Yes, being a travel writer is as good as it sounds.
As an established freelancer, I’ve now been on many fully paid-for press trips, all over the world. Most recently, I traveled to Switzerland, Germany, and Austria to ski the Alps with a small group of North American journalists.
Here’s a look at a typical day-in-the-life of a working travel writer on a press trip. This was on one of the final days of our trip, and a personal favorite:
7 a.m. Wake up somewhere awesome — On this trip it was St. Moritz, Switzerland, in the beautiful and exquisite Carlton Hotel St. Moritz, located on the hillside overlooking the picturesque town and namesake lake. In my suite, I make a steaming cup of espresso with a dash of cream while still wearing a cozy robe and slippers. I enjoy about 30 minutes of morning stillness on the couch before getting ready for an exciting day ahead.
8 a.m. Prepare for the day — Dressed to ski, I head downstairs to the ski room to be fitted in my gear for the day. The ski valet loads up my skis, boots, and poles, and our small group of writers is picked up for a short drive to breakfast at the famous coffee house and pastry shop Confiserie Hanselmann.
8:15 a.m. First bite of local charm — I admire all the lovely chocolates and pastries in the windows and glass cases at Hanselmann, and then enjoy a true sit-down European breakfast with my colleagues. I have a perfectly foamed cappuccino, share a croissant with butter and jam, and top it off with as much as I can fit of savory fried eggs and ham.
9 a.m. Activity one — We make our way out the door from breakfast and head over to the ski area of Corviglia to start our open-air adventure for the day. We have a private guide and blue skies, and our group is sporting nothing but smooth turns and smiles for the morning hours.
Noon Another bite of charm — We stop for a traditional alpine lunch at the slopeside patio of Alpine Hütte. I have a veal bratwurst with salad, paired perfectly with a glass of sparking white wine. An espresso is in order before we’re off to our first big activity of the afternoon.
1:30 p.m. Activity two — A visit to the Audi Free Fall – the start for the Men’s Downhill for the 2017 Alpine World Ski Championships in St. Moritz. With a gradient of 45 degrees, this is the steepest start in the world and feels practically like a vertical fall to racers. We hike to the start, and I’m shaking a bit in my ski boots, but the views and story opportunities are extraordinary in this very exclusive experience.
3 p.m. A needed break — I take some personal time to walk through this historic winter sports destination. I shop for gifts to bring home, and after about an hour, the hotel car has been arranged to pick me up to take me back to the hotel for a little time to relax, send a few emails, organize some notes from the day and get ready for the evening.
6 p.m. My work for the day — Site inspection at the Carlton Hotel. Dressed for dinner, we meet with the general manager of the hotel and enjoy a glass of champagne together before getting an intimate tour of the impressive property.
7 p.m. Another bite of charm — Dinner at Da Vittorio in the hotel. This Italian restaurant has authentic regional cuisine and a magical ambiance illuminated by candlelight. The attentive staff attends to my wine glass with pairings for every course, and I sink into the evening with true contentment; it’s a richness that seems just like the taste of Swiss chocolate that’s served as our meal’s sweet finale.
10 p.m. A day well spent— I slide into my plush duvet to prepare for another day. I’m exhausted, but my wanderlust heart has been awakened with fulfillment and joy. It’s like a dream, but in reality, and I drift off into the sweet understanding of what it means to experience a perfect day, an amazing career, and a life well lived.