To get started as a travel writer, there are many considerations to think about, particularly the market for your writing and where you want to get it published. The second item is to consider where you want to travel and if this destination caters to one of the particular markets you have selected. For example, travel writing often deploys tactics that utilize features pertaining to specific destinations, activities, or themes designed for readers who may want to go to these regions. Now that you have this in mind, let’s dive a little deeper into how to specifically begin your travel writing.
Review The Competition
Reviewing the works of others and adapting your style to previously published material is a great starting point for embarking on your travel writing. Consider the style, format, length, and other compositional guidelines that your targeted publication requires, as well as a professional editor. Fit your writing style and formatting to this model and it will greatly increase your success in getting published. Search the internet for publications pertaining to the region you are traveling to, both for local publications such as the local newspapers, how-to guides that include reviews, and travel publications for tourists. Then expand your search to include larger national and international publications that are published by tour guides, travel companies, and other travel publications. Your writing style and format should match the guidelines set out by these publications, as well as be modeled closely to the style and format of previously published authors.
One of the specific styles of travel writing surrounds the motif of reviewing a particular destination. Going to this destination gives you a hands-on, feet-on-the-ground experience, which is essential to providing strong facts and details about the destination you are reviewing. This information allows other people and tourists the opportunity to plan their trip. In your travel writing destination review, you will want to include helpful hints and tips about the destination that make it relevant to travelers who are planning their trip. This can include excursions, activities, what to bring/pack as part of their travel planning, as well as good places to eat, visit, or other popular or famous events or activities that cater to large groups of people. By focusing your writing on larger spectacles, you are able to increase your outreach to a larger audience and grow your views and readership rather than covering small events or non-popular destinations. That said, there is plenty of room for writing about undiscovered and unpublished events, locations, or activities, that serve to provide information to a niche market of travelers who are interested in doing something that is not conventional. You will want to highlight the aspects of this destination and why it is fun to visit, what makes it special, and some of the unique experiences that make you the professional and experienced expert on the region. Do this by reading information and publications about the destination and familiarizing yourself with the locale so that you are providing the inside scoop on what to do, how to save money, and get the most out of the travel experience while there.
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Special Interest Travel Writing
Some destinations are so diverse that you simply can’t cover everything in one publication, so many authors will style their travel writing to cater to a special interest group by focusing on a theme or hobby such as fishing, surfing, art, photography, natural phenomenon, or other such themes that are collected as part of larger thematic works. For example, if you are writing about Mazatlan, Mexico, you can take a particular angle that focuses on the art galleries, interview some of the local artists, as well as provide a historical review of arts and crafts as part of Mexican culture and how it has evolved.
Highlight the details of why this location is a great place to experience arts and crafts, as well as further reading opportunities by linking your travel writing article to specific local artisans and galleries. You can do special interest travel writing around themes that you enjoy, or take an inquisitive stance to review a theme that is trending or popular for the publication you intend to write for. Some special interest travel writing themes include:
- Horseback riding
- Beach Life
- Food and Restaurants
- Holiday and Special Events
- Other special interest themes
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Round-ups are another style of travel writing that does not focus on one destination, but rather collates a range of destinations surrounding a particular theme or special interest topic. Rather than discussing the topic in length and its relation to a specific destination, writers review a range of destinations that cater to this particular topic. For example, you may write about the “Top 10 Surfing Destinations,” or “5 Best Seafood Destinations,” or “5 Cheapest Tropical Vacation Spots;” whatever the topic is, Round-Ups cover a larger regional scope because they include multiple locations specific to a particular hobby or theme.
Travel Writing: Choosing Your Point of View
Travel writing is usually done in first person when it is performed in a review-style format so that you can establish your voice as an expert on the topic. No one wants to read information from someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about, so it is important to establish some facts early that add credibility to your article. However, there are multiple styles of travel writing that you can use and develop freely depending on where and how you want to publish your work. Here are some closing guidelines to better equip your point of view and establish yourself as a stronger and more professional travel writer:
- Destination Articles: Often first person POV where the author reviews a particular destination.
- Special-Interest Articles: Usually pertain to specific hobbies or themes that guide your writing relevant to a specific destination.
- Holiday and Special Events: Often relevant to events and celebrations that cater to a specific audience.
- Round-Ups: Often thematically focused, and includes multiple travel regions relevant to the chosen theme.
- Personal Essays and Travel Blogs: These are usually first person and relay the author’s experience in the region, sharing the highlights, do’s and don’ts, and other tips for success.
- How-To: These include special styles of writing that are often thematically focused and provide explanations of how to perform activities, or experiences within a particular locale.
- Travel Memoirs, Books, and Other Styles: Again, look at where and how you want to publish and choose a style that is relevant to your publishing goals. Review previously published works and the style guidelines of the publication, and then get out and experience the region, establish yourself as an expert, and share your insights!
Now that you have learned the essentials of travel writing, consider reflecting on some of your travels and put together an article for publication, or start planning your next destination with a series of articles that you can produce while there. Once you have your article or articles completed, then consider getting it edited professionally by a business like First Editing, which helps authors perfect their writing!