I wrote a post about easing into freelance writing through travel writing. If you’re traveling in 2011, write about your travels to establish yourself as a writer and earn extra cash. For example, I entered a contest to win a trip to Japan in 2011. To help me get there, I created a vision board and placed a picture of Japan on it. I visualize myself visiting the temples and partaking in Tai Chi with the locals. I also say ‘thank you’ for having won the trip. I also intend and plan to visit the U.K. in April 2011 to be apart of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. I didn’t receive a formal invention but I’ll show my support by standing alongside the British people as they celebrate this historic event. I’m torn between staying at a budget hotel or hostel. I stayed at Budget Backpackers in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2007 and it was an awesome experience. You have to be comfortable with sharing the kitchen and bathroom along with rooming with strangers who may not speak English. It was an awesome experience and helped me ease into freelance writing and travel writing.
- When it doubt, please leave it out. You don’t have to pack your entire closet, unless, of course, you plan on staying for six months or more. Believe it or not, you can buy toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, clothes, and other items when you arrive at your destination.
- When you travel to foreign countries, remember that you’re the foreigner. Don’t expect the laws of your country to apply elsewhere in the world. Don’t expect stores to be opened 24-hours a day or on Saturday and Sunday. Most travelers, especially U.S. citizens, believe other countries are just like the U.S or believe they should be. It pains me to say that but I’ve experienced behavior by U.S. citizens that made me cringe. Be respectful and remember that you’re a foreigner in a foreign land.
- Travel with a backpack or carry-on bag. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches if you leave your luggage at home. You’ll be able to breeze through airports and will have plenty of time to get something to eat or buy a magazine or book (if you didn’t bring one with you).
- Give yourself plenty of time to get through airport security. Who knows, the security measures could be loosened in 2011. Until then, make sure you arrive on time to go through security.
- Learn to speak the language. You don’t have to be fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Italian, French, Hungarian, Spanish, or Arabic but it will help if you know some key words and phrases. You’ll score points with the locals if you attempt to speak their language. They’ll be more than happy to assist you should you need help.
- Bring a netbook, laptop, paper and pen, and recorder with you. In order to efficiently record your travel, you’ll need to record your thoughts. Bring whatever is most comfortable for you and won’t take up much space.
Travel writing tips
- Write what you know. If you’re passionate about adventure travel, write about it. If you’re passionate about dude ranches, write about it. Also, think about what you liked and didn’t like about your past travels. How would that information help your fellow travelers? How would it benefit them? Once you find the answer, you’ll be on your way to become a travel writer.
- Travel throughout your state and or country. Believe it or not, where you live is a destination for tourists. You could establish yourself as the ‘go-to’ travel writer in your area.
- Find your voice. It’s flattering to emulate your favorite writers but write in your own voice; it will sound more authentic.
- Decide what you want to write. You can write blogs, articles, a travel journal or memoir, guidebook, or fiction book based on your travels. Don’t limit yourself but chose a line of writing that’s best for you.
Freelance writing and travel writing are fun careers. If you’re traveling in 2011 and the coming years, why not turn your travels into cash? You’ll never know where it will lead you if you don’t take the plunge. Who knows, you could have your own show on The Travel Channel (I’m finding out how to pitch them ideas). Good luck!
Where are you traveling in 2011? Share.