We have all been grounded for half a year. 6 months of cancelled trips, lost adventures and missing family and friends. The world just as quickly show signs of opening up as it shuts down again and travel restrictions change and evolve in response to second and third wave COVID-19 outbreaks.
So as it looks like we are not getting anywhere far any time soon, we’ve compiled a list of the top YouTube travel channels recommended by our Girl Gone International community. You know, to help you scratch that travel itch!
Since these YouTubers have the literal globe covered in their videos, we’re sure that watching a few can even help cure your homesickness. And who knows, maybe even inspire you to go on a road trip and discover what your own city or current country of residence have to offer!
1) Have you ever wanted to go INSIDE the pyramids in Egypt? Now’s your chance!
Maryjane Byarm is a 24 year old, American girl who loves to travel. About four years ago she was going through a rough time and decided to leave the US for the first time to spend some time with her sister who was a model living in China. She completely fell in love, and that is where her love of travel was born. What’s more, her videos give an intersectional perspective on traveling as a Black woman. She recently announced that she’ll be going on a road trip from New York to Los Angeles, so be sure to follow for updates on her experiences traveling cross-country via bus.
2) Discover the best street foods India has to offer
The best part of travel (as far as I’m concerned) is eating all of the local delicacies; food is after all, a vital component of any culture. YouTubers Samuel and Audrey focus their adventures on both the travel AND the food – which is the way to do it! Indian cuisine is one of the most dynamic in the world, with regional specialties varying from one city to the next. Make sure to check out their entire series on Indian Street Food and live vicariously through these adventurers.
3) Swim with humpback whales in Tonga
While traveling to 50 countries in 100 weeks might be some people’s idea of a logistical nightmare, The Bucket List Family has pulled it off. This YouTube team is comprised of a husband, a wife and two kiddos – so not only will they show you the world, but they can teach you a thing or two about traveling with a family.
4) Take a hike in Hong Kong (and talk about marriage problems)
Ila Welty is originally from Azerbaijan, but grew up partly in Russia for 13 years. In August 2015 after 4 years of careful planning she left her family and a version of life she did not want. Ila now lives in Hong Kong and has started a YouTube channel to encourage and inspire other women to choose the direction of their own life.
“I come from very strict, religious family, where girls have no value and they are not allowed to do anything without a man’s permission. But I always wanted to travel, explore the world, make friends around the world. I didn’t see myself having an arranged marriage as I always saw it as the end of life for a woman in my country. I did not want to feel like a prisoner in my own home. I decided that my life would be different. So I planned for 4 years and eventually I wrote a letter to my family and in August 2015 I left home.
Without saying anything to anyone. I now don’t belong to the family because I dishonored its name. Now I live in Hong Kong and I was making my dreams come true until covid-19 hit. There are so many girls/women including my mom and sisters who never traveled, have never taken a plane or visited all those beautiful places they have seen in a brochure or TV. That makes me so sad. I’d like all girls be able to live their dream life. So I decided to share my story on YouTube. I created a channel and I’m trying to reach out to those who need inspiration, motivation, real examples to show that it is possible to live their own life.”
5) Experience the romance of Rome
Jessica Kellgren-Fozard is a deaf YouTuber who makes videos about her life with disabilities and chronic illness in a positive uplifting way. She also discusses vintage fashion, LGBT+ topics and has a series of beautifully shot travel videos with wife Claudia.
6) Live the Van Life of your dreams in Mexico
Nat & Abi together with rescue dogs Bear and Peluche set off in 2018 to live the life of their dreams as a family. They self converted a 2004 Sprinter van into a cozy home on wheels – and aptly named her Tawanda (we like to think it’s because it sounds like ‘to wander’)! Since February 2019 they have been a van life couple and chronicle their adventures on their channel ‘Let’s Play Ride and Seek‘.
7) Travel to Osaka & Kyoto, Japan…SOLO!
Patrice Averilla, also known as AVELOVINIT, is a travel vlogger from the Philippines that likes to take a deep dive into discussing itineraries, where to go, where to eat and where to stay. Oh, and did we mention she’s a professional-level solo traveler? In this video she takes you to check out the Fushimi Inari Shrine and Pontocho Alley, among other cool things. But check out here channel because she covers literally every topic in travel, even down to where to go outlet shopping in Paris.
8) See what Cancun looks like post COVID-19
Some YouTubers are taking it upon themselves to teach us how the pandemic has affected some of our favorite travel destinations. Mariel of Mariel de Viaje has created an entire series of videos about travel in the times of COVID which show what ‘the new normal’ looks like in Cancun, new flight regulations in Mexico, and what steps restaurants and hotels have taken in order to invite tourists to return. But her channel is not all COVID-19, she has a healthy collection of travel videos from around the world that are worth checking out.
9) Don your favorite dirndl…we’re going to Oktoberfest!
Gloria Atanmo in on an indefinite adventure to become a student of the world and become educated in subjects that reach far beyond the realms of a classroom. On her YouTube channel, The Blog Abroad, she gives viewers an inside look at what it’s like growing up in a Nigerian home and talks about her experiences as an African-American travelers. She’s been to Cyprus, Sri Lanka and Egypt, but in this video she takes us into the heart of Germany’s most popular festival.
10) Go off the grid in the USA
Bionca is a van-lifer doing things a bit different. She’s chosen to live Off the Grid with a Kid! Bionca is a life coach, public speaker and author; her 9 year old son Carter is an avid gamer and humanitarian. Together they we want to inspire others to be bold enough to chase their dreams despite challenges along the way. Which is why they’re now living in a 1989 Ford Econoline van while traveling the U.S.!
We don’t often feature many dudes on GGI but this one is a bit of a firm favorite amongst our members…
11) Did you know the Dutch once colonized New York? Take a tour of Harlem’s namesake… Haarlem, Netherlands
Wolters World gives honest first-hand travel advice to help fellow travelers get the most out of their Travel experience. They discuss the best and worst parts of traveling so that you can be better prepared for your vacation in a way that helps you know more about the culture and people of the city, country, or region you are going to visit. From the shocks of traveling to a new country, to the things you don’t do when you travel, to the things you will love and hate, to general travel tips for packing, budgeting, planning, safety and more.
By Vianessa Castaños
Vianessa is a producer, actor and culture & lifestyle writer whose love of history and gastronomy has propelled her to travel the world…until she eventually landed at Girl Gone International where she serves as Deputy Editor.