Why only one? Because now you are traveling for purpose and profit and you have to learn to focus. So how do you decide where to travel next? Throw a dart? Spin a globe? Grab an almanac and to a blind finger drop?
The answer is no to all of these. As a travel writer or travel blogger you have to keep in mind two primary things: what destinations are hot now? And what are you likely to be able to sell?
When considering what your best travel hot spots might be, you will want to see what is trending. Peruse such magazines as Travel & Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler to see what they are covering and what celebrities or notables are showing up in these places. Check out Google Trends and see what types of search queries are coming up for some of the destinations you have in mind. It may not be the destination that leads you but the activities or topics around that destination that grab your interest. Also see where these searches are coming from. “Canyoning” is a topic that comes up in a Trends search for Travel to Europe, for instance. But it is only a popular topic in France. On the other hand, Travel to Thailand is a topic on Trends that brings up plenty of interest in the U.S. – but mostly around practicalities and flights to Thailand.
Writing to Your Audience
If you want to write a trending piece you might consider either a full story on these aspects of a trip to Thailand or infusing them into your article. For best visibility on a blog you would want to optimize a single focused article on the practical information and then write your heart out on the attractions or food you loved with embedded links from the practicality piece.
If you are a travel writer and want to sell the piece you would start creating queries to editors of print or online media – and you would have to make a compelling case for your post. That means you would have to “sell” the editor about why an article about Traveling to Thailand would be of interest to that publication’s audience and why your article should be the one they would want.
Say you are trying to sell your article to the AARP Magazine. You would want to emphasize, say, “Thailand Lite” and look at ways that those over 65 or with disabilities can get around Bangkok with ease or visit Chiang Mai without worry. You might want to do a story on Thailand’s world class hospitals that are a beacon for medical tourism – what should readers know about before they go? How do these hospitals make it easy for travelers?
Blog Your Way to Spain
Just want to go to Ibiza and have a great vacation? Yes, you can just follow your heart and head for a romantic place that has always captured your dreams. But you would still want to do research beforehand and see what there is that you could write about that would really make anything you write stand out.
Recently, simple piece about a vacation in the Bahamas caught fire because the article was about swimming with wild pigs off an outer island. The story you write about Ibiza may not be known until you get there. But if you want to approach this as a business you would want to see if you could find something about that island that you could sell ahead of time.
For travel bloggers, simply finding an unusual shoe or sandal that can only be bought in Ibiza might be enough to drive clicks and traffic. For a bloggers, continuous postings with social media attached are the name of the game. That means nearly every about a destination is interesting – a funny sign, a cute cat, ice cream cones enjoyed on a beach, a cool band discovered with links to a You Tube performance …. everything is on the table. And that is because their time is being counted in clicks, with a variety of monetization strategies possible.
But for travel writers with a business to run, a name to uphold and a public persona to sell, the story is not about the destination. It is about whatever is in that destination that can be discovered and converted into solid, factual, worthy and compelling information about a place.
So when you are wondering where to travel next, you can toss a coin, consult a Ouija Board or grab the next deal from Expedia. Or you can travel to where to money is and make it a profitable adventure.