Best WordPress Themes for Travel Blogs Under $50

February 28, 2020

If you’re looking for a new travel blog WordPress theme (or any other niche), but are overwhelmed by all the options, here’s a compilation of the most aesthetic themes you can find for under $50. When I migrated my travel blog from Blogger to WordPress, I was considering tons of themes, so I already did those hours of research and being indecisive for you 🙂

Note that these themes are ONLY for WordPress.org sites, and not WordPress.com. WordPress.com doesn’t allow you to add themes or plugins. WordPress.org is self-hosted and gives you greater control over customizing your site.

If you’re on WordPress.com, you’ll need to upgrade to WordPress.org and sign up with a website host. I personally use SiteGround (affiliate link), as they’re best known for their speed and support. Plans start at $4 month with my referral discount, but I use the GrowBig plan at $6/month since it came with free WordPress installation/site migration.

A Quick Word About Frameworks

While most of these themes don’t require purchase of special framework, some of them do. Not sure what a WordPress framework is? Let’s compare a WordPress theme to a house; a WordPress framework would then be the foundation and frame of that house. Basically, the WordPress framework contains the basic code that lays the foundation for the design of your theme. From there, you can build upon more specialized features. Frameworks are also known as “Parent theme frameworks,” and the actual customized themes on those frameworks are called “child themes.”

The most popular framework is the Genesis Framework, which costs $60 (one-time fee). Many bloggers swear by the Genesis Framework because there are tons of child theme options, and the framework is also supposed to be awesome for your site speed and performance. I don’t personally use the Genesis Framework, but I’d consider investing in it eventually. Some themes also come with the Genesis Framework, which saves you some money.

Best Travel Blog WordPress Themes for Under $50

The following listings contain Creative Market affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission. This doesn’t cost you any extra, and your purchases allow me to write more articles like these to help readers.

If you’re not familiar with Creative Market, it’s basically like an Etsy for digital products. I love using them since they also send weekly digital freebies, like fonts, graphics, and stock photos (you can also opt out if you don’t want these). I’m personally a fan of the freebies because they’re things I can use in my blog theme and Pinterest pins.

Also, while I personally blog about travel, running, and sustainability, I find that these themes are well-suited to almost every niche, especially if you have more visual content. For instance, I think these would also be great for fashion, food, and lifestyle.

1. Anaise by Georgia Lou Studios ($39) – my theme!

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The first four themes are from Georgia Lou Studios, the company behind my current blog theme. I chose them for the sleek and affordable price. You don’t need to purchase a separate framework as the themes come with their own framework.

Setup was really intuitive, and customizing the design was also easy. I was able to change the header, layout, fonts (there are tons to choose from), and many other features. Installing a social feed and mailing list opt-in was also straightforward, as was setting up GDPR compliance (the theme comes with important and commonly-used plugins). All the themes are responsive, meaning that the size proportions will vary accordingly with the size of your screen (so basically mobile-friendly).

What I love about Georgia Lou Studios themes is is that you can make a single theme look totally different. Within each theme, there are 20+ layouts and 800+ fonts. This means that if you get tired of your current look, you could completely transform your design without buying a new theme. I also appreciate that the company offers design support; if you every run into an issue, you can submit a ticket. I got a response in a day, which was great and timely service.

2. Abigail by Georgia Lou Studios ($39)

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Abigail is great for travel bloggers who want a softer look with the pink accents, or who want to especially highlight more images or categories on the homepage.

3. Savannah by Georgia Lou Studios ($39)

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Savannah is super similar to my Anaise theme, but offers different nav bar placements, and the main featured post title has a white text box overlay (making it easier to read). I’d go with Savannah if you want a bolder theme look, and Anaise if you want something more minimalistic.

4. Jemma by Georgia Lou Studios ($39)

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Jemma is super customizable, whether you want a sweet and subtle theme, a darker theme, or a bright and energetic one.

5. Hazel by Code + Coconut ($49) – Genesis Framework

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The Code + Coconut themes require the Genesis Framework. If you don’t already have it, they have a deal on their shop where you can get 30% off any theme if you purchase the Genesis Framework through their affiliate link. I really love how minimalistic the themes are, yet they still manage to convey a unique vibe.

6. Florence by Code + Coconut ($49) – Genesis Framework

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7. Ginny by Code + Coconut ($49) – Genesis Framework

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8. Dainty by Hearten Made ($49) – Genesis Framework

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Dainty is a whimsical theme perfect for showcasing your photography on the homepage (I love the little sketch details over the main images). For this theme, you’ll also need to purchase the Genesis Framework, if you don’t have it already.

WordPress Themes for Travel Blogs that Cost a Little More

There are some really popular themes that do cost more than $50, but I wanted to list them as a couple more options. These aren’t affiliate links, so I’m not trying to push them on you to make more money—just wanted to pass them along if you’re looking for tried-and-true favorites.

9. 17th Avenue Designs ($59-$69)

17th Avenue Design probably has the most popular WordPress themes. I’ve seen their themes on super popular travel blogs like World of Wanderlust, and also on highly-trafficked fashion and lifestyle blogs. When you buy their themes ranging from $59-69, you’ll get the Genesis Framework for free, which is a pretty awesome deal given that the framework itself costs $60 (you’re basically getting the theme for $0-10!). I was strongly considering their themes, but the higher cost dissuaded me. I also didn’t want to have “the same theme as everyone else,” though their themes are also very customizable. I’d go with them if you want a daintier/softer-looking theme, and if you want a great package deal on the Genesis Framework + a popular theme.

10. Pipdig ($59-69)

Pipdig is another “household name” in WordPress themes, regardless of your blogging niche (travel, lifestyle, cooking, fashion, etc.). I was also strongly considering them, but then I learned that they were the subject of a controversy in spring 2019. Basically, there was some very questionable code within their themes that could destroy sites, change passwords, and more. Pipdig denied all accusations and erased evidence, according to this Wordfence article. Many bloggers migrated to 17th Avenue Designs following the controversy, but many stayed with Pipdig. I ultimately decided against them because of the higher price and potential risk. I also noticed that many of their themes on active blogs were looking glitchy, with the recommended posts widget appearing way larger than it was supposed to be. If you buy a WordPress theme from Pipdig, please be aware of these concerns! I personally would avoid them.


 

I hope this post pointed you towards a theme that suits your needs. Let me know if you have any questions about my theme, and happy blogging!

If you want to learn more about my blogging journey, my 2020 goals, and how I made my first $400 blogging, check out my 2019 Blogging Income Report.

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About Me

I'm Lily, and I run races and go places (& blog about it). I also try to advocate for the planet & its people.
Here is where I document my (mis)adventures and try to offer some helpful advice. Feel free to join me for the ride. Read More

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