How to Become a Travel Writer (and Actually Get Paid)

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Sep 20, 2018

Sep 20, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Imagine going to a gorgeous sandy beach or a richly-populated city. Imagine seeing the sights of the world and sharing your experience with thousands of others, many of whom hang on your every word.

It may sound too good to be true, but the above is a standard day in the life of a travel writer.

Want to see the world and get paid to do so? Then be sure to read this guide on how to become a travel writer -- and even get paid for it!

Read Popular Travel Blogs

Creating a popular blog all begins with a love of reading. Stephen King once wrote that those who didn't have the time to read, "...don't have the time (or tools) to write. Simple as that."

It's a shockingly simple statement that actually holds a great deal of truth.

What we read has a direct influence on our writing styles, as well as our general base of knowledge and worldview. So it's time to begin your research by finding and reading the works of a few travel bloggers.

Read each post a few times, each time with a different objective.

Upon your first reading, simply enjoy the piece.

Then, look at the types of language they used. How did it influence your opinion of the piece? Did they seem friendly or did they take a more academic approach to their writing? Which style did you like better?

Next, consider how they frame the piece. Often, a travel writer will frame their pieces around a specific location instead of a larger area. For instance, this piece on things to do in Tuolumne County is about as specific as it gets.

Finally, consider what elements you can implement into your own writing style to improve your blog.

Examine What Makes Your Favorite Travel Personalities Popular

Once you've done your initial reading, stop to think about the writers behind the work. What was it about those particular travel writers that really worked for you?

Blogging tends to be a more personal, open approach to communication, with the writer often directly addressing their audience.

And the same can be said in television, too. You can learn a ton from travel personalities like Anthony Bourdain, for instance.

Your personality is going to be a major asset to your travel writing, perhaps more so than your actual writing ability.

Do The Work: Start Your Own Blog

You can't expect to become a world-class travel writer without putting in the work. Head to your favorite blogging platform and start a blog, then read up on website design trends.

It doesn't matter how small or simple it is, simply having a platform is a necessity in today's era.

With your platform in place, it's time to get writing. If you don't have the means to travel (and you likely won't at first) explore your local area. Or if you get to travel for work, take some time to find exciting things in your destination.

Write about the things that interest you. If you're passionate about your subject matter, it's going to shine through in your writing.

Don't expect to grow an audience overnight. It's going to take a great deal of time and effort.

But once you establish your audience, you can begin exploring ad revenue and partnership deals. This is where the majority of your money will come from.

Final Thoughts on How to Become a Travel Writer

If you're looking for details on how to become a travel writer, please understand that it'll take a great deal of effort to become successful. You'll likely have to pay out of pocket for your first few trips.

With that said, this guide should help you get established so long as you do the work.

Interested in learning about other exciting careers? Be sure to check out our career blog for advice. A new, exciting career is just around the corner!