July 15, 2019 8 min read
Whether you’re creating a travel vlog to share travel tips and destinations with an audience or just to document your own personal experiences, you should use the right equipment to get the best results. For those new to the world of vlogging, travel is one of the best genres for this format because of the potential for visually stunning shots and landscapes. Before launching into your vlogging efforts, take some time to play around with your new equipment to make sure you have a mastery of all its potential capabilities. Both beginner and expert vloggers usually invest in a GoPro to capture their content because of the wide angle feature and the nearly endless number of GoPro accessories to enhance sound, clarity and underwater filming. As you work on creating and editing your travel vlog, take a look at our guide to vlogging and GoPro accessories that can take your content to the next level.
Though beautiful videography is a major component of travel vlogging, creating a story to lead your audience through the experience will create a more captivating and interesting video than merely editing together a series of pretty shots. If you’re about to take off on a particularly long voyage or trip that involves a lot of planning, it may be a good idea to start the video before the trip even begins. For cross-country trips or big camping outings, viewers tend to like seeing how you prepare for such a big undertaking. This portion of the video can act as a guide, instructing people on which items to pack and which to ditch.
Then, before you actually hit the road, you should try to draw up an outline for how the story will progress. To help kickstart your imagination, spend time researching and watching other travel vloggers’ videos to get a sense of how they create a story and present the information to their audience. This will help get you accustomed to this form of video production and may even inspire some of your own stories.
Help keep your videos organized by selecting a format such as travel guide, montage or concentrated experiences. Travel guide vlogs act as just that—a guide to a particular area or destination. You can offer your viewers recommendations on the best places to hike, participate in water sports or where to dine while they’re in the region. Montage videos are a series of shots edited together to music to show an entire overview of a trip. With a montage, the series of shots are creating the story, which can make it more difficult to create a cohesive narrative over a series of random videos, but it is possible to make this format work.
Concentrated experience vlogs are videos that focus in on one specific type of experience. Many vloggers who opt for this format will focus on one particular activity that they enjoy, like surfing or rock climbing. This format is really useful when trying to attract an audience because your videos have a very fixed focus to guide the narrative and attract viewers also interested in this activity.
Anyone with a GoPro and internet access can create a vlog these days, so how are you going to make yours stand out from the crowd? As the person actually embarking on these great adventures, everything you experience will seem interesting and cool, but to a viewer whose only experience of the trip is your video, you need a way to show them exactly how awesome your trip was. If you’ve got a great sense of humor, try incorporating comedy into your video, but make sure that everything you say is engaging. Many new vloggers make the mistake of turning the camera on and saying whatever comes to mind, which can be boring or feel unorganized to the viewer. Nail down some way to approach your vlog differently than others and develop a strong narrative to guide people through without talking too much.
Knowing how to use your equipment is essential to creating really engaging content. You don’t need anything super fancy—most vloggers prefer using a GoPro because of all the potential capabilities, but if you don’t know how to use it, it will show in your videos. GoPro accessories are your best friend as a vlogger because they can help stabilize the camera, increase underwater quality and stay mounted during extreme sports like mountain biking. Once you’ve purchased your GoPro, walk yourself through the manual and test out all the features so that when the time comes, you know exactly how to get the shot you’re looking for. Then, start researching and purchasing GoPro accessories to make your videos even better.
You may end up with hours of quality footage, but even your biggest vlog fans aren’t going to watch a two-hour video of your trip. Break each vlog down into shorter videos to make them more accessible to the everyday viewer. According to HubSpot, the most successful videos on YouTube are around two minutes. However, as a vlogger, you may need a bit more time to condense all your content into one video. Before you have a verified YouTube account, your videos will be limited to 15 minutes or less. As a newbie, you want to keep your videos relatively short as you have a better chance of keeping a viewer engaged for the entire video. Try to aim for two to five minutes on video montages and closer to 10 minutes on travel guides or tips.
For travel vloggers, GoPros are the go-to video recording device because they are small–so it’s easier to carry around while on the road–and they produce super high-quality videos. If you’re traveling often, the advantage of a small camera cannot be understated. Lugging around tons of equipment gets old fast and may slow you down, preventing you to get to all the places you want. Additionally, many vloggers use GoPros to capture experiences of activities not easily recorded on a larger camera. Aside from the size advantage, GoPro accessories offer users tons of new ways to alter their shooting and capture different experiences.
When you purchase a new GoPro, you’ll also receive a few sticky mounts in your starter kit, but you’ll quickly realize how vital this GoPro accessory is to shooting travel vlogs. Your GoPro can slide easily into these mounts, and all you need to do is pull the sticker off the bottom of the mount before attaching it to any surface you’d like. Many people will stick these mounts to surfboards, skateboards or the dashboard of their car to capture a timelapse of the drive. If you’re going to get any GoPro accessory, sticky mounts should be towards the top of your list.
While the GoPro features a pretty good microphone, there are many situations in which you’ll want to attach an external GoPro microphone. If your vlog has sketchy audio quality, you risk looking unprofessional and throwing your viewers out of the experience if they can’t hear or understand what’s going on in the vlog. If you own one of the newer GoPro models from the Hero 5 and up, you will need to purchase a proprietary GoPro adapter to attach your GoPro microphone. Movo Photo’s large selection of external mics are all compatible with these adapters, making it easy to attach your shiny new mic to your GoPro. If you’re working with one of the older GoPro models (Hero 3, 3+ or 4), you can attach your external mic directly to the camera.
If you plan on filming anything that involves wearing a helmet, you will need to purchase one of these GoPro RAM mounts. The curved design is perfectly suited for attaching to a helmet. The ball and socket feature stabilizes the camera and allows you to adjust the angle to get the best shot as you snowboard down a mountain or cruise through rugged terrain on a dirt bike.
GoPros are extremely versatile cameras designed to endure the high winds of the desert and the depths of the sea. Of course, there is a limit to how far underwater you can go with just the camera, but plenty of GoPro underwater accessories exist to allow you to sink further below the water’s surface and capture truly awesome video.
If you are going to test your GoPro’s underwater capabilities, you may want to consider purchasing a flotation device to prevent your GoPro from slipping out of your hands and sinking to the bottom of the ocean. However, if you want to use your GoPro for deep water videos, flotation devices won’t be useful. Instead, you’ll need to invest in different GoPro underwater accessories that can improve lighting (because the deeper you go, the darker it gets) and stability. One major issue that vloggers run into with underwater videos is the quality of the sound because the water greatly distorts the audio. Keep this in mind before shooting underwater videos because you will have to plan to use music or a voiceover during this segment of your vlog.
Chest and head straps are other common and useful GoPro accessories because they can help capture a great POV shot and stay attached to your body while performing an activity. Both of these attachments work well in situations where you might also opt for a RAM mount instead, but the chest harness allows for a different angle. Both of these GoPro accessories are best used to capture activities like hiking or rock climbing and provide you with a way to record your experience hands-free. This can give your videos a really cool perspective and help the viewers feel as though they are actually there with you.
You never know when you’re going to see something truly incredible during your travels. Don’t try to plan these moments. While on the road, try to let your camera run at all different times—in the car, on the plane, during a hike. This will give you the best chance of capturing a genuine travel moment that your audience will love. This also can help the viewers feel as though they are part of the experience. Don’t worry too much about capturing the perfect shot while you’re traveling. Just record as much as you can and edit later.
Invest in a good quality case to hold your GoPro and necessary accessories. This will keep all your equipment safe and together so when a moment of inspiration strikes, you can quickly whip out your gear and capture the scene. Many travel vloggers opt to attach one of the sticky mounts to their dashboard for particularly beautiful landscape shots. This is a great time to record a time-lapse of your travels and include as a transition in videos.
GoPros are known for the incredible wide angle shots, but you don’t need to shoot in this mode all the time. It can be great for capturing panoramic or expansive landscapes, but sometimes the cropped angle gives a better perspective on the experience. Test out both options and learn when to use each. Wide angle shots are also great when filming activities like skiing or surfing because it can make the viewer feel more engaged in the experience.
There is an endless amount of potential when you decide to shoot a vlog with a GoPro. From the wide angle setting to the time lapse ability, this compact device packs a punch with beautiful quality videos and dozens of available GoPro accessories to capture even more with your device. Movo Photo offers a large selection of add-ons like microphones to capture better GoPro audio and GoPro underwater accessories for when you want to explore below the surface. So, what’re you waiting for? Grab your new accessories and start exploring.