Courtesy of WHOA Travel

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, we’re highlighting fearless female travelers around the globe who are celebrating the transforming power of travel and what women can accomplish together.

From climbing (and dancing) to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with women from around the globe to featuring the leading ladies in travel at the Women’s Travel Fest to supporting local women finding work in India, here are the ways women are closing the gender gap and encouraging sustainable travel, ultimately opening the world for other women all over the world.

Courtesy of WHOA Travel

High-Altitude Dance Party on Top of Mount Kilimanjaro

Whoa, these women don’t just talk about moving mountains — they climb them together! WHOA Travel (Women High on Adventure) is leading its second annual Mount Kilimanjaro International Women’s Day climb. About 30 women from 10 different countries, including the US, Sweden, Estonia and Kenya, will summit the roof of Africa together at sunrise on March 8.  WHOA founders Allison Fleece and Danielle Thornton met while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro together in 2013. Knowing firsthand that no one climbs the mountain alone, the travel-loving duo believe in the power of showing the world what women can accomplish together. They also believe there’s always time for a little dancing and keep morale up on the 7-day trek with high-altitude dance parties.

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Day 1 of our Travel Channel Star casting call at the Tastemade Studios is complete. We had a great turnout Wednesday. Contestants local to Los Angeles and from as far as Canada came to tell us why they were the next Marianela Pereyra or Kinga Philipps.

Today is Day 2, and your last chance to audition in person runs from 5 to 9 p.m. (line starts at 3 p.m.) at the Tastemade Studios in Santa Monica, CA. However, we are also accepting online submissions at travelchannelstar.com until April 15.

See our favorite pictures from Wednesday’s casting call.

Travel Channel Star casting call attendees line up at the Tastemade Studios.

Travel Channel Star casting call attendees line up at the Tastemade Studios.

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Take a break from watching videos of cute cats and spend today getting inspired for your next vacation. Let Travel Channel’s exclusive original videos show you the latest travel trends, trip advice and awe-inspiring vacation experiences that only the locals know about.

Marianela’s Best Beaches

Let Marianela Pereyra be your guide to the best beaches in California and Florida.

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Photo Courtesy of Zim Ugochukwu, Travel Noire

For some people, travel is all about those unique, immersive experiences. But what happens when you are the ethnically different outsider visiting a homogeneous travel destination that is not exposed to much cultural diversity? Well, it’s these types of experiences that Travel Noire tries to capture with its network of nomads around the world, offering an Afro-centric perspective that has been missing from mainstream travel resources.

Zim Ugochukwu, founder of Travel Noire, is leading the charge to provide a website to showcase African and African-American travel perspectives and to encourage people of color to make travel an integral part of their lives. And as you will soon discover, this first-generation Nigerian — born in Rochester, MN — has the expertise to provide advice about everything from solo travel to expat life — definitive reasons why Zim is our type of traveler.

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With temperatures in the US reaching record lows this February, it’s time to turn your dreams of traveling to Hawaii into a reality. Enter The Trip 2015 — an exclusive Travel Channel contest — for a chance to win a $100,000 vacation for 2 to the Aloha State.

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Here at Travel Channel, we’ll go to the end of … the Internet in search of inspiring travel stories. Here are just a few of the travel blogs, online ‘zines and YouTube channels we frequent for your bookmarking pleasure.

If your first question is always, “Where are we going to eat?” …

The New Potato
You can learn a lot about a city from its restaurants and the tastemakers who call it home. Sisters Danielle and Laura Kosann dish up both on The New Potato.

Eat This Poem
English majors, rejoice! Nicole Gulotta of Eat This Poem curates literary city guides; consider them your field guide to the best bookstores, coffee shops, places to have a proper meal and other fun finds.

If you’re looking for new travel hacks …

Landlopers

Photo by LandLopers

Landlopers
Matt Long’s blog, Landlopers, is a mix of travel news, tips and guides that are informative, entertaining and accessible to the non-backpacker-but-still-want-an-adventure crowd.

TripHackr
If “maximizing every day and every dollar” is a travel mantra you can get behind, you’ll want to dial in to Clint Johnston’s daily outposts on TripHackr, which run the gamut from 72-hour guides, roundups and “hacks” he’s picked up from years on the road.

If you like to just press “play” …

Your Expedition South
Alex Chacón rode a motorcycle around the world for 3 years and documented it all on his blog, Your Expedition South. While we love reading about his modern motorcycle diaries, it’s his videos that caught our attention. Selfie + drone in Veracruz, Mexico? Boom.

Sonia’s Travels
Sonia Gil is a familiar face at Travel Channel thanks to her Almost Free web series, but it’s also worth tuning in to her personal channel for a steady stream of product reviews, packing tips and moments from her travels around the world.

If you’re looking for a kindred spirit …

One Mile at a Time
To the average traveler who’s used points for a cheaper fare or upgrade, this one might be a bit overwhelming. However, if you’ve ever considered flying to Stockholm for dinner to secure a certain rewards status, as our own mileage runner did, One Mile at a Time is a must-read.

Kelly Purkey

Photo by Kelly Purkey

Kelly Purkey
Paper-goods designer Kelly Purkey, by her own admission, travels more than she’s at home. On her blog, she shares details of her travels, from beautiful interiors to packing tips, always with a keen eye for design.

To immerse yourself in far-flung cities …

Local Milk
A recipe and food blog first and foremost, native Tennessean Beth Kirby’s Local Milk landed on our radar because of her “slow living” creative retreats. Her hauntingly beautiful photos and words remind you to be present in the moment and find beauty in the mundane while soaking up the beautiful backdrop.

Boat Magazine
The nomadic team behind Boat magazine spends several weeks in a city before featuring it in the magazine. What emerges are honest, “inside-out” portraits that evolve just like the cities they are covering. Check out the team’s journal to tide you over in between issues.

We’re always on the lookout for a fresh perspective on travel. Share your favorites in the comments!

Rome

Photo by swisshippo / Getty Images / iStockphoto

For this week in travel, we rounded up posts by some of the travel bloggers we’re currently following, bookmarking and sharing in the Travel Channel office.

Cover thousands of years of art and history in a single afternoon and save money while you do it? Triphackr shares his tips and tricks for seeing Rome on a budget.

Make sense of the chaos in Cairo: find out how to see the best of the city in just a few days thanks to Landlopers.

If you’re perpetually putting off downloading your travel photos and, you know, doing something with them, get inspired by Kelly Purkey’s kick-ass scrapbook.

Eat This Poem posted a literary travel guide for Seattle, which solves any pressing need for an independent bookstore, good cup of coffee or salted-caramel cupcakes.

If you’re wondering where to eat in Soho right this minute, The New Potato has the low down from the chefs at hot spot Chalk Point Kitchen.

Seaside, FL We asked you to weigh in on our 10 expert picks and determine this year’s Best Overall Beach. Travel Channel fans voted and chose Seaside, FL, as their fan favorite!

We said: 

“Seaside is a beach community located near Destin, FL, but could not be more different in its features,” says Tamala Prickett.

“In place of high-rise condos, you’ll find pastel colored houses lined with white picket fences and beach cruisers. When night falls, families cover the amphitheater with picnic blankets to enjoy outdoor movies and live music.”

And you agreed:

“Beautiful beach!!! White sand and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.” – Ana, FL

So for the second year in a row, the fan favorite goes to our pick for Best Family Beach. And if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out the rest of this year’s Best Beach Award winners!

You May Also Like:
101 Sand n’ Surf Hot Spots
Win a $100,000 Trip to Hawaii
Which Beach Are You? Quiz

Red Beach

Red Beach, Greece – Michael Utech

After a whirlwind tour that took us to some of the best tropical beaches, jungle paradises and hidden havens, we are finally at the No. 1 Sand n’ Surf Hotspot.

The visually stunning Red Beach in Santorini, Greece, topped the list, with its volcanic backdrop, crimson sand and unusually warm waters. Nestled at the base of towering red rocks created by an ancient volcanic eruption, Red Beach offers up a picturesque landscape that cannot be topped. Add in the surrounding island of Santorini, and you have the makings of paradise found.

And although our list is complete, there is still time for you to vote for your favorite beach of 2015. Check out our complete list of Best Beach Award winners and cast your vote for the Best Overall Beach of 2015.

Kate Bock at Blackberry Farm

Kate Bock at Blackberry Farm – Janine Berey / SI.com

Tonight, on an all-new episode of SI: The Making of Swimsuit 2015, cover model Hannah Davis and the rest of the crew head east on the final leg of their “Made in the USA” shoot. Starting off in the Great Smoky Mountains, the models take over Blackberry Farm, a luxury hotel and resort in Tennessee. After swinging from trees and posing with pigs, they head to Caneel Bay on St. John in the US Virgin Islands, where the rain settles in, making it quite difficult to get the perfect shot — especially for the models in body paint. After the clouds part and the sun makes a brief appearance, rookie model Hailey Clauson gets in the last photo shoot of this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, finally bringing the long but beautiful 7-month journey to a close.

Check out the video below for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes preview of tonight’s season finale, “Beauty and the East.”

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You May Also Like:

Best Beach Awards 2015

On Location With Sports Illustrated’s Nina Agdal

Making of Swimsuit: Route 66 Pictures

Making of Swimsuit: Natural Beauty Pictures

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