Categorized | WriteBox

Travel Writing

Posted on 18 June 2012 by Averee Burman

To begin with, if you wish to be a travel writer then you must love to travel. You must travel with your eyes and ears open and sensitize yourself to all that is beautiful.

The first rule to travel writing is writing straight from the heart; no exaggeration.  One should write as one sees. Sights, sounds, feelings, emotions – all should be expressed succinctly to make the reader visualize the experience the writer has had.

As a travel writer one gets to interact with local cultures, to explore their realities, and to see how it is to be someone else. All this makes for great matter that can be written about. Also, one must read a lot so as to be able to express oneself freely.  Nothing exists in a vacuum, and you can’t write good travel articles unless you read good travel articles. When sitting to write an article, definitely study history books and guidebooks—but don’t overlook literary travel narratives. Pay attention to technique as much as content.

In travel writing, highlighting the various attractions of a particular place is of paramount importance. The first thing that attracts a person to a place is all that it has to offer. This could be in terms of its scenic beauty, adventure sports opportunities and so on. Therefore, include in your travelogue all the experiences that the place offers and thus lure maximum number of visitors to it.

Once you have done your job of enticing the reader to visit the place, you must provide adequate information regarding the ways and means of reaching that destination. You could give the information regarding airlines, trains, local travel, cost of travel or any other detail that you deem necessary.

Once a person reaches her/his destination then she/he may have trouble locating good and decent hotels. So, you could help your readers by naming a few good accommodation options that span budgets.

You can also try to include some eccentric tourist attractions. These tourist attractions could be anything from a visit to the local winery or a trip to purchase elusive items sold at the local market.

People like to know the background and culture of a place they are planning to visit. It gives them a distinctive idea of what to expect from that place. It also helps them in their choice of clothes, accessories, etc. So give them this extra yet necessary piece of information.

Lastly mention some dos and don’ts so that a person does not fall prey to cultural mistakes. Say a person is planning to visit the Middle East, then she/he should wear decent clothes and not indulge in PDA. Again people should avoid asking for beef in a Hindu country like India or pork in a Muslim country. Hence, knowing the dos and don’ts of a particular place makes a person a smart traveller.

Travel writing always benefits from a good knowledge of the region or culture. Even if you don’t use specific information in your article, research can help you write about a place or culture with confidence. Once you’ve arrived in the country, read the local English-language newspaper for details, quirks, and tid-bits.

If you are writing for friends or a weblog, you probably know your audience already. But if you’re writing for magazines, newspapers, or web sites, make sure you’re familiar with the publication and its needs. Never approach an editor with an unclear or inappropriate story. Our advice to you is that you must target small non-paying markets first to build up a body of work.

Whatever you do, remember that travel—not travel writing—should be your priority. Always keep travelling and experiencing new parts of the planet. Even if you never get a single story published, you’ll most likely discover that you have fallen in love with the world and this will make your life richer in a way you never thought was possible.

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