HOW TO USE THIS PAGE TO FIND TRAVEL BLOGS
We've come a long way from the Rosetta Stone to the Internet blog. Whether blogs help us decipher the intricacies of travel, however, is an open question. Blogs are the ultimate expression of free speech for everyone. But when everyone speaks, clarity is often a casualty. What we're attempting at the JoeSentMe Blogistan page is to bring some order to the cacophony. A selection of the best-known (and, we assume, best-read) travel blogs appears in the left column. By executive fiat, we have excluded the promotional blogs penned by travel-industry corporations. We've also excluded destination-specific travel blogs. Many are wonderful, but it would be impossible to list even a representative sample here. What appears in the column below is our assessment of some of the best blogs and bloggers in their respective categories. It is, by definition, brutally selective and highly subjective. If we have missed a blog that you think should be listed here, drop me a line. (By the way, if you are looking for a travel columnist--you know, the folks who write on a set schedule in a more traditional format--please consult our Fellow Travelers page.) -- Joe Brancatelli
REPORTER BITES BLOG! NEWSPAPER FOLKS ADAPT!
As newspaper travel sections shrink, necessity has become the mother of a category of bloggers: ink-stained wretches who've gone electronic. And guess what? Newspaper folks, who know what news is and are trained to write tight on deadline, make great bloggers. HELEN ANDERS (left) of the Austin American-Statesman is the reason the world found out that American Airlines was warehousing planes and passengers in Austin back in December, 2006. Her news sense and her sense of humor make for some great reading. Meanwhile, JEANNE LEBLANC made a name for herself with a witty and insightful travel blog at the Hartford Courant. Then she left the paper and now runs "Coach Class" on her own. And CAROL PUCCI, the veteran practical-travel columnist for the Seattle Times, has branched out with her own blog, too. Overseas, the International Herald Tribune is now little more than an extension of The New York Times. But its interesting, readable and destination-driven GLOBESPOTTERS blog has survived.
TRAVEL MAGAZINE BLOGS: A CATEGORY OF ONE
If newspapers have adapted to the frightening new online travel world, the travel magazines and guidebooks haven't. At least not on the blog front. If nothing else, you'd think they'd want to copy the success of THE PERRIN POST, the fabulous blog fronted by Wendy Perrin (left), consumer news editor of Conde Nast Traveler. And while the INTELLIGENT TRAVEL blog from the editors of the National Geographic Traveler is a notable attempt to cover "authentic and sustainable travel," it lacks the personal voice and attitude that makes a good blog an irresistible read. Among business magazines, you'd be surprised how dreadful the travel-related blogs from BusinessWeek and Forbes can be. The guy who most frequently writes the BusinessWeek blog regurgitates press releases, makes weird and unsupportable claims or passes on conventional wisdom that has been disproved decades ago. Meanwhile, the Forbes blog has never seen a useless "best" list it won't turn into a slideshow. The GULLIVER blog at The Economist is wonderful, but it suffers from its insufferable anonymity. It's hard to trust an item that comes blind from someone we don't know. Business travel is too personal for that conceit.
AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS AND LAWYERS, OH MY!
The world is full of people who blog on the state of the travel industry. But the list of blogs that match good reporting with insightful analysis is pitifully small. Atop that list is the AIRLINE BIZ BLOG at the Dallas Morning News. Terry Maxon, a great airline reporter, is the point man. He naturally focuses on the Dallas-based carriers (American and Southwest) first, but anything important (and some things trivial) gets a full airing. ... A law firm maintains THE NV FLYER and its brief, quite literally, is covering lawsuits against airlines. The hotel industry has spawned a legal blog, too. (The AVIATION LAW PROF BLOG looks at aviation law and international air-travel policy from the academic angle.) And Jim Butler at a big Los Angeles law firm fronts the HOTEL LAW blog. ... Want to know about airports? Harriet Baskas takes the consumer view in STUCK AT THE AIRPORT. If you want to find out how the war on terror is more like a war on our constitutional rights at the airport, consult the ever-vigilant PAPERS, PLEASE. ... And if you want it all in one place, try THE BEAT. It covers everything travel--or should I say everything about the travel industry. Pay particular attention to Jay Campbell's posts, which are superlative.
OBSESSION IS A BLOGGER'S BEST FRIEND
The meek may inherit the earth, but obsessive guys write the best blogs. Fares and other airline price quirks are the particular passions of RICK SEANEY (left) of FareCompare.com, his equally obsessive Web site. ... Andy Abramson, a West Coast public relations guy, is obsessed with technology on the road. He's turned that into the compelling (if sometimes promotional) WORKING ANYWHERE blog. ... David Ourisman, the luxury travel consultant (that's newspeak for travel agent), dotes on traveling in comfort with a touch of class. As a result, his TRAVEL HORIZONS blog is unique. ... TNOOZ covers the convergence of high-tech and travel, mostly from the business side of things. Strange things are happening, of course, so Tnooz quickly becomes an addictive read. ... If you love the minutia of airline regulations, then you really have to sample AIRLINE INFO, which exists only to publish the regulatory filings of the world's airlines. The AIRLINE ROUTE NEWS blog is insanely fascinating because all it covers is, well, airline route news. And EAS FLIGHTS is solely about the essential air service, an obscure government program that subsidizes flights to small airports. Talk about strange!
SOME WORTHY READS FROM ALL OVER BLOGISTAN
I always surfed to the Cleveland Plain Dealer site to read the column by travel editor David Molyneaux (left). Now he's moved on to the TRAVEL MAVEN blog. … Claire Walter has been blogging like crazy for the last few years. Her TRAVEL BABEL blog is always an interesting read. … I'm addicted to the blogs of business traveler WILL ALLEN and novelist CHARLENE BAUMBICH. But I'm biased. They both kept writing me such fascinating E-mails about their respective lives on the road that I urged them to launch blogs so the whole world could read their views. And they did! … MJ ON TRAVEL is a breezy and entertaining blog by an ex-pilot who seems thrilled to be out of the airlines. … PHIL BAKER, the inventor and road warrior, has added a travel-tech blog to his weekly column in the San Diego Transcript. ... Blogs have thankfully brought more female voices to the business travel arena, an area once dominated (like business in general) by men. Among the worthy new distaff opinion makers: Carol Margolis, whose blog is called PEARLS OF TRAVEL WISDOM. ... JEROME GREER CHANDLER has finally launched a blog, all the better to keep track of his mostly safety-related writings for publications around the world.
SEARCHING FOR STILL MORE BLOGS? WELL, THEN...
All of these bloggers not enough for you? Boarding Area and Upgrd.com are alliances of travel bloggers. Virtually all of the blogs are a waste of your time, although Gary Leff's VIEW FROM THE WING has a solid handle on frequent travel programs. ... TravelBlogs.com, TravelBlog.org and Travellerspoint sites collect posts from around the Web and display them in a central location. ... Globenotes and TravelPod offer collections of amateur and trip blogs. And BootsnAll Travel is still where a lot of new bloggers post. ... You may find some diamonds (and a lot of dead blogs) at Flightglobal, the online arm of an aviation-trade publishing group. ... THE HUFFINGTON POST has an endless supply of wanna-be travel bloggers.
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The links in Blogistan or on any page of JoeSentMe.com are chosen strictly and solely for their editorial value for business travelers. We do not trade links with any Web site. None of our links are hidden "affiliations." None appear for advertising or promotional purposes. Our only criteria is value to travelers.
Copyright © 2012 by Joe Brancatelli. All rights reserved. (Last update: 04-24-13)