How to Get Travel Writing Jobs
To say that becoming a travel writer is a dream job would be an understatement. For most people, let alone freelance writers, the idea of getting paid to travel the world is more than appealing.
Yet, the dream of being a travel writer and publishing your work in world-renowned travel magazines isn’t that easy to reach. From the outside, it appears to be easy to just travel around the world, have amazing experiences, and get paid to write about them.
But, before you decide that you wish to pursue the idea of travel writing, take a closer look at what travel writing is and what it truly entails.
Who Are Freelance Travel Writers?
What is Travel Writing?
Here are a couple of points to consider when thinking about doing travel writing for a living:
Travel writing jobs are similar to what freelance writers do. However, they're unique in the sense that travel is a writer's primary concern, whereas the writing part happens after the journey.
Being a travel writer requires certain skills and conditions. Not everyone can be a good travel writer. Travel writing demands the ability to tell unique stories about destinations that many people know about.
Even if you're visiting a place that a wider audience is hearing about for the first time, it's still necessary to tell a story that they won't find anywhere else online. Nowadays, there are so many travel blogs and travel websites that very few places on Earth remain unexplored.
You might be visiting a destination for the first time, but for the reader, it could very easily be the tenth time that they're reading a similar article. Yours has to be unique, or else readers won't find it interesting.
Travel writer jobs cost money before a freelance writer makes money. Before you get paid to travel, you must already establish your reputation as a travel writer. This means that, at first, you have to fund your own endeavors.
Travel writing on your own budget means managing a full-time or a part-time job while planning your travels and managing travel writing, all at the same time. Quite a bit of work, don't you think?
A travelwriter must have very specific writing skills. Writing about the most beautiful places on the Globe, and even those that are devastated, vast but barren, has to instill a sense of beauty and pleasure into the reader's mind.
No one really reads travel articles to get sad over poverty or to become afraid while watching explosive volcanic eruptions. A good travel writer finds a way to please the reader while telling a truthful, authentic story about each place they visit and the people who live there.
Travel writing can be both a part-time and a full-time job. You don't have to commit to travel writing as a full-time career. If you don't wish to spend half of your life on the road, you can travel seasonally or occasionally, and share your impressions in well-crafted articles worthy of the most prestigious publications.
Becoming a travel writer means spending a lot of time on the road. This is something to keep in mind when planning what your daily regimen would look like going forward. Spending a lot of time traveling demands an adjustment to how you sleep, eat, do your hygiene, dress, socialize, and pretty much everything else.
How Does Writing Fit Into the Travel Industry?
Travel writing is a major contributor to tourism and the travel industry. If you choose to become a travel writer, there are a couple of things to account for when planning your pay rates and making connections within the tourist industry:
Travel Writers Promote Travel Agencies
Unless you're traveling the world in a personal jet or a hot air balloon (wouldn't that be cool, by the way?), you are using means of transportation and getting accommodations wherever you go.
Here, travel agencies can be a great help and an ally. Beginner travel writers journey at their own cost, but those who build a viewer base and grow their socials to six-figure follower numbers start to enjoy perks.
Travel agencies often offer renowned writers either free or discount deals for travel, accommodation, and sightseeing costs. If you're very famous online, you could even get compensation on top of having travel costs covered just to mention or review the agency in your article.
Yet, the road there isn't easy. There are many hoops to jump before travel agencies, newspapers, and hotel owners find you worthy of investment.
A Travel Writers' Own Travel Blog Becomes a Marketing Tool
The first step toward becoming a successful travel writer is self-advertising, as with any other entertainment industry. Your blog, website, and social media pages serve to build your name and reputation as a travel writer. From there, it all depends on your creativity, content writing skills, and also photography to present your writing in a compelling way.
Freelance Travel Writing Jobs Promote Tourist Destinations
While it could take years for you to build a name and a following within the industry, it doesn't have to take long before places you visit benefit from your reporting. Typically, lesser-known tourist destinations that aim to up their guest list and numbers really benefit from exposure by a travel writer.
If you're just starting your travel writing career, it wouldn't be a grave mistake to head to smaller, more budget-friendly, yet unique places whose townsfolk has many compelling stories to tell.
There, you can promote their town and publish unique findings that few writers think about. Although it's not a rule, visiting a place as a travel writer could bring you additional perks, offers, and discounts in exchange for posting about the town you're visiting or writing feature articles.
What Makes a Freelance Travel Writer Different From Other Writers?
Travel writing jobs aren't exactly the same as other freelance writing jobs. Travel writing is all about giving unique, interesting information about your adventurous journey and the places you visit. It’s about uncovering fascinating stories and then publishing them on your blog or as a newspaper feature.
However, there is a cost to travel writing. There’s a lot of competition in the industry and it’s not easy to get a job. Pursuing travel writing job opportunities requires applying for job posts in travel-related media: Publications, websites, and organizations that hire travel writers.
Although still costly, traveling is no longer as big of a luxury as it once was. Nowadays, you can make travel arrangements at more reasonable prices. You can also access discounts and better deals using social media and advertising platforms instead of having to pay for the more expensive versions through travel agencies.
Work Your Ideal Job While Writing Feature Articles for a Travel Magazine
Having a travel writer job is never the same for two people. Nowadays, there are many different travel niches and job sources to draw from, from travel guides to blogs and in-flight magazines. There are about a dozen different types of travel jobs, in fact, but for purposes of readability, we’ll roughly group them into how the writer’s work looks like when doing them:
Become a Travel Writer by Publishing Personal Travel Stories in a Few Articles a Month
If you write destination articles, you’ll focus on specific places. The best publications are seen in National Geographic, Lonely Planet, Traveler, and other media. The articles must be original and in-depth, while the competition is high!
Finding Paid Travel Writer Job Opportunities
If you’re the type of person who enjoys the trip itself more than they do their destination then you can write travel mode articles–no bachelor's degree required These types of articles focus on road trips, trekking, train rides, and other types of exciting means of transportation.
Many newspapers and magazines have dedicated sections to travel mode articles, where they explore different means of transportation.
What if you traveled to many places, and now you wish to sum up your adventure into a comprehensive collection of the best experiences? In that case, you can write round-ups, or lists of places to visit by different categories.
Work Online for a Major Travel Publication, It Can Pay Off!
If you’re more focused on facts and research about places you visit, you’d be well off writing guidebooks. In that case, you can pitch your work to Frommer, Fodor, and other publications that need fresh-perspective guides.
Work for Travel Media: How to Become a Travel Writer
Offering Travel Advice for Visiting Various Travel Destinations
Itineraries are known for being good monetization opportunities, especially when it comes to your blog's popularity. Other than that, many hotels, restaurants, and trip agencies might want to be included in your shining review, so they might come to you with special offers.
Publishing a Personal Travel Photo Essay
Brace yourself for some inspired exploration, quality imagery, a LOT of equipment, and quite a bit of tech skill to publish an amazing personal travel essay. These content pieces can do a lot for your career as they showcase a wide range of skills, from photography to creativity, writing, reporting, and research.
You can publish your personal essay on your blog, or pitch it to a different publisher who you think would benefit from your story. Personal travel essay writing can potentially lead to landing steady travel writer jobs.
You do, however, have to show a great deal of talent, skill, and effort.
Pitching a Fully Written Article to a Travel Website (E.g. British Travel Magazine)
Do you wish to advise readers on how to take a trip to a certain place? In that case, you can write itineraries and give detailed guidelines on what going to a certain place looks like. Itineraries outline trip planning, scheduling, accommodation, sightseeing, and any other tips for maximizing one’s vacation.
Print Publication Writing for Travel Industries
As summers approach, people look for great places to have a vacation. If you’re one to have explored the globe, you can write about the best places to visit for holidays or special events, like festivals or sports events. If you focus more on a certain type of travel interest, like lifestyle, cuisine, clothing, or culture, you can then publish special-interest articles.
Write a Feature Article for a Travel Website
Travel editorials are as popular as all other quality editorials. Write your own, make it shiny and publish, and then pitch it to a travel website. Travel websites are always on the hunt for fresh stories, and if yours is original and high-quality, you can hope for further opportunities.
On that note, travel news articles also shouldn't be forgotten. You can write and report from places where a natural disaster has occurred, or economic shifts caused drastic consequences for the local population.
Social Media Marketing for a Travel Writing Job
Social media marketing has its clutches on almost every industry since it’s very difficult to access any type of audience without social engagement. If you have a knack for marketing, plus admirable writing skills, you can pivot your travel writing efforts more toward in-demand topics and audiences.
From there, you can pursue further business, affiliation, and sponsorship opportunities while boosting your blog income.
Freelance Travel Writer Career Guide
Aren't there just too many travel writer jobs to choose from? While there are more than plenty of opportunities for you to make it as a travel writer, there are useful insider tips to know about everything that goes with the territory.
Upon learning all the intricacies of being a travel writer, you can start getting ready to share your adventures with the world fully prepared.
What You Don't Hear About Working as a Travel Writer
Reading a travel writer's blog online doesn't always fully represent what goes on "behind the scenes." When it comes to travel, there are many unpredictabilities, so a travel writer carefully chooses how to present their experience. Here are some things that an average travel writer usually doesn't mention in their works:
1: Becoming a travel writer is much more difficult than it looks.
Being a travel writer used to be a privilege for the rich. Although more accessible, it remains a great investment that will consume the bulk of your life. Your time will mainly go to writing, planning, and scheduling, while the rest will go into working to support your passion–at least in the beginning.
2: Online courses can help hone travel writing skills.
It's true! Travel writing courses are popular for a good reason. They show you what themes, techniques, and writing styles to use to make each of your stories compelling and marketable.
3: Travel magazines aren't easy to come by. While a magazine pays to have your article published, it's not so easy to make a successful pitch.
There's enormous competition among travel writer jobs and opportunities to have your work published. Travel platforms receive too many pitches to count. Your work will have to truly stand out to get noticed.
4: A travel writer can become their own boss.
You don't have to rely on magazines and newspapers to make it as a travel writer. Your blog and social media can help shape your own brand. Your followers, if numerous, can be a great source of income from publications, affiliations, endorsements, and website traffic.
5: Both male and female business travelers can have successful careers.
No secret here, the industry is more inclusive than ever. You can, however, choose whether to make your travel writer brand specific when it comes to demographic targeting.
The benefits of that include the opportunity to give readers targeted content that addresses topics geared toward them, while the downside is that you might be excluding a whole chunk of your potential audience that doesn't have similar interests.
6: Travel writers must find unique angles to tell their stories.
How many stories do you think were written about the Louvre? Even people who haven't traveled to the world's most famous destinations feel like they've been there since they read everything about the place. Always find something that was never written about, or else your article won't stand out.
7: Travel writers are often in danger.
Traveling off-the-beaten path means that you might get into a traffic accident or get hit by a natural disaster. Reporting about these experiences in past-tense is far more pleasant than actually living through the experience. Account for possible problems on the road to be prepared.
Travel Writer FAQs
By now, you've learned a lot about how to become a travel writer and all the things it will entail. Yet, you might still have some unanswered questions:
What Are The Best Travel Writing Gigs?
Travel writers have divided opinions about whether it's better to work for a publisher or build your blog and social media brand. All steady travel writer jobs typically pay well, but it's up to you to decide which ones you like better.
How to Get Into Travel Writing?
The answer is simple: By traveling, writing, and then publishing top-quality work in reputable media.
What Are Travel Writing Pay Rates?
Rough statistics place travel writer pay rates at between $40.000 and $100.000 yearly, but exact numbers are hard to determine.
Do Clients Pay Travel Writers to Travel?
Yes. Many magazines do so, although in most cases, writers are paid only after they're back from their travel and submit completed work. This means that, in most cases, you'll have to fund your own journey even if you have a refund lined up when you get back.
Become a Travel Writer Now!
Here are the final tips for a successful travel writer career:
Build a Travel Writing Career by Publishing Fully Written Articles
Do a Paid Gig
Write Articles for Your Own Blog
Write Travel Articles on World Travel
Post Your Published Article on Social Media
Pitch Stories from Road Trips for RV Travelers: Consider RV Lifestyle
Pitch Completed Articles to Outpost Magazine, Escapees Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Kansas Tourism, Itchy Travel Feet, etc.
Post and Advertise Your Social Media Accounts and Guest Posts
Doing guest posts is a must for any freelance writer who wishes to make a successful career. Writing a guest post is a great freelance writing hack because it promotes both you and the blog host author.
Most travel blogs accept submissions for interesting, well-written longer articles, which makes guest writing one of the better opportunities to get travel writing jobs.
Final Tip: Become a Social Media Guru With Self-Promotion
Here's what you can do to get more travel writing jobs, further enhance your travel writer career and pay rates:
Create a Unique Writing Style
Write Hotel Reviews
Join World Nomads and Travel the World
Pitch Feature Submissions to Travel Websites
Enhance Your Photography Skills
Don't Forget Adventure Travel