I’m on the road now. For the most part, I don’t write from the road. I write a daily journal, and an occasional postcard, but I’m not a travel writer. Of course, that doesn’t keep me from having an opinion!
The best travel writing is full of vivid detail and focuses on things not in the tourist pamphlets. Think Jack Kerouac. Think John McPhee. Think Paul Theroux. And think about reading Italy in Mind. (Alice Leccese Powers, Ed.)
This book includes essays, journal entries, letters, poetry, short stories, and excerpts from novels by everyone from Mary McCarthy to Edith Wharton, Gore Vidal to Susan Sontag. They give a great sense of place.
For a different type of travel writing that really goes beyond tourist pamphlets, you could also try Hidden Cities by Moses Gates.
What does this have to do with writers? These are great examples of people who write travel well! Absolutely crucial if you want to write a travelogue, but important if your work includes travel scenes.