5 Tips for Making Amazing Travel Videos

Most of us are guilty of being constantly glued to our smartphones. And vacation or traveling is no exception. We are always photographing, uploading, snapchatting or “liking” something we view on social media. There are massive benefits to documenting every aspect of our lives through amazing travel video. It broadens our knowledge of the world and affords us the ability to be more connected than ever before.

So, one can hardly blame an enthusiastic yogi when he or she wants to document an epic travel adventure! From mere amateur to a professional shooter, I’ll tell you the in’s and out’s of what you need to know to make insanely awe-inspiring travel videos. Keep reading for top tips on creating amazing travel videos! 

Top Tips: How to Make Amazing Travel Videos - Yovada Life

Tip #1: Gear

You don’t have to spend your entire paycheck on the latest film equipment to capture compelling travel footage. These days, the video capabilities of Go Pros, smartphones and cameras that shoot in 4K, are affordable and accessible choices for the novice video shooter. If you’re more handy with a video camera and know your way around the technical aspects of operating more advanced equipment, check out B&H for professional gear, ranging from cameras, lenses, microphones, and drones.  

Tip #2: Shooting

So, what makes for enticing video? This is a totally subjective topic because while my grandmother might prefer full-length video of her sleeping cat (Zzzzz!), you need to think in terms of what you want to communicate to your audience. Are you going for the “vlog-type” approach where you basically video-blog your experiences? Vlogs are kind of like a video journal that you’d post to talk about different aspects of your travels. Lynn and Noah Camp, of Because We Camp, have a strong vlog game. Check out their YouTube channel for inspiration!

You can also make videos that tell a story with interviews and weave in different moments of your travel journey. Dan and Leah van der Kooy (that’s me!) of Off The Main Drag, produce travel videos that are shot with a Panasonic GH4 and edited using a MacBook Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro software. Our approach is to tell our audience the pros and cons of worldwide travel, taking into consideration the different cultures, obstacles, challenges, and upsides to living on the road.

There’s no one right way to tell your story. Shoot content that you find interesting and get valuable feedback from your viewers by posting on various social media platforms. We created our own WordPress site and use Facebook and Twitter, but others go so far as to also make a YouTube page, Instagram and harness the power of Periscope.

Tip #3: Editing

The thing that divides your videos between simple footage shot while on vacation compared to a well thought out, compelling produced video piece is the editing. Editing might sound like a scary word, one that only the professionals use, but the accessibility to basic editing programs now makes it easier than ever to make your videos look polished and original. Check out iMovie. It’s a step by step process for iPad and iPhone users to edit, cut and paste video footage shot on an iPhone.

Tip #4: Get Followers

Where will you make your video debut? Facebook, YouTube and Periscope are the obvious choices, but you can also start your own blog and use a Twitter feed and Instagram to grow your audience. Gaining viewers for your videos is like anything else…if you want love, you have to show love. Search for like-minded yogis like yourself and follow their social media page. Ask for feedback on your own videos. “Like,” share and promote the videos from others that you find interesting and ask your followers to return the favor. Anne Rapp and Brandon Quittem of The Yoga Nomads do a great job of posting compelling video and they have a well maintained Facebook page and website.

Tip #5: Bonus!

  1. Want to look super weird, but make cool videos? Invest in a selfie stick. There, I said it. A selfie stick or even a small tripod will help stabilize your shot and viewers will appreciate the steady picture.
  1. Hold your smartphone camera the correct way! Instead of holding your phone vertical to the incredible scene you’re shooting, shoot horizontal to your subject.
  1. Be fearless! Start a niche, share your world and start a travel revolution. There are no mistakes.* Tell your story, no matter how big or how small and let the universe in on your epic journey. As you share your videos on social media outlets, your digital footprint will help bolster the spirit of other aspiring travel yogis.

*Don’t let your zeal for sharing your stellar travel moments take away from the present moment. If you’re sacrificing now and trading immersing yourself into your surroundings for the perfect video shot, you’ve missed the whole point of traveling. Find the balance between how often you shoot video and make sure you take the time to appreciate the authentic, exotic and fleeting moment you’re in.

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Leah Van Der Kooy

As a writer, yoga teacher and world-traveler, I have been lucky to live in some of the most incredible places on earth. Along the way, my curiosity about new cultures and the connectedness that happens when I step outside my comfort zone, have unveiled a depth of experience in my life that remains unmatched by anything other than travel. I travel, therefore, I am. Currently based in The Hague in The Netherlands, my recent projects include hosting a travel series for CNN.com and writing for a handful of travel based publications. I can usually be found contemplating my next fresh story idea or on my yoga mat. More likely than not, good food and a delicious cup of tea is involved. Follow me at offthemaindrag.com and on Twitter @leahvanderkooy