As a traveler at heart there may be nothing better than abbreviating your day by watching a travel video, one that whisks you away ever so briefly and feeds that craving to be on the road. If you either can’t go or are desperately waiting to, it’s a way to quell that chronic and ever-present traveler’s impatience. Let’s take a second, shall we, to appreciate the people who’ve embarrassed themselves with a video camera around the world so we didn’t have to.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as you might think to find great travel videos on the web, ones both inspiring and worth your time to watch. So to help, I’ve put together a handful of places where you can find them and one that are often well-crafted and interesting to boot.
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Here are the best 7 sites I found to watch travel videos for free. So sit back and relax, take in a film and feel that impatience ebbing away…
Vimeo remains my favorite travel video hosting site mainly because of the high quality of the videos. And because the featured videos are voted by a massive number of users, you get the cream after it has risen to the top. The only problem I have with Vimeo videos is their long load time. If you hit play immediately you’ll get interruptions in the stream, which can be highly irritating. Best to let the content load for a few before you play it. But with their community, quality of content and user-friendly interface Vimeo has become the web’s second most popular video hosting site (after YouTube).
Of course travel perennial Lonely Planet comes in high on the list. And over the past year their “TV” site has gotten a whole lot slicker. With a full map of destinations you can get your absolute fill of travel videos. It’s a streaming site so you can’t take any of the videos with you, or post them anywhere, but where it lacks in customization, it makes up in quality and user-friendliness. And you can filter titles by Lonely Planet staff or amateur to weed out what you don’t want.
A slick site that has a selection of very well-produced and embeddable travel videos, but their selection of destinations is limited and I think no one told them actual people would be browsing their site (it’s not very user-friendly). Either way the content is there, with HD capabilities too. They also have a You Tube channel and a cable TV show.
Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll have built Uncornered Market into a great little site that gives you travel without the corporate bent. Their video library isn’t studio produced but it does have about 60 posted videos that show their readers where they’ve been, which amounts to some really cool destinations (like Tajikistan, Kashgar and the Galapagos). Audrey and Daniel keep it very personal and put you right alongside them in the middle of the action.
A little higher up the production scale, Tripfilms caters more to the marketing side of things. But the interface isn’t terrible and there’s a wide variety of destinations. The map is a little frustrating but the featured videos I found to be consistently good. The site itself is less than a year old but already have around 700 videos on the site, a good portion of those worth watching.
Founded by Condé Nast and Mtv alum, a handy site with a great selection of videos from 10 world regions and touting nearly 10,000 videos to their name. The navigation is poor to fair and it doesn’t look like their design has been updated since the early aughts, but the content is there, along with embedding capabilities and a moderately sized community to go along with it. They don’t require registration to submit comments so watch out for spam!
One of the better travel video sharing sites I found. You can search by tag and location and they have a great selection of user-uploaded vids to watch. Plus you can find photos, attractions, hotels and other travel related goodies on the site. Sadly, while they claim to have the largest collection of travel videos on the internet, most aren’t over a minute.
Top photo courtesy of Online Photography School.