Flight Centre Travel Blog Awards 2016

March 1, 2016 by Flight Centre UK

Here at Flight Centre we thought it was about time that individual bloggers and companies who share our passion for exploring the world receive recognition for their insightful opinions and content. Enter the Flight Centre Travel Blog Awards: the chance to showcase the talent of some of the finest travel bloggers, each of whom excel at sharing their globetrotting experiences.

Posing with some local ladies in Delhi

Two of our Judges, Phil Murray and Lauren Burvill, in India

A judging panel of our own Travel Experts have been busy scouring the internet and, after much research, have whittled down a shortlist of nominees. These nominees represent travel blogs that are an excellent source of both information and inspiration.

But now it’s up to YOU. We need your help deciding who should receive the ultimate accolade in the 2016 Flight Centre Travel Blog Awards across the following eight categories. To help you decide who should be crowned the winners in our inaugural blogger commendation event, we’ve summarised each of the nominees below:

Established Travel Blogs

The candidates for this category are all established travel bloggers who have written extensively about their world adventures for many years:

Mrs Ayla’s Adventures: A self-confessed travel fanatic and food lover, London-based Ayla documents her journeys with her husband which have taken her across several continents, including 12 countries in Africa. Managing to combine her passion for visiting far-flung places with a full-time job, Ayla’s blog provides insightful and inspirational tales.

Inside The TravelLab: As one of the most well-known and experienced on this list of established travel bloggers, doctor turned travel writer Abigail King has travelled to more than 50 countries. Sharing her wisdom and providing the inside track on both well-known destinations as well as less familiar places, Inside The TravelLab is an guide to exploring the world, full of handy practical travel tips.

Time Travel Turtle: 600 stories from 50 countries over four years of travelling, Michael Turtle’s diverse blog is full of intriguing stories as he writes about his discoveries across the globe. With a curiosity for both people and places in equal measure, Time Travel Turtle uncovers the cultural appeal of everywhere he ventures.

Alex In Wanderland: A New York native with an incurable case of wanderlust, Alex has ventured across the world, documenting her adventures since 2009. Having had her passport stamped throughout much of Asia, South America, North America, Europe and the Caribbean, her blog is a wealth of information to inspire her established audience of would-be travellers.

The winner is: Mrs Ayla’s Adventures

Up And Coming Travel Blogs

Showcasing emerging bloggers with a passion for travel who have recently come to prominence, our list of sites in this category have only been live for two years or less:

JWalking: Having plucked up the courage to sell their house and travel the world in 2015, Jo and Jon have embarked on a journey that has taken them to Australia and New Zealand after beginning their adventures in mainland Europe. JWalking is a fascinating account of the places they encounter day by day.
Hand Luggage Only: Starting their blog in 2014, University friends Lloyd & Yaya wanted to find a way of sharing their stories with other travellers across the globe. With thousands of followers across a number of social media channels, Hand Luggage Only also features an innovative door-to-door travel planner function.
I Am Aileen: Aileen Adalid quit her job in the Philippines to travel the world. A passionate blogger, describing herself as a digital nomad, Aileen champions the notion that a life of travel is a plausible lifestyle choice. With all four corners of the globe in her sights, Aileen has already built up an impressive following documenting her travels through Asia and Europe.
Where Is Noodles: Taking inspiration from her grandparents who spent weekends telling Nikki about the wonderful and amazing places they were lucky enough to visit, she has a passion for adventure and noodles in equal measure. Since embarking on her travels in 2014 (which have seen her visit parts of Asia and beyond), Nikki has earned a growing reputation as a travel blogger with over 12,000 followers.

The winner is: I Am Aileen

Destination Expert Blogs

The shortlisted bloggers in this category each provide a wealth of fascinating information about places to visit around the world. Here’s our shortlist:

12 HrsProduced by Anna Peuckert and Soren Jepsen, this site provides concise 12-hour itineraries for enjoying a number of cities in Europe and North America. Informative, and complemented by visual illustrations of must-see places, 12 Hrs is crammed full of highly curated travel tips to inspire short-stay visitors.

And North: Detailing New York state trail recommendations beyond the Big Apple itself, this blog is a curated guide founded by Emma Tuccillo. And North features contributions from a number of talented writers and photographers who explore upstate New York, reviewing an array of eateries and places to stay.

Passported: This family-focused travel journal offers a plethora of hotel reviews, outdoor itineraries, and tips for vacationing with kids. Passported provides an abundance of information to both inform and inspire, featuring destinations across North and South America, as well as parts of Europe.

The Lazy Travelers: Best friends Ashley from London and Carolyn from Philadelphia, are both avid travelgoers who blog about their ventures; together they been to parts of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. With thousands of followers across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, The Lazy Travelers provide fascinating tales of the places and people they encounter.

The Travelling Light: A curated, visual and ever-growing collection of special, sometimes secret places to visit around the world, this blog is produced by Katie McKnoulty. The Travelling Light blog offers extensive information for visitors to cities such as Amsterdam, Melbourne and San Francisco to name just a few.

The winner is: The Travelling Light

Luxury Travel Blogs

This category hosts the shortlisted nominees for the best luxury travel blogs. These are sites for discerning travellers who enjoy residing at some the world’s finest hotels and holidaying at exclusive resorts. Here’s our selection:

The Style Traveller: Fashion editor Bonnie Rakhit’s blog details some of the world’s coolest hangouts and great places to shop, eat, sleep, drink and party. Based in London and with a strong social following of more than 15,000 people on Twitter alone, Bonnie travels the globe savouring exclusive holiday destinations.
Silverspoon London: Silverspoon London is a luxury lifestyle, food and travel blog run by Angie Silver who has more than 10,000 Instagram followers. As a devoted traveller with a wanderlust and desire to embark on adventures around the world, her informative blog details trips she’s taken around Europe, South East Asia, Australia, the USA and South Africa.
The Style Junkies: An independent luxury travel website exploring some of the most exclusive retreats, city breaks, and top of the range destinations, The Style Junkies has a loyal following across multiple social media channels. Encountering destinations far and wide with the ‘WOW’ factor, editor Myrthe Strijbos provides readers with accurate reviews and recommendations of some of the most sought-after resorts around the world.
Luxury Columnist: Suze, aka the luxury columnist, shares tips for enjoying attractions and fine cuisine at locations across Europe and further afield. Based in London, her inspirational lifestyle blog with engaging content receives more than 1,399,000 monthly hits and she also has over 45,000 followers across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Lux Life: Picking some of the most luxurious and picturesque places to visit around the world, Catherine Lux has an engaged audience who follow her journeys from America to Asia and everywhere in between! Picking some of the most luxurious and picturesque places to visit, her lifestyle blog is crammed full of reviews of bars and restaurants she has encountered on her travels.

The winner is: Lux Life

Travel Photography Blogs

This category showcases places around the world captured through a camera lens to incredible effect. Here’s our shortlist:

A Lady In London: Established by Julie Falconer in 2007, A Lady In London is a distinguished travel and lifestyle blog. Her passion for travel has taken her to more than 100 countries around the world. Originating in San Francisco but now based in London, Julie’s blog provides her audience with a mix of travelogues and reviews complemented by stunning photography.
Jungles In Paris: Focusing on culture, craft, geography and wildlife, Jungles in Paris attempts to tell edifying, inspiring stories that celebrate the multi-coloured variety of the world around us. This blog is documentary photography and filmmaking at its finest, using a network of professional photographers and filmmakers.
Local Wanderer: On a quest to find some of the most beautiful travel spots in the USA and Canada, this travel blog created by Elaine and Taylor features awe-inspiring photography of places they’ve visited, focusing on hidden gems and localism as opposed to more mainstream tourist spots. Creating an Instagram account to share the places, they went from 0 to 28,000+ followers in the first six weeks they spent on the road.
Johan Lolos: Belgian-born self-taught travel/adventure photographer Johan Lolos describes himself as a world explorer with a passion for the outdoors and the wilderness. After graduating he left Europe and spent a whole year exploring Australia and showcasing the beauty of the country to his audience, mainly on Instagram.
Otts World: Having travelled the world for a decade, Sherry Ott’s blog consists of more than 11,000 photos shot across five different continents. Featuring a variety of beautiful photographs which perfectly capture the many fascinating places she has visited, Otts World has more than 35,000 followers on Twitter alone.

The winner is: Otts World

Foodie Travel Blogs

The shortlist of nominations for this category features bloggers with an adventurous appetite for travel and cuisine in equal measure:

Eat Like A Girl: Passionate food writer Niamh Shields has travelled extensively, providing a fascinating insight on her blog on the culinary delights available in myriad far-flung destinations. Her extensive following across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are also treated to a whole host of recipe suggestions, inspired by her global adventures.

Feast – An Edible Trip: Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller celebrate the delights of Canadian cuisine as they explore their homeland. The Vancouver-based writers and adventurers have also ventured to Germany, Austria and Sri Lanka on their travels.

Legal Nomads: Providing a chronological account of living and eating her way around the world for almost a decade, Jodi Ettenberg is a former lawyer with a passion for travel. As a celiac sufferer, her insightful blog also provides comprehensive gluten-free guides whilst exploring the globe.

Eat Your World: Devised by New York-based Laura Siciliano-Rosen and Scott Rosen, Eat Your World informs travellers about the best quintessential eats around the globe. With comprehensive guides to enjoying the best local dishes in more than 130 cities, Eat Your World also invites contributors to offer local food and drink suggestions.

Will Travel For Food: Mayssam, originally from Lebanon but now based in Montreal, is a food and travel writer in search of the next culinary discovery. Be it a Michelin-starred restaurant or street food, Will Travel For Food is a wonderful gastronomic guide to browse and enjoy.

With Husband In Tow: Amber and Eric Hoffman follow their stomachs around the world, in search of adventures in food! Having explored the menus on offer in over 65 countries and counting, With Husband In Tow is an enticing read – much like many of the dishes they write about.

Mondo Mulia: Giulia Mule is a food and travel blogger born in Rome but now living in London who has built up a huge following since she started her in 2011. With a huge variety of recipes on her site, the Mondo Mulia blog now has 58,000 Instagram followers.

The winner is: With Husband in Tow

Expat Travel Blogs

The list of nominations for this category feature expat bloggers who have experienced life abroad and shared their encounters of embracing new cultural experiences:

Pack Your Passport: Documenting life on the other side of the world in New Zealand and Australia where she spent three years of her life between 2010 and 2013, Beverley’s Pack Your Passport blog provides a candid account of experiencing life in a foreign country, with all the trials and tribulations this brings. Informative and inspirational, Beverley provides a wealth of travel tips for her followers.
Cheryl Howard: An ardent explorer of Europe and beyond, Cheryl Howard is a Canadian expat from Toronto who moved to Berlin where she hosts monthly meetups for fellow expats. Her inspirational travel blog has over 32,000 followers and accounts her adventures across four continents and 32 countries.
Sarepa: Now residing in Colombia, Sarah Duncan, or Sarepa as she is otherwise known, hails from Australia. This writer, author, journalist and travel blogger previously called the UK and Spain her adopted home, but has since become captivated by Colombia and its people. She provides insightful articles about all aspects of living and travelling around Colombia on her blog.
The Mochilera Diaries: Hailing from the USA, Leah Davis is a travel blogger who has lived in Thailand and Colombia, and is currently based in Stockholm, Sweden. Detailed and likely to kick-start your wanderlust, The Mochilera Diaries was inspired by Leah’s visit to South America and now documents her voyages across the world, absorbing the diverse cultures she encounters.
Katrinka Abroad: Currently based in Istanbul, Katrinka Nadworny eloquently documents life in her adopted home as well as her extensive travels across Asia, the Middle East and North Amercia. Katrinka’s travel blog beautifully captures the destinations she explores, offering fascinating insight into the contrasting ways of life she encounters.

The winner is: Sarepa

Travel Publications

The candidates for this category are all leading online resources produced by a team of passionate travel writers. We’ve detailed each of the nominees below:

Wanderlust Travel Magazine: One of the UK’s leading magazines for people with a passion for travel, Wanderlust was launched in 1993 by Paul Morrison and Lyn Hughes, who schemed the project on the back of a sick bag onboard a flight to Ecuador. As an informative resource both online and offline, Wanderlust Travel Magazine is an essential read for all aspects of planning an adventure with in-depth destination guides as well as invaluable practical advice before you go.

Food and Travel: Food and Travel Magazine is the trusted insiders’ guide to the world of gourmet travel, with editions in a number of different languages. Appealing to readers with a love of adventure and gastronomy in equal measure, this publication has been an inspiration to many since it was first launched in 1997.

Condé Nast Traveller: Featuring in-depth guides for the discerning traveller, including city breaks, beach holidays and romantic breaks, as well as a question and answer advice section, Conde Nast Traveller is the UK’s best-selling upmarket monthly publication with a growing online presence.

Sidetracked: Led by chief editor and designer John Summerton, Sidetracked Magazine is a print and online journal featuring journeys and expeditions off the beaten track. Founded in 2011, Sidetracked is an excellent resource for personal stories of travel depicted with stunning photography.

The winner is: Sidetracked

Update: We’ve now announced all our eight winners in the Flight Centre Travel Blog Awards 2016. The full run down of the results with quotes from some of the winners can be viewed here.