The Travel Writing books you NEED to read to become a great travel writer | Wanderlust City Projects

Updated: Nov 25, 2019

They say the best piece of travel writing takes a reader far from where their feet rest and right into the heart of an adventure.

Travel writing is the ultimate career for the Wanderluster looking to live as a nomad, inspire others and still earn an income. So how can you refine this skill?

Learning from those in the know is a good place to start – take their advice and you’ll soon be filling your passport and your writing portfolio.

Here are five of the best books to become a great travel writer:

1. How to be a travel writer by Don George

They’ve been a trusted source for all things travel for years, so it should come as no surprise that a Lonely Planet title tops this list.

How to be a travel writer is bursting with invaluable advice and is a must for anyone who yearns to write about travel.

This book shares tips on the secrets of crafting a great travel story, effective interviewing techniques, and how to get your name in print (and money in your bank account).


2. Writing true stories by Patti Miller

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it takes to write a travel memoir or creative non-fiction, Patti Miller’s book is for you.

Writing true stories provides practical guidance on a wide range of writing including autobiography, memoir, personal essays and more.

Whether you want to document a sojourn or bring a travel experience to life, this book will be your guide.


3. Travel writing: See the world. Sell the story by L. Peat O'Neil

With the direction of L. Peat O’Neil, who worked at The Washington Post, this book will teach you how to write engaging stories about your travels.

Travel writing: See the world. Sell the story unveils the many types of travel articles you can write, and how to turn journal entries into published works.

Whether you want to write for your own pleasure or get published, this book will give you a glimpse into the life of a travel writer.


4. Travel writing 2.0: Earning money from your travels in the new media landscape by Tim Leffel

If you’re looking for a roadmap to travel writing success in the digital age, this is it.

Travel writing 2.0: Earning money from your travels in the new media landscape dives into the entrepreneurial world of blogging and digital books.

Drawing on interviews from more than 100 successful travel writers, this is a definitive guide to writing successfully.


5. The best American travel writing 2019, edited by Alexandra Fuller, Jason Wilson

Touted as “the gold standard for excellence in travel writing”, this book gives you a chance to learn from the seasoned professionals.

While this book is not a guide on how to write, The best American travel writing 2019 shares travel writing essays published in the past year. It will allow you to analyse and assess what makes a good piece of travel writing and may inspire a story of your own.

This issue is edited by award-winning author Alexandra Fuller, and includes contributions from notable travel writers such as Matt Gross (Airbnb Magazine), Brooke Jarvis (The New Yorker) and Rahawa Haile (Buzzfeed).


Join one of our projects and become a travel writer!

If you’ve dreamed about becoming a travel writer but aren’t sure where to start, why not join one of our 2020 travel writing and photography projects in Europe?

With the guidance of our Wanderlust Experts, you’ll get to learn from creative professionals who have navigated the ‘ins and outs’ of a writing career and can share the tricks of the trade.

In the meantime, happy reading travel lovers!

Written by Sharon Green for Wanderlust City Projects. Sharon is a journalist, copywriter and editor who has worked in mainstream media in Australia and the United Kingdom. She is also the founding editor of women's lifestyle publication SHE DEFINED.

Her favourite city in the world is London, which will always have a piece of her heart. Sharon’s top travel tip is to travel solo – some of her best adventures have come from exploring the world on her own.

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