Good travel writing has the power to motivate others to invest time and money exploring a town, city, state, or country that someone else has described with mesmerizing effectiveness. The art and aim of travel writing is to paint the best picture possible of a destination in order to educate, enlighten, or entice readers. To accomplish successful travel writing, a writer must identify their audiences and learn how to effectively present different types of writing for the travel genre.
Different Types of Travel Writing
A writer may choose between an array of approaches regarding travel writing, which spans guidebooks, newspaper articles, magazine spreads, advertising and corporate work, and website content. Within each sub-genre of travel writing, a variety of techniques and tactics help writers to efficiently introduce well known- and lesser-known locations around the world. It is important to recognize that the flow and depth of information for each sub-genre will differ. For example, writing a guidebook on Florida travel for families is much different than creating a guidebook for the college student.
Today, guidebooks serve as a peek into the history, art, sightseeing, activities, cheap accommodations, theater, museums, and culture of a particular destination. Some of the best guidebooks blend sightseeing information with helpful advice and facts. Depending on the target audience, a writer will vary their approach and use specified styles of writing. An easy-to-follow writing style that touches upon theme parks, casual restaurants, and kid-friendly points of interest suit family-oriented guidebooks.
Student travel guides tend to focus on affordable eateries, clubs, concerts, drinking and drug rules, and youth hostels. The style of writing is often bolder, “hip,” and laidback, including interesting facts with brief sections of text. Some guidebooks target a specific subject regarding a destination, such as “Top 20 Museums in Italy” or “Restaurant Guide for Mexico.” The style of writing is typically straightforward and aimed to interest a wide-ranging audience.
A travel narrative is quite similar to writing a novel, where a fiction-writing background comes in quite handy. The writing is very descriptive with a goal of keeping the attention of readers through detail. A travel narrative may include fictitious characters written in the third person, utilize dramatic narrative (stories with a beginning, middle, and end), and include a hint of conflict and character development. Characters may also speak to one another through detailed dialogue taken from the author’s memory.
An example of a travel narrative may include a publication titled, “A Year in South Africa,” which traces the exploits of a business executive who abandons his career to explore the nooks and crannies of South Africa, embarking on a soul-searching journey that explains the connection he makes with the inhabitants, culture, and natural wonder of various locations.
Magazines, Newspapers & Brochures
Every magazine and newspaper approaches the subject of travel quite differently. Usually, a writer can draw upon a wealth of experiences pertaining to just one trip that are later written down to accommodate specific target audiences and publications. The writer who visits Italy may review a restaurant in Rome for a food-related magazine, show how to cook Sicilian Lasagna for a local newspaper, rate popular museums in Florence for a travel and leisure magazine, or list new clubs in Verona for a passage in a student travel brochure. Description, anecdotes, and travel tips are quite helpful in this type of writing.