You might think that getting paid to visit beautiful destinations around the world for free – and then getting paid to write about them – sounds a little too good to be true. But it’s possible, and there are plenty of people out there who do it.
However, becoming an established travel writer doesn’t happen overnight and can be a bit of a slow burner – so the role would be best suited to someone who is able to spend a little bit of time wiggling their way into their dream career.
Employers will have different criteria for the writers that they decide to hire – but above all, they’ll want to see that you can write well and are enthusiastic about what you do.
The best way to get started as a freelance travel writer is to start your own blog or online portfolio that’ll help you construct an online presence – and you might also want to take a short course to widen your skillset and boost your confidence.
If you’ve got any holidays coming up, then this is the perfect time to practise your travel writing skills and jot down everything about the place you’re visiting – what you enjoyed, what you didn’t, places you’d recommend visiting, any local tips and advice, and so on. Once you’ve done this, try to choose an element of the experience that stood out to you to write about in depth. This should be something that you are particularly passionate about passing on to others who may be considering visiting the place themselves.
If you haven’t got any holidays coming up or are short on money, then you can also try visiting easy-to-reach places in the UK for day trips (for example, coastal areas or famous sites) and documenting your experiences. To stand out from the crowd, it’s best to try and focus your writing on one particular area of travel, whether this is deserts, hiking, or all things Italian!
Once you’ve established an online presence, try contacting editors or producers of publications that you admire and who might be interested in the opportunity to feature your work. Your ultimate goal is to create and nurture relationships with people who might be willing to give you a regular outlet for your work, and act as a springboard to opportunities in the wider world.
The reality of a career as a writer is that, even if you know you’re a good writer, you’ll still have to convince others. People won’t just pay to send you to exotic places to write without a high level of trust and confidence in your ability first, and this can take quite a bit of time and effort to build up – but the rewards can be well worth it.