Top Travel Journalists

Covering topics such as travel news, the tourism industry, family travel, couples retreats, single traveling, and specific regions and areas, we decided to concentrate on journalists who time and time again produce fantastic editorial content across the board. We looked at journalists in all facets of media for these awards, including broadcast, digital and print mediums. Through in-depth analysis of columns, stories, and reach we were able to produce the ultimate Top Travel Journalists Awards.

Selecting the TOP Travel Journalists

The reality is that these men and women often wait long hours on planes, run around to keep up with packed itineraries and spend endless hours researching every small detail of the locations and cultures they plan to visit. With a media landscape in constant flux and with many journalists covering a vast array of areas within travel, we want to show our appreciation for journalists who are often under-valued.

With literally thousands of journalists to choose from within the industry for our Top Travel Journalists Awards, our team had a large task to undertake to narrow it down to the individuals we eventually chose. Covering topics such as travel news, the tourism industry, family travel, couples retreats, single traveling, and specific regions and areas, we decided to concentrate on journalists who time and time again produce fantastic editorial content across the board. We looked at journalists in all facets of media for these awards, including broadcast, digital and print mediums. Through in-depth analysis of columns, stories, and reach we were able to produce the ultimate Top Travel Journalists Awards.

TOP Travel Journalists

10. Scott McCartney Wall Street Journal

9. Amanda Statham Cosmopolitan

8. Jonathan Thompson Guardian

7. Sebastian Modak New York Times

6. Michelle Higgins New York Times

5. Simon Calder Evening Standard

4. Veronica Stoddart USA Today

3. Avital Binshtock Andrews Los Angeles Times

2. Peter Greenberg CBS News

1. Johnny “Jet” DiScala Forbes

10. Scott McCartney

Current Publication:Wall Street Journal
Beat:Travel, Airline & Aviation
Twitter Followers:71,000
Twitter Username:@MiddleSeat

You’ll most likely recognize Scott McCartney as the author of the weekly Middle Seat Column in The Wall Street Journal. The incredibly popular weekly column focuses on all things aviation and airline in the world of travel. With over 18 years of experience in the business, Scott was part of the Journal’s team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting for coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. His transportation coverage in 2000 won a George Polk award and the Deadline Club award from the New York City Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2003, The Middle Seat was named the best online column by the Online News Association.

Signature Story

Scott’s latest book, The Wall Street Journal Guide to Power Travel: How to Arrive with Your Dignity, Sanity, and Wallet Intact, takes his signature style from his column “The Middle Seat” and translate to this innovative how-to guide that makes travel easier for people around the world. From finding the best fares to avoiding delays and bottlenecks, McCartney’s guide explains why these misfortunes befall those who are not prepared and gives perfect advice on how to make your next trip a breeze.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Did I mention that his rolodex is deep and his researching excellent? Cause it is. The last paragraph should be enough to show you how hard working and well-honed his craft is. If you want the latest on health care policy from a reporter not afraid to get into the weeds or go toe-to-toe with policymakers and regulators in Washington, Ricardo is your man.

9. Amanda Statham

Current Publication:Cosmopolitan (UK)
Twitter Followers:15.1k
Twitter Username:@Amanda_Statham

Amanda Statham is Cosmo’s Travel Editor and lead globetrotter. Her works have graced audiences for years in other publications including The Guardian, Medium, The Telegraph, Yahoo, and Women’s Health, as she addresses travel and how the right balance between work and play affects the human condition. Statham has been to at least 58 countries to date, and regularly details her audience with stories of the best locations for memorable experiences. Whether it is diving with sharks or tracking local wildlife, Amanda brings culture and education to readers around the world.

Signature Story

Amanda has become known for her scoops on the best places for couples, particularly for couples wanting to book the perfect honeymoon. While she has written a number of pieces on the subject, our favorite is “Honeymoons for all seasons: a lovers’ guide to the world’s most romantic destinations – and when to visit them.” In this article on The Telegraph, Amanda breaks down the best places to visit during each season, and why couples will enjoy the romantic atmosphere of these respective locations.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Amanda has a unique ability to bring famous filming spots, exotic locations, and celebrity hot spots to the public and outline how no location is totally out of reach. Her writing helps her audience build connections between places they see in movies, TV, and other media and envision how they can get there and experience them for themselves.

8. Jonathan Thompson

Current Publication:The Guardian and more
Beat:Travel, Arts, Entertainment
Twitter Followers:7,863
Twitter Username:@JT_Travels

Jonathan Thompson is a freelance journalist who has been featured most prominently in The Guardian. His award-winning work has also been featured in Financial Times, The Sun, Daily Mail, and the Telegraph, and he covers a wide spectrum of travel-related topics such as food, arts, and entertainment. A London native now living in Dallas, TX, Jonathan brings a fresh perspective on travel that helps people find true joy through seeing the world.

Signature Story

Thompson’s award-winning article, “The Outer Limits: Cycling Scotland’s New Hebridean Trail” explores the joy of mountain biking Scotland’s Hebridean Trail. In this piece, Thompson details not only the exhilarating feeling of riding this 280km trail but also recounts the breathtaking vistas he saw and the awe of nature in this beautiful part of the UK.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Whether he is exploring a new and unknown place or taking a class on fine French cooking, Jonathan Thompson’s grounded approach to journalism makes him a delight to readers. He enables us as an audience to make connections with places we’ve never been to and ignites the imagination of what we can do and learn by expanding our horizons.

7. Sebastian Modak

Current Publication:New York Times
Twitter Followers:10.1K
Twitter Username: @sebmodak

Sebastian Modak is a freelance journalist best known for his featured works in the New York Times, MSN, Yahoo, and other major publications. In 2019 he was New York Times 52 Places traveler and spent the year traveling to top locations around the globe based on their list. Sebastian has traveled to more than 70 countries in his lifetime and brings his passion for culture, music, and language with him to every stop on his list.

Signature Story

A recent article of Sebastian’s that puts his humanity and understanding of the human condition on display is “Caught In Between: What It’s Like When you Can’t Go Home.” This account details the trials and struggles of those affected by travel bans and the homesickness they feel as they deal with the anxiety of uncertainty not knowing when they will make it back to their loved ones. He mentions the choices many travelers stuck abroad had to make along with the little to no government support they received as they dealt with the effects of COVID-19.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Sebastian Modak is well-traveled and has a deep understanding of culture and people. He brings his readers to the forefront of travel and the possibilities that lie ahead of us as we fulfill our wanderlust. Because he spent time in his past life documenting hip hop and working with MTV, he is particularly worth reading if you are interested in music and how travel can widen your perspective on how other cultures use their voices and instruments.

6. Simon Calder

Current Publication:Evening Standard
Twitter Followers:114.2k
Twitter Username:@SimonCalder

Simon Calder is an English reporter, broadcaster, and editor. While he currently writes for the Evening Standard, he is also well-known for his work with The Independent, where he has contributed for many years. He has written for most of his professional career, beginning with his time at the University of Warwick, where he published guidebooks while receiving his degree in mathematics. He now contributes to numerous programs for BBC as a travel commentator and personality.

Signature Story

One signature story of Simon’s is his 2011 article, “A new age of the train is dawning across Europe.” In this work, he addresses the new competition on the European railways and how it has positively impacted travel across Europe. This contains some tips and tricks of how travelers can use this development to their advantage to explore more of the world in a better, more efficient way.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Simon began hitchhiking at the age of 12. His unique experiences with traveling give him a perspective that cannot be matched. He entices readers with his stories and guidebooks to give his readers a sense of knowing where the best places are and how best to plan their trips. From culture to food, to breathtaking views, Simon can show you the way and help you avoid common pitfalls of travel in the process.

5. Michelle Higgins

Current Publication:New York Times
Beat:Travel, Real Estate
Twitter Followers:32.2k
Twitter Username:@michellehiggins

Michelle Higgins is the current Director of Career Services for the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. She draws on her career in journalism to foster relationships between students and employers and helps aspiring media professionals develop their careers. Previously, she wrote and contributed to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, where she wrote about luxury travel and other key topics. Shortly thereafter, she became a reporter covering personal finance and automobiles. Subsequently, she joined the Times where she wrote columns that encompassed finance, real estate, and travel.

Signature Story

One unique article of Michelle’s that readers enjoyed was “Luxury for Less: The Travel Advisor Gambit,” where she explains the benefits of working with a travel agency. In the digital age, many people feel that travel agencies and travel agents are no longer needed, but Higgins points out perks and benefits that these companies and individuals have that could save you a hundred on your next luxury trip. From upgrading your room to making sure you get the best flights, this article lets you see how the relationships travel agencies have will make your next trip your best one.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Michelle Higgins is a well-rounded journalist who uses her personal experience and industry expertise to better those around her. She seeks to educate and enlighten people to enhance the way they live, work, and play. Whether it is through her real estate, travel, or finance articles, Michelle knows how to take complex ideas and break them down so even novice readers can take advantage of best practices that make all the difference.

4. Veronica Stoddart

Current Publication:USA Today
Beat:Travel, Food, Culture
Twitter Followers:56.8k
Twitter Username:@wanderlust13

Veronica Stoddart is a travel addict who has visited more than 100 countries. She currently works as a freelance journalist and editor, but is a frequent contributor to USA Today in their travel, food, and culture sections. Veronica’s experience spans more than three decades where she has won numerous awards for her writing and perspective. She is widely regarded as a top thought leader on travel and tourism, and therefore, is a must-read for anyone looking to see the best locations in the world.

Signature Story

Veronica’s signature story comes in the form of a 12-part series called, “Best Beaches of the World,” which aired on the Travel Channel. In this series, Stoddart weighs in on the best locations to catch some rays and spend time at the ocean. From the best sands to the best atmosphere, Stoddart has you covered and getting ready to plan your next beach getaway with this series.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Few journalists have amassed a travel resume like Veronica. Because she is so well-traveled, she has knows the best place to visit for any scenario that readers are looking for. From top tourist attractions to the best kept secrets in the world, Veronica can guide you to the spot that works best for your trip and help you do it all the right way.

3. Avital Binshtock Andrews

Current Publication:Los Angeles Times
Twitter Followers:17.9k
Twitter Username:@avitalb

Avital Binshtock Andrews is a freelance writer, editor, and content strategist who is also known for her frequent contributions to the Los Angeles Times. She has previously worked for Via Magazine, TripAdvisor, and Sierra Magazine in writing and editing capacities, always focused on travel and attracting millions of readers. She possesses a Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a Master’s from Stanford, both in Communications.

Signature Story

Avital published a guidebook to Napa Valley and Sonoma, California. In this guide filled with color photos, she offers itineraries that show tourists and wine aficionados alike how to see the best of the wine country in a short time—complete with maps that mark your progress along the way. Featuring a full range of area and thematic tours, plus dining, lodging, shopping, nightlife, and practical visitor info, Frommer’s Napa Valley and Sonoma Day by Day is the only guide that helps travelers organize their time to get the most out of a trip.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Sarah is noted as “consistently delivers fresh and interesting content on all of the blogs she writes for. She’s engaging and a continuously emerging talent on the Internet. She provides her audience with great insights and perspectives on web trends, news, and services.”

2. Peter Greenberg

Current Publication:CBS News
Beat:Travel, Food, Culture
Twitter Followers:266.7k
Twitter Username:@PeterSGreenberg

Peter Greenberg, best known as the Travel Detective, has been a mainstay in travel journalism for decades. He is best known for his years associated with CBS and its subsidiaries, including The Early Show, CBS This Morning, and CBS This Evening. He has also gone on to produce segments for PBS including The Royal Tour, where he meets with heads of state through their respective countries.

Signature Story

Greenberg is best known for his series, The Travel Detective. These episodes empower with insider tips, news on world travel, and in-depth knowledge of both tourist attractions and hidden gems alike from countries around the world. In this series, Greenberg gives his audience information that they cannot find on a tour or in a guidebook, and his tips give both novice travelers and experienced globetrotters essential information that enhances any trip.

Why You’ll Want to Read

From Google and Microsoft product reviews to algorithms, Bohn is an expert at taking a deep look at a product’s makeup and assessing its viability in the market and what it will mean to consumers. He maintains his ethics at every level, and able to navigate the complex, fast-paced world of technology in a way that puts readers at the forefront of innovation and understanding the next big thing.

1. Johnny “Jet” DiScala

Current Publication:Forbes
Twitter Followers:130.2k
Twitter Username:@JohnnyJet

Johnny “Jet” DiScala travels around 150,000 miles and visits 20 countries each year. He is a regular contributor at Forbes and his website have been featured over 3,000 times in major publications, including USA Today, Time, Fortune and The New York Times, and he has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, NBC, PBS and also hosted “Hot Spots 2012” on the Travel Channel. He now appears every Saturday on Leo Laporte’s The Tech Guy Show talking about travel and technology. His website has been recognized as “one of the top best money-saving web sites for travel” by Budget Travel Magazine.

Signature Story

DiScala has a video segment where he asks 39 travel based questions to an industry expert. In these segments, he brings the best and brightest minds in from the industry to ask questions about travel hacks, amazing locations to visit, and things to experience or avoid in travel. This segment is just one of the ways “Jet” illustrates the joy travel can bring to the human experience.

Why You’ll Want to Read

Johnny Jet knows the best tips and tricks that will help both novice and experienced travelers get the most for their money. Whether you are looking for the best credit card for airline miles, want to join the top rewards programs, or want to see how the latest global news affects your desired destinations, Johnny Jet has the latest and greatest information to keep you in the know.