5 Tips to Help Your Travel Writing ShineWhether you own a hotel, a travel agency or even a surf school, it’s more important than ever for you to have a good grasp of basic copywriting techniques.

While you may be more interested in running your actual business than updating your website, or revising page after page of content – taking short cuts, when it comes to your business’s copywriting, can be a costly error that causes countless new customers to slip through your fingers.

But travel copywriting, in particular, can be incredibly difficult to get right. There’s a delicate balance to be struck here, between writing content that appeals to the reader’s gut – on a visceral level – and content that makes logical sense to their business brain.

People love to book holidays that excite them, but they will rarely book something without doing a considerable amount of research first. For this reason, your writing needs to reassure your reader that the experience you are selling makes practical sense, and also that you’re business is worthy of their trust.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the content of your website, the words on your marketing materials, and the posts you publish on your blog can have a huge impact on how likely it is that your customers will click the ‘book now’ button – so here are some tips for taking your copywriting skills to the next level.

1. Travel writing isn’t the same as travel copywriting

Travel writing can be beautiful to read. Flowing descriptions of sun-kissed beaches, tangled jungles and taste-bud electrifying foods are perfect for helping readers conjure images in their minds of exotic places and experiences.

When it comes to copywriting, however, this is not enough. While evocative descriptions are an important part of the process, you also need to keep your main aim in mind – which is to encourage the customer to, ultimately, pay for your experience.

So you need to aim your writing at the right people, sell to what they aspire to, and avoid going overboard on your descriptions – otherwise, the main message of your writing may be lost.

2. Avoid the oversell

One error that a lot of travel businesses – hotels especially – often make, is to oversell what it is that they actually offer.

It’s better to be honest about your hotel, than to over hype it. If you can’t fulfill your promises, you’ll get disappointed visitors, and a stream of poor reviews on websites like TripAdvisor. This in turn will damage the number of bookings you receive – customers really do value the ‘social proof’ of reviews.

Far better to be a little more modest in your descriptions, and to manage the expectations of your customers. You’ll then enjoy the benefits of receiving great reviews.

3. Conjure images

One rule that is important for any type of writing – from screenplays to novels – is ‘show don’t tell’.

In travel copywriting, this rule is vital.

So rather than saying something like ‘our hotel sits on a stretch of beautiful shoreline,’ instead try and be more specific, and bring the scene to life a little more.

So why not: ‘the cries of seagulls will welcome you to our hotel, which sits on a crescent of soft golden sand, besides the roaring Atlantic waves.’

This is much more likely to conjure up an image in the reader’s mind, and is far more persuasive than nothing descriptions using boring words like ‘beautiful’ and ‘great’.

4. Don’t ramble

It’s very easy to start rambling when you’re trying to write creative, attractive descriptions. and are attempting to sell an experience. Travel writing is as much about the editing as it is about the actual writing.

Once you think you’ve finished, look back through your work, and cut out any overlong sentences, or ideas that you’ve stretched out a little too far.

5. Use the senses

Remember, we’re trying to sell the experiences that you can offer here – so you need to help your reader understand what it feels like to be in your destination, and experience your service.

So describe the feel of the soft sand, the sound of the waves, the smell of the salty ocean air and the sight of the fiery sun setting.

These descriptions will help you to tap into your readers’ senses, giving them an idea of what they can expect if they book with you.