Plan a trip, book a flight ticket, take some pictures, write descriptive notes, prepare some catchy phrase, and then publish it. Is that all that is needed to be a travel journalist / blogger?
Well, let's find out five things to know about travel journalism from the real journalists and bloggers themselves!
Femi Diah, Deputy Managing Editor, Detik.com
Matius Teguh Nugroho, Blogger, The Travelearn
- Travel journalists must be a wiz when it comes to researching travel destinations, tickets, accommodation, transportation, news sources, health care facilities, sanitation, and other facilities. They should also be adaptable when dealing with problems along the way, such as transportation, jet lag, and navigation skills. They should also prepare themselves upon arriving in a new location, such as knowing the local language and customs, weather, and the possibility of running out of money
- Embracing newness and being creative when it comes to brainstorming story ideas and planning how they will be published
- Travel journalists should be communicative, produce multimedia works, and multitask
- Travel journalists would normally work by themselves and are used to being alone, but they also have to work in a team and expand their network
- Having travel-related hobbies will help you connect with locals. But having other hobbies are equally as important. When travel becomes your work, it is no longer leisure. Travel journalists can experience burnout from constant traveling.
Doddy Wiraseto, Editor, Lionmag
- Not all Travel Bloggers get full sponsors for their trips. Most of them are traveling independently. Even if you are popular and collaborate with sponsors, the process is also not easy, not cheap, and not short. You have to build a portfolio, travel with your own funds, and create good content, then the brand will come to you.
- Everyone has their own priorities. If others prefer to spend money on physical goods, food, or other hobbies, we choose traveling. So, we don’t travel because we are rich, but because we like it.
- You don't have to be an expert, but it is an understatement to say that travel bloggers / journalists did not need basic photography skills. At least you should be able to get your images straight or capture the object sharply.
- Usually, Travel Bloggers are also synonymous with backpackers or low-cost travelers. Although our expenses during the trip are not excessive, it does not mean that our travel gear is careless. The backpack might cost as much as a foam mattress. The camera can be equivalent to the price of a motorcycle.
- There are times when travel bloggers feel bored to write, or travel, and will be on hiatus for some time. After that, when we feel refreshed enough, the idea will return.
Nabilla Tashandra, Assistant Editor, KOMPAS.com
- Camera is the most essential gear. Photo documentations in all travel destinations are a crucial aspect of every content.
- A travel journalist also needs to have an active passport. This is a must-have document especially if you have lots of assignments abroad.
- Being able to adapt to the current environment and its society is also important. This should be a habit for travel journalists.
- A travel journalist should be able to write a descriptive piece of content because transforming visual content into a written one is part of a travel journalist's role. The ability to ensure the audience can understand what are we trying to describe is a must.
- Travel Journalists have to be aware of environmental issues. We're not only sourcing for news but also educating people on how to preserve the environment, while the travel destination grows and attracts more tourists.
- We can’t just publish a destination. Considering how easy it is to establish an online media, it is far too easy for people to write travel destinations based on unreliable sources, such as using social media without confirmation. It can result in inaccurate information or travel spots that are disappointing in real life.
- Being a travel journalist does not equal fun just because we travel a lot. Other journalists travel too, but for us, we do it for the sake of exploring leisure activities. Does traveling mean having fun? Not really. Because we have to explore places that not many people know, sometimes the access is limited. For some people, it can make them uncomfortable.We also need to separate travel and work. Traveling while working and traveling on its own are two very different things. Oftentimes we can’t soak in the experience due to tight deadlines. But please remember this is not always the case, some journalists may enjoy the process and see this type of work as fun.
- Being a travel journalist is not as easy as it seems. Traveling and writing about travel destinations or leisure activities may seem like a piece of cake compared to other ‘’serious’’ topics such as politics, law, or economics. The truth is, writing travel articles with quality is challenging because we have to dig deeper than the surface. Knowing broad general knowledge is essential for travel journalists. Since everyone can publish anything online, journalists should not write at a surface level, otherwise there would be no difference between bloggers or internet users posting on their social media.
- Attention to detail and being more sensitive to our surroundings are essential for travel journalists so that when we write, we can narrate the story comprehensively. It sounds easy, but it’s challenging especially if they have previously written straight news. Attention to detail is also important when we see numerical data.