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Some trips out there are priceless. By that, I mean they’re not available to the average person – for any amount of money.

Yet they’re free to travelers willing to write stories about them – and often to travel photographers, too.

I’ve taken trips like these myself. And, in addition to the fun, the paychecks, and the by-lines that travel writing and photography offer, I have to say that these trips — reserved for those with the right credentials only — are the icing on the cake for me. 

When you take a trip like this, you’re often exposed to things a typical tourist will never find, no matter the price – private tours of forbidden beaches, behind-the scenes access to shows and music performances, guided wine tastings, and small-ship cruises that don’t typically run in the off season but they’re scheduled just for you and a team of maybe five other writers.

To give you a taste of what I’m talking about, here are three tours on offer right now to travelers with the right credentials…

Adventure in Patagonia: Ride through towering mountains and enchanted forests, alongside beautiful lakes, and across hidden valleys, rivers and creeks; stand atop a mountain to admire breathtaking views of the Andes and get up close and personal with the mighty Lanín Volcano; get a first-hand look at one of the most peculiar looking trees in the world – the ancient Araucaria araucana, or monkey puzzle tree; and experience the spectacular Argentine Open Polo Championship five minutes away from downtown B.A…  

Explore the Keys: Bask in the Florida sun and enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches lined with palm trees.  There’s fishing, snorkeling, dolphin watching, and more to keep you busy along with four-star restaurants and accommodations and shopping to enjoy… 

Get back to the ranch: Feel like a real cowboy or cowgirl at a Top 50 ranch in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Canada, and Mexico. (You can visit to see all available ranch locations). Whether you’re interested in an authentic Western experience on a working ranch or a more luxurious resort ranch experience, there’s something bound to grab your interest… 

I’d like to explore this opportunity with you this week and talk about how you can get notifications about trips like these on a regular basis, how to apply when you find one you like, and what you can do to ensure you get invited back.

Should you decide to travel like this – sleep on someone else’s dime, enjoy meals you don’t need to pay for, and schedule tours with each city’s tourist board to ensure you come away with enough story ideas — I’ll also open up membership in the International Travel Writers & Photographers Alliance for you.

This week only, you can become a card-carrying member for a single dollar ($1).  And you’ll have 30 days to test out all your card member benefits before deciding whether or not trips like these are right for you.

You’ll find all the details and two complimentary bonuses to help you sell the stories and pictures you get from your trips to magazines, newspapers, and websites, here.

And stay tuned.  We’re going to explore this topic much further this week starting tomorrow with FAM trips – how you can get on one and why they often pay for writers to travel completely free of charge.

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