Travel Writing 101: How To Become A Travel Writer And Earn Handsome Income

becoming travel writer

Travel writing is all about jotting down your experiences about your journey. Earlier, people used to do it as a hobby but today, you get paid to be a travel writer. Interesting, isn’t it? So, if you too wish to be a travel writer, or if you are already a freelance writer, willing to enter the travel domain, consider this blog as your very own!

Who is a travel writer?

Anyone who documents his travel experiences is a travel writer. In the erstwhile times, people used to fill personal diaries with the memoirs of their excursion, or share their expedition moments for glossy magazines as a journalist. Today, in addition to these traditional methods, travel writing has expanded to the world of the internet. People don’t mind writing about their adventures in their blog posts. Here are a few things that you could write as a travel writer:

  • Blog posts on your traveling experiences
  • Social media content for platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc. 
  • Reviews on popular tourist sites about hotels, places, restaurants, etc.
  • Travel guides for popular destinations
  • Packing guides to help the readers go onboard without hassles
  • Suggestions for traveling
  • Books on traveling
  • Travel Articles for Magazines, if you want to get into journalism

Be the new COLUMBUS!

Did you know that Rustichello da Pisa wrote ‘The Travels of Marco Polo’ in the 13th century? In this book, he documented the travel stories of Marco Polo to Asia as told to him by none other than the famous traveler Marco Polo himself during their imprisonment together in Genoa.

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Likewise, Christopher Columbus had written a journal called ‘Diario’ during his first voyage in the late 15th century where he had talked about his encounters with the wildlife, the weather and about the mood of his crew. Later on, he also wrote many more books to describe his travel experiences. Prominent of these include I, Columbus: My Journal, 1492-1493, The Voyages of Christopher Columbus, and many more.

The travel stints of these and many other renowned explorers are a matter of research even today. Hope, you would have sensed the gravity of travel writing by now. Indeed, these all time great discoverers wrote or narrated their experiences about an entire new world through their travelogues. 

Similarly, you could also write about the world you have discovered during your journeys in your own words. It would be fun and even better if you get a lucrative amount for the same.

Jack Morris and his girl friend Lauren Bullen remained the world famous travel bloggers before they got separated in 2021. There was a time when they used to get up to £7,000 to post just a single photo. Before parting ways, they had already earned lucrative profits, fair enough to own a $1.2 million mansion in Bali. 

They used to get a handsome six-figure salary from Instagram to document their travel experiences online and lead a lavish life full of all the glitz and glamor. Their story is no less than a fairy tale and they are still active as social media bloggers, but separately.

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The Russian based travelers, Murad and Nataly Osmann, popular as Murad Osmann on Instagram form yet another power couple, globally acclaimed for travel blogging on Instagram. Their photographs and the complementing contents are just wow! In 2019, their net worth was a whopping $1,000,000. 

Matt Kepnes, the brainchild behind the blog Nomadic Matt is yet another uber popular travel blogger with around 1.5 million monthly visitors to his blog. He earns a swashbuckling $750,000 every year.

You could Google out for many more of such inspiring traveling bloggers. Their travel stories would surely act as a magic wand in turning you to an ardent travel writer. If by now you have enough of motivation, let’s move on to focus on how to become a travel writer.

Prerequisites to be a Travel writer  

If you just can’t wait donning the role of a travel blog writer in an organization or a freelance travel writer, here are a few aspects that you need to work on before searching for that first break.

1. Unmatched writing skills 

You should possess the quality to keep the readers enthralled with your creation and have an unconditional hunger for words. There ought to be a never-ending zeal to keep cracking new ideas and weaving engaging content around those ideas.

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2. Be a traveler at heart

To be a good travel writer, you need to be an enthusiastic traveler. Visiting new places, discovering the so far unexplored world, trying out new dishes in a foreign destination, all will keep prompting you to write about them more often. Even if you don’t have any clue about travel writing but are an ardent globetrotter, we bet that you could be an out-of-the-world travel writer, if you try it.

3. Knowhow on travel industry insights

Being aware of the latest trends in the travel industry would be a further plus. For example, you should have the latest inside news about bleisure (leisure activities in a business trip) travel, automation in travel booking, mobile booking, environment friendly and sustainable tourism practices, and so  on. 

4. Photography skills

Your shutterbugs can be your best companion in capturing your travel in the most endearing way. If you are a hobby photographer, it could add up to your skills and help you land better jobs or freelance travel writing gigs. 

5. Knowledge about SEO 

To make your blog a hit over the internet, your SEO knowledge could work wonders. Of course, digital marketing is everywhere and the travel industry is no exception.

6. Research ability

While a bulk of your writing comes from your personal experience, your ability to do a thorough research will help you to gather facts about things that are out of our scope. Even if you are about to leave for an excursion to a new destination, doing proper research will help you to explore the place and write about it in a better way.

7. Timeline management

Meeting the deadlines is one of the inevitable requirements to be a travel writer. Make sure to keep track of the due date for the submission of your content to your client or boss.

What about earnings as travel writer?

Saving the best for the last, let’s now talk about the income from travel writing. Can you earn enough bucks to pay your bills as a travel writer? Yes! We have already briefed you about how much the celebrity travel bloggers earn in a calendar year. You could also get that much or even more. The key is to come up with stories that click with your audience or get big thumbs up from your magazine editors. 

To gain maturity in this field will take a few years, so until then you can make travel writing as a secondary source of income while being in your regular job. The moment you start getting decent clients and earning a six-figure income, it’s the time to get into full time freelance travel writing. Be aware that around 90% of all the travel writers do it on a part-time basis. If you want to get into the rest 10%, you need to be hell good in your skills.  

On an average, you can get around $200-$300 for a 1000-word blog post. It could be less or more depending on your expertise. If you are in a job, yet again, your experience will decide your salary. As per Ziprecuiter, a Travel writer gets around $78,017 as the average annual salary in the United States. So, there is a good scope in this domain, if you have it in you.

The lesson learnt

Being a travel writer can change your professional life forever, if you get the right start. Whether you want to embark on your journey as a travel writer as a freelancer or an employer, having the right skills will always prove beneficial in attaining your goal. As for income incurred from travel writing, it will keep improving with time and experience, just like an old wine.