What Should I Major In To Become A Travel Writer?

"I want a career that allows me to fuse my love for travel and writing at the same time. I’m thinking of compiling a guide book of my experiences eventually so I can also help others who want to go to a particular destination. I want to prepare for this career so I’d like to know: What should I major in so I can become a travel writer?"

asked by Jackie C. from Irvine, California

If you want to embark on a career as a travel writer, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a course that will hone your writing skills. Thankfully, there are a number of majors that you can choose from that will help you in this regard. But before we proceed with the possible majors that you can take, let’s take the preparation further back in high school.

It is recommended that you learn what you can from your English and Literature classes so you already have a solid knowledge about grammar. You should also try to be a part of the school publication so that you get the feel of what it’s like to work as a journalist even if the activities you cover happen only within the confines of your school.

There are a lot of possible college majors that you can take that will prepare you to become a travel writer. One of these is English. In addition to helping you master the language through the reading of literary masterpieces and the constant writing and rewriting of essays and other works, being an English major will also teach you to read and write with a critical eye and research every assignment thoroughly. This skill will help you write objectively about hotels, destinations and activities when you become a travel writer.

Another major to consider is that of journalism. You will learn how to have the “nose for news” so you can write for print publications like magazines, newspapers and online platforms. You will also be taught how to proofread and edit your work and how to find leads and sources for your news. These preparations are certainly going to help you when you start writing about the places you go to and the events you took part in.

Aspiring travel writers may also opt to major in communications. This will give you the background on the dynamics of human interaction, whether it is with themselves or between people and mass media. You will be dealing with different kinds of individuals in the course of your travels and knowing how to deal with them plays an important role in your ability to enjoy the exploration of a particular place or not.

A liberal arts degree may not focus on improving your writing skills but the general knowledge and critical thinking skills you get from it will help prepare you for a career as a travel writer. Since you will be going to different places in the world which hold various philosophies, religions and beliefs, the background you have will help you navigate the sensitive cultural differences that you will encounter in your travels.

Whatever major you choose, it would also be to your advantage if you take classes in photography as well since documenting your travels through pictures and even videos will be a part of your job. It is also a good idea to learn about computers and new media since there’s a good chance that you could be working for an online travel publication when you graduate.

Career Spotlight: Travel Writer

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