24 November 2016
Make awesome video with 12 Best Travel vlogging tips
Are you going on a holiday soon, and want to make a video that will help you remember it? Read on for some helpful travel vlogging tips that will help you make travel videos you'll want to watch over and over again.
1) Don't film everything
Yes, really. The first travel vlogging tip is you shouldn't film everything you experience on your trip. I understand that sometimes you don't want to miss a single moment. I've been there and done that. When I returned from one of my trips, I had over a hundred clips I didn't really want to use in the end - clips of some food I ate, a video tour of my accommodation, my plane ride and more.
I'm not saying that those clips are bad. They're nice clips and they capture the moment, but I personally felt that they're not interesting memories that I want to make a vlog of. Also, I spent so time glued to my camera trying to film everything, that I didn't really live in the moment.
So set aside some time to be clear on what sort of video(s) you want to make. This way, you'll save a lot of time, camera battery, and you'll have a better experience travelling overall.
2) Centre your vlogs around an activity or place
There's many different directions your video can take. Many people do it chronologically (usually day to day vlogs). However, I've found that videos that are centred around a place or activity are a lot more interesting than a video that covers whole day.
If you find a place you really enjoyed spending your time in, you should make a video of that. If you found yourself loving a lot of the food a country has to offer, why not make a food review vlog? Or if you're travelling to shop, you could do a haul video of everything you bought.
3) Keep your videos short and succinct
The best timing for videos is under three minutes, as many people start to lose interest if the video is longer than that. Also, talking segments should not be longer than 30 seconds. I know 30 seconds doesn't seem like much, but people are impatient on social media and are quick to move on if a video doesn't hold their interest.
It also helps to keep in mind that your end goal is to make a video that is a couple of minutes long. When you remember that, you will naturally take shorter videos that capture the essence of what you're trying to show.
At the end of the trip, you should have a lot of 3-7 second long clips that you compile to make the finished product. It may seem like you have bits and pieces, but you will thank yourself as shorter clips will save you so much time during editing.
4) Don't be afraid to show more of yourself
To be honest with you, I still feel camera shy plenty of times. I know how difficult it can be to get in front of a camera, especially when there's a lot of other people around.
But remember that you're the backbone of your vlog. You should definitely talk to the camera and give your own perspective on your trip.
Something that helps me speak better to the camera is to pretend I'm talking to a really good friend. That always keeps me smiling, and makes me more natural in front of the camera.
5) Include other people in your vlog
Vlogs always get more interesting when there's other people included. You can include your travel buddies, or some of the local people you've met on your trip.
Pro-tip: Ask them a question.
What most people do is point a camera at their friends, who then wave back and pose at the camera. Try engaging your friends instead, and ask them what they think about the place they're in, or what they liked most about the trip so far. That definitely adds more flavour and personality to your video.
6) Show things from your point of view
The main difference between a travel vlog and a normal travel video is that a travel vlog focuses a lot on you and your personality. You can make your vlog even better by adding some video clips taken from your point of view.
It is a great way to engage your audience and make them feel like they are there with you.
7) Start your video with an establishing shot
An establishing shot is a video clip that shows the big picture of the place you're in. Often times, people spend so much time taking videos of the things they do and the people they're with, that they forget to take videos which establish where they are.
For example, if you're in Tokyo, a good establishing shot would be a view of the city skyline. Adding such a clip to the beginning of your vlog makes it look a lot more professional and sleek.
8) Keep your video steady, not shaky
Shaky video is something that stops people from watching your video longer. The occasional shake when walking down a path is fine, but a video that that constantly jerky is bound to put people off.
You can reduce shakiness by walking slower and making a conscious effort to keep your camera steady. Alternatively, you could use video stabilisation tools found in video editing software or apps, such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Emulsio. I find that reducing the speed of the video where possible also helps reduce the shakiness a lot.
Pro-tip: If you can, invest money into equipment that will help you stabilise your video.
If you don't mind spending some money, you can buy a handheld stabiliser for your phone or compact camera. Alternatively, you could purchase a camera with in-built image stabilisation.
9) Avoid filming with a lot of wind or noise in the background
Where possible, try to vlog at places that are not too noisy. I've filmed at a windy beach before, and it was so difficult to salvage that clip. I had to trim away most of it, and the part that remained was extremely unpleasant to listen to.
A good idea would be to film a test clip, and immediately play it back to check the sound. If the clip sounds noisy, try talking louder. If that still doesn't work, you should try to find a more conducive place to film.
Pro-tip: Use a wind muff
People who don't mind spending money to improve sound quality could purchase a wind muff for their camera. It is like a little tuft of fur you stick on your camera's microphone. It doesn't reduce sound quality, and it virtually removes the annoying sound that is produced with a strong breeze.
10) Choose good music that accentuates the mood of your video
It's pretty important to have music that fits your video, as the music really has an impact on your viewers. Try to choose music that accentuates the vibes you want to bring across.
For example, you'd definitely want to use rock or pop music to get adrenaline rushing when people watch your bungee jumping vlog. Or you might want to use chill tropical beats to make a cool video of your time at the beach.
The YouTube audio library is a great place to get free music. SoundCloud has a better variety of music, but not all songs can be downloaded for free.
11) Put your vlog aside for a while then re-evaluate
Once you're done editing your travel vlog, set it aside for a day or two before you look at it again. I usually do this, and I always find things to improve the second time I watch it. By doing this, you refresh your mind, and it seems like you're watching with a new perspective when it is time to re-evalutate. This is a great technique that you should definitely use.
12) Watch other travel vlogs
Finally, the most important travel vloggin tip: Watch other travel vlogs.
There's a whole lot of vlogs out there on YouTube and they are great learning material for improving your own skills. I learned most of the tips I'm sharing on this list from all of the travel vlogs I've watched in the past.
If you have time to spare, I recommend that you watch popular travel vloggers such as Hey Nadine, Mr Ben Brown, or Fun For Louis.
When you watch them, you will be able to see how the different tips I've talked about come into play in their videos, and you will gain ideas and inspiration for your next vlog.
With that, I have reached the end of my list of travel vlogging tips. I hope this list helped you see that good travel vlogs can be done even with just a cell phone. All you need is to put in some effort and follow the tips I gave you.
Sara is a final year student at Nanyang Technological University. Not only does she enjoy vlogging when she travels, she also likes to write articles and guides which she posts on her blog - Lights, Camera, Adventure!
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