DO YOU WRITE TO TRAVEL OR TRAVEL TO WRITE?

                            OR DO YOU WRITE BECAUSE YOU TRAVEL?

Oberoi Hotel chalets Red Sea Coast of Egypt

There’s been much recent discussion about travel writing and exactly who is a travel writer, as opposed to a blogger, backpacker and/or a holidaymaker, writing about their personal travel experiences.

It’s genuinely impossible for a professional guide-book writer to stay in every single listed hotel, so apart from writing that it overlooks a beach/garden/parking-lot, and that it costs xxx per room, he/she knows nothing of the reality of actually staying there: whether service was surly/welcoming, towels changed daily/never, food brilliant/awful etc.

Tour guides and beach hotel, Agadir, Morocco

When I was writing for the AA I made it a point of inspecting every single hotel I mentioned in the guide.

My routine was to ask to see a standard room where I always did five things: flush the loo, pump the bed, check the lights, available hanging space and the door lock. But whatever I wrote, it could never equate with the experience of someone who had actually stayed there which is why though I may read a guide-book for other information, for accommodation, I refer to hotel reviews, written by guests, on internet sites such as Trip Advisor.

It boils down to personal experience. Clearly, a professional writer may have more knowledge of what to look for, but in simple terms of what the average person needs/hopes for on a holiday, the opinion of other travellers, is the more valid of the two.

Young tourists in Paris

c.Christine Osborne: author guides of on Thailand, Malaysia, Seychelles, Morocco, Bali. 

About Travels with My Hat

Australian photojournalist and author. Used London as a base for nearly forty years while freelancing in the Middle East, Arabian peninsular, Africa and South Asia. Have written and illustrated more than a dozen books and travel guides. Operates a well regarded religious images stock photo library: www.worldreligions.co.uk. Live in Leura in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
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