Travel Writing 101

The art of travel writing is a huge subject. This is just a brief 101 for travel writers to get started with. This is meant for those want to write travel articles for the web, travel blog writing or even travel brochure writing.

Almost every half-decent writer fancies becoming a travel writer, thinking that it must be the cushiest job in the world. It’s a lot of fun, no doubt, but it also calls for some key skills. Therefore travel writing needs more than just excellent writing. It comes with practice and some careful choice of information and words.

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind before embarking on a new travel writing mission:

  1. Pick a place you love / Do your research: If you’re writing about a place that you’ve actually visited, choose a place that you really enjoyed. Your enthusiasm will reflect in your writing and will be contagious, making it far more enjoyable for your reader.
    Many travel articles and travel blog writing projects are however assigned to you by travel website owners. In this case, you may not have physically been to these places so you need to do plenty of in-depth research. Don’t give the audience a sketchy picture of the destination. This will make them doubt the authenticity of your client’s website and make your client lose potential business.
  2. Information you must include: All good examples of travel writing must have detailed information like ‘best time to go’, ‘restaurants for all budgets’, ‘places to shop’ and ‘top attractions’. Readers look for these details and having them there will give your article more hits.
  3. Make it real: Use evocative imagery when describing a place. Use your words to conjure an image so tangible your users can almost touch it. For instance, compare these two sentences: “Crystal clear turquoise waters gently lick the white, powdery beaches while the trees sway lazily in the breeze.” and “The beach has a calm sea with turquoise crystal clear waters and a gentle breeze.” The first sentence evokes an image of tranquility, whereas the second sentence describes, well, just a tropical beach.
  4. Avoid clichés: Like any good piece of writing your travel articles should be devoid of any clichés.
  5. Get down to details: When doing travel brochure writing or even travel blog writing, try and include specific subjects like ’10 best beaches in Spain’ or ‘5 most romantic destinations in Thailand’. These are likely to get more hits on the web and your reader’s attention.
  6. Use illustrations: While this doesn’t apply to travel brochure writing, all forms of travel writing for the web could do with easy-to-read shortcuts and illustrations. E.g. wherever possible use stars or thumbs to rate, use dollar signs to indicate budget etc. The more user-friendly your writing is, the more hits and more repeat visitors you’ll have.

Now that you’ve got the basics in place, practice, practice, practice! This is the only way you’ll master the art of travel writing and also ensure that you contribute to the SEO of travel websites in a big way.

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