Have dreams of travelling around the world and getting paid for it? It’s certainly possible as we delve further and further into the digital information age, where all that you need is a wifi signal and a laptop. However, you will need to make some quite significant sacrifices in order to make it work, so here are some top tips on how to begin.
In reality, very few travel writers ever manage to make enough to live in the west i.e Western Europe and North America. This is due to the amount of English speakers from countries such as India who can afford to write a 500 word article for 2 dollars because the cost of living there is so low. Quite simply, relocating to a cheaper country is almost essential unless you are lucky enough to have savings to live off.
But don’t worry, because the countries with the lowest cost of living are often the most interesting and fun to live in. In fact there are many still in Eastern Europe such as the Balkans, the Ukraine or even Turkey, while Mexico is great value and only next door to the US and Canada.
For those wanting to base themselves further afield, such as North Africa and southern parts of Asia, Morocco, Egypt, India or Vietnam are tremendously good value.
Be Smart And Bypass Visa Restrictions
Of course, you can always hop from country to country in a way to bypass visa restrictions. For example, if you spend your maximum amount of time in the Schengen zone you can always hop from Bosnia all the way down to Albania and then re-enter the Schengen zone when the 180 day exclusion period resets.
It’s also often a good idea to set up temporary bases so you can travel and write about the places around you. For example, if you want to explore and write about the Balkans, maybe base yourself in Sarajevo, or if you want to see more of Central America, Mexico is perfect. For South-East Asia you could go for Cambodia or the Philippines with their very lax immigration rules.
Use Third Party Websites
When you are just starting out you can use sites that charge commission such as Fiverr.com. These ‘middle-men’ websites are invaluable when first starting out, because you can later use clients as references, and it matches you with suitable clients.
Accept Any Job When You Start Out
However, at first you will have to work for prices as low as $5 per 1000 words. This is difficult to begin with, but the more positive reviews you get from clients the more you can work your way up to jobs with salaries you can live and travel off of. When you have built a number of clients with positive reviews you can then use these as references to move away from third party sites, and work with clients directly without a middle man, so you will be earning more and you wont have 20% of your salary go on commission.
It really pays to begin this process before you start travelling and you are still in your home country with a job that you can fall back on if travel writing doesn’t work for you.
So these are some real top tips from those in the business. Travel writing all in all is a very competitive business at the moment, but if you follow these guidelines you have every chance of making it work if you are persistent.