Travel Writer

The the movie "Eat Pray Love" has us wondering about the life of a travel writer. Not to mention -- where can one snag a decent scoop of gelato.
(Courtesy of Columbia Pictures)

Watching the DVD “Eat Pray Love” this weekend had us wondering how cool it must be to write about traveling for a living.

Not to mention -- where can one snag a decent scoop of gelato?

The notion of traveling to places unknown and discovering new worlds then writing about the experience is clearly appealing. How cool would it be to have extraordinary journeys to places like Paris, Dublin and Tokyo? But what does it take to land a dream job as a travel writer?

While not strictly necessary, most travel writers will have a college degree. However, writing for a magazine, newspaper or blog without a degree is very possible, as experience and talent counts for a lot.


While there is no fixed career path to this niche writing, you will need to show a mastery of literacy, current affairs and stellar research skills. A concise style for the Internet wouldn’t hurt either.

In addition, for travel writing, arm yourself with the following:

• Excellent writing skills
• Learn how to travel (the art of just getting around in unfamiliar places)
• A proactive approach to investigating, determination and persistence
• Strong interpersonal skills

Develop a writing technique that’s clear, concise and thought-provoking. Outside of academics, there is an experience-by-doing approach that should be considered.


“You can’t just want to be a travel writer,” Public TV Host Rick Steves said in an article for Transaction

“You have to be a traveler first. I traveled for six summers purely for kicks. Europe ‘Through the Back Door’ was born from Europe ‘Through the Gutter.’ The best travel is on a shoestring . . . not just meeting people but needing people,” Steves, the famed travel explorer, said.

You’ll also need perseverance, interpersonal skills and a deep passion for travel. Be prepared to work unpaid until you’ve build a strong portfolio of clips. Freelancing is always an option but even those jobs are coveted as magazines and newspapers trim their travel sections.

Depending on location and type of organization, your salary will vary. Rates for a 500-word article can range from $10 to $1,000. Experience writers will command more.


Think you’ve got what it takes to deliver the world on a deadline with a limited word count? Click here.