A picture may be worth a thousand words, but when paired with words, it's worth a million. Any good travel photographer will do well to develop writing skills, and vice versa. For having the ability to draw a reader in with your images, is one thing. But then keeping them there with your words, making them feel like they're right there with you, is quite another.
Set the scene
Make me feel like I'm there with you. What can you see, hear, smell? Are you eating? What does it taste like? What time of day is it? Setting the scene requires a combination of the bigger picture and the details. What does the street look like, the weather feel like, what month is it, how low is the sun in the sky? Then narrow in closer, is the table you're sitting at rickety, in what language are the conversations you can hear, is there a character who has caught your eye? Talk about how the place makes you feel.
Give some background, then relate it to the experience
Share a little history and stories that help shape the place, its people and its culture. Why does Spain have a siesta? And how does that affect your time there? When is the best time to visit and why? Are there festivals that literally stop the nation? Are there others that provide an invaluable cultural experience?
Where did you go? Where was the best meal you had? Museums? Lookouts? Neighbourhoods? Anything that will truly enhance the experience in the city and help readers to feel they know a little more than the standard guidebook can give.
Give helpful advice
How easy is it to get around on public transport? Was there something you found that saved you money at meal times (e.g. In Spain, if you go for the set menu lunch, you can enjoy three courses with wine for significantly less than at dinner, so make lunch your biggest meal.)
Share in snippets
Don't write long paragraphs. Share your information, stories and advice in small, digestible pieces. Your readers will take it in more easily and therefor remember more of your advice, making them likely to come back for more.
There is no use painting a place in golden light if it's the opposite in reality. If there are parts a little rough around the edges, mention them, especially if they help give an understanding of the culture, or have a certain charm about them. If there is a place that just blew you away, talk about it. Readers appreciate your real opinions, particularly if thy are going to improve the readers experience in a place.
Let me know what you think! Leave a comment below of find me on Instagram at @vickijanefletcher.