Create your first Travel Video before your travel

One of the best things I ever did was make travel videos before I went traveling. By the time you have spent the money and effort getting to an incredible location, you want to be able to take it all in. Enjoy the moment for all its worth. 

The last thing you want is to be figuring out how to capture it all. Just imagine sitting under a palm tree in Fiji as a massive coconut crab walk by….  and you're trying to figure out how to switch your camera settings and swap lenses. 

Nobody needs that kind of panic while travelling. So what can you do to avoid this?

My first travel videos were what you could call “local travel videos”. I just wanted to capture the world around me and share it with other people. I guess it helps living in Cape Town, one of the most sought after travel Video destinations in the world.

Through experimenting with short videos about my experiences and my desire to show off my home city, I learnt some valuable lessons about what it means to create great looking travel videos. When I started venturing further and further away from home I could see that my video creation skills had been nurtured to specifically capture my experiences.  

I would like to share with you the single most important thing about making your first Travel video.

Decide on a Travel Video style

With ⅓ of Youtube’s content being Travel Video content, it is no surprise that these videos come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There really is a massive variety of travel video styles out there to choose from. 

Some people prefer the conventional “long vlog style” and others the shorter music video style. Some people will include themselves and others will only show off the locations and other people. Some travel videos are more story and narrative focussed, and others more cinematic or visuals focused.

Most people want to get that cinematic look and feel, because well, it just looks so damn cool. And we have already discussed how to get a cinematic look and feel for your travel videos here

Go out and be a tourist in your own town for a bit. Make a short video mimicking your desired outcome. You will quickly learn exactly what it is, you need to focus on next to get it perfect. So that when you are travelling you wont need to be thinking about it anymore. If you have gone and made a local travel video, (either for practice or as a tourist in your own town) please share it with us. You can drop a link in the comments section below. Also got any questions? Fire Away...

However, before you can really know what your style is, you need to better understand what it is that you want to be making. Too many people want to run before they can crawl, and so end up disappointed in the results of their first attempts and give up video making all together. 

If you want to get ahead in making progress towards the style you ultimately want to be creating, you need to find your purpose first. 

It’s a simple question: 

Why do you want to make travel videos? 

Answering this will lead you in a direction that will unlock your true video making potential. Here are a few possible answers we have heard from our students.

  1. I want to share my experiences with my family.

  2. I want to just make something that just looks epic.

  3. I want to give my friends FOMO.

  4. I want to sell my tour offering to travellers

  5. I want to document my city for travellers that are coming here

The point is each of these reasons will take its creator down a different path. Let me show you.

  1. Family vacation will be people focused. Parents & grandparents are more interested in the enjoyment of their children in a beautiful location than they are about where they are. This means more time should be spent on personal interaction shots. Narrative updates are vital as the emotional components of these types of videos guide you towards the purpose. 

  2. Epic videos will require extra gear like GoPros and drones. Cinematography, Adventure and Action will be the focal point and this means more time needs to be spent on fewer but more creative shots that lend themselves to dynamic editing. Less is more. 

  3. FOMO videos are a combination of the previous two. A perfectly woven story between what is said and what is shown. Epic shots alone are not enough to create FOMO. your inclusion in them will add that extra touch.

  4. Marketing content naturally has a very different style, which requires a unique story telling perspective and the accompanying shots to match.

  5. Documentary videos require more time on the information and less on the creativity of the shots. 

Watch other Travel videos in your Niche

However, before you can really know what your style is, you need to better understand what it is that you want to be making. Too many people want to run before they can crawl, and so end up disappointed in the results of their first attempts and give up video making all together. 

If you want to get ahead in making progress towards the style you ultimately want to be creating, you need to find your purpose first. 

It’s a simple question: 

Why do you want to make travel videos? 

Answering this will lead you in a direction that will unlock your true video making potential. Here are a few possible answers we have heard from our students.

  1. I want to share my experiences with my family.

  2. I want to just make something that just looks epic.

  3. I want to give my friends FOMO.

  4. I want to sell my tour offering to travellers

  5. I want to document my city for travellers that are coming here

The point is each of these reasons will take its creator down a different path. Let me show you.

  1. Family vacation will be people focused. Parents & grandparents are more interested in the enjoyment of their children in a beautiful location than they are about where they are. This means more time should be spent on personal interaction shots. Narrative updates are vital as the emotional components of these types of videos guide you towards the purpose. 

  2. Epic videos will require extra gear like GoPros and drones. Cinematography, Adventure and Action will be the focal point and this means more time needs to be spent on fewer but more creative shots that lend themselves to dynamic editing. Less is more. 

  3. FOMO videos are a combination of the previous two. A perfectly woven story between what is said and what is shown. Epic shots alone are not enough to create FOMO. your inclusion in them will add that extra touch.

  4. Marketing content naturally has a very different style, which requires a unique story telling perspective and the accompanying shots to match.

  5. Documentary videos require more time on the information and less on the creativity of the shots. 

Watch other Travel videos in your Niche

Once you have found your WHY, you can start looking for examples of what other people in your niche are doing. As previously mentioned, YouTube is a great place to explore what others are creating in the travel scene. 

Pay close attention to how much of the video is narrative with either a person directly addressing the camera or using a voice over, and how much is just dynamic editing to music.

Also pay attention to the shot variety, the length of each shot and the pace of the edit. All of these things will be great indicators for you to start building a template that will help you go towards reaching your goal.

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Make a Local Travel Video

After you have done a bit of research and got some ideas of what you want to create, go out and find a location or activity to practice on. It does not have to be a massive task. You can even do it at your home, in your garden, in a nearby park, coffee shop or restaurant. 

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