How to Write While Traveling

Writing while traveling can be either a professional or personal pursuit. Some people travel and write as part of their jobs, while others simply want to make the most out of their travel experience. However, you may find it difficult to write sometimes during travel, and you’ll need to take active steps to create the conditions that work best for your writing style. Luckily, by planning to write during your travels and establishing a routine that maximizes your productivity, you can make writing while traveling a much easier process for yourself.

Steps

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How to Write While Traveling
Tips for Writing While Traveling

How to Write While Traveling
Travel Journal Writing Prompts

How to Write While Traveling
Sample Travel Log

Method 1 Method 1 of 3:Scheduling and Packing to Write Download Article

How to Write While Traveling

Pack the materials you’ll need to write. Make sure you bring a laptop and charger if you plan to do most of your writing on a computer. If you like writing by hand, consider buying a sleek, lightweight composition notebook you can easily pack in a bag or suitcase.

  • If you’re traveling out of your home country and plan to write on a laptop, be sure to bring an adapter that will allow you to plug your charger into the type of outlets used in your destination.
  • You should also make sure that you’re able to back up everything you write, if you plan to write using a laptop. Bring a flash drive or external hard drive, or make sure your laptop automatically backs up your writing to a cloud storage space, in case your computer is lost or stolen.
  • Even if you plan to write mainly on a laptop, consider bringing a backup journal and pens that you can write with in case of a power outage or lack of electricity.

How to Write While Traveling

Make a list of deadlines to adhere to during your travels. If you’re writing for work, you’ll need to know in advance when each of your pieces need to be finished and ready to submit. Use a list of deadlines to ensure you won’t forget when your writing is due.

  • This is especially important for trips that are a month or longer. The longer your trip is, the easier it will be to lose track of time or forget the deadlines for your writing.
  • If possible, try to address the more urgent tasks before you leave to give yourself more flexibility to write while you’re traveling.

How to Write While Traveling

Schedule 1 to 3 hours for daily writing, if you like to work every day. Whether you’re traveling for work or for pleasure, there’s a good chance you make a schedule for the activities you plan to do. If you’d like to write a little bit each day that you’re traveling, set aside a chunk of time in your daily schedule devoted solely to writing to make sure you’ll actually have time to write.

  • If you’re most productive in the mornings, set aside the first hour of each day of your travels just for writing. For example, if you would otherwise leave your hotel room to sightsee starting at 8:00, move that time to 9:00 and spend that extra hour writing.

How to Write While Traveling

Schedule 1 day a week for writing, if you prefer doing work all at once. If you’re mainly writing for work and your trip is relatively long, you can also opt to take a day out of your weekly schedule to just work on writing. This will allow you to spend most of your days enjoying your destination instead of working.

  • For example, if you’re traveling in a destination for 4 weeks, you might devote every Sunday to only doing work, leaving the other 6 days of the week open for exploring the area you’re in.

How to Write While Traveling

Pack a book to bring with you for inspiration or relaxation. If your travel writing will be creative writing, bring a book written by one of your favorite authors to turn to for creative inspiration when you need it. If your writing will be more professional or technical, pack a book to read when you need to relax.

  • Pack a book whose author uses a writing style that you are particularly fond of and can draw inspiration from for your own writing.

Method 2 Method 2 of 3:Establishing Your Writing Routine Download Article

How to Write While Traveling

Check your Internet connection as soon as you get to your destination. If you rely on a laptop or other electronic device to write, whether or not you have wifi will determine where and how you work. Check the stability of your wifi connection as soon as you arrive.

  • If the wifi at your destination is wonky or unstable, see if you can talk to someone about having it improved. For example, speak to a desk clerk if you’re staying in a hotel or consult with the homeowner if you’re renting out a room in someone’s home.
  • If you do not have a stable connection and are unable to have it improved, you will need to find another suitable location, such as a cafe or a library to do your typing.

How to Write While Traveling

Set up a work station if you plan to write where you’re staying. If you’ll be working out of the room or house you’re staying in, create an area where you can sit and focus on writing for long periods of time. Model it on your ideal work station at home, where you have elements like quiet, food or beverages, and a comfortable chair.

  • If possible, remove the TV from the room your work station is in and don’t bring your phone with you when you sit down to write. If you can remove these sources of distraction, you’ll be less tempted to indulge in them instead of writing.
  • Consider using noise-cancelling headphones or playing white noise while writing if you’re in a loud or bustling environment.

How to Write While Traveling

Avoid spending too much time writing. Set a watch or a timer on your phone and do as much work as you can inside 1 to 3 hours. After that, take a break and enjoy your destination; the break may increase your productivity in your next session.

  • This is especially important if your writing is task-based rather than time-based. If you need to complete a certain task, instead of write for a certain amount of time, make sure you’re writing as efficiently as possible during your dedicated writing time so you can enjoy the other aspects of your traveling.
  • This will be less of an issue if you plan to set aside one full day each week for writing.

How to Write While Traveling

Set realistic boundaries with your travel companions about your writing. If you’re traveling with other people, tell them that you plan to write during part of your travels and you’ll occasionally be unavailable. Establishing early on that you’ll periodically need privacy to write will help you to avoid appearing disrespectful to your companions.

  • If you’re traveling with family, it may be more difficult to spend lots of time writing by yourself. However, if you explain your circumstances and are strategic about when you break away from the group to write, they will most likely understand.

Method 3 Method 3 of 3:Staying Productive Download Article

How to Write While Traveling

Take advantage of “dead time.” For example, if you are waiting for a train, sitting on the plane traveling to your next destination, or waiting to meet people for lunch, use this time to work on your writing or jot down notes in a journal. You’ll find that you’ll have a lot of dead time while you’re traveling that you can take advantage of.

  • To best take advantage of dead time, be sure to carry a pen and notebook with you everywhere you go so you can jot notes down throughout the day.
  • Consider making a list of tasks you can do that don’t require an Internet connection (e.g., editing what you’ve written) and work on completing these tasks when you’re waiting somewhere without wifi.
  • In an average day of traveling, you could possibly spend up to 60 minutes waiting for trains, buses, food, and other people. Writing during dead time can give you an entire extra hour of productivity!

How to Write While Traveling

Take notes and pictures if you’re writing about your destination. If you’re writing descriptive copy about your travel destination or you just want to make sure you remember all the little things about your trip, carry a pen, notebook, and camera with you and take detailed notes on the things you see throughout your day that you want to write about later. Take pictures of these things to give yourself visual notes to work from.

  • If you don’t want to carry a pen and notebook around, you can also use the Notes app in your smartphone to take notes during your travels. You can most likely also take pictures with your phone.

How to Write While Traveling

Journal every night before you go to bed. If you are a travel writer or if you are writing to keep a diary of your destinations, writing things down in a journal every night is a good way to keep track of each individual day. People often forget the names, dates, places and other important details of their travel as soon as the next day.

  • Even if you’re exhausted at the end of the day, force yourself to sit down for just 15 minutes and note all the emotions and excitement of the day you just had.

How to Write While Traveling

Join a distance writing group if you need extra accountability. Use social media or other Internet forums to connect with other writers around the world and check in with them once a week. Commit to submitting a piece of writing to the group at each weekly check-in.

  • Use email or Facebook if you plan to keep in touch with people you already know. If you’re looking for new accountability partners, consider searching for writers’ groups on Facebook or other social media sites.

How to Write While Traveling

Take time off to recharge. Make sure you schedule a few days without any work to enjoy your destination. If you are journaling, continue to do so for a few minutes every night, even on weekends. Otherwise, just give yourself the opportunity to relax and recharge for a day or two.

  • Remember, simply taking some time to experience your surroundings may even improve the quality of your writing over time.

Warnings

  • Avoid spending a lot of time on social media while you travel. Although this may be part of your life when you are back home, it can take time from your work, writing and experiencing the culture of the place you are visiting. If you want to stay in touch, create a blog that can serve as a journal and social media platform. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

Things You’ll Need

  • Laptop or tablet
  • Journal
  • Pens
  • Watch or stopwatch
  • Internet connection
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