Travel Writing Tips

Keep it Simple

Plain language is easily understood and paints a clearer picture than confusing jargon and purple prose. Ask yourself what you want to say and then say it.

Be Specific

Specific information is more useful and interesting for the reader. Every travel writer has written about Paris, but have they hunted ghosts in Père Lachaise, or found the best bowl of Phở in the Quartier Asiatique? Focusing on an idea will keep your writing fresh and catch people’s attention.

The Lead

Your first sentence is the most important sentence. The reader will stop reading your story if they don’t like the lead. Draw the reader in with humor, an interesting fact, or novel idea, and avoid summarising your story. Revealing the information throughout the piece will keep your reader’s attention until the end.

The Headline

Say what your piece is about in five-to-eight words. If you’ve focused you’re story on a specific idea the premise alone should grab the reader’s attention. When making list type articles, odd numbers make for a stronger headline.

What’s Different?

Describe the features that make a destination special. Readers love new information and it’s the differences that form the details of the picture in their head.

For example, there are “sandy beaches” all over the world…but in Coronado, Panama, the beaches are “swirling stretches of black-and-white sand that sparkle in the morning sun.”

Short is Good

Keeping an article short can mean the difference between a punchy, informative story and an exhausting, dull rant. Removing unnecessary information will leave you with best possible version of your story (and often a much shorter one).

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