8 Qualities You Need to be a Great Travel Writer

travel writerOne of the toughest niches to break into is travel writing. It’s one of the niches I enjoy writing. One of the reasons it’s hard is because the niche has some qualities that the other writing niches don’t.

However, if you are determined to write travel articles, it can be done. Make sure you have the qualities here.

1. Enjoy research

Researching is a part of any writing job, but for travel writing, it’s more important. You can’t plan a trip, travel there, see the sights, and write about it. You must research the destination before you go. Read about it online and in magazines and in travel brochures.

By doing the research, you can pitch ideas to various magazines before you leave and go “on assignment” during the trip.

2. Share opinions

You must share your opinions about your trip. Sharing an opinion about a restaurant, hotel, or shopping is a must. If you don’t like a hotel because it’s dirty or because it’s located in a bad area of town, then speak up. If it’s a great hotel that takes pets and is located right on the beach, then say so. People like to know things like this.

However, remember that people will have something to say back. Be ready for what they might say and understand that it is only their opinion.

3. Document trip

Taking photos on your trip isn’t only for you. These photos will help you document your trip. Not only will they help you as you write the story, but they will give an editor photos to publish along with the story.

You can take photos of the things you do and the people you see. Editors will want to see a variety of photos so give them a good selection.

4. Market ideas

Like with any kind of writing, you must market your ideas. It’s the only way you’ll get your ideas out there to editors.

You can find magazines to pitch ideas and can learn to write good query letters. Magazines can be either online or in print.

5. Hone writing skills

Writing isn’t just about the story. It’s about good spelling, punctuation, and grammar, too. You don’t want to turn an editor off by writing a story full of mistakes.

A good article will sell. You want the reader to say, “Hey, your article makes me want to visit!” You must paint a good picture of the place you’ve visited.

6. Develop social skills

If you’re a travel writer, you must have social skills. You’ll talk to people on each trip. You’ll need to ask questions and learn as much about the area as you can.

Approaching strangers is hard for some people, but it’s a must. These people could give you a great story. You never know until you ask.

7. Use senses

Going along with honing your writing skills, you must use your five senses to give a true feel of your destination. Readers want to see, hear, feel, smell, and taste the trip as though they are there with you.

Sure, the photos will tell the story of your trip, but using your five senses in your description makes it come even more alive.

8. Travel as a writer

Being a travel writer doesn’t mean taking it easy on your trip. You need to be involved with your trip. You can’t sit back and let things happen. You must ask questions.

For instance, if you’re touring a fort, you could ask questions about an employee at the fort. It might be that he had an ancestor who fought to defend that fort years ago.

Find the stories that a tourist might not. Those are the kind of stories you’ll sell.

These eight qualities are the basics for becoming a good travel writer. If you want to write in the travel niche, do you have these qualities?