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Today:

*** Being a Hero Takes Two Seconds and a Quart-Sized Ziploc Bag
*** Practical Writing Prompt of the Week: Side-Trip Articles Are Fun and Easy to Sell
*** Reader Feedback: Congratulations Pat Jennings!

Dear Reader,

There I was… proud as punch that I remembered to put all my liquids — including toothpaste and sunscreen — into my checked bag before I got to the airport.

Unfortunately, not everybody was so prepared. The guy in front of me in the security line had his contact lens solution out on the table, and he was looking worried as he gazed back to the start of the long line, back to where the free Ziploc bags were available. The security attendant was about to send him in that direction.

But lucky for him, I had a spare bag in my purse. These days, it pays to carry an extra Ziploc when you’re traveling. If for no other reason, you’ll have it available to hand to the guy in front of you.  After all, what comes around goes around.

Here’s another good tip…

Ziploc bags are great for packing your clothes. You can roll them up like Space Bags and squeeze all the air out.  You’d think the rolling process would wrinkle your clothes, but oddly enough, you’ll actually get fewer wrinkles this way. And since you can push out all the air and zip the bag shut, you’ll fit a lot more in.

Ziplocs are also good for collecting paper menus, business cards, and brochures when you’re gathering materials for an article. And in your filing cabinet, too, they’re better than folders when it comes to holding small things like receipts and business cards. Nothing ever slips out.

Speaking of brochures and business cards, last week I sent you out to visit your local Chamber of Commerce or Tourist Board office to unearth a few article ideas that might be hiding in the materials there.  This weekend, take a minute to go through what you found and pick two or three things that strike you as interesting (and potential article fodder) — an upcoming art show, a walking tour through town, a B&B you didn’t know about, a treasure hunt for kids you never knew your local library sponsored.

Plan on spending tomorrow learning more about one of them. And then tune in for an article from freelance travel writer, Jennifer Stevens. Inside, she’ll give you a prescription for turning your hometown offerings into salable travel articles.

Take her advice… and then spend Sunday working on your story.

Have a great weekend,

— Lori
Lori Appling
Director, Great Escape Publishing

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

PRACTICAL WRITING PROMPT OF THE WEEK

Side-trip articles are articles about day-long or overnight excursions you could take from your hometown (or to your hometown if you’re writing for an audience in a neighboring city).

They provide you an excellent travel-writing opportunity — and they don’t require you get on a plane.

Start in a primary destination – your city… or any city anywhere in the world – and then look out from there. Where could you spend a day or a weekend?

It should be someplace that is easy to get to. And it should offer some departure from the rigors of daily life. Readers like to learn about places they won’t necessarily find in guidebooks.
Take some time today to pinpoint three possible side-trip articles you could write in the coming weeks.

=====================
READER FEEDBACK: Congratulations Pat Jennings!

Pat got an article published in the Travel section of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about her recent visit to Wales.
You’ll find her article here.

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