All in travel writing

This is why there's never been a better time to be a travel writer

In the past couple of months I’ve spoken to a number of travel writers and editors and several of them have said a curious thing. That yes, it’s tough being in the publication game in the current climate, and yes, budgets for writers haven’t increased in years. But despite this, these high profile editors and well established writers all told me the same thing. There has never been a better time to be a travel writer. And this is why.

What no one ever tells you about being a travel writer

What do you think of when someone says they are a travel writer? Jet-setting business class around the world to stay in luxurious hotels and eating feasts prepared by Michelin-stared chefs? I won’t lie; this is not unheard of, but more often than not, the life of a travel writer is much more complex than it appears. I know lots of you are travel writers or aspiring travel journalists, so I wanted to take you behind the scenes and give an insight into what it’s really like to be a travel writer and what you need to know to be successful.

Want to go on a press trip to Queensland? You need to meet Shelley Winkel

Shelley Winkel is one of my favourite people in the travel industry. She’s the PR and publicity leader for Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), which means she’s forgotten more about Australia’s second biggest state than most of us have ever known. In this Q&A Shelley shares her incredible knowledge and experience about how freelance writers can work with tourism bodies, what travel writers need to know about how tourism bodies operate, and what you need to do to be considered for a famil or press trip.

From pitch to published article - a behind the scenes look at travel writing

I recently received an email from a fellow writer saying they would love to see a post about freelance travel writing. More specifically, they wondered if I could share a timeline for what goes into getting a travel story commissioned. So I thought that rather than giving you an arbitrary timeline of what it generally looks like as a freelance travel writer, I’d pick a trip that I did last year to give you a sense of the time (and level of communication with editors and PRs) it takes from pitch to published article.

Want to break into travel writing? Do this.

When you think about the dream job - being a travel writer is up there for many people. Being paid to travel the world sounds idyllic, and while there are undoubtedly downsides to the dream (let's save those for another post), let's be honest - it's a pretty sweet gig. I'm not a full time travel writer by any means, but this week I'm heading off on a four day press trip to tropical North Queensland. A couple of people have asked me the best way to break into travel writing and I believe there's one very easy way to get started ... 

A beginner's guide to TravMedia's IMM

If you're interested in travel writing or a career as a travel writer, I heartily recommend attending TravMedia's international media marketplace (or IMM as it's commonly called). It's been likened to speed dating for people in the travel industry and I think that's a pretty accurate description. It's fast, furious and fun. And at the end of the day many writers walk away with offers of famils or press trips. So how can freelance writers get the most out of IMM? 

Writing for in-flight magazines: how freelance writers can break in

One of the things I love most about flying is reading the in-flight magazine. They are often full of pithy, fascinating and topical stories – not only about particular destinations, but broader trends and happenings within the arts, business, fashion and society. It can be tricky to break into writing for in-flight publications, so I spoke to a number of writers and an editor of an airline magazine to get the scoop on what you need to know in order to see your by-line the next time you take to the skies.  

Getting sponsorship for travel

If you want to make money as a travel writer, being hosted or going on a famil (where you get to stay, travel or experience activities for free) is almost a necessity. Writing compelling requests to tourism bodies, PR agencies or other operators to ask for hosting is crucial. 

5 things I learnt from my first famil

My first famil (often called "familiarisation trips" or "fam trips" where a tourism body or PR company 'host' you) happened almost as an accident. I had written for a food magazine about the town in which I live and once the editor said she was happy with the piece, I asked if she was looking for more pitches or whether she had other locations she needed to cover.