Monday, 17 September 2012

Travel blogs are an excellent way to research a holiday

Here are a few as recommended by Suzie Bennett at the

Best for keeping in touch
With more than 14 million members in 193 countries, Where Are You Now is one of the biggest online travel players, allowing members to find and meet people from anywhere in the world, see where friends are, read travel information, guides, reviews and blogs, and look at accompanying photographs.

Best for celebrity travel gossip
Documenting first-hand accounts of Paris Hilton's partying in a hotel lounge, Lance Armstrong's check-in chatter and details of salacious items left behind by Angelina Jolie, Hotelchatter is the OK! magazine of the blogosphere. Travellers post their experiences, photographs and videos of hotel rooms, along with their musings on services, costs and canny ways to find discounts.

Best for luxury
This exhaustive guide to all things sybaritic can provide hours of escapist fun. Learn how to carry home vintage wine, where to rub shoulders with the rich and famous and what you can expect to pay for the world's most expensive dessert (£7,160, if you're asking). Paul Johnson updates his site daily with entries covering destinations, tours, hotels, restaurants, bars, travel gadgets, accessories, guidebooks and clothes.

Best for city breaks
Gridskipper's coverage of city hot spots is updated five days a week by artsy, in-the-know writers and editors. This beautifully designed and easily navigable site scours the globe for chic hotels, hot restaurants, happening nightlife and pretty people. Striking photography and clear maps are the icing on the cake.

Also try,, and

Best for practical advice
Darren Cronian from Leeds began this blog after he needed a place to vent his frustration following a run-in with a high-street travel agency. He exposes dirty travel industry secrets and tricks with good-humoured vitriol, and offers advice on dealing with everything from holiday brochure cons to what to do if you're arrested abroad.
One of the most interactive blogs around, American Condé Nast Traveler's is written by Wendy Perrin, who solves readers' travel problems and proffers impartial advice.
A travel etiquette site dedicated to preventing you from making a fool of yourself abroad, covering, among other things, coffee-drinking rules in Italy and correct spa behaviour in Germany. Also try
A hugely popular consumer blog written by Brett Snyder, a self-confessed "airline dork". Posts include tips on how to survive Healthrow's Terminal 5.
Mark Smith, a former manager of stations in London, helps keep the romance of rail travel alive with regularly updated blogs on travelling around the world by train. A paperback version of his site, The Man In Seat 61, has just been published.

Best for cutting-edge travel
Pitched as an "an upmarket hub for what is the most creative, the most innovative, the newest, best and coolest", thecoolhunter fulfils its brief perfectly, with reviews of the world's hippest hotels accompanied by sleek, sexy photography.

Best for foodies
Look at local food blogs before you travel. publishes "epi-logs" written by experienced travel and food writers, mostly covering the United States and Europe.
In New York, keeps track of openings and closings, triumphs and scandals before they get into the papers.
In Paris, lists new restaurants and reviews in French.

Best for responsible travel
For blogs on sustainable travel, try National Geographic's Intelligent Travel blogging site, which won the 2007 "Travvies" awards for best travel blog. There are postings on everything from the carbon-cutting skills of goats to organic farm stays. The travel section of Treehugger is similar, but more serious (

Best for research and inspiration
It's not strictly a blog, but tripadvisor is none the less an essential source of real reviews from real people. It has more than 10 million uncensored reviews, along with photographs and videos of hotels, restaurants and tours, covering topics such as the room number of a hotel in Cairo with Pyramid views, or the location of a cash machine with the best exchange rate in Charles de Gaulle airport. Watch out for bogus reviews written by overenthusiastic hoteliers or individuals with grudges.
A fantastic blogging site not only for backpackers, but also for the young-at-heart and adult gap-year travellers in search of inspiration, reassurance and advice. Whether you want to stay with an aboriginal community in outback Australia, visit Nevada's Burning Man festival or travel overland through Africa, someone will have written about it.
With a discriminating mixture of blogs covering virtually every country, activity and travel theme, Gadling is the most comprehensive site around. A search on Albania, for example, brings up 50 entries, proffering advice on everything from buying traditional teddy bears to visiting the country's 700,000 bunkers. was one of the first travel sites to experiment with podcasts and vodcasts made by holidaymakers. Many are hugely entertaining.
We're blowing our own trumpet here, but our own blogs site includes daily blogs from dozens of Telegraph writers and columnists, as well as blogs from members of the Travel desk, covering everything from travel news and events to on-location reports.

Best for cruises
This is more a forum than a blogging site, it is hugely popular and growing very quickly. There's information on cruise ships and more than 135 ports of call, as well as details of specific cruising niches, including low-carbon cruising and gay cruises. Also have a look at the American blog and the message boards at

Best for business travel
Roadgladiator has tips for those who spend their lives on the road. Posts include how to receive high-definition television through laptops and access the internet on Virgin flights.
A specialist business blog offering tools, tips and techniques for being productive at 30,000ft.

Best for family travel
The family arm of the popular blogging site Bootsnall, this forum includes suggestions on how to encourage youngsters to eat foreign foods and nominations for the best children's travel books.

Best for vlogs – video blogs
You Tube, the social networking site, should be your first port of call to get a flavour of a country before you travel. Whether it's a festival, expedition or dive site, it's likely to have been vlogged.
With 7,000 remarkably professional-looking videos covering virtually every country, Travelistic is the web's biggest travel video archive, allowing dissatisfied holidaymakers to turn consumer watchdog and prospective travellers to brief themselves on a destination before they book.
On, holidaymakers tired of glossy hotel pictures that don't live up to reality can see video clips of hotels as filmed and posted by travellers worldwide.

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