Writing travel articles is not difficult. Especially if you’re writing about a place you have visited and enjoyed. The only job you are left with is to be descriptive as much as you can.
The main issue is to write interesting travel articles as if you were writing for a publication. Before you sit down to write, I have a few tips to share. Firstly, its worth to do a careful study of similar travel articles in magazines or newspapers and take note of the writing style being used.
Luckily enough I came across John’s travel article. He wrote this article after his study tour to Sweden. This travel article sample illustrates how you as a writer can write for this genre.
Travel article sample
“LADIES and gentlemen, we are now cruising at 35,000 feet above sea level. You can now unfasten your seat belts,” the flight attendant’s abrupt voice caught me by surprise.
I was totally engrossed in the airline magazine I was reading left in the seat pocket. The story I was reading must have been written in a compelling way because I had reached the point where I could do anything to avoid putting the magazine down.
The magazine had given me a perfect place to hide from my thoughts and confronting my fears head-on. It was my first time to travel to Sweden and no wonder why I was getting goose bumps.
My escape didn’t last for long, the flight attendant’s voice brought me back to reality.
I had mixed feelings about this journey. Deep down, I felt a bit apprehensive but also scarcely believed my luck. This trip had come as a complete surprise. Out of the 6 officers who had applied to participate in the Swedish study tour programme, I was the only one found eligible.
Knowing it was going to be my first time to set foot in Sweden, fears of the unknown world hit me. I had never been on an aeroplane on my own before and had always travelled with my workmates each time we jetted somewhere on business errands.
My fate had been sealed the moment I applied to participate in this programme. With stoic determination I resolved I was going to accomplish what I had started.
I travelled in October 1992, the time I worked for the Girl Guides Council (GGC), an umbrella body for all registered girl guides organizations. As an affiliate of the National Council of Swedish Youth Organizations (LSU), GGC had received an invite to participate.
At the time, LSU was the coordinating body for 100 different Swedish youth organisations. My travel itinerary took me first to London where I stopped over for 2 hours before connecting to Sweden.
After a lengthy 10-hour flight from Harare Airport, I landed at Gatwick Airport the following morning. Special services met me the moment I alighted from the plane and whisked me through passport control.
Later, I waited in the Gatwick airport departure lounge to connect to Stockholm. Facilities in the lounge were wide-ranging and fantastic. Among the complimentary offers was a good selection of newspapers and magazines. Since I am a very keen reader, I devoured one after another.
Later, I sat in the economy-class seat on a Swedish Airways flight. I could have watched a movie, or read a magazine, but I chose to do nothing. All I could think of is how I would fare in a foreign country. I tried hard to remain optimistic but stubborn and doubtful thoughts kept surging back.
After 2 hours, we arrived at the Orlando airport. It is the largest Swedish airport located about 42 km north of Stockholm, in the Uppland Province. All the passengers alighted the plane. They started moving in the direction of immigration and customs checkpoints.
Then I felt a hand on my shoulder. I spun around and came face to face with Katarina Andreasson holding a placard written my name. I had not met Katarina before, but I recognized her immediately. What struck me was how ordinary she seemed. She looked small, trim and pretty, with coiffed blonde locks, resembling a student more.
A moment later, we sat down in the airport restaurant, ordered some hot beverages and snacks. I did not have much of an appetite. Any enthusiasm for food had been lost after a tiresomely long journey. What I needed was a cosy bed to guarantee a good night’s sleep.
As if she read my mind, Katarina went straight into explaining my itinerary. It covered study tours to youth organizations in Stockholm and sightseeing a couple of places.
We later drove to Oden Hotel, renowned for being a leisure tourist hotel. Its located in the central part of Stockholm, just 30 km from the airport. Everything was within walking distance of the hotel: the subway, buses and city attractions. On arrival, Katarina took me to the reception desk to check-in.
Minutes later, Katarina left me to repose. My room had en-suite facilities and a private safe. I was too tired to marvel at my new beautiful surroundings. Fortunately, I managed to take a quick refreshing bath; jumped into my bed and fell into a deep slumber.
The next morning, after a night in a comfortable bed, I went to the restaurant downstairs for breakfast. The food was plentiful. A generous buffet of bread, meat, eggs, and cheese with yoghurt cereals and fresh fruit, was served.
Coffee, tea and other soft beverages were given free of charge. I must have been very hungry, judging from the way I tucked into the food. Afterwards, I hired a cab to LSU for my first official call.
The evening schedule was more relaxed and informal. Katarina took me to Gamla Stan, reportedly number one tourist attraction of Stockholm. Its narrow, medieval streets and monumental buildings created a unique and irresistible atmosphere. It just mesmerized me. And this one of my most enduring memories of Sweden. The scenery is so lovely and the sort of place I could visit repeatedly.
The next day, we went sightseeing. Firstly, we visited the Nordic Museum, one of the most popular museums in the city. Items on show displayed almost every aspect of Nordic cultural ancient history. We had no intention to remain there long, but the impressive collection kept us there for hours. There was so much to see. Most of the exhibitions related to daily life, therefore, appealed to a broad audience.
After Lunch, we briefly stopped at Drottningholm, the palace of the Swedish royal family, located on an island near Stockholm. We went by ferry. I enjoyed the ride as it was my first time to ride a ferry. Otherwise, just looking at mundane buildings would have been monotonous.
The next day, Friday, Katarina collected me from the hotel to the railway station. There we met a group of 15 youths who were coming with us to Sodermanland County. A comfortable, efficient train service took us there in just 3 hours. As the train zoomed away, I looked out of the window – transfixed – it really was another world.
The weather was unwelcoming. As soon as I stepped off the train, the chilly air hit me. I was used to the sunny and pleasantry warm climate in Harare with its summer temperatures ranging from 20 degrees Celsius. The sudden change to cloudy, drizzly and rainy, and sometimes, misty and foggy days, was the worst nightmare. I wore a heavy-duty coat to avoid freezing but it made me stand out in stark contrast to the group who dressed lightly.
We stayed in a country house entirely made of wood. Everything inside was in fine wood; the flooring, walls, ceiling and the exquisite furniture.
We spent more time indoors except when it was not raining. Taking a stroll across the countryside, with its incredible scenery and legendary great outdoors, was awesome. Everywhere I looked, I saw pools of water. The Swedes have a culture of cleanliness, as we rarely came across litter.
We cooked our own simple and satisfying food. For lunch, we had Swedish smorgasbord, a speciality consisting of a number of small dishes from which to pick from. Swedish meatballs, salmon, pies, salads, eggs, bread, boiled and fried potatoes made up the small dishes.
To get familiarized, we staged a roundtable conference where each delegate briefed the delegates about organizations they were representing. A question and answer session followed. General questions around broad cultural lifestyles.
When it was my turn the participants were so keen to hear me sing the Zimbabwean national anthem. What an awkward request that was! By then, Zimbabwe did not have one yet. So, I sang them the South African anthem, much to their amusement.
The countryside was popular with families who came to embrace nature in a peaceful environment. Our weekend, spent in a relaxed atmosphere, was exhilarating and a memorable experience.
After a month’s stay, I returned home with many presents, including the Swedish Wooden Dala, the country’s symbol and most popular handicraft and souvenir. – the end –
If you have any questions relating to Travel Writing Articles feel free to leave questions below. I will be more than happy to come back to you as soon as I can.