor activities. Watch the videos below to get to know this beautiful Southern European island country.

You can also check out Elaina’s blog posts on Malta here: Malta and 8 Activities Not To Miss in Malta. Yesterday it was announced that Elaina’s blog NomadVentura (formerly ElainasTravels) made the shortlist in the Travel Blog category for The Blog Awards Ireland 2015. The winner will be chosen by a public vote starting next Monday, so stay tuned. Congratulations Elaina!

Sites to See in Malta

Have a look at some of the best spots in Malta, Comino and Gozo not to be missed. From natural wonders to man made structures there are plenty things to keep you busy while visiting the Maltese Islands!

Activities in Malta

Take a look at some of the best activities and places to explore while visiting the beautiful islands of Malta.

Explore Nightlife in Malta!


A taste of the maltese atmosphere and nightlife buzzing around the islands. From nightclubs and late night bars to wine and food festivals, there is something for everyone!

Best Eats in Malta

Here is a brief description on the food in Malta, and the best places to dig in!

[All video descriptions by the filmmaker.]