For most, the idea of traveling or going on a trip involves a) a long plane journey and b) a far-off, exotic land. However, travels don’t have to involve cross-continental flights, and most fun trips are planned for destinations that are a few hours away from your home. For those looking to enjoy a shorter trip, it is possible to have fun weekend getaways filled with unique challenges or fun games to help make the city more accessible and easier to explore.
Where Next Vlog
Travel game shows are an exciting way to review a new space, get to know YouTubers, and discover different ways to enjoy age-old comforts or completely new spaces. From famous shows like the Great Race to smaller challenge-related shows, travel game shows have become popular in an age where games are introduced to make trips more interesting and viewer-friendly. Woody Jay, YouTuber and travel vlogger, hosts his own travel game show titled ‘Where Next’, which involves a series of landmark hunts, along with fun challenges to keep the game interesting along the way. Currently working for his production studio Snaperture, he’s created a YouTube channel to document his journey and share his travels with audiences around the world.
Woody Jay and his co-host, Amber Hutton, have gone around the UK, visiting different cities and towns to play various rounds of the game. The game involves a round of ‘landmark-hunting’, where the goal is to click selfies with as many landmarks on the list as possible. Once a team ‘claims’ a landmark via selfie, that landmark cannot be used by the other team. Bonus points are gotten with fun challenges at certain landmark points (including finding remote spots, rolling down hills, or other quirky three-minute ventures), and the entire game must be completed in an hour, making it a race through to the end.
Where it began
The game show began as a vlog, with Woody and his (then) roommate traveling around cities in England, documenting their journeys. The first series had longer episodes, with more detailed experiences, with the series finale ending in London. The finale followed a Monopoly-style finish, with teams clicking selfies at landmarks mentioned in the boardgame. The series finale helped launch the current version of Where Next, complete with landmark races and fun challenges.
Hosting a travel game show does have its ups and downs, and this particular project continues thanks to the passion of those involved in its making. For example, series three of ‘Where Next’ takes place in Wales, and the entire series was shot over four days. “I’m not going to lie, it was pretty intense,” Woody said. “We did six different places in four days, along with the drive there and the drive back,” he added, detailing the work required to film the series. When asked if he would continue with more road trips, he was very positive. “We did decide to do more road trips, but to try and space them out a little bit more,” he added.
Despite having smaller beginnings, the show has naturally progressed into a popular travel game show that explores many cities and tourist destinations within England, Scotland, and Wales. Woody and Amber do have tentative plans to host future episodes in Europe, and explore neighbouring spaces via ‘Where Next’. Currently, the show is releasing episodes of series four, the latest series in the show. For holiday specials, more contestants are introduced and collaborations are encouraged – for example, the series three summer special promoted a maze that was local to the ‘Where Next’ teams, and a collaboration was held with the local radio presenters. Contestants of the show can also have collaborations; one of the contestants, Sammy Oliver, featured the show on her YouTube channel as well, helping spread the show to a wider audience.
Woody Jay also ensures that weekly content is released, so there is a steady stream of content featuring a number of different cities and spaces across the UK. The current series, series four, is currently released on a weekly basis, along with a special edition that was filmed in Florida. This Florida vlog was done by Woody Jay, with 14 episodes, each one marking a day in his trip. The pair of hosts have also recently released a spinoff of the main show, titled ‘What Next’. “What Next is made up of little random challenges, and the goal is to make these challenges more interesting, collaborate with venues, and do some really cool stuff,” Woody said, pointing out that ‘What Next’ will not be restricted by travel, and will involve more exciting, random aspects of the show.
The goal is to have fun, outdoorsy challenges, from taste tests to reviews and everything in between. “‘What Next’ is a part of the ‘Where Next’ YouTube channel, as we are looking to make ‘Where Next’ the main focus point of the brand”, he added.
What’s up ahead
The team also plans to expand the show in other ways. “People have mentioned that they want to see more of the place, along with the challenge; so, for future series, we are thinking of having a potential vlogging day, a day for the challenge, and another day where we vlog and look around. This’ll help us branch out and reach more audiences,” he said. Based on reviews of the latest series, the team will then continue with more series in the future. The aim of the show has grown from being a group of friends recording their travels to something a bit bigger, which is to educate and entertain new audiences about places in the UK while still appealing to a base of those who enjoy travel and game/challenge shows.
Traveling continues to evolve to include new forms of leisure, entertainment, and exploring. Be it smaller, more remote areas or popular tourist hotspots, YouTubers are introducing new ways of discovering spaces around the world. Hopefully, these shows can help spread knowledge of new spaces and inspire trips to various locations. At the end of the day, travel game shows help provide a sense of wholesome entertainment, while featuring new spaces that we might not have a chance to currently visit, helping make the world a more connected place.
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