Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Make Travel Articles Pay

Posted by Linda

Having visited Crested Butte for the first time over Thanksgiving, I find it a good time to write about travel articles. We travel a fair amount and I’ve often written articles while there or after we return home. Here are suggestions for what to notice while traveling and a few tips for writing your travel article.

#1.  Either beforehand or on arrival, do your basic research. Check the Internet for general information. Stop in at the visitor’s center. Tell them your purpose. Gather activity brochures, local magazines, and/or even real estate materials. Take more than you will ever need.

#2.  Start a list of story ideas. Focus your ideas for various markets or readers – historic, general interest, women’s, children, essay, outdoor, travelers. First on my list was the friendliness of the residents. Next, I considered the outdoor life evident in the area. Don’t forget a new slant on something ordinary, such as skiers who dressed as pilgrims and Indians. 

#3. Orient yourself to the area. Talk to the locals. Take a tour. We walked to the grocery store, caught the free Mountain Express to experience an overview of the town and ski area.

#4.  Act like a local. We rode bicycles downtown, didn’t lock them, parked wherever we wanted, shopped, ate, and returned to find them intact.

#5.  Begin your writing. Even though it isn’t fiction, use strong verbs and nouns. Add the five senses to make the article “tasty and digestible” – see, smell, hear, taste, feel everything from the chrome dragon/warrior to the halibut salad, the fresh clean air to the old wooden floors, the sagging roofs to the new Victorian homes. Sprinkle it with similes and metaphors.

#6. Take lots of photos. Give your travel articles inviting titles, great opening hooks, and plenty of local flavor.

Have you written travel articles? Try it. Then, write off some of your expenses.


Stephanie Hillberry said...

Good ideas! I think secretly everyone wishes they could be a travel writer and get paid to visit the world! I especially liked your suggestion for using the senses, and the reminder to take a lot of photos.

Hope you enjoyed Crested Butte! It seems like a beautiful place!

Linda Osmundson said...

Crested Butte was great. Small, friendly, but expensive. Thanks for commenting, Stephanie.

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