|Back to Back Issues Page
Issue #453: Guided Tours for Travel Writers
January 15, 2024
|Greetings Fellow Travel Writers!
. . . and WELCOME all new subscribers. Thanks for joining us.
EditorialWe’re back from our 3-month long-stay in Danang, Vietnam. It was marvelous to catch up with our Vietnamese and expat friends there. The 18-hour long haul back to Seattle, where we touched down on December 24, was less fun! We’ve done plenty of these long hauls so have learned to switch off our minds, watch movies, read, and snooze. The jet lag was hard on us and took a week to feel anywhere near normal.
What now for us? In June, we’ll be putting our Seattle home on the market, after living here for 31 years. Then we’ll move across the country to Ohio to be near Linda’s family.
Later this year, after we’ve found somewhere to live in Ohio, we’ll be taking a trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a historic colonial city of 174,000. SMA, as it is known to locals, is 162 miles northwest of Mexico City and boasts a sizable expat population. One survey found that people from 63 countries live there! If you’re planning a fall trip to SMA, feel free to email me to arrange a get-together.
Our early 2025 travel calendar includes a long-stay in New Zealand, where I have 2 sisters, a brother, and a tribe of nieces and nephews to catch up with. Plus some old running buddies. It’s been five years since I’ve been back, so it’s long overdue.
I look back on my hundreds of trips to 50 countries in the past 17 years with fond memories. I’ve written more than 1,000 travel articles about 25 of these countries. My work has been published in more than 200 regional, national, and international magazines, newspapers, trade journals, custom publications, specialty magazines, in-flights, on-boards, and online travel magazines. I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in 200+ press trips while on travel writing assignments, thoroughly enjoying the travel writers I’ve met on these tours. Yep, I’ve been around!
Yet, I’m still curious about the other places that I’ve never been to. My travel bucket list has many more places to visit: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Marakesh, Morocco; Brasov, Bucharest, & Transylvania, Romania; a Danube River Cruise; Sofia, Bulgaria; the Amalfi Coast & Positano, Italy; Zadar, Rovinj & Korcula, Croatia; Slovenia; Vienna, Austria; Santorini & other random Greek islands; the Galapagos Islands; Komodo Island; Cuba; train trips around North America, Europe, New Zealand and a Mississippi River Cruise. Will I get to all these places before I run out of time? Maybe! But I’m going to go for it!
My Thoughts on the Future of Print Magazines
In the past few years I’ve heard all manner of rumors about the future of print media and print magazines. They range from “print is dying” to “print is dead.” Interestingly, these rumors are usually founded by writers who have invested their time and energy in waning travel blogs and travel websites. These digital writers wish that print travel media would just go away so that their overhyped blogs could regain their artificially elevated status that peaked around 2012- 2015.
It was around that time that the online superpowers decided they wanted in on the riches that the blogs and websites were reputed to be raking in since 2008, mostly from ad sales. This same digital travel writing crowd is quick to point out that all of print is dead when a single magazine closes its doors.
However, has print media really folded?
Certainly, a few publishers have switched over to digital format because the costs of print publishing have risen. Magazines that are not making much profit from their subscriptions and advertising have been doing this over the past few years. These tend to be specialized publications with waning circulations.
The reality is, this is all part of the natural order of print media. Most start-up magazines survive; some thrive, some struggle along, and a few wither on the vine and eventually close down. In a study I did a few years ago I found that 19% of the 200 print publications that I have written for since I started freelance writing in 2007, have closed up shop. This is normal attrition and nothing to be concerned about. But, dozens of new magazines are being launched every year!
What does this mean for you travel writing freelancers out there?
There are still a staggering 17,000 print publications being published each year. If you are a talented and versatile freelancer, you still has plenty of options. Your willingness to write about a variety of travel-related topics means that you will thrive. The writers I am coaching are have NO problems placing their stories in paying print media.
I suspect that print editors are finding it harder and harder to find good, reliable writers, as many potential travel writers realize that freelance writing is hard work. This means that if you are a halfway decent writer who delivers well written stories by deadline, you will have more repeat business from your regular editors. I see this trend with the travel writers I’m coaching.
So, keep on working with these editors and feed them more stories while at the same time, look for new publications to break into. It’s always good to have a wide base of publications that you can call on.
Further Reading on the Future of Print Travel Media
To check the facts, I hunkered down for three days to do some research - lots of research! I studied the state and health of the print media industry and specifically, travel print media. I’ve found the truth.
Is print media doomed? Or, is this simply an exaggeration?
What I found was both enlightening and encouraging for print travel journalists!
Can Print Media Survive the Internet
We'd like to thank you for reading this newsletter, taking our online and live classes and following our travels. It's been a pleasure working with so many of you and we’ll enjoy keeping everyone up-to-date on what’s new in travel writing.
We wish you good health, great happiness and much writing success in the new year.
500 Print Magazines
Registration Opens in Late January
What’s the #1 stumbling block for all travel writers?
Finding publications to pitch their stories to!
Most aspiring (and many veteran) travel writers struggle with tracking down magazines to send their story queries to. This immovable hurdle has deterred many promising travel journalists from pursuing a rewarding career in this exciting field.
Struggle no more!
Our NEW list is a compilation of 50 magazines per month that are highly specialized for travel writers. After ten months you’ll have a list of 500 print magazines and lots of bonus magazines.
My list offers far more relevant travel publications than the general consumer magazines that you’ll find in Writer’s Market. Compiled and updated over seventeen years from a wide variety of online sources, field resources, magazine racks, and reference books, this comprehensive list includes a huge array of regional, national, & international publications to help travel writers place their work.
Here’s what you’ll get every month for the next ten months:
What You Get in Each Magazine Listing:
500 Print Magazines - Current CustomersIf you already purchased 500 Print Magazines That Want To Publish Your Travel Stories, the January issue (#5) became available on the 15th of this month. You should have received an email with a login link, but in case you didn't, you can access the login page and input your login credentials at this link
In the January list (Issue #5) you received another 50 magazines plus 7 bonus magazines — along with a wealth of information about each magazine. In total this month you'll have received 289 magazine listings so far, including bonus magazines!
If you have any problems downloading any issues, please get in touch with us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help you.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you about which magazines you’ve pitched successfully and what stories you've sold to the magazines on these lists.
Funds For Writers NewsletterI'm thrilled and honored to have guest posts published for two consecutive weeks in Hope Clark’s excellent “Funds For Writers” newsletter.
My first post, "How To Presell Your Travel Stories” shows how and why travel writers must sell their stories before they visit their destinations.
Here’s the link
Have You Written a Travel Memoir?If you've written a travel memoir or compiled a travel anthology, please feel free to send me a PDF or kindle copy to review. Reviews will go out on my social media & in my monthly newsletter (2000 travel writers & bloggers.) Please send PDF attachments to me at roy_stevenson[at]hotmail.com
Guided Tours for Travel WritersTaking a guided tour when you’re visiting a new city is an option for every traveler - and there are a staggering variety of tours offered. For travel writers, guided tours usually get a bad rap. Some travel writers travel independently and prefer the spontaneity that comes with random surprise discoveries. They’d never consider taking a tour. This camp of writers looks down on guided tours with disdain.
I believe each method has its advantages, so I’d like to weigh in on the guided tour versus self-guided tour issue. I use both methods of exploring to great effect.
Here are the reasons I love guided tours and why (and when) I use them when visiting new destinations:
Upcoming PostsFeb 12: Building a Professional Website for Freelance Travel Writers
Mar 11: Writing for Regional Magazines: The Best Place to Start Your Travel Writing Career
Apr 15: A Travel Writers Life: A Day on the Road & In the Office
Inspirational Travel Quote
Pitch Travel Write: Most Requested Links - How To Land Press Trips & Fam ToursOnce you’ve established your reputation as a prolific writer in your region—or around the world—and you have a good relationship with several travel magazine editors, you’ll find a whole new world opening up to you - that of Familiarization Tours and Press Trips.
These press trips and FAM Tours will provide you with free or low cost travel if you have assignments.
Our Press Trips Resource Page gives you 16 free, full length articles on how to land these free travel assignments and cushy press trips. They show you, step-by-step, how I’ve scored more than 200 press trips to 25 countries around the world.
MORE RESOURCES FOR TRAVEL WRITERS
Featured Book: How to Land Press TripsWho doesn't like press trips to exotic and exciting destinations?
Since starting my freelance travel writing career, I’ve been on more than 200 press trips & fam tours in 25 countries. Places like Belgium, Wales, England, France, Germany, New Zealand, Bali, all over the U.S.A., and many other exotic and exciting destinations.
I tell you this not because I'm showing off, but because you too can get regular press trip & fam tour invitations.
Books about travel writing might mention that press trips are available to travel writers, but they fall woefully short when it comes to telling writers how to actually get these press trip invitations. Most veteran travel writers keep this information to themselves.
My manual, How to Land Press Trips and Fam Tours, tells you exactly what you need to do to get invitations to press trips and fam tours, and how to organize self-guided press trips.
Get $10 off for the month of January when you use PROMO Code: HTLPT
“I was extremely impressed with Roy’s last book, so reviewing another of his books was a no-brainer. Roy takes a simple, logical approach to getting invited (or getting on the list) by the folks that have the budgets to offer them. Reality checks are aplenty, and he links to several excellent sites or conferences to stay in-the-know. There are also several sample letter templates to borrow from, along with an entire chapter on etiquette (which could easily be titled ‘How to ensure this isn’t your last fam trip ever!’)
At 75 pages long, the only thing it really lacks is fluff. You can breeze through the basics in a single sitting, but actually taking action will be your bigger challenge. The book does everything it can to offer tools and advice, but it’s still up to you to follow it.”
-Chris Backe, OneWeirdGlobe.com
At Your Service
PitchTravelWrite.com, is our information-packed website for travel writers. This e-zine, a series of travel writing books and reference guides, coaching programs, and our workshops all work together to give you guidance in this field.
Our aim is to provide you with practical, nitty gritty information to help you gain entry into the travel writing realm and all the enjoyment that comes with it.
Awards and AccoladesRoy Stevenson Listed in 2024 Pitching Guide for magazine editors. Thank you, PR On The Go, for listing me, Roy Stevenson, as one of the six top journalists in your 2024 Pitching Guide.
This listing helps match up travel journalists with magazine editors who are looking for specific stories.
Here’s the link to the download:
PRontheGo Pitching Guide
www.PitchTravelWrite.com, our travel writing website has had a banner year! The accolades just keep pouring in!
Our website was selected for the 2023 Writer’s Digest Magazine’s “101 Best Websites For Writers” in the June issue. We’ve previously been chosen for Writer’s Digest Magazine’s 101 Best Websites For Writers in 2016, 2020, 2021, 2022. WD doesn’t bestow these awards lightly. We’re the only travel writing website on the lists!
And Writer’s Digest Magazine also chose our website for their “Best Genre/Niche Websites for 2023.” We’ve previously been listed in Writer’s Digest Magazine’s “Best Genre/Niche Websites for 2020, 2021, 2022, & 2023.”
A few months ago, our Online Travel Writing & Marketing Master Class has made Reedsy.com’s Best Travel Creative Writing Classes for 2023 list. There are only 21 travel writing courses on this worldwide list!
And, in December 2023 we were awarded the honor of being listed in the Writer’s Digest Magazine’s 101 Best Websites for Writers in their 2024 Annual Yearbook.
We at PitchTravelWrite.com are proud to announce that our website made TheWriteLife.com’s 100 BEST WEBSITES FOR WRITERS 2020 & 2021! thewritelife Best Websites 2021
Our Complete Travel Writing & Marketing Master Class is ranked #1 on TravelWritersExchange.com’s Top Ten Travel Writing Workshops.
Friend me on FacebookMy Facebook page is about freelance travel writing. I frequently post about:
• links to other well produced travel websites and blogs
• links to my travel articles
• magazine cover stories and back stories
• links to resource pages
• links to coaching and mentoring resources
. . .and plenty of other useful information to get you up to speed
That's all for now. Until next week - just keep pitching! Roy
|Back to Back Issues Page