The Glamorous World of Travel Writing

Glamourous world of travel writing

Camping on Fraser Island, Australia

Travel writing is a dream job for many, and contrary to popular belief it’s a niche that has a lot more scope for freelance writers online than you might think.

There’s this whole preconception that travel writing work is extremely hard to come by, when actually there are opportunities everywhere.

Thousands of travel websites are screaming out for content.

How do I know?

Yes, because that’s how I make my living now. But even if I didn’t, in a past life I worked in the travel industry and as just one agent we dealt with a plethora of suppliers: airlines, tour operators, coach companies, cruise liners, car hire firms, hotel chains and so on. All of these companies had an online presence of some sort.

This says to me that there’s a lot of travel writing content out there just waiting to be written. What’s more, miscellaneous travel websites want reviews and descriptions, professional blog posts and other contributions. The list goes on and on.

>> I went from full-time worker to full-time writer online – from scratch. Find out how you can do the same RIGHT HERE.

Dispelling the myths of travel writing

After I tell people what I do for a living, they usually raise their eyebrows, look impressed and ask if it’s as amazing as it sounds. I always tell them the same thing:

Travel writing online is not particularly glamorous.

At least not in the sense most would-be travel writers imagine it to be. The travelling part is great, of course, but I don’t have national magazines beating down my door every day wanting to send me on all-expenses-paid trips to the Bahamas.

I’m getting more into writing for magazines this year, with my first national mag feature being printed in March, but I had to use all my initiative (along with a fair bit of blagging) in order to even get the gig. I then contacted the airlines myself and asked for free flights in exchange for a few lines in the factbox section of the article. To my amazement they said yes – but it was all of my own arranging.Travel writing

It might just be my perception, but the glamorous world of travel writing that people conjure up has had its heyday.

In the good old days (if they existed at all) you’d sit by the roaring ocean with a pina colada watching the sun go down as you penned your masterpiece travel article. Upon your return, Condé Nast Traveller magazine would publish said article and you’d gain not just a princely sum for your words, but also the adoration and respect of your peers and legion of fans.

Right?

What you really need to be a good travel writer

If you like writing, you like travel and aren’t afraid to pitch your ideas, chase up leads and ask for handouts from airlines and tour companies (far easier than you’d think), you’re off to a good start.

Bear in mind that travel companies are hardly likely to offer freebies in exchange for a blog post here and there. However, writing online content for travel companies is a fantastic way to cut your teeth in the industry and help build your writing portfolio so you can go on to pitch for bigger and better things.

The truth is:

If you’re just starting out on your voyage into this sort of writing, approach smaller companies to begin with. Start-up tour companies and websites that are still building their readership are ideal. (Do your due diligence before you commit to anything, of course.)

Check out their websites and then craft an email pitch to explain all the ways in which you can help them and their online brand.

There’s nothing to stop you approaching the big players of course – they need content just like everybody else, probably more so in fact – but you’ll find this is a good way to ease yourself into the niche and familiarise yourself with the different mediums and formats.

And, hey, if you can add a touch of glamour and sense of the exotic to this sort of travel writing then go right ahead.

After all, who am I to stop you?

If you’re really serious about changing your lifestyle and earning good money from your travels, find out exactly how to do it in my Amazon bestseller: How to Start a Travel Blog and Make Money.

8 Comments

  • Kartika

    Reply Reply September 29, 2012

    I’m here, reading and smiling!

    • Kirsty

      Reply Reply October 1, 2012

      Thanks Kartika!

  • Laura

    Reply Reply January 19, 2016

    Very nice article! I like following you Kirsty because you talk honestly, from your experience. I don’t get that feeling like i get from other freelance “teachers” who only want the money and don’t care about the impact their words might have. I actually learned a few things from you 🙂

    • Kirsty Stuart

      Reply Reply January 19, 2016

      Ah, well that’s really lovely to hear Laura! We’re all teachers and we’re all learners, aren’t we? 😉 Thanks for your kind words, and I’m glad you found the post helpful.

  • Brent Jones

    Reply Reply January 21, 2016

    Hi Kirsty,

    How are you?

    I thought this article was really interesting… mainly because you alluded to the dark side of travel writing.

    And let’s be honest… most freelance writing gigs have a bit of a dark side, don’t they?

    The very concept of being a work-at-home freelancer sounds glamorous. Our friends and family think we just lounge around in pajamas and watch Netflix all day, don’t they?

    Truth is, it’s a constant grind and sometimes it can be isolating.

    I’ll be leaving for Punta Cana on Saturday. It never occurred to me to approach a travel site and offer to write for them while on holidays.

    I’ll keep it mind for future reference though.

    Chat soon,

    Brent

  • Kirsty Stuart

    Reply Reply January 22, 2016

    Hi Brent,

    I’m well thanks. Hope you are too.

    Glad you enjoyed the article. Maybe you should approach a travel company for your upcoming trip. It’s surprising just how many companies need good travel content and will be only too pleased to offer freebies or at least pay a decent amount for the work.

    Either way, have fun in Punta Cana. 🙂

  • Victor Onokpasah

    Reply Reply January 25, 2016

    I have always looked at travel writing to be an easy way of making money your article certainly changed the angle from which I looked at it. Its not an easy task I wonder why some freelance writers choose that form of writing to earn money with.

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