Top 10 Travel Writing Tips

Travel Writing Tips

What travel writer could not use some travel writing tips?

It’s always a good idea to gather information from multiple resources, so we’ve collected these tips over the years from our contributors. The more resources the merrier!

So before taking-off for your next adventure, pack a few of these tips into your luggage.

Top 10 Travel Writing Tips List

  1. Experience counts. While it’s possible to be an armchair writer and just do 100% of your research online, your stories will lack authenticity and the ‘flavor’ of personal experience. Nothing beats first-hand knowledge, and nothing else can provide you with such a wealth of ideas, story angles, and experiences to write about. If your life is too busy to travel often, consider a job in the travel industry or another career that allows you to travel.
  2. What’s your angle? While Edinburgh, Scotland is a destination, it’s not a story. Are you traveling with a backpack and staying in a hostel? Perhaps you are a woman traveling solo in Scotland? Are you attending The International Fringe Festival? Instantly more markets open up when you narrow your focus and have an angle.
  3. Write, write, write! To get published you need to write well, and the best way to improve your writing is to write often. Even if your stories don’t get published, you’ll have an arsenal of material to show family and friends. English & Grammar Lessons can help improve your writing, but nothing beats a travel writing course to help you hone your writing skills.
  4. Read, read, read! Study history and guidebooks. Read every travel magazine you find. Pickup the local newspaper and read the travel section. Check out our Top 10 Travel Writing Books. Not only will you find examples of great travel writing to learn from, you’ll be enriching your travel knowledge. Happy reading!
  5. Do your research. Prior knowledge of the region and culture you’ll be visiting is vital. Then when you arrive, pickup a local newspaper or two for details, tidbits, and ideas.
  6. Know your market. If you’re writing for your own blog then you already know the reader. If you are writing for magazines, websites, or newspapers, make sure you’re familiar with the publication and its needs.
  7. Know the guidelines. Editors are very busy people. Before you submit a query, be sure to read the guidelines. Write or call publications for guidelines if you can’t find them on their website. Read past issues of a publication to get a “feel” for their style. This will help you know what was published so you do not propose a similar story.
  8. Write what you know. To stand out from the crowd it helps if you’re an authority. Your own “backyard” will be interesting to someone, somewhere in the world. And who better to write about the Navy Pier or Lincoln Park than someone who lives and works in Chicago, IL!
  9. Develop a strong network. As with many careers, becoming successful at a travel writing career can take more than just great writing skills…it helps to build relationships with Editors and other writers, often this is done at travel writing workshops and travel writing conferences.
  10. Develop a thick skin! Don’t take rejection personally because an editor said “no” to your story, just keep pitching other publications. Many, many successful travel writers will tell you about the mountain of rejections they received when starting out.