Travel Tips for Freelance Writers


The soft sigh of the wind as it blows across acres of serried pine, the ancient steps of a well-trodden stone stairway as it switchbacks before a ruinous monastery, that curiously perfect quality of light as the sun dips below the horizon, setting the undulating hills and vineyards ablaze in variegated reds, oranges and vermilions – it’s this imagery that often compels us to step outside and wander, to seek and to explore. The call to adventure is broadcast loudly to all, but not everyone listens to or heeds it. Only a select few, those with a burning passion for travel and exploration, drop everything and make the necessary sacrifices to pursue a life on the road. Sacrifice is a key word here, because making a living off of travel, while immensely attractive, is not easy. It is accessible, however, especially with budget airlines continuously adding new destinations.

If you’ve ever found yourself staring at a blank page and waiting for inspiration to find you, then you know how difficult writing can be. That doesn’t mean it can’t be rewarding or lucrative, but it is a demanding and arduous pursuit. You have to go at it alone, however. There’s a lot of resources online which all contain helpful information about how to go about becoming a successful freelance or travel writer. This article isn’t about that. Rather, we’re going to offer a few important travel tips that may have been overlooked when beginning your travel writing venture.

Understand your taxes

Being a freelance writer means that you are essentially self-employed. That’s not to say, however, that you don’t have to pay tax. It just means that the tax parameters for the self-employed operate in a different manner to say an office worker. Paying tax is important for anyone who doesn’t want to end up in trouble, but beyond that, knowing what constitutes an expense will help you when it comes to declaring items that might be tax deductible, and this will save you a lot of money in the future. This could be anything from telephone and internet fees, clothing, travel costs, and basically any expense that your business requires to make money.

Give every article a narrative

Each article you write should read like a story. It shouldn’t feel like a shopping list of sights and experiences you’ve had, but rather should have a solid narrative that incorporates a beginning and an end, stunning visual imagery, and visceral connections that leave the reader wanting more. After all, there’s no quicker way to lose a reader than through poor writing or boring content.

Check your facts

In a world of fake news, dubious media and alternative facts, double checking that your information is true is paramount to gaining readers’ trust. Obviously this doesn’t encroach into the political sphere. However, if you’re writing about ancient palaces and cities, wars and revolutions, ensuring veracity, pinpointing dates and spelling names correctly is pretty important. It therefore helps to crosscheck everything from multiple sources as well as edit critically before publishing a post.

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.