How to Make Travel Videos for YouTube in 6 Steps for Beginners

Last Updated on November 13, 2023 by Christine Kaaloa

This video is about How to Make a travel Video in 6 Steps for Beginners


Filming myself traveling solo is something I’ve been doing for years. I love making travel videos for YouTube, which inspire and inform travelers about foreign cultures and destinations. But what makes a good travel video on Youtube?

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How to Make Travel Videos for YouTube

As a travel filmmaker, I find adventure in making travel videos for YouTube. Travel is unpredictable and I while I aim for video ideas, I never truly know how my travel stories will turn out, until I get my footage home and into the editing bay.

So how to make travel videos for YouTube? Starting a YouTube channel starts with defining your personal brand and niche audience.  Brand foundation will define your travel channel and the trips you will ultimately take for it.

Whether i’m hired to film a corporate event in a downtown office or be a shooter on a crew filming an interview in a Honolulu home…  travel in its varied forms excites me and I typically work/collaborate with a film crew. But for GRRRLTRAVELER, the travel videos I make for my YouTube channel audiences, encapsulates the adventure of a solo female traveler with international bucket list goals.

Whatever your brand and channel’s interests are… that is what you are filming and traveling for.


How to Make a Travel Video for Beginners (Summary)

Essential things to know about how to make travel videos for beginners

Watch the video if you want  examples of what I talk about below.

1. Trip Coordinating

As a travel and food YouTuber, my goal is to engineer the best travel video ideas and obviously, I don’t want to drain my savings on a film trip. So the big work happens before I take a trip. Filming travel videos for destinations requires – researching video and trip ideas, balancing budget, pitching sponsorship, and strategizing how you’ll get paid for your time and expense. My shoot schedule and video ideas take precedence over a personal trip. Your goal is to get the best content and video stories which will inspire travel audiences.

If you’re starting a travel channel on YouTube,  you will be a travel videographer filming videos around your personal vacation and budget. But starting out, there is a hunger and a passion to creativity. You’re exploring the destination for yourself as a traveler and then through your camera which gives it a new perspective and dimension.

Back in the day, many budget travel audiences aligned with my brand, because I was trying to do everything- film and vacation- with my personal pocket money and my livelihood and freelance video earnings outside of my channel. My ideas were a result of my personal travel budget.

Today, my budget and trip planning revolves around my video ideas, my channel and engineering the best evergreen video, which will grow in views, monetization and will provide an invaluable peek into traveling solo in a destination.

As you grow an audience, you need to find more ways to make your channel sustainable without dipping into your pocket for everything. Pitching sponsorship and tourism boards becomes a necessity for most travel content creators. The only time you do not need sponsors is if your channel has healthy traffic/income and a following.

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2. Prepping film gear for a trip

Travel is unpredictable- things go awry and equipment can get damaged or stolen. You need it to be thoughtful of the camera gear you pack to ensure all goes smoothly in the field. Weather and climate, changing environmental conditions can affect gear, as do your activities and what type of camera coverage you need.

In Italy, I was scheduled to film a cooking class with an Italian grandma. I was told there would be a couple of her family members there and maybe another grandma. But when I arrived, there were family members and four Italian grandmas and I had to quickly change my idea of how I would film the cooking class while keeping noise at a minimum for filming. Luckily it all worked out.

Filming a road trip to the Arctic Ocean in sub-degree weather, I knew the winter weather would drain my camera batteries quickly, so I needed to buy extra batteries before my trip. Your environment will change and you must change with it. Gear insurance: I don’t purchase annual homeowners insurance on my gear, so I use World Nomads travel insurance to cover my gear when I travel.

Download my Free Camera Equipment Buying Guide 

3. State your goals in video introductions 

What is your video about? What is the travel challenge or goal you are undertaking? Why should your audience be interested in watching it? State your goal up front with a video introduction.

Video introductions force a creator to be clear and intentional about their video idea. Yes, you should have an idea before you start filming. Video introductions also prep your audience as to what they’re going to see and the value they’re going to get from watching your video. Audiences need to know what they’re stopping their scroll for.

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4. Popular types of footage for storytelling

Varying your shots between broll, vlogging and voiceover narration- helps travel audiences experience your virtual trip for themselves. Video is a visual language and shoot style to shot choices tell a story in a more visceral way.

Although you can film an entire travel video with just vlogging –  many YouTube personality-based vloggers do this- it is far more interesting to watch a travel video of sweeping panoramic shots, closeup shots of cultural detail, with a sprinkle of vlogging footage to share your travel experiences.

B-roll (aka beauty roll): Alternative shots which help tell a story.

Vlogging: Talking into your camera as it records. See 11 best vlogging cameras

Voiceover Narration: scripting your ideas, recording them and adding them in during the editing process.

how to make travel videos on youtube
how to make travel videos on youtube for beginners

5. What music should you use in travel videos?

Epidemic Sound has one of the best and largest music libraries. Although it is subscription based, it is popular with YouTubers, because it is a curated library. This means you don’t need to waste hours researching and listening to 30 songs to find one good one which works for your type of video. And you don’t have to worry about researching usage permissions.

I’ve tried other music libraries through Tastemade MCN (an MCN I was with a long time ago) and while they’re okay, the moment you unhook from the MCN, you have to go through the process of reverifying your usage permissions for all the music you used when you were under them. I’ve also tried SoundCloud. I only recommend it if you have quantities of time to spend researching music and looking for copyright free music.

Get a month of free music at Epidemic Sound here.

6. Editing is the art of curating and sculpting

Video editing shapes the story. It is also your second chance to clean up your filming and hosting. This is the second seat of storytelling power and guideline for editing a travel video for YouTube should be focused value.

 Audiences are paying with their TIME so they will be selective with where they invest it. In fact, many YouTube viewers will abandon a video in the first 8-15 seconds, if you’re not engaging or your video fails to deliver an expected value.

A naive travel filmmaking creator makes videos selfishly for themselves and what they want to see; there is no story. A good travel YouTuber -on the other hand- makes their travel video story of value to others. They film, edit and curate footage with their audiences in mind. They choose footage which communicates a story. 

✰Travel Filmmaking Tips for YouTube

Download my YouTube Holy Grail checklist: 10 Things you NEED to know to Grow on YouTube

Get my Profitable YouTube Starter Kit where you can learn tricks to increase your income, so you’re not just relying on Google Adsense.

Interested in more professional travel vlogging tips:

How to Become a Digital Nomad
Packing tips for the Ultimate Carry-On
Packing tips for a Travel Vlogger & Filmmaker

Tips for Creating a Home Vlogging Studio

Why you need to be on YouTube as a creator

Looking for YouTube mentorship, visit here. What would you add to this 6 step list of how to make travel videos?



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