Travel writing has traditionally been a low-tech affair; all one needed was an adventurous spirit and a notebook. But now, technological innovations have been dominating the profession. Whether you’re traveling, researching, writing, editing, or self-publishing, we’ve broken down some of the must-have tools and apps for travel writers, travel journalists, and travel bloggers at every stage.
Note-taking tools and apps
There are many note-taking apps on the market—too many, in fact, to list here. And we’ve already posted an article on some of the more popular note-taking apps available on Android and iOS. That said, some of our favorites are Evernote, OneNote, and (surprise) the stock Apple Notes app if you own an iPhone. They all have the same functionality, so pick one that makes the most sense to you and stick with it. If Microsoft Word is your writing software of choice, you’ll be happy to note that a premium subscription to OneNote cloud storage includes Microsoft Word.
Some like to travel with an iPad equipped with a Magic Keyboard case. But this may be too cumbersome for some travelers, especially if they are already bringing a mobile device. Instead, consider bringing a small bluetooth keyboard to use with your mobile device. The Logitech K380 is small and lightweight, runs forever on a couple of AAA batteries, and works like a dream.
Once more ubiquitous (and larger) than now, dictaphones are extremely handy. They can help you record interviews and the sounds of the environment you’re traveling in. Thanks to technological advancement, dictaphones are now much smaller than a smartphone, rely on flash memory, and can record in crystal-clear lossless FLAC or space-saving MP3 formats. What’s more, you can get a head start on your writing project by dictating while on assignment. We’re liking the Zoom Handy and this Sony voice recorder.
Travel writers usually return from their travels with a host of article ideas and experiences to document. It can be quite difficult to stay organized. Fortunately, there is writing software like Scrivener to help us organize our work and write more efficiently.
Scrivener is a powerful application that helps in managing large writing projects and organizing research. Think of it like a note-taking app on steroids. I can be also helpful in organizing pitches and article ideas for freelance travel writers and travel bloggers. For those penning a travel book, it helps to organize scenes or chapters, and even has a digital cork board with the ability to embed images and files for quick review.
Scrivener can sync to your Dropbox account, and iPhone and iPad versions are available.
While there is a learning curve, we highly recommend it. Learn more about Scrivener here.
If you’re a professional writer, chances are you’re not relying on your computer’s built-in proofreading tools alone. You probably use some kind of premium proofreading software. We’ve tried many products, but we’re currently loving ProWritingAid.
ProWritingAid checks for grammar, punctuation, diction, and style. It also helps with repetitive words, sticky sentences, and many other writing pitfalls. It comes as a stand-alone program, a browser plugin, and a web-based application. This piece of tech won’t replace a good human editor, but it will make an editor’s job so much easier while helping you strengthen your writing practice.
If you want to self-publish your travel memoir, a collection of essays, or a helpful travel guide, consider purchasing Vellum. This program helps you format beautiful ebooks and print books without all the fuss.
We highly recommend Vellum, especially if you are interested in self-publishing several books. Considering that a basic ebook and print book formatting job from a reputable designer costs at least $50 on freelancing sites, Vellum pays for itself after two or three books.
Virtual private networks (VPNs)
If you travel frequently, chances are you have been hacked or someone has intercepted your data. Or, perhaps, some of your most-used websites and apps have been blocked when traveling. Fear not, NordVPN is here to help.
VPNs are great as they connect you to secure servers and encrypt your digital traffic, making it hard to impossible for common hackers to intercept, read, and exploit your data. Plus, a VPN will help you get around local internet restrictions and post that selfie to Instagram. #score
For the data protection alone, a VPN is one of the most useful apps for travel writers that money can buy. There are many VPN providers to choose from, but we currently recommend NordVPN because of its speed, reliability, and customer service. NordVPN also has great deals, especially if you use our affiliate link to save money.
Are we missing any must-have tools or apps for travel writers, travel journalists, or travel bloggers? What do you find particularly useful? Let us know in the comments section below!
Last Updated on 8 February 2023 by Travel Writing World