How to Write Like a Travel Writer
Everyone wants to travel now. The phenomenon has taken over the world like never before due to new technology and the ability to travel around the world faster and cheaper. One way to make money on the road is to travel blog or become a writer for publications like Conde Nast. I have taken a course in London by a renowned travel writer. Here, I will share with you the details of his course, so you don’t have to travel to London in freezing January like I did to learn from a master. I’m going to write this quickly and precisely so keep up.
Before you write, you must travel. That’s obvious. But what do you need to do before you travel? I know some of you like to get to a place and just wander and as much as I love to do that to I would hardly accumulate any form of content for The Pemberley that way.
1. Research matters
Before you visit a new location, you must do your research. Below are all good places to look for travel inspiration and research.
- Travel Magazines
- Instagram or Pinterest
- Facebook Travel Groups such as GirlsLoveTravel
- Youtube videos like Mimi Ikonn
- Friends and contacts who either live in that area or have been there before
- Travel blogs
- And of course, any embassy information websites to make sure you’re safe— taken with a grain of salt. (I’ve lived in many places where there have been “wars” happening, and I’ve lived to tell the tale.)
2. Chose your focus
Let’s say London; we must choose what to write about. You don’t want to decide to write about a certain museum and end up spending your whole day on a river Thames boat cruise. Focus. Travel writing is not all fun and games. It takes careful planning.
The travel writing business has exploded in recent years, and now everyone wants to get published. When there may have been a few writers backpacking the Camino de Santiago a few years ago, now you have hundreds, which is why your writing needs to be superb and professional, and specific. Focus on one aspect of the trail and not the whole experience. It will get too wordy, and you’ll lose interest.
3. Get in Touch with locals before you go
They will have stories and information that are not in the guidebooks. Those quotes are musts for a good travel piece.
4. Get specific
Now we get to the actual writing of the article. Stay away from Superlatives. No one wants to hear about a beautiful mountainside or waterfall. Be specific with your descriptions. Paint a picture for the reading audience so they can see what you’ve seen in their mind's eye. Remember to describe all five senses.
5. Build structure
The structure of your article has six components.
- An intriguing Introduction
- Some background to why you were actually in this place
- The main narrative
- An anecdote you overheard from a local
- The end— reference back to the Introduction
- What’s next for you or the location you are writing about.
There you have it, a full course that I traveled halfway around the world for, condensed into 530 words, so you don’t have to. If you want more help getting published send me an email and I will gladly share more of my tips and tricks with you.