Ordinary Traveler

ordinarytraveler.com

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The Ordinary Traveler is an award-winning blog that has been featured on prominent sites such as National Geographic Traveler, Forbes, Yahoo, Business Insider, and more. It’s the brainchild of Christy Woodrow and has grown to become one of the top travel and lifestyle blogs in the industry. What makes the Ordinary Traveler different from the others is that it doesn’t focus on dropping everything to pursue the passion of travel like many other travel blogs; instead, the blog is based on balancing wanderlust and home life equally.

Who is the Ordinary Traveler?

Christy Woodrow and Scott Calafiore created the Ordinary Traveler in 2010 as a way of chronicling all of their adventures as well as their love for photography. The blog grew exponentially over the years and is now one of the top award-winning adventure travel and lifestyle blogs in the market.

Christy is a hypnotherapist and virtual retreat host while Scott is a transformational life coach, and both of them share stories about their personal growth as well as their adventurous travels on the Ordinary Traveler.

What made the Ordinary Traveler really stand out is that the blog focused on traveling while still maintaining a home, family, and career. Many travel blogs are written by nomads who drop everything to live their lives on the road – if that’s what you’re interested in, the Ordinary Traveler is not for you.

What is the best travel blog? Why is the Ordinary Traveler one of the best travel blogs in 2021?

The Ordinary Traveler offers advice, tips, and relatable stories on how to balance your love for adventurous travel around the world as well as building your family and career. A lot of the articles have tons of information on how you can travel to exotic destinations without running over your allocated annual vacation time. It’s extremely helpful for everyday people like you and me who want the best of both worlds.

What are the features of the Ordinary Traveler website?

Website

Overall, the Ordinary Traveler is a very easy-to-navigate website that is categorized by Blog, Destinations, Resources, Videos, Travel Photography, and Retreats. There’s also a separate header with links to Home, About Us, Work With Us, and Contact. The home page has links to their most recent posts, their most popular articles, and links to packings lists and photography posts.

Articles & Blog

The actual posts and articles themselves are very easy to read and keep the reader’s focus. They’re mostly written in the form of a listicle and they make good use of the headers and subheaders throughout.

The actual topics covered by the Ordinary Traveler vary, but having traveled for over a decade, the blog covers almost any travel-related subject matter that you can think of. You can get an idea of what you’ll find from some of their most popular posts: 20 Best Travel Hacks That Will Save You Money, My 25 Best Travel Tips After 10 Years of Traveling the World, or How to Choose the Best Travel Camera.

Once you click on the blog tab, you’re taken to a page that lists all of their recently published articles. The most annoying thing about this page (and throughout most of the website) is that there are ads on the right-hand side of the page as well as on the footer, though there is an option to close the footer ad but you have to do so each time you go to a new page.

There are over 90 pages of blog posts, and though it’s not imminently evident on how to search for a particular post or topic, there is a little magnifying glass at the very top right-hand side of the page that you can use. You can also scroll to the very bottom of the website to find articles and guides on specific topics or destinations.

Examples of their blog topics are:

  • The Ultimate Guide To Vegan Camping
  • The Best Overwater Bungalows Near The USA
  • The Truth About Self-Love: Why Is It So Important?
  • Where to Book Luxury Rental Homes in Jackson Hole
  • How To Visit Japan On A Budget
  • 15 Travel Trailer Must-Haves For Your Safety & Comfort
  • How to Make Money With Your Travel Photos

Destinations

The destinations tab on the website comprises a list of destinations that the blog authors have been to. You can click on a specific place such as Israel or Haiti and be taken to a list of guides and articles they published about their experience in that location.

The travel guides are full of details on finding flights to the destination, local transportation, food and culture, sights and activities, accommodation, and other resources.

The authors seem to have a lot of exposure to countries in North America, Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia, but not so much in Africa, Australia and Oceania, Central America, and South America.

Resources

The resources tab proves to be one of the most useful aspects of the website. Travelers come to the website looking for the perfect balance of traveling and building their homes, and the resources listed on this page will help them do just that. You’ll find resources on how to find the best price on hotels, booking accommodation with local hosts, finding cheap flights, travel insurance, how to use airline miles to your advantage, and much more.

While some of these resources are free, a lot of them are guides that you have to purchase. Prices vary between $39 and $58.

There’s a section of resources dedicated to travel photography and you’ll find helpful tips on picking a camera, finding the right lens, and even on which camera bag is the most beneficial to travelers.

One of the sections on the resource page that stands out is the one dedicated to travel gear. They’ve given reviews and suggestions on any and everything you could think of from the best travel shoes (arch support is very important) to the best iPhone battery case (you don’t want to run out of juice while hiking in Madagascar). Keep an eye out for their luggage suggestions because according to them, it lasts for years!

Other articles available under Resources include:

  • How to Keep Your Valuables Safe While Traveling
  • The Best Travel Hacks That Will Save You Money
  • The Best Travel Cameras (And How to Choose One)
  • 10 Biggest Travel Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
  • How to Book the Absolute Cheapest Flights to Anywhere
  • My 25 Best Travel Tips After 10 Years of Traveling the World

Videos

The Ordinary Traveler has created tons of videos of their excursions, some for the fun of it and some in partnership with local travel brands and tourist boards.

If you’re a very visual person and make a decision on where you would like to travel next based on what you see, head to the videos page! You’ll see how the Ordinary Traveler spends their time in places such as the Galapagos Islands, Norway, Iceland, Nova Scotia, and Aruba.

The videos are very high-end and are filled with colorful details about their trips.

Travel Photography

A fine art portfolio dedicated to the many photographs they’ve taken during their travels, the Travel Photography page is another amazing aspect of the website. Again, it’s especially helpful if you’re a visual person and picks destinations based on what you see but it is also great to just browse and visit the many countries without ever leaving your home.

The Ordinary Traveler has won numerous awards for their photography and they have been featured in several digital and print publications. Images such as Leopard Sharks and Surfer in La Jolla as well as Tulum Ruins can be purchased directly on their website in canvas print, framed print, wood print, poster, greeting card, and other methods of wall art. Certain images are also available for sale in the form of home decor (throw pillows), stationery (journals), or even phone cases.

Retreats

The final link on the Ordinary Traveler’s blog opens up a tab to a website dedicated to their virtual retreat. Hosted by either Christy herself or host Taylor, the virtual retreat is a self-paced course for women that comprises six modules and access to a private Facebook group filled with other like-minded women. The retreat focuses on deepening your connection with yourself, experiencing greater joy for life, and reclaiming your wholeness. The six modules are:

  1. Setting Your Intention
  2. The Emotional Body
  3. The Spiritual Body
  4. The Mental Body
  5. The Physical Body
  6. Self-Love & Manifesting

While this website reviewer doesn’t wholeheartedly see the benefit of the retreat, I do see the connection they’re trying to make by offering it and enabling people to travel while also building their personal lives and families.

All in all, the Ordinary Traveler is a decent travel blog that is filled with information on how to plan, execute, and make the most of your travels while still maintaining your home, career, family, or whatever else you choose to prioritize.

Pros
  • Appeals to people who are not looking to drop their home life, but just want to experience some traveling now and again
  • Well presented website with lots of categories to choose from
  • Written by man and woman, making for a well-rounded content
  • An award-winning blog that has been featured on National Geographic Traveler, Forbes, Yahoo, Business Insider, and more
  • Focuses on equally balancing home life and adventurous travel, rather than the usual travel blog
  • Offers advice, tips, and relatable stories
  • An easy-to-navigate website with lots of categories to choose from
  • Articles are easy to read and keep the reader’s focus; mostly written as listicles
  • Have had lots of exposure to North America, Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia
  • Can purchase prints and merchandise of their award-winning travel photographs
Cons
  • Comments section not utilized by readers
  • Travel tips are difficult to search through
  • There are ads all over the website and while that is how blogs make their money, it seems like overkill
  • Not easy to browse blogs by topic, though there is a search function on the website
  • Not enough exposure to destinations in Africa, Australia and Oceania, Central America, and South America
  • Some resources are free; most of them cost between $39 and $58
  • Connects to their virtual retreat, which seems to take away from the focus of the rest of the blog