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The beauty of StumbleUpon is that it can be a lot of things to a lot of people. While its core strength is the ability to help you discover new content on a variety of interests, fine-tuning its dials can really help you get the most out of it and get exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re in need to research new travel destinations or learn a new way of travelling, this post will teach you how to harness the power of StumbleUpon to achieve exactly that.

In this post, we will show you how to:

1. Add some great travel interests
2. Use the “Explore Box” to stumble a specific interest
3. Save and organize your favorite travel pages
4. Follow travel expert stumblers
5. StumbleThru popular travel websites

and we’ll close off with a few staff picks.

1. Add some great travel interests

To start stumbling great travel sites, you first must make sure that you’ve told us what your travel interests are. Click on Settings on your profile and subscribe to travel-related interests. As generic travel interests, we recommend: Photography (the appetite for travel will come while viewing the stunning photos we have in our collection), Hotels, Travel, Spas, Wine. The Regional category contains interests such as Mexico, Carribean, Europe – and you should probably subscribe to everything listed there. In the Outdoors category, you’ll find things like Camping, Hiking and Scuba Diving. Last but not least, check out the Sports category, where you’ll find Skiing, Surfing, Snowboarding and more.

And if the interest you’re looking for is not on that list, no worries! Type your interest in the “Add an interest” box at the top of the list and then click on the Plus (+) sign to add it. This tells our recommendation engine what kind of pages you’d like to see when you press on the “Stumble!” button on your toolbar.

Go to Settings to add travel interests to your StumbleUpon profile.

2. Use the “Explore Box” to stumble a specific interest

Feel like exploring pages about the Leaning Tower of Pisa, as you’re planning your next trip to Europe? No problem — we’ve got that covered! Go to your homepage and type in “Leaning Tower” in the Explore Box. While you’re at it, why not try Pisa, Tuscany, Italian Wine and perhaps explore some of the related interests suggested by the Explore Box?

Go to Home to stumble a specific travel interest with the Explore Box.

Use the Explore Box with key monuments, attractions, food, culture or anything linked to your travel destination to explore pages relevant to your trip planning.

3. Save and organize your favorite travel pages

This is the fun part! Now that you’re stumbling really cool travel pages, you’ll probably want to start saving them for later reference, for when you’re actually ready to leave on that dream trip you’ve been planning all along. We’ve got the tools for that too! Simply thumb up the pages you like to add them to your Favorites. Then, to organize your favorites even better, click on ‘Edit’ under a webpage you’ve saved and add up to 5 tags to describe that webpage. It can be anything you want: honeymoon, trip-to-Spain, dream-trip, round-the-world-trip, etc. You name it!

Use tags to save-for-later and organize your favorite travel pages.

The advantage of tagging your favorite travel pages properly is that you can easily find these collections later, when you’re ready to book a flight or hotel, or plan your final itinerary. (You can find your tagged pages by clicking on Interests on your profile.)

4. Follow travel expert stumblers

A great way to ensure you’re getting good travel stumbles is by following stumblers who are travel experts, travel bloggers or simply passionate about traveling. These users are prolific submitters and collectors of high quality travel content, so you want to stay updated on their latest likes!

An easy way to identify “interest experts” is by visiting specific interest pages, such as: Hotels, Travel, Spas, Wine, Mexico, Caribbean, Europe, Camping, Hiking, Scuba-diving, Skiing, Surfing, Snowboarding, etc. and seeing who else is following the same interest. Click around on a few user profiles and if you find someone who has interesting stuff, make sure to follow them. (You can read more about how to follow other people here.)

Above: People who are following the “Easter Island” interest. Most likely, they’ve got something good to bring to the table about this interest, so be sure to follow a few of them.

We’ve also put together a list of follow-worthy travel stumblers who’ve crossed our path:

  • Barrie501 is a travel writer from Perth, Australia. He has 89K favorites, out of which 35K are travel. With incredibly rich collections of pages for Indonesia, beaches, oceans, New Zealand, outdoors, stumbling through his favorites is a traveller’s dream.
  • RyukiMike is a photographer and writer with a special love for wildlife, nature and travel. He has over 5,000 travel favorites, with great collections on bird-watching, nature, wildlife and remote places.
  • TravellingGreen is also the writer of the blog TravelingGreener.com. What we like about this StumbleUpon account is that he has over 1,200 pages about environment and how to travel in a more environmentally-friendly way.
  • Michael Hodson is a former lawyer, Stumbler and travel writer. He quit his job as a lawyer and travelled the world for 16 months – all the way around with no planes. He is back on the road again and writing about it. He has over 3,000 travel pages in his StumbleUpon account.
  • Travelwriticus is a Stumbler from Austria who specializes in collecting pages about castles, exhibitions, museums and historic places. A great resource for those of you looking to integrate a bit of history in your travels.
  • Europealacarte is run by Karen, a woman from England, UK. She is the founding editor of the blog Europe a la Carte, which focuses on the best places to visit in Europe and tips for things to do in Europe. Karen has extensive collections of pages about Austria, France, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Scotland, as well as a collection on Hotels – with great reviews on places to stay.
  • EverythingTrip is the StumbleUpon username for Gary Arndt, who, in March 2007, sold his house, put his things in storage and hit the road. He’s been traveling every since, visited over 50 countries and is now running an active travel blog called Everything Everywhere.

5. StumbleThru popular travel websites

In a recent blog post about StumbleThru, we highlighted some of the most popular domains that you can StumbleThru. This is a reiteration of the Travel section from the previous blog post, with a short intro about what each site offers. Click on any of the links below to get launched into a StumbleThru experience through that site:

StumbleThru popular sites to discover cool content, such as this Giraffe Manor that is up for rent on airbnb.com.

  • airbnb.com – While airbnb hardly needs an introduction, we’re listing it here for the awesome factor of being able to stumble through beautiful homes around the world that you could rent. It’s how we found out about the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi. Pretty cool, eh?
  • artoftravel.com is the website version of the book “Art of Travel – European and World Backpacking.” The site has various articles on low budget independent travel and describes the best way to experience other cultures on an intimate, participatory level, but also as a great way to learn about yourself.
  • flavorpill.com is a culture guide and lifestyle magazine that reports on events going on in New York, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas, Dallas and Seattle. So if you’re planning a trip to any of those cities, Flavorpill is a reliable resource for art shows, film festivals, theater, concerts, etc.
  • frommers.com and lonelyplanet.com are trusted names in the travel publication industry, with hundreds of travel guidebooks and now extensive online collections of travel articles. StumbleThru helps you browse through some of their most popular online pages and discover interesting destinations you would have not thought of otherwise.
  • gadling.com is a fantastic travel blog and a personal favorite. They like to write about fun, interesting and relevant travel, written by passionate travelers and writers. They also write about budget and adventure travel.
  • Popular with Stumblers, matadornetwork.com brings you all sort of interesting travel articles, such as this one about parts of the world where people are very fit and have long life spans.
  • nationalgeographic.com is probably the best StumbleThru experience for travel photography. (Disclaimer: once you get started, you can’t stop stumbling. I had to make a conscious effort to take myself away from “testing” this StumbleThru channel while writing the post.)
  • opentravel.com is a place for travellers to share their experiences, plan a trip and connect with other travelers. Some of the articles are visually rich and very popular with Stumblers already, such as this one: 10 Most Scenic National Parks in the USA.

Staff favorites

The following recommendations are just a few hand-picked travel favorites from the stumbles I’ve saved up in my StumbleUpon account over the years:

Read the staff picks below to discover 45 romantic getaways in Europe.

We hope you found this article useful and informative. If you are a travel blogger or have any great travel tips to share with the community, please leave a comment on this blog post. We’d love to hear from ya!

/Monica profile picture