No, it isn’t a collection of so-so op-eds pretending to be a travel blog. The most promising newcomer to the travel blogosphere is — gasp! — a corporate blog written by the staff at Orbitz. The Orbitz Travel Blog debuted late yesterday, and I like this newcomer as much for what it is as for what it isn’t.
The Orbitz blog covers exactly what you’d expect a travel blog to cover. It’s a bread-and-butter travel site — often literally, like when it reviews the best buffets in Vegas or writes about a Guinness-soaked Ireland getaway.
There are useful tips on travel gadgets and how to find child care while you’re on vacation, too. “We have a lot of pretty passionate travelers who blog, so the company is doing this to give them an outlet,” Orbitz spokesman Brian Hoyt told me.
So here’s what I like about the Orbitz Blog so far: it’s completely unpretentious, practical and … fun. Yes, fun.
I think the blogosphere needs more of that and a lot less of the link-free navel-gazing that seems to be in vogue these days. But I digress.
My favorite entry is about a place I’ve always wanted to visit: Maui. Chris Wieland’s take on the road to Hana, with its gorgeous photos, is an example of terrific destination travel blogging. I don’t even mind the shameless links back to Orbitz, where people can book their Hawaii vacation.
As an aside, 2007 has really been a big year for corporate travel bloggers. Whether it’s Delta, Southwest, Marriott or Farecompare, many of these company-run blogs are now full-fledged blogosphere citizens.
And now, so is Orbitz.