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How to Craft a Travel Article About Your Hometown

How to Craft a Travel Article About Your Hometown

ou don’t have to hop on a aircraft and journey midway all over the world so as to discover a good concept for a journey article. This summer time, seize your pocket book, digicam, day pack, and possibly even your finest buddy and hop into your automotive for an journey in your very personal city, metropolis, or state. It is filled with hidden gems you in all probability didn’t even know existed. By preserving your eyes open and enlisting the help out of your native organizations, you’ll uncover a treasure chest stuffed with article concepts proper from your individual “backyard.”

On multiple event, whereas driving again from the airport with a visiting member of the family, I heard, “Oh, wow! Those are amazing!”

“What’s amazing?” I requested.

A finger pointed west. “The mountains!”

“Oh, those.”

I had turn out to be so accustomed to the unbelievable view that I forgot folks from all all over the world journey to Colorado every year to see the Rocky Mountains. It wasn’t till I took my blinders off and began my state via a customer’s eyes that I seen all the good locations to see, the distinctive folks to discuss to, and the enjoyable issues to do.

My freelance profession started over a decade in the past. Many of my early articles have been journey items about my very own superb state, Colorado, the place I’ve lived for the previous thirty-five years. My first journey article, “Think Wine, Think Colorado,” featured Colorado wineries. Up till then, I had no concept that a number of the highest vineyards on the planet might be discovered right here. For an article about out of doors winter actions (excluding downhill snowboarding/snowboarding), I discovered that there are dog-sledding excursions in varied mountain cities. When researching my very own metropolis for an article, I came upon that Old Town Fort Collins was the inspiration for the Disneyland Main Street in California. I now know that I’ve solely scratched the floor on all the good journey concepts in my very own state.

If you’re hanging out in your hometown, strive to discover these locations you by no means made time for prior to now. Look at your metropolis via the eyes of a customer. A author buddy of mine, Jenny Sundstedt, lives in Fort Collins, too, and has for her complete life. Last August, she determined to rediscover our metropolis and do one new factor every week and weblog about it on her Choice City Native weblog. While usually a quiet, reserved particular person, Sundstedt has come out of her shell for this activity. She has discovered a lot to write about and is having fun with the prospect to see our metropolis in a completely different mild.

When immersing your self into a new location, discover the place the locals hang around (a native bar, espresso store, restaurant) and go discuss with them. Ask them questions on their metropolis and get some perception from them.

Read more: 9 Creative Writing Tactics to Enrich Your Travel Writing

Visit vacationer spots and search for a special approach. There isn’t any scarcity of articles about Colorado ski cities within the winter, however what concerning the different seasons? Is there something to do in Breckenridge in the summertime? Are there occasions happening? What do the locals do within the low season? Even if a metropolis has been coated a lot, there are all the time contemporary angles should you search for them.

Loren Mooney, journey editor with Sunset Magazine, mentioned there are a few key elements to getting the eye of a publication. “First, if you can tie your area to a current large trend—three microbreweries opened this spring or your small town has a budding food truck scene. Second, a surprising twist on a well-known place can work well—Palm Springs on the cheap, say. The third is to take advantage of your local knowledge with details to make your story unique. People want to know not only about the best bar/café in your town, but also the Saturday bartender’s name or the story behind the farm that supplies the chicken.”

Contacting Organizations

Regardless of whether or not you’re writing about your hometown or different areas in your state, there are organizations obtainable to help you and put you in touch with the proper folks. The native conference and guests bureau and the chamber of commerce are two that must be on the prime of your listing. Some smaller cities like Glenwood Springs, CO and Escondido, CA mix these two entities into one.

An area conference and guests bureau (CVB) may be present in most cities. A CVB focuses on tourism, conferences, conventions, and occasions in an space and are extremely useful to journey writers. Their purpose is to deliver guests to the realm, who, in flip, store within the native shops, eat on the eating places, go to the points of interest, and keep within the resorts. This helps to maintain the native financial system robust. Because of this, CVBs take pleasure in working with journey writers who plan to give their metropolis protection in print or on-line.

Jim Clark, president and CEO of the Fort Collins Convention and Visitors Bureau, shared that the position of CVBs working with journalists is to present data on the vacation spot and images, and to recommend itineraries based mostly on the curiosity of the writers and their viewers. He added that they’ll additionally assist make journey preparations, host some meals, arrange appointments, conduct excursions, and be your information and useful resource for the go to.

To contact a CVB, go to the web site, the place you’ll sometimes discover a press or media web page with fundamental details about town. In addition, you’ll discover the PR or advertising particular person’s telephone quantity and e-mail.

“Normally, we’ll jump at the opportunity and help as much as we can,” mentioned Clark, “But CVBs will respond differently to a well-known writer versus an unknown one, so the journalist may need some ‘cred’ in terms of providing clips of previous stories or authentication of assignment.”

With so many journey bloggers on the Internet today, CVBs are paying extra consideration to the credentials of the journalists that strategy them. They are all the time obtainable to reply questions; but when they’re going to make investments money and time on a author, they need to know that the article goes to be in a respected journal or on a web site with a massive readership.

If you could have an project, it is necessary to examine with the journal to discover out the coverage on receiving free or “comped” objects. Some publications don’t have any issues if a author will get a free resort room or meal from the CVB whereas engaged on an article; different publications have strict insurance policies towards this and can pay the bills of the author.

Read more: 8 Travel-Writing Tips From Professional Travel Writers

Regardless, CVBs may be unbelievable assets for a journey author; and as a thanks, be certain to embody their telephone numbers and web sites someplace in your article.

Most cities even have a native chamber of commerce. This group supplies details about the companies within the space and is nice for getting statistics, like inhabitants, training degree, common earnings, housing, and fundamental details about town. If you want info or contact data with the enterprise neighborhood, the chamber is a nice useful resource.

Capturing the Story

CVBs and chambers have high quality photographs they’ll grant permission to you to use in your article. But, if you’re critically occupied with being a journey author, then take into account investing in a first rate digital digicam and find out how to take your individual photographs. This will add worth to your article; and plenty of occasions, you’ll get paid further for the photographs.

Tom Bol, editorial and business photographer based mostly in Colorado, shared some recommendation on taking good photographs. “First of all, don’t hold sentimental value on your images. If they aren’t sharp, exposed properly, and subject relevant, you are just wasting the editor’s time. Include many different angles, wide shots, telephoto shots, horizontal and vertical, a variety of subject matter. I think about what a graphic designer might need for a layout when taking photographs for an article.”

“Finally, work on capturing the emotion and mood. Think about a story on the Georgetown train, chugging through the scenic Colorado mountains. A close-up shot of a child smiling, having the time of her life will really draw people into the article; we all like happy kids. Imagine the same shot except taken from a distant perspective or just of tourists sitting on the train. You lose a lot of that warm feeling, and the image isn’t as effective for the story.” Finding the story is necessary not just for the photographs however the article as nicely.

Before heading out to a metropolis, Andrew McCarthy, contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler and the SATW Foundation 2010 Travel Journalist of the Year, researches the place he’s going to go to.

“I find my idea before I go and hunt for evidence of the story I want to tell,” mentioned McCarthy. “I don’t just show up and say, ‘This is a cool place. I think I’ll write about it.’ That said, be open to surprises, and follow your nose. And know a good quote when you hear one.”

Once you could have researched and visited the realm, it’s time to write the article. Tom Hess, editor for AAA Encompass, appears for an article that will get his consideration, attracts him into an journey, and will get him dreaming about a journey to the vacation spot or exercise described. He appears for greater than a listing of accessible points of interest, lodgings, eating places, enterprise hours, admission costs, and different particulars.

Read more: Writing Travel Articles | Find Your Creative Muse –

“A good article engages all my senses—not just sights and tastes—but also the sounds, smells, touch, quality of light, and people,” mentioned Hess. “The article should help me get to know the locals: how they talk, how they think, what they value, how they recreate, how they celebrate. Help me as a reader understand why I should care.”

It doesn’t matter should you stay in California, Colorado, or Kansas, there are locations, folks, and occasions to write about. Carry with you a spirit of exploration, and keep open to all the probabilities. You will quickly uncover an abundance of concepts and give you the option to write about your individual “backyard.”


Kerrie Flanagan is a freelance author and director of Northern Colorado Writers. Her 130+ articles may be present in varied nationwide and regional publications. You can learn her weblog at or go to her web site at

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