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How to Write for 'Travel + Leisure'

Since 1971, Travel + Leisure editors have followed one mission: to inform, inspire, and guide travelers to have deeper, more meaningful experiences. T+L's editors have traveled to countries all over the world, having flown, sailed, road tripped, and taken the train countless miles. They've visited small towns and big cities, hidden gems and popular destinations, beaches and mountains, and everything in between. With a breadth of knowledge about destinations around the globe, air travel, cruises, hotels, food and drinks, outdoor adventure, and more, they are able to take their real-world experience and provide readers with tried-and-tested trip ideas, in-depth intel, and inspiration at every point of a journey.

We tell stories from around the world: stories that are big or small, visually driven or essayistic, first-person or as-told-to or service-oriented.

Our audience is made up of active and passionate travelers — travelers who book an average of seven trips per year, big and small. They're up for anything: adventure, active travel, history, solo trips, luxury, the arts, spa vacations, multi-generational travel, food, wine, RVs, private jets. (Well, some of them take private jets.) Our readers want to learn about people and places around the world, even if they'll never visit those places themselves — to gain a deeper understanding of what's relevant there, and to challenge their own assumptions.

If you want to pitch a story to us, make sure your idea adds something to the conversation. We don't want to have seen that story elsewhere. We love stories about a place that is misunderstood or changing, stories about seeing the world in a new way, and especially stories by writers or photographers who bring a new voice to the conversation about a place or topic.

What We Want From a Pitch

A paragraph encompassing:

  • The topic and angle
  • The scope of the story
  • Why we should cover it
  • Why you are the writer for the job
  • Whether you've traveled yet
  • If not, what kind of editorial support you'd need for travel expenses

If we've never worked with you before, a pitch is your shot at giving us a sense of what your (unedited) writing is like — feel free to show us your voice.

For stories about a particular destination: maybe you have never been to the place before; maybe you went there all the time when you were growing up; maybe you live there now. That part doesn't matter so much as why you are the right person to tell this story, and what particular angle you will bring to the table. For longer, first-person stories, we prefer to have the writer travel on assignment, or write based on a recent trip. If your story will require additional travel, let us know. If you just got back from a trip, or are already planning your own trip, let us know.

If you have never worked with us before, please also include some relevant clips and/or a link to your portfolio. Clips for digital publications are perfectly fine, but if you're pitching print it's also helpful to see what work you've done that's similar in length, style, and scope to what Travel + Leisure does in print.

What We Don't Want From a Pitch

  • A list of places you're going.
  • A forwarded press release, or a copy-and-pasted press release.
  • A couple sentences with no real angle.
  • A pitch that will justify you going on a press trip (even if you don't tell us about the trip, we can usually tell).
  • A story you've already written for someone else.
  • A story that's already appeared recently in Travel + Leisure or on our website , or a competing magazine/website, or even a not-really-competing magazine/website.

Please do not send a pitch to everyone on the team; instead, use the guidelines below to decide who might be the best target for your idea. If an editor says no, it is best practice to not send the same idea to another editor. And if an editor says yes, it's often advisable to try to keep working with them in the future; if they're not the right person for a particular story, they can point you to a colleague. These types of writer-editor relationships are essential and help streamline the pitching process for everyone.

Another thing: we often get asked "what we're looking for" or "what we're currently working on." We totally get it, but we will almost never be able to give you a clear response. The answers to these questions change by the minute, and it's rare that we have a "hole" that we need to fill or a story idea that needs a writer. The best way to start working with us is showing you have unique story ideas that we wouldn't find anywhere else.

What to Expect When You Pitch

Many of us have been on the other side of this conversation (i.e. we've freelanced ourselves, and pitched many other faceless editors) and we know it's often frustrating. Feel free to follow up. If you don't hear back, follow up again! We will never be offended by "if I don't hear back by X date, I'll assume you're not interested and pitch this elsewhere."

Press/FAM Trips and Conflicts of Interest

We are aware that press trips are often a necessity for writers to familiarize themselves with new places, make industry connections, and develop their voice in the travel space. We won't fault anyone for taking press trips, and we don't mind if you pitch something to us based on independent reporting from a past press trip. What's important to us is editorial integrity and fresh storytelling. If you went on the trip for another publication, or have written about it elsewhere, your pitch should be distinctly different from your previous work on the topic. If it was a group trip, your pitch should hinge on your own fresh reporting and angle, not the same itinerary attended by a dozen other writers.

Writers must disclose any and all affiliations with travel companies, tourism boards, or government entities that could present a conflict of interest in their reporting. This includes previously contracted work such as copywriting, social strategy, consulting, or acting as a brand ambassador. If in doubt, point it out! Those who fail to do so will not be considered for future assignments.

It is very, very rare that we actively send writers on press trips for print stories. If your pitch is tied to your attendance on an upcoming press trip — and we can usually tell — we will most likely say no, though we always welcome you to report back afterwards if you find anything interesting.

How to Pitch Us: Digital

Travel never sleeps and neither do we (well, we do sometimes). At travelandleisure.com we write inspirational and instructional stories for passionate travelers. Digital editorial is a mix of short-lead and long-lead story creation. We are looking for all types of travel stories: From practical travel tips and expert advice to inspirational first-person stories and features about a destination or experience. We cover small towns and big cities, beaches, lakes, and rivers (basically if it's a body of water, you'll find us there), mountains and valleys, outdoor adventures and exploring hidden gems, fine dining and speakeasies, and everything in between all over the world.

The Writing and Editing Process: Digital

We commission short-lead and long-lead stories daily. We generally work with regular contributors on our daily stories. Word count varies…a lot. We aren't constrained by page count or, quite, frankly, pages at all — our pages can scroll forever. That said, our news stories are generally 300-500 words. Our general travel stories, first-person storytelling, or listicles can be anywhere from 500 - 2,000+ words.

As you can imagine, we are pitched a lot and don't always have time to respond to every single email (please don't be offended!), so in order to make yours stand out, here's what we suggest:

  • We are looking for unique stories we don't already have on our site. Please do your research first and make sure the story you're pitching wasn't recently published on travelandleisure.com.
  • Your story can be a listicle or an in-depth look at a particular activity in a destination so long as there is an inspiration and service element. For example, if you're pitching a story on bird watching in Colombia, please be sure to include in your story the binoculars you used, places that offer the best watching opportunities, and any hotels that may offer this as an experience.
  • Please don't send a pre-written story — we don't generally accept them. We do however want to read a short blurb about your idea (4-5 sentences) along with a grabby headline. If we are interested, we will reach back out to get more details. But, don't leave out the important bits of your story in the pitch! Remember: How you write your pitch gives us insight into the quality and style of your writing.

We do not pay by word count. We have a flat rate that we pay by type of story. Your editor will share our rate sheet with you. That said, we pay upon receipt of the story and your story must be filed with an invoice. Along with your story, you must also provide press contacts and press releases.

Our daily news writers have a minimum number of stories they write for us each day. If you're interested in becoming a daily news writer, please email [email protected] along with recent news clips, why you're interested in becoming a daily news writer, and your expertise in the travel news space.

For everything else, here's who you'll want to pitch:

  • Nina Ruggiero , editorial director, overseeing site, sold campaign content, and social. [email protected]
  • Alisha Prakash , associate editorial director, personal essays and first-person narratives, reported features, profiles, evergreen and seasonal SEO stories and roundups, travel tips and trends, and under-the-radar destination spotlights that offer a fresh perspective on a place. [email protected]
  • Christine Burroni , senior news editor, travel news, explainers and first-person experiences that expand upon how timely news is affecting travelers, service pieces, wellness trends and tips for travelers, and celebrity interviews with a travel angle. [email protected]
  • Maya Kachroo-Levine , digital senior editor; reported features on hotels, destinations, cruising, aviation, food-and-beverage experiences, art, and architecture, ideally pitched with a timely hook; longer-form profiles and articles on often overlooked communities within the travel realm. [email protected]
  • Sam Lauriello , social editor, all social requests and platforms. [email protected]
  • Elizabeth Rhodes , special projects editor, all-things Disney, cruising, trip ideas, and over-the-top suites. [email protected]

While we're at it, meet the rest of the Travel + Leisure digital team:

Annie Archer, assistant social editor

Mariah Tyler, visuals editor

Alessandra Amodio, photo editor

Courtney Dennis, producer

Madeline Diamond, ecommerce editor

How to Pitch Us: Print

Travel + Leisure is the only monthly print travel publication in the United States, with a circulation of nearly one million.

Print editors are usually thinking at least three months ahead, and sometimes up to a year or more. Breaking, same-day, or otherwise time-sensitive pitches will not be considered; the T+L digital team is the best point of contact for pitching travel news stories, and social takeovers.

We are also constrained in our assigning by the simple fact of page counts. Pitching for print, by nature, involves a lot of rejections. Maybe we've done a similar story recently, maybe we have something similar in the works, maybe that particular editor just doesn't love the pitch as much as others they've gotten, maybe it's just not right for our audience at the moment but two years from now it would be. It happens all the time, even for those of us on staff, and it's not a referendum on you as a person or the quality of your ideas and reporting.

Another thing: If you are used to digital timelines, please manage your expectations for print. Our internal pitching process is rigorous. If the editor you pitched likes your idea, it still has to get past a number of other people. Sometimes those people will say no. You may be grumpy about this, and understandably so! Your editor is probably grumpy, too.

Most positive responses look like: "This is such a cool idea! I'd love to run it past our executive editor to see what she thinks." or "Hey, I love this idea and I think it could be a good fit for our Discoveries section. I'll bring it up with the section editor, and if she likes it too, she will propose it to our editor-in-chief at their next meeting." At that point, we hope that you won't pitch the story around while you're waiting for next steps. Sometimes we'll be able to get an answer for you after a few days; sometimes, depending on the story, it could be a month or longer. Feel free to follow up if you're curious about where we're at, and if you're getting antsy and considering pulling the piece, let your editor know!

The Writing and Editing Process: Print

Travel + Leisure is the only monthly print travel publication in the United States, with a circulation of nearly one million. We tell stories from around the world: stories that are big or small, visually driven or essayistic, first-person or as-told-to or service-oriented.

Our audience is made up of active and passionate travelers—travelers who book an average of seven trips per year, big and small. They're up for anything: adventure, active travel, history, solo trips, luxury, the arts, spa vacations, multi-generational travel, food, wine, RVs, private jets. (Well, some of them take private jets.) Our readers want to learn about people and places around the world, even if they'll never visit those places themselves—to gain a deeper understanding of what's relevant there, and to challenge their own assumptions.

Print editors are usually thinking at least three months ahead, and sometimes up to a year or more. Breaking, same-day, or otherwise time-sensitive pitches will not be considered; the T+L digital team is the best point of contact for pitching travel news stories and social takeovers.

The Sections of the Magazine

While you don't need to have a section in mind when pitching a print story, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with them. It's a cliche for a reason: The best way to have success with a pitch is to get to know the magazine well. If you can't see a story idea fitting into any of these, it's probably not right for us. All editors on our team can slot their stories into any of these sections, but each has one or more dedicated editors who oversee the general mix of stories.

Discoveries

A globetrotter's guide to the latest in travel.

Our front-of-book opener section, made up of stories that are often bitsy and news-driven. A great place to break into the magazine.

Story Formats: Short news-driven write-throughs, roundups, Q&As, step-by-step itineraries, neighborhood guide maps, short blurbs with a collection of beautiful pictures, etc.

Story Length: 100-600 words, though the shortest pieces are usually staff written.

Experiences

Travelers' tales, from near and far.

First-person travel narratives, often with a literary bent, as well as the occasional photo essay. Where appropriate, we try to incorporate relevant travel news (e.g. new hotels, restaurants, shops, galleries, etc.) or a "why now" element.

Story Formats: Essays and written-through travelogues, occasionally broken out into itinerary form, almost always first-person.

Story Lengths: ~700-1,500 words

Intelligent Traveler

Tips and tricks to help you travel smarter.

Travel hacks and insider info on the logistics and process of travel: innovations in the industry, trends in how we're traveling, tips to help you plan ahead and save money while doing it, cool gear you should have on your radar, and news about planes, trains, and automobiles.

Story Formats: A mix of written-through pieces and broken out roundups; they are generally not first-person or based deeply in a personal experience, but rather synthesize trends or give directions. (It's okay to use a first-person experience as a jumping-off point to discuss something larger in the industry.)

Story Lengths: Under 600 words.

The longest stories in the magazine, which live in the "well"—no ads, just beautiful images and thoughtful writing. Most of these are place-based stories—usually a city or a route around a particular state, island, or country—with a literary approach and with plenty of historical and social context. These types of features always include a fairly comprehensive "how to do it" sidebar for readers who want to replicate the journey. Sometimes, we will run travel essays or commentary that aren't about a particular trip, or we'll want to showcase an outstanding photo portfolio and will commission an essay to accompany it.

Story Lengths: typically 2,500–4,000 words

A Note About Feature Assignments: It's tricky to break into T+L with a feature—they're costly to produce, we run fewer of them each year than other kinds of stories, and rarely assign them to new-to-us writers unless there's significant evidence (generally in the form of multiple feature-length bylines and/or a book) that said writer can tackle something of that scope. That's not to say it never happens, just that you may get more traction with your T+L pitches in another section of the magazine, at least until we get to know you and your work.

"Your Best Shot." On this page, we spotlight an outstanding photo from one of our readers, accompanied by a short interview about their experience getting the shot. This is not a paid opportunity, but rather a prize for our Photo of the Day contest. If you're interested, you can submit your best shots HERE for the chance to be featured on this page in a future issue.

Who to Pitch on Print

Every print editor works on all sorts of things and can direct you to the right person if it's not them. But we each focus on certain sections, themes, and geographical areas, and for new writers, those will help you decide to whom to direct your ideas.

Here's the breakdown:

  • Paul Brady, news director, edits the Intelligent Traveler section and is our point person for trend pieces about the travel industry. He leads our cruise coverage and often handles stories about aviation, loyalty programs, ski/winter sports, and the polar regions. He also follows Central America, Southeast Asia. [email protected]
  • Liz Cantrell, senior editor, edits the Discoveries section and commissions other stories with a focus on outdoor and adventure travel, as well as Canada, Northern Europe, and the Southern U.S., including Texas. [email protected]
  • Samantha Falewée , senior editor, works on many sections with a focus on South America; Fiji and French Polynesia; Arizona and New Mexico; and the Midwestern U.S. She is also interested in cultural and Indigenous travel. [email protected]
  • Denny Lee , articles editor, focuses on Mediterranean Europe (France, Italy, Greece, Portugal & Spain); East Asia (China, Japan & Korea); Eastern Europe; Western U.S. (Colorado, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming),. He also handles our ski and winter sports coverage, and food coverage. [email protected]
  • Danielle Pointdujour , senior editor, leads our hotel coverage and the brand's annual It List. She also covers destinations including the Caribbean, Central America, the Middle East, Turkey, North Africa, Florida, and Texas.  [email protected]
  • Flora Stubbs, executive editor, has a hand in everything, but focuses mainly on South Asia and East, West, and Southern Africa. [email protected]
  • Peter Terzian, features editor, oversees our features well and curates our coverage of East Asia; the U.K. & Ireland; Scandinavia; and the Northeastern U.S. [email protected]
  • Jessica Vadillo, editorial assistant, often works on packages and front-of-book items. [email protected]  
  • Scott Hall, photo director, and Skye Senterfeit, deputy photo editor, are the best points of contact for photographers interested in contributing or those pitching photo essays. [email protected] ; [email protected]
  • Fryda Lidor, creative director, is the best point of contact for illustrators and artists interested in contributing. [email protected]

Meet the rest of the Travel + Leisure print team :

Jacqueline Gifford, editor in chief

Erin Agostinelli, managing editor

Ray Isle, wine and spirits editor

Griffin Plonchak, production manager

Kathy Roberson, copy and research chief

Lisa Greissinger, research editor

How to Pitch Us: Social

Travel + Leisure has over 15M followers across its social channels. On Instagram, we share awe-inspiring destination images, first-person travel experiences, and educational articles. On TikTok, we post travel vlogs, hotel suite tours, destination roundups, and more. Overall, we use compelling photos and videos to inspire our audience to explore the world.

We want pitches for:

  • Instagram takeovers highlighting a recent travel experience
  • Personality-driven TikTok vlogs recapping a trip
  • TikTok series that aim to either educate or entertain (bonus points if you can do both)

What pitches should include:

  • For TikToks, why it has viral potential
  • Whether you've traveled yet (or whether the trip is already booked)
  • A timeframe for when you could have the assets ready to go live
  • 1-2 examples of your past social media work (takeovers, TikToks, photography, videography, etc.)

Please send social pitches to [email protected] .

  • International edition
  • Australia edition
  • Europe edition

Old San Juan buildings

Tips for travel writing

Write in the first person, past tense (or present if the action really justifies it), and make your story a personal account, interwoven with facts, description and observation.

Many writers start their piece with a strong – but brief – anecdote that introduces the general feeling, tone and point of the trip and story. Something that grabs the reader's attention and makes them want to read on. Don't start with the journey to the airport – start with something interesting, not what happened first.

Early on you need to get across the point of the story and trip – where you were, what were you doing there and why. If there is a hook – a new trend, discovery or angle – make that clear within the first few paragraphs.

Try to come up with a narrative thread that will run throughout the piece, linking the beginning and end; a point you are making. The piece should flow, but don't tell the entire trip chronologically, cherry pick the best bits, anecdotes and descriptions, that will tell the story for you.

Quotes from people you met can bring the piece to life, give the locals a voice and make a point it would take longer to explain yourself. Quote people accurately and identify them, who are they, where did you meet them?

Avoid cliches. Try to come up with original descriptions that mean something. Our pet hates include: "bustling markets"... "azure/cobalt sea"... "nestling among" ... "hearty fare" ... "a smorgasbord of...".

Don't use phrases and words you wouldn't use in speech (such as "eateries" or "abodes"), and don't try to be too clever or formal; the best writing sounds natural and has personality. It should sound like you. Don't try to be "gonzo" or really hilarious, unless you're sure it's working.

Check your facts! It's good to work in some interesting nuggets of information, perhaps things you've learned from talking to people, or in books or other research, but use reliable sources and double-check they are correct.

Write economically – don't waste words on sentences that could be condensed. Eg say "there was a..." not "it became apparent to me that in fact there existed a...".

Moments that affected you personally don't necessarily make interesting reading. Avoid tales of personal mishaps – missed buses, diarrhoea, rain – unless pertinent to the story. Focus on telling the reader something about the place, about an experience that they might have too if they were to repeat the trip.

Five more tips from Guardian travel writers

Author Giles Foden says he always feels travel writing benefits from a cinematic approach, in that you need to vary the focus – wide lens for setting and landscape; medium lens for context and colour; zoom lens for detail and narrative – and switch between the views in a piece. It may sound a bit precious, but it's a very handy tip for varying the pace of an article. Andy Pietrasik, head of Guardian Travel

Travel journalism should add to the wealth of information already out there in guidebooks and on websites, so try to seek out the more off-the-beaten-track places to eat, drink, visit – often the places locals might frequent. Revealing a new or different side to a destination will give your story a richness that you won't get with a description of a visit to the tourist cafe in the main square. Isabel Choat, online travel editor

What sets good travel writing apart is detail, detail, detail. Which cafe, on what street, overlooking what view? You must sweep the reader up and carry them off on the journey with you. Paint an evocation of where you are so we can experience it along with you. Be specific and drop "stunning", "breathtaking" and "fantastic" from your lexicon, otherwise it's just a TripAdvisor entry. Sally Shalam , Guardian hotel critic

An important rule of creative travel writing is to show, not tell, wherever possible. Readers want to feel as if they're eavesdropping on a conversation, or being shown something secret and magical. People don't like being told what to think. If a child wearing rags made you sad, for example, describe the child, their clothes, the way they carried themselves. Assume readers are sentient. If you write it well, they will "feel" what effect the encounter had on you. This is much more powerful than saying, "I felt sad." Mike Carter, Guardian contributor and author of One Man and his Bike

My golden rule when writing a piece is to include as much visual description as possible. It's easy to presume a lot, but your readers don't know what you've seen. So explain it as vividly as possible. Don't ever describe something as "characterful" or "beautiful" – this doesn't mean anything to anybody but you. Describe things as if you were explaining them to a blind person. To say a building is "old" isn't good enough; explain the colours, the peeling stucco, the elaborate, angular finishes on windowsills, the cleaning lady in a faded blue smock who was leaning out of a second-storey window with a cigarette dangling from her mouth. There is a thin line between elaborate, colourful, evocative writing and pretentious tosh, but it's better to lean towards the pretentious tosh side of the spectrum than to be dull and presumptuous. Benji Lanyado, Guardian writer and blogger

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How to Become a Travel Writer in 5 Steps: A Guide for Travel Bugs

For most people, trekking through the mountains or sampling French cuisine is a rare treat. For travel writers, it might just be another day on the job. As their job title suggests, travel writers create content about anything and everything related to exploring the world. 

Whether they’re writing to help readers plan a trip or to transport them — through words — to places they may never visit, no two travel writers share the same journey through their careers. But if you intend to walk down this road and become a travel writer, here are five steps to help you on your professional adventure.

Learn to be a descriptive writer and a thorough researcher

If there’s a single skill-set that almost all great travel writers share, it would be in research and descriptive writing. While people in this profession often have degrees in English or journalism, this is not a strict requirement. People come to travel writing from all walks of life, and publications tend to be concerned with your ability to deliver a great piece over any advanced degree. 

Although there isn’t any specific travel writing degree, if you want to learn all you can in one centralized place, there are many travel writing courses that train everyone from experienced journalists to new writers. 

Immerse readers with your descriptive writing

A landscape of the Azore Islands

Readers want you to take them on a journey with you. If you can’t pay for them to join you on a sea voyage to the Azores, you’ll have to settle for evoking the five senses and other descriptive writing techniques. 

Take for example, Paul Theroux. A prolific travel writer with a career spanning five decades, he’s treasured for his ability to pull readers into his adventures with simple yet evocative language, as he does in his essay, “ Taking the Great American Roadtrip ”: 

What made Barstow's billboards a peculiar blight was the contrast with everything that lay around them—the landscape that was so stark and dramatic as a brooding expanse of withered shrubs and fat cactuses, the stony roads that seemed to lead nowhere, the bleak and beautiful backdrop that seemed as though no one had laid a hand on it, with lively colorations at a distance and up close so dry, like a valley of bones looking as though they could not support life. I had seen deserts in Patagonia and Turkmenistan, northern Kenya and Xinjiang in western China; but I had never seen anything like this. The revelation of the Mojave Desert was (peering past the billboards) not just its illusion of emptiness but its assertive power of exclusion, the low bald hills and far-off mountains looking toasted and forbidding under the darkening sky.

Theroux invites the reader on the road with him and describes the desert landscape in crisp detail. The use of simile (“like a valley of bones”) and strong language (“stark, dramatic”) brings the piece to life and gives us a view from Theroux’s window so it feels like we’re traveling along with him. 

How do you remember and keep track of all these details while you’re on the go? Keeping a journal while you’re traveling — even if it’s just to another part of the town you live in — is a great method to have all the information you need to write your story when you finally get to sit down and reflect on your journey. 

Cherry-pick the details that will tell the best story

Though you may have recorded many interesting details, you can’t include everything. Travel writing may feature a lot of exposition to set the scene, but it isn’t the same thing as keeping a journal. To make a stronger piece, you need to focus on the right stories and details, which means knowing what to add and what you can leave out.

At the same time, being concise is important. Unless you’re running your own blog or website, most digital or physical publications will have word limits to adhere to. Identifying what’s most important and most interesting to your audience as you write makes for more compelling writing. 

Preparation is key

For travel writers, research skills go hand-in-hand with writing skills. You might be asked to write about a topic you aren’t familiar with or you might need to learn more about a place’s history or background to give your piece greater context. Research will allow you to create an accurate and well-informed story and help fill in the gaps in your own knowledge. And who knows, you might stumble on something that will inspire your next trip or story. 

Before you begin planning your next trip to the most popular destination of the year, you need to research where everyone has already gone. If you find a lot of articles about solo travel in Brazil, that might mean you need to find a new angle or pick a different place entirely, and down another research rabbit hole you’ll go. 

The arch in Washington Square Park, New York City

Learning as much as you can about the culture and history of the place you’re visiting will undoubtedly deepen your understanding and experience of it. A monument or a park might be pretty and fun to hang out in, but knowing that New York City’s Washington Square Park was built over the graves of 20,000 people makes for both an interesting angle and a more emotionally impactful piece.

Even if you want to write from the perspective of someone going into an experience blind, you still need to do research to travel anywhere — or you’ll end up writing a travelog where you barely find your way out of the airport parking lot. 

While these are the main two skills you should focus on, there are a few more that can give you and your writing a boost. 

Interviewing

A subset of research, learning how to interview effectively will broaden the scope of your knowledge and your writing. Sometimes, you need a perspective other than your own, and who better to tell you about all the hidden secrets of Barcelona than a local? It’s an invaluable skill — especially for a travel writer — to be able to go into a place and speak to people, to get their stories and perspectives so you can go beyond just being a tourist. It’s a way to pull back the curtain and really connect yourself and your reader with the wider world. 

Anthony Bourdain in Parts Unknown

Travel writers do this quite often, and a great example can be seen in Anthony Bourdain’s TV show, Parts Unknown . On the surface, this food travel show showcases the cuisines of the world. But Bourdain’s interests, and thus the show’s, were much more focused on the lives of the people he’d meet along the way. 

If you also want to write in a way that exceeds the usual ‘visit-here-and-eat-that’ humdrum of most so-called travel writing and really start to understand the people you’ll encounter, you’ll need to become a passable interviewer.

Finding people to interview, asking the right questions, and making your interviewee comfortable are the main things that go into conducting a successful interview. Before you go out into the wider world, you can practice with friends, but really, the best way to learn is by doing. Record your interviews or take notes to ensure you don’t forget anything and have quotes to use for when you write your story. And, of course, ask permission before you conduct the interview or use the material.

With your notes and quotes in order, you then need to do the hard part: figure out what’s relevant. You may have dozens of poignant quotes and conversations, but it’s inevitable that you’ll have more raw material than you’ll be able to use. There’s no one right way to make this judgment. It takes time, experimentation, and experience to figure which ones are the best and order them together into one coherent whole. 

Stay up to date with the travel industry

While not necessarily a skill, part of being a good travel writer is being in the know about what’s happening in the travel industry. After all, the larger trends of people’s travel habits, popular destinations, and the state of major airlines and hotels influences the kind of information people are looking for. And it can always serve as inspiration for your next story. There are dozens of industry newsletters you can subscribe to that will keep you apprised of any new developments (including job openings and calls for pitches) in the world of travel, such as Lottie Gross’s Talking Travel Writing . Use them wisely. 

Staying up to date is also knowing where the opportunities to monetize your writing lie. The travel industry is full of affiliate programs and content partnerships, where you can get paid for your work without having to sell it to a publisher or outlet. Your chances of landing these types of deals significantly increase if you have your own blog or social media accounts with a good amount of subscribers, but there may be other opportunities out there as well if you’re savvy.

Even travel writers who don’t consider themselves “influencers” can learn a lot from people creating video content relating to travel topics, especially when it comes to how to make a profit off their content.  If you’re interested in running and making money off your own blog, knowing about programs like these and where to find them is incredibly important. 

Whether you’re looking to get a brand partnership, pitch an online publication, or a guest post on a travel blog, learning the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) and applying it to your writing will help you as you search for opportunities. Essentially, SEO is about optimizing a web page — in this case, your article — to be read by a search engine and draw users to it. It’s no surprise, then, that many publications value writers who have SEO skills and can optimize their articles to bring more traffic to their website.

Learn to take good photos

Besides being a competent and compelling writer, there's another skill that you should look to hone: photography. As much as people enjoy reading about places they’ve never been to, descriptive writing and imagination can only go so far. When it comes to travel, a picture can truly speak more than a thousand words. And a video might be even better. Visual media adds extra color and context to your piece while complementing your writing. 

A man holding up a camera and taking a photo

Depending on whether you’re freelancing or working full-time for a publication, you won’t always have a photographer following you on your journey. Learning the basics of photography can be helpful in those instances and make you a more well-rounded travel writer. In some cases, it might even be attractive to publications if you can provide your own photos. Consider posting what you capture on your personal blog, Instagram, or TikTok as well. Any way of building a following is great.

This doesn’t mean you must invest in a quality DSLR camera (though you certainly can). These days, many smartphones have top-of-the-line cameras that can take the kinds of stunning pictures of white sand beaches and ancient castles that readers are looking for. A beginner’s photography course can help you learn all the basics about lighting, color, and composition and have you snapping great shots in no time. 

📸 Taking plenty of photos can also help you ace your descriptive writing, for those moments when you’re struggling to recall specific details about a place you visited. 

Build a portfolio of work

Once you have a solid foundation of skills, you can begin creating your portfolio. While you might dream of being a staff writer at a travel publication, or make a living as a freelance travel writer, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to jump straight into that role. 

Find a niche you love

Unsurprisingly, travel writing is a popular choice for aspiring writers. Who doesn’t want to galavant around the world and make a living writing about your adventures? But, of course, that also means it’s a very competitive field, and standing out can be difficult. Finding a way to differentiate yourself will give you a leg up and provide a focus for your articles. 

The great thing about travel writing is that there is a nearly never-ending number of niches you could devote yourself to. You can write exclusively about a certain country or area of the world or gear your work towards a specific audience, such as budget travelers, people traveling with family, or digital nomads. If you have a unique perspective, it’s likely that people will want to read about it. 

That isn’t to say you can’t write outside your chosen subfield. Plenty of writers find success publishing in their niche and then expanding their reach to become a sort of jack of all trades. Having a focus will simply allow you to stand out from the crowd. 

Collect some quality clips

A person writing in a notebook, surrounded by books, a laptop, Polaroids, and a cup of coffee

First, you need to build up a reputation and a solid amount of quality clips — a journalistic term for published articles. They will serve as your resume, showing off your writing and research skills, as well as the topics you’re familiar with and your general style. As you start looking for ways to build your portfolio, internships, freelance opportunities, and blogging can all be great ways to start out. 

💡If you’re curious about the many kinds of work travel writers can do, check out this post about the different types of travel writing . 

📕And if you already have a travel writing blog, you might want to turn your blog into a book that you can pitch to publishers or self-publish.

Look for internships

Internships are a common way writers gain experience and clips. Magazines and online publications may allow aspiring travel writers to flex their skills and learn about what goes into professional travel writing. However, while there are paid internships in this field, many are likely unpaid. Whether you want to pursue an unpaid internship remains up to you, but we recommend valuing your time and pursuing paid internships when you can. 

Consider freelance writing

Another option to consider is freelance writing . Pitching articles to travel publications will not only be a way to gain jobs and clippings but allows you to practice ideation and build up a personal brand, as you are entirely in charge of the topics you’re writing about. It also expands your network of contacts in the industry, which will help you as you continue to pitch magazines and might lead to a job somewhere down the road. 

FREE RESOURCE

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Writing Submissions Checklist

Make sure your magazine and contest submissions are prepped to impress.

And if you want to take complete control of your career, a subset of freelancing is blogging. Dozens of freelance travel writers supplement (or make a career out of) running their own personal blog. Having one will give you a ready-made portfolio of clips showing off your skills. This is where having a niche can be especially helpful, as it’s a way to set you apart from all the other travel blogs on the Internet. 

Search for jobs and writing opportunities

With a solid portfolio of clips, it’s time to go out into the world and fully devote yourself to a career in travel writing. There are two main tracks you could take: finding a staff writer position at a magazine or becoming a freelance travel writer. 

Finding full-time travel writer jobs

A man sitting in front of a laptop and thinking

For many writers, the dream is to work full-time as a travel writer for a publication. It offers stability while letting you travel to different destinations to write and explore. 

Although there are many travel-focused magazines like Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure that might have staff writer positions, don’t discount other publications. Some magazines and newspapers with completely different focuses have travel sections that need staff writers to keep them running. 

For positions like this, a portfolio is especially important. Magazines want to see that writers have a background in journalism and are reliable writers who can deliver good-quality pieces on time. Previously being published is often proof of that. But part of building a portfolio is also building connections with people in the industry. Knowing someone at a magazine who is familiar with your work and can vouch for you can help you get your foot in the door and be hired as a staff writer. 

Freelancing

Another option is to continue down the freelance path, pitching and writing your own stories. This route gives you a lot more freedom. You can decide which places to visit and which activities you want to do, and you’re always in charge of your own itinerary. Overall, you’re much less likely to work on a story you’re not interested in because an editor told you you must. 

This is where picking a niche and having a blog can be especially helpful. Establishing yourself as an authority on a subject will draw people to your articles and give you credibility as you pitch publications. A website dedicated to your niche, with all your expertise located in one place, elevates your credibility and provides a useful resource for your readers — especially if you get a handle on SEO. Eventually, you can even turn your blog into a book and create another revenue stream. 

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The Full-Time Freelancer's Checklist

Get our guide to financial and logistical planning. Then, claim your independence.

Travel writing allows you to indulge in and subsidize your wanderlust and make a living off of it. More than that though, travel writing is a way to connect people across cultures and great distances, and build an appreciation for the uniqueness and diversity around us.

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  • Travel Writing: 10 Globe-Trotter Magazines that Pay Freelance Writers

Lisa Rogers

Travel Writing: 3 Tips to Land Magazine Assignments

  • Hidden Compass
  • World Nomads
  • Outpost Magazine
  • Family Traveller

How to Break Into International Travel Writing

What if you could mix your global wanderlust with travel writing and get paid?

Sounds pretty sweet, right?

As the world of work changes, foreign countries offer digital nomad visas, and remote working remains an option.

They’ll need to know the best places to go, travel stories no one else can tell, and experiences that define us as travelers.

There’s “travel revenge,” too. You know…after COVID-19 restrictions and lots of vacation cancellations, people are traveling in record numbers. 

And that’s really good news if travel writing is one of your niches as a freelance writer.

Who’s hiring? While some of these magazines do have staff columnists and writers, they’re always looking for fresh perspectives and new contributors.

So, what better way to get your foot in the door than to knock their socks off with your first freelance assignment.

Below are 10 magazines that hire freelancers and pay up to $800 plus 50% of campaign funds.

These magazines are for the world traveler, who book trips regularly, and for those looking to experience a new culture, a new dish, or a new adventure.

Many are looking for first-person stories about how a place made you feel or challenged your assumptions.

As always, doing your research, studying the publication, and pitching per their guidelines is essential.

Follow these three tips to land travel writing assignments:

  • Read a few back issues. If something you want to write about has been covered, what fresh perspective do you bring to the story?
  • Study the publication and read the guidelines. Submission format and method are essential to review for each magazine.
  • Keep your pitches short and focused in 1-to-2 paragraphs. Some magazines offer an example layout of how best to pitch them.

article writing template

1.   Travel + Leisure Magazine  

One of the best known travel magazines, Travel + Leisure, is the only print international travel magazine in the US with a circulation of nearly a million. That’s a lot of eyes on your story!

They’re looking for stories from around the world whether first-person, as-told-to, or service-oriented for their target audience of active travelers who immerse themselves in a culture or location whether they’re traveling or not. T + L is primarily looking for new voices who bring a fresh perspective about a place or topic.

When pitching, explain in one paragraph:

  • Why the story should be covered,
  • Topic, angle, and scope of the story,
  • Why you are the one to tell it.

Tip: Think like an editor. Many stories have been in the works from 3 months to a year before publication.

If you haven’t traveled for your story yet, let them know what kind of editorial support you need. When considering story ideas, what’s a unique angle you can write about that hasn’t been documented elsewhere?

Rate: Negotiated and based on assignment. Paid upon receipt of the accepted story with an invoice.

Contact: Flora Stubbs, Executive Editor at [email protected] ; Paul Brady, Articles Editor at [email protected] ; Peter Terzian, Features Editor at [email protected] , or Hannah Walhout, Senior Editor at [email protected] .

2.   Condé Nast Traveler

Condé Nast Traveler is looking for travel stories that inspire and inform to help people travel better and wiser.

Keep your pitch to two paragraphs or less, including a suggested headline, angle, sources, and why this story should be covered now.

Tip: If your story is focused on responsible travel, Conde Nast prioritizes those stories over others. In addition, they are most interested in hearing from voices of the BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled communities.

Rate: $300+ for 500 to 600 words.

Contact:  Editor Megan Spurrell

3.     Hidden Compass

Hidden Compass is an online international travel magazine with a twist. Focusing on travel journalism education, it wants to dive deeper into the obscure angles of travel, place, and those we meet on our journey. It is unique in that its rates are set, and writers can earn 50 percent after a 90-day patronage campaign.

Travel stories blended with culture, art, history, and science within the categories of Quest, Portrait, Chasing Demons, Time Travel, and Human and Nature told through words and images of 2,000 – 3,000 words is their way of showcasing unique aspects of travel and sense of place.

Tip: Include your submission in the body of your email. No attachments.

Rate: Photo features: $800 + 50% of campaign proceeds; Features: $500 + 50% of campaign funds; Custom artwork: $400; Photos: $75/photo

Contact: Please email all questions and submissions to Sivani Babu, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Hidden Compass at: [email protected] .

AFAR is a bi-monthly publication that publishes reported features, personal essays, opinion pieces, and aspirational lifestyle travel stories. They want to tell the stories of a place and its people.

Pitches should include your story’s synopsis, sources, relevant news or timely events, and estimated word count. Always have a short bio and relevant clips of your previously published work.

Rate: $1 per word payable 30-45 days after the piece is published upon a filed invoice.

  • Please send pitches for feature stories to Aislyn Greene, Senior Editor, at [email protected] .
  • Please send pitches for middle-of-book stories to Mae Hamilton, Assistant Editor, at [email protected] .
  • Please send pitches for photo essays to Michelle Heimerman, Photo Editor, at [email protected] .
  • Please send pitches for illustrated features to Supriya Kalidas, Creative Director, at [email protected] .

5. World Nomads

World Nomads is looking for stories that go deeper than the location asking its authors to answer the following questions in their articles.

  • Could other travelers imagine themselves in the story, and if so, how might it change them?
  • Were boundaries tested?
  • As the writer, do your emotions come through in the story?
  • Were you transformed in the story in some way?
  • Is this a fresh perspective on something that’s already been written or is it an original idea?

Keep your title to 40 characters max and your synopsis to 250 words or less when pitching. Explain the subject, format, category, what makes it compelling, and why you’re the one to write it.

Rate: $.50 per word

Contact: Email u s here or Managing Editor Kate Duthie at LinkedIn

6. Outpost Magazine

Outpost Magazine is a Canadian publication that accepts stories from authors worldwide. They’re looking for longform travel journalism coupled with high-resolution photos, which might be anything from travel guides to hidden gem destinations.

Most articles should be 2,000 to 4,000 words for print, and if you have clips, send two or three samples of your previously published work.

Rate: Negotiated. Pitches accepted on spec only.

Contact: To submit, email [email protected] .

7 . Hemispheres Magazine

Hemispheres , the inflight magazine of United Airlines, reaches more than 11 million readers every month. They’re looking for writers with expertise and global perspectives.

The three sections available to freelance writers are their Features, Navigator, and Diversions sections. Include your clips as attachments in Word or PDF or links to the samples of your work.

Tip: Their lead time is three months ahead. Keep this in mind if your idea or pitch is timely such as a holiday or news event.

Rate: Negotiated.

Contact: Email Editor-in-Chief: Ellen Carpenter ; Deputy Editor: Justin Goldman

8. Family Traveller

Family Traveller is a UK-based magazine that accepts pitches from travelers and writers worldwide. They’re looking for first-hand experiences of practical travel information geared toward affluent families with children who immerse themselves in culture and place when traveling.

Tip: Put “story pitch” in the subject line of your email and send documents as Word or PDF attachments. When giving contact details, include your social media handles and links to any travel articles you’ve previously published, and don’t forget to include the date of the trip on which the pitch is based.

Rate: $.25 per word for pieces from 50 to 1200 words. Paid 30 days following publication.

Contact: Email Katie Bowman at [email protected] .

9. Outside Magazine

Outside Magazine is focused on adventure travel and is looking for stories about adventure sports, gear, travel, and culture. They cover emerging adventure destinations, sustainability, travel ethics, road trips, national parks, and budget travel. Outside is particularly interested in international adventure travel stories from LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and POC voices.

Tip: If you’re new to Outside, send a few clips similar to what you’re pitching, and note that successful pitches include a compelling narrative, a colorful cast of characters, and a unique angle or point of tension. Tell them how your story fits their magazine and why you’re the writer to tell it.

Rates: $.50+ per word based on reporting, complexity, and writing experience, paid within 30 days of the completed assignment.

Contact: Email [email protected] or Assistant Editor Mallory Arnold via LinkedIn

10. Wanderlust Magazine

Wanderlust Magazine is a UK-based magazine that caters to travelers in 80+ countries. Their readers are 50% women who are well-educated, active travelers, most of whom are British.

When pitching, submit a one-paragraph outline of the story, the proposed first paragraph, and include information such as how you traveled, tour operators you used, and pictures if you have them.

Tip: If you’re new to writing for Wanderlust, start small and pitch for one of their pocket guides. Rules of the pocket guide include locations that must be accessible by direct flights from the UK and where you can get a feel for the place in the first 24 hours or perhaps a long weekend.

Contact: Founding Editor and Head of Commissioning Lyn Hughes.

If you’re just getting started in travel writing, it’s a good idea to begin with shorter pieces and pitch those to the front ends of the magazine. And if you have little to no clips, start in your own backyard. Who knows your neighborhood or city better than you do?

Tip: When writing samples, write in the same voice you’ve read in the magazine. You’ve been studying the publications, right? Show them in your pitch or your article on speculation (spec).

When considering any idea for one of these magazines, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Has my idea been written about before, and if not, what fresh angle do I bring to it?
  • What unique perspective do I, as a writer, bring to the conversation? 
  • How does my experience make me the best writer for the article?

Want more international travel writing options? 

Sometimes the best way to go about it is to enter the following in your search engine – “international travel writing” + “submission guidelines” + “paid.” You may even want to check out whopayswriters.com . Happy writing!

Need help landing travel writing assignments? Let’s discuss in the comments.

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What’s the secret to creating one of those writer websites that get’s noticed?

You know…an ideal client lands on your writer website. And you’ve got all the right stuff there to get that person to call, email, or connect on social media.

Great writer websites can:

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…while you sleep.

Chances are pretty good you already know writer websites help the pros stand out.

But what does your writer website look like?

Maybe you keep putting it off or avoid giving it an upgrade because you’re not a graphic designer, web developer or tech genius.

Sound familiar?

If you aren’t sure where to start or how to improve your online presence, you’re in luck. I’m going to show you the 5 essentials writer websites need to help you stand out, move up, and earn more.

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Right now, a record-high number of people are considering a freelance writing career. My inbox is overflowing with questions from newbies. And the first question is: “Where can I find freelance writing jobs for beginners?”

If that’s you, sending hugs! I totally feel your confusion. The freelance marketplace is a big, complicated place. There are lots of types of paid writing, and different kinds of clients, too.

I’ve been helping writers get started for a dozen years now. And I know how mystifying it can be. You feel like there’s a door you need to find, a person you need to know, a secret you must unlock to become a freelance writer.

But really, the path to freelance writing jobs for beginners is simple.

You need to find someone willing to let you write for them. That’s it.

You get a few samples and boom — you have a portfolio to show. And you’re on your way.

There are fairly simple, break-in writing assignments that newbies tend to get. I’m going to outline what they are below.

But first, I need to explain something…

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The mailing address is:

Travel Editor The New York Times 229 West 43rd Street New York, N.Y. 10036

PLEASE DO NOT SEND PHOTOS.

The Travel Section will not publish articles that grow out of trips paid for or in any way subsidized by an airline, hotel, tourist board or other organization with an interest, direct or indirect, in the subject of an article.

We buy all rights to articles and will not purchase a piece that has been published elsewhere. The date of the trip on which an article or query is based should be given on a separate line at the top of the manuscript. A brief resume should accompany both articles and proposals. No submission should exceed 1,500 words. Backpage essays should be between 1,200 and 1,400 words.

Because of the volume of submissions, the Travel section regrets that it cannot acknowledge or return unsolicited manuscripts or article proposals. If a manuscript is being considered for publication, the writer will be informed within two weeks. Writers should not inclue photographs.

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TravelAwaits

Our mission is to serve the 50+ traveler who's ready to cross a few items off their bucket list.

Travel Journal and Cup of Coffee by Pool

Editorial Guidelines

Our articles are crafted from authentic travel experiences by our expert writers from all over the world, for readers 50 years and older. All of our content is reviewed by an in-house editorial staff of writers, editors, visual editors, and product managers. Our engineering team monitors site usage according to our Privacy Policy to ensure an exceptional reader experience across all devices and browsers. Our goal is to provide readers with a wide breadth of unique, interesting, insightful, and useful information they can use to research destinations, book travel, find community, and make informed purchases. 

Our expert contributors have decades of industry experience and answers to your travel questions not easily found elsewhere. Our team of retired national park rangers, flight attendants, pilots, retirement planners, physicians, and more offer their unique perspective and learnings on the topics readers want to know more about.

Our freelance travel writers match our 50+ reader demographic, live all over the world and create content from an experienced travel perspective. Our writers have insights into the best restaurants, incredible scenic views, uncovered hidden gems, and more in their hometowns and most frequented travel spots. Readers can trust that we only cover destinations, restaurants, hotels, tours, and other experiences that our writers have personally experienced.

Relevant links to our content are added to to help readers further explore a particular topic or plan upcoming travel. We add links to outside websites when it is useful and only direct readers to recommended businesses or trusted pages with more information.

Like many travel publishers, TravelAwaits and our contributors often work with brands, destinations, tour operators, and resorts and hotels to acquire coverage. While this information is noted in every article, the experiences covered from these partnerships will always be from the point of view and the opinion of the author. These partnerships help ensure we have a robust depth of information about a specific destination, brand, and experience.

While we work hard to ensure that every article we publish is accurate and up to date, the world of travel is constantly evolving. If ever you find content that needs to be updated please email us at [email protected] . We take great pride in providing accurate information for readers.

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Top travel reads for 2024, from memoirs to nature writing

From epic travelogues and nature writing to a pioneering travel publisher’s memoir, these titles will inspire adventure this year.

The natural world continues to inspire travel writers. Standout books for the year ahead include a collection of stories, illustrations and poems that explore our connection with nature, plus a travelogue inspiring us to discover the small green spaces on our doorstep. Walking remains a popular topic for authors, as evidenced by a pair of upcoming travelogues that hit the trail in rural Spain and Istanbul, respectively, plus a collection of literary works that asks the question: why explore on foot? And to celebrate Bradt Travel Guides reaching its 50 th anniversary this year, founder Hilary Bradt is set to release a memoir about her pioneering journeys both in print and around the lesser-explored corners of the planet.

1. Local: A Search for Nearby Nature and Wilderness

World explorer Alastair Humphries spent a year examining every square metre of a 12-mile radius around his home in suburban England and found wonder close to hand. A former National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Humphries has cycled around the globe, rowed across the Atlantic Ocean and even walked a lap of the M25 in one of his pioneering ‘microadventures’. His latest book is a celebration of slowing things down and discovering a small wild world right on your doorstep – it’s also a rallying cry to revitalise Britain’s depleted natural spaces and our right to roam in them. £12.99, Eye Books.

2. Taking the Risk: My Adventures in Travel and Publishing

Trailblazing travel publisher, Hilary Bradt’s eponymous guidebook company celebrates its 50 th anniversary this year. The first Bradt Travel Guide was born on an Amazon river barge in 1974: Backpacking Along Ancient Ways Peru & Bolivia which included some of the very first descriptions of the Inca Trail geared for travellers. Since then, Bradt has published guidebooks to the remotest parts of the planet – Eritrea, Mongolia and Madagascar among them. Championing slow and low-impact travel before the concepts were widespread, this memoir looks at back at a lifetime of trials, triumphs and following the lesser-known trail. £20.00, Bradt.

3. To the City: Life and Death Along the Ancient Walls of Istanbul

A deep dive into the Turkish capital, framed by the crumbling walls of its Byzantine fortifications. Journalist, Alexander Christie-Miller journeys on foot in and around Istanbul’s ancient city walls, piecing together a jigsaw puzzle of its identity on the fringes of Europe and Asia. The imperialist rhetoric of current Turkish president Erdoğan still holds Istanbul in the image carved out by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, who captured then-Constantinople in 1453. But between the ancient minarets that punctuate Istanbul’s skyline, the author seeks out the real soul of the city in its diverse peoples, past and present, raising up voices rarely heard. £25, Harper Collins.

4. Wilder Journeys: True Stories of Nature, Adventure & Connection

Environmental writer Laurie King and bestselling author Miriam Lancewood have gathered a collection of original non-fiction stories, illustrations and poems examining the human connection with nature, penned by travellers, wildlife lovers and adventurers from across the globe. Take a walk across the desert with American explorer Angela Maxwell, discover how hermit Gregory Smith survived for 10 years in an Australian forest and learn how activist David Malana set up a surf school for people of colour in California. These bold stories aim to inspire you to find your wild animal soul and rethink your relationship with nature. £14.99, Watkins Publishing.

5. Vagabond

For anyone who loved Laure Lee’s As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning , this tale of one man’s 761-mile hike across the Iberian Peninsula should appeal. Mark Eveleigh brings the pioneering spirit of adventure previously seen in his travel books on Southeast Asian to the back roads of Spain. The author spent five weeks walking from Gibraltar to Punta de Estaca de Bares in the country’s northernmost tip, taking in blistering sun-beaten planes, grey stone villages hung with mist and vast chains of mountains, in homage to the disappearing lifestyle of the vagabundo , as well as a celebration of rural Spain and its remote communities. £10.99, Summersdale.

6. Globetrotting: Writers Walk the World

Take a literary stroll, from the streets of London to the pilgrim paths of Japan, the jungles of Ghana and beyond. Author Duncan Minshull brings together writing from explorers and adventurers, scientists and missionaries, pleasure-seekers and literary drifters in a new collection of over 50 travelogues that aims to answer the question: why explore on foot? Spanning seven continents, stories date back to as early as the 1500s, and take in lesser-known writers along with the likes of Herman Melville, Edith Wharton, Mark Twain, Isabella Bird and William Boyd. £15.99, Notting Hill Editions.

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></center></p><ul><li>Content Marketing , Content Writing</li></ul><h2>A Guide to Content Writing for Travel Companies</h2><p><center><img style=

Are you a travel company looking to captivate your audience with engaging content that piques their interest in exploring new places? This blog provides you with the information and expertise necessary to fully realize the potential of travel content writing.

In this digital world, content writing has become essential for many industries, especially travel. You can take your audience to thrilling destinations, awaken their wanderlust, and persuade them to use your services with the power of words. We at Content Whale aspire to do exactly that for you by creating compelling content through tourism content writing. 

Effective travel content writing is more than just sharing information; it creates compelling narratives that generate emotions, pique curiosity, and encourage action.

Imagine a prospect looking for adventure and inspiration landed on your website or blog. You can maximize this opportunity by painting vivid pictures of exotic locales, crafting immersive narratives, and creating stories that carry readers away to their dream destinations through engaging and captivating content. You may gain their trust, develop a loyal following, and eventually turn them into satisfied consumers by captivating their imagination and offering valuable information.

That is why we have put together this guide to travel content writing for travel companies. Content Whale ‘s mission is to emphasize the importance of quality content in the travel industry, and if required, we can provide the expertise you need to create attractive travel content that connects with your target audience.

So, let’s get started!

How Do You Research and Plan Travel Content Writing?

AI Voice Search and Natural Language Processing for SEO

A solid foundation of research and planning is required for creating engaging and informative content that captivates the hearts and minds of your audience in the field of tourism content writing.

Collecting Information About The Destination

Thorough research on destinations is essential for compelling travel content writing. Here are some efficient methods for collecting information:

Internet resources: 

Scout through different official tourism boards and research your competitors’ content delivery and destination-specific blogs to gather detailed information about your target places to take inspiration. This data can help you with up-to-date information, insider tips, and interesting stories.

Local knowledge: 

Seek advice from local guides, travel companies, or tourism officials familiar with the area. Their firsthand knowledge and insider tips can add originality to your tourism content writing.

Content created by users: 

Participate in user-generated content platforms like social media, travel forums, and review sites. Real travelers share their travel stories, revealing popular sights, lesser-known gems, and local culture, and ask them to collaborate with you.

Exploring Popular Sights and Activities

The heartbeat of travel content writing is the exploration of popular sights and activities every location offers. It is essential to explore and point out the most popular sights and activities within each destination to grab the attention of your target audience. Here’s how to do it correctly:

Must-see landmarks: 

Explore the destination’s famous landmarks, historical sites, and architectural wonders. Create captivating stories that reveal their historical significance and attraction.

Experiential activities: 

Identify one-of-a-kind experiences that highlight the destination’s culture, adventure, or natural beauty. Bring these activities to life with detailed descriptions and appealing storytelling, whether a culinary tour, hiking adventure, or cultural exchange.

Local recommendations:

Connect with locals, tour guides, or travel groups to feel the area’s energy. Seek their advice on hidden treasures, unexplored paths, or authentic local experiences that will add depth to your content. Also, don’t forget to mention them if you are using their given insights. It’s just an ethical practice.

Staying Updated on Travel Trends and News

It is essential to stay up-to-date on travel trends and news to stay at the forefront of travel content writing. Here are some strategies that work:

Publications in the industry: 

Subscribe to travel magazines, blog posts, and newsletters that cover industry trends, new destinations, and expert advice. It will allow you to add new perspectives and information to your tourism content writing.

Social media monitoring: 

Follow travel influencers, tourism boards, and relevant hashtags on social media platforms. Participate in discussions and watch for emerging trends, destinations, and traveler experiences.

Attend trade shows and conferences on travel: 

Participate in trade shows, conferences, and networking events related to travel. These provide opportunities to network with industry experts, share knowledge, and gain insight into future trends.

Identifying Destination's Unique Selling Points

Recognizing and highlighting each destination’s unique selling points is essential to differentiate your tourism content writing and capture your target audience. 

Here’s how:

Cultural immersion: 

Highlight opportunities for visitors to participate in authentic cultural experiences. Showcase festivals, local traditions, or immersive workshops that connect visitors to the destination’s history.

Landscapes and natural wonders: 

Emphasize the destination’s natural beauty, such as beautiful scenery, clean beaches, or majestic mountains. Include activities such as wildlife safaris, eco-tours, and nature hikes that allow travellers to explore and appreciate nature.

Customized experiences: 

Find niche experiences customized to specific interests, like food, adventure sports, wellness retreats, or environmentally friendly tourism. Customize your content to show how the location caters to these specific preferences.

By using these techniques for researching and planning travel content writing, you’ll be well-equipped to captivate and motivate your target audience.

How to Create Informative and Engaging Travel Content?

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Creating informative and engaging travel content in this digital era is essential to stand out. So, buckle up and be ready to take off on a journey that will change your travel content writing strategy.

Creating Attention-grabbing Headlines and Introductions

When it comes to travel content writing, first impressions count. The initial step in capturing your target audience’s attention is through attention-grabbing headlines and introductions. Your headline must be appealing and attractive and communicate the essence of your content crisply and concisely. It should pique readers’ interest and compel them to continue reading.

Similarly, your introduction must be engaging, addressing the topic from the beginning and appealing to readers to continue reading. Consider using powerful storytelling strategies, posing thought-provoking questions, or providing statistics to capture your audience’s attention.

Creating Engaging Narratives and Stories

One of the most effective ways to connect with your target audience is to incorporate interesting narratives and stories into your travel content. Stories can move readers, generate emotions, and create bonds. 

Narratives can bring your tourism content writing to life and make it unforgettable, whether sharing your travel experiences, featuring unique stories from other travellers, or creating fictional tales inspired by a destination. 

Consider including vivid descriptions, sensory details, and relatable personalities to immerse your readers in the journey and make them feel like they are with you.

Including SEO-relevant Keywords

While creating engaging travel content is essential, it is also essential to ensure your content is visible in search engines. It is where including relevant SEO keywords comes into the picture.

Conduct extensive keyword research to discover the terms and phrases that your target audience is looking for. Then, strategically incorporate these keywords throughout your content using effective tourism content writing practices. 

However, avoid keyword stuffing and use keywords organically, as search engines value high-quality, reader-friendly content. Strike a balance between optimizing for search engines and providing useful information to your readers.

Providing Useful Information and Tips

Aside from capturing attention and narrating stories, your travel content writing should also provide practical information and tips to your readers. It is where you can show your expertise and establish yourself as a trustworthy source of travel guidance. 

Whether it’s insider tips for navigating a specific destination, suggestions on the best local cuisine, or packing necessities, useful data in your tourism content writing adds value to your content and helps travelers make informed decisions. Maintain your content up to date, provide correct details, and consider solving common issues or frequently asked questions to meet your audience’s needs.

Effective Use of Visuals and Multimedia

In travel content writing, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. Increase the effectiveness of your content by using visuals and multimedia effectively. Beautiful photographs, colorful videos, and exciting virtual tours can take readers to the locations you’re writing about.

Make sure your visuals are high-quality and related to your tourism content writing. Consider creating engaging infographics to convey information in a visually appealing form. Utilise multimedia platforms like YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok to share dynamic content and engage with your audience excitingly.

How to Write Travel Content for Various Platforms?

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In the ever-changing field of travel content writing, adapting your approach to different platforms is essential to reach and engage with your target audience successfully.

Content Optimization for Website Pages

Your website acts as the hub for your travel company. Follow these key strategies to optimize your tourism content writing for website pages and capture the attention of your target audience:

Headlines that are clear and compelling: 

Make catchy headlines that emphasize the unique aspects of your travel offerings. Use inspiring language that piques the reader’s interest and promises valuable information.

User-friendly formatting: 

Subheadings, bullet points, and short paragraphs divide your content into easily scannable parts. To increase engagement, include visually appealing elements like images, videos, and infographics.

Call-to-action:

Include clear and compelling calls to action throughout your website pages to encourage readers to take the desired action, like booking a trip, subscribing to a newsletter, or exploring additional content.

Writing Interesting Blog Posts and Articles

Travel content writing, including blogs and articles, allows you to showcase your travel expertise while engaging readers deeper. Consider the following when writing captivating blog posts and articles:

Approach to storytelling: 

Create captivating narratives that carry readers to the destination and elicit emotions. Make your content memorable by incorporating personal stories, compelling narratives, and storytelling techniques.

Practical suggestions and advice:

Provide useful information, tips, and advice to your target audience’s travel needs. Share insider information, money-saving tips, and hidden gems to add value.

Participate in comments and feedback: 

Respond to comments and participate in discussions to encourage reader interaction. It creates a sense of community and trust among your audience.

Creating Engaging Social Media Posts

Social media platforms offer a dynamic environment for connecting with your audience and displaying your travel content writing. Consider the following strategies for creating captivating social media posts:

Visual storytelling: 

Use eye-catching visuals, like high-quality photos and videos, to draw attention and inspire wanderlust. Create clear captions that complement the visuals and effectively communicate key messages.

Hashtags and trending topics:

Look for relevant hashtags and trending topics in travel and tourism. Add them effectively into your posts to boost visibility and reach a larger audience.

User-generated content: 

Encourage user-generated tourism content writing by featuring photos and stories from your audience. It encourages participation, fosters community, and provides genuine social proof for your travel offerings.

Making Use of Email Newsletters and Campaigns

Email newsletters and campaigns are powerful tools for building customer relationships and promoting your travel company. Consider the following suggestions:

Segmentation and personalization: 

Customize your emails based on your audience’s preferences, travel history, or demographic data. Make the travel content writing more relevant and engaging by personalizing it.

Exclusive offers and valuable content: 

Provide valuable content to subscribers, like insider travel tips, destination guides, and exclusive offers. It fosters loyalty and keeps your audience interested.

Subject lines that grab your attention: 

Create interesting subject lines that pique recipients’ interest and encourage them to open your emails. Use clear and impactful language to communicate the benefit of reading the email.

Personalizing your travel content writing for different platforms is essential to reach and captivate your target audience successfully. Accept each platform’s unique opportunities, adapt your content accordingly, and watch your travel company’s reach and engagement skyrocket.

Create a Consistent Brand Voice in Travel Content Writing

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Creating a consistent brand voice is the key to standing out and connecting with your target audience in the crowded world of travel content writing. Join us as we look at strategies for helping your travel company define its personality and tone, align the brand voice with the target audience, and maintain uniformity across multiple channels.

Establishing the Brand's Persona and Tone

Establishing your travel company’s personality and tone is essential to develop a distinct brand voice. Consider the following procedures:

Brand identification: 

Determine the unique selling points, core values, and mission of your travel content writing. These elements will shape your brand’s personality and contribute to your writing style.

Analysis of the target audience: 

Understand the demographics, preferences, and aspirations of your target audience. Align your brand voice with their wants, needs, and expectations to create a genuine connection.

The tone of voice: 

Choose a tone that is appealing to your target audience and consistent with your brand identity. Maintain consistency across your travel content writing, whether it’s friendly, authoritative, adventurous, or informative.

Brand Voice Alignment with Target Audience

It is essential to align your brand voice with the interests and aspirations of your target audience to engage and connect with them. Consider the following approaches:

Vocabulary and language: 

Use appropriate language for your audience’s sophistication level and cultural context. Avoid using complicated or overly technical terms unless your audience includes industry professionals.

Emotional appeal: 

Determine the emotions associated with travel that your target audience feels, like excitement, wanderlust, or relaxation. Incorporate storytelling, expressive language, and emotional experiences into your travel content writing.

Personalized messaging: 

Make your content relevant to specific segments of your target audience. Understand their needs, interests, and issues, and adapt your brand voice to create a strong connection.

Keeping Consistency Across Multiple Channels

Building a recognizable brand voice requires consistency. Ensure that the Voice of your travel content writing is uniform across all channels. Consider the following strategies:

Style guidelines: 

Create a comprehensive style guide outlining your brand’s Voice, tone, and writing guidelines. Include examples and guidelines for maintaining grammar, punctuation, and formatting consistency.

Communication and training: 

Provide guidance and instruction to your content creators to ensure they comprehend the brand voice and its application. Maintain consistency by encouraging regular communication and feedback.

Strategy for cross-channel communication: 

Create a cross-channel strategy to ensure your brand voice is consistent across all platforms, including your website, blog, social media, and marketing materials. Maintain a consistent message and tone to increase brand recognition.

A consistent brand voice is an indicator that guides your audience to your travel company in the world of travel content writing. Accept your distinct identity, speak directly to your target audience, and watch as your brand voice captures hearts, encourages wanderlust, and drives success.

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In conclusion, content writing is essential for the success of travel companies. Companies can capture their audience, encourage wanderlust, and drive business growth with the right approach to travel and tourism content writing. Companies can establish a strong online presence and establish themselves as reputable authorities in the travel industry by meticulously creating engaging narratives, emphasizing unique selling points, and staying current on travel trends.

Content Whale’s travel content writing service is ideal for companies looking for professional assistance with their content writing needs. Content Whale understands the complexities of the travel industry and knows how to create captivating content that connects with travelers, thanks to a team of competent and experienced writers. Their writers comprehend travel destinations, attractions, and trends, allowing them to create engaging blog posts, articles, website content, and social media posts that captivate the essence of each destination and drive engagement.

Content Whale’s travel content writing service provides a comprehensive solution for companies looking to improve their online presence and connect with their target audience, whether showcasing a city’s hidden gems, offering practical travel tips, or generating captivating storytelling. Content Whale is dedicated to assisting travel companies in succeeding in the competitive field of travel content writing by focusing on quality, creativity, and delivering content that engages readers. If your requirement is content writing for the travel industry, contact us or get a general idea of pricing using our price calculator .

  • January 9, 2024

Bhavik Sarkhedi

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The Ripped Bodice’s Guide to Romance Novels

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Not that you need an excuse to read romance novels, but Valentine’s Day seems as good a time as any. It’s a season of love, a time when being earnest and gushy isn’t cringe, it’s encouraged! A time when you can openly walk around with a copy of Icebreaker and get a nod of recognition from passersby. Beyond the timeliness, romance is undergoing a renaissance in the publishing industry. “Romance has always been the most profitable genre, but this resurgence is more about books becoming more accessible, whether that’s because of Kindle Unlimited or Libby or people using their libraries,” says F. Binta Barry, a bookseller at The Ripped Bodice , an all-romance bookstore with locations in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. BookTok and other social-media platforms have had a hand in catapulting many of these books to the top of best-seller lists, turning writers like Emily Henry and Kennedy Ryan into romance royalty.

The world of romance novels is vast and filled with subgenres (romantasy! sports!) and tropes (forced proximity, forbidden romance, etc.), and it can be difficult to know where to begin, which is why I asked the booksellers at both locations of The Ripped Bodice about the books they’re reading, hand-selling, and recommending.

Contemporary Romance

'Beach Read' by Emily Henry

Emily Henry is the undisputed queen of contemporary romance . Barry thinks it has to do with her contemporary-fiction approach to romance. “Her characters aren’t necessarily prioritizing or searching for romance. They’re really just trying to get through life. Even though they have the cartoon covers that a lot of the romance books in the past five years have been published with, at their core they’re stories about love in all the ways that can be explored, whether it’s romantic, familial, or friendship.” Barry’s favorite Emily Henry book is Beach Read , her first romance novel. It’s about two writers, one who writes romance novels and one who writes literary fiction. Both are stuck in a creative rut, so they decide to swap genres in order to finish their books.

'Take a Hint, Dani Brown' by Talia Hibbert

Talia Hibbert, who is best known for the Brown-sisters trilogy, was mentioned by two Ripped Bodice L.A. employees. Barry describes Hibbert’s books as “traditional rom-coms” that follow the classic romance-novel structure: first meeting, interest, conflict, third-act breakup and then a happily ever after. Hibbert then layers tropes like fake dating or forced proximity on top of that. Barry’s favorite of the trilogy is Take A Hint, Dani Brown , which opens with Dani being saved by a hot security guard during a fire drill. Before they can get to know each other on a deeper level, a video of her being rescued goes viral, which sets off a chain of events. “I love that her love interest is also a person of color,” says Barry. “When people think of interracial couples they think of the other person being white, so it’s nice to see that representation.”

'The Kiss Quotient' by Helen Hoang

In The Kiss Quotient, Stella, an autistic woman, hires an escort to explore intimacy with other people. The relationship starts off strictly professional, but as time goes on, things start to become very real. It’s an interesting take on the classic fake-dating trope, one that bookseller Haruka Iwasaki finds refreshing. “I love that it was written from a neurodiverse perspective and seeing an Asian man being so sexy, because they’re often seen as sexless,” she says.

'The Love Hypothesis' by Ali Hazelwood

Kate Streit, the orders manager at The Ripped Bodice in L.A., likes Ali Hazelwood’s books, which tend to feature women in STEM. Her breakout hit The Love Hypothesis follows a young scientist who doesn’t believe in love and ends up kissing the first man she sees to prove it. Things don’t turn out how she expects, and suddenly she’s questioning her own hypothesis. Hazelwood is emblematic of the modern-day romance-author success story: The Love Hypothesis started as Star Wars fanfiction about Rey and Kylo Ren (“Reylo”) and was then traditionally published in 2021 sans Star Wars references. It has since gone on to sell a million copies and led to a Love Hypothesis series about female scientists that fall in love.

'Red, White & Royal Blue' by Casey McQuiston

Casey McQuiston is a standout in the queer romance space and has a knack for contemporary novels that are funny, witty, and filled with banter. Their most popular novel, Red, White, and Royal Blue , is about two “royals” on opposite sides of the pond who decide to fake-date to save the reputation of their respective families. It’s the kind of feel-good novel that’s well-suited to a beach or long-haul flight.

'You Had Me At Hola' by Alexis Daria

In this novel of false starts, our main characters are working at a Netflix-like streamer, and they’re attempting to create a telenovela. As the stars of the show, they’re meant to have explosive chemistry, but when one spills coffee on the other, things don’t go as planned. Eventually they fall in love, but the book is about their journey to get there. What makes it stand out to Iwasaki is its ability to balance the romance plot with interesting family dynamics. “Alexis Daria writes characters that are very family oriented so there’s always some complexity surrounding that,” says Iwasaki. “I think that anyone whose families are important to them or they have contention with them can relate.”

'The Charm Offensive' by Alice Cochrun

Imagine The Bachelor , but if the Bachelor ended up falling in love with his producer. That’s the conceit of this novel by Alice Cochran, which comes recommended by Iwasaki, who says being a Bachelor fan is her toxic trait. “It was really nice reading a romance novel set in a world that I already know well. It’s also a gay romance in this world where it’s been hetero couples for so long.”

Romantasy/Paranormal Romance

'A Court of Thorns and Roses' by Sarah J. Maas

Maas is a pioneer of the “romantasy” genre, which focuses on both the romance plot and the world-building that’s signature to fantasy novels. This book is geared at young adult readers but has plenty of adult fans, so much so that The Ripped Bodice in L.A. held a midnight release party for House of Flame and Shadow , the third book in the Crescent City series. That novel, along with the rest of the series, is the bestselling book in the shop. “There’s really a community built around it,” says Barry. If you’re new to the books a Reddit thread I found suggests starting with The Throne of Glass series before moving onto A Court of Thorns and Roses and finishing with The Crescent City series, as all of the books exist in the same multiverse. When I asked about the appeal of Sarah J. Maas’ books, Barry suspects it’s all about accessibility. “Sarah’s writing is really digestible so you’re not super overwhelmed by her world building,” she says. “There’s also all the tropes that romance readers love, so it makes it a compelling read.”

'Fourth Wing' by Rebecca Yarros

In the same vein, Fourth Wing is extremely popular at The Ripped Bodice and everywhere else (a quick call to McNally Jackson in Williamsburg confirmed it’s selling very well for them). The follow-up, Iron Flame , was recently released to much fanfare — The Ripped Bodice L.A. held a midnight release party for that book too. The first novel in the series is about a young woman who goes to a war college to become a dragon rider, colliding with her destiny. It’s a hero’s journey with romance tied in, and Barry believes it appeals for similar reasons. “The hero’s journey is really easy to follow and the romance is super exciting. It’s clear what trajectory [the characters] are on, which romance readers love to see.”

'A Marvellous Light' by Freya Marske

“This series has a cool magic system,” says Barry of the The Last Binding trilogy, which features a magical Edwardian England. As all hero journeys go, the main character Robin is unsuspecting of his magical powers, and once he discovers them is thrust into a world he never knew existed. To make matters worse, he has a grumpy coworker who wants very little to do with him (but will absolutely be in love with him by the end) . Each novel in the series follows a different couple and alternates between gay and sapphic relationships.

'Wolfsong' by TJ Klune

Wolfsong is a queer werewolf romance that follows a wolfpack and one of its member’s human mates. “It’s really beautiful and compelling,” says Barry. It’s the first of the four-book Green Creek series, which focuses on a different member of the pack in each novel.

Sports Romance

'Icebreaker' by Hannah Grace

Sports romances have blown up online in the past two years, says Barry, which has translated to The Ripped Bodice selling more sports-themed novels. “There’s a specific kind of tension born from sport. People who play sports are very disciplined, competitive, and driven, which translates well into romance,” she says. The most popular sport in the genre by far is hockey. And the most popular book in that category is Icebreaker by Hannah Grace, the first book in the Maple Hills series. The novel centers on Anastasia and Nathan, a figure skater and hockey player who are made to practice at the same skating rink. It’s rivals to lovers as well as forced proximity, two tropes that are known to produce steamy results.

For what it’s worth, this book has been coming up in my circles too. During a recent trip to the bookstore with my friend Alex, she mentioned she’d just finished it a few nights before. According to Alex, whom I’ve known to read lots of literary fiction and heavy-hitting nonfiction, it’s a fluffy, fun read and felt similar to watching a cheesy Netflix show before bed. She also mentioned that the sex in the novel is actually good.

'Heated Rivalry' by Rachel Reid

Barry reads lots of queer sports romances, which often employ the forbidden love trope and grapple with internalized homophobia, especially in gay novels. Her favorite book in the subgenre is Heated Rivalry by Rachel Reid, an enemies-to-lovers novel that Barry says has a nice, slow burn. The main characters Shane and Ilya are on opposing hockey teams and while they appear to be competitors, behind the scenes they’re something else. It’s the second book in Reid’s Game Changers series, which all focus on male/male romances.

'Like Real People Do' by E.L. Massey

For something a little “sweeter,” with more diverse representation, Barry recommends Like Real People Do, the first book in E.L. Massey’s Breakaway series, a hockey romance about college-age friends who become lovers. “It’s a perfect found family novel and there’s diverse representation,” she says, noting that one of the leads is Afro-Latino and has a disability.

'Cleat Cute' by Meryl Wilsner

Pitched as a “sapphic rom-com for fans of Ted Lasso and A League of Their Own ,” this novel follows two girls, Grace and Phoebe, who are rivals on their soccer team prepping for the World Cup. Grace is a longtime star of the team and gets injured, which leaves her position wide open for someone to take her place. Phoebe, a young player who’s something of a class clown steps into her role and somewhere along the way, the two fall in love. It comes recommended by Barry who says the author, Meryl Wilsner, is known for well-written, sapphic love stories.

Historical Romance

'The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke' by Tessa Dare

Historical romance is incredibly popular and a classic genre (think: Bridgerton and the like). Streit runs the store’s historical romance book club and loves Tessa Dare, who she says “really encompasses the genre while still being accessible.” Her favorite Dare book is The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke , which has the kind of romance cover I remember seeing in the drugstore book section growing up. This “Beauty and the Beast, marriage of convenience,” novel centers on the Duke of Ashbury, who’s looking for a wife (not love) after coming back from war. He finds one in Emma Gladstone, who stumbles into his library wearing a wedding dress. The two come up with rules that the other must adhere to, which leads to conflict and spicy resolution.

'The Duke Who Didn't' by Courtney Milan

According to Streit, Courtney Milan, a self-published author, sells well at The Ripped Bodice. “She writes really funny, emotional books that have good representation in the historical context.” Her personal favorite is The Duke Who Didn’t , the first book in the Wedgeford Trials series. It has a bit of concealed identity (the love interest is a secret Duke) and second chance romance, two of Streit’s favorite tropes.

'We Could Be So Good' by Cat Sebastian

Cat Sebastian writes historical queer romances that are set in the more recent past. “Her stories are so much fun,” says Barry, who likes We Could Be So Good , a male/male historical romance that was a New York Times notable book and was named one of the best romances of 2023. The novel is set in the 1950s and is about a journalist and newspaper mogul’s son who fall in love. “It’s giving Newsies, which I love,” says Barry.

'Rebel' by Beverly Jenkins

“Beverly Jenkins has been the most prominent Black historical author for at least 25 years,” says Streit. Jenkins’ has written over 50 novels, most of which take place in the US and have a Western theme. “She’s a pioneer for authors in the historical space,” she says. She recommends starting with Rebel , the first novel in her ongoing Women Who Dare series, that’s about a woman who moves south to New Orleans after the Civil War. “It really encompasses her as a writer,” she says. “If you like that, you not only would have new books to look forward to, but you also have her entire backlist to go read.”

'A Lady for a Duke' by Alexis Hall

Alexis Hall writes both contemporary and historical romances, but Barry is partial to his historical romance A Lady for a Duke , a second-chance, childhood friends-to-lovers romance. Our main character Viola Carroll was presumed dead at Waterloo, and used the opportunity to live life as her authentic self, leaving everything behind in the process. Eventually she reconnects with her childhood friend the Duke of Gracewood, who has been grieving the loss of his closest friend. Barry appreciates the trans representation, particularly in the historical context. “When [the Duke] realizes that she’s transitioned, it’s not a big thing. It’s like, oh, I not only have my best friend back, but she’s also someone who I’m falling in love with.”

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    By Tembe Denton-Hurst, a writer at the Strategist covering beauty and books. She joined the site in 2020. Previously, she wrote about beauty and culture for Nylon and Elle.