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Read on for some tips from travel journalist Rupert Parker

 Rupert has been travel writing for the last five years but has an impressive 35 years’ experience as a TV producer, making  travel TV progammes and scriptwriting  for the BBC, ITV, Channel4 and National Geographic.

His passport is enviably full of stamps from far-flung places, here he shares some of his stories and tips for budding travel journalists.

Which skills are necessary to succeed as a travel writer?

Curiosity about other people’s lives. Physical fitness, stamina, and the possibility of always being surprised. You also need to be able to write to deadlines and be disciplined enough to write your articles as soon as you return, otherwise you forget key details.

What practical advice you would give to budding travel journalists?

Always ask the questions of your interviewees that other people may be scared to ask. Don’t be afraid of being impolite, in particular with editors – you need to pester and keep pestering if you’re going to get commissions.

Your favourite destination?

Madagascar because of its varied scenery, wildlife and people who are relatively undiscovered by travellers. It’s a challenge to get around but it is well worth it.


Which essential kit do you always carry?

A tiny laptop and watch which combines an altimeter and compass. The other essential item is drowsy pills – you can only get them in the US without prescription and they really do help you sleep without giving you a ‘sleep hangover’ – particularly useful on overnight Indian buses!

You’ve been on a lot of press trips, any tips for newbies?

Show interest in whatever you’re being shown even if it’s of no interest at all. People spend time and money showing you places so the least you can do is show some respect. Also always be on time and ready to leave the hotel five minutes before your schedule.

Your funniest travel story?

I travelled from Nepal to Tibet in the back of a truck over the Himalayas – this was not an organised trip just a rag-bag of backpackers and locals. We got up to 20,000 feet, it was freezing cold, we’d eaten bad food and everyone had altitude sickness as well as bad stomachs. I remember lying in bed at the makeshift hotel we stopped in and putting off the moment when I had to rush outside to the toilet. Of course I’d forgotten about the altitude so when I finally made my run for the door, I realised I wasn’t as fast as I normally would be – there was nearly a very dreadful accident… 

Want to read more from Rupert?

Visit Planet Appetite or follow on Twitter @planetappetite


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Hello, buenos dias, bonjour, selamat pagi and all that jazz.

Let me introduce myself, I’m Ianthe, a writer and a wanderer.

Since graduating from university I’ve spent the last five years scribbling words about my travels into notebooks mostly around Asia, returning to England to earn money and do work experience at publishers, newspapers and mags.

A year ago  I decided it was time to give writing a go for real, and I’m currently studying for a  masters in Magazine Journalism at City University and giving it a go as a fully fledged travel journalist.

I love getting lost in every city I visit, having my life thrown into a backpack, meeting people seeing places. More than that I love sitting and looking, noticing the little things that other people might rush past and chewing on an old bic biro before trying to get the essence of a place down on paper.

As well as my own travel stories, reviews and photography this blog will also cover some of the practicalities of being a travel journalist.

I hope you enjoy my globe scribblings…


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