How to Become a Travel Writer?

How to Become a Travel Writer?

How to Become a Travel Writer?
Simran Dhakal

"Embrace a life without excuses and embark on adventures without regrets," as wisely advised by Oscar Wilde. If this philosophy resonates with you, you've undoubtedly arrived at the right destination. Have you ever dreamed of traversing the world while earning a living?

At first glance, it may appear far-fetched, but as you delve into the content of this blog, you'll discover that it's entirely attainable! The realm of travel offers a plethora of captivating avenues for globetrotters, ranging from food blogging, photography, and videography to fashion and writing. Becoming a travel writer is one of the most enticing among these exhilarating career paths.

Join us as we embark on a journey to unravel the secrets of becoming a travel writer, enabling you to transform your wanderlust into a profession that fulfills your passion for exploration and sustains your livelihood.

Who is a Travel Writer?

As the title implies, a travel writer embarks on journeys to various cities and cultures, documenting their adventures and insights. This occupation involves creating informative articles, crafting tourist guides, offering reviews of renowned destinations, suggesting enjoyable activities in specific travel spots, and much more. This profession offers the opportunity to explore the world and immortalize these vivid experiences in words. It enables one to connect with diverse individuals from different corners of the globe, form meaningful bonds, and share the knowledge gained through writing.

Types of Travel Writing

Travel writing encompasses a diverse spectrum of writing styles, each with its distinct purpose and appeal. Below, you'll find descriptions of these various styles:

  • How-to Guides: How-to guides serve as invaluable resources for readers, offering practical advice and insights based on firsthand experience. They aim to assist travelers in preemptively addressing challenges, ensuring a seamless and trouble-free journey.
  • Food and Travel: This niche is a delectable delight for all gastronomes. It involves embarking on culinary adventures, exploring different locales, and sampling their culinary offerings, from dishes to cuisines and restaurants. These articles don't just provide reviews; they offer authentic feedback about the dining establishments visited. The possibilities are virtually limitless, encompassing discussions of the finest dishes in a city and much more.
  • Itineraries: Itineraries are comprehensive travel plans that help individuals organize their entire trip. They begin with details like the arrival at the destination via pre-planned modes of transportation and outline the activities to be undertaken, the cities to be visited, and much more. Creating itineraries can be rewarding if you possess strong organizational skills.
  • 'Best of' Articles: These articles spotlight the absolute must-see attractions and experiences in a particular destination. For instance, a piece titled "Top 10 Places to Visit in Iceland" falls into this category. Writers who craft 'best of' articles are in high demand, as they can attract a substantial and eager readership.
  • Adventure Blogs: If you possess a natural affinity for adrenaline-pumping experiences, adventure blogging might be your calling. This style entails recounting various adventurous escapades you've undertaken or detailing thrilling activities available in different places that adventurous souls should consider trying.

How to Become a Travel Writer?

Becoming a travel writer boils down to two essential passions: a love for travel and writing – it's as straightforward as that. While there isn't a mandatory degree you must hold to excel in this profession, having a relevant educational background is crucial, as achieving success in this field is more intricate than it might initially appear.

Pursuing a Relevant Degree/Course 

While it's not mandatory, enrolling in a suitable course or pursuing a degree related to travel writing can greatly enhance your written communication and journalism skills. Courses focusing on essay writing can be particularly beneficial for aspiring travel writers, as they teach various writing styles and how to meet deadlines effectively. Some examples of courses and degrees related to travel writing include:

  • Journalism
  • English literature
  • Travel and tourism
  • English language

Embark on Independent Writing

 Since paid opportunities in travel writing may not be readily available at the outset, it's advisable to kickstart your writing journey independently. For instance, consider launching a blog series where you share your experiences from recent travels. Independent writing allows you to experiment with different travel writing styles and hone your craft. Furthermore, when applying for travel writing jobs, you can showcase your skills by providing a link to your blog or presenting a physical portfolio that features your independent work.

Apply for Available Positions 

Begin your quest for travel writing positions by utilizing online job platforms to identify open opportunities. Tailoring your CV and cover letter to each job application is essential, ensuring that your CV aligns with the specific job requirements and presents you as a promising candidate. If no travel writing positions are available, consider applying for more general writing roles like copywriter or blog writer. These positions can serve as stepping stones, allowing you to build a strong portfolio and gain valuable experience that will be advantageous when a travel writing opportunity arises.

Explore Freelance Opportunities 

Many aspiring travel writers opt for the flexibility of freelancing instead of traditional in-house roles. Aspiring authors can scour online job boards to find freelance gigs where various opportunities are posted. Additionally, ambitious travel writers may find creating their freelance websites or online profiles beneficial to market their writing skills effectively.

Learn more about How to Become a Writer.

Leverage the Power of Social Media 

Social media is a powerful tool for writers to showcase their talents and connect with relevant brands and organizations. As a travel writer, you can utilize social networking platforms to build connections and display your expertise. Consider establishing a dedicated travel writing social media account to offer destination reviews and local recommendations, attracting a dedicated audience.

Connect with Fellow Writers 

Attending industry events and gatherings is an excellent way to establish connections with fellow travel writers. Building a network of contacts within the field can open up potential job opportunities and collaborations. In addition to physical events, authors can engage with other professionals through online networking platforms, further expanding their reach and opportunities.

Contribute Guest Posts 

Collaborating with other travel writers by offering guest posts on each other's online platforms can be mutually beneficial. This practice allows you to broaden your audience and connect with readers who may have yet to encounter your work. Moreover, you can extend this offer to potential clients, showcasing your expertise and versatility as a travel writer by contributing guest posts to their websites.

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Popular Courses for Aspiring Travel Writers 

While dedicated travel writing courses can be somewhat scarce, many related courses are available at the certificate, diploma, and master's levels. Here are some noteworthy options:

  • Travel Writing: Explore the World & Share Your Stories
  • Freelance and Travel Writing
  • Proficient with Words – Writing and Editing Specialization
  • Effective Communication – Writing, Design, and Presentation Specialization
  • Project – Crafting a Research Paper (Certificate)
  • Creative Writing Certificate
  • MA in Creative Writing
  • Content Creation: Blogging, Vlogging, and Beyond (Short Course)
  • Technical Writing (Advanced) (Certificate)

Top Universities

  • Northwestern University
  • Boston University
  • New York University
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • The George Washington University

Eligibility Criteria for Travel Writing Courses +

The typical admission requirements for these courses at universities generally include:

  • English Proficiency Assessment through IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE exams.
  • A Valid GRE Score for post-graduate programs.
  • Submission of essential documents such as Letters of Recommendation (LOR), Statement of Purpose (SOP), and other relevant materials.

What is the Difference Between a Travel Writer and a Travel Journalist?

There is a very thin line between a travel writer and a travel journalist, making them different. Many features of them are even overlapping. Here is the basic difference between them: –

Career Aspects

With the revolution in digital media and the growing number of internet users, the viewership of all kinds of content has increased rapidly, and content creators have generated larger audiences than ever. With all this, there are a lot of options for travel writers. Travel writers have the option of working in a full-time job for some magazine. Apart from this, many publication houses have adapted to the freelancing culture. If you are willing to put in some hard work at first, then there are endless possibilities for you in this freelancing world.

Of course, the easiest and the best way to start your travel writing journey is by starting your travel blog. A travel blog is the most scalable work you can do in this field, but simultaneously, it is really difficult. This profession is not just traveling around when you want but requires really serious work and dedication to make it big.

Opportunities 

Travel writers have various platforms to showcase their talents and reach a vast audience. They can utilize platforms such as YouTube and Instagram to maintain their blogs. Being predominantly self-employed, travel writers enjoy the freedom to explore various facets of the travel industry. Many opt to freelance, providing their expertise to different travel-related companies. To craft compelling narratives, travel writers often immerse themselves in cities, states, and countries to gather firsthand information. In doing so, they assist readers in planning their trips, managing expenses, and avoiding potential pitfalls.

Earnings

Travel writers have multiple avenues for earning income. Beyond their primary income source, they can publish books and receive royalties or establish their blogs to generate revenue through social media. In India, the average monthly salary for a travel writer is approximately ₹25,201. Initially, travel writers may need to invest in travel expenses and develop their expertise to attract opportunities from various companies and recruiters. With accumulated experience and expertise, their income potential will likely increase over time.

Recommended

Travel Literature Books To grasp the art of travel writing and captivate readers while effectively conveying their experiences, aspiring travel writers can turn to the following books, considered ideal for beginners:

  • The Rings of Saturn" by W.G. Sebald
  • A Moveable Feast: Life-Changing Food Adventures Around The World"
  • The Art of Travel" by Alain de Botton
  • Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road" by Kate Harris
  • A Woman Alone: Travel Tales From Around the Globe
  • The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho

FAQs

1. What is a travel writer?

A travel writer is a person who explores various destinations, experiences, and cultures and then shares their experiences through written content, such as articles, blogs, books, or travel guides.

2. How do I get started as a travel writer?

Start by traveling to different places and documenting your experiences. Develop your writing skills and create a portfolio of your work.

3. Do I need formal education to become a travel writer?

While a formal education in writing or journalism can be beneficial, it's only sometimes necessary. What matters most is your ability to write compelling and engaging content.

4. What type of writing should I focus on?

Travel writers can explore various niches, such as adventure travel, food and culinary travel, luxury travel, or budget travel. Choose a niche that interests you the most.

5. How can I improve my writing skills?

Practice writing regularly, read books and articles by established travel writers, and consider taking writing courses or workshops.

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