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Best Destination Blog

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Official Travel Notes Blog

Best Destination Blog

This award celebrates the best travel blog focusing on particular destinations — cities, countries, whatever. Quality writing and/or photography that make you want to book a flight to that location.
I would have expected more than the thirty-something comments for nominations in this category. For me, it's the 'travel blog' category. After all, we travel to visit destinations so a travel blog without destinations is missing a lot.

Not only that, everyone lives somewhere and that somewhere could be a travel destination for others. Perhaps a lot of so-called 'travel-bloggers' are missing out on the one thing they know best; the destination where they live, work and play - almost every day.

So here goes, in hoping that the category I've been looking so forward to review doesn't let us down.

Posted in order of nomination.

Holiday Pad
'Created for people who aren’t sure where they want to go for their next holiday but need some inspiration and fresh ideas'. Well, it's a nice idea but there is no destination information. The 'ideas' are more like advertorial type listings, of some interesting places to sleep in the destinations. I even saw camper vans for rent, in England.

Johnny Jet:
'Johnny traveled to 22 countries on 5 continents in 2006', was the nomination post, with a link to Johnny's 2006 Photo Gallery. Clicking on the photos only enlarges them and there's no description so we'll look at the latest blog and go from there. The blogger blog on its own domain means File Not Found pages when clicking on the archive links. Destination unknown, this blog nose-dives. Nothing doing on the RSS feeds either.

New Yorkology: RSS
'Guide to New York City updated daily with the latest openings, closings and reviews to help you plan your trip and know what to do if you're already here'. It's more of a destination guide than a blog as such, with new entries filed away on archive pages rather than running down an index page in posting order. For latest additions, use the newsfeed.

How Conor Is Spending All His Money (Best Single-Author Travel Blog) is nominated here as well.

Overheard in Pittsburgh
This nomination can't be serious, unless you think eavesdropping on what strangers have said into their cell-phone can help you get a feel for Pittsburgh.

The Seattle Traveler and The DC Traveler are nominated again. No further comments needed.

Critical Miami: RSS
Not critical enough.

Hotel Chelsea Blog: RSS
Focuses primarily on books, art, and music created by former and current residents of New York City's famous Chelsea Hotel - located at 222 West 23rd Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues.

Buenos Aires Tours: RSS
Packed with information about the capital of Argentina but without more images it doesn't quite tango.

Let's Visit Asia makes another nomination appearance but the b5media product still doesn't convince me.

Italy del Giorno: RSS
'In their travels, Brian and Maria Gabriella have enjoyed discovering the culinary treasures of Umbria and can recommend amazing, but little known, food shops, enotecas and restaurants'.

TravelerWire (Best Single-Author Travel Blog) also makes an appearance here.

Dream of Italy: RSS
Maybe not quite as 'foody' as 'Italy del Gelgiorno' and with a much different look and feel. This could be a real challenger to 'Italy del Giorno'.

Simpatigo was nominated as a San Francisco mapping tool that visitors could contribute to with their your own points of interest. I'm not sure this fits in with theme of 'quality writing and/or photography that make you want to book a flight to that location'.

Chris pops in to mention that Travel Happy and Dive Happy, originally posted in the 'Best Single-Author Travel Blog' category, were meant to be placed in the 'Destinations' nomination page. Good idea.

Nice little guide to Hawaii, launched in the in the summer of 2006, although I don't know if it can compete with the Italy blogs.

Chronicles of On The Road Travel is posted in here as well and, as mentioned in the 'Best Single-Author Travel Blog' category, it's the best category for it to compete in.

Yucatan Living: RSS
'Expatriates living, working and playing in Merida and the Yucatan' contribute to make this a thorough resource to the destination; if you're looking for more than just a vacation.

I don't believe that Fly Away Cafe (also nominated elsewhere) is a serious contender here.

Final Verdict

I guess voting for the destination category may be influenced by the destinations voters 'may want to visit', or have visited, when it should be the blog that 'makes them want to visit'.

While I do like reading Chronicles of On The Road Travel myself, and enjoy travelling in South America without too much prompting, I'm going to try and put my personal feelings aside and concentrate on the blog that would make me want to go to the destination the most.

Dream of Italy and Italy del Giorno are both tempting but Yucatan Living urges me to search for available seats and board the plane. The flight tickets wouldn't even have to be the cheapest; as the blog has persuaded me to go there and live.

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