Category Archives: travel

Five Awesome Travel Bloggers


One of my favorite forms of travel-writing is travel-blogging. It’s fun to vicariously live through other people’s travels. Here are five of my favorite travel bloggers (in alphabetical order).

  1. FoXnoMad – Anil’s travel blog focuses less on his own travels and more on educating his readers. His posts help you choose the right laptop as a traveler, teach you how to travel with pets and he has numerous posts on various destinations around the world.
  2. Nerdy Nomad – Kirsty’s travel blog is quite a bit different than the others on this list. She’s an Internet marketer who often puts everything aside to volunteer and help people in need. She has volunteered in Indonesia after last years massive earthquake and in Haiti after their devastating earthquake this year.
  3. Nomadic Matt – One of the most popular travel blogger’s. Like Anil from Foxnomad, Matt is living the travel blogger dream. He started his blog as a way to keep in touch with friends and family and now makes enough money from his blog to travel full-time.
  4. The Professional Hobo – Just like the title of her blog, she’s a professional traveler and writer. She has a great bi-weekly series called “Week in the life” where travelers give the details of their weeks.
  5. Wandering Earl – Ex-cruise ship worker, now full-time traveler. He’s a great writer and currently having quite an adventure visiting countries like Lebanon and Syria in the middle east.

Jason Demant is the founder of, where you can find detailed do-it-yourself tour itineraries for your next trip. For the latest on travel-writing you can follow him on Twitter @UnAnchor, or join the I Love Travel Writing Facebook group.

GuideGecko: Write Travel Guide Apps


Today on Freelance-Zone we have a special treat–GuideGecko Founder, Daniel Quadt is here to walk readers through the process of writing a travel guide app. Be sure and check out their site–it’s a great resource.               – Catherine

1. GuideGecko has a new offering for writers—a travel guide app. Can you tell us a little about what that is and how it works? 

Writers can now publish iPhone travel guide apps with GuideGecko, and sell them through Apple’s app store. You simply enter your content using our super-easy website and we’ll do the rest. The apps look really good, and they are tailor-made for travel guides. They even feature offline maps so users do not incur hefty roaming charges when using them abroad. Take a look at for some screenshots.

Hotels_Sleeping_Screenshot2. Are there any particular requirements for writers?

You should know your topic and have a very good command of English. It helps if you have written or contributed to travel books or online guides before, but it’s not a requirement.

3. Why did you decide to move in this direction in terms of offering travel writing content?

Apps are an extension of our existing services for writers and publishers. Since our launch in March 2009, we have published over 200 guidebooks by independent authors, as printed books and for download. Apps allow us to create much more interactive, appealing products with advanced features. For example, with the app, you can easily check for nearby restaurants when you are hungry. Or you use the interactive map to plan your itinerary.

Photos4. What other opportunities do you have for writers?

Another exciting service that we launch together with apps is “Web publishing”, which allows writers to become part of our network of destination sites. You can earn a substantial income with destination sites through ads and booking links, and we share this income with our writers.

It’s very easy: You suggest a destination and a topic, e.g. “New York on a Budget” or “Paris with Kids” and publish your content on We promote the individual sub-sites and the network as a whole, leading to synergies that are very difficult and time consuming to achieve for individual authors. Just think of all the Search Engine Optimization you would have to do to bring in visitors! It’s much easier to attract visitors to a large site, and the network effect naturally leads more visitors to the individual sub-sites.

Web publishing is also ideal for writers who know their topic, but don’t want to bother about site structure, HTML+CSS, layout, Adsense, and so on. We manage all that, and writers can concentrate on what they know (and like) best.

Even better: If you want to do Web publishing and iPhone apps together, you have to enter the content only once. We can use the same content for apps and for the web.

5. How can people find out more information about writing for GuideGecko?

Simply go to This page has all the info, and you can apply for web publishing and to make an app.

Guest Post: Do’s & Don’ts of Travel Writing

Today we have a guest post from travel writer JoAnna Haugen….

JoAnna Haugen
JoAnna Haugen

So you want to be a travel writer. You want to travel around the world, stay in luxurious hotels, embark on adventurous quests in untapped destinations and share all your discoveries with people who only wish they could walk in your shoes.  

To a lot of people, travel writing sounds like a dream job, and there’s no denying that it’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. If you would like to pursue a career in travel writing, here are a few tips to help you get started:

DON’T expect to make a lot of money from travel writing. Sure, you can live a comfortable life from the money you’ll make writing about your travels, but only a handful of publications pay $1.00 or more per word for articles. As you begin to build your travel writing portfolio, you will likely need to pay your dues with lower paying or smaller assignments.

DO follow the specific guidelines for publications you pitch. This is true for any genre you write in, but it’s especially true for travel writing because the field is so competitive. You can’t give editors any reason to say no.

DON’T rule out publications not directly related to travel. Many lifestyle, regional, parenting, business and food publications fill their front-of-the-book pages with shorter pieces, and travel is often included in the mix.

DO be honest with your readers. They trust you to tell them the truth. If a hotel or restaurant doesn’t live up to expectations, let your readers know why. You are also under an obligation by the Federal Trade Commission to fully disclose any compensated experiences you are given as a travel writer. Though many publications have not made this common practice yet, you should at least let your editor know if your travel was free or discounted. Your readers rely on your honesty to make big financial decisions regarding travel. Don’t let them down.

DON’T use clichéd language. Places aren’t “gems” or “jewels.” There is only one actual Mecca, and there is no “paradise.” Places don’t “boast” anything. It’s easy to get caught up in the commercial language used by marketing firms to sell destinations, but this language doesn’t convey anything about a place. Tell it how it is. The world might be raw and rough at times, and it’s your job to accurately share that information with your readers.

DO look beyond a destination for an actual story. Very few publications actually want destination pieces. Destinations aren’t stories. Instead, look for and capture the small things that make a destination notable. Interview the women selling fish in a Vietnamese market. Look into the hiring practices of tour companies in Cusco, Peru. Define a single moment in your experience of white water rafting down the Nile River in Uganda.

DON’T assume you’re due special treatment because you’re a travel writer. In fact, in many cases, it’s better if you’re a regular guest at the hotel you’re staying at and the restaurant you’re eating at. You need to be able to honestly and accurately report on the experience a regular guest would have, not one that is catered to in order to receive a glowing review.

DO foster relationships in the travel industry. Connect with other travel writers, travel bloggers, tourism boards and public relations firms through social media, at networking events and at conferences. These people will be able to help you when you need someone on the ground that can double check a fact or, you are looking for photos to accompany a story.

DON’T accept every press trip you’re offered just because it’s free. Travel that is paid for by someone else is incredibly appealing, but not every trip is a good fit. If you are invited on a press trip, make sure the itinerary matches your niche. It does you no good to be a family travel writer on a trip focused on nightlife or a budget writer stuck in a luxury hotel. In general, it’s also helpful if the group size is kept to a minimum. Anything over eight writers and you may start to feel like you’re on a tour group or field trip.

DO enjoy yourself. After all, travel writing is a lot of fun. What other job gives you a good excuse to lay on the beach in the Bahamas, hike the Himalayas and eat your way through Italy? Respect the responsibilities that come with being a travel writer, and you’ll be well rewarded in return.


Author’s Bio:

JoAnna Haugen is a full-time freelance writer with travel articles published in several online and print publications including WestJet’s up!, Diamond Resorts International Magazine, TravelSmart and National Geographic Traveler’s Intelligent Travel Blog. She is also the travel writer behind WhyGo Las Vegas and writes the popular travel blog Kaleidoscopic Wandering. Follow her travels on Twitter.

Travel Advice — Health Insurance


The two most frequent travel related questions I receive are “how do I setup my money” and “what do I do for health insurance?” I previously answered the 1st question and today, I’ll address the 2nd.

While on the road, World Nomads is hands down is the health insurance of choice.

World Nomads is essentially emergency-only health insurance. For United States residents, your co-payment is $100. This means if you’re going in for something routine, you’re going to pay for it. But if it’s something catastrophic, you’re covered.

Other reasons why I like World Nomads:

  • Covers you while participating in all kinds of crazy activities – surfing, scuba diving, bungee jumping, skydiving, snowboarding, etc…
  • Travel insurance is thrown in for free if your things are lost or stolen.
  • Available to residents around the world (not just US residents!).
  • Easy sign-up process and easy to extend while traveling.

Some things to be aware of before purchasing:

  • Unlike traditional health insurance, if there’s an accident, you pay fully out of pocket first, then file a claim to be reimbursed.
  • While they cover you if your things are lost or stolen, only $500 of electronics are covered. If your new Macbook Air is stolen, you’re not going to be reimbursed for its full value. If you travel with expensive jewelry or electronics, you should consider purchasing additional traveler’s insurance.
  • If you’re a United States resident and purchase domestic health insurance, you’re not covered if you’re within 100 miles of your permanent residence.
  • Lastly, make sure to read all of the fine print of your policy so you understand exactly what you’re getting. It’s surprisingly easy to read.

Check out their website, for more information and if you have any questions or opinions on World Nomads, leave a comment, I’d love to hear them.

Jason Demant is the founder of, where you can find detailed do-it-yourself travel itineraries for your next trip. For the latest on travel-writing you can follow him on Twitter @UnAnchor, or join the I Love Travel Writing Facebook group.

Full Disclosure: All links to World Nomads are affiliate links and by using them you support my travel habit. You’re awesome!

Photo Credit: Laura4Smith

Travel Writing Advice from Around the Web

chicago skylineHere’s a quick digest of some my favorite travel-writing advice articles I’ve recently run across:

How To Be a Travel Writer – This excellent article by British Guild of Travel Writers member Roger Norum goes through the entire travel-writing process. From, “is travel-writing for me?”, to getting started, advice on writing, and advice on the business side. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in travel-writing.

How to Be a Travel Writer (I guess this is a popular title) – Written by famous travel-writer Rick Steves. In the article he discusses how to get started travel-writing by learning how to travel first and then moving on to discuss how to make money.

Tips on Travel Writing – 7 great tips on travel-writing from Lonely Planet author Tim Richards. In the article he gives tips on your pitch, discusses sponsored travel, and gives advice on the type of articles to start out with as a beginning travel-writer.

Jason Demant is the founder of, where you can find detailed do-it-yourself travel itineraries for your next trip. For the latest on travel-writing you can follow him on Twitter @UnAnchor, or join the I Love Travel Writing Facebook group.

5 Questions With…Rolf Potts

Today we return to our “5 Questions With…” series, and we have with us a real treat–travel writer Rolf Potts. Read on to get some insights from someone who has been around the globe–and gotten paid to write about it! When you get done checking out the interview, be sure and head over to Rolf’s site where there is more advice for aspiring travel writers.                                 – Catherine

Rolf Potts
Rolf Potts

1. What is your background in writing and how did you become a travel writer?

I got involved in travel writing by trial and error — by getting out and traveling, writing, and keeping at it until I got good at both.  My first break came in 1998, when I was living in Korea and I started selling freelance travel essays to  Eventually they made me a biweekly travel columnist — and this let to other freelance work for venues like Conde Nast Traveler and National Geographic traveler. 

By 2001 I’d gotten my first book contract, and “Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel” was published by Villard/Random House in early 2003.  I’ve since written general journalism and literary criticism, but travel-writing continues to be my main line of work.

2. In your opinion, what are the biggest mistakes writers make when they attempt to craft a travel piece?

They forget to use the techniques of narrative — character, foreshadowing, scene, etc. — and instead just recount their experiences in chronological order.  In the age of blogs, nobody needs a bland, “travelogue” recounting of what happened to you on the road.  You need to tell a story — you need to guide the readers’ experience of your journey, and deliver them insight as well as information — preferably in a lively and engaging manner.

3. Can you share any savvy travel tips with readers? 

Go slow.  Your experience of a place will differ according to the pace of your travels, and you’ll only get superficial impressions if you spend your journey rushing from place to place.  Rather than covering a huge amount of ground in a short amount of time, stick to one place and get to know it well — and get to know some people there.  Your stories will benefit exponentially.

4. What are the components of good travel writing? Continue reading 5 Questions With…Rolf Potts