Dream Job: Travel Writer?

A review of Tim Leffel’s Travel Writing 2.0

Pull up Google and type in an SEO rich phrase: “How to Become a Travel Writer.” A barrage of pages advertising travel writing as a dream career will come your way. “Get Paid to Travel” is the basic message. Stay in luxury hotels for free as you are wined and dined in the most exclusive restaurants. It seems too good to be true; why would anyone want to do anything else?

In his latest book, TRAVEL WRITING 2.0: Earning Money from your Travels in the New Media Landscape award-winning travel writer Tim Leffel debunks the stereotypes, stripping the profession down to its myths and realities. As the author of hundreds of articles, three travel books, several travel blogs and the editor of an award-winning webzine Perceptive Travel, Leffel knows the industry inside out. But what really makes him unique is that, as Chuck Thompson puts it, he “not only has all the fact, but isn’t afraid to share them.”

Travel Writing 2.0 is a fundamental resource for any writer seeking to do exactly what the subtitle says: “earning money from your travels in the new media landscape.” In a casual and humorous tone, Leffel gives a rundown of the industry, and how it has changed with the advent of the internet, blogs, social media, in short: the 2.0 world. In fact, Leffel’s book itself is the physical encapsulation of such developments; available as an E-book or an ODP (On Demand Publishing) paperback, Travel Writing 2.0 does nothing less than place itself in the 2.0 market.

In just under 250 pages, Leffel offers a well laid-out strategic plan for the aspiring travel writer. From authoring guidebooks to penning print for Trade magazines, every aspect of the travel writing profession is addressed with its advantages and disadvantages. Leffel presents the situation as it is: a competitive market in which a writer needs to find his or her niche. He portrays the perks while putting us through a reality-check. Clearly, “Get Paid to Travel” is too simple of a description for the entire profession.

What’s great is that Leffel isn’t the only one who talks in Travel Writing 2.0. Quotes from over fifty other travel writers embellish and emphasize his points. To top it off, the book ends with an entire section dedicated to useful print and online resources. It’s an easy read but a lot of information to put into action.

Feel the need to get going? If you’re still waiting for the book to arrive from Amazon, sign up for the accompanying blog on www.travelwriting2.com. Learn from Leffel, and maybe in a decade or three, you will actually be staying in a five star hotel, for free. If you’re looking to do that any sooner, get a job that will actually pay the bills from the start.


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