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It's not just five-star resorts that need travel brochures—nearly any business can be a travel destination, from museums to mom-and-pop shops. If your business could be considered a tourist spot, we'll show you how to make a travel brochure for free.

The final product can be printed and stocked just about anywhere: at a local rest stop, restaurant, travel agency, state park, or city tourism office. You can also share your brochure online to spread the word in a low-cost way.

Related: 21 creative brochure cover design ideas for your inspiration

We'll walk you through each step so you can have a finished brochure in no time.

1. Draw readers in with the right photo

Photos are probably the most important part of your travel brochure. The photos will draw a reader in and help them picture themselves at the travel destination. You don't want to skimp here; if the photos look cheap, then the destination will look cheap. It's also important to know what to showcase.

Ask yourself what will speak to your customers and what kind of a vacation they're looking to have. For example, your you could either show the luxurious interior of a mountain resort or a group of people around a campfire in the woods, depending on what would be most appealing to your target audience.

I found a few photos on Unsplash that are good examples of the kinds of photos you'll want in your travel brochure: they're sharp and beautiful, and they make you want to walk right into them. Take a look:

travel brochure

travel brochure

travel brochure

Be sure to include a few photos of people having a good time so it's easier for customers to imagine themselves at your destination. For example, if you run a horseback riding service, you'll want photos that highlight the natural wonders of your tours. But you should also include shots of families enjoying themselves on a ride.

Your brochure will sink or swim on the quality of your photographs, so choose photos that look great while accurately representing your location. If your destination is unusual or unique, consider paying a professional photographer to capture its charm. You're sure to attract visitors who are looking for something off the beaten path.

2. Use a color scheme

The colors of your travel brochure play an important role in how it will be received. The color scheme will likely be the first thing about the brochure that people notice, so it will help to be familiar with the psychological effects that colors have on us. You want to match the feel of your brochure to the destination you're promoting.

For example, blue can communicate tranquility and peace as well as trust, and lighter blues are particularly calming. So if your destination is relaxing, and your target customer is looking for a peaceful vacation, light blues will probably send the right message.

Also consider how the colors you select blend with the photos in your brochure (and we'll talk more about photos in a moment). The color scheme and photographs should complement each other to achieve a unified feeling. Let's say you're trying to brand your beach destination as playful yet calm. You might choose a color scheme like this:

travel brochure

The colors of your brochure and the photos could work together within this color scheme to help customers know what to expect. On the other hand, if your destination is rugged and adventurous, you could try something like this:

Create a travel brochure

The same color scheme can be transformed by giving it a little tint. I used an online color wheel tool to find complementary colors and customize them. Also, if you're interested in reading a more comprehensive guide to finding the right colors, check out this handy post by the folks at Quicksprout.

Once you get your photos and your color scheme worked out, your brochure will really start to take shape. There's one more crucial element: what your brochure is going to say.

3. Write descriptive copy

When it comes to the text, or copy, of your travel brochure, being descriptive is key. You want to paint a picture and make it clear that this is a place that your readers have to see. To illustrate this point, let's compare two bits of copy describing the city of San Francisco:

A.

Visit San Francisco today! It's a really fun place, and there is a lot to see. You can walk on the Golden Gate Bridge and even see Chinatown! You're sure to enjoy your visit. Book your vacation today!

B.

Book a vacation to the most picturesque city in America! San Francisco has so much to offer. Enjoy the refreshing bay breeze as you bike across the famous Golden Gate Bridge, and experience the charm of a bustling downtown section full of world-class restaurants. Or, if you prefer a quiet getaway, take a stroll to the Palace of Fine Arts to admire its striking Greek architecture and serene waterways. And that's just getting started. Contact us today to arrange your stay.

Which one made you want to visit San Francisco? If you can transport someone to the destination with your copy, they'll want to book the next available flight.

4. Save time with a template

If you're in a hurry or don't have a lot of design experience, a template can save you a lot of trouble and give you a very professional-looking travel brochure. Using Lucidpress, you can pick a template that fits your destination and then customize it any way you'd like.

Another bonus: you can make a digital travel brochure to distribute online (including social media). I used one of the Lucidpress templates to make a San Francisco travel brochure (are you sensing my love for SF?) that I think turned out pretty nicely. Have a look:

Travel brochure

Travel brochure template

With this travel brochure, I combined great images, great design, an appealing and compatible color scheme, and compelling copy. We'd love to see your travel brochures!

Ready to design your own stunning travel brochure? Hop over to our free brochure templates to get started.

Free travel brochure templates

Author Bio

Jarom McDonald works as a content specialist on Lucidpress's marketing team. Outside of work, Jarom loves watching movies, occasionally watching birds, eating pizza, and driving a Prius (a vehicle he will defend passionately). Follow him on Twitter: @jarom2011.