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Getting the Facts for Your Travel Article

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September 2010
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People read travel articles for many reasons. Some want to get ideas on where to travel. Others want to learn about the world. Many want to be entertained. Whatever the reason, the reader wants useful facts about the destination. A good travel article includes the writer’s impressions and observations and interesting facts culled from up-to-date research resources, such as the Web or travel guidebook.

In this article, I will discuss how to find facts for your article, how to complete fact checking, and how to add factual details to your travel article. As well, I will provide a list of travel writing resources that you can use to find more information on travel writing.

Discovering Facts

Before you begin writing travel articles, the first thing you need to do is build a travel resource library. You can do this by collecting interesting travel articles, brochures, travel books, travel magazines, or anything else that might be helpful in researching your a trip or writing a travel article that you plan to write.

Prior to traveling to the destination spot, you should conduct pre-trip research. You can begin by checking your personal travel library for useful facts. A second place to check is the Web. It has countless Websites on the place you want to visit, each offering information that could be useful.

Next, contact the travel office near you to obtain maps, guidebooks, and information about hotels, restaurants, rental cars, and so forth. Read magazines and books on the place you are going to visit, to learn about the geography, history, culture, language, customs, cuisine, traditions, and religion.

While you are traveling, you should also collect facts. Start by obtaining guidebooks, maps, newspapers, post cards of the destination. Take photographs of the sites you visit. Bring your laptop to conduct research on the Web from your hotel room.

You should also record facts in your writing journal. Include descriptions, dialogue, contact information, and so forth. Include your impressions and observations. Take your travel journal wherever you go. It will become your most important resource.

Fact Checking

Every business card, email address, phone call is a potential contact for fact checking. The Web can also be a good source for fact checking. Be sure that the content on the travel website is up to date. Visit the library and consult with a librarian about the facts you are going to use in your article. Contact the local travel and tourism government office.

Including Facts in Your Travel Article

In all likelihood, there have been numerous travel articles written about the destination you are visiting. Therefore, one of your goals is to present the facts in a new way. Be sure to check the Web to see what has been written. Another goal is provide new facts about the destination. A third objective is to combine these facts and personal experience into a storytelling experience. Nobody wants to read a travel article riddled with just facts. That is the purpose of the travel guide. Instead tell the writer about an interesting experience you had while travelling, and weave factual information into the story. Or include a couple of problems you encountered while travelling, and weave a few interesting facts into your story. A good travel article includes the writer’s personal experience and a few interesting, relevant facts about the destination.

Useful Resources for Travel Writers

Here are a few of the most popular instructional guides for travel writers:

  • L. Peat O’Neil, Travel Writing: A Guide to Research, Writing Selling, 2nd ed., Writer’s Digest Books, 2005. ISBN 978-1582973814.
  • Don George, Travel Writing, Lonely Planet, 2005. ISBN 978-0864427427.
  • Louise Purwin Sobel and Jacqueline Harmon Butler, The Travel Writer’s Handbook: How to Write—and Sell—Your Own Travel Experiences, 6th ed., Surrey Books, 2006. ISBN 978-1572840843.
  • Cynthia Dial, Teach Yourself Travel Writing, 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill, 2006. ISBN 978-0071478816.
  • Gordon Burgett, Travel Writer’s Guide, 3rd rev. ed., Communication Unlimited, 2002. ISBN 978-0970862112.

Websites

Here are a few useful websites that can help you write your travel article:

 

Magazines

Here are a few useful travel magazines that you can read:

 In the next article, I will explain how to write a travel article.

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