There is a sassy, globetrotting, female elite out there who have made travel a central part of what they do for a living. They are constantly on the road, sourcing hot spots and the not so hot, and sharing it with their online travel communities. I asked some of these top female bloggers to share their travel tips across a range of specialist subjects including food, health, photography and relationships.
Candid Camerawoman Kirsten Alana
Kirsten's blog in a sentence: Travel tales with an inspirational bent and a penchant for eye-candy photography.
One place we should visit this year: The Costa Brava region of Spain is highly underrated and I think most travellers to Spain usually opt for somewhere such as Tenerife or Madrid. However, Costa Brava has the number one rated restaurant in the world [El Celler de Can Roca], so much natural beauty and interesting history, incredibly friendly locals and a stunning coast that just begs to be enjoyed while swimming, sailing or sunbathing.
One place to avoid: If you're traveling to Morocco, opt for the charming "Blue City" of Chefchaouen or try historic Marrakech but don't feel bad skipping Rabat or Casablanca.
Best piece of travel advice anyone ever gave you: Make friends with, and trust, the locals. They always know the best places to go.
Kirsten's top tips for mobile photography:
I am currently using ProCamera as my go-to app for actually taking photos on my iPhone meanwhile I edit in VSCOcam, Snapseed, Afterlight, KitCam, or Filterstorm. Instagram is my favourite social sharing app, the Hipstamatic 'Foodie Snap Pack' is my favourite way to capture dining experiences as I travel, Over is my favourite way to add text to photos and I love Vine for short videos.
Abigail King Medicine Woman
Abi's blog in a sentence: a thoughtful luxury travel blog from a writer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road.
One place we should visit this year: I'd have to say Burma/Myanmar. It's a beautiful country with a troubled past that's undergoing tremendous change right now. Things may be different again next year so go before everyone else does.
One place to avoid: Delhi. It's crowded, dirty, and unpleasant and easily my least favourite travel destination.
Best piece of travel advice anyone ever gave you: Always have some tissues with you...in a sealed plastic bag.
Do you have any advice for staying healthy on the road or a cure to combat jet lag? (We wish.)
Jet lag? I wish as well. Always, always, always check and follow the standard health advice for the country you're visiting. Vaccines and antimalarials really can save your life, so although it's boring and time consuming to get them, never skip this step.
Oh, and brush your teeth in bottled water anywhere you wouldn't drink it straight from the tap.
Adventurous Kate McCulley
Kate's blog in a sentence: Adventurous Kate shows women how to travel the world safely, happily, and more adventurously.
One place we should visit this year: South Africa - specifically, Cape Town and the Garden Route. I think it's the most beautiful country in the world, there are tons of adventure activities, and you get excellent value for lower prices than in North America or Western Europe.
One place to avoid: Kuta, Bali. Between the trash-filled beaches, the vulgar t-shirts for sale in every shop, and drunken tourists puking in the streets, this is an unfortunate example of paradise gone wrong.
Best piece of travel advice anyone ever gave you: "Go to the street cart with the longest line. That's where you'll find the best food."
What do you say to any women thinking of embarking on a solo trip?
Solo female travel can be incredibly safe as long as you travel conscientiously: research your destination in advance, avoid putting yourself in potentially dangerous situations, and always listen to your intuition.
It Takes Two - Nellie and Alberto from WildJunket Magazine
Your blog in a sentence: WildJunket is a travel blog with a focus on adventure travel, created to inspire others to get off the conventional trail and seek out extraordinary experiences.
One place we should visit this year: Madagascar - it's still relatively raw and undisturbed and traveling there can be quite rough (Four hours to cover a 100-km dirt track through the jungle), but if you're prepared, you'll be well rewarded with stunning landscapes and extraordinary wildlife experiences.
One place to avoid: Egypt - we visited before the revolution and it was just clogged with tourists and aggressive touts - whether at the Giza pyramids or the souk in Luxor. Egypt just wasn't mystical like how I'd imagined it to be - and the magic was missing.
Best piece of travel advice anyone ever gave you: Someone once told me to always question like a child - because that's how you learn. Traveling has taught me the best life lessons.
What's the secret to happy travels with a partner?
No matter how tight our travel schedule is, we always try to have a nice meal out - which doesn't need to be expensive or fancy - just to connect and unwind. I think it's also important to slow down and enjoy each other's company.
First Class Mrs O
Ana's blog in a sentence: Mrs O Around The World showcases the travels of Ana Silva O'Reilly, through her alter ego Mrs. O. My motto is, if you leave home, it has to be better - and home is pretty nice. From destination features, to very precise luxury hotel and airline reviews, the aim is to provide honest advice and inspiration.
One place we should visit this year: I'd have to say Mallorca. Under 2 hours away, and an island that reinvented itself over the last 10 years. Luxury is easy to find, but quite understated, which makes it even better.
One place to avoid: I'm really not a fan of Brussels, but wouldn't go out of my way and tell people not to visit. But I will avoid Southern Europe during August as the crowds aren't for me!
Best piece of travel advice anyone ever gave you: Understand airline and hotel points - most people don't and miss out on such fab opportunities. Hotel points are even more valuable than airline points - but a good mix means free suites and business class. What's not to like?
What does luxury mean to you?
I think the word luxury is overrated. For me, it is all about simplicity - a beautiful hotel, a great location and fab food. I see no point in compromising on any of them. I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to a great lifestyle from childhood, which in turn gave me the ambition to work even harder to ensure I could do it by myself.
Soup Obsessed Jodi Ettenberg
Jodi's blog in a sentence: Eating my way around the world, one country at a time.
One place we should visit this year: So many places! Iceland, Vietnam, Bolivia - all great destinations with a strong culture, beautiful scenes and great food.
One place to avoid: Avoiding areas of countries that are in conflict is always important but I'd never say to avoid the whole country. You can visit a country but still avoid conflict zones- it's just important to do your research and travel accordingly.
Best piece of travel advice anyone ever gave you: The worse the public transportation trip, the more fond your memories will be in retrospect. Truth! Sitting on the roof of a van with a goat in my lap in Indonesia was a pretty ridiculous trip but in the end it's one of the stories I tell most, with a big smile.
How do you identify good places to eat on your travels?
There are many great places to start online for food, but it's always important to remember that what we get in local restaurants is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what's out there. So it's always great fun to explore and keep an open mind over and above what you read. I often look at Chowhound for country or city write-ups, read sites that focus on street food like Eating Asia or Migrationology and then try to ask locals around my guesthouse where they like to eat - not where they think I WANT to eat. Finally, markets at dawn will often have stalls to eat at in South America and Asia, among other places. Great way to sample the local food.
This post was written by Jayne Gorman, a travel blogger with lots of tips on what not to do! Find her blog at 40before30.com.