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July 2010
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In the next few posts, I will write about travel writing.

Introduction

Travel writing is a popular type of creative nonfiction. An aspiring travel writer can write travel articles for the Web, newspaper, travel magazines, travel literature, or travel guidebooks.

A good travel article is based on fact and is truthful. And the reader assumes that the writer has visited the destination or participated in the experience.

A good travel article brings the destination or place to life. The writer is able to transport the reader to the destination by using facts, vivid descriptions, anecdotes, storytelling, and sensory images. Often the destination or experience takes place in some larger context, such as the Olympics, White Water Rafting, Fishing, or Scuba Diving.

A good travel article also educates readers, provides them with entertainment, such as the use of humour, and helps them make decisions about travel destinations and other travel decisions.

To become a travel writer, you must love to travel and have strong writing skills. You must also learn the art and craft of travel writing. There are several good books on the market to help you, such as “The Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing” or “Travel Writing” by L. Peat O’Neal.

Types of Travel Articles

As an aspiring travel writer, you have several different types of travel articles that you can write. Each article has its own style, tone, structure, and purpose. The following is a list of the different types of travel articles you can write:

  • Destination Articles. It is a popular type of travel writing. The purpose of the destination article is to interest the reader and motivate them to book a trip to the destination. This type of article covers all the important tourist attractions and includes lots of facts about the destination. Often the writer explores a destination through the structure of a theme. The writer often includes history, historical landmarks, cultural facts in writing about the destination.
  • Personal Experience Travel Essay. The writer uses the first person “I” to write the travel essay. The essay is about the writer’s experience while traveling. The writer discloses person truths and discoveries in while journeying or traveling. It is not a personal diary, which contains the writer’s thoughts, feelings, impressions about the destination. To write the travel essay, the writer must be strong writing skills.
  • Travel Advice Articles. In this type of article, the writer provides advice about travel, such as how to buy tickets at a discount online. Often, the writer can conduct research for this type of article by phone, email, or using the Web.
  • Humour Travel Articles. It is an article or essay based on the writer’s personal experience, often about the writer’s follies or foibles while traveling. Often the writer uses anecdotes to write about human error or misadventure or being out of place.
  • Recreational Travel Article. It is based on the writer participating in an experience or adventure, such as scuba diving, white water rafting, golfing, fishing, rock climbing, and so forth. Before the writer can honestly write this type of article, he must participate in the experience.
  • Journey Articles. When writing this type of travel article, the writer focuses on “the journey” itself. The writer uses storytelling to communicate the journey to the reader. The writer also shares his feelings and impressions of the journey with the reader.
  • Special Interest Article. This type of travel article deals with travel as it relates to a specific activity. It special interest is set in the destination. For instance, the writer could write an article about golfing at Pebble Beach in California. The purpose of this type of article is to inform the readers how they can learn more about their hobby or leisure pursuit. Essentially, it is a travel story based on a special interest or leisure pursuit.

The Travel Writer’s Toolbox

The travel writer must be able to record his/her thought, impressions, descriptions, experiences, and so forth. To record information, the writer has a few tools in his/her tool box. These include:

  1. Travel Journal/notebook. The writer uses it to record his impressions, experiences, and reflections. The writer will refer to his travel journal to write his travel article.
  2. Tape Recorder. The writer can use the tape recorder to conduct an interview or record his impressions.
  3. Digital Camera. The writer can take photos of the destination or experience. A picture often says what words cannot. It can also help get an article published. Furthermore, readers love to view photos of far off places or adventures. Photographs can also help the writer to remember the experience in vivid detail.
  4. Laptop computer. The writer uses it to write the travel article, communicate by email, and conduct research on the Web. It is an essential tool.

 

Next, I will discuss the travel journal.

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