Some brief advice on getting into travel media

A reader named Christina recently emailed me about jobs in travel writing and television. “I am absolutely fascinated by your work and your bio,” she wrote. “I recently graduated from college and after a year of being in TV news reporting I would love to write and travel for a magazine such as National Geographic and hopefully add in an environmentally friendly aspect. Any advice on how to go about writing for these magazines? What about the networks themselves for TV related jobs?”

This is what I told her:

Thanks for your message, and best of luck in your career! I get questions like yours a lot, so I’ve set up a Travel Writers page at my website to help address basic questions about my career (including interviews with nearly 100 other travel writers).

I think the most important thing to remember is that nobody is just going to give you a travel-writing job. You have to get out there and travel on your own first, build up some experience in your area of expertise. If TV is where you want to go, take off for six months and travel the world with a camera. My book Vagabonding can tell you how to travel long-term without going broke, and many travel writers and filmmakers have developed their careers along the way (“A Map For Saturday” filmmaker Brook Silva-Braga being a recent case-in-point). Once you have ground experience (and sample video footage) in, say, eco-travel, your odds of getting the attention of the big guys are much stronger. Don’t be afraid to use blogs and vlogs to make a name for yourself, either.

Posted by | Comments (5)  | May 25, 2009
Category: Travel Writing, Vagabonding Advice

5 Responses to “Some brief advice on getting into travel media”

  1. Diana Barry Blythe Says:

    They are looking for travel writers and every other kind of writer over at

  2. Says:

    Checkout the The Travel Channel Academy (checkout our interview with Lisa). They have a great program for those who would like to get involved with travel writing or take their travel writing to the next level. You’ll learn so much like “how to put together short-form video content” and much more. Good point about…they pay you based on PAGE RANK not PER ARTICLE…just wanted you to know this. I briefly wrote for them but wasn’t really into my topic. They won’t let you switch until they feel you’ve proven yourself. I didn’t understand this because they’re constantly looking for writers. Go figure.

  3. Brook Silva-Braga Says:

    Hey Rolf,
    Thanks for the mention. I agree with your advice and its a question I get pretty often as well. One thing I like to remind people is that making money from a travel film is a long-odds proposition so it should be something you enjoy doing whether you make money from it or not. And for people who don’t have the TV background Christina does be sure to practice a lot with your camera/mic/tripod/editing equipment at home before heading out.

  4. Kash Bhattacharya Says:

    I am looking for budding travel writers at Drop me a mail at

  5. Jenifer Dalton Says:

    Really, Good for the traveling ..