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How do I Become a Travel Writer?

Article Details
  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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To many people, becoming a travel writer seems like a dream job. Many don't realize the extent of the work that goes into being a travel writer, and the amount of time and expense it usually takes to become successful. If you are determined to become a travel writer, however, there are some important points to remember.

You'll need to first develop relationships with editors or agents. This means publishing articles, demonstrating your writing abilities and your ability to meet deadlines, and doing a lot of the less glamorous grunt work. It is also important, when trying to become a travel writer, that you are a self-starter. Come up with creative ideas and angles and pitch these stories to editors. Since most travel destinations have been extensively covered, you absolutely need to find new, interesting angles if you hope to have your work published.

Another important thing to remember when trying to become a travel writer is that you are not the only person trying to land the job. For every possible idea, there are virtually hundreds of eager writers willing to do the work. Your articles need to be creative and catchy, with a clear point and a compelling story. Traveling to a location and writing about your personal experiences is not enough.

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The single most important point to remember when trying to publish any piece of writing is to research the publication. Know what the editors are looking for -- that means knowing the tone of the publication, and the voice and average length of the article. Find out if the editor accepts unsolicited manuscripts or query letters. Learn what format the manuscript or query letter should be, and follow that format perfectly.

Successful travel writers learn to maximize the potential income from a trip. Don't just pitch one or two stories from a trip -- before you leave, come up with as many ideas as possible for articles, interesting destinations or experiences. Even if every single idea is not accepted, you will create more possibilities for yourself now and in the future by demonstrating that you are a creative thinker and a motivated individual.

Travel writers are most often freelancers, so you need to plan ahead. This means that perks such as health benefits and retirement plans are solely the responsibility of the travel writer, and payment schedules are not set. Often, a magazine or travel guide will accept one of your ideas "on spec," but you may not be paid until publication -- which could be six months to a year after you've turned in the article. The income your earn after you become a travel writer may not be steady, and it certainly may not be enough to live on.

Keep in mind that you will most likely need to cover your own expenses while you are traveling. It is rare to be completely reimbursed for the expenses you incur, especially when you are first trying to become a travel writer, so you will need to plan ahead and make sure you can pay for yourself if the article you are writing is not published. As you can see, travel writing is not an especially lucrative career.

There are numerous courses currently offered online and in colleges on how to become a travel writer. These can help further your career by encouraging you to make contacts in the field and hone your writing skills. However, be wary of any courses that make big promises -- for example, all-expenses-paid vacations or immediate positions within companies.

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anon124694
Post 1

This is an excellent article. I am an engineer by profession and want to take up travel writing as a secondary vocation sometime in the near future. Most articles talk about how glamorous this is but this article gives the facts for what they are. I will definitely keep this in mind.

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