How To Make Your Travel Piece Stand Out

Monday, May 08, 2017
At the North Carolina Museum of Art.

I’ve just returned from press tour from our state’s capitol here in North Carolina. I don’t get the chance to go on these types of trips often, and this one allowed me to take one of my kids, because it was focused on family travel. We crammed a ton of activities into two days, and while I’m exhausted, it was a great networking opportunity and I came back with more information than I know what to do with. Now the real work begins—trying to figure out the best angle for the magazine I’m writing the story for. I also have a few tips on how to make the most out of travel writing.

Be Adventurous. One of the places we went was a place that specializes in outdoor treetop adventures and zip lining. When I first saw the promotional video for the company, I hedged. I’ve gotten progressively more anxious about heights as I’ve gotten older, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go flying 50 feet through the air in the forest, harness or not. Our tour guides told me I could just spectate if I wanted, but after a little heckling from my son I signed my life away on the waiver and joined the safety course. Now I’m glad I did. My upper body is sore and I have a few small bruises that weren’t there before this weekend, but I conquered some major fears and can now confidently write about the experience, which was very positive. Being adventurous will allow me to give a better perspective on the business and offer helpful tips to families considering the activity.

Have Fun with Food. I ate so much this weekend I probably went up a pants size. But I can now tell readers the where to find the best buttermilk biscuits, largest pancakes, and two different types of barbeque. Be sure to take notes on the range between sweet and savory. After a day of touring the museums, I was dying for a cup of coffee. We ducked into a cute bakery I had spotted earlier in the day, only to find one of the other writers from our group inside photographing the most colorful, fluffy macaroons I had ever seen. Of course we all had to sample a few. Now when I write my article I can give families tips why they should check out this particular bakery and help support a local business.

Take Photos. Lots of Photos. Everywhere we went, I scouted for unique photo ops. This included the animals found on an old-fashioned carousel (we also learned the difference between a merry-go-round and a carousel as a fun tidbit!), a spooky cemetery on a ghost tour, an interactive table at the natural sciences museum, and the inside of a chocolate factory. Editors love it when you can provide photos of a story idea you are pitching—it helps them visualize the final product.

Have you done any travel writing? If not, what are you waiting for? I’d love to hear about any travel pieces you’ve written or would like to write in the future.

Renee Roberson is an award-winning writer and editor who is ready to do more traveling.


Angela Mackintosh said...

That's awesome that you zip lined, Renee! I haven't tried that yet. It sounds like you got the most out of your trip, and reading the descriptions in your post makes me want to go there. I'm sure you'll have no problem coming up with an angle. Let us know what you go with! :)

Sioux Roslawski said...

Renee--I've never zip lined but I HAVE skydived. I've also never written a travel piece, but perhaps I should give it a try.

In June, I'm going to Turkey for a week. Perhaps I could write about it?

Great post (and great tips) as usual.

Nila said...

Great tips, Renee. I love those off-the-beaten path kind of places that everyone seems to love finding! I've never really written travel pieces, but it makes me want to try (but not the zip line!)

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