Any wise traveler will admit to conducting extensive study before traveling, and this includes reading articles from top travel journalists. After all, these articles offer valuable information about the places we’re always dreaming of visiting. With the right information, you can choose an ideal travel destination, learn about cultural sensitivities you need to be aware of, and make any logistical preparations in advance.
A simple Google search for a specific activity, country, or piece of travel advice might be quite beneficial to someone who is planning a trip soon. These days, experiences are prized more than material goods. For this reason, travel writing is increasingly in demand and travel journalism is more attractive as a career than it was before.
What is travel journalism?
Travel journalism is an essential source of information that helps readers and viewers better understand global cultures and significant tourist information regarding the destinations they want to visit. Since the world is becoming smaller due to globalization, articles from travel writers serve as travel guides.
Today’s travel journalists create stories and provide information about both popular destinations and unknown destinations. This information goes beyond the accommodation, attractions, or activities available. Travel journalism offers an in-depth look into a travel culture while keeping readers up to date on current global travel events. One of the reasons travel journalism is so important is that it provides a marketing platform for people from other countries to act as mediators, representing their culture globally and promoting tourism.
Many modern travel writers are now creating content for social media, blogs, and electronic books, dramatically transforming the travel writing landscape. However, the profession of a “conventional” travel writer is being challenged by the emergence of effective travel review sites, online commentaries, and increasing internet access to travel information. The impact of digital media on this specialized area of journalism and how people are adapting to the travel press today is effectively demonstrated in travel journalism. Travel journalism ranges from the explorative documentary to more literary and journalistic pieces, and hilarious stories recounting travel experiences. Travel columns and articles can easily be found in newspapers, periodicals, and journals.
Role of travel journalist
Nature and intellect both play an essential role in travel journalism. Ideally, a writer should allow a reader to explore the destination through their writing. A journalist should bring their descriptions to life and physically take the reader to their destination. As a result, travel journalism requires both instinct and knowledge. Before we look at the top travel journalists and influencers in 2022, let us look at how one can become a travel journalist and things to look out for when looking for the ideal travel journalist.
1) Develop the right mindset
It’s going to be difficult. You’re going against the trend and attempting to do something that wasn’t a viable source of income a few decades ago. It will be a challenging climb, but it will be well worth it if you take the right measures. Have faith in your abilities as a storyteller, and work hard to grow and perfect them. Never stop studying and improving your skills. If you’re an engaging writer, then you should know that you have special abilities that the rest of the world should be aware of. It is now easier than ever to make a name for yourself as a travel writer. Gather all of the necessary resources, create a game plan, and prepare to turn many of your travel experiences into stories.
2) Write constantly
This is a no-brainer. You must practice writing if you want to become a travel writer. For starters, you can do something as small as writing about your summer vacation plans. This will be useful to someone somewhere, regardless of whether you’re going to the beach, exploring your new town, or taking an exciting journey abroad.
It’s crucial to be detailed in your writing. Talk about a memorable encounter you had with someone you met on the street. Tell your readers about a fun trip you went on with your parents when you were little. Anything that engages the imagination could win you a loyal reader who’s always waiting to hear about your next adventure.
To make it as a travel journalist, you don’t have to write the next Moby Dick. Writing consistently engaging journal-style blog posts is good enough. Feel free to follow the tangents your mind takes you on and as you pour your ideas and feelings onto the page.
3) Read constantly
There is no better strategy to improve your writing skills than to read work from other writers. Allow your wanderlust to take control as you dive into magazines like National Geographic, Travel & Leisure, or Lonely Planet. Additionally, make sure you look through the top travel blogs that have made it to the first page of Google or have won awards. You should also read stories about travel, such as works by “greats” and more recent authors. What’s the point of all this reading, you might wonder? This will help you learn about different genres, figure out what makes specific genres so compelling and choose which writing styles you prefer. Voila! You can now combine some of these strategies with your creative ability to produce even more remarkable stories.
4) Put aside the resources to travel
Many of us have a preconceived notion about travel writers. We often imagine their excursions as luxurious, round-the-world adventures that we cannot afford at this point in our hectic life. What’s stopping you from pursuing a career as a travel writer? You may be unable to travel because you have a full-time job, a family to care for, and just $7 in your savings account. However, in order to write about traveling, you must travel! Fortunately, your trips don’t have to be as glamorous as you may imagine, at least not at first.
Make a broad list of all the reasons you haven’t been able to travel and develop solutions for each one. Make a plan for overcoming these obstacles. If your objective is to be a travel writer and sell your stories, you’ll go to any length to achieve your goal. Your problems require specific solutions. Remember that “genuine” travel does not require you to travel to another country. You can easily take a short road trip or weekend break to the next city or state over and write a story that goes viral. You’d be shocked what experiences you can take advantage of right in your own backyard.
5) Decide what kind of writing you want to do
Do you wish to create travel guides, hotel reviews, ebooks, periodicals, or full-fledged novels as a career? You need need to ask yourself that question before diving into the deep end. Once you’ve answered the question, you have to decide whether you’ll be working as a freelance travel writer, partnering with other travel writers, or working for a travel agency. Travel writing isn’t just about churning out one generic travel guide after another. After all, Google is filled with these guides. You’ll stand out even more from the flood of travel content out there if your content is unique. You have a strong voice and you steer away from the generic listicle format. Create material you’re proud of and you’ll blaze a path of your own.
6) Build your brand
Even if you’re just starting out, it’s critical to establish yourself as an authority on the themes you’re writing about if you want to become a travel writer. As a travel writer, the more confident you are in your own work, the more credible and trustworthy you will be deemed. It’s all about establishing your brand and letting the world know who you are. Choose a catchy name for your blog (make sure it hasn’t already been taken) that accurately expresses who you are and what you stand for.
7) Get on social media
The most popular social media networks for travel writers are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If someone likes your content and wants to stay up to date, they’ll probably want to follow you on social media. Consistently posting information on your social media sites might be tedious at times, especially if you’re not used to it. Thankfully, numerous social media scheduling tools are available to help you save time.
8) Pitch your writing
Examine the publications you want to be a part of and imagine yourself as the editor. What exactly are they on the lookout for? What are their rules and regulations? Are they looking for completed articles or proposals? Locate the editors and include their names in your email pitch to personalize it. Keep it short and sweet, but make sure it’s packed with meaning and valuable information about your content.
Do you need help sending the perfect pitch? Pressfarm offers quality media outreach services that can generate the publicity your startup deserves. The PR experts at Pressfarm are skilled at helping startups to connect with the best media professionals to tell their stories. For starters, they build custom media lists for each client, containing media contacts in their specific industry. In addition, each client gets access to an extensive media database of over 1 million journalists across industries. With these contact details, you can reach out to the media whenever you have a story to share.
If you need help with the pitching process, Pressfarm also has pitch templates that you can adapt to your situation. Beyond helping you connect with the right media professionals. The Pressfarm team can also create quality content to share with these contacts. From writing press releases to developing feature stories and designing creative media kits. Pressfarm has what it takes to help your brand capture media attention.
9) Prepare for rejection
You will not be accepted by every organization, blogger, or opportunity. This could be because they aren’t seeking travel writers right now, or you don’t fulfill all of their preferred criteria. They will generally respond with a courteous email to let you know. If you want to work as a travel writer, you’ll need to learn to deal with rejection and not take it personally. There are countless opportunities for you to seize out there. So learn to move on and find success elsewhere when one outlet turns you down.
10) Persevere and be consistent
Keep your chin up and keep sending your work out to people, no matter how many rejection emails you get! If you have to, send different pitches to the same individuals. Send them a professional follow-up message if they don’t react within a week. Don’t give up, and you will eventually find your place in this industry.
Top Travel Journalists in 2022
The top travel journalists we are about to look at have gotten to the level of expertise they are currently at because they’ve followed all the advice above to a tee. Let us look at a few of the big names in this space.
1) Lindsay Tigar – Freelance travel and lifestyle journalist
Lindsay Tigar is a New York-based lifestyle and travel journalist with over a decade of experience. Her on-location travel experiences, meticulous attention to detail, stunning imagery, and unique perspective will transport you to a magical world. Tigar’s work has been featured in Vogue, USA Today, and National Geographic, among others.
She works as a content strategist and editor for various businesses, covering topics such as lifestyle, health, fitness, career, and relationships, in addition to travel writing. She claims to have ‘helped raise traffic to corporate blogs by more than 300% using her website.
2) Geoffrey Morrison
LA-based Geoffrey Morrison is a travel and technology journalist who has contributed to The New York Times, CNET, Sound+Vision, and a variety of other websites and magazines. He is presently Wirecutter’s Editor-at-Large. Morrison spends most of the year traveling worldwide as a digital nomad, documenting his adventures and experiences at BaldNomad.com.
Morrison is also the author of the bestselling novel ‘Undersea’ and the sequel, ‘Undersea Atrophia.’ His work is constantly praised for its unique and fascinating perspective and its sense of humor.
3) Lavanya Sunkara – Freelance writer
Do you know anyone who has snorkeled with the Galapagos sea lions? Have you ever studied whales in Costa Rica? Have you visited Iceland’s glaciers or cared for wallabies in Australia? As an animal lover, Lavanya Sunkara has done all of this and wants to do more!
Eco-travel, wildlife dialogue, mild adventure, small-ship cruises, road excursions. And pets are some of her favorite things to write about. Sunkara’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Forbes, USA Today, and The Huffington Post.
She has written on animal welfare issues for NBC Portside and the Barpost. Beyond that, she has collaborated on an eBook about shark conservation with TV naturalist Jeff Corwin. She is currently an Earthwatch Communications Fellow on their Safeguarding Whales and Dolphins research trip in Costa Rica. Where she continues to advocate for marine conservation.
4) Tanner Garrity – Senior Editor at InsideHook
Tanner Garrity is a traveler, blogger, and journalist who now works for InsideHooks as an Associate Editor, curating their weekly travel newsletter, “The Journey.” He also writes about fashion, fitness, and pop culture. Garrity’s work has appeared in publications such as Points in Case, McSweeney’s, Men’s Journal, and others. His writing style is funny, and he offers readers a wealth of helpful travel hacking tips and reviews.
Travel journalists and influencers transport people to hundreds of wonderful destinations across the world daily. By combining knowledge with sensation. They can deliver the information that readers need to learn about the places they are planning on visiting. It does take a lot of time and effort to hone the craft. But learning how to create appropriate content to attract audiences will be beneficial in the long run.