The perks of travel writing are unbelievable! It amazes me how convention/visitor bureaus (CVBs), destination marketing organizations (DMOs), hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions literally roll out the red carpet when they learn you are going to write about them.
And the freedom to choose where, when, and what you write about is not the least of these fantastic benefits.
One of the things I love to do is fish. When I discovered press trips, I went right after a marlin-fishing article. I secured an assignment to write for a fine-print magazine, then contacted a high-end resort in the Mazatlán area. I politely asked them if they could assist me in my research.
The result: a three-day/two-night, all-inclusive stay at their 5-star resort… and a day trip on their 42-foot fishing vessel. I caught a 90-pound black marlin… and fulfilled a dream I’d had for a good part of my life. Truly amazing!
There was also a championship golf course at the resort. Being a casual golfer (although no expert), I knew just enough to pitch a travel article about a fabulous resort, and—Yes!—I received a pro lesson and a round on the Lee Trevino-designed golf course as well. All in all, more than $5,000 worth of travel perks in one trip.
I also enjoy exploring and writing about lighthouses. A short while ago, I found myself on another fabulous press trip: a three-day/four-night cruise aboard The Schooner Zodiac. A 1924 160-foot-long windjammer sailing vessel… with the tallest mainsail on the western coast of the U.S. This was an expensive lighthouse cruise through the San Juan Islands. Not only did I enjoy the free trip, but I also made a few hundred dollars from writing the articles.
It’s been said many times, but it’s always true: Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s what travel writing offers—the ability to write about whatever it is you love most.
You can literally write a travel article about anything… anywhere… because every place in the world is a travel destination for someone.
Here are a couple of tips for going after a press trip:
1. Once you’ve secured an assignment letter from a publication willing to publish your story, start with the CVBs and DMOs in the destination you’re targeting.
Politely tell them what you’re working on and ask them for assistance with reduced rates they may have for writers traveling on assignment. If they don’t respond, go to the actual businesses or proprietors themselves that relate to your article.
2. If you’re not knowledgeable about how press trips work, find a course or a program like ITWPA and get yourself up to speed. There’s no magic to this—just a few critical key elements that will make all the difference in being successful at securing press trips.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to travel perks and benefits. You are truly restricted only by your imagination.