Travel Writing


Welcome to the exciting world of travel writing at SA Writers College.


Our 12-month online travel writing course gives you all the tools and tips you need to become a travel writer and break into the global travel writing industry. Learn to pitch to, and write for, print and online travel magazines and blogs.


Topics include:

  • how to come up with ideas for travel articles
  • how to pitch travel stories to magazines and webzines
  • how to conduct interviews and research, and
  • how to make an income as a freelance travel writer.


“This is a professional, high quality college that offers slick courses of international standard.”

Wendy McSeveney, Travel Writing Course



Travel Writing Course at UK Writers College-703


Course Details:


Students must complete:


Admission Requirements:

  • Modules: 11 Modules
  • Duration: Course can be completed at own pace between 6 and 12 months
  • Start date: At any time; applications all year round
  • Ten writing exercises with feedback on each
  • One query letter to an editor pitching an article idea
  • One original travel article of between 1200-1500 words
  • One web article of 500 words
  • Read our Student Feedback
  • Basic writing skills are essential
  • Computer skills, e-mail and Internet access required
  • No previous tertiary qualification required


Tutors for this course:

julienne-du-toit-400 Julienne du Toit is an award-winning journalist specialising in environmental and travel writing.

Julienne and Chris are based in the Karoo where they run www.karoospace.co.za and contribute to local and international travel publications.

Read more about Julienne here>
Chris Marais has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an investigative reporter and now specialises in travel writing. They have both published a number of travel books.

Read more about Chris here>

Julienne du Toit and Chris Marais work together with each student on the Travel Writing Course, each writer contributing decades of experience and writing expertise to the tutoring process.

Please note: There are times when the tutors may be on travel assignments and be out of email contact; this is an unavoidable aspect of their work. We add any lost time on to your course deadline.


“I was sad when I completed the course. I loved it so much, I felt like signing up and re-doing the course the very second that I finished it."

Jan Norman, Travel Writing Course

Course Curriculum


Module 1 - What is travel writing?

  • Distinguish magazine writing from other genres of writing
  • Acquire an understanding of the elements that characterise travel journalism
  • Get answers to FAQ about a career in Travel Journalism
  • Writing Exercise 1: Practise writing scenes that “show” rather than “tell” (assessment and feedback task)

Module 2 - Targeting your readership and travel magazine

  • Analyse a magazine in terms of content, style, format, tone, target market and demographic.
  • Learn how to match your writing with that of a selected magazine.
  • Writing Exercise 2: Analyze the demographic, style, tone and format of a selected magazine (assessment and feedback task)

Module 3 - Writing on topics that sell

  • Know where and how to find sellable ideas.
  • Learn techniques for generating ideas
  • Distinguish between a topic and an angle.
  • Study an overview of prominent international publication.
  • Writing Exercise 3: Refining topics into angles; Coming up with an angle for an article (feedback task)

Module 4 - The travel writing industry revealed

  • Find out how to write the perfect query letter
  • Distinguish between writing on speculation versus querying and being commissioned
  • Writing Exercise 4: Write a query letter for your targeted magazine covering all aspects of style, tone, content and format (assessment and feedback task)

Module 5 - Writing the compelling opener

  • Distinguish the critical elements for writing a compelling lead
  • Identify the different types of introductions
  • Writing Exercise 5: Write a compelling opening to your article (feedback and assessment task)

Module 6 - Writing up the body of the article

  • Identify the main components of an article
  • Use a basic story structure to map out your piece
  • Use transitions and logical flow to make reading easy
  • Writing Exercise 6: Begin to write up the body of your article and hand in a first draft (feedback task)

Module 7 - Grammar, style and punctuation rules for travel writers

  • Identify the main grammar, style and punctuation rules
  • Know the rules for apt usage of quotations
  • Writing Exercise 7: Testing knowledge of grammar, style and punctuation (assessment and feedback task)
  • Writing Exercise 8: Panel-beat the body into shape; hand in a second draft (feedback task)

Module 8 - Adding sidebars to your article

  • Find out how to create catchy sidebars and resource boxes
  • Write your own byline
  • Writing Exercise 9: Write a byline and two sidebars (feedback task)

Module 9 - Writing a satisfying closer for your article

  • Identify the different types of closers
  • Photography tips
  • Writing Exercise 10: Write the closer to your piece (feedback task)

Module 10 - Editing skills for freelance travel writers

  • Edit your piece using key guidelines
  • Understand the different kinds of cover letters and how to submit your piece in a professional way
  • Invoice and organize payment for your stories
  • Understand the basics of copyrighting, recycling stories and syndication
  • Writing Exercise 11: Edit your piece and submit it with a cover letter. Photographs included for bonus points. (assessment and feedback task)

Module 11 - Mastering travel writing for the web

  • How writing articles for the web is different to print
  • Using SEO-friendly keywords, headings and sub-headings
  • Writing tips: hyperlinking and chunking
  • Finding work online
  • Writing Exercise 12: Write and submit a web article




“I LOVED this course, from beginning to end - I was made to work hard and my tutor earned my respect by their direct and honest feedback at the end of each module.”

Marilyn Scott, Travel Writing Course



How does the course work?

Detailed class notes covering the content of each module are e-mailed to students.

At the end of each module, students will be required to complete one or two writing exercises. In total, the course includes ten short writing assignments, all of which count towards the final result of the student. Students must also produce one query letter (300 - 600 words), one feature-length article (1200 - 1500 words) and one 500-word web piece.

Once the writing assignment has been completed, and e-mailed to the lecturer, an assessment and feedback will be sent to the student, and the module will be considered complete. Students can also participate in ongoing online discussions by posting comments about the materials covered in the course or other issues pertaining to writing in the college blog.


Conditions of Certification:

Students will receive an SA Writers College Certificate upon successful completion of the course, provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Students must have completed all 13 assignments (namely: 10 writing exercises, 1 query letter, 2 articles)
  • The course must have been completed within six months of registration.
  • Students are expected to attain a minimum average of 50% for the course

Minimum Estimated Time Commitment:

  • Reading time: 18 hours
  • Writing time: up to 35 hours
  • Research time: 2 - 6 hours, depending on the complexity of the selected topic for article.

Need more advice about the best course for you?

We would love to chat to you if you have any questions about our writing courses.

If you need some advice about the best course or writing field for you, drop us a line or give Koos or Nichola a call at 021 813 9224. We can tell you about going rates in the field, chance of publishing success and general writing career options both in South Africa and internationally.


Enrol for the course here


Read what past-students say about this course

“I give this course a rating of 10/10. It is very informative and educational. It gave me the tools, guidance and the confidence I needed to enter the travel writer’s world. I will definitely be studying further courses through the Writers’ College. Don Pinnock is of course a legend in my eyes and it is a true honour to have been taught by him. He gives the motivation through the need for endless improvement – the mindset that one will never “arrive” and must never stagnate but always inspire to become a master of one’s own creativity and style. Keep up the great work. Thank you.” Lemanja Davidson, Travel Writing

“I found the course to be really insightful but also challenging. I enjoyed it a lot and am really glad I did it. It gave me an objective insight into my writing abilities and what works and what doesn’t work. Having a professional, knowledgeable and well travelled writer as a mentor was a privilege. Don always answered all my questions in a prompt manner and was really helpful with whatever I inquired about. He had great critical feedback which was much appreciated. I have learned a lot about travel writing and being a freelancer the industry; I would definitely recommend the course to anyone. The experience is definitely well worth it!” Alesha Otto, Travel Writing Course
“The course was excellent, practical, well structured and I had a great tutor who provided excellent tips and feedback. The course met all my objectives and in some instances even exceeded expectations. I would describe the course as excellent value for money and well worth your while.” Johan Swanepoel, Travel Writing

“I thoroughly enjoyed doing this course. My tutor Don was fantastic and I learnt a lot from him. It was a pleasure working with the team at the Writers' College;  they were helpful and considerate.” Grant Christie, Travel Writing

“This course was a lot of fun and was most comprehensive; I highly recommend it! It provided all the necessary tools for becoming a published travel writer, such as the dos and don'ts for submitting articles to editors, as well as various writing tips and pitfalls which prevent wasting time on unnecessary mistakes. Don was a fantastic and patient mentor! I was very nervous submitting my work to such a well regarded and exceptional writer, but Don encouraged me and kept me going throughout the more complicated sections of the course. I appreciated his honesty and direct approach, but found that he never minded if I queried something or asked for clarity - he shares his experience and knowledge gladly. I have a better understanding of travel writing now, and I am better equipped to set about getting my work published. This is a professional, high quality College that offers slick courses of international standard. The fact that you're mentored by a professional in the field is an added bonus.” Wendy McSeveney, Travel Writing

“I thought the course would be good, but it turned out to be great! It was fantastic to have Yvonne as my tutor. Her responses to my submitted assignments were lightning-fast and her feedback was frank and encouraging. The course more than met my objectives. I loved it, I learnt lots and I will consider doing other courses through the Writers’ College in the future.” Ann Huston, Travel Writing Course

“The course notes were thorough, informative and relevant. Feedback was prompt and helpful, and Don was encouraging. I would describe the course as challenging in the best and most useful kind of way!” Helen Wallace, Travel Writing Course

“Absolutely wonderful course, I got far more from the course than I expected. What a privilege to learn from someone like Don Pinnock, who I regard as one of the best writers in the industry. His positive feedback and constructive criticism will always stay with me. He is one of those people who knows just how to get the best out of his students. A wonderful experience. I cannot wait to enrol for another course!” Hannelie van As, Travel Writing Course

“I loved the course. I found it extremely helpful in terms of guidance and tips with regards to the industry. The logical flow of the course modules in terms of putting an article together really mapped out the necessary process for me and the modules themselves were structured really well. I loved the additional articles and example excerpts and found they really clarified the modules for me. Don was very prompt with responses and feedback - so much so that he gave me no time to have a drink between submissions and receiving the next module! He helped me greatly in terms of weaknesses in my writing and has given me the tools to write with a lot more confidence.” Leandre Jacobs, Travel Writing Course

“The course is well worked-out and deadlines are within attainable time frames. The lecturer set a high standard for the work, but also offered sufficient advice when it was necessary. The Writers' College has given me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and experience, without the inconvenience of attending classes or wasting time on subjects that were unnecessary.” Karen Joubert, Travel Writing Course

"First of all Don Pinnock was fantastic. There were moments when I was ready to throw in the towel, but his honest critiques and gentle encouragement kept me going. He is a marvellous man! It was no walk in the park; very challenging and enlightening. Would love to do it all over again." Janine Grobler, Travel Writing Course

"I really enjoyed the course. It was fun, challenging and critical. Usually online courses aren't very personal and lack quality feedback, but this was not the case with the Writer's College. I received expert advice and guidelines. It was a quick and effective way to learn everything I needed to in order to realise my dream and become more confident. I'd recommend it to anyone and would do a different course in the future, too. I knew every second that I was in good hands and working under someone extremely talented and experienced. I also appreciated the bluntness and humour of my tutor. I know that he is a very busy man and I often thought that he might get a bit annoyed at my naivety, but he always got back to me immediately, after every assignment, with thorough advice. In only five months, you’ve helped me realise my dream and made it attainable." Roelien Steenkamp, Travel Writing Course

"I found the course very informative and relevant. It covered every aspect of travel writing and provided extra reading and tips that helped me. I spent many hours reading articles in the library and that gave me extra information that enhanced the course. I thoroughly enjoyed doing the course, and will recommend it to all. Yvonne van Dongen far exceeded the expectations I had of a tutor. Her feedback was prompt, and always honest. She was strict but her comments made sense. She always encouraged me to do better and strive for more. She is a tutor that excels at her job, and it was a privilege for me to benefit from her vast knowledge of travel writing. I want to add that I think the calibre of all your tutors is excellent. It is a very worthwhile course and expanded my knowledge vastly. I would love to do another course." Christine Jeffrey, Travel Writing Course

"It has been a fabulous experience working with Don. I appreciate the time he took, the comments, criticisms and most of all, the encouragement. This is a course focused on giving the basic, industry related information, without wasting time on irrelevant information." Bianca Preusker, Travel Writing Course

“The response time [of my tutor] was incredibly quick in general. Also appreciated the specifics of advice. E.g. contacts in the industry. Overall I am very glad I took this course, and thankful to have had Don as my tutor. It’s an efficient, enjoyable and simple way to learn the basics of good writing.” Georgie Chennells, The Travel Writing Course

“I would definitely recommend this course to anyone wanting to learn more about various genres of writing. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. Just need to get published now - then I guess the proof will be in the pudding as they say!” Dee During, The Travel Writing Course

“Thanks for the encouragement and the excellent administrative support from the College.” Marcelle Balt, Travel Writing Course

“The course opened up a new world that I knew nothing about previously. The tutor feedback was extremely useful. I will definitely recommend the course and aim to build on all I have learnt.” Anna Smit, Travel Writing Course

"Yvonne was fantastic! I really valued her feedback and she was extremely encouraging. She really added to my enjoyment of the course. I really enjoyed the course and thought the material was very good." Celeste Wood, Travel Writing Course

"I really enjoyed doing the course and I can't wait to write articles that will hopefully get published in the near future. I really enjoyed my tutor. She gave me constructive feedback at all times and pushed me to be better which paid off in the end." Tiffany Eslick, Travel Writing Course

"Thank you so much for everything. I had an amazing experience taking the course, and the best supervisor. It's the first time that I've done an online course. Your College reminded me how much fun it is to study and enrich yourself by acquiring additional knowledge. It was a pleasure all the way. The course runs so smoothly and professionally." Iva Paneva, Travel Writing Course

"I enjoyed the course and learned a lot from her. I found the course very practical, and liked the variety of aspects to travel writing that it covers. I know enough now to actually start submitting articles!" Jeanette Lochner, Travel Writing Course

"I LOVED the course, from beginning to end. It far exceeded my expectations and I know that my certificate will not be a worthless piece of paper – I was made to work hard and my tutor earned my respect by her direct and honest feedback at the end of each module." Marilyn Scott, Travel Writing

"Thank you for all your guidance throughout this course. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it taught me a lot about writing in general, not just travel writing. In my line of business, I write a lot of media releases, communications and even Internet copy for Search Engine Optimisation. I can apply so much from the course to all of these." Gillian Meier, Travel Writing


More Testimonials Here


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About Us

We offer specialised, online writing courses tutored by award-winning writers in South Africa. Get the writing tools you need, expert insider advice and hours and hours of writing practice.


Study from anywhere in South Africa: Cape Town, Western Cape; Johannesburg and Pretoria, Gauteng; Durban and Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal; Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape; Bloemfontein, Free State; Nelspruit, Mpumalanga; Kimberley, Northern Cape and Polokwane, Limpopo.

About Us

We offer specialised, online writing courses tutored by award-winning writers in South Africa. Get the writing tools you need, expert insider advice and hours and hours of writing practice.


Study from anywhere in South Africa: Cape Town, Western Cape; Johannesburg and Pretoria, Gauteng; Durban and Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal; Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape; Bloemfontein, Free State; Nelspruit, Mpumalanga; Kimberley, Northern Cape and Polokwane, Limpopo.

Contact Us

Nichola Meyer or Koos Turenhout
Email: [email protected]

You can also leave a voice message on 021 813 9224 and we will phone you back within one working day.

9am to 5pm Monday to Friday

Work for Us

Vacancies at SAWC

Writing Services


Contact Us

Nichola Meyer or Koos Turenhout
Email: [email protected]


9-5 Monday to Friday

Work for Us

Vacancies at SAWC