There are very few categories that offer as much possibility for rich and engaging storytelling as that of travel. Beautiful locales, thrilling adventures, and gripping anecdotes provide a whole lot of content fodder for travel creators and brands!
But that doesn’t mean that making travel videos is a piece of cake. Far from it. In addition to having the technical know-how and an eye for detail, you also need to know how to weave a story around the content you shoot – and for this, you need to constantly ideate and execute. So if you’ve been wanting to make it in the travel space and are wondering how to make a travel video, this article is just what you need.
In the following sections, we will be taking you through everything you need to know about creating travel videos in addition to sharing some of the best ideas you can get started with. If you already have something in mind and would like to get started right away, you can sign up for a free account on InVideo and start bringing your travel videos to life.
Here’s what we will cover:
Let’s dive in.
While making any video you need to go through the steps of ideating, planning, and executing. But when you’re carrying these steps out in the travel video space, you need to hone several other skills in addition to that of filmmaking, such as time management, thinking on your feet, and acting quickly. So to help you get better at making travel videos let’s take a look at what you need to do.
A lot of people believe that planning is an optional step when it comes to creating travel videos because the activity of traveling in itself is so unpredictable. But if you’re looking to create travel videos that leave an impact, planning and pre-production are absolutely indispensable to the process.
Planning for a travel video includes everything from ideation and scripting to location scouting and storyboarding. But all of these processes look very different from how you would do these for regular videos – for the sole reason that there is a huge amount of uncertainty that comes with the process of travel. Filmmaker Aidin Robbins explains the process of planning very well in this video:
Here’s a short outline of how you can go about it:
Ideating for a travel video begins with deciding upon a location and then figuring out in what light do you want to present that location. Do you want to create an educational video on the place or showcase its culture or is there a particularly interesting story about the place that you want to bring to light? Your answers to these questions form the basis of your idea.
Once your idea is ready, you want to go ahead and gather as much information as you can about the place – through blogs, youtube videos, personal anecdotes, and even interviews. You want to look up images and videos to get an understanding of what the place looks and feels like. This is super important in helping you plan out your shots later.
Once you have the idea and your basic research in place, you want to create a rough outline of the flow of your video. This is where the storytelling aspect kicks in. Mind you this is not a full-fledged script because that isn’t really possible at this stage. With the outline, you want to ask questions such as how do you want to start your video? What is the hook? How will the story flow and how will it end? Here is also where you want to cite any references for creative inputs and ideas.
(4) Plan your shots
Now this is not something that you have complete control over. However, having a basic understanding of how your story flows as well as the shots and angles that will complement the scenes in your story is super important. This will allow you to be mindful of the kind of shots you take. You can create a shot list of the basics that you want to cover so that even if unprecedented events happen, you can still get decent shots from your trip. You can also create a storyboard to help with this process but that is not mandatory.
(5) Figure out your equipment
Depending on the location you’re traveling to, how long you plan on being there, what your living situation is going to be like and other important factors, you will have to decide on your equipment. You will require a professional camera with a few different lenses, a gimbal to take moving shots, a good on-camera microphone to record audio, and also preferably a drone to get cinematic aerial footage. Check out this blog for a complete list of the kind of equipment you will need.
When shooting travel videos you want to think about what that place represents and what emotion it evokes. That is what you want to capture in your shots. The best travel videos are ones that make the viewers feel like they’re traveling with the creator – and generating that emotion is only possible if you know what elements of the place you want to capture in your footage. This holds true even for vlogs – scout the place before you begin filming to get the best shots.
Keep your list of shots from the planning stage handy to ensure you get everything you need. And ensure you capture shots from the journey and not just the place itself b because unless you’re taking your viewers on a journey, it doesn’t evoke the kind of emotion you want it to.
Another thing you want to ensure is simply shooting a lot! In most cases, less than 1% of your footage will make it to the final cut. But for that to happen, you want to ensure you have enough footage, to begin with. The worst feeling is to come back after the trip to edit your video only to realize you missed out on getting good shots. For a more in-depth understanding of how to shoot your travel videos, check out this guide by Parker Walbeck
Of course, a lot of your travel video story is also refined during the editing process, which is what we will be looking at in the next section.
If you’ve planned right and shot according to the tips we shared above, your editing process will be all smooth sailing. But as we’ve already discussed, creating travel videos is different from creating other types of videos, which is why you need to pay special attention to different elements.
When you’re editing a travel video, in addition to having great clips, you also have to pay close attention to your choice of music, the sequence of your shots in the final edit, the pacing of the video, as well as the transitions and text you use. An editor like InVideo makes this easier because it already has most of these features inbuilt – allowing you to access and use them at the click of a button.
Travel videos appeal to people’s wanderlust, which means you want to focus on recreating that emotion while editing. Again, you need to go back to your script and storyboard here to first get an understanding of the kind of emotion you want to convey – are you making a fun holiday video or are you showcasing the culture of a place? In each connotation, the editing style is going to be vastly different. For a fun, festival video, you will have upbeat music, fast transitions, and creative text whereas, for a documentary-style video of a destination, you will probably prefer more acoustic music with mellow tunes, simple transitions, and minimalistic text.
Here’s a video by popular travel creator Lost LeBlanc explaining his process of editing a travel video:
Now your editing process will depend heavily on the kind of software you choose to edit on. If you already have some video editing experience and have a robust enough system, you might want to choose professional software like Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro.
But if you’re just starting out, you want to use an editing tool that will let you create stunning edits with ease. This is where InVideo comes in. With an extensive library of over 5000+ templates along with ready-made assets like animated text boxes, stickers, call to action, music and sound effects, stock footage, transitions, and more, InVideo makes it super easy for you to edit your travel videos.
Check out this helpful tutorial on how to create a cinematic slideshow within the InVideo editor in minutes:
Now that you have a fair idea of how to go about creating travel videos, let’s take a look at some top-performing travel video ideas to kick your travel video creation into high gear.
Idea #1 - Start your own travel vlog
Travel vlogs are a great way to start your travel video journey. As a travel vlogger, you can start recording your trips, talking to the camera and your viewers, sharing your feelings about your trip, your first impressions, your expressions as you try various food items in real-time, and more. The best part is that travel vlogs don’t even need to be professionally edited. They can be shared even live in real-time, as viewers expect travel vlogs to be raw and real in many cases.
For example, Mina, an American travel vlogger, shares her vlogs from various places she visits across the world. Check out this video of her experience at the Zen capsule hotel in Japan.
Travel vlogs allow you to build your brand, find a niche as well as work towards earning opportunities.
Idea #2 - Create helpful how-to travel guides
You don't have to strictly do videos about your trips. You can create video guides for travel enthusiasts or creators as well. You can share tips, ideas, and knowledge with your tribe through beautifully crafted videos.
For example, check out travel YouTuber Sorelle Amore’s videos. She helps viewers create content like her through travel guides. She also inspires you with stories on how to live free and abundant as she does. Check out this video where she shares tips to travel on a budget.
If you want to create travel videos with a message, you’ll get lots of inspiration on Sorelle’s YouTube channel. Meanwhile, you can create your own travel tips and tricks video using this fully customizable template from InVideo:
Idea #3 - Share unique or strange travel experiences through your videos
Your travel videos can become a medium for you to share your personal, unique, or strange stories. You might have experienced unique events across your trips. You might be into tasting local, but strange food, trying out local dresses, and more. All of this can be a part of your travel videos.
For example, YouTuber Mike Corey’s mission is to conquer his fear of the unknown by traveling to strange and unique places and experiencing uncomfortable events. Check out this video on Mike’s camping experience at a place called Satan’s Castle in Turkey.
These videos are a glimpse into Mike’s methods of overcoming fear and insecurity. Whether you too want to overcome a personal fear, or you’re looking to create unique travel videos, you too can share strange stories, experiences, and events you met on your journey in your videos. Not only will this make your videos more interesting, but you’ll also get attention for doing something different.
Edit and create your own quirky video about strange travel facts with this World’s Deadliest Snakes template.
Idea #4 - Share food stories and reviews in your travel videos
If you are a foodie and love tasting new delicacies while on the go, you can make travel videos about food and culture. Your videos can provide viewers with a peek at different food cultures, cooking methods, and flavors across the globe.
For instance, YouTuber Mikey Chen travels to various countries and eats all the local food he can get his hands on. You too can similarly marry your two interests - travel and food. Check out this video where Mikey shares updates on his quarantine meals during his latest visit to South Korea.
Mikey’s videos are not just about his interests and passions. He has also successfully created merchandise around his content and sponsors various brands and products through his various YouTube channels. If you love to sample different food items, you too can create videos like Mikey, focusing on the food during your trips.
Customize this video to create your own exploration of food and culture across the globe!
Idea #5 - Spread your message of positivity and love in your travel videos
You can create travel videos about love, friendship, and positivity you come across on your trips. Share stories of how people across the globe are all linked by a common thread of compassion and good can be found everywhere.
For example, Phil, a black dude traveling all over Europe creates videos to promote positivity, love, and break barriers, in association with the Matador network. His videos show him going to various countries and cities and connecting with people, smashing stereotypes in the process. Check out this video on a Black traveler’s guide to Milan.
His videos offer a unique perspective, showing us how a black guy approaches and mixes with the European people. Just like Phil, you can take your viewers through the various places you visit, taking in the sights, eating the local food, and doing fun things across the city. You too can create your travel videos sharing your unique perspective, message, or narrative. All you need is a different way of looking at the world!
Idea #6 - Create 1-minute videos highlighting a city (or any place)
Create one-minute videos of a city or a place your visited and loved. You can feature time lapses, unique shots, and more to make these videos look relatable. These videos can be really helpful to viewers who actually want to travel to these cities and countries as they give a glimpse of the destinations and their highlights. They can also be fun to watch, keeping in mind the short attention spans of most people today.
For example, Cailin from YouTube channel Travel Yourself is known for is her “City in a minute” video series. Cailin shares the highlights of the city (or any place), the culture, the food, and any other relevant information, all in a minute. Check out this video by Cailin featuring Israel in a minute.
Show off your impressive travel highlights in your own 1-minute (or longer) video with this themed slideshow template.
Idea #7 - Share video tour reviews, advice, and answer questions
If you are wondering how to make travel videos and are looking for inspiration to start, you can begin by doing reviews of local services, food reviews, restaurant or homestay reviews, and more. Share updates on the key points of a trip, give information on how to reach your destination, what does the trip involves, what is your itinerary, the cost, and more. Your videos can also answer the most frequently asked questions about a place or a trip.
For example, travel YouTuber Christianne started vlogging her journey as a response to commonly asked questions about her trips across the globe. Now she shares everything from life updates to travel itineraries and experiences in the form of travel videos. Check out this video by Christianne featuring Medsailors (a cruise trip) in Croatia.
Edit and customize this template to create your own travel advice video, including details of the trip for prospective travelers.
If you want to create stunning travel videos, that make people stop scrolling, you’ll need to do your homework in terms of planning your trip and other aspects. In the section below, we share some super actionable tips that make it possible for you to make your travel videos more impressive and engaging.
Tip #1 - Understand your gear
Before you set out to capture beautiful locales and happening adventures, you will need to know how to capture them. Understanding your equipment is essential to getting the best output. Know and practice using your camera and mic in various different settings to know what kind of output it yields.
Study your equipment’s manual to know how to use different controls. You don’t want to miss capturing a beautiful moment because you were fumbling with the controls on your camera.
Tip #2 - Refine your gear
When you’re starting out it is easy to get swept up by cool gadgets and the latest camera, but the truth is you don’t need a whole bunch of equipment to film good videos. As you hone your craft, refine your gear simultaneously. Your aim should be to be able to travel as light as possible while getting the best quality of the footage.
You can do this by first understanding your style of filmmaking and then sticking to gear that helps you achieve that the best. For instance, if you’re someone who primarily uses wide-angle shots in your travel videos, you might not need to carry multiple macro or telephoto lenses.
The thing to note here is that this kind of refinement comes with practice and experience. So don’t beat yourself up about not getting it right on the first go.
Tip #3 - Capture as much of the journey as the destination
As we’ve mentioned before, travel videos are about showcasing the journey. Even if you’re making a tips and tricks video, if you can make people feel like they’re part of the process – your videos will do much better. This means capturing shots that depict the journey – hiking to the top of the hill, taking a cab to the temple, walking to the restaurant, and others like it.
Tip #4 - Film the people of the place
Yes drone shots of the ocean and close-ups of the forest leaves are beautiful, but the real essence of a place lies in its people. A lot of travel creators don’t realize how crucial this element is. Capturing life and emotions and depicting that in your story is one of the best ways to evoke feelings of belongingness in your viewers and this is not something you want to miss out on.
For instance, check out this video on one of the oldest cities in the world, Varanasi, India, by YouTuber Ben Mikha, depicting the local people and everyday life. It makes the viewer feel like they are a part of the chaotic and vibrant landscape as well.
Tip #5 - Shoot more than you think is necessary
As we had mentioned above, roughly 1% of all your footage is likely to make it to the final edit. This means you need more than enough legroom to play around and experiment with. Even if you feel something is unnecessary at the moment, capture it because you will not truly know if something is unnecessary unless you bring it to the edit table.
Tip #6 - Organize your footage on the go
Unless you’re on a weekend trip, not organizing your footage on the daily is a huge mistake. Since you will be shooting a lot, if you fail to organize on a daily basis, it will become a mammoth task to have to sift through the entire media from your trip at the end.
Tip #7 - Carry enough storage and battery
This means memory cards, hard drives, and battery backup. The worst thing to happen while filming is having your memory cards or battery run out preventing you from filming what you need to. Keep multiple memory cards, hard drives, and power banks to ensure your filming goes as smoothly as possible.
So the next trip you decide to go to, make sure to carry all the necessary equipment and plan your itinerary before you set out. With a little effort towards finding the best locations and angles to shoot from, you can create stunning travel videos that draw viewers in. If you are planning to create a travel video channel or brand, you definitely want to check out this ready reckoner of top video ideas that you can create in the travel space. Use these video ideas to craft engaging travel videos in 2022.
If you have any questions or want to continue the conversation, hop over to the InVideo community and learn from 25K other marketers and video creators just like you! Or check out InVideo’s YouTube channel to learn more video editing hacks and tricks!
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