Travel writing can bring the world to the reader’s home and transform the reader’s understanding of places both near and far. Brilliant travel writing exposes the best in the human condition and makes unexpected connections between people and places to provide new insights into the way we live, work, and play in the natural and built environments all around us. If you are a travel writer or want to become one, you need to know about the top eight travel writing mistakes that you need to avoid in order to keep your readers interested and engaged from the start of your travel piece straight through to the end. Here are eight things you should stop doing in your travel writing.
Don’t tell the reader how to feel
When you write about your topic, it may be tempting to tell your readers that they should be feeling excitement or wonder or some other emotion. Rather than tell the readers how a place should make them feel, instead provide details that will evoke emotions or describe your own feelings being in a place. Let the reader come to his or her own conclusions about how to feel.
Don’t just list facts and call it an article
Listicles are all the rage online, but listing a set of facts is not the same as writing an article. Travel writing should tell a story, so you’ll want to go beyond simply listing facts about the place you’ve visited in order to create a story and a narrative that will transport the reader.
Don’t write everything in one voice
Writing from your own perspective from start to finish can be exhausting and boring for the reader. Bring in outside voices through the use of quotations from people you’ve met and from experts. This will break up the text and make your writing more engaging for your readers.
Don’t overuse adjectives
It can seem like a simple solution to make a travel piece seem more exciting by putting adjectives in to describe every detail. But too many adjectives can make your writing seem wordy and unappealing. Instead, cut out most adjectives and use only those that convey something essential your readers need to know.
Don’t meander around without a purpose
Good travel writing needs to have a clear goal in mind. Your piece shouldn’t simply wander around as though being somewhere was a compelling story by itself. If the audience wanted that, they’d read a tourism brochure. Instead, you need to frame your story around a goal so your readers can follow your journey.
Don’t provide irrelevant information
A lot more will happen on a journey than can ever fit into a single travel article or even a whole book. You need to be selective in the information you provide. Be sure that every experience you relate and every piece of information delivers information the reader needs to know and serves to move the narrative forward. If something doesn’t relate to your specific purpose and goal, no matter how interesting it is, it needs to go. This process can be hard, but by ruthlessly culling down your material, you will achieve a more exciting, dynamic, and compelling narrative.
Don’t expect the body or conclusion to carry the article
Most readers will make a decision about whether to read an article from the headline and the first paragraph. That means that your first paragraph needs to work hard to make the reader want to read more. Spend time crafting the most compelling opening paragraph possible in order to convince the reader that you have something to say and something that they want to hear. When in doubt, you can always get cheap writing help online to give you an expert’s eye for the best approach to your travel writing topic.
Don’t try to impress the reader
Not everyone gets to travel, and most readers understand that it’s a privilege to visit some of the most amazing places in the word. But avoid rubbing your privilege in the reader’s face. Trying to impress the reader with your wealth, your access to important people and places, and your free time spent being fabulous won’t endear you to your audience. They’ll understand how great you have it from your writing and your experience.