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: Live in Leura in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
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