We asked one of our writers, Dr Jill, to give us an insider’s view on writing for global travel companies. Sit back, pour yourself an ouzo, fasten your seatbelt and store your baggage in the overhead locker. But not in that order. Cabin doors to manual! Or something…
Writing for WordHound is always a blast, as you encounter so many different clients and fields of interest. As well as ground source boreholes and grommets, we also survey electric vehicles, internet cable provision and art exhibitions. One of the most fun areas I’ve explored is travel. These are some of the things I’ve learned.
1. Virtual touring
Writing for the travel industry gives you a very wide field of exploration. You can be jaunting around the UK, exploring the opportunities for campervan staycations. I’ve enjoyed virtual tours of Scottish beaches and discovered crabbing hotspots in Devon. I’ve gone virtual-glamping under canvas and freewheeled as a digital nomad. And I’ve been on virtual package tours to top-notch destinations like Antigua and the Dominican Republic.
2. Enjoy the experience
I’ve always loved to travel, so it’s a real pleasure to explore the world at my fingertips. This proved to be especially comforting during the pandemic lockdown. Virtual touring is a free and fascinating way to discover new places, while still earning your living. Sometimes it’s just a short piece about a specific aspect of holiday travel, like whether you can take your dog. For larger travel companies, it involves detailed examination of each destination’s facilities, including local events like street markets. I’ll soak up the local culture, researching restaurant specialities, and browsing shops and popular nightspots.
3. Internet searches
Search engines are invaluable when researching travel destinations. I’ll usually start with Google Earth, to look first-hand at the layout of streets, the location of beaches, and the famous monuments. Large tour companies typically cover a wide range of countries and resorts, so you can pick out natural attractions like lakes or waterfalls. It’s simple to find basic information on Wikipedia, which is pretty reliable for statistics and notable architecture. For more detailed information, local councils and tourist associations usually have a website promoting their holiday attractions.
4. The spice of life
The great thing about writing for the travel industry is that the content is always different. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll cover the same destination twice, although it’s possible if a big travel company wants to update their website. This is where the tourist board websites are invaluable, because their information is almost always up to date. They’re typically split into a variety of pages, such as ‘Top Attractions’, ‘Nightlife’, ‘Food and Drink’, ‘Children’, etc. They’ll also usually have a current ‘What’s On’ page, so you can check out the type of activities on offer. These range from classical concerts to water sports, and can help you appeal to a wide range of interests.
5. Know your limits
When you write for any company website these days, it’s all about search engine optimisation. This means that the client will usually provide you with keywords that need to be worked into their content. Doing this so it reads effortlessly isn’t always as easy as it might appear. As the internet gets more sophisticated, so do search engine recognition capabilities. This can make it a puzzle to decide which keywords are the most important. Plus, there may also be a list of words and phrases you need to avoid. Chief among these is the travel-site cliché: not everywhere has ‘something for everyone’, and if I see one more mention of ‘crystal-clear waters’ I may well scream!
At WordHound, we’ve clocked up thousands of imaginary airmiles writing about the world’s most gloriously unforgettable destinations for global travel companies. We’ve also spent a smaller amount of time on the other kind, although obviously we’ve forgotten about those ones. We have a planeload of hand-picked, highly experienced writers and editors who can freshen up existing travel content, or create daydream-worthy new copy for your travel site. Give us a call for more information, and thanks for flying with WordHound Air: We Rarely Crash!