The Ultimate Guide to Writing an Interesting Travel Book
Traveling is a marvelous pursuit. It is the ultimate dream for many people for various reasons: to see differences between cultures, to meet new people, to have fun, and more. Indeed, traveling is the goal. For those people who are quite about which places are good destinations for traveling, travel books serve as great reference material.
What is a travel book?
Travel books, in general, are books of information about places designed for the use of travelers or tourists. They commonly contain information about the best accommodations, restaurants, tourist spots, and activities that people can check out in a particular city, state, or country. Travel books also come in different styles such as documentary, journalistic, humorous, literary, memoir, and more.
How do you write an interesting travel book?
Contrary to popular assumption, travel books are more than just books for tourism. Especially nowadays when pretty much everyone can document their trips through travel blogging, travel authors are faced with the challenge of putting more substance into their travel books. They can no longer afford to just share glorified pictures of their Maldives holiday trip. If they want to create an interesting travel book that will be read, there needs to be purpose behind their book.
Nicki Geigert, a travel and nature photographer and author, keeps such purpose in mind when creating a travel book. For Nicki Geigert, writing articles and books is her way of sharing with others the precious and candid moments in life that she herself has seen and captured during her trips. Particularly, she loves to capture and document behaviors and cultures that are quickly disappearing from the earth. Her most recent books Bianca’s Big Adventure and Family Trip to Magical Madagascar and Beyond are fascinating and resourceful books that document the wildlife of Australia, and the flora and fauna of Madagascar respectively.
Below are three necessary things that you should know as an author if you wish to write an interesting and meaningful travel book like those of Nicki Geigert.
Your travel book should be well-researched
A great travel book contains a lot of well-researched information. Research is important when it comes to presenting and writing about a place. As an acting guide for the readers, it is your responsibility to ensure that every piece of information contained in your travel book is presented accurately and properly. This is especially necessary when talking about cultural appropriateness – sensitivity to other cultures.
For example, when you come across a certain cultural traditional (which you are unfamiliar with) during your trip, you do not just simply write about what you think about that tradition in your book. You need to research about it, so you can fully understand its context and not misinterpret it. To put it differently, researching allows you to present contextual information about a place outside of your own experience. It is vital to writing a travel book because it shows a place as a real location that exists outside of your influence.
Your travel book should be personal
Your travel book should be more than just a guidebook containing mere recommendations on where the readers should eat, sleep, and visit. It should also be a personal account of your journey. You need to narrate and discuss the things that you encountered and learned during your trip in a particular place. Treat it as if it is a memoir. Do not just write as if you are advertising a city or a country, but share some meaningful stories you gained from traveling to that place.
In addition, as a travel author, you must personally involve the readers in your writing. This does not necessarily mean that the readers should feel as if they are there, or that they too have traveled to that place. Instead, the readers should at least understand how the place felt to you. They should be able to image and look at the place from your perspective as an author.
Your travel book should end with a change
An interesting and meaningful travel book includes some lessons at the end of it. Traveling, in general, brings about several changes to people, especially in terms of their beliefs and views in life. It introduces them to so many realities as well as opportunities. It expands their horizon, and makes them realize that the world is larger than their comfort zone.
When you travel to a new place, you encounter numerous people and learn many things in the process. You should discuss all of these in your travel book no matter how huge or small they are. Many readers love to read books that can teach them something. Just a shift in your perspective, for example, is already enough to please some readers. If you want to keep your travel book from being too dull and pointless, end it with a change or a lesson.