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Great Travel Writing Examples from World Renowned Travel Writers

Great Travel Writing Examples from World Renowned Travel Writers

Are you ready to be a better travel writer? One of the best ways to do this is to read great travel writing examples from great travel writers.

Writing about travel in a way that keeps your reader reading is not always easy. Knowing how to write an irresistible first paragraph to entice the reader to keep reading is key. Writing a lede paragraph that convinces the reader to finish the article, story or book is great travel writing.  This article features travel writing examples from award-winning travel writers, top-selling books, the New York Times Travel section, and award-winning travel blogs.

The writers featured in this article are some of my personal favorite travel writers. I am lucky to have met most of them in person and even luckier to consider many friends. Many I have interviewed on the podcast for this website and have learned writing tips from their years of travel writing, editing and wisdom.

Best Travel Writing Examples

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11 Great Travel Writing Examples

Writing with feeling, tone, and point of view creates a compelling story. Below are examples of travel writing that include; first paragraphs, middle paragraphs, and final paragraphs for both travel articles as well as travel books.

I hope the below examples of travel writing inspire you to write more, study great travel writing and take your writing to a higher level.

Writing Example of a Travel Book Closing Paragraphs

Don George Travel Writer

I had the wonderful opportunity to see Don speak at Tbex and read from one of his books as well as interview him on this podcast for episode 52: How to Become a Great Travel Writer . You can listen to the full podcast here .

Below is the closing of Don’s story included in the ebook: Wanderlust in the Time of Coronavirus: Dispatches from a Year of Traveling Close to Home

I continued hiking up to Lost Trail and then along Canopy View Trail. Around noon I serendipitously came upon a bench by the side of the trail, parked my backpack, and unpacked my lunch. Along with my sandwiches and carrot sticks, I feasted on the tranquility and serenity, the sequoia-swabbed purity of the air, the bird and brook sounds and sun-baked earth and pine needle smells, the sunlight slanting through the branches, the bright patch of blue sky beyond.

At one point I thought of shinrin-yoku, forest bathing, the Japanese practice that has become widely popular in the U.S. This was a perfect example of shinrin-yoku, I thought: Here I am, alone in this forest, immersed in the sense and spirit of these old-growth redwoods, taking in their tranquility and timelessness, losing myself to their sheer size and age and their wild wisdom that fills the air.

I sat there for an hour, and let all the trials, tremors, and tribulations of the world I had left in the parking lot drift away. I felt grounded, calm, quiet—earth-bound, forest-embraced.

In another hour, or two, I would walk back to the main paved trail, where other pilgrims would be exclaiming in awe at the sacred sequoias, just as I had earlier that day.

But for now, I was content to root right here, on this blessed bench in the middle of nowhere, or rather, in the middle of everywhere, the wind whooshing through me, bird-chirps strung from my boughs, toes spreading under scratchy pine needles into hard-packed earth, sun-warmed canopy reaching for the sky, aging trunk textured by time, deep-pulsing, in the heart of Muir Woods.

You can read the whole story here: Old Growth: Hiking into the Heart of Muir Woods

Please also download Don’s free ebook here:  Wanderlust in the Time of Coronavirus

In addition to writing and editing, Don speaks at conferences, lectures on tours around the world, and teaches travel writing workshops through .

Writing Example of a Travel Book Intro Paragraphs

Francis tapon.

how to write a travel article example

Francis at Dune 7 in Walvis Bay, Namibia.

Francis Tapon , author of Hike Your Own Hike and The Hidden Europe, is creating a TV series and book called The Unseen Africa, which is based on his five-year journey across all 54 African countries. He is a three-time TEDx speaker. His social media username is always FTapon. I interviewed Francis on episode 37: How to Find An Original Point of View as a Travel Writer . You can listen to the full podcast here .

Below is the opening of Francis’ book, The Hidden Europe:

“This would be a pretty lousy way to die,” I thought.

I was locked in an outhouse with no way out. Outhouses sometimes have two latches—one on the outside and one on the inside. The outside latch keeps the door shut to prevent rodents and other creatures who like hanging out in crap from coming in. Somehow, that outer latch accidentally closed, thereby locking me in this smelly toilet. I was wearing a thin rain jacket. The temperature was rapidly dropping.

“This stinks,” I mumbled. It was midnight, I was above the Arctic Circle, and the temperatures at night would be just above freezing. There was no one around for kilometers. If I didn’t get out, I could freeze to death in this tiny, smelly, fly-infested shithole.

My mom would kill me if I died so disgracefully. She would observe that when Elvis died next to a toilet, he was in Graceland. I, on the other hand, was in Finland, not far from Santa Claus. This Nordic country was a jump board for visiting all 25 nations in Eastern Europe.

You can find his book on Amazon: The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us

For $2 a month, you can get Francis’ book as he writes it:

Intro (Lede) Paragraph Example of Great Travel Writing Articles

Michele peterson.

Michele Peterson travel writer

She blogs about world cuisine and sun destinations at A Taste for Travel website . I met Michele on my first media trip that took place in Nova Scotia, Canada. I also had the pleasure of interviewing her on episode 5: Why the Odds are in Your Favor if you Want to Become a Travel Writer . You can listen to the full podcast here .

Michele’s Lede Paragraph Travel Writing Example

I’m hiking through a forest of oak trees following a farmer who is bleating like a pied piper. Emerging from a gully is a herd of black Iberian pigs, snuffling in response. If they weren’t so focused on following the swineherd, I would run for the hills. These pigs look nothing like the pink-cheeked Babe of Hollywood fame.

These are the world’s original swine, with lineage dating back to the Paleolithic Stone Age period where the earliest humans decorated Spain’s caves with images of wild boars. Their powerful hoofs stab the earth as they devour their prized food, the Spanish bellota acorn, as fast as the farmer can shake them from the tree with his long wooden staff. My experience is part of a culinary journey exploring the secrets of producingjamón ibérico de Bellota, one of the world’s finest hams.

You can read the full article here: Hunting for Jamón in Spain

Perry Garfinkel

Travel Journalist Perry Garfinkel at the famous Jaipur Observatory in Rajasthan.

Perry Garfinkel at the famous Jaipur Observatory in Rajasthan.

Perry Garfinkel has been a journalist and author for an unbelievable 40 years, except for some years of defection into media/PR communications and consulting. He is a contributor to The New York Times since the late ’80s, writing for many sections and departments. He has been an editor for, among others, the Boston Globe, the Middlesex News, and the Martha’s Vineyard Times.

He’s the author of the national bestseller “ Buddha or Bust: In Search of the Truth, Meaning, Happiness and the Man Who Found Them All ” and “ Travel Writing for Profit and Pleasure “. He is at work on “Being Gandhi: My Experiment Following the Mahatma’s Moral Principles in These Immoral Times”. Perry has been a guest on my podcast twice. First, on episode 16: Master Class in Travel Writing & you can listen to the full podcast here . Then on episode 27 when we chatted about How to Find Your Point Of View as a Travel Writer . You can listen to the full episode here .

Perry’s Lede Travel Article Example from the New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — A block off Grant Avenue in San Francisco’s Chinatown – beyond the well-worn path tourists take past souvenir shops, restaurants and a dive saloon called the Buddha Bar – begins a historical tour of a more spiritual nature. Duck into a nondescript doorway at 125 Waverly Place, ascend five narrow flights and step into the first and oldest Buddhist temple in the United States.

At the Tien Hau Temple, before an intricately carved gilded wooden shrine and ornate Buddha statues, under dozens of paper lanterns, Buddhists in the Chinese tradition still burn pungent incense and leave offerings to the goddess Tien Hau in return for the promise of happiness and a long life.

You can read the full article here: Taking a Buddhist pilgrimage in San Francisco

Elaine Masters

Elaine Masters from

Elaine Masters from

Elaine Masters apologizes for pissing off fellow travelers while tracking story ideas, cultural clues, and inspiring images but can’t resist ducking in doorways or talking with strangers. She’s recently been spotted driving her hybrid around the North American West Coast and diving cenotes in the Yucatan. Founder of, Elaine covers mindful travel, local food, overlooked destinations and experiences. Elaine was my guest on episode 13 where we spoke about How to Master the CVB Relationship . You can listen to the full podcast here .

Elaine’s Lede Example

I jiggered my luggage onto the escalator crawling up to the street. As it rose into the afternoon light, an immense shadow rose over my shoulder. Stepping onto the sidewalk, I burst into giggles, looking like a madwoman, laughing alone on the busy Barcelona boulevard.  The shadow looming overhead was the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. It had mesmerized me forty years earlier and it was the reason I’d finally returned to Spain.

You can read the full article here: Don’t Miss Going Inside Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s Beloved Cathedral

Bret Love travel writer

Bret’s Lede Example

Congo Square is quiet now. Traffic forms a dull drone in the distance. A lone percussionist taps out ancient tribal rhythms on a two-headed drum. An air compressor from Rampart Street road construction provides perfectly syncopated whooshes of accompaniment.

Shaded park benches are surrounded by blooming azaleas, magnolias, and massive live oaks that stretch to provide relief from the blazing midday sun. It’s an oasis of solitude directly across the street from the French Quarter.

Congo Square is quiet now. But it’s here that the seeds of American culture as we know it were sown more than 200 years ago. And the scents, sounds, and sights that originated here have never been more vital to New Orleans than they are now, more than a decade after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city.

You can read the full article here: Treme, New Orleans (How Congo Square Was The Birthplace Of American Culture)

Middle Paragraph Examples of Great Travel Writing Articles

Mariellen ward.

Mariellen Ward, Travel writer

Mariellen’s Middle Paragraph Example

While the festival atmosphere swirled around me, I imbued my  diya with hope for personal transformation. I had come to India because a river of loss had run through my life, and I had struggled with grief, despair and depression for eight years. I felt I was clinging to the bank, but the effort was wearing me out. Deciding to leave my life and go to India was like letting go of the bank and going with the flow of the river. I had no idea where it would lead me, what I would learn or how I would change. I only knew that it was going to be big.

You can read the full article here: The River: A tale of grief and healing in India

Joe Baur

Joe Baur’s Middle Paragraph Example

I first became aware of the Harz mountains and the Brocken when reading the works of some of Germany’s great writers, like Goethe and Heinrich Heine. Legends of witches congregating with the devil being the main theme of the mountain’s mythology. I, however, was more interested in a refreshing time spent in nature rather than reveling with the devil.

The first stage from Osterode to Buntenbock was a warm-up to the more rigorous stages ahead. It began on sidewalks before sliding into the forest sporting a healthy shade of green — a gentle jaunt that made my hiking boots feel a bit like overkill given the dry, pleasant weather.

You can read the full article here: Follow the witch through the forest: 5 days hiking Germany’s Harz

fancy line break

Samantha Shea

Samantha Shea

Samantha Shea’s Middle Paragraph Example

Suddenly, the spark of a match pulsed through the early-fall afternoon and my head snapped towards the men. Amir touched the flame to an unidentifiable object that seconds later made itself known by the deep earthy scent of Pakistani hashish.

Amir’s ice blue eyes focused intently on his creation: a combination of tobacco and nuggets of greenish-brown charas. He forced the mixture back into the cigarette, before bringing it to his pursed lips, flicking the match, and setting flame to his high.

I reached out from the cot to take my turn and took a deep inhale, acutely pleased. I savored the familiar burn of the drag, the rows and rows of corn and apple plants in front of me, the stuttered cacophony of animal exclamations behind me, and the generosity of the men to my left, some of whom we had just met an hour before.

You can read the full article here: Thall Tales: A Hazy Afternoon in Thall, Pakistan

Final Paragraph Example of Great Travel Writing Articles

Cassie bailey.

Cassie is a travel writer who has solo backpacked around Asia and the Balkans, and is currently based in Auckland. Alongside in-depth destination guides, her blog has a particular focus on storytelling, mental health, and neurodiversity.

Cassie’s Final Paragraphs Example

So my goal is to feel, I guess. And I don’t mean that in a dirty way (although obvz I do mean that in a dirty way too). This is why we travel, right? To taste crazy new foods and to feel the sea breeze against our skin or the burn on the back of our legs on the way down a mountain. We want to feel like shite getting off night buses at 4am and the sting of mosquito bites. We know we’re going to feel lost or frustrated or overwhelmed but we do it anyway. Because we know it’s worth it for the ecstasy of seeing a perfect view or making a new connection or finding shitty wine after a bad day.

My goal is never to become numb to all of this. To never kid myself into settling for less than everything our bodies allow us to perceive. I’m after the full human experience; every bit, every feeling.

You can read the full article here: Goals inspired by life as a solo backpacker

Lydia Carey

Lydia Carey is a freelance writer

Lydia’s Final Paragraphs Example

Guys from the barrio huddle around their motorcycles smoking weed and drinking forties. Entire families, each dressed as St. Jude, eat tacos al pastor and grilled corn on a stick. Police stand at a distance, keeping an eye on the crowd but trying not to get too involved.

After this celebration, many of the pilgrims will travel on to Puebla where they will visit some of the religious relics on display in the San Judas church there. But many more will simply go back to their trades—legal and illegal—hoping that their attendance will mean that San Judas protects them for another year, and that he has their back in this monster of a city.

You can read the full article here: San Judas de Tadeo: Mexico’s Defender of Lost Causes

Great Travel Writing Examples from World Renowned Travel Writers

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how to write a travel article example

4 examples of great travel writing .

Really good travel writing inspires us to get up, go out and see the world. It can be just as persuasive as an awe-inspiring photograph or an enthusiastic word-of-mouth endorsement from a close friend.

Here are four very different examples of travel writing, all of which are great for different reasons.

Nomadic Matt (blog)


Run by budget-travel expert Matt Kepnes, is an energetic and lively blog – his passion is obvious from the get-go and it prevails throughout his site. He’s written a best-selling book called How to Travel the World on $50 a Day , and he constantly updates his website with new content.

He’s put together useful profiles on many cities and regions all over the world, but his most insightful articles are the ones that offer practical booking advice and money-saving tips – such as “How to Find a Cheap Flight” . Being so well-travelled, he’s found numerous ways around the heavy costs of travel and is committed to sharing them – which is great news for the average holiday- goer who likes to save a bob or two (which is most of us).



Fodor’s (guidebook series and website)


In addition to producing the world’s most popular series of travel guidebooks, Fodor’s has embraced the modern age: in addition to printing their books, they also have a user-friendly website that’s packed with info and is accessible on all devices – desktop, tablet and mobile.

The content on the website is certainly less detailed than the guidebooks that established the company’s reputation, but brevity is not always a bad thing. The site’s main function, after all, is to provide thick-and-fast info, and it does so. Look at the site’s main Florence page to see exactly what I mean – it gives a succinct introduction to the place and then outlines the top reasons to go, with a load of links to specific articles with reviews and tips.

From a less literary perspective, the Fodor’s site is mobile-friendly too – so it’s really easy to navigate on the go, unlike some of its competitors.

John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley (non-fiction book)


As his novel-writing career was coming to an end and he was entering his twilight years, John Steinbeck (author of The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men ) went on a road trip across the USA with his dog Charley, and then he wrote a book about the experience.

Unlike the other examples in this post, Travels with Charley doesn’t really contain any information you can use practically when travelling America – it’s more a snapshot of the country in 1960.

Steinbeck set out from his house on Long Island, New York, and basically went around the country in an anti-clockwise loop. The trip was said to be about 10,000 miles all in all.

In Travels with Charley , Steinbeck vividly captures American culture – just as he does in most of his fictional work. You can get a copy for peanuts in a second-hand bookshop or from various places online like Amazon and eBay.

Adventurous Kate (blog)


Kate McCulley is one of the best-known solo female travel bloggers. Her aptly-titled website, Adventurous Kate, resembles a journal more than anything else – the writing is very conversational and is suitably written in the first person.

Kate uses images very well throughout her blog posts – it’s not uncommon to see a dozen in one single article, and they’re all photos she has taken herself with her own camera. Crucially, Kate’s images are well-placed and they complement her writing – a prime example of this in action is her post about her trip to a Cotswolds gin distillery .

A while ago we wrote about how important images are in blogs – have a read and you’ll see some pretty telling stats about user engagement.

Any Other Suggestions?

Is there any other travel writing you think is worth a mention? It could be a website, a blog, an individual article, or a good old-fashioned book. Let us know what and why over on Twitter .

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Dan Linstead | 28 December 2021

10 top tips for writing inspiring travel articles.

Want to begin your travel writing career in 2022? Start with this advice – from having a clear storyline and using dialogue, to beginning with a killer first paragraph...

1. Have a clear storyline in mind

A trip is not a story in itself, it’s just a series of events. Some of these events will be interesting (you made it up Kilimanjaro!) and some will not (you arrived back at the airport on time).

That said, what makes an event interesting depends on the story you want to tell. A rriving back to the airport on time  could  be interesting, but only if your story was about how everything ran late while you were in Tanzania.

So, as a writer, your first job is to decide on the particular story you want to tell, and the events which make up that story, and ensuring all of those events are interesting or useful to the reader. 

To see the kinds of stories that get published, look at the bold line of introductory copy (known as ‘standfirsts’ in the trade) of articles in papers, magazines and websites. Try writing the standfirst for your own story, and then use it as your brief.

2. Make sure your article has a purpose or goal

Is crossing Costa Rica your goal or purpose? (Shutterstock)

Is crossing Costa Rica your goal or purpose? (Shutterstock)

Some trips have a physical objective (like reaching the top of Kilimanjaro, crossing Costa Rica, or seeing a tiger) that gives your article direction and purpose. The reader (hopefully) sticks with you because they want to know if you’ll achieve your goal.

But many trips don’t have an obvious goal. They are more about discovering a place, unpicking its history or meeting its people. In this case, create a personal goal to give your reader a sense of where you’re taking them.

Sentences like “I wanted to discover…” or “I was keen to understand…” give readers an idea of what’s to come, instead of you simply plunging them into the unknown.

3. Edit your experience to fit your story

Stories have characters, dialogue, pace, plot, suspense, drama – and all of those things need shaping and organising to hold the reader's attention.

Once you know your storyline, gather the experiences that fit it – and dump the rest. Most travel articles will be 1,000 to 2,000 words long. That's only 10 to 20 paragraphs, so you don’t have time for detours.

4. Write an irresistible first paragraph

You can start a travel article any way you like, as long as it grabs the reader’s attention. You can use drama, humour, dialogue, (or all three) – but those first sentences must grip like glue.

Many travel articles start in media res – in the thick of the story – and then backtrack to explain how you happened to be in this situation. Give this a try if you aren't sure of another way in.

Put yourself in the reader's shoes - what would grip you to keep reading? If you're unsure, our travel writing prompts   will help you get there.

5. Include dialogue

Saw a tiger on your trip? What did you have to say about it? (Shutterstock)

Saw a tiger on your trip? What did you have to say about it? (Shutterstock)

“Look! There! The tiger is on the prowl,” whispered Joseph. Or: "we could see the tigers heading off hunting." Which sentence is more interesting to read?

Dialogue brings a scene to life, gives personality to the people in your story, and allows you to convey important information in a punchy way. Whenever you travel, make notes of what people say and how they say it, so you can refer to your conversations accurately when you come to write your article.

6. Value the difference between 'show' and 'tell'

‘Showing’ and ‘telling’ are two everyday storytelling techniques you probably use without realising.

Showing is when you slow down your writing and describe a scene in detail – what you saw, tasted, heard, felt – you are showing the reader the world through your eyes. Telling is simply moving the story along: "We returned to the tents for a well-earned rest."

Articles typically switch repeatedly between the drama of ‘showing’ and the practical economy of ‘telling’ – you need both, so include a good mix in your feature.

7. Aim to entertain the reader, not impress them

Novice writers often try to pack their writing with complicated phrases or recherché nomenclature (like that). Fortunately, it's not necessary, as the point of an article is to entertain and inform the reader, not show off your literary prowess.

Good writers tend more to follow Hemingway’s maxim: “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.” That doesn’t mean you can’t be playful and experimental – just don’t do it at the reader’s expense.

8. Use vivid language to describe your surroundings

Travel articles are peppered with meaningless words and phrases: stunning, incredible, pretty, diverse; ‘land of contrasts’, ‘melting pot’, ‘bustling’. They surely apply to your destination, but they could also be applied to thousands of destinations worldwide.

We'd recommend trying to use language that is specific to what you’re describing, and which allows readers to paint a picture in their mind’s eye. Make an effort to switch up the descriptive words you use.

9. Leave signposts throughout the article

Where are you headed? Let the reader follow your journey (Shutterstock)

Where are you headed? Let the reader follow your journey (Shutterstock)

If you’re wandering around a strange country without a guidebook, you look for signposts. So do readers as they travel through your story. Every few paragraphs, tell them where you’re going next and remind them of your ultimate goal.

For example, you could write: ‘The next day we travelled from Tokyo to Hirosaki.’ Or you could signpost things a little, by writing: "It was tempting to linger in Tokyo’s restaurants, but my search for Japan’s best sake would next take me deep into the countryside." 'Aha', thinks the reader: I can see where this is going, and why – I’ll keep tagging along.

10. Give yourself time to finish

In an effort to include every fascinating tidbit, too may travel articles finish like a high-speed train hitting the buffers, leaving readers dazed and confused. With a paragraph to spare, put the brakes on and start setting up your conclusion.

Show your readers that the end is nigh. Think about where you started, and reflect on the journey. Try to sum up the experience. And - though it may well be true - come up with something more specific than, ‘I would just have to come back another time.’

More travel writing guidance:

How to turn your travel passion into a blog, a few key travel writing mistakes to avoid, the top travel blogs you must read, related articles, looking for inspiration.

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how to write a travel article example

Travel writing is part reporting, part diary, and part providing traveler information. Travel writers create their art using a multitude of different styles and techniques but the best stories generally share certain characteristics, notably:

1) Clear writing style, without affectation , used by a writer who knows the point of the story, gets to it quickly and gets it across to the reader strongly and with brevity and clarity. 2) Strong sense of the writer’s personality , ideally demonstrating intelligence, wit and style. 3) Use of the writer’s personal experiences , other anecdotes and quotations to add life to the piece. 4) Vivid reporting — the ability of the writer to convey to readers, using as many of the senses as possible, the travel experience through the use of words alone. 5) High literary quality and the accurate use of grammar and syntax. 6) Meaty, practical and accurate information that is useful to the reader.

Give your story a fresh point of view and, if at all possible, cover some out-of-the-ordinary subject matter. Be creative in your writing. Strive for the best and strongest use of English and the most original and powerful metaphors and similes.

Be Personal

Take your own approach to a location you’ve visited, an activity you’ve tried or an adventure that thrilled you. What was it that really excited or inspired you? Identify it and get it across to your readers.

To stand out from the crowd, your story must have a personal voice and point of view. Remember that most places you write about will already have been written about before. Your challenge is to find something new and original to say.

Travel writing should mostly have a light, bright, lively and fun tone. Travel, the process of leaving the familiar to go to the foreign and unfamiliar, is often rich in comedy and comical events. Incorporate comedy into your writing where appropriate and don’t be afraid to make your readers laugh. Also, don’t be afraid to incorporate mishaps into your pieces. These can be just as worth reading about, maybe more so, particularly if they also incorporate an element of comedy or humor.

Be Surprising

Surprise your reader. Give the reader something out of the ordinary; something that only someone who has been to the location would know. Do this by trying unusual activities, meeting new people, and getting involved in strange scenes as you travel.

Be Balanced

Travel writing must blend your personal observations, descriptions and commentary with practical information that is useful to your readers. The precise balance depends on the outlet you are aiming your story at but rarely should a good travel piece comprise more facts than description. Two-thirds or even three-quarters colorful description to one-third or one-quarter facts would be a reasonable guideline to start from.

Be a Quoter

Work in quotes from visitors to locations, or participants in activities. Let them express their thoughts about how they feel about a place or activity. Quotes lift stories.

Think Like Your Reader

You need to develop as clear an impression as possible of what readers of the publications you are targeting want to read, their travel aspirations, how they like articles written and what information they want to know. You want to be able to think like your reader. Only then will you be able to identify how you can help your reader. Only then should you start writing your article.

The Big Picture: What is the Main Point You Want to Get Across to Your Reader?

Good travel stories have a definite, central theme and it will greatly improve your writing if you can identify the central themes of your articles before you try to write them. Decide at the outset what main point about a location or activity you want to convey. This is the “big picture” and you then work your impressions and facts around it. Identifying the big picture early on will also help you structure your piece sensibly and help you decide what information you need to include and, equally importantly, what you can and should leave out.

This article is an extract from The Insider Secrets of Freelance Travel Writing. A more complete version has been released as an eBook which expands upon the article above and is titled " Become a Published Travel Writer ," available in Kindle version on

Martin Li is a travel writer and photographer based in London.

6 examples of gorgeous travel writing

Inspiration to help your next travel blog, guidebook, or article stand out from the crowd.

Airplane in sky with sunset

We live on a wondrous, ever-changing planet— from alpine lakes and cloud forests to ancient cobblestoned cities.

The best travel writers can transport readers to these far-flung destinations, and to introduce them to new cultures and experiences. When done well, travel writing can be an insightful, thought-provoking and even life-changing genre of writing.

And with interactive content platforms, it’s possible for travel writers to create truly immersive reading experiences online. In this guide, we introduce six ideas — and examples of travel writing — to help you create beautiful, interactive travel stories.

Whether you're a beginner travel writer, a publisher, destination marketer, or freelance travel blogger, we've got plenty of inspiration to get you started.

What do the BBC, Tripadvisor, and Penguin have in common? They publish stunning, interactive web content with Shorthand. And so can you, for free. No code, no credit card, and no commitment required. Start publishing.

The features of great travel writing

running man on bridge

The best travel writing is unique, but there are still some general guidelines you’ll want to follow to make your travel writing stand out from the pack. Here are some travel writing tips to help you compete with the best examples of the genre.

Close-up of an old map

Inspire readers and move them to action by exploring a location's unique history and culture. By focusing on just one place, your readers get the chance to experience it deeply through your words and imagery.

Intrepid Travel's Shorthand story 'Welcome to Olkola Country' is simple, yet effective. The highlight of the story is its elegant writing — a blend of reporting and personal narrative that explores the history, culture, and ecology of an ancestral land of the Olkola people in Australia. The story is elevated with thoughtful photos and videos, and ends with a call to action for the newly-inspired reader.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our roundup of ten stunning photo essay examples .

The right images can make a story feel polished and inspired.

2 . Time travel

The windows of Rome's Colosseum

Taking readers back through historical moments is a great way to achieve more depth in your stories.

In the story The Museum of Atari, Mario and Electronic Childhood Dreams , Channel News Asia uses Shorthand to create a stunning visual story about a little-known museum of retro video games in Singapore. The highlight of the story is an interactive scrollytelling timeline about the history of video games, which is created using the Shorthand Reveal feature and animates a pixel character as the reader scrolls.

Our Reveal section allows animations like this to be controlled by the reader's scrolling.

3 . Immerse your reader

Man facing a historic building

When words and photos simply aren't enough to convey the complexity of a travel story, add another layer of reader engagement using various forms of media.

The Sydney Opera House story  A Guide to Dance Rites uses multimedia to bring indigenous culture to life. With elements like animation, slideshows, and embedded audio clips, readers can feel fully immersed in one of Australia's most traditional dance competitions.

Embed your own code to add further customisation to your story.

With Shorthand, remember that you always have the option to add custom HTML to add further customisations to your stories. See a list of our recommended third party tools in this support document .

4 . Just the highlights

Traditional evening scene from Kyoto, Japan

Not every trip allows for the luxury of time. In order to get the point across, sometimes a quick and to-the-point listicle is all that's necessary to deliver a clear and time-efficient message.

Mansion Global's story 6 Cities, 6 Continents takes a quick jaunt around the world to some of the best cities to buy a dream vacation home. The destinations are all tied together by an interactive map that tracks a route between the cities — a creative use of the Shorthand Reveal section .

Interactive maps can help connect different locations in your story.

5 . Keep it practical

Inside of a crowded subway car

Travel stories don't always need to inspire wanderlust or transport readers to far-flung destinations. Some of the most effective and important travel stories simply provide practical advice — whether that's how to exchange currency, say "thank you" in a foreign language, or avoid danger.

Travel Weekly's story Traveling While Female explores how female travellers can stay safe, and uses data to stress the importance of improving women's safety abroad. By displaying the data as interactive graphics, Travel Weekly draws extra emphasis to key statistics.

Make your data memorable by giving it special emphasis.

6. Zoom out

Hot air balloons in the sky

When you've written a couple of beautiful travel stories, what's next?

Tie together your creative vision by consolidating your stories into a single landing page. You can use Shorthand to create a home for all of your stories, whether that's by using our Collection section or by including links in other section types.

For example, Luxury Travel nests all of their feature content within a Shorthand story. The page takes advantage of our media-rich sections to create a scrolling archive of their beautiful travel stories.

Consolidate your features in a single Shorthand story.

There are myriad ways to turn a Shorthand story into a landing page. Here's another example from Perth Now, which takes a simple, colourful approach.

There are many ways to customise a Shorthand story to serve as a landing page.

Creating a unique online travel story can seem like a daunting task, but Shorthand's many easy-to-use features exist to help make your stories exceptional. There are thousands of destinations waiting to be written about, and we can't wait to see where your stories take us next.

Publish three free stories with Shorthand

Create and share beautiful web content for free. No code, no credit card, and no commitment required.

The Write Practice

5 Easy Steps to Write the Perfect Travel Article

by Joe Bunting | 17 comments

I used to volunteer for an organization that sent thousands of people around the world a year, most of whom kept blogs about their travel experiences. Working with these fledgling writers, I found out most people had no clue how to write about travel.

Sunset Picnic in Paris

How Do You Become a Travel Writer?

Who hasn't dreamt about becoming a travel writer. Get paid for having fun? Sounds like a dream job, right? However, first you have to learn how to write a great travel article, which is no easy feat.

As I live in Paris and work on my collaborative memoir,  Goodbye Paris , I am reading lots of books and articles about travel, including Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad , Ernest Hemingway's  A Moveable Feast , and David Lebovitz's great blog , and I'm learning from these masters as I refine my travel writing technique.

Here are the five steps I use to write about my travels.

1. Have an Adventure

No one wants to read how about how you checked Facebook from your hotel room all day. If you want to become a travel writer, you have to have stories to tell.

One great way to find adventures worth writing about is to ask your friends and family what sites they would want to see, food they would want to try, and experiences they would want to have. Once you arrive, ask the same questions to locals and expats. By inviting other people into your planning process, you help get a feel for what will interest people in your writing.

As you go on your adventure, make sure to bring your notebook, and when you encounter other people on your journey, write down their names and where they're from. These little details make your story more memorable.

Before you start writing your actual articles, it's important capture as much of your experience as you can in a journal. Every day in Paris, I hole up in a café and write as much about my experiences as I remember. This isn't usually great writing. The point isn't to write something publishable, but to capture your experience for later.

As you journal, make a special effort to remember the things people say, and other specific details like the color of the sky and the smell of the food. Dialogue always makes for a much better story, but it's the easiest to forget.

3. Choose One Moment

As important as capturing all of your memories in your journal is, most of them won't make very good stories. Instead, read through your journal, and then choose just one moment to build your article around.

For example, I recently wrote about our terrible eighteen hour travel day to Paris. When I first journaled about the experience, I wrote nearly 2,500 words, far too long for an article. And so I decided to focus on just one piece of the trip, how we almost missed our flight, a moment that had enough excitement and drama to carry the whole article.

What's nice about this is that your journals while your journals don't directly become published articles, they're instead turned into a fertile field of stories. I could write five or six articles from one day's worth of journals.

4. Expand the Story

Next, take your single moment and expand it, illustrating the story with the following:

This is where your article goes from being just a sketch and turns into a real story.

Here, I also try to insert my own voice into the story, adding tone, humor, and dramatic shifts. Do you want this to be a funny story about your travel misadventures or do you want this to be a serious, reflective look at culture and identity? Whichever you choose, try to add it to your story.

5. Revise With Your Subjects in Mind

One of the tricky parts of writing about your travels is that you're writing about real people. In many ways fiction is easier because you don't have to worry about offending other people. However, when writing about real people you have to consider their feelings.

If you're able, it's always a good idea to send your story, or at the very least, the quotes, to your subjects for permission. If you can't contact the people in your stories, read and revise with them in mind. How would you feel if this was printed about you? You may also want to change the names of your subjects to protect their identity.

Become a Travel Writer Today

You don't have to leave your hometown to be a travel writer. You can go on adventures and write about them no matter where you live, even if it's not frequented by tourists.

Or perhaps you've been somewhere in the past but haven't written about it yet. Why not start today? By reliving your experiences, you could discover a new vein of creativity.

And remember, as long as you choose a moment and then bring it to life for us, you'll do just fine.

Have you ever wanted to become a travel writer?

Write about an adventure you had while traveling. If you somehow haven't had an adventure while traveling, then go have one now no matter where you live and then write about it!

Write for fifteen minutes, following the steps above. When your time is up, post your practice in the comments section. And if you post, please be sure to leave feedback on a few posts by your fellow writers.

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Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris , a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

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8 Travel-Writing Tips From Professional Travel Writers

Devon Delfino

​​Travel writing has a way of transporting the reader to new places. When done well, it can even inspire others to explore, experience new things, and gain an appreciation of different cultures. But when you sit down to start writing about your own travel experiences, it can be challenging to know where to start.

A place is so many things, after all. It’s the people, the architecture, the sounds of the city, the smells and tastes of the food, and more.

Here’s a tip: Want to make sure your writing shines? Grammarly can check your spelling and save you from grammar and punctuation mistakes. It even proofreads your text, so your work is extra polished wherever you write.

Your writing, at its best Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly

So how do you take everything that happened and condense it into a readable blog post? How do you take your experiences and turn them into a story ? To find out, we talked to six professional travel writers and bloggers.

Here’s what they said:

1 Understand why you’re writing

Before writing a travel post, think about what you want to get out of it. That way, you can work toward something and have a starting point you care about.

“I feel accomplished when I get feedback that travel posts on my blog sparked interest for someone to go to a place or exposed them to a locale they’d never heard of,” says Lola Méndez, the writer behind Miss Filatelista , a travel blog with a focus on sustainability. “For me, the elements that are important are those that will make someone wonder or question something . . . I’m trying to spread awareness about how we can all be more mindful travelers as we explore the globe.”

Your approach will depend on what you value most. For Amanda Kendle of, that’s getting other people to value travel as much as she does.

“I start with what makes me most excited,” says Kendle. “Rather than write a ‘Top 10 things to do in Venice’ post, I tend to start with the event or story that affected me the most, or that I’ve found myself telling people over and over . . . what I love to do is talk about something I learned from the experience and how I pushed the borders of my comfort zone, perhaps by making a bigger effort to talk to strangers, or by taking part in an activity I wasn’t sure I’d like.”

Having your ‘why’ in place at the start allows you to easily build in a sort of theme into your post. Then you can thread that throughout your work and create a stronger, more cohesive post and blog.

2   Make it your own

“Travel writing should be exciting to read. It should make the reader feel like they are next to you on the powdery beach with a warm breeze tickling their shoulders. They should be able to taste the curry, rich with coconut milk, lime, and lemongrass. They should be able to hear the chaos of the city traffic and smell the sewage wafting from the grimy streets,” says Katie Diederichs of Two Wandering Soles, which she runs with her husband, Ben Zweber.

In other words, details matter, and so does your unique perspective.

“Figure out what’s important to you and focus on that; write about your experience, and what’s unique about it. We live in a world where so much information is at our fingertips, but the way you experienced a trip—your emotions, your reactions, the crazy things that went wrong, the people you met and chatted with—is unique. That’s what makes interesting writing,” says Kendle.

3   Know the general rules of travel writing

Every type of writing has its own conventions—things that are expected and generally agreed upon as best practices within the space. For travel blogs, that often means the writing should:

Since you’ll also be writing online, readability is key. For Diederichs, that means doing things like including a table of contents so the reader can jump to what they’re looking for, using short paragraphs, bolding key sentences, and segmenting the article with subheads. She adds, “Also, keep in mind that the majority of your audience is likely coming from mobile, so make sure that the text is an appropriate size and it is easy to read while scrolling.”

You don’t have to stick to the established rules and conventions, but it’s helpful to know what’s common—that way you’ll be able to break those rules with intention and purpose, rather than accidentally.

4   Edit your travel writing

Writing is a skill, and first drafts—whether they’re novels, articles, or travel blog posts—are rarely, if ever, perfectly executed. That’s where editing comes into play.

“The editing process really is the most important part, as that’s when I take my rough idea and hone it into something useful,” says Matthew Kepnes of travel blog NomadicMatt. “Anyone can start a blog these days. What separates the good blogs from the great blogs is the quality of writing.”

While editing your work, you’ll want to consider several key aspects, like: Storytelling (including things like word choice and evocation); grammar (word processors and editing software can help); and overall effect (is there a consistent tone and voice? Does everything serve the larger purpose of the post?). Reading the post out loud can help you identify inconsistencies.

“I learned early on from re-reading my much-too-detailed travel diaries from various trips that there really is no need to reproduce a trip in every detail. I find the most important part, the message I really want to share, and focus on that,” says blogger, and host of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast, Kendle.

5   Avoid travel writing cliches

The travel-writing space is awash in cliches. But those are never something you want to include in your posts because it makes for a stale, rather than engaging, reading experience.

“Everyone has their own experiences and voice. Tell your story, and don’t copy others,” advises Diederichs.

If you’re working on a description and you just can’t seem to avoid the cliches —crystal blue waters, breathtaking vistas, “a place out of time”, bustling marketplaces or city streets, authentic anythings, places that are “off the beaten track”, cultural melting pots—try focusing on the truly evocative details, the things that stick out you most, the themes or comparisons you want to make, and break out the thesaurus.

If that doesn’t work, consider using a photo to convey the information instead. A travel blog is a multimedia platform. Writing is the core of it, but the photographs, videos, and audio recordings contribute as well.

6   Be confident in your abilities

It’s easy to see the many existing travel blogs and think, ‘what could I possibly have to add?’ But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a valuable and unique contribution.

“Don’t hold back because you think it’s a saturated field or you only have the budget to visit the town next door,” says freelance journalist and travel blogger Méndez. “Your experiences are valuable. Write from your heart—people will keep coming back to your blog if you’re authentic in the way you share what you saw or felt in a place.”

Your writing should sound like you and should reflect your unique perspective. And the more you write, the more confident you’ll become in the value of that point of view, as well as your own expertise.

“Over the years I’ve also become much more focused on what’s important to me about a travel experience (which is usually the life lessons) and less concerned about what I thought ‘should’ be in it (like an analysis of a painting at a gallery). I write what I want to read,” says Kendle.

7   Continually hone your craft

Practice is a necessary part of learning any new craft. Travel writing is no different in that respect.

“I’ve gotten much better at using things like Grammarly to help with my writing…I kick myself all the time that I didn’t have the courage to start earlier. The more you write, the better you get at it and if you help even just one person, it’s rewarding,” says Kristen Guglielmo of

If you want to be a better travel writer, it’s a good idea to build your skills by writing every day and reading great travel posts to get inspired, notes Kepnes, adding, “It’s a long, slow process to improve your writing, but as long as you stick with it you’ll make progress!”

8   Remember: It isn’t only about the Instagram-worthy stuff

Good travel writing doesn’t have to focus solely on the beautiful and expected. It’s about all aspects of your experience, and taking the reader somewhere new often means showing them the unexpected.

“I want it to look good and I want to inspire, but I don’t want it to be so unrealistic that people think they’re failing because they can’t live up to it,” says Eric Stoen of Travel Babbo, where he chronicles his trips with his kids.

Travel isn’t always beautiful, and as Stoen points out, people tend to bring their real-world problems with them on vacation and that impacts the experience. But more than that, places are no more perfect than humans are. And sometimes they don’t live up to our expectations.

Even though it may feel like you have to conform to certain standards as a travel writer, there’s room for more than one kind of experience of travel.

“I think being authentic and honest is one of the biggest things to separate the mediocre bloggers from the great ones. The goal is for the reader to see, feel and taste what you are describing. Even if it’s not pretty,” says Diederichs.

Places, like people, are seldom what we think they’re going to be. That’s a good thing. The world would be a lot less interesting if we knew how every new experience, every trip, every new encounter, was going to play out. And it’s ok, and even encouraged, to talk about those discrepancies.

how to write a travel article example

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GoNOMAD Travel

Inspiration and links to plan your trip.

Travel Writing for Beginners

Travel writing examples: a presentation by max hartshorne and paul shoul of gonomad travel.

Here are some of GoNOMAD’s editor’s travel writing tips for beginners, from a 2016 presentation at the NY Times Travel Show.

Max Hartshorne, editor of Travel, providing travel writing examples to help you be a better writer.

Find a hook .  Start out with an exciting scene — don’t meander.  Use the inverted pyramid (a journalism idea), and put the most interesting part of your trip right at the beginning.

Everything else stems from that place.  You can backtrack from there.  It’s like when you get back from a trip — the first information you share when people ask you how your trip went is the information that should be your lede.  Below is how Bruce Northam set the scene for his piece about Annapolis, Maryland:

Annapolis, Maryland is an iconic, charming, thought-provoking destination, and with good reason—awesomeness tempts you from every angle.  The Naval Academy (you don’t get it until you take the tour), America’s oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use (intimate, gorgeous, screams history), and the epic leisure-boat port vibe are just part of the appeal in America’s Sailing Capital.

Get right to the point .  Tell your reader where the story is set, where you’re going, and what the story is about.  Don’t keep them guessing.  If it takes three paragraphs for the reader to find out where the story is set, you need an editor.   Here is an excellent example of setting the time, place and scene written by Andrew Castillo, on GoNOMAD about Burlington VT.

How can they be, when I’m in Burlington, Vermont, for the Discover Jazz Festival.

The raspy wail of an electric guitar floats out from under the awning of a tucked-away bar on Church Street. I push open the door and the full brunt of sad notes invade my emotions. It’s like ‘90s grunge met smooth jazz and produced an offspring.

Or maybe John Bonham from Led Zeppelin reincarnated as a jazz drummer. (Read the rest of his  Burlington VT story) 

The Hardest Part, The Story Arc—

People want to see WHY a place is worth visiting, and they see it how you share what happened.  Plot out what happened. “Finding the arc of the story.  Some suspense.  Something has to happen.  Characters have to meet resistance and change, just as in any good short story or novel.  Something has to be at stake.  Otherwise, the piece is just a litany of We saw this, then this.”  from Peter Heller

Use all the senses — don’t forget about smells, sounds, taste, sights.  Your reader hasn’t been to the places you’ve been to.  Put them there with vivid, tantalizing descriptions that fully immerse them into the environment.


(Truffle hunting story example)

Best Advice: Use dialogue from locals. Peter Heller, of Outside Magazine, said this about dialogue and details:

I met John McPhee once. He told me to carry a notebook and write everything down, everything everyone says, exactly as they say it. Even while you’re climbing a mountain. Don’t try to remember dialogue at the end of the day, it will all end up sounding like you, and will be inaccurate. So that’s what I always did, on an eco-pirate ship in a storm, on a trail, I scribbled everything down as I heard it. Nothing can evoke a sense of character and authenticity better than letting the characters do it themselves.

Write everything down. Save receipts, save business cards, use a composition book and glue stick to keep as many reminders of where you went and matches, details, etc. 

Stick to one tense .  The present tense is NOT GOOD.  Use the past tense.  Don’t be tempted to use present tense, because most of the time it will have to change eventually.  We all do it some times but keep it to a minimum.

Use simple language.   Write conversationally.  Maintain a personal, unique voice that has a distinct flavor. Talk the way you talk, use your own voice, but make it descriptive and don’t use overused words boring words like great, awesome, beautiful, nice….THINK HARDER.

Narrow Your Focus. Don’t try to write a guide if you visited for a few days, instead pick the event or local attraction and write about that then build the story around it. Festivals are not usually worth the whole story but can be a basis to write about a destination, including more than just the festival because people might visit at different times of the year.

Be a Reporter

Details details DETAILS!  Be a reporter.  Use visual descriptions and provide EXACT locations.  Make sure you document, for instance, how much hotels cost.  Travel writing has been described as part reporting, part dear diary and part providing information for the reader.

Wikipedia is good place to start but also use tourism board materials, state dept info, and ask experts.  It’s harder being a reporter than a writer but if you want to get stories that people will want to read, ask more questions and dig deeper!  Steve Szkotak, AP editor and reporter often says it’s harder to be a reporter but way more valuable than a writer. Heller suggests finding experts, asking for experts and trusting their answers.

Take a Fresh Perspective.

Writing from a different point of view makes the story more interesting.

Everyone is a local somewhere

You don’t need to travel halfway around the world to be a good travel writer.  Start local.  Write about what you know.  People are interested in where you live, more than you might be, and it’s the perfect place to start.  Look for things people can do, places you take friends—travelers would also be interested.

Write Ironically

Be unusual.  For instance: Skiing in the desert — be ironic!  Surprise your readers with topics and ideas they don’t expect.  Monaco for the Average Joe.  Wineries in Mexico….

Learn to see the world from a fresh perspective.  Write about familiar places in unfamiliar ways.  When writing about mundane experiences, pretend that they are new and exciting.  Document your findings in vivid, immersive detail.

Use a Narrative.

Make it a story, don’t make your travel article a checklist. Delve into what moved you, take out anything that’s not really crucial to understanding the place you went.

Include Emotion

Show how the trip affected or changed you.  Human emotion is important to make the reader care about what you did and where you went.

Avoid Cliches …think harder for the right word, be more precise, don’t be lazy.

Peter Heller quote on overused words and phrases

Some of the greats are Bill Bryson, Rachael Friedman, and Paul Theroux. Get in the habit of reading the NY Times Travel Section, Washington Post features, Afar,  Atlas Obscura, find your own favorite travel writers and read them, enjoy them, be a reader to become a better writer.

My favorite is Jeffrey Taylor, who travels to rough parts of the world like Siberia.

Create a blog.

It will give you a place to practice your writing and showcase your work. Don’t worry about making money from it, rather, use it as a place to introduce yourself. You can go back and use some of what you wrote on a blog on a trip to include in the final story.  Capture the in-the-moment quotes that you can use in the story later.

It’s about their trip

Focus on the Readers can do, not what you did. Include events and places that anyone can visit, if you have an exclusive view to something, it’s not that interesting. No one cares about your massage or big meal unless they can get one too.  The fact that you went to a location isn’t necessarily interesting.

The fact that you’re showing the reader how THEY could go, makes it interesting.  Also, a story about a fascinating location can be boring, just as a story about a boring location can be fascinating.  The location doesn’t make the story, it’s what happens and how they can relate.

Make your pitch.  Be a salesman for yourself: Write about places that haven’t received much attention from travel writers, such as the Middle East.  Pitch your story to editors using a well written, succinct paragraph outlining what your story is about.

Surprise an Editor– include a CAPTIVATING photo in your query — that’ll make your pitch stand out.  When you do send in articles, be reliable.  Submit working links, good images, and polished work.

Tim Leffel, who’s an editor and author said “Ask me which writers I like working with the best as editor of multiple websites and group blogs, and I’ll tell you it’s the ones I know I can depend on every time. They meet deadlines. They hand things in already formatted correctly. The links in their blog posts work because they’ve checked them. They don’t give me excuses about why their photos are crappy. They don’t make the same stupid mistakes a half dozen times after being corrected twice.

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Travel Writing Essay Examples

how to write a travel article example

how to write a travel article example


  1. How to Write a Travelogue (Tips for Aspiring Travel Bloggers)

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