One Pack Wanderers is the breakout Youtube channel travel brands seek

With the world just beginning to open its shutters to international travel after the global shutdown that was the Covid-19 Pandemic, there is still a lot of trepidation for travellers to set forth and travel internationally once again. The world has been reshaped irrevocably by the loss of lives, time and income for so many. Yet there is still a chunk of the world’s population who weathered the storm and came out the other side unscathed with an unquenchable thirst to travel. And they saved up their pennies during the pandemic to be able to do so. For these few there is still a need for a little nudge. The uncertainty of what kind of travel experiences await in a world that hasn’t yet got over from Covid, that has Monkey Pox cases on the rise and is racked by global conflict and the twin perils of inflation and recession is enough to keep the average soul staying at home. This outlook is a critical problem for travel and hospitality brands that are desperate to get their businesses back to pre-pandemic levels. They need to start getting people interested in travel again and showing them its safe to venture out.

Why travel brands need to sink money into travel vloggers now

Brand managers and marketers across the world are wracking their brains and scouring the web for ways in which to get people packing again. After cutting advertising and marketing budgets during the pandemic, they are now once again dipping their toes in expanding their marketing outreach. A quick Google Trend search demonstrates that trending search queries indicate people do a lot of research on current Covid travel restrictions, PCR testing and travel insurance. Yet these trending searches are the kind of research people who have already made up their mind to travel are likely to do. Usually just before they need to buy a ticket or actually depart on a trip. Marketers need to tap into people who aren’t even thinking of taking a trip to rekindle the mystery of discovering something new and the joy of travelling once again. They need real world stories to capitalise on. There is definitely growing demand to travel. Rising ticket costs (due to demand and inflation) have not deterred a flood of outbound travellers from countries that were not as severely affected by the pandemic are proof of this. This has lead to the term ‘Revenge Travel’. This pent up need to travel with gay abandon. But to get inspiration for this people are seeking authentic travel vlogs to rediscover the world around them from the comfort of their computer. Growing a new generation of desktop travellers.

You would be forgiven to think that almost everyone who is taking a trip for pleasure these days seems to whip out a camera and wants to make a vlog of their experience. And rightly so, because travelling post pandemic does seem to be quite chaotic and unstandardised. There are travel vlogs of all shapes and sizes and interests on YouTube. If you are interested in high-end travel experiences there are certain channels that cater to this. But these look a little too curated and at times a tad snobbish and unreachable for the masses. Then there are several expat vlogs that cover specific countries in-depth. But if you are looking for a budget friendly, genuine experience you can’t go wrong with One Pack Wanderers.

In a sea of turbid Youtubers touting their travel channels, this one is a gem. The story of two American Baristas, who saved up, sold their possessions and took on extra work to fund their dream of travelling till they run out of money. It is something we all want to secretly do isn’t it? But probably will never get round to doing it. It is the kind of breakout brand story that is ripe for the picking. Remember that feeling when you first saw The Amazing Race? Well while that show became quite scripted and focussed on the physical challenges towards the end, this is the real raw travel deal for the rest of us.

What makes One Pack Wanderers stand out?

Tia and Cheveyo as they motor across Vietnam. May 2022.

Truth be told, I started following them only a few weeks back, but they have me hooked. Looking back at the first video they posted on Youtube you can instantly see the contrast and evolution of the channel. The quality of the story telling, videography and editing has grown in leaps and bounds over a period of almost a year. What’s more the couple behind One Pack Wanderers – Tia and Cheveyo make amazing hosts with an amazing contrast in personalities too. The duo who have known each other for over six years, have been travelling for almost a year now. A year in which most of us were deciding whether to step out of our houses, these two have been taking the world by storm with an infectious smile (that’s a tad forced when the days are rough, but reflect an indomitable spirit).

So here are the top reasons why the channel stands out

  1. The hosts are up-front and honest they don’t sugar coat the struggles and share genuine joys.
  2. They always put on a brave / smiling face that can be quite the ‘pick me up’, that will have you coming back for more.
  3. They are covering a wide range of countries going around the world like a modern day Phileas Fogg. There is variety in their content across continents.
  4. They are on a relatively strict budge of $100 a day which makes it intriguing. Everyone loves a good limitation. And when purses are tight the world over – this is literally getting a bang for your buck. Also with the cost of entry into certain popular tourist destinations high, it’s interesting to see what they pick.
  5. The second intriguing and strict constraint is the space – one back pack each and a carry bag. Any other average traveller would want to fill their bags with curios from around the world – something these two can’t.
  6. They talk about the practical challenges of embarking on such a trip – I mean they even cover things like how to do your laundry in different countries. Or cut each other’s hair! Forget that old adage about doing your laundry in public.
  7. They talk about the emotional challenges of embarking on such a trip.
  8. They show everyday slices of life from around the world as they experience it. This is not a typical travel show you may tune into on Discovery, Nat Geo or Travel XP. Though some of these channels should thinking of getting them onboard ;). But more importantly they show us how airports and hotels are opening up and what are the kind of ques and hassles we should anticipate.
  9. They aren’t afraid of trying different dishes. There stomachs must be lined with steel 😉

Why they are an incredible opportunity for brands

The couple keep joking about how they are not officially sponsored by any brands, but do showcase some of the gear that they use. The brands that they do unbeknownst to the brand managers are gaining some incredible traction. One particular brand off course are the backpacks that they are using from Columbia. These are Street Elite Convertible Duffel bags. Now because of the name of the channel itself I am surprised that Columbia or any other travel bag manufacturer didn’t officially tie up with them.

They also use at least two DJI products. A gimbal for their smartphone and a DJI action camera for Tia’s road footage bought in Vietnam. What make this powerful brand story telling is everyone can see real life stories being intertwined with these products. Like when we find out that those backpacks can’t quite weather the rains in Vietnam. Also of importance is the fact that all the video is shot on the latest iPhone 13’s. A testament to the phone’s filming capabilities and their durability. Not to mention the duo’s creativity. This is a horror tale of every camera manufacturer that is trying to convince phone users to buy their new cameras.

Anyway back to the point in hand. There are so many ways in which brands could partner with this couple. Think about it. Whether it is destination sponsorship or experiences sponsorship, airlines giving them tickets, there are so many ways to make this trip more memorable for them and their viewers. If both parties were up to it, that is.

And it’s not just product brands but destination brands that need to take notice too.

Still need convincing?

Well chew on these numbers from Hype Auditor

  1. 14.2K viewers tuned into this channel over the last 30 days.
  2. The channel has 25.4K members from across the world. With more tuning in from destinations across their travel route. Which with the above figure in mind means that there are a lot of active consumers of their content.
  3. They have added 5.4K new members in the last month alone.
  4. They post a new video every other day or within a span of three days.
  5. The channel networth is pegged at approx $17000 on Star Stat.

Now sure there are YouTube channels with bigger numbers. Brands might be tempted to turn to these by the lure of their reach. But the point here is that this is a breakout channel and the perfect opportunity for brands to build partnerships early in what promises to be a low risk, high return venture for brands. Fund their cost of travels and get some product placement in exchange. As long as the brands are a perfect match for their personal story. After all, it is the sincerity of the narrative that is so appealing and drives this channel. It is the fact that people are still tentative to travel that is driving viewership up.

Why is this the best of times to get on board? This channel is headed for an important milestone. They are about to reach a one year of travelling. This is a perfect opportunity for brands to seed in their content and celebrate their travels so far.

If you want to tune into the channel you can check them out here



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Disclaimer: This blog in no way is associated with One Pack Wanderers in any way. I do not know them personally. I just watch their videos 😉