Online Class: Travel Writing 101


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  • 10
    Lessons
  • 20
    Exams &
    Assignments
  • 10
    Hours
    average time
  • 1.0
    CEUs
  • 918
    Students
    have taken this course
 
 
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Course Description

Travel writing is a fun, interesting and fulfilling career. If your goal is to become a full-time travel writer who is able to live off your income from writing alone, it is important to understand that travel writing, like any other career, requires you to develop specific skills and to have perseverance in order to succeed. 

There is a lot of competition in the field of travel writing. Some highly successful writers in this genre have compared their climb to success with those who aspire to become actors, songwriters or musicians. In other words, most aspiring writers work at other jobs while they build a reputation strong enough to financially support themselves on payment for their writing alone.  How long it takes you to achieve that goal is dependent upon how ambitious you are and how well you write, but the average is between three and six years. Alternatively, you may only wish to earn extra money as a travel writer and continue working in the field you are already in; perhaps you travel frequently for your current job and feel you have a lot to share with others about the places you visit. You can create a great additional source of income as a travel writer this way. 

Whether it is a full or part-time profession you desire, this course will help you get started, provide you with the necessary information you need to build a strong portfolio, as well as improve your overall skill set required to succeed in the travel writing industry.

Writing Skills

First and foremost, you must have a better-than-average grasp of the rules of proper English grammar. Many people who aspire to write for a living underestimate the importance of this skill and skip it, thinking they can acquire it as they go. This thinking is wrong. You will not get your work accepted and published by any editor if you lack basic and essential grammatical skills.

In addition to having good grammatical skills, you should have the ability to edit your work properly. You should edit until your work is as near to perfect as you can get it. With large pieces (1000 words or more) this will require several readings on your own, plus the assistance of another editor. It is advisable that you have a friend or paid editor double-check your work before submitting it for publication. The reason for this is that writers become "immune" to their own errors. Sounds strange, but it's true. If you have been working on a piece for days or weeks, sometimes you are so busy working on the content that you miss simple mistakes, or, you've read the work over so many times that you get bleary-eyed. It's always nice to find another aspiring writer to reciprocate editing duties.  The three most important things you should focus on when editing are as follows: 

  1. Punctuation: Use your style guides to make sure your punctuation is correct. Pay special attention to the use of colons, semi-colons, exclamation points, quotation marks, and commas. Commas are of particular concern for many new writers. Be sure that you have a very good understanding of the use of commas by reading your style guides carefully!
  2. SpellingYou have spell check, so use it, but don't completely rely on it to catch every error. Read your work over carefully after you've run spell check.
  3. TyposSpell check will not catch typos such as this, "I wander if I should use a question mark in this sentence?" or this, "It was uncle good advice that I read my work oven for typographical errors." 

All publishers have in-house copy editors who check your writing before it goes to print. They may be kind and "suggest" changes or they may just go ahead and make the changes without your permission or knowledge. Publishers and editors usually reserve the right to do this.  Although you may be initially insulted at the changes, the wisest thing to do is to accept them and realize that this is probably a great learning experience for you. Use their seasoned knowledge to make your future writing better. The only time you should argue is if the editor has added words or ideas that you object to morally or ethically (this is very rare). After you have gained some footing in the field, you can push harder to keep your writing closer to the original, or to request all changes are by approval only. Luckily, most editors are very good at their jobs and they will enhance the overall tone of your writing rather than detract from it. This does not give you the luxury of being lazy. As the writer Stephen King mentions in his book, On Writing, do not leave errors in your work thinking that the editor will "fix" them for you. Do most of the heavy lifting yourself if you want to advance your writing career. 

Writing Style

Unfortunately, great writing style is not something that you can learn. It is something that must be developed over time (or comes naturally for a lucky few). However, there are certain tips you can employ that will increase the readability of your work and thus, increase your chances of getting published.  Below are some standard "rules" of travel writing that are timeless: 

  1. Don't use clichés. Phrases such as "The salty breeze blew gently off the azure ocean. . ." or "The tropical sun will warm your soul and rejuvenate your mind," may sound romantic and original, but travel editors have read phrases like this hundreds, if not thousands, of times. To be original, you have to work hard.
  2. Read, read, read!  The best way to develop your own writing technique and develop an ear for what good travel writing sounds like, is to read travel writing. Read magazines, guides, books, and newspaper articles that focus on travel. Follow the writing of one or several travel writers and notice how they have their own unique, recognizable writing style.
  3. Practice, practice, practice! Although it violates the laws of rule number one, the clichéd joke, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Answer: Practice, practice, practice," applies with travel writing or anything else in life. Write, write, and write some more. Write a small travel piece every day, even if the only place you are traveling to is the grocery store! As you write, your own style will develop and shine through over time.   

Perseverance

Perseverance is a topic that will come up repeatedly throughout this course. It is a quality you will need to have or develop if you want to break into the world of travel writing. If you truly want to make a success of yourself in this arena, then you must keep trying, even when you feel like giving up. Many successful writers will admit that they were not necessarily the most talented or creative among their peers when they started writing, but they wanted it enough to keep working at it. So, perseverance counts for a lot when discussing what it takes to be a travel writer. If you're the type who keeps at something, even when others have given up, then you will succeed.

Ability to Travel and Share Travel Information

If you don't already travel often, whether for your job, as part of your lifestyle, or for pleasure, then you need to start doing so. If money is an issue, find a way to travel on a shoestring, and then write about how you did it. If you already travel for work, start looking at these trips as opportunities to tell a story or provide information to other travelers.  

You don't need to go very far to start travel writing. Start with destinations close to your home first. Take a good look around and think about interesting attractions that others might want to know more about. No matter where you live, your home state will have something to offer travelers. You simply need to look at things through the perspective of a visitor. Do you go to a special festival, fair, event, or music venue in your hometown every year that is very enjoyable? These events may seem unsophisticated to you, but people traveling to your area want to know about these venues. Do you live near another state that has interesting attractions? A great trip worth writing about may only be a short drive away. It isn't important how near or far you travel, but how you perceive the view and relay it to others. 

Conclusion

To be a travel writer you must have a good grasp of the rules of grammar; you must develop a style that separates you from other writers and you must have or develop the quality of perseverance. You also must travel, near or far. Theoretically, you can be a travel writer from the cocoon of your home or office, writing about the places you'd like see, but that would make you a fiction writer, in which case you should take a course on creative fiction.


  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider
 
 

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
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"Extraordinarily Helpful"
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Lesson 1: Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Travel Writer?

This lesson will explain the basic, essential, and up-front requirements you will need to become a good travel writer. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Take Poll: Why Travel Writing?
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: Types of Travel Writing

This lesson will introduce you to the different types of travel writing that are done in the publishing world. 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: How to Write an Informative, Sellable Travel Article

This lesson will provide you with an "anatomy of an article." You will learn what the important aspects of a sellable, well-written article are, and will be given two assignments in this lesson. 24 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: How and Where To Sell Your Work

This lesson will introduce you to query letters and the basics of what to do and not do when preparing them. It will also provide reference you to informative books, guides and websites to help you further perfect your query writing skills. 25 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: How to Retain Rights to Your Work for Re-sale

This lesson will explain the different copyrights assigned when a piece is sold. It will discuss subsequent selling of an article or other travel piece. It will also explain copyright laws as they pertain to written works in greater detail. 23 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Take Poll: Travel Photographs
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Preparing "Clips" For Editors, Agents, and Publishers

Creating a portfolio or compilation of published and/or written pieces is a writer's best strategy for getting hired. This lesson will show the student how to create a well-rounded, outstanding, professional portfolio that will increase assignments. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Handling Rejection Gracefully

Rejection is simply part of the field of writing. It is such a large part, in fact, that this entire lesson is devoted to the topic. This lesson will explain some methods of dealing with rejection gracefully. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: Creating Article and Book Proposals

Most travel articles sold by experienced writers are not written prior to their sale; rather, they are proposed to publications and then written. 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Photographs Included?

This lesson will discuss the different options a travel writer has when it comes to adding photographs to their assignments. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: Building Your Platform and Expertise

This lesson will explain how the travel writer can go about building a solid platform, and how to channel expertise to assist in developing a long-term writing career. 73 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Take Poll: Specializing
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam
  • Complete: The Final Exam
225
Total Course Points
 

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Determine whether or not you have what it takes to be a travel writer.
  • Describe the types of travel writing.
  • Create a How-To Write travel article.
  • Know how and where to sell your work.
  • Describe how to retain rights to your work for re-sale.
  • Prepare 'clips' for editors, agents and publishers.
  • Know how to handle rejection gracefully.
  • Know creating article and book proposals.
  • Recognize when to include photographs.
  • Describe ways to build your platform and expertise, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
 

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
 
Course Title: Travel Writing 101
Course Number: 9770543
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Category:
Course Type: How To (Self-Paced, Online Class)
CEU Value: 1.0 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Dana Kristan
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $65.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $90.00

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Student Testimonials

  • "Great course and equal to any other 'expensive' courses on Travel Writing." -- Luis D.

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