When you think of travel writing, your mind might go to books by Bill Bryson. (Also, I love Bill Bryson). There are many other manifestations of travel writing that lend themselves to beginners. Here are a few.
Keep in mind that many of these can overlap, as some highlight topic while others show means of publication. An itinerary piece might be a blog. An essay might appear in an anthology. You get the idea.
Micro-Blog: A great place to start, a micro-blog is simply a short piece of writing online. A Facebook post or Tweet can be a micro-blog. Popular with on-the-go travelers and present on every social media site there is.
Blog: It’s not difficult to document your travels and share them with the world. If you’re intimidated by the idea of setting up a blog, find someone young and techie to help you. You can also outsource through Fiverr or Upwork.
Magazine Article: Do not submit an article or pitch to a travel magazine without first reading the magazine. Seriously. You should also understand and follow their submission guidelines.
Online Article: Again, do your research before you pitch to an online outlet. Don’t limit yourself to travel-focused sites. There are plenty with travel sections that are on the lookout for quality content.
Guidebooks: This isn’t to suggest that you need to start your own guidebook series to compete with Lonely Planet. But guess what? Guidebooks require constant updating. And that updating requires writers. Want to write for Fodor’s? Here’s their application.
Anthologies: Submit a story to Traveler’s Tales. They publish numerous anthologies and are always open to new writers. I’m in this one:
Essays: Perfect for anthologies and magazines (print or online). If you find your essay ends up being more about you than the culture in which you find yourself, you might be well suited to turn more in the direction of a travel memoir.
Itineraries: Do you know the absolute best way to spend 10 days in Barcelona? Then I guarantee that people want to hear about it.
Destination: Focus on one specific city or attraction. Start with what you know. Can you view your hometown with a fresh perspective? Too often, people look to write about destinations that are new to them. Remember, what is familiar to you is largely unknown to the outside world.
How-To: These never get old. What do you know how to do? Examples: How to Survive a 10-Hour Flight with Children, How to Pack the Ultimate Carryon, How to Navigate JFK on a Tight Layover.
Special Events: I’m not interested in attending Keystone Colorado’s Bacon & Bourbon Festival, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to read about it. Other examples: The Running of the Bulls, New Year’s Eve on Copacabana Beach, Holi: The Festival of Colors.
Round Ups: Popular in online publications. Examples: Top 10 Mountain Biking Destinations in the Pacific Northwest, 8 Best Ways to Eat Lobster in Maine, The 12 Must-See Waterfalls of the World.
Special Interest: What’s your angle? Narrow it down and share it with others. Examples: Wine Lover’s Tour of New Zealand, A Single Woman’s Travel Manifesto, Special Needs Travel on a Budget.
If you’re interested in travel writing, or any kind of writing, there are endless topics and myriad ways to share your work. You just have to get started.
Think you’re more inclined to a book-length project?
Start with The 59-Cent Book Outline.