If you have a passion for traveling and writing then combine the two and become a travel writer! Would you like to know the “secrets” to travel writing? Then you came to the right place! You may want to purchase a few books along the way such as Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing or The Writer’s Handbook Guide to Travel Writing. You can find these books and other recommendations under our Tools & Tips section; click on Top 10 Travel Writing Books.
TWR!: Travel, write, and read! In order to have some basic authority on travel, you must have the experience of life on the “road” or in the “air!” It helps if you are willing to open yourself up to different cultures and the “unknown.” To write well, you must write often! Even if you do not get published (yet) you have written material. Read! Read! Read! Study art, history, and languages. Learn all you can about editing and writing. Read guidebooks and travel magazines. Pay attention to the writing styles of authors/writers as well as the content.
- Know how to research. Research the location, people, and culture.
- Organization goes a long way. This includes organizing your thoughts on a potential travel article, having a database filled with the names of various editors and publications, and potential markets. The key is to get your story into as many publications as possible.
- Become familiar with the latest in technology from computers to software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Framemaker.
- Magazines are a travel writer’s best market.
- Write about a “niche” market such as “traveling with children.”
- Learn how to use a camera. Today, photography and travel writing go hand-in-hand. Most publications will request photos to accompany your travel writing.
- Write about the “offbeat and unique.” There are many travel articles that highlight the “same old same old” such as nightlife, hotels and resorts, and “touristy” areas. Write something different!
- Before you submit your work to an editor, read the GUIDELINES for submission!
- Write what you know because this makes you an expert. Someone, somewhere will be interested in what is going on in your area.
- Writing takes dedication and practice! When you write, you are writing for your readers. Can you describe the sights, sounds, and smells of a country or local? Are you able to describe a festival in such detail that it makes your reader feel as if they are there with you?
- Communication skills are a must! Are you comfortable walking up to people and striking up a conversation? Are you able to relate to others no matter their (perceived) status in the world? Does your writing flow? Will readers be able to follow your story?
Spilling the beans on travel writing,
Another secret: Network. Get to know people in the travel writing business through social media and attending conferences/workshops. Sometimes the best way to break into a publication is through the back door.
Networking is a great opportunity to meet people. I utilize social media and Meetup.com because there are many groups in the Phoenix, AZ area. It can take some time because not every group will work for you. But, you receive the opportunity to meet people who know people and so on.