Red Carpet Treatment and VIP Perks…For Free

Once again I’ve been spoiled to ordinary travel. I’ve had meals paid for in excellent restaurants, stayed in a fun and quirky former Masonic Lodge turned hotel and tasted some of the world’s best wines…all for free. My new career as a full-time travel writer is going great as I enter my third year.

In my first year I took a trip to New Zealand and landed two free nights in a boutique wine country cottage. My wife joined me and we loved how our private patio looked out on fields of grapes and the distant Rimutakas.

As each passing month came and went I added to my list of free perks. Just six months into travel writing I landed a big one. Canada’s Prince Edward Island had long been on my bucket list and I figured now that I had around 10 published articles to my name it was time to see if I could get an assignment and go for free. I landed two! One was for a website featuring holiday rental stories and the other was a travel website I could write hotel reviews and destination stories for.

The Prince Edward Island visitor bureau accepted my pitch and paid for most of our lodging, some of our meals and gave me a $250 gift card to buy local products for my “cooking on holiday” story. I bought lobster, mussels and local jams. I then took photos of the meals I prepared in the holiday rental and used them in the story. Our week-long stay on Prince Edward Island, coloured with red-sand beaches and green fields was breathtaking.

During my first year the perks were good but into the second year they got even better. I was actually turning down trips because I limit my travel to eight weeks a year. I passed up a trip to Eastern Europe for eight days; all expenses except airfares were to be paid by the host.

I love Alaska and try and visit every summer for a week or two. This year I scored big as a travel writer. I queried a high-end fishing lodge for a free trip and they said yes. The regular price for the trip was $4,400 per person. We were given one of the newest cabins with views of nearby islands…and occasional whales passing by the narrow channel outside our window!

Travel writing allows me to work from anywhere. I could spend weeks in Japan, where my wife is from, and sell several articles to magazines and travel websites hungry for good coverage. Anywhere I have an internet connection I can make a temporary office.

If you love to travel, you too can join this exclusive travel club. Work for 20 to 30 hours per week like I do or tailor your workload as you please. Either way, I’m sure you will love the travel writer’s life…

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