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Become a Travel Writer—See the World and Deduct It as a Business Expense!

by Marcia Yudkin

Along with syndicated columnist and best-selling novelist, travel writer certainly ranks high in most people's conception of glamour jobs.  In my beginning freelance writing courses, I tell aspirants that they shouldn't expect magazines to send them all expenses paid to the Galapagos Islands, at least not until they've broken into National Geographic after years and years of paying their dues. 

On the other hand, I cite a friend who got an assignment from Fortune magazine to report on golfing in Asia, for which she visited four countries in eight days, with all expenses not covered by golf resorts and airline "comps" taken care of by Fortune in addition to her writing fee.  If that sounds like your idea of an exhilarating time — warning: it's hard work! — then you've found the right page.

Even if you're mostly a stay-at-home, you can write travel articles about your local area for those to whom it would be interesting and exotic.  Remember that museum of Revolutionary War farm implements you went to as a 4-H kid years ago?  The mysterious prehistoric ruins in the heart of the local state forest?  The ill-fated, now-being-revived local restaurant in the shape of a rocket ship?  All these and more are destinations for travelers who live elsewhere.

Published! How to Reach Writing Success


Breaking in and becoming successful as a travel writer requires that you understand at least the following:

  • cautions and caveats about complimentary travel expenses

  • markets for travel writing besides travel magazines and travel Web sites

  • travel writing clichés to avoid

  • research tricks and fact checking

  • when to query before a trip and when to wait until your return

  • how much you can make in this specialty

The following articles get you oriented to the field for no cost at all.

Interviews with or Profiles of Successful Travel Writers

Dennis McCann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Jeanne Oliver, Guidebook Author

Paul Otteson, Guidebook Author

Pico Iyer, Travel Commentary Author

Copyright 2001, 2007 Marcia Yudkin. All rights reserved.  

If you'd like to see your travel writing in the likes of Travel & Leisure, the New York Times' Sophisticated Traveler, Outside or the Atlantic Monthly, check out the advanced home-study course, Breaking Into Major Magazines.  Complete assignments at your own pace and get personal feedback from Marcia Yudkin.


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