Silhouette of girl writing (Wanderlust magazine)
Article 13 March

The Wanderlust guide to the best travel writing advice

Get paid to travel around the world and write about your experiences? Sounds brilliant. Here’s our complete guide to making it happen.

Want to be a travel writer? Then prepare to be loathed. The idea that someone goes to exotic places for free – and then gets paid to write about them – is too much for many to take. “You’ll never convince friends you are going abroad to work,” explains freelance travel writer Liz Edwards. “They’ll make constant reference to your ‘holidays’.”

But while free trips, global travel and your name in print sound glamorous, there are down sides. It’s hard work, hugely competitive and – unless you are the second Bryson – you won’t earn much. Roving overseas with a notebook, a deadline and a pack of other journalists can also take the fun out of travelling altogether. Not put off? Read on to find out how you can get this dream job.

Backpacker writing in journal (Shutterstock.com)

Backpacker writing in his journal (Shutterstock.com)

What kind of writer do you want to be?

Do you want to write for newspapers and magazines? Research and write a guidebook? Or publish a travel narrative that will give Bill Bryson a run for his money on the best-seller charts?

Maybe you want to do it all. Regardless, each discipline of travel writing requires particular skills. Wanderlust editor, Phoebe Smith, lists the skills you’ll need to write articles. The Wanderlust team have created a guide to becoming a guidebook author. And author Peter Moore tells you how to write a travel book in 5 easy steps.

And what about blogging? Alexandra Gregg reveals everything you need to know about cutting it in this competitive field.

More information

Get paid to travel – Become a travel writer – Wanderlust team
Get paid to travel – Become a guidebook author – Wanderlust Team
Become a travel writer – Phoebe Smith
How to write a travel book in 5 easy steps – Peter Moore
Could you write a travel blog? – Alexandra Gregg

Vintage typewriter (Shutterstock.com)

Old vintage typewriter (Shutterstock.com)

Practical tips and hints

They are some things – vital things – about travel writing that can only be learned through years of hard graft and experience. Thankfully, we’ve gathered together a band of grizzled industry professions willing to share their hard-won secrets.

Former Wanderlust editor, Dan Linstead, lists his top 10 tips for writing travel articles. The UK’s pre-eminent travel writer, Nick Boulos reveals the five biggest mistakes made by novice travel writers so you can avoid making them too. And travel writing legend, Paul Theroux gives his priceless advice to people aspiring to follow in his footsteps.

And, if you’ve got the time, grab a cup of tea and watch a four-part video series presented by Wanderlust editor-in-chief, Lyn Hughes, where she shares everything she has learned in over two decades in the business.

More information

10 tips for writing travel articles – Dan Linstead
The five biggest mistakes made by novice travel writers – Nick Boulos
Paul Theroux’s top 10 tips for aspiring travel writers
Confessions of a travel writer: Best job in the world? – Nick Boulos
Lyn Hughes’ travel writing tips: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 – Lyn Hughes

Guidebooks (Shutterstock.com)

Guidebooks on shelf (Shutterstock.com)

Getting your work published

In many ways, writing about travel is the easy part. Convincing someone to publish your work can be just as time consuming and frustrating, especially when you are just starting out.

Fear not. We have gathered together a bunch of industry insiders, prepared to let you in on the things that can make the difference between get published and not.

Lyn Hughes presents 5 tips for pitching your article to magazines. Author Peter Moore reveals how you can convince a publisher to publish your travel book. And former commissioning editor from Summersdale, Jennifer Barclay, shares what publishers are looking for in the competitive travel narrative market.

Should you decide to go it alone – an increasingly popular and lucrative route these days – then Alexandra Gregg has created the only guide to self-publishing you’ll need to read.

More information

5 tips for pitching your article to magazines – Lyn Hughes
How to convince a publisher to publish your travel book – Peter Moore
Jennifer Barclay: I can get your travel book published 
How to self publish a travel book – Alexandra Gregg


Paul Theroux (Peter Moore)

Tips from the biggest names in the business

Jonathan Lorie, from Traveller’s Tales, says that all aspiring travel writers should be reading all types and taking notes, picking up tricks from the experts. Well, we’ve made it even easier for you, interviewing some of the biggest names in the industry and asking them point-blank about how and why they write and what their advice is for writers just starting out.

Renowned grump, Paul Theroux, was more than happy to reveal how he writes travel books. Dervla Murphy shared all that she learned living her life at full-tilt. And American humourist, PJ O’Rourke tells what he believes makes a good travel writer.

Planning to pursue a story a bit more, shall we say, adventurous? Then you’ll want to read our interview with Tim Butcher about his experiences in some of the most dangerous regions in the world. And who he turned those experiences into best-selling travel books.

More information

Paul Theroux: How I write travel books
Dervla Murphy at 80: Living at full tilt – Hilary Bradt
PJ O’Rourke: Holidays in Heck – Peter Moore
Author Tim Butcher: Life on the edge – Hazel Plush

Girl writing down her thoughts (Shutterstock.com)

Girl writing down her thoughts (Shutterstock.com)

Ready to take it to the next level?

Wanderlust offer a range of travel writing workshops and trips that are designed to improve the skills of both beginners and professionals alike. Under the watchful eye of some of the biggest names in the business, you’ll learn the skills need to research and write compelling travel stories. And spend one-on-one time with the people who can commission your work.

More information

Wanderlust travel writing workshops
Wanderlust Journeys
Marrakech Travel Workshop