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General TipsPhoto of The DayPersonal StoryTravel EssayCity GuideHow To GuidePhoto EssayTravel Video

Tips for All Submissions:

General tips:
Tips and tricks to help you write a compelling piece about your travel experience.

  • Be specific! Was there a moment you felt epitomized your trip? Or a single experience you always tell your friends about? Write about that. We know your entire trip was incredible, but we want to hear about the minute, specific moments of the trip that stood out to you.
  • Details, details, details. Travel stories are vivid if you include all the relevant details. Use your five senses and describe what you were seeing, smelling, feeling, hearing, and tasting. Creating a scene will help bring the reader into your story.
  • Read your story out loud before submitting it to us. One surefire way to edit your work before sending it to us is to read it out loud. If you stumble over sentences or have a hard time making it through a paragraph, that will tell you which parts you need to revise.
  • Avoid generalizations. Phrases like, “It was breathtaking” or “It was amazing” tend to fall flat for our readers. Try to avoid these and instead, really describe what you were feeling in specific details.
    • Include emotion. Travel is all about emotion. How were you feeling when you saw something? What did the experience evoke inside? Explain that, and be honest about what you were experiencing.
  • Include emotion. Travel is all about emotion. How you were feeling when you saw something or experienced something or visited a certain place. Explain that, and be honest about what you were experiencing.
  • Introduce the locals! Let your readers meet the local people you encountered on your trip. This will help bring the place to life.
    • And if you can remember some of the things that were said, use dialogue.

Writing/Grammar tips:

  1. All submissions should be at least 500 words (but feel free to write more!).
  2. All stories/essays should be written in first person point of view. You’re writing about your own experience, so it will sound more natural if you tell the story like you’d tell a friend.
  3. Choose a tense and stick with it. Past or present tense is fine, but you should stay consistent throughout your story.
  4. Write in short sentences. Don’t feel the need to create sentences with many clauses and parentheses. Keep it simple and short.
  5. Ditch your thesaurus. It’s okay to skip the long vocab words you’d use in your middle school book report. The best writing sounds natural, so stick to the language you’d use if telling the story to a friend.

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Photo of The Day

  • Please see our Image Sizing Guide for instructions on how to properly format your photograph.
  • Include the specific location of your photo.
  • Include a written description to accompany your photo that addresses one (or all) of the following questions:
    • What about your subject stood out to you?
    • What was happening before/after you took this photo?
    • What did you find particularly compelling about the location you were visiting?
    • Is there a story behind this photo? If so, what is it?

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Tips for Personal Story Submissions:

Have an amazing story to tell from a trip abroad? We want to hear it!

Submit a first person, personal stories about your travel experiences — anything from a quest to find long-lost relatives to an interesting encounter with a local to hiking to the top of a mountain. Check out these examples for inspiration:

  1. A Near Disastrous Summit of Mount Victoria in Papua New Guinea
  2. The Night Train to Chiang Mai
  3. Returning to my Roots in Cuba
  4. Above the Clouds: Ma Pi Leng Pass
  5. Pilgrimage: Through the Grand Canyon
  6. The Colors of Haridwar
  7. Becoming Himba
  8. A New Kind of Bravery

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Tips for Travel Essay Submissions:

Have some travel wisdom to share with us? We’re interested in publishing essays centered on the experience, idea, and practice of travel itself.
These pieces don’t have to be about a specific place — although details are always good. We’ve provided some sample topic if you’re not sure where to start, but feel free to create your own prompt.

  1. What does travel mean to you? How has it impacted your life?
  2. What is the purpose of travel? Why do we travel?
  3. What have you learned from travel?
  4. How has travel challenged you?
  5. In what ways were your expectations of travel different from the reality you experienced?
  6. How has travel informed your concept of what “home” means? Have you moved abroad and what has that experience been like?
  7. Have you ever travelled to discover your family history? How did that trip differ from others and what did you learn?
  8. How do you travel differently now compared to when you first started exploring?
  9. How do you, as a traveller, impact a place? Is this positive or negative?
  10. How do you reconcile political realities with travel?

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Tips for City Guide Submissions:

Did you grow up in Buenos Aires? Do you consider yourself an expert now? Do you know your way around Copenhagen with your eyes closed? We’re looking for city guides with a personal touch!

We aren’t looking for a run-down of attractions with the top Yelp reviews. We want a guide to your version of the city. What spots did you visit daily when you lived in Montevideo? What did the city look and feel like to you? Our readers will connect with personal anecdotes and memories woven through your writing, guiding them through the city as if they were a friend visiting from out of town and you were showing them around.

  1. Remember to mix it up! ! We want to know about a variety of places — green spaces, your favorite museum, the restaurant you love to go to on your birthday, or your favorite neighborhood to wander through on a Saturday afternoon.
  2. Want to do something more targeted? Choose a specific topic and feature it through the lens of your city. Examples: The best taco joints in Mexico City, a fool-proof bike path in Amsterdam, or the best way to experience Holi in Jaipur.
  3. Remember that personal detail is key here. Those little stories throughout are going to make your city guide more special than flipping through an old guidebook.
  4. Include photographs. We want to see these places, so show off your beautiful city! Think about how you can make your accompanying photos unique and visually compelling.
  5. Consider including some linguistic touches – how do we order a coffee in the language of the city? What is the most common greeting?

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Tips for How To Submissions:

Have some tips for specific places/trips? We want your advice!

  • Our How To articles should be super-specific — things like, “How to Plan a Road Trip in Iceland,” or “How To See Wildlife in Africa.” Think about what tips and tricks you have regarding a certain topic, city, or country.
  • We’re also looking for How To articles about photography, videography, and writing. Have some knowledge about how to capture your adventures? Share with us! These should be specific as well — for example, “4 Tips for Photographing Fall in Vermont.”
  • While writing your How To articles, think about your own experiences. What moments can you include in your article that will bring the experience to life for the readers. We learn best from example, so give us examples!

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Format for Photo Essays:

Do you have an incredible collection of photos from your last trip abroad? We want to see them!

If submitting a photo essay:

  • Please include 10 to 20 photos and include a caption for each.
  • If you have already written text to accompany the photo collection, please submit it as a Word Doc. A member of our editorial team will be in touch to discuss if it works for the Passion Passport website or if we’re going to go a different direction with the written content for your photo essay.
  • Please see our Image Sizing Guide for instructions on how to properly format your photographs for publication.

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Format for Video Features:

  • All video submissions must be in the form of a YouTube or Vimeo video.
    • Please include the basic information about your trip — how long you visited the place, why you were there, when you visited, etc.
  • Our video features have an accompanying Q&A, so a member of our editorial team will be in touch to do a phone or video interview.

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