If you’re thinking about travel blogging in 2017, have you considered joining the Lonely Planet Pathfinders program.

I’m slightly conflicted about this, in the sense that I don’t think there are many instances when someone should write for someone else for free. (Free doesn’t pay the mortgage or pay off the credit card bills. Not paying someone literally says you think their work has no value).

But at least with Lonely Planet, after you have progressed up the ranks a bit there is a chance to start earning, and on the positive side, you are part of one of the world’s largest travel communities.

What do you think? Good or bad idea? Are any of you members already and how have you found the experience? And what are your favourite travel blogs?

Video and photo-centric sites like Instagram are becoming more and more important to planning travel, be it a weekend away or a round-the-world trip of a lifetime…just look at everyone on the bus in the morning glued to their iPhones. And with a smart phone it’s increasingly easy to shoot and edit your own professional’ish mini movies on the road to share on YouTube.

Here’s one I did in Morocco a while back, which I edited & added music to on the plane home. (OK, OK, I said professional’ish).

And then there are the truly proficient ones – they have a microphone and a budget and everything!

On Instagram Beautiful Destinations, as an example, has almost 8 million followers, and the brothers in charge Jeremy and Tom Jauncey have 477,000 and 94,000 followers respectively. And they are certainly making money from it, travelling the world and having a great time, so good on them.

What are your Instagram travel favourites?

Anyway, I think 2017 is going to be a year where travel gets a lot more…visual.