Travelling always evokes a sense of adventure – we enjoy it for the thrill of discovering the unknown. Meanwhile, travel writing lets us capture in words the essence of the moment we are experiencing. Social media, email and blogs have truly transformed the way we approach our journeys and there are more opportunities than ever to share our travel writings.
Whether you’re starting a personal travel blog to share with friends and family or looking to publish your work, travel writing has its own unique style and audience. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind to spice up your travel writing:
Give a sense of time and place – travel writing more than other types of articles (such as business writing) is about painting a picture and setting the scene. You need to communicate to your readers where you are and the overall setting. Use plenty of sensory details – describe the tastes and smells of where you are.
Gather information – a travel writer is different to the run of the mill tourist. You want to find out everything you can about the place you’re visiting and communicate with your readers. Be a journalist – ask questions of the locals and the people around you. Learn more about the sites and landmarks by doing some good ol’ fashioned research and giving some background information on what you learn. Chat with the locals and get some inside perspective.
Write with your own voice – travelling is a deeply personal experience and your writing should reflect your own story. Stay true to your own voice and personality – it’ll add character to your words.
Teach your readers something new – as well as telling a story, travel writing is the perfect opportunity to share new ideas and experiences. Don’t overload your piece with facts and statistics, but if you sprinkle them effectively to support your observations, your piece will stand out that much more.
Support your story with pictures – a picture is worth a thousand words and there is nothing more powerful than original images to accompany your piece. So unless you’re travelling with your own photojournalist, it’ll be worthwhile to invest in a quality camera and spend some time photographing the sights and people – it’ll give so much more depth to your work.
If you’re thinking about pitching your piece to editors and publications, ensure your writing is top notch. You may benefit from a professional editing course or other journalism course to get some valuable advice from the seasoned professionals.