Over the last few years I've enjoyed free trips to Cyprus and Portugal …. and I'm still waiting to take up the offer of an all expenses paid trip to the north east coast of Brazil.
And I'm not even a 'proper' travel writer!
You see, travel writing can be a particularly lucrative type of writing. As well as getting paid for it you can also, sometimes, get some nice free trips at home and abroad. So with holiday time right upon us it's well worth thinking about the many opportunities for doing some travel writing. Wherever you're going, home or abroad city or country, why not look at how you could help pay for your trip by writing about it?
Now …. this is the most important thing I can tell you about travel writing: You need to give your piece a unique twist. A twist that will make editors and buyers want to publish it and want to pay for it. Being honest now, there is not a lot of demand for general 'the hotel was nice', 'the beach was nice' type resort reviews. That's been done to death a million times before.
So what could your unique twist be? Well, try writing about how your destination might appeal to families with difficult teenagers. Or single travelers. Or do a 'foodie' guide to the area. Or try and focus on unusual and off-the-beat track attractions in the area that no one's written about before – in writing there's always a demand for 'new'. Something that will make the editor think 'that's different', and want to buy it.
So then, who might buy your travel writing?
* Most newspapers have travel sections. Big features are often mandated from experienced travel writers. But you can make £ 20- £ 50 from fillers …. short 100/200 word tasters of a particular destination.
* Women's magazines are another good possible market, though not all of them do travel. Be sure to tailor your article to the type of reader they have. The magazine might be aimed at women with families, or the retired for example. They will not both be interested in the same articles.
* There are also some specialist travel magazines and newspapers. Like those for backpackers or round-the-worlders. Cruise and airline magazines are also good buyers for this type of writing.
International Living is one of my favorite living abroad-cum-travel magazines. They'll pay you US $ 50 (that's about £ 33 at today's exchange rate) for each short Postcard they buy from you. Their website is here: http://internationalliving.com
* Lastly do not forget websites. There are more travel websites than you can shake a stick at. Some of them pay £ £ 10 £ 100 for writing or £ 5- £ 10 for short reviews. (But, beware, some of them only publish free stuff so check first.)
One last tip: If you are writing about somewhere you've actually been or are going to try to include some good photos of the area that are relevant to your piece. (Not pics of your granite sat eating an ice cream on the beach though.) Ideally they need to be decent digital pics, not prints, that will print at least 300 dpi too. Not only will they help get your writing noticed by the editor much better …. you might even get some extra cash for them too!