Career Development

What Does a Travel Journalist Do?

Find out what a travel journalist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a travel journalist.

Travel journalists are responsible for reporting on all things related to travel. They may write about destinations, events, people, culture, history, and more. Their job is to inform readers about interesting places they should visit or things they should do when they get there.

Travel journalists often work for large publications or media companies. They may be assigned to cover specific topics or regions by their editors. In some cases, they may even choose what they want to write about themselves. Regardless of how it happens, travel journalists must be able to find compelling stories in the places they visit.

Travel Journalist Job Duties

Travel journalists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Covering breaking news stories that are happening on location while filing reports or producing segments for live broadcasts
  • Interviewing experts in various fields, such as travel industry representatives or government officials, to gather information for articles
  • Conducting research to gather information about locations or events that will be covered on future assignments
  • Writing articles that describe a destination’s culture, history, and current events
  • Conducting on-camera interviews with individuals who are experts in their field about topics relevant to the industry
  • Identifying and contacting sources who can provide information about local events and attractions
  • Reviewing photographs and videos taken by other journalists or photographers to determine which images should be used in an article or broadcast
  • Conducting phone interviews with writers who cannot be reached in person
  • Producing television programs about travel destinations for a variety of audiences, including families, seniors, or business travelers

Travel Journalist Salary & Outlook

Travel journalists are typically paid based on their level of experience, the size of the publication they work for, and the length of time they are expected to travel.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $70,500 ($33.89/hour)

The employment of travel journalists is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Travel journalism will continue to be a popular topic for writers as people seek information about new destinations and ways to save money on travel. However, the growth in online content may limit the demand for travel journalists because readers can find much of this information online.

Related: Travel Journalist Interview Questions and Answers

Travel Journalist Job Requirements

To become a travel journalist, you may need to have the following:

Education: Travel journalists need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, communications or another related field. Some employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in journalism or communications. Courses in writing, research, media law and ethics are helpful for travel journalists.

Training & Experience: Travel journalists often begin their careers in entry-level positions, such as travel agents or tour guides. These roles provide hands-on experience in the travel industry and help aspiring travel journalists understand the industry and the needs of travelers.

Travel journalists can also gain experience by working in other fields, such as journalism or marketing. They can also gain experience by working in entry-level positions in the travel industry, such as customer service or sales.

Certifications & Licenses: Travel journalists do not need any certifications to get started in the field. However, many travel journalists seek industry-specific certifications to improve their skills, increase their earning potential and make them more appealing to publications.

Travel Journalist Skills

Travel journalists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Research: Travel journalists often research destinations, transportation, accommodations and activities to ensure they have the information they need to write a compelling story. They may also research the history of a location or event to provide context for their story. Researching can help them find information that’s relevant to their audience and add value to their story.

Writing: Travel journalists often write about their experiences and the experiences of others. They may write about their own travels, the travels of others or the travels of a group. They may also write about the history of a place or the history of a person. This requires extensive writing skills, including the ability to write in a variety of styles and tones.

Editing: After gathering information for a story, a travel journalist might use their editing skills to revise their work. This can include checking for grammar and punctuation errors, as well as ensuring the story flows well. Travel journalists might also use their editing skills to create a story from a series of notes or images.

Time management: Time management is another skill that can help you be a successful travel journalist. You may have multiple deadlines throughout the week, so it’s important to prioritize your work and manage your time accordingly. This can help you meet your deadlines and ensure you submit quality work.

Networking: Networking is the ability to make connections with others. As a travel journalist, you may need to make connections with people in order to travel to certain locations or receive information about certain locations. For example, if you want to travel to a remote location, you may need to make connections with someone who can help you get there.

Travel Journalist Work Environment

Travel journalists typically work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to meet deadlines. They may also travel on short notice to cover breaking news stories. They spend much of their time writing and editing articles, taking photographs, and conducting research. They also often interview people, visit sites, and attend events related to their stories. Travel journalists typically work in an office, but they may also work remotely, using the internet and email to submit their work.

Travel Journalist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how travel journalists work. Travel journalists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of the Digital Travel Industry

The digital travel industry is growing rapidly, and this is having a major impact on the travel journalism industry. As more and more people turn to the internet for information about travel, journalists who can write compelling content that appeals to this audience will be in high demand.

Travel journalists who are able to adapt to the changing landscape will be well-positioned to succeed in the years to come. They should focus on developing strong writing skills and becoming familiar with the latest technologies that are being used by travelers.

More Focus on Experiences Over Things

As technology advances, consumers are increasingly looking for experiences over things. This trend is especially evident in the travel industry, where tourists are seeking out unique and memorable experiences rather than just souvenirs.

Journalists who are able to tap into this trend will be successful in the future as they are able to provide readers with insights into the best places to experience these types of experiences. In addition, journalists should focus on creating content that helps travelers plan their trips based on these experiences.

A Shift From Traditional Media to Digital Media

The shift from traditional media to digital media is having a significant impact on the travel journalism industry. As more and more people read news online, journalists are shifting their focus towards digital platforms.

This trend is causing a decline in the number of newspaper subscriptions and magazine sales, which means that travel journalists need to find new ways to reach their audience. One way to do this is by creating content that is specifically designed for digital consumption, such as videos or infographics.

How to Become a Travel Journalist

A travel journalist career can be a great way to see the world and write about your experiences. It’s important to have a strong writing skills, but you should also consider what type of traveler you are. Are you more interested in culture or adventure? Do you prefer to stay in luxury hotels or backpack around the world?

Once you’ve figured out what type of traveler you are, start researching different places to visit. Read other travel writers’ work to get inspiration for your own stories. You can also attend travel writing workshops to improve your craft. When you’re ready to start pitching your stories, find travel magazines that match your interests.

Advancement Prospects

Travel journalists can advance their career by writing articles that are interesting and informative. They can also try to get their articles published in well-known magazines or newspapers. If they are successful, they may be able to get better-paying jobs. They can also advance their career by becoming a travel editor or a travel book author.

Travel Journalist Job Description Example

Do you have a passion for writing and a knack for adventure? If so, we want you to join our team of travel journalists at [CompanyX]. As a travel journalist, you will be responsible for researching, writing, and photographing articles about travel destinations around the world. You will also be responsible for planning and executing your own travel itineraries, as well as working with our team of travel experts to develop new ideas for articles. The ideal candidate will have excellent writing and research skills, as well as a strong interest in travel and adventure.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Write articles on a variety of travel-related topics, including destination spotlights, hotel and restaurant reviews, tips for budget-minded travelers, and more
  • Conduct extensive research on potential destinations, using a variety of sources such as books, internet, and first-hand experience
  • Work with editorial staff to ensure accuracy of information and adherence to deadlines
  • Take high-quality photographs to accompany articles, utilizing both digital and traditional cameras
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of current events and developments in the travel industry
  • Keep abreast of new trends in travel and tourism, and share this information with readers
  • Serve as a resource for other journalists, providing information and advice when needed
  • Attend industry conferences and events, both domestic and international
  • Foster relationships with key players in the travel industry, including hoteliers, tour operators, and airline representatives
  • Leverage social media platforms to promote articles and engage with readers
  • Adhere to strict deadlines and maintain a high level of quality control
  • Perform all duties in a professional and ethical manner

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, communications, or related field
  • Minimum 4-5 years professional writing experience with solid portfolio of work
  • Exceptional writing and research skill
  • Ability to work independently and with a team to meet deadlines
  • Excellent organizational skill and multitasking ability
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Adobe Acrobat Pro

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Social media or content marketing experience a plus
  • Proofreading experience and familiarity with standard style guides a plus
  • Experience working with content management systems, WordPress, etc.
  • A keen eye for detail and appreciation of great design
  • Familiarity with the travel industry


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