Travel writing is one of the 20 Best Jobs For People Who Love To Travel by the World of Wanderlust. Usually, the bravest and the ones who got lost produce the juiciest and most colourful rendition of a journey.
A travel article ignites interest among an audience. As it describes if it is worth to see a place, it fires a special kind of drive.
Travel articles share to the reader how a could be maximised. Showing what happens when you get immersed into a local lifestyle; it tells how to go to places, which unique delicacy should you try, and how affordable to experience it all.
Some say there’s a specific structure in writing it. Others say it’s abundant in flowers, butter and honey, resulting to being too overwhelming. In reality, good travel writing is neither and this genre is a bit more complex than its two-word name indicates.
Trending ads about ‘traveling as you write’ grew tremendously as the internet enables anybody who got a great experience to write about it. Booking platforms like Agoda, AirBNB, UBER and everything alike ask for you to take a survey each time you avail of the service. While traveling is all about experience and garnering unique memories, the way a writer tells a story is what builds the place and the article itself.
Know the types of travel articles you can be creative with as a writer to be effective on how you would construct your piece for your target audience.
Writing a travel article may be old school to some but it’s far from being that. Travel stories not only talk of “just” a destination. Different approaches stir global education and interest. With the internet’s capability of making any information available to the whole world, you get up-to-date information about a place you’ve dreamed to see. Or a background of something that you didn’t know existed.
Here are the types of travel articles that may help you decide how you would share your experience and knowledge of a destination.
Hearing the word ‘adventure’ automatically pertains to anything that is all about action. It usually involves some physical activities. Articles that spoke of a great trekking place, an ATV ride around an island, white water rafting and skydiving belong to this type. Remember, both an expert and a novice can write adventure pieces successfully because readers include first-timers too. Speak out the real you on this. Don’t fear! While you think your experience may sound too cheesy, there might be some people who’s looking for just the same of what you felt at that very moment.
Inhaling a city’s history requires a day trip around it. A specific place in a famous destination is the main focus most of the time. Let’s say, if you go to Hong Kong, you may have a day trip at the Hong Kong Disneyland. At San Francisco, you go visit the Alcatraz. Allotting a day to see and know of these historical places may not be enough. Choose one topic or place to write about and concentrate on that.
It should cover some important details such as how far it is from the city, how to get there and how much would getting there actually cost. Sharing a little-known aspect of a well-travelled route is the purpose of the day trip story. Like where is the famous Bak-kut-teh soup place that you should taste while in Singapore.
We took this photo on a day trip in Taiwan. My local folks brought my husband (my boyfriend then) and I went to see the Queen’s Head and walked around the huge rock formations the whole afternoon. We wrapped up the day trip with souvenir shopping.
Many writers love featuring the unknown or the uncommon places. This way, they get ahead of the other travel articles because it’s one-of-a-kind and it ignites interest in so many ways. Whether it’s the Philippines, Amsterdam, Peru or California, it all has those gems hidden within their city whose story is worth telling.
In Tai O, Hong Kong’s little Venice, a prison got turned into a hotel that is full of history and tell-tales. Somehow, it was preserved as how it should be from when it protected Hong Kong from pirates and people who cross the border illegally long time ago. Not many people know of this place. And that makes it special and worthy writing about.
A first-person narrative, if written properly could be the very best travel article out there. A first-person narrative is not the exact version of a travel diary though but it is often mistaken so because it is a creative compilation of detailed description, anecdotes, comparisons and contrasts from a personal perspective. Nowadays, it comes in a shorter form of a review. This can be most often found on travel guide platforms and websites. There are also a lot of travel vloggers documenting their experience visually.
Remember, be yourself when you write this and don’t hesitate to share some exceptional moments. The time you ascended from the ground via hot air balloon, that adrenalin rush when you bungee jumped and how seeing the real ‘haka’ done by the Maoris made you feel. Write it, even though it’s very subjective because that makes the piece authentic and real. Many will be able to relate and that’s how you would find your piece effective.
I wrote a piece on a first-person narrative about my experience of the Angsana Laguna in Phuket, Thailand.
Food and drink
One of the most timeless travel topics are those about foods and drinks. We consume it daily. That makes it the fastest thing to post on any social platform. There are people who specifically find for the word, “instagrammable” in restaurant reviews to even consider it worthy of a visit.
The beauty in it is, you don’t have to be a chef to write about gourmet dining. It’s advisable to know the basics of cooking. But describing how the food tastes to you as raw as possible, is also beneficial to plain spectators. With the way you describe it, you might just awaken something among your readers. Because of you, they just might become more aware when tasting their food and consuming it all the way.
Include a back story of a viand on how it became a staple of a restaurant. It may add more gusto from a reader as your story touches their emotions. Suggestion of the best drink to go with it completes a standard food and drink story. A particular chef’s stairway to being an expert in cooking may keep them reading.
Depending on how creative you are with your own food prep, your story can open to a lot of opportunities. I wrote about a foodie experience when I signed up for Plate Culture. Besides the chef’s personal touch on the delicious food he prepared. The rooftop served as the perfect ambiance that enhanced the tactile senses in a special calm way. Overall, it was such a great experience.
Details of the price range, place and type of cuisine are included in your featured food and drinks, restaurant or themed buffet.
These particular types of travel article give high regard for time. It may need you to schedule a meet up with an editor months before since its release greatly depends on the timing of an event or celebration. Say, if you are planning to write about Easter traditions in the Philippines, winter in Canada, or simply featuring a list of activities for Father’s Day that you can do while in New Zealand, you must feature them before or on time. Never after.
A good example of associating a globally known date to a travel piece might be the Olympics. There are two types, Summer and Winter Olympics. They both happen every four years but had started two years apart so basically Olympic games happen every 2 years.
How-to/travel tips are ageless articles. Nowadays, social platforms that showcase a lot of exotic food, attractive scenery and unique experiences are a hit. Because of this growing community of vloggers, people developed a sudden urge to travel when and however. That’s when this type of article becomes handy. First-timers are always present and because of easy access to published reviews, this specific type of travel article remains saucy. Parental advice on Tips for Traveling with Kids, 9 Key points Every Frequent Flyer Should Know and Why You Should Pay for Travel Insurance are samples of what makes up the core of a travel article. This is also how you could create something wonderful out of a misadventure. Make it your lead to interest an audience from the beginning.
Relating to the last statement about ‘How-to/travel tips’, most would prefer an entertaining article over a plain explaining one. Instead of writing a rule-bound article, let go by allowing yourself get creative around your funny experience. This makes your story distinct and afloat.
Picture this. Put together a first-time visit to an exotic destination with new traditions and a foreign language. It is undeniably the best recipe for humour.
There are times that travel pieces feature a liking for destinations that are in a state of flux. Readers would not be interested in going for a vacation in a chaotic area or a dangerous destination. But people find them intriguing. How you capture a reader may just make a publisher grant you a space in the newspaper. Take them into the action. Who wouldn’t want to read about being behind the enemy lines? Places that only the media passport holders are allowed of an entry may be the ones to write these. Countries that regular ones may be prohibited from accessing such as North Korea and Iraq may find this challenging.
A roundup is a systematic way of putting or featuring 5 to 10 different locations with a shared commonality. Hotels in Hong Kong You Never Knew Expected is an example of a round-up. It’s a round-up of Hong Kong hotels that are discreetly located within the country. ‘Cheap Hotels around New York’, ‘Kid-friendly Hotels’ are other samples. Basically, all of these articles are hotel round-ups where their shared commonality are hotels; the location comes in secondary.
A lead paragraph initiates a roundup for its main theme. The featured elements follow through.
In the name of information, a hobby, a course or a workshop may satisfy elements of being a travel article. An individual is usually called or compelled to attend this away from home. A special interest piece has a wide topic-potential to feature. From lodging and cooking, to eateries, to extreme sports to writing, yoga and pilgrimage. Basically, anything of specific liking to the reader that occurs in a specific locale.
Article starters like ‘7 Things I Learned in Attending the Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference 2016 in Los Angeles‘, ‘Gary Vaynerchuk’s Keynote at RISE 2017 in Hong Kong’, ‘House of Dancing Water in Macau’ illustrate special interest travel pieces.
Reaching your destination is a story. Flying to it, crossing the seas with a ferry and then immersing yourself on a boat trip can heighten up the details. All of it would support an article you’re trying to write about how to get to the island resort. Now that’s something to tell. The transportation experience is the soul of a transit article. The destination becomes secondary to the journey.
And that goes for all of travel experiences. Whether you put it in writing or keeping it in your memory, how it transforms you as a human being greatly lies on the people you meet, the destination you aspire for and the lessons you learn in between. The best destination is life. Live it. Take some calculated risks, walk through challenges and most of all, take a good view of the horizon that awaits.
On a side note, this article was based on the very reason why I chose to pursue writing. It is quite outdated but it spoke to me. It’s a good reference for all of you travel writers out there. A shout out to Kristy Rae who had made this available for my hands.