How to Become a Travel Writer
Travel Writer Careers & Degrees

Travel Writers are professionals who are experienced in writing a variety of human interest stories focusing on travel.

Travel Writers will use their personal experience after visiting a tourist destination and write a critique of the destination as well as any recommended sites.

Travel Writers will document their experiences in using a variety of formats including blogs, travel magazines, blurbs, travel guides or documentaries.

Individuals who want to become a Travel Writer will need a combination of skills, education and experience in order to succeed in this profession.

Some useful personal skills may include the following: strong writing skills, social perceptiveness to help them determine the tone and style to use when writing to readers, creativity and determination in order to meet tight deadlines and seek freelance jobs.

Education Requirements to Become a Travel Writer

Individuals who want to become a Travel Writer will need to fulfill several requirements including education, experience writing and a portfolio with examples of their writings.

Exact educational requirements will depend on the type of employer an individual wants to work for.

For a full time position at an agency, individuals will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in order to become a Travel Writer.

Individuals pursuing freelance opportunities do not necessarily need a postsecondary degree, but will need to focus on gaining writing experience.

Some recommended degrees to become a Travel Writer include English, communications and journalism.

These programs will help students gain the necessary writing skills to succeed in this profession.

Although some bachelor programs have adapted their curriculum to reflect the improvements in technology, individuals are encouraged to master basic computer skills to help them succeed in this profession.

In addition, having multimedia and web design experience will help individuals have better job prospects.

Individuals are also encouraged to gain experience in the field in order to become a Travel Writer.

Many jobs available to those without professional experience are typically non paid internships.

Internships can be completed at high school or college newspapers, magazines, newspapers or travel blogs.

Individuals are encouraged to gain experience at a publication that focuses on travel.

Travel Writer Job Description

Travel Writers are professionals that are experienced in writing about travel and tourist destinations for an online or print publication.

These individuals may be hired by an agency, travel publication or work on freelance projects.

Individuals will work on a specific destination or topic assigned by their employer or client, experience the site for themselves and then write a full feature article about their experiences during their trip.

The following are some common tasks for Travel Writers:

  • Conduct research about the travel destination that has been assigned
  • Plan an itinerary for the trip to stay on schedule
  • Experience the travel destination firsthand
  • Write notes during the trip and visits to museums, restaurants and other tourist destinations
  • Explore the destination to find something unique or special
  • Write a draft to present to the editor
  • Make changes to the article based on an editor’s feedback

Travel Writers will need to have an understanding of the group they are writing for and make adjustments to the tone and language they use to complete articles.

Having an understanding of the group they are writing to is one of the strongest skills a writer can have.

Travel Writer Salary and Career Path

In 2012, the median salary for all writers and authors was approximately $55,940 per year.

Exact wages will depend on writing topic, professional reputation, writing projects completed and whether an individual works on a freelance basis or hired full time through an agency.

Salaries for all writers can range from $27,770 to $117,860 per year.

The job outlook for all writers is expected to grow at a slower than average rate when compared to other professions.

Job opportunities for this profession are projected to increase by 3 percent through the year 2022 which is comparatively slower than other fields and professions.

This growth is impacted by the decline in print media; however, individuals with multimedia and web experience can expect better job opportunities for companies providing services via electronic and digital forms.

Travel Writers are professionals who are experienced writing about the hospitality field and travel.

They spend time traveling to exotic destinations and writing about recommended sites, restaurants and attractions.

This can be an exciting career for individuals who are natural travelers and can write extensively and detailed articles about tourism.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$73,860
$33K
$46K
$73K
$87K
$122K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$66,990
Alaska$65,630
Arizona$55,500
Arkansas$44,400
California$90,970
Colorado$62,670
Connecticut$82,750
Delaware$63,430
District of Columbia$103,980
Florida$64,070
Georgia$66,820
Hawaii$51,210
Idaho$52,330
Illinois$66,820
Indiana$71,500
Iowa$52,780
Kansas$60,230
Kentucky$55,400
Louisiana$42,080
Maine$72,400
Maryland$74,750
Massachusetts$76,870
Michigan$61,010
Minnesota$65,110
Mississippi$58,470
Missouri$56,860
Montana$53,690
Nebraska$50,570
Nevada$53,800
New Hampshire$60,030
New Jersey$80,690
New Mexico$69,330
New York$91,280
North Carolina$67,560
North Dakota$53,350
Ohio$53,790
Oklahoma$46,860
Oregon$69,070
Pennsylvania$63,140
Rhode Island$67,260
South Carolina$53,430
South Dakota$56,590
Tennessee$50,770
Texas$57,550
Utah$50,630
Vermont$62,480
Virginia$70,740
Washington$68,010
West Virginia$65,260
Wisconsin$60,390
Wyoming$47,670
Puerto Rico$43,770

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $103,980.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

District of Columbia - $103,980
New York - $91,280
California - $90,970
Connecticut - $82,750
New Jersey - $80,690
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Writers and Authors, OCC Code 27-3043, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat does a travel writer do?

A travel writer is someone who creates informational articles on various destinations.

A professional can be creating print and online publications and work for a certain company/organization or be self-employed.

Travel writers can be using their personal experience and knowledge to describe the destinations.

The professionals may be asked to create travel guides, articles, blurbs, and so on.

Sometimes a travel writer might be required to accompany the text with photographs.

In case you find this career path appealing, you should be ready to complete extensive fact checks and meet deadlines.

QuestionHow much do travel writers make?

On average, a travel writer can make a little more than $62.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to choose this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $32.000 and 122.000 annually.

The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your education and experience level, the employer, the location and so on.

An entry-level travel writer can earn around $10.00 per hour, while a top-level professional with plenty of experience can make $57.00 and more per hour.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a travel writer?

There certainly are travel writers that can succeed thanks to their talent alone; however, in most cases, a certificate or an undergraduate degree will make you more competitive in the job market.

A short-term writing certificate program can cost you a few hundred (or thousands) of dollars.
You might want to go for an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in writing, English, communication, journalism or a related field.

A year in a university can cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $45.000 (and more); the cost depends on a variety of factors (the books, supplies, and accommodation expenses are not included).

You don’t necessarily have to travel to become a travel writer; some readers might find your home country (town) to be extremely interesting.

QuestionWhat is the demand for travel writers?

Between 2012 and 2022, the travel writer job market is expected to grow by 3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That is a little slower than the average for all occupations in the United States.

Even though the Internet can create a lot of new working places, the competition in the industry is extremely high.

Those who have a degree and plenty of experience will have the best job prospects.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a travel writer?

There is plenty of writing certificate programs; the short-term ones can last only for a few weeks or months, while others might require a year or two of your time.

It will take you 2 years to acquire an associate’s degree and 4 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

Any kind of industry experience is extremely beneficial, so make sure to seek internship or training opportunities.

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