These days, more and more people are turning towards the remote work lifestyle, not just because of the pandemic, but because people are increasingly interested in prioritizing their wellbeing and having more of a work-life balance. For some, this simply means being able to work from home, but for others, it means traveling and working on the road or from a remote destination.
As blissful as working from a tropical locale sounds, however, it’s not always as easy and ideal as you might think. It takes more than good writing skills to succeed as a travel writer. Like any job, it has its ups and downs, and you’ve got to truly want it and have a passion for what you’re doing to make it work.
If you don’t want to end up broke and crawling home defeated, there are a few steps you should take and tips you can follow to ensure you have a rewarding career as a freelance travel writer.
1. Learn Tips and Tricks from Seasoned Travel Writers
The saying, “listen to your elders,” didn’t catch on for no reason. The idea behind it is that those who have more experience likely have some sage advice that can keep us from making the same mistakes they did. The same goes for travel writing.
There are a lot of travel bloggers out there that make the whole thing seem like a dream, but it’s the writers with the gritty tales and the mishaps that you want to listen to. Those are the ones who are going to give it to you straight. They’ll likely tell you that you’re not going to become a success overnight. And they’re right. It takes hard work and dedication to your writing if you want to succeed.
2. Pack the Right Tools and Other Essentials
When you’re writing on the road or in some remote part of the world, you never know what might happen. It’s important to prepare and pack the right items to ensure you’ll have everything you’ll need.
- Adaptors and power cords: The last thing you need when you’re on a deadline is to realize you don’t have the right charging adapter for the country you’re in. Always, always, always bring adaptors and power strips on your trip with you. Additionally, it’s helpful to use ones with extended cords as there may not always be seating available right next to an outlet.
- A VPN: Some countries monitor and censor internet use, so it’s essential to connect with a virtual private network (VPN) to ensure you can safely browse the internet and check your email.
- Quality headphones: When you’re in a time crunch and need to focus, a good pair of headphones can help you block everything out. Even if you’re not in a hurry, headphones are essential for those times when you have no choice but to work in a noisy café or coffee shop.
3. Research Workspaces Ahead of Time
Though some travel writers move around on a whim, flying by the seat of your pants will not always cut it. If you land somewhere with limited reception and internet access, you’ll have difficulty trying to hunt down places where you can work. It’s always in your best interest to do a little research before heading out so you have at least a couple of ideas for where you can plop down and dig into your writing. Coffee shops, for example, are usually good go-tos in cities with limited internet access.
4. Invest in a Good Mobile Phone Plan
When you’re on the road in an area you’re not familiar with, having a phone with a good plan offers you the security you need in case something happens. No two service providers are the same, and some offer better reception and long-distance plans than others. Additionally, it’s a smart idea to invest in a few good writing apps. If something happens to your laptop, your phone can work as a blogging backup.
5. Make It Personal
When it comes to your writing, it’s helpful to incorporate personal details to appeal to readers and grab their attention. Some of the best travel writers use their personal experiences in their writing. When you put a personal touch on your writing by adding little anecdotes about your travels, you are more likely to connect with your readers. Don’t be afraid to snap a few selfies, either. The more pictures, the better. Readers don’t just want to read about what you’re doing; they want to see it too.
6. Stick to a Routine
It’s easy to get distracted when working in a remote destination. There are so many new experiences that you’ll want to partake in, and of course, you should. That’s kind of the point of working as a travel writer, isn’t it? However, if you get caught up in the newness of it all, it’s easy to fall behind on your writing. When planning your next writing destination, make a schedule for yourself and stick to it as much as possible.
8. Stay Connected, Stay Happy
One of the most important things you can do as a travel writer is to stay connected. Traveling the world is an amazing opportunity, but it’s easy to get lonely and lose track of what makes you happy and why you decided to become a travel writer in the first place—touch base with your friends and loved ones back home as much as possible. You can also find other remote workers like yourself to connect with at local coffee shops or through online groups, which can help you establish a sense of community wherever you are.
The key to being a successful travel writer is staying happy and enjoying what you’re doing as much as possible. If you love what you do, then others will love reading what you write.