Sunday, November 18, 2018 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

A Freelance Writer’s Life: Writing and Traveling

Many people harbor dreams of being a travel writer. Picture this: getting paid to travel to various corners of the planet and share your experiences. If you desire, travel writing can develop into a full-time passion, or simply do it as a side job – the choice is yours. With this career, you’ll have a plethora of opportunities to go out and see the world in a way you never could as a typical tourist.

Advantages of Being a Travel Writer

How would you like a trip to Maui where you and your friend or lover would enjoy yourselves over a long weekend at a new luxury hotel, free of charge? Or would you be more tempted by a complimentary rafting expedition down the Amazon in Ecuador’s natural rain forest? Maybe a trip to the city of love, Paris (at no charge) and see its spectacular landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe? Perhaps go on a safari in Africa and visit some of its national parks to see the various wild animals? All these trips may sound like fantasies, but they are all money-free travel perks that most freelance writers have taken advantage of.

Furthermore, those writers not only traveled at no charge, but they were also paid to write about what they experienced during their travels. If you have ever dreamed of living the storied life of a travel writer, you do not need to wait to fulfill it. The time is now!
Freelance Travel Writing On Safari
Travel Writing Work

What sorts of travel writing work are there? Travel writing is not limited to journalists who travel around the world at no cost and then write articles for newspapers or travel magazines.

The following are several travel writing opportunities you may not have considered and that you can focus on:

  • Coming up with creative articles for various luxury hotels and the cities that they are located in.
  • Carrying out research and writing detailed blog posts focusing on budget travel.
  • Carrying out research and writing listings for tourist attractions and tours in a specific country, for example, Malaysia.
  • Coming up with ‘to do’ lists in case one a specific city, for example, Chicago (USA).
  • Creating short, captivating destination advertisements for a particular luxury travel brand.
  • Writing weather reports and sightseeing manuals for a travel weather brand.
  • Creating detailed language translation blog posts.

Freelance Travel Writer Luxury Hotel

The best way to landing good jobs and getting brands to pay you accordingly is through making great pitches. With that being said, how would you go about creating an impressive pitch?

  • Introduce yourself – Be human and avoid being extremely formal. However, remember not to act like you’re emailing your BFF. This is the first opportunity you have to showcase your writing skills.
  • Immediately highlight your main accomplishments – For instance, in the first paragraph, you can write how long you’ve been traveling for, the sort of content that you’ve written, and any other achievement, for example, awards received. This stands out enough to be noticed if they are searching for quality content.
  • Make sure that it’s short and straight to the point – Don’t drift or ramble. Ensure that you get all the essential information about yourself in there.
  • Showcase how much you adore travel – Don’t spout excessively. However, mention something specific; for example, ‘I have constantly been traveling for about 1 and a half years and have on the ground know-how learning of about 100 destinations.
  • Provide examples of some of your exemplary work – you’d be astounded at how frequently several clients complained over pitches that are not accompanied by writing samples. This is an important thing to do especially if you’re applying for a writing job. You could even do a book report on a well-known travel guide to show how well you grasp matters in travel writing if you don’t have actual samples. Be creative!
  • Ensure that you respond to any inquiries that are particularly asked in the job posting. Don’t make things difficult for yourself. Just do as required.

Pitching Freelance Travel Article
Travel Writing Tips

With the above in mind, what are some of the travel writing tips that will be useful to you?

  • Make sure that you keep it simple – Plain language is easily comprehended and gives a clearer picture of what you’re saying as compared to complicated language. Simply ask yourself what you want to say and after that go ahead and say it.
  • Be Specific – Specific information is more valuable and intriguing for the readers. For example, many travel writers have written about Barcelona (Spain), but have they ever attended a soccer match at the famous Camp Nou? Concentrating on an idea will keep your writing fresh and grab people’s attention.
  • The Lead – Your opening sentence is the most crucial sentence. The reader will quit reading your story if the lead does not amuse them. Attract the reader with a fascinating fact or humor. Don’t summarize your story. Divulging the information throughout your writing will keep your reader glued until the end.
  • The Headline – Say what your writing is all about in 5-8 words. If your story is centered on a particular idea, the premise alone should capture the reader’s attention. When writing articles that are about lists, odd numbers make for a captivating headline.
  • What’s Different? – Talk about the features that make a particular destination unique. Readers cherish new information, and it’s the distinctions that form the details of the picture in their minds. For instance, there are various white sandy beaches all over the world. However, the Guinness Book of World Records lists Hyams Beach located in New South Wales, Australia, as having the whitest sand in the world and an abundance in biodiversity!

Freelance Travel Writer
How Do You Decide On Payment?

If you already have a good portfolio and have several great snippets, then you are better placed to negotiate with various companies. Most publishers pay by the word or a set price for an article with a certain minimum word count. An ideal way of figuring how much you can charge is by knowing the number of words that you can write in an hour. This will vary, but you need to determine an estimated time required to write a specific number of words.

Next, decide what hourly rate you will be okay with. This hourly rate divided by the number of words you can write in an hour should determine your price per word. You can then use this rate per word to calculate the ballpark amount you want to charge for any length article.
Getting Paid As A FreelanceTravel Writer
If you’ve ever dreamed of being a freelance travel writer, but have not embarked on the journey, now is the time to do so. This guide will give you the basics that you require to start; the rest you will pick up along the way.


  1. Yassine
    September 16, 2017 - 1:05 pm


    I love the idea of travelling writing, the advices are very helpful, i will add that knoweldge in SEO, and content Marketing is also helpful.

    It would behelpful if i could find name of websites where you can write travel articles or post for this type og jobs

  2. Yassine
    September 16, 2017 - 1:08 pm


    I love the idea of travel writing, since i love travelling so much

    The advices are very helpful, i will add that knoweldge in SEO, and content Marketing is also helpful.

    It would be very helpful if i could find name of websites where you can write travel articles or post for this type of jobs

  3. Joan Obrien
    September 18, 2017 - 9:17 am

    As a person who has lost just about everything but can write creatively, it is feasible to be a travel writer? I know marketing and can pitch confidently. Can you please let me know some brands that are looking for travel writers? I’ve subscribed to your newsletter. Your website has amazing info.

  4. Jason Black
    September 20, 2017 - 9:46 am

    My wife is considering doing this next summer. We are both teachers and have 3 months off for the summer every year. She teaches 2nd grade and I work at a community college. It would be something we can do together. I loved the tips in this article and I will share it with her later on today when we meet up for lunch.


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