Sharing stories is part of the adventure for most people who love to travel, and one of the best ways to share your experiences is with your own travel blog.
Travel blogging can be a good way to document your trips for yourself and for your friends and family who want to travel vicariously through you. You can also earn money from your travel blog if you’re willing to put in the work to create a great-looking site, share entertaining content, and build an audience.
Whether you blog about your travels as a hobby or a side gig, you need a site theme that fits your niche, your goals, and your audience habits.
Best WordPress Themes for Travel Blogs
Here are four WordPress blog themes we like for travel content because they’re designed to highlight your travel photos. They’re also free, which means more money saved for your next big trip.
1. Travel Magazine
If you post a lot, run a travel blog with multiple authors, or have a lot of posts in your blog’s archive, Travel Magazine by Rara Theme offers a way to display a whole bunch of your visual content without crossing the line into visual clutter.
The desktop display includes a slideshow banner with thumbnail images, plus featured images in varying sizes below. Travel Magazine’s mobile configuration scales down the slideshow banner and uses a single column display featured images for posts. Search engine optimization, social media integrations, and fast load times make it easy for visitors to find your site and stick around to explore. Travel Magazine is fully compatible with WooCommerce, so you can set up a store to go with your blog.
The premium version of Travel Magazine is its parent theme, Numinous Pro ($59). Numinous Pro includes more customization options than the free version. It also includes an ad management system to help you monetize your blog and an ad-blocker detector to help you protect your ad revenue stream.
2. Travel Lifestyle
Travel Lifestyle is a free theme from The Bootstrap Themes that loads quickly and displays cleanly on computers and phones. Travel Lifestyle’s image-heavy design focuses visitors’ attention on your travel photos. There’s also a built-in Instagram section plus integration tools for your other social media accounts.
The layout and customization options are somewhat limited in the free version of Travel Lifestyle. You get one layout, banner slider, and header option, plus a limited menu of Google Fonts. But with its clean design and WooCommerce compatibility, Travel Lifestyle’s free version is a simple, budget friendly way to start your travel blog and an online store.
To get color options for your theme and its menus, ad management tools, and ad-blocker bypass functionality, you can upgrade to Travel Lifestyle’s premium version ($49). The premium version also includes options for right sidebar, left sidebar, or full-width single column layout on desktop, and a full-width column or left sidebar below the fold on mobile.
3. Image Gridly
Image Gridly, from Superb Themes, is a good choice for travel bloggers who take professional-quality photos.
The design, as you might guess, is an image grid, with titles overlaid on the lower third of each post’s featured image rather than formatted as separate blocks of text. The desktop display features a full-width banner photo, with a three-column image grid below. On smartphones, the display switches to a full-width banner that’s smaller in proportion to the featured post images that are displayed in a single column.
Image Gridly is an exceptionally good looking theme. However, the free version offers few of the features you can find in free versions of other themes, like comprehensive SEO configuration, fast load time, Google fonts, and appearance customization tools. For these features, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version. Premium plans start at $26.
Camer, from Blogging Theme Styles, is another image grid theme, this one featuring images that display text only when visitors mouse over or tap the images. On computers, Camer has a full width text header and 4-column image grid. On phones, the images display in a single column.
Camer’s free version is ready for Gutenberg, WordPress’ new modular editor that’s designed to make post creation faster and more intuitive. The free version of Camer also includes lots of design options, including blog- and box-style layouts, recent and related posts widgets, five page templates, 13 sidebar positions, and a built in social media menu.
Camer Pro ($49) adds more design options, the ability to adjust the width of the sections on your pages, and more layouts, page templates, and sidebar positions.
Picking the Perfect Theme for Your WordPress Travel Blog
The live demos that theme publishers offer on their sites can give you a general idea of how a particular theme will look and act, but it’s smart to try out the ones you’re interested in with your content before you commit to one theme. As you try out different themes on your computer and mobile devices, think about:
- How well the theme highlights the type of content you publish most often, whether that’s photos, videos, or text.
- How you intend to make money with your blog. If you plan to display ads, sell merchandise in a store on your site, or offer a subscription service, will the theme support those plans?
- How your followers access your blog. Are they reading on their laptops or checking in on their mobile phones during their own travels? Choose a theme that makes it easy for your fans to see your posts and get the most from your site.
Your theme journey isn’t over after you pick a theme and publish it. You’ll want to monitor site metrics like visitors, bounce rate, time spent on the site, and—if you’re selling—conversions. If your numbers aren’t trending upward after a few months, you might want to try a different theme from this list to see if that gives your numbers a boost.
Running a travel blog is a journey of its own, and choosing a good theme is just one element of your travel blogger’s online toolkit. To get even more functionality our your blog, check out these WordPress travel plugins.