Travel journalism is a popular choice among young people who want to mix pleasure with necessity and create a piece of art that characterizes their inner selves and compliments their CVs. It is not unusual for a traveller to have a blog packed with vacation thoughts and interesting pictures, but most of them simply keep it as soul nourishment.
Although being a travel journalist requires both skills and passion, travellers usually check all the necessary requirements that can skyrocket them into a job they will love. There are a lot of employers willing to pay passionate travellers for their work, so why not give it a try?
First of all, you must illustrate writing skills and expertise on your blog, because this is the safest [and fastest] way to get recognized and gain credibility. Enthusiastic adventurers who post high-quality entries twice a week can pitch editors, but keep in mind that the entries should be consistent to show dedication.
Travellers aren’t usually picky about their destinations; all that matters is the journey, but if you want to transform your passion into a profession, being broad is not the answer. Successful travel journalists have a niche and develop an area of expertise, so DON’T pitch broad ideas or worse- city guides. Your choice must be appealing to a broader audience, but eccentricity is something editors look for.
The travelling style speaks volumes about the personality of the traveller, and so do the locations carefully handpicked. The publication for which you want to write should be chosen with the same degree of attention, otherwise your working relation is bound to fail. After you’ve decided to fructify your summer adventures and show them to the world via a certain magazine, make sure that you familiarize yourself with it and pay attention to the type of stories they usually publish. There is nothing worse than a passionate, yet unprepared pitch!
So you have a travel bug. What next? After you’ve travelled the whole summer back and forth and you’ve checked all the nice places you wanted to see this year, you might find yourself in a rather unpleasant financial situation. Luckily, your photos and memories will not go to waste if you are willing to understand how to develop trustworthy sources, uncover facts and dig out information. People with no journalism education or experience, but with a laptop full of travel notes and beautiful pictures can still pursue a career in travel journalism, provided that they have good writing [and reporting] skills and are open to learning more about this profession.
Twitter has also become a very valuable resource for travel journalists because it helps them raise their profile, establish contacts and find out what other people from this domain are writing about. However, the cherry on top is NOT to exaggerate; if you are interested in popular locations, don’t use nice words and endless sentences to describe a place which is already saturated with exposure. Instead, try to point out its underground appeal and stay away from clichés.
Travellers can become successful travel journalists, because they can offer something readers long for: sincerity. They know all the dos and don’ts, all the nice hotels and hip bars, but they are also well aware of the negative parts [bad hotels and restaurants, uninteresting locations, pricey bars etc.]. If you are an adventurer yourself and you don’t know what to do with all your summer memories, maybe it’s time to show them to the world and earn some money, too.