Writing an Itinerary: Getting Started

Creating a New Account

First things first, you're going to need an account!  You can either click on "Login" at the top right, or use this link here.  You'll need to add your email and create a username in order to get started.

Creating & Publishing Timeline

What happens when, where, and how.

  1. Write a draft outline of your itinerary.
  2. Send outline to Unanchor for review.
  3. After outline is approved, create itinerary on Unanchor platform. (Remember to click Save as Draft often.)
  4. Submit completed itinerary to Unanchor. (Click the Save & Publish button and/or email us.)
  5. Reviewing and revising is a process that will likely consist of a series of back-and-forth emails as we refine your itinerary for publishing.
  6. Unanchor creates a cover and publishes the itinerary on Unanchor.com and Amazon.
  7. We all promote your itinerary a lot! You'll be added to the Writer Promotion Academy and sent ideas on how to promote.

Your Role as a Writer & Who to Write For

Your Job as the Tour Guide: Prioritized Sights + Maps & Directions + Insider Information

  • Prioritized sights -- There are many places to go and many places to see, as an itinerary writer, your job is to narrow that selection down to the best possible list given the amount of time the traveler has.
  • Maps & directions -- Nobody likes to be lost or look lost. Trying to figure out where to go takes a lot of unnecessary time planning so help the traveler out. Where to park, bus numbers and schedules, how to use the local transportation, etc - details are helpful! Good descriptions and photos of key locations can help a traveler verify they're in the correct location or going the correct direction.
  • Insider information -- Is there a secret or best menu item? Is there a better price at a certain time of day or a day that is free? When are there less crowds? If you’re telling someone to go to a part of town –
    • Why do you recommend it?
    • Why is it famous?
    • What should they see within that section?
    • What are the best stores, attractions, and activities?
  • Food -- Don't forget meals, at least lunch and dinner. Food is a big part of experiencing a new place and one of the most difficult things to figure out.
  • Be the local expert -- You live there and know the best places, best times, and secrets so share that knowledge. Show off your local knowledge by recommending amazing restaurants. Where do the locals eat? What is the local specialty food that the traveler should try?
  • Family/friends -- Imagine if you had family or friends in town and they were asking you what to do, what would you recommend?
  • Only guide needed -- Let this guide be a stand alone for someone to pick up and use immediately without the need for additional guidebooks/apps/maps/etc.
  • Put yourself in their shoes -- What would you want to know? When you go to a new city, what knowledge makes you feel comfortable and confident to get around?
  • Never been to your city -- If you were a new person in your city, what is unique or different? How does the local transportation work?
  • Avoid lists; be specific -- Try to avoid simply making a list of things (hotels, restaurants, sights, tours, etc…). If you're going to make a list, make sure it's a prioritized list. Also, provide more information. Make sure to say whether you recommend or don’t recommend each item. Especially important to do if you include shopping areas, parks, or other large areas. People can/will explore on their own but for those at a loss of where to start/go, give them guidance! Here's a cool statue and why, there's a local store that's special because the owner does X and Y, etc.
  • How to save money -- Don't forget tips to save money -- travelers love those!
  • Be detailed but not excessively.
  • Photos -- Travel is visual. You can inspire wanderlust and help a traveller confirm they are in the correct location.

Feel free to add personality and give your opinions/preferences/favorites but also explain why so that your choices have some context/reasoning.

Target Audience & Demographic

The Unanchor audience is wide and varied. The best approach is for you to NOT write for everyone but to write for one specific type of person you are familiar with and comfortable with. Additional tips and ideas can always be included in the Appendix, or a different itinerary could potentially be written for a different type of traveller.

If you can’t decide between activities/places to include or how long it takes to explore a location - just make a decision, we've found that people will do what they want anyway (it’s better to be specific than vague).

Approximately 70% of our sales are USA based.


If English is not the first language or what signs are written in, consider including both English and the local language as well as how to pronounce it.

Language basics can be included in the Appendix.

First Draft Outline

Keep it super simple and high level. No details, descriptions, photos, etc are needed yet. Activities and an estimated timeline is perfect.

DAY 1:

Time Activity
9:30am – 11:00am Activity 1
11:00am – 11:30am           Activity 1 to Activity 2
11:30am – 1:30pm Activity 2
1:30pm – 2:00pm Activity 2 to Activity 3
2:00pm – 4:00pm Activity 3
4:00pm – 4:30pm Activity 3 to Activity 4
4:30pm – 7:00pm Activity 4


DAY 2:

Time Activity
9:30am – 11:00am Activity 1
11:00am – 11:30am           Activity 1 to Activity 2
11:30am – 1:30pm Activity 2
1:30pm – 2:00pm Activity 2 to Activity 3
2:00pm – 4:00pm Activity 3
4:00pm – 4:30pm Activity 3 to Activity 4
4:30pm – 7:00pm Activity 4

You may create this in whatever format you are comfortable with: email, Word doc, Google doc, etc.

Note: Take your best guess on times but they can all be adjusted later depending on how you’d like to setup the day.

Create, View, or Edit an Itinerary

Create an Unanchor account -- http://writers.unanchor.com/signup

Log in to your account (http://writers.unanchor.com/login) and click the green "Create new Itinerary" button. You can follow the outlined steps to create your itinerary. For more tips on what to put where, see the other sections in the Knowledge Base.

If you have any feedback or questions about this system, please let us know.

Please note: You'll need to use Google Chrome (https://www.google.com/chrome) or Mozilla Firefox (http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/) browser to create your itinerary.

While working on the itinerary, use the Save as Draft button and use it often! When you have completed the itinerary and would like Unanchor to review it, use the Save & Publish button - this button does not make your itinerary go live, it sends us an email notification that you have completed your itinerary.

Feel free to create your itinerary offline in Word or other location then copy/paste text into Unanchor. However, do note that when copy/pasting from another program, the formatting can get weird. It's best to do Right-click -> Paste and Match Style or Command+Shift+V (if using a Mac) then do any desired formatting in the Unanchor editor.

  • Not allowed: text colors, underlining, changing font size, and centering (Why? Amazon has strict rules to make the content adaptable to viewing on different devices.)
  • Allowed: italics, bold, bulleted or numbered lists

Remember: SAVE OFTEN.

From your Unanchor dashboard, next to your itinerary you can select Edit to make changes to your itinerary and View to see what your itinerary will look like live (this is important to check occasionally to make sure formatting is not "weird").

Using Outside Knowledge Sources

Please use common sense and save both of us the embarrassment of having this conversation. Yes, it has happened.

We ask that all content be original and we will run it through a plagiarizer checker. And if we don't happen to catch it, Amazon will and you'll be at risk of having your published work banned as well as causing unnecessary trouble for us.

However, if you would like to quote a website, you are more than welcome to do so as long as you cite where the information came from. There is an added bonus that if the traveler would like more information they now know where to go.

Be smart! ;-)

(This goes for photos too.)