It's been my dream to be a travel writer since forever. It merges two of my biggest passions. The end goal is to be a copywriter for a travel brand that'll take me to far-flung places... Or work for an international brand that will take me abroad.
Anyway, enough about my career plans, this is to help you write about travel. So onto you, I bestow my knowledge of working for well-known brands writing both marketing content and copywriting product pages.
Think about your audience
Sounds obvious. This is something you should think about regardless of topic. However, with travel you have permission to let those creative juices flow - even if you're giving advice.
In every organisation I've worked, they've had personas that we write for. And nearly all the target personas have travel as a main interest. They research destinations, consume shows, explore cultures and cite travel brands as their favourites. It's aspirational and escapism from the humdrum of everyday life.
I know I've gazed out of train windows, ready to go nuclear at delays and nestled in between Mr Badbreath and Miss Armpits, thinking there must be more to life than this. Why can't I live somewhere vibrant, beautiful and interesting?
Of course, real life, wherever you are, isn't a 24/7 carnival. But that's not the reality you're selling. It's the aquamarine oceans, golden beaches, stunning mountain ranges, enriching experiences, interesting people and fragrant cuisine. Paint this picture for people; be fun, make your audience long for these experiences, inspire and excite them.
Think about the info
Again, you must be reading this thinking, well duh. However, there's a lot of responsibility when writing about tropical climes. People will rely on the info you give them and take it as read.
It's essential that you're accurate. Especially when talking about countries with particular customs or are troubled. For example, don't say it's ok to walk around with your hair uncovered in Tehran if you're a westerner if that's not 100% the truth. You could land some poor soul in trouble with the police and maybe even jail.
Everything from scams, public transports, border control, visa and vaccination requirements, adherence to local laws and no-go zones could have grave consequences if misinterpreted or wrong. It's not just the big stuff but also talking about foods that people might be allergic to or experience that could bring out people's fears.
There's nothing worse than going to Chichen Itza with a group of strangers only to realise that you need fitness levels to rival Chris Froome and head for heights. This is the sort of info people need. If you don't tell them they won't be prepared.
It's also true for letting people know where the good stuff is. The secret little cafes or bars tucked in atmospheric alleyways, a squat of artisans or that fantastic museum no one knows about.
Essentially, people like to be in the know and they like to show off. So give them everything they need to achieve both those goals.