On a hike last week in Sedona, Arizona, I ran into two ladies who were very curious about my travel writing career. One of them asked, “Is this really a good time to be a freelance travel writer?”
My reply was an exuberant “This is an incredible time for travel writers!” And I meant it.
1. The world of travel is opening again—in a big way
My daughter owns a boutique travel agency, and they have been completely swamped with travel inquiries. There’s a huge pent-up demand for travel after more than a year of lockdown. Travelers are hungry for news and stories about their dream destinations, and travel writers are the ones who have the best pulse on the travel world!
2. The pandemic created a great awakening
If nothing else during this pandemic, people have come to realize that life is short and precious. Lockdowns have created an urgency to embrace travel with deeper meaning and not put it off for tomorrow. Vacation expectations are now higher. Travelers want to immerse themselves in culture, history, art, and nature. This opens a new realm for travel writers to explore.
3. Publications are clamoring for articles
I’ve been a travel writer for almost seven years. During that time, I’ve never seen so many calls for submissions from editors. They’re reaching out with story requests covering a wide range of destinations and topics. They know their readers are desperate for information about what’s happening in the travel world…and they’re looking for the inside scoop from writers who’ve been there. As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in the demand for stories.
4. Many publications cut staffing during the pandemic
I know several staff writers that lost their jobs due to editorial team cuts during the pandemic. Some hope to be hired back, but what I’m hearing in the publication world is that for now they’re relying more on freelancers for their content. And that’s great news for us!
5. Safety is a new twist on stories
I just returned from Mexico’s Riviera Maya last month. One of my editors was interested in a story about our adventures down there in the jungle paradise, but he was thrilled with my angle: “Traveling Safe to Riviera Maya for Caverns, Cenotes, and Mayan Ruins.”
The safety factor was the hook of this story. Destinations are likewise eager to share their safety protocols to demonstrate they are indeed a place where tourists can return with confidence.
6. Stories to tell
The world didn’t just come to a freeze last March. Even during the pandemic, new venues were added, and renovations have occurred. The cruise industry has been planning new destinations, itineraries, and promotions to herald the return of eager voyagers to the seven seas.
Theme parks like Disney and Universal have been busy with expansions and upgrades. New eco-resorts have emerged. And all of this has gone largely undiscovered during the travel hiatus. There’s a lot of news to share, and readers are eager for the information.
7. Tourism boards are again looking to host writers
Visitor bureaus are there to promote their destination. It’s their job to spearhead the return of tourism to their locale. And they know that travel writers can lead the charge. In exchange for published articles, these tourism boards and PR reps are once again reaching out to writers. These invitations to visit are covering most or all travel costs (including airfare).
Travel writing is in full bloom. The long winter is over. It’s a great time to be a travel writer.