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The Different Types of Travel Guides

The goal of every travel guide is to help potential travelers prepare for their journey and have the best possible trip. A travel guide should be informative, but it can also be interesting or inspiring. Take a closer look at some of the most common types of travel guides as well as the benefits of each.



Destination Travel Guide

A destination travel guide is just what the name suggests: a travel guide that revolves around a specific destination. These guides can cover an entire country, but they can also focus on a specific city or even a small town. A destination travel guide should entice someone to visit that destination, and it should provide readers with specifics about that spot.

A destination travel guide might start by detailing the destination and explaining where it is located or how travelers can get there. Then, it should focus on the main reasons to visit the area. Readers might want to know what the main attractions in the destination are and whether they would appeal to budget travelers, outdoor enthusiasts or sports fans.

A destination guide might also focus on ways to make the most of a trip to that destination. For example, your guide could include details on how expensive the destination is or where the most popular hotels are located. Information about weather, security and transportation are all welcome in a destination guide.



Special Interest Travel Guide

While a destination guide focuses on a specific area and includes as much detail as possible, a special interest travel guide is far more focused. This is a type of niche writing, and it is designed to appeal to a specific demographic. Ultimately, the special interest you focus on is up to you. Some ideas include cuisine, history, architecture, fitness or pets.

Food is a major focus for special interest travel articles. People from around the world love to eat, and travel is often a great way to explore new cuisines and dig into new dishes. A culinary travel guide could include details on up-and-coming restaurants, Michelin-starred eateries and food vendors that tourists wouldn’t typically visit.

Other special interest guides may focus on a specific interest like history, art or architecture. If travelers are heading to Palm Springs specifically for the mid-century modern architecture, what buildings should they visit? If they are in New York City and love history, which museums are the most impressive?

A travel blog might also put an emphasis on pet-friendly travel. There are 77 million pet dogs and 85 million pet cats in the United States, and many of them travel with their owners. Highlighting which hotels, restaurants and attractions are pet-friendly can be valuable to a lot of readers.



Financial Travel Guide

One of the most common reasons why people avoid travel is cost. At the same time, many prospective travelers are eagerly searching for ways to travel more while spending less. For that reason, lots of travel guides specifically focus on the costs related to travel. Many more give readers tips on how to reduce expenses on upcoming trips.

Sometimes, readers just want information. A person who is planning a trip to Europe might want to know the average hotel costs in Paris or whether a hostel in Berlin is affordable. Financial travel guides that offer specific costs for accommodation, transport, food and attractions are incredibly useful.

Another type of financial travel guide will suggest ways to keep costs low on upcoming trips. It may include lists of affordable hostels, discounts on train travel or cheap and accessible grocery stores located in major cities.



Narrative Travel Guide

A narrative travel guide is the story of a singular travel experience. This type of travel blog can be any length, and it can detail any number of experiences. While a narrative travel guide can absolutely be educational, it is also designed to transport readers to a new destination.

A narrative travel guide might tell the story of a family that heads to Asia for an extended trip with young children. The unique challenges of this trip and the events along the way are woven together to become a cohesive narrative. This might inspire readers to take their own journey with children.

Stories can revolve around travel in off-the-beaten-path locations, or it can be an emotional journey. Narratives can discuss exploring a single city over a long weekend, or they can detail a year-long trek through Europe. These articles are less likely to include bullet points since they are more likely to read like short stories.



Side Trip Travel Guide

Many travelers will plan their getaway by booking a flight to a major destination. Their journey may take them to a bustling metropolis like London, New York or Hong Kong. These thrilling cities have a lot to offer, and a standard destination guide can certainly offer plenty of options. However, many visitors want to get away from these hubs and see something a little different for a day or two. That’s why side trip travel guides are growing increasingly popular.

A side trip travel guide can suggest and detail one or more choices for an escape from the main attraction. Visitors to London, for example, could plan a side trip to Brighton for the day. Those who travel to Berlin might take the train to Hamburg to see something new, and visitors to Orlando could see what Tampa has to offer. Offering advice on how to arrange transport for these trips, how long travelers should spend in each destination and the top attractions to include on an itinerary are all great additions to a side trip travel guide.

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How to Create The Perfect Online Travel Guide

Putting together a travel guide can be exciting, but it also takes a lot of work. Since there are so many different types of travel articles out there, it is important to stand out. Offering something unique gives readers a reason to gravitate toward your travel guide above all others. Here are some of the best tips to keep in mind as you create your travel guide.

Decide on the Type of Travel Guide You Want to Write

The first step in creating a travel article of any kind is deciding on the kind of travel guide it will ultimately be. Do you want to provide factual information for readers heading to a specific city? Do you want to recount your travel adventures as a single woman in Asia? Do you want to entice foodies to visit Singapore and walk through the food stalls and outdoor markets? Pick one of the following travel guide styles before you begin writing:

  • Destination travel guide
  • Special interest travel guide
  • Financial travel guide
  • Narrative travel guide
  • Side trip travel guide

Deciding on a travel topic

How to Write a Travel Blog

To know how to write a travel blog, you first need to know what kind of blog you’re writing. Then, you can put together an outline. A destination travel guide might have separate headings pertaining to attractions, accommodations and transport. A narrative travel guide might not have headings at all, and it may be a story told in the first person. Understanding the format of your article will help as you flesh it out and create something that others will truly want to read and share.

Pick an Angle for Your Travel Content

The next step in writing your travel guide is deciding on an angle. This means thinking carefully about who you want to read your work. Although it might be nice to imagine that anyone can find value in a travel guide, the reality is that targeting a specific demographic can have better results.

Think of your target audience. Imagine what kinds of people are in that group. This is known as putting together a buyer persona. As you write the travel guide, try to appeal to this specific kind of person.

If you’re writing to young professionals without children, you’ll want to include lists of higher-end hotels and great nightlife options. If you’re writing to retirees, then off-season trips with a more relaxed pace could be a better option. Targeting your audience in every sentence ensures that the right readers gain value from the final product.

Choose an angle

Be Sure to Include Graphics

Travel guides can be formatted in a number of different ways. However, there are some best practices that will make your content easier to read online. Keep your paragraphs short so that readers can skim through content and find the information most relevant to them. If possible, include bullet points or lists to streamline the content. Adding hyperlinks can direct readers to sources for further information. Above all else, aim to include graphics.

Graphics can break up the content and make your travel guide more visually appealing. Travel is a very visual topic. When individuals plan their trips, they want to see the places they will be visiting, admire the hotel rooms where they might be staying and drool over the food served in the region.

If your travel guide is more informative, adding in charts or infographics might be a smart idea. Visual elements of all varieties keep content interesting and appealing, which in turn keeps more readers on the page for longer.

include graphics

Invoke All the Senses

In even the most educational of travel guides, your travel content should tell a story. Whether you’re detailing the cheapest ways to visit Boston or you’re encouraging people to take a day trip to Macau from Hong Kong, your content should inspire them. As you read the guide, does it make you want to hop on the next flight? One way to make your travel guide pop is to invoke all the senses.

invoking the senses

This simply means describing the environment using all the senses. How does the air smell while hiking in the Alps? What do you hear while sailing on a gulet boat in Turkey? What does it feel like to cross the busy streets of Tokyo? Some examples of invoking the senses in travel writing can include the following:

• Nothing compared to the sweet taste of the beignets and the bitterness of the chicory coffee.
• The chatter of multiple languages swirled around the confines of the train car.
• From the lookout point, I could see over the Welsh border and into England.
• I followed my nose to the delightful savory smells of the local kebab shop.
• The wind picked up as we headed south, and cool raindrops fell onto my bare arms.

All of this language can help readers feel like they are there with you. It turns an ordinary blog post into a guide packed with inspiration and excitement.

Hand mit Glühbirne

Don’t Forget About SEO!

Travel articles should be written with your intended audience in mind. Nonetheless, it is critical to think about how your travel guide will be found. There are three main ways for readers to access content: direct, search and social media. You can send links to your content to email subscribers, and you can post links to your travel guides on your various social media platforms. The third element, search, requires individuals to search for specific terms online, find your content and click on it from the search engine results page.

To appear on that first search engine results page, or SERP, your content should be written with search engine optimization in mind. First and foremost, that means creating high-quality content with the end user in mind. It should be engaging, relevant and optimized to include appropriate keywords (without unnatural keyword stuffing), meta tags and back-end SEO modifications. This will ensure that more people can find your content when they use search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing.

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Keys to Publishing and Promoting Travel Guides

Once your travel guides have been written, it is time to get them in front of readers. Travel guides can’t be effective until they have been read! In today’s world, publishing travel guides typically means digital publishing, which means the content can be viewed on websites and blogs. Promoting this content is key in order to increase traffic, build your reputation and convert readers into subscribers or customers.



Decide Where and How to Publish Your Travel Guides

Often, individuals and businesses who are putting together travel guides already have an idea of where they will be published. Travel guides are a natural fit on a website, and they are also featured on many private and commercial blogs. However, there are still some publishing decisions you’ll need to make.

Some travel guides can be published as single reads. On the other hand, some are so long that they will need to be broken up into manageable segments. This might be a great time to introduce a blog series. You can publish a new blog entry every day or every week, depending on your publishing schedule.

If you have a collection of related travel guides, it might make sense to offer them as a single e-book. An e-book can be sold at a profit, but it can also be offered to individuals who subscribe to email marketing campaigns or who download from your website. An e-book can be a fantastic way to use content more than once and to draw in more traffic, gather email addresses and build your contact list.



Share Your Travel Guides on Social Media

Social media is one of the best strategies to promote your travel guides. Sometimes, businesses fumble with deciding which platform to use. The reality is that if you already have thriving social media platforms, then the ones you have are the best ones to use! The key is connecting with your audience by whatever means possible.

For some companies, a younger audience means utilizing visual social media platforms like Instagram or Snapchat. You might post fantastic photos of your destination along with a link that leads directly to a related travel guide. You can also share links to your travel guides on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Reddit or Google+.



Include Snippets or Full Articles in Marketing Emails

An ideal way to share and promote your travel blog is through email. If you have a contact list made up of inquiries, current customers and past clients, then you’re already halfway there. Crafting an email marketing campaign just means getting your content in more inboxes.

Your marketing emails can include all kinds of topics, but travel articles might be a natural fit. If the travel guide in question is relatively short, you could email the entire version to readers. If it is longer, or if you want more direct traffic to the website, include just a snippet of the text. If readers want to see more, they can follow your links and head to your main page.

A valuable tool in the online travel industry is a subscriber list. This is a group of individuals who have opted in to your emails in order to learn more or snag deals. Be sure not to abuse this subscriber list and to respect those who unsubscribe. When used appropriately, email campaigns can be a fantastic way to increase traffic and brand awareness.



Consider Advertising in Order to Reach a Wider Audience

Ideally, you would be able to promote your travel content without paying a penny. If you want to get even more eyes on your travel guides, however, it may be worth paying for advertising. There are a lot of paid advertising options available, and you can advertise through any number of platforms.

Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC, means that you only pay if a person clicks on your ad and heads to your website. You may pay slightly more for this kind of advertising, but it means you only pay if someone is redirected to your site. The alternative is CPM, or cost-per-thousand advertising. In this format, you pay a set price for every 1,000 impressions on your webpage. This is cheaper per impression, but you need to work hard to ensure that the ad is being seen by the right audience.

You can pay to boost your travel guides in search engines. If someone searches for something related, your content can pop up as a sponsored result at the top of the SERP. You could even pay to occupy permanent real estate on the side or banner of a friendly, related website.



Allow Readers to Share Your Content

Sometimes, the best way to promote your travel guides is to let someone else do all the work. If readers enjoy your content, make sure there are easy and convenient ways for them to share that information with their friends and networks. One effective solution is to include share buttons at the bottom of your travel guides. This makes it possible for readers to post the link to the article on platforms like Facebook or Twitter. With the click of a button, you’ll be reaching new readers and a brand-new audience. Plus, this can be done at no cost to you.



Consider Guest Posting or Hosting as a Way to Promote Your Travel Guides

A popular form of promotion is known as guest posting. There are two ways to encourage guest posting if you have a website or a blog. First, you can be the guest that posts content on other websites. Second, you can host other guest authors who want to promote their content on your page. The best relationships have give and take, which means you do a little of both.

If you are the guest author, you can offer your travel guide content to a third party. If you’re a travel blog, you might partner up with a cooking blog. You could suggest a special interest piece about food in Morocco. Then, your travel piece about Moroccan food will be posted on the cooking website along with links back to your blog. This increases your audience and brings you valuable new connections.

As long as your content is engaging, unique and informative, you should have little trouble connecting with the right audience.

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