Salary and Career Info for a Travel Writer

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a travel writer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and salary expectations to find out if this is the career for you.

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Maybe you're a creative, flexible individual who enjoys sightseeing, sampling diverse foods, or visiting hotspots. As a travel writer, you may work freelance or for a company, but either way your job will be seeking out places that arouse interest. It's best to have a college degree and writing experience if you want to succeed in this career.

Essential Information

Travel writers create informational articles on interesting destinations for a variety of print and online publications. A career as a travel writer can prove personally rewarding, but it does not always pay a large salary, and the field can be difficult to get started in. Travel writers often have bachelor's degrees in communications, journalism or related fields.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in journalism or related field
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 2% for all writers and authors (slower than average)
Median Salary (2015)* $60,250 for all writers and authors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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Career Information

Travel writers use their own personal experiences and knowledge to describe tourist destinations for various types of publications. These writings can be in the form of blurbs, articles, documentaries or travel guides. They generally accompany their writings with photographs of the places they visit. While many would consider a job as a travel writer to be a constant exotic vacation, the reality of it for many experienced veterans is that it can prove quite strenuous. Writers must choose topics and locations not for the sake of pleasure, but rather for the purpose of creating something marketable. They must also deal with the fact that full advances or all-expenses paid trips are rarities.

Job Duties

These writing professionals must meet deadlines and complete extensive fact checks on all of the material they write. Accuracy is vital. Just as much editing and revision goes into creating a travel piece as any other writing, so travel writers must take criticism well and act professionally.

Starting Out

Though there are some exceptions, travel writers may wish to get started in the field by writing about interesting local destinations, since expense accounts are rare for beginning writers. Most individuals wouldn't consider their current cities or hometowns as exciting travel destinations, but they might be to others. Aspiring travel writers might do some articles for local publications for free in order to get a foot in the door, or seek out less typical outlets for their work in order to build up a track record of being published.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the BLS, writers and authors, including travel writers, earned an annual median salary of $60,250 in 2015. In 2014, the BLS predicted slow job growth of 2% through 2024 for authors and writers, and it noted that professionals who adapt to digital means and online media will have the best employment prospects.

The life of a travel writer can be tiring and somewhat costly, but someone who wishes to experience all the world has to offer will find it a most pleasing adventure. Paid trips are unlikely, unless you have a great deal of experience. A bachelor's degree in journalism or a related major will accrue job opportunities, and the more experience you have, the higher your salary will be.

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