How to Become a Professional Travel Journalist

Journalism and the pursuit of a successful and fruitful career in the field is much more of a lifetime vocation than just another job role.

If you truly want to amalgamate your feelings of wanderlust with your naturally inquisitive personality, then travel journalism sounds like the career for you. Continue reading to learn how to become a professional travel journalist.

What Skills Do You Need?

Naturally, the key skillsets and personality attributes required to become a professional journalist seamlessly transfer to one which is centered around travel journalism.

Such skills you should begin to work on immediately or else learn how to master in your pursuit of a career in travel journalism include:

  • Active observation skills
  • High level of self-awareness
  • An ability to devise multi-level descriptions
  • Bilingual dialogue skills
  • Excellent communication and people skills

How to Kickstart Your Career in Travel Journalism

Naturally, you must be an individual with an outstanding level of written language skills, as well as an innate and automatic access to a wide-ranging and diverse vocabulary, and if this still sounds like you, it is time to start planning your professional journey.

First, you must enroll and subsequently successfully acquire a bachelor’s degree in English language or, even more ideal, an undergraduate degree in journalism itself. When researching various colleges and universities near you, be sure to check out Texas State admission requirements and GPA, to ensure you are fully prepared ahead of your official application.

Different Types of Travel Journalists

Unless you have already engaged in a fair amount of research, you may well be surprised to learn that there are three main different types of travel journalists and it is vital that you concentrate on one area only, at least initially. The different pathways within travel journalism are:

1.   Freelance Travel Journalists

Most professional and successful travel journalists who have worked in the industry for many years are freelance travel journalists.

They pitch their ideas for an article to various editors and when they are commissioned, they travel to the specific location and write their article. The idealistic view of travel journalism is essentially lived out by freelance travel journalists.

2.   Travel Bloggers

Travel blogging journalists tend to center their work around first-person narratives of their own experiences whilst traveling, either through one country or else across several.

It is worth noting that often, a secondary, yet decidedly tricky, gateway into professional travel journalism is blogging, but you will have to spend your own money on your travel before a company will hire you to blog for them, so this pathway certainly isn’t for everyone.

3.   Staff Travel Journalists

The third predominant type of travel journalists are called staff travel journalists, who work with one newspaper or other publication, such as a popular online travel site, on a full-time basis.

Staff travel journalists are often only hired by larger national and even international publications and is the most highly coveted role within the vast field of travel journalism.