Capturing Your Travels: 5 Tips for Oscar Worthy Vacation Videos + How to Edit Them

Ahhh home videos. We always think we’re filming cinematic masterpieces, worthy of winning Oscars when really, we get something like this…

And while 95% of our vacation videos are ones of us talking to the GoPro, or off center shots of the things we’re seeing, we absolutely cherish each and every video we take. Because while pictures are great, actual footage of your favorite moments that you can rewatch over and over is always better.

So, even though most of our videos are a little something like this…

They can be edited together to make a perfect vacation memory like this…

Or… Like this! (I’m still OBSESSED with how this video to turned out. It’s the most perfect little snapshot from our honeymoon, IMO!)

So how do we get videos we love, and perfect little snap shots to piece together to make one perfect video? Today, I’m sharing my 10 Tips Oscar (Or at least Dundies!) Worthy Vacation Videos + How to Edit Them.

Let’s get started with the tips on actually capturing the videos! If you read Part 1 of this travel series Capturing Your Travels: 10 Tips for Picture Perfect Memories, then this might seem awfully familiar to you. Why? Because capturing a good video is almost the same as capturing a good picture!

Tip #1: Invest in a good camera, and know how to use it.

Just like the key to getting great photos, the key to awesome vacation videos is having a good camera. Buying a camera that is literally made to capture your best moments will make your life so much easier. iPhones have great little cameras on them, and are perfect for last minute shots, or your Snap Story. However, an iPhone video isn’t going to look right on a Computer or TV later on. Using a camera like a GoPro, will not only give you top quality, crystal clear images, but it’s also made to be easy to use and pretty much indestructible. Once you have your camera, make sure you know how to use it and have any attachments that will make your life a whole lot easier.

Tip #2: Smile! You’re on Candid Camera.

But seriously, capture all those candid moments. Home videos aren’t about perfection like photos can be. They’re about the funny, quirky, amazing, once in a life time moments that you experience on your trip. So capture them! These will be the shots that you use the most of, and the ones that you treasure forever. Planned out shots are always nice, but candid ones are always better!

Tip #3: Have a Final Video in mind.

If you’re planning on putting together a video at the end of your vacation, had a general idea of what you want your video to look like. If you’re planning to run around your location holding hand (hmmm who did that?) you’ll obviously need to take some very specific shots. You don’t want to not have what you need when you get home because all you did was shoot randomly! Which brings me to…

Tip #4: Think in Shots.

This is the hardest thing for me… It’s hard to not tape absolutely everything you’re seeing. As a general rule of thumb, we try to keep each clip we take under a minute long. This way, we don’t have hours and hours of footage to sort through later on. It’s also a lot easier to edit in the end.Also, make sure you’re shooting shots of people and of the landscape and of both together. This way, you have a wide variety of shots to choose from when you’re editing later on.

Tip #5: Always Shoot in the Same Style.

If you want all your clips to look cohesive, always shoot the same way. Don’t zoom, don’t switch between horizontal and vertical, and don’t try to use different styles. In the end, all your videos need to look like they go together, otherwise, they won’t look right in an edited video.

Once you’re vacation is over, and you’ve got yourself hours worth of vacation footage, it’s time to start editing! Trust me. Edited vacation footage that fits nicely into one little song is the way to go. No one wants to watch hours and hours of you walking through Disney world listening to strangers talk in the background. They want to watch the highlights of your trip. Here are 5 Tips for Editing Better Vacation Videos.

Tip #1: It’s all about the song choice.

The song choice will make or break your video. That video of us running around Canada? It wouldn’t have had the same effect if I hadn’t choosen Ready to Run by 1D. Pick a song that is upbeat, speaks to you, or speaks to the location you vacationed in. Just remember, if you’re planning to post your video online, anything with more than 60 seconds of a Copyrighted song will be deleted. So choose a royalty free song. (You can find them all over the place!)

Tip #2: Mix it up!

Don’t worry about showcasing your trip in chronological order. Match clips with the song’s lyrics and beats. This way, you’re telling the story. Not just showing what you did first, next and last.

Tip #3: Use As Many Clips As You Can.

This video is about showcasing your trip… so get creative and squeeze in as many clips as you possibly can! You may have to trim them, rearrange them or blend them, but the more clips, the more interesting your video will be in the end.

Tip #4: Limit the Use of “Transitions”.

While the “transitions” options on iMovie are really cool, try not to go too crazy with them. Think about a movie you’ve recently seen. Does it fade to black between each clip? Or swirl from one clip to another? I personally like to remove automatic transitions and just use them to fade my movie in and out. I think it’s less distracting and makes the video a bit more seamless.

Tip #5: Simplicity is Key.

Don’t over edit your video, keep it simple. Remember, you want your travel locations to be the star of the show… not your editing skills.

I like to use iMovie to edit my videos because it’s free and already on my MacBook. Now, I’m sure there are WAY cooler/fancier/better editing programs out there. However, I think iMovie is simple, user friendly and there are TONS of videos out there that can help you learn how to use it if you’re unsure!

Now, I’m going to leave you with one last piece of advice. If you want a “perfect” video, you need to capture the feeling you have while you’re there. It’s impossible for other people to see how much you love a place/event/excursion/person/activity if they don’t see it the way you see it. That’s the beauty of making a travel video, you get the opportunity to capture your trip exactly how you saw it. And the fun you have will be immediately evident when you look at your raw footage.

So, are you ready to get out there and making travel videos?! What tips am I missing?! Leave your favorite Travel Videography tips in the comments below!

PS… If any of these videos look like a place you’d like to visit, check out out my Banff Travel Guides here! (All of these videos and clips were shot on our honeymoon in Canada.) Also, if you missed the first post in this travel series, find it here!

Have a wonderful Tuesday, loves! I’m back tomorrow for #WhatUpWednesday!



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