Keen to explore new places near and far – and get paid for it? It is possible: travel writing is a great way to set up an extra income stream without having to quit your day job, and it can help scratch that creative itch too. Read on for 7 signs you’d make a great travel writer.
1. Travel is your passion
If you would rather spend money on train tickets than new clothes, if you spend long weekends driving to interesting little towns, beaches or lakes instead of staying home on the couch, if you’ve got a list of dream holidays as long as your arm: you might just be the perfect fit for travel writing.
2. You’re not afraid to take a chance
To find the best local restaurants, the secret shortcut, or the place to stand to see a stupendous sunset, you will need to try things out. If you’re writing about Paris, suggesting that your readers visit the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre isn’t going to excite them: you need to get off the beaten track, talk to locals and give things a go. Good travel writers are optimistic and flexible, and they know that even if their plans don’t work out, they can still end up with a great story to tell!
3. You enjoy writing creatively
Good travel writing will help the reader feel as if they were there with you. Simply listing the facts of the situation isn’t going to do that. You don’t need to be over-the-top, but your writing needs to be evocative and draw your reader in.
4. You’re realistic
Getting paid to travel sounds too good to be true – and don’t get us wrong, it’s a great job to have. But if you take a week’s holiday a year and you look forward to it as an opportunity to really switch off, leave your phone and laptop at home and relax, travel writing might not be for you – it’s a very different kind of holiday. Even though you’re out and about experiencing a new place, you’ll be asking questions, gathering information, and taking notes so you remember exactly how something looked or tasted or felt in that moment. If you’re an inquisitive and active traveller already, you might be the perfect fit as a travel writer!
5. You’re a natural linguist
You don’t need to learn a whole new language every time you go to a new country – but a few key words and phrases will go a long way! ‘Hello’, ‘goodbye’, ‘please/thank you’, ‘water’ and ‘how much’ are basics to master, and you can add to them depending on the holiday you’re planning.
6. You pack light
As a travel writer you’ll probably have a laptop, notebook and maybe some other tools with you: you don’t want a suitcase with half your wardrobe in it too. If you are a quick, organised packer, you’ll be well-prepared for any kind of travel writing.
7. You’re confident
Whether it’s figuring out the public transport in a foreign country or negotiating with an editor, having self-confidence is key for travel writers. To get the gig in the first place you need to market yourself as a writer, and you could be setting the agenda for your trip yourself: you need to back yourself to do the job well.
If travel writing appeals to you, our Travel Writing course will teach you all about how the industry works, how to pitch successfully and how to write in a way that will capture readers’ imaginations.