10 Tips for Travel Writing

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

Traveling is something that many people think is a crucial part of becoming a more well-rounded person. It’s also something that many of us want to do before we get bogged down with jobs or other future commitments. This coming spring, I am studying abroad in London. I’ve been fortunate enough to go abroad before, but never for a period of time this long. In part of documenting my memories during this trip, I have decided to pursue my own travel blog about all of the adventures I will encounter while overseas. In part of my research and preparation for the trip and blog, I have come across some tips and tricks for creating and absorbing memorable stories in your travel writing. 

1. Start out with a good hook.

Start the story with something that grabs the reader’s attention. Don’t start out with smaller details, like the journey to the airport. Even though they may mean something to you, it might not be enough to capture your reader. Start off your writing with a brief story about one of the first exciting things you encountered. This also allows you to create a tone and direction for your future writings.

2. Have a clear storyline and direction.

Your trip is a compilation of a series of events. It’s your job as you create this narrative to link the things that you experience to a particular story you’d like to tell about your trip. Make sure the piece you’re writing flows and try to pick out the best bits to create an interesting account.

3. Have a goal.

One of the things that might keep your readers interested is if you give yourself a goal for the trip. Each part included can either further or hinder the path to your objective and it will want to keep your readers guessing till the end to see if you’ve achieved it.

4. Avoid cliches, don’t be too clever, and be yourself.

Don’t use overused phrases like “ bustling markets” or “ the little town nestled among” when describing places you go. Come up with original, accurate descriptions to excite your readers. Don’t try to be too clever in your writing either. The best way to get across your messages for the piece is to make it sound natural and use elements of your personality. Lastly, don’t cater your writing to what you think are the reader’s interests. Write down your experiences, making it simple and enjoyable. Be you in your writing.

5. Use Facts!

If you come across any interesting bits of information only locals might know, include it in your piece! Make sure to cross check your information, but add them to spice up the accounts of your daily adventures.

6. Use dialogue.

Including quotes from people you encounter can add vitality to your piece. Quote people accurately and ask them for a quick interview to get more information for your piece. Who knows, maybe they can give you advice or could become a new friend in this exciting place!

7. Make ‘signposts’.

As you write, don’t just tell your readers about the things you see that can also be found in the many guide books. Your writing should be an accompaniment to the information that’s out there. Including specific places “off the beaten path” can add a richness to your story, and it could be something that motivates your reader to find a similar experience if they travel to that destination.

8. Show your readers what you experience.

Instead of telling your readers what you do, show them. Give them as much detail as possible. Tell them what you saw, felt, tasted or heard. Make it so that one could picture the scene in their mind.

9. Take Pictures!

This is a given. Each time you write, include a picture to give your reader an image that can support the things you’re writing about.

10. End with a discovery or personal transformation.

As you approach the end of your trip and your writing, don’t just end with your departure. Give your readers a conclusion to the story. Give them a reason for reading your pieces. If you had a goal for the trip, let the reader know whether you achieved it or not and what experiences helped you along the way. If you feel that this trip has helped you come to a discovery that you wouldn’t have been able to have otherwise, express that. Try to get your readers to feel something as you conclude your writing.

Traveling is a great way to discover different components that make up the world. Going on this journey could be very impactful and life-changing, as well as a great journey to document. These are just a few of the helpful tips out there, but by writing and sharing your experiences, you could influence someone else to go abroad and explore what’s out there.

Happy traveling!

This blog post was written by Account Associate Olivia Reed.

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