How to write a travel guide – in 90 seconds!

I just signed my final contract with Bradt and now I’ve got one year to write the Bradt Travel Guide to Tunisia. So how exactly am I going to do it? Let me explain it to you in 90 seconds: The book is going to be around one hundred and seventy thousand words and four hundred pages Tunisia is a long narrow country around 792 kilometers from the northern tip of Cape Angela to the southern borders with Libya and Algeria at Borj El-Khadra. The country is divided into 24 governorates. I need to visit all of them. Some of these might be tricky as there are travel advisory notices linked to parts of the west near the border with Algeria and sections of the east near the border with Libya. Either way I already have a skeleton document for the book structure which follows a standard set up in all Bradt Travel Guides. I need to create between 70 and 80 maps of provincial capitals and places of interest so these locations will be the focus of my road trips. Fuel is cheap here and all my journeys will be starting from Tunis so I don’t need to worry about packing the whole country into one hectic journey like I did for my books on Angola or Equatorial Guinea. I will probably split the country up into five or six big road trips over the next six months. There are sections of the book that I can complete while sat in my office in Tunis like the history or geography sections in Chapter 1 or the getting there and away advice in Chapter 2, but the vast majority of the book requires on-the-ground research throughout the country This means checking out all the hotels, restaurants, beaches and any other sites that tourists might find interesting. If I haven’t been there… …it doesn’t go in the guide. Weather is a key consideration. I need to head south soon before it gets too hot. The roads down south are through the desert and I don’t know how good a condition they’re in, so the first job is to get the Mitsubishi ready for some off-roading. This means: hard canopy, jerrycans for backup fuel, more spare tyres, a fire extinguisher, hi-lift jac, towing equipment, portable air compressor, shovel, ratchet straps and a whole load of spare parts to make sure I don’t get stranded if I break down. In terms of red tape, I’ve already written to the Minister of Tourism to try and setup a meeting to discuss the project. It’s always best if you get the support of the host government early on in the process. I also need to get an official permit to fly my drone. Apparently, this is a difficult process here. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes! I’m gonna split my time between office-based research, piecing together the chapter on Tunis (which is going to be the longest, most detailed section of the guide) and road trips around the country. The aim is to avoid relying on TunisAir as much as possible. If you’ve flown with them before you’ll understand why! And that’s the full plan, please subscribe for weekly updates.

3 thoughts on “How to write a travel guide – in 90 seconds!

  1. Click the subscribe link here for new content every week. This will be a mixture of updates on this Tunisia travel guide project, my Travel Writing 101 series, footage of me exploring other African countries plus travel hacks & airline miles tips. One day I might even tell you about the time I bought twenty slow cookers (crock pots) then flew London to Tokyo First Class return with my girlfriend using the resulting air miles!

  2. I came from your Ask Me Anything on Reddit! I have a question. Will you ever visit eSwatini? I dont live there or anything, i like their name.

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