So you want to start filming your travel videos to look back on the beautiful memories or you want to take your travel vlogs to the next level on YouTube? Video editing can make or break a video. You can have National Geographic style moments and still produce a mess or on the flipside you can make a boring day into an exciting adventure.

So where do we begin on this journey to learning how to edit travel videos.

First things first, what laptop should I be using to edit travel videos in 2017/2018?

I purchased my first ever Macbook Pro way back in 2013, and honestly up until a couple of years ago when I started testing the 4K waters, I was an all-in Apple fanboy. Fast forward 4 years, I’m ready to upgrade my gear and I just can’t find a reason to continue my relationship with Apple. We aren’t on the same page anymore.

My expendable income has gone way down (2013 I was in university, working part time and had no bills) and Apples latest offerings keep going up in price without the laptop specs to match it.

I’m abandoning ship and heading back to Windows after nearly 8 years of Apple, and I’m happier for it. For almost half the price, I can get a laptop that keeps up with my new 4K workflow and at least has some sort of future proofing built in to keep up with the latest video trends.

My laptop choice now is the Gigabyte Aero 15

For the last 3 months I have been using the Gigabyte Aero 15, and honestly this laptop has made my transition back to Windows so much easier. 4K video editing went down from 45 minutes of my time to mere moments. It wasn’t until I upgraded my laptop that I realised just how vital this piece of the puzzle is.

I recently put together my best camera gear and equipment for travel vlogging in 2018 with a focus on how important a good laptop is to allow you to reach your full editing potential.

The Aero 15 Squeezes in a 15inch display into a 14inch laptop (thanks to the extremely thin bezel) has increased my work space (moving up from a 13inch screen) but still allowing me to have a compact and light piece of hardware. I am just starting to dabble a bit into color correction, so having a Pantone certified display for near perfect color accuracy is just what I needed.

When upgrading, these are the following specs you should be bench marking for in 2017/2018 and the Aero15 has them all.

Gigabyte Aero 15 spec:

  • 7th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ (2.8GHz-3.8GHz)

  • 16GB DDR4 2400 2 slots (Max 32GB)

  • 94Wh battery (Up to 10 hours)

  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 GDDR5 6GB

Secondly, what video editing software should i be using?

In the professional video industry industry, it really does come down to the two giants, Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. Personally I think either one will do and you will be happy with either choice. Ever since I started learning to edit back in year 9 of high school I was taught Adobe Premiere, and like iOS vs Android you tend to just stick to the one you know and feel comfortable using.

You can start with iMovie or Sony Vegas if you find Premiere Pro to be daunting, however I did put together a beginners guide to editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, if you needed that extra nudge. Trust me, once you use Premiere Pro, iMovie will look too basic for your needs.

Where to start? Prepare the cutting board

Before I begin my work on any project I like to import and organise all my footage in chronological order so I know just how much footage I am dealing with and what percentage is vlogging or talking scenes and how much of it is music montage or cinematic scenes. I then like to focus on the vlogging scenes to remove long pauses and breaths to keep the footage as short and concise as possible.

Kill the babies

Okay okay I know what you are thinking, but its not as bad as it sounds, actually it’s a pretty terrible saying but it perfectly fits my next point. When you are editing your first video you are going to think everything should stay in and all of your footage is amazing. That’s where the terminology “kill or cut the babies” comes from.

Deep down you think your footage is amazing but it might not fit the tone or edit for the video. Just say you have this absolutely incredible drone footage of the sunset but a time lapse would be a better fit, you just need to put your pride aside and cut out the drone footage to keep the flow going.

Mix up your shots

Keep the edit interesting, go from a medium to a close up to an aerial drone shot. With so much content out there (movies, Netflix, other YouTube travel channels) you need to ensure you can keep the audience’s attention for longer. 3 minutes of you talking to the camera explaining what you are about to see followed by a music montage is not as interesting as you taking the audience with you and vlogging what you are seeing whilst you are showing/experiencing it.

Short is sweeter

No one wants to watch your hour long home video of your trip to Bali. To be honest you would be less inclined to watch it as it takes up too much of your time. 3-4 minutes is easily digested and can be shared across Facebook and YouTube.

Find some music

Music can take a cinematic scene from boring to incredible just by finding the right tune. I spend hours tracking down music to use in our vlogs and when you find that special song, all the pieces just fall into place. A great place to look is YouTube audio library as its copyright free so you can upload it to YouTube and Facebook without the video being taken down.

Finish the edit

The most important point is the final point. Finish and export your video. Don’t let it sit on hard drives wasting away. You will thank yourself in the future if you have these incredible memories to look back on. Your only regret is why you didn’t start earlier.

One last point…

Okay one more point. Learn from your edits. The more you shoot and edit the more you start to shoot to edit. When we first started we would capture everything and anything as we were worried we would miss a shot. Over time and editing over 700 videos I have now learnt when to shoot and when to put the camera down to enjoy the moment.

Leave your travel videos below, would love to check some of them out!

Thanks to Gigabyte for providing us the Aero 15 for review purposes, however as always, our opinions are our own.