Travel Writing Jobs

Do you like to travel to places that are off the beaten path? Do notice quirky details and fun facts about places? Can you pick up a pen and make those places come alive? If so, you should become a travel writer.

Travel writers have one of the coolest gigs out there. You travel the globe, jet setting from one exotic location to the next and write about it. Travel writers can write on just about anything – ski resorts, beach resorts, golf courses, hotels, safaris, treks, markets, shopping, real estate, airlines, nightlife, culture, art, shopping, ecotourism, and just about anything that is part of the multi-billion dollar travel industry. It’s all about finding a unique viewpoint on the travel experience.

Many times travel writers get free things – trips, meals, shows, openings, accommodations, tickets, or more. If you are doing a review on a hotel, you might get comped a night. If you are scouting out golf courses, you might get free green fees. These are big perks, but don’t expect free things right away. You have to prove yourself by developing a portfolio highlighting your best work.

If you’re serious about getting started in this job, try it first. Go on a vacation that you deserve and write about some unique aspect of your trip. Send it off to some websites, newspapers, or magazines and see if any editors bite. Your words need to recreate experiences and bring people to the street markets of Cuzco or the freezing temperatures of Everest’s base camp. Your writing has to be practical, creative, engaging, and clever. Your words need to jump off the page.

Travel writers love what they do – traveling and writing. Traveling to far-flung parts of the globe is fun, but it is also challenging. You must stay up to date on passports, travel insurance, and immunizations. You’ll be away from home a lot and must be willing to call your laptop your office.

In truth, working as a writer can be very demanding. You have to know about nouns, verbs, and sentence structure if you want to put together a compelling, well-written article. Your skills need to be versatile. Can you write a review, a guidebook, or an article?
You need to know about spell checks, word count guidelines, clich├ęs, editing your work, and staying focused. Accuracy is key because people will base their entire vacation on your words.

Travel writing is a job. You’re always working, even when you’re playing. Your travel experience will include taking boring tours of museums, interviewing difficult artists, meeting tight deadlines with editors, rushing to make red-eye flights, researching late at night to the glow of your laptop, revising again and again, preparing for rejection, selling and marketing your story, and wondering if the article you’re working on will actually sell. When it does, it’s very satisfying.

When you’re starting out on this job, don’t quit the 9 to 5. Very few people actually make a living as a travel writer, but there is plenty of work out there. Most travel writers work in the freelance industry selling their works to websites like the Walla Walla vacation site Walla Walla Uncovered, Trazzler or Destination360. Other work can be found on websites like Craigslist or elance. It’s always satisfying to land an assignment and sell your work. It’s one of the best feelings ever – even if your 500 words only earns you $25 to $300 per article.

If travel writing is in your future, good luck. Read up on writing, traveling, and travel writing. It will pay off if you know what you are doing. Travel writing can be glamorous and it’s a great way to justify your travels and hopefully get a paycheck.

Quick Facts About Travel Writing

Job Title: Travel Writer
Office: Anywhere in the world
Description: Travel the globe and write reviews, articles, guides and about your experiences
Certifications/Education: No Formal education required.
Necessary Skills: Ability to write, travel experience
Potential Employers: Freelance. Sell your writings to online magazines, magazines, newspapers, or book publishers
Pay: Average is $25 to $300 per article

Helpful Links:
Open Places
International Society for Travel Writing
Society of American Travel Writers
North American Travel Journalists Association

Sign up for our newsletter!