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Working On the Road: 5 Practical Tips for the Traveling Freelance Writer

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Life as a freelance travel writer is a blend of work and travel and is a popular way of living. If all that’s required to earn some income is a laptop and internet, why should you remain at the office full-time? Many individuals have dreamt of being freelance travel writers (imagine being paid to travel to different places of the world and document your experiences). If you wish, freelance travel writing can become a full-time passion or it can just be a side hustle. With this career, you'll have plenty of opportunities to see the world in a manner that you never could as a regular tourist.

The following are practical tips for the traveling freelance writer:

  1. Adhere To a Set Schedule

When you are fortunate enough to be able to work and play, it is best that you don’t mess that up. That’s the reason why it's essential to schedule your time and plan so you can benefit as much as possible from both work and play.

When traveling, you can begin by doing some work first thing in the morning, and then check for emails that need to be responded to in the afternoon. You might find yourself in areas with limited internet connectivity; therefore, it would be wise to check your emails whenever there is internet. Moreover, you also need to spend some time offline to disconnect and recharge.

If you have a lot of work to do on a certain project, it would be better for you to complete the work in the morning so that you can have the time during the day to visit various places without stressing over making a deadline. It additionally gives you the freedom to explore the nightlife without worrying about your work. On the other hand, some individuals tend to work the opposite way. Different people work under different circumstances. You only need to figure out which approach suits you.

All in all, make sure that you adhere to scheduled times for work and play. You wouldn’t want to ignore your emails and then spend your trip replying to emails as opposed to seeing the incredible sceneries of Paris, Mexico, Barcelona and Thailand, among other places.

  1. Communicate With Your Clients

You are leaving for a trip. What do you tell your clients? It all depends on your work schedule. Will you set aside a couple of hours for work each day and be available for scheduled, day to day inquiries? You may not require an away message at all!

In any case, if you're going away on a trip, make sure to set an away message on your email and voicemail so that your clients know why they're not able to get hold of you immediately. Ensure to tell them when to expect a response. If you have a backup contact for critical issues, make sure that you list that individual's information.

In case you’re planning to be away for a significant amount of time, you ought to convey this to your clients early so that they can work with you to deal with any loose ends before you disappear. Remember, communication is crucial here. You should not be difficult to get hold of during a particular project. Ensure that your clients are informed as you go along and don't make them look for you for any updates.

  1. Always Plan Before You Go

Before embarking on a trip, you can always come up with several lists. You can either use a simple pen and paper or online tools like Evernote.

The first list could include deadlines that need to be met while on a trip, important phone calls and e-mails that need to be attended to among other critical things that can’t be overlooked. You have to try and take care of as many things as possible before you leave for a trip.

Regardless of whether it's a critical revision request for a writing submitted a while back or an email from the individual you've been trying to get hold of, at times, things just come up while traveling that you have to deal with.

The second list might have offline tasks that you can take care of. This includes tasks such as writing and offline research, tasks that are done best away from online destructions like emails or just surfing. These tasks are great for planes. Brainstorming can also be done effectively while traveling. A mixture of new stuff and an interruption of one's day to day routine can enable one to be creative. The change of environment is good for brainstorming purposes, whether it's mapping out an article, considering new articles to write or even adding something extra to the book you're writing.

  1. Have a Backup

When working while traveling, it's imperative to have dependable access to your files or documents. Before embarking on the journey, you can save the important files that you'll need on your laptop. Then, you can copy these documents to a flash drive. Having this backup is important because, for example, if you encounter some difficulties with your laptop, you can take the flash drive to an internet café to access your files and get your work done.

As another way of backing up your files, you can create a Dropbox account and transfer your files there so that you can access them digitally whenever you need them. While none of these arrangements is 100% perfect, having some backup will make your work easier while on the road.

  1. Writing Style

It has been noted that travel journalism is one of the most boring things out there. Writers can end up making the mistake of making their articles look like a brochure. Great travel writing is a mix of journalism and creative writing. Articles should incorporate information and observations without sounding boring.

Show, do not tell your audience about a particular experience. Ensure that your readers feel moved by your description of the experience. Recreate that moment so that your audience is in your shoes, going to the places that you visited, meeting the people that you interacted with, and feeling what you felt while in those locations. Make them feel inspired to embark on the same journey. Try not to write on persuasive paper topics or in report style with no feeling of engagement. A good writing style is fresh, with personal observations and includes things like metaphors and similes.

Additional writing tips include:

  • You should be observant. The fine details usually bring a story to life

  • Include your location(s), what you were doing there, and why

  • Ensure that you include quotes from the people with whom you interacted in the places that you visited - it will enrich your content

  • Write in the first person and past tense

  • Begin your story with a good introduction that gives a taste of the general feeling, tone, and purpose of your article. It should be something that fascinates your readers and makes them eager to continue reading.


The tips above will assist any traveling freelance writer to improve their craft. Additionally, when traveling, you should not forget to network. If you have business cards, carry them because you will meet many interesting people and one of them might be interested in what you have to offer.

Moreover, you have to stay motivated at all times. Staying motivated without colleagues can be difficult, especially when things aren’t going as planned. To deal with this, you can join an online community with people facing similar situations.


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Buddy I fully support this idea and myself try to sit less in the office because in my opinion it is the past century to sit at work 8 hours 5 days a week and etc you need to switch to a more loyal mode of operation and work only for your pleasure and freelancing gives such an opportunity and in particular this mode of operation allows you to travel and that's the beauty of it.  I would also advise all freelancers who are going abroad to read the article about safe travel abroad to be aware of what to expect from the country especially with a long stay I think more information will never hurt.


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