Travel Writing Not All Fun and Sun

Posted by Chika On 9:49 AM

The average person may regard travel writing as among the world's most blessed professions, but the reality is often quite different, as once again pointed out in this eye-opening article by Susan McKee.

Travel writing not all fun and sun
Strong ethics, research keys to success

By Susan McKee

As a professional travel writer, I occupy a place in the journalistic hierarchy somewhere just above pond scum. It’s tricky territory for a freelancer for two major reasons: press trips and poseurs.

Almost all newspapers and magazines still buying freelance will not pick up a writer’s expenses, and the rates they pay don’t come close to making up that shortfall. Freelancers are responsible for their own health insurance and other costs that are typically part of the benefits package for an employed journalist. Add in travel time and, as one writer put it, the profit margin shrivels like salted leeches in the sun.

If you don’t have a trust fund to underwrite your travel writing specialty, two solutions beckon: write only about your own hometown (yawn!) or take press trips.

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