How to Be a Travel Blogger and Get Free Stuff

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See the world and write about it - sometimes for free!
See the world and write about it - sometimes for free! (Image: All images from CreativeCommons.org)

Becoming a travel blogger and reaping the rewards such as receiving free goods can be a great career if you're willing to work hard and be tenacious in both your asking and writing. Playing the role of a travel blogger who is contacted for free things takes a lot of time, determination, and a natural talent that will draw companies to you. From that first blog post of a local hotel to the overseas adventure that receives the most page hits on the site, use these tips to learn how to become a travel blogger and get free stuff along the way.

Write a few reviews of travel-related destinations in your own hometown. This could be a hotel, restaurant, local amusement park, or even a unique/notable neighborhood.

Submit this article as a writing sample to online travel blogs. There are many to choose from; a good one to start with is Lonely Planet. Check the blog site for submission guidelines before submitting your article, as every site will have different specifications and requirements.

Blogging can get you free transportation and many other complimentary perks.
Blogging can get you free transportation and many other complimentary perks.

Send a follow-up email thanking the editor for his consideration a week or so after submitting your sample piece. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with various web presences until you land a blogging gig.

Make a list of companies that exist where your assignments are. For example, if you are going to Paris, get an extensive roster of all restaurants, tourist attractions and transportation providers within the region where you will be staying.

Contact these companies by phone or email and alert them of your travel plans and include a reference to your blog. Ask for a complimentary meal, product, or hotel stay in exchange for a review on your blog site. Refer to competing companies who may have already given you this opportunity.

A well-traveled laptop will become your best friend on the open road.
A well-traveled laptop will become your best friend on the open road.

Write a fair and objective blog review. When you have written on several destinations and include valuable local insights, it will become easier to get free stuff in exchange for a writeup, and companies may actually start seeking you out.

Tips & Warnings

  • Find a good friend to bounce your blog entries off of before you hit "publish." They will catch mistakes you can't.
  • Try to cover interesting, out of the ordinary things on your travel blog. Readers want something fresh and different.
  • Do not depend on a desktop computer for your writing. You will want something portable that allows you to capture the moment.
  • Good writing takes time--do not turn in a rush job, as it will make you look scattered and unprofessional.

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