I have a confession to make. I’m a fraud. Not the kind of fraud who hacks your bank account and jets off for a month in St Tropez. But over the past few months a few people have got the impression I am a full time blogger. Not the case. Yes, I am a travel blogger. Yes, I am a freelance travel writer for a luxury publication. Yes, I get sent on some rather fabulous press trips. But I also have a 9-5 job. (9-5.30 if we’re going to be precise).
The reason I want to share this all with you is because a lot of people get a false impression that travel bloggers make a living purely from jetting off around the world and writing about it. Whilst, for a select few, this is the reality, most of us also work a secure job to ensure we bring home some dough every month. I think it’s important for any aspiring travel writers to realise this.
But it’s not all bad. In fact, it’s pretty damn marvellous. Because I love my full time job as much as I love freelancing and running The Travelista (well, almost). I work as a Digital Content Executive for a British travel company which is part of the Cox and Kings group. My job includes writing for the company blog, managing the social media channels, writing inspiring content for the website and generally thinking up exciting ways to inspire people to book a holiday!
Working for a travel company has incredible perks, and I often get to travel through my full time job as well as through my blog and freelancing work. I get sent on familiarisation trips (known as ‘fam trips’ in the biz) to experience one of our hotels or products. My next fam trip is to Northern Ireland where I will spend a week doing crazy adventure activities such as whale watching, shark angling and learning to surf – wet suit permitting! (I know I couldn’t quite believe all that was possible in Ireland either when I found out – but I’m excited!). I’m also going to Amsterdam to present and shoot a city guide for our You Tube channel and website. But as well as all this excitement, I also spend a lot time in the office chained to my desk, just like millions of other people in the world. Being a travel writer still requires you to put in the man hours and actually produce the content you’re sent on these trips for.
In amongst all that, I run my dear little bloggy wog The Travelista. Everything I write for The Travelista is unique content for my lovely readers, all of which is written in my spare time. When I jet off on a freelance press trip, I write an article about it for a print magazine publication and will also write about my travel experience on this ‘ere blog. Going on a press trip means I have to take annual leave from my full time job, so I am essentially taking time off from one job to do another! But the travel experiences are incredible and are a great way to meet fellow travel journos – we always have a great time! My next press trip is to Sardinia at the end of August.
You can read my story about how I got into freelance travel writing here
So for those wanting to get into travel writing full time, I would wholeheartedly suggest working for a travel company to begin with along side running your blog (read my tips on how to start a travel blog here). Try to set up your blog before you go for a job with a travel company as it will be a huge attribute to your CV and will demonstrate your passion for the industry. I say this because we recently hired a girl into our Digital Content team and she pipped her other candidates as she had set up her own travel blog and showed initiative by bringing some sample blog posts to her interview. She is now my colleague!
Try and find a creative / marketing / writing role within the company. It’s amazing how much you will learn about the travel industry and you’ll pick up some great contacts along the way. Heck, you might even get sent on fam trips too like me, which will provide you with some awesome content for your blog. All easier said than done but the jobs are out there, and somebody’s got to do them! Why shouldn’t it be you?
So a day in the life of this little travel blogger is pretty crazy. I often find it hard to switch off and I am constantly drafting up new blog posts in my head on my commute to work or in the gym. I’m pretty addicted to my iPhone, my laptop and my blog. With my finger in so many different pies, I often spend over 50 hours a week working and writing, glued to the monitor of a PC or my laptop. It’s a lot of hard work, but it also the perks in travel are indescribable and worth every moment of overtime. I wake up thinking about travel and I go to sleep thinking about travel –but why wouldn’t I? It’s my passion, and if you love what you do, work often doesn’t feel like work at all. So I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Are you an aspiring travel writer? Are you a current travel blogger who also works full time? If this post has inspired you or you can relate in some way, leave me a comment in the box below! I would love to hear from you x
And Just in case you were wondering…
What is a ‘Press Trip’? A press trip usually coordinated by the PR Company of a hotel or tourist board. The PR agency invites journalists to experience the hotel / destination, all free of charge. The journalist then writes an article about their experience for their relevant publication, providing publicity for the hotel or tourist board.
What is a ‘familiarisation trip’? A familiarisation trip is when members of a travel company or agency are invited to experience a hotel or product that that company sells. Whilst Press Trips are to ensure publicity, fam trips are to ensure travel professionals are clued up a particular product, with the belief that if you can talk about something personally you are more likely to be able to sell it to a customer.