What Does A Travel Writer Do?
At its most basic, travel writers do only two things: They travel and they write. While going places and writing reviews about each destination is how the job of a travel writer is described in a nutshell, it isn’t actually as easy as it sounds. Travel writers have to genuinely love traveling and be able to find their way in very unfamiliar places. A genuine love for traveling encompasses a lot of things, too. It means that they should be comfortable in riding whatever accommodation that will take to get to their destination—from taxis to buses to airplanes to motorcycles to bicycles to camels and other animals. It also means that they should be willing to stay in various accommodations—from the cheapest hostels to the most expensive five-star hotels and resorts. Travel writers need to have the inherent knack for being able to get around unfamiliar places among people who don’t even speak English. This is one of the challenges that travel writers constantly meet on the job.
Most travel writers work freelance so it initially takes a lot of travel and hard work before they can establish their portfolio of travel articles before they can get more steady assignments from guidebooks, magazines and travel-focused websites. When asked to go on assignment, travel writers would have to do background research about the destination through available resources. They would then map out their itinerary so that they will be able to make the most of their travel time and save on expenses. Although they are given a budget on their travel expenses, it is not unlimited. A well-planned itinerary is crucial to the success of a travel writer on the job.
Travel writers will then have to make the necessary flight and hotel reservations. If the independent review was commissioned by the hotel then reserving the hotel recommendation would not be a problem. At other times, the travel writer would have to be left to his own devices. This can be very challenging especially when the destination to be explored is off-the-beaten-track. Sometimes, the writer will just have to get to the country of destination and then wing it from there.
Upon arriving at the place, the adventure of the travel writer starts. If the review is meant to cover the accommodation itself, the writer will observe everything—from the bed sheets to the water supply to the service provided by the staff. They will observe the rooms, the service provided by the staff and the rest of the amenities of the hotel. They will note other important things that concern most travelers, especially the safety of the place, the cleanliness of the accommodation and the cost of the stay, including meals. They will also evaluate the activities that the hotel has prepared for guests.
Aside from covering accommodations, travel writers may also be tasked to cover celebrations and festivals. To be able to give an accurate picture of the activity, the writer must be present and experience the revelry in all its fullness. While they are enjoying the action, they should still be alert enough to note the various issues that travelers should watch out for. These include safety concerns, the food that can be tried and others.
Travel writers also include the actual travel experience in various modes of transport that get them to their destination. They will reveal practical tips such as where the traveler should get their ticket and how much they should pay for it, what stop to get off at in order to arrive at a particular destination and if there are other safety issues that travelers should watch out for when they ride public transportation.
After experiencing a destination, travel writers then record their reviews and observations about it. This is usually done in the comfort of their hotel room. They recall the entire experience and incorporate their thoughts and tips to their reviews. They also choose the pictures or video that would accompany their write-up. They would then send the articles to their editor who will do the final edits before putting it to print. The length of time that travel writers are given to submit their articles to their editors vary depending on how in-depth the coverage is. There are some travel guide publishers that commission a travel writer to write one whole guidebook for an entire country. Obviously, these kinds of assignments are going to take longer to accomplish.