Nick Hanna was educated at Marlborough College, Wilts, and the Institut Britannique at the Sorbonne, Paris. Later he studied Social Anthropology at Sussex University.

After graduating, Nick set off on a 10-month backpacking trip through Europe, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Sri Lanka, India and Nepal. On his return to London, he gained journalism experience working on the alternative magazine Undercurrents and began selling travel features to magazines and newspapers, including The Guardian, Harpers & Queen, Time Out and Business Traveller. He was also the first travel editor of National Student, for which he travelled the world extensively.

In 1986 he set off to write his first book and travelled for 18 months in the tropics, covering 200 beaches and islands in 22 countries for the BMW Tropical Beach Handbook (1989).

His interest in snorkelling and diving led to a collaboration with marine scientist Sue Wells to write the Greenpeace Book of Coral Reefs, which received a commendation in the 1992 Sir Peter Kent Book Conservation prize.

Since then he has written numerous guidebooks for major travel publishers such as AA Publishing, Thomas Cook and National Geographic. Nick was instrumental in the development of New Holland's Dive Sites of the World series in his capacity as Series Consultant, and also wrote articles on scuba diving for the travel pages of the Sunday Times and other national newspapers.

Since retiring from travel writing in 2005, Nick has been involved in various green business start-ups and written The Green Investment Handbook (Harriman House 2010). He currently manages the High Weald Retreat Centre, which hosts meditation and writing retreats.