Two retired women working as travel writers on a laptop

Why Retirees Make Great Travel Writers

Did you know that nearly half of all freelancers in the U.S. are over 50?

Honestly, I’m not the least bit surprised.

Here’s why.

Baby boomers bring many qualities that fit like a glove in the entrepreneurial world of travel writing. Most have had successful careers in their first trip around the sun. In addition, they offer maturity, wisdom, experience, a sense of commitment, and a solid work ethic.

These are exactly the types of qualities editors are looking for! I know this all very well since I launched my travel writing career in 2014.

Breaking into Travel Writing

The world of travel writing is a bit like betting on a superfecta in horse racing. You see, a superfecta is a bet where you have to pick the first four finishers of a race in the correct order to win. It takes some real strategy, but the payoff can be truly remarkable.

That’s the kind of excitement and reward travel writing has brought into my life. Nine years ago, I had no idea that freelance travel writing even existed. 

Honestly, back then, I was swamped with my full-time nursing job, and I didn’t know what to expect. But on the first day of attending a travel writing workshop, as I listened to some of the presenters, it hit me like a lightning bolt. This was it. This was exactly what I had been searching for.

Now, when I travel, strangers often approach me, intrigued by the idea of becoming a travel writer. To them, it sounds like a world of fun and adventure.

Indeed, it is a lot of fun, but it’s also much more. It’s a source of income that comes in various forms.

Here are some of the most rewarding aspects of being a freelance travel writer in today’s world.

See Your Name in Print

Noreen Kompanik

I’ll never forget the day when an editor from an online travel site emailed me with the message, “Congratulations, your article is scheduled for our November publication.” That first online article had my name on it.

And then came the print publications – my first article graced the pages of a local San Diego family travel magazine. My heart raced as I turned to page 17 and there it was—my article in print. The thrill continued with my first cover story and has persisted, with my 900th article published just this week.

Get Paid for Your Writing

Seeing my articles published is wonderful, but getting paid for my writing is even better. It’s confirmation that editors appreciate my work enough to pay me for telling my story. And, I’ve even had the pleasure of writing for magazines that pay extra for photos, a delightful “double dipping” experience.

And the more experience I’ve had, the more it’s given me the opportunities to write for publications that pay even better.

Receive Incredible Travel Perks

Three female travel writers having drinks

I can’t emphasize enough the incredible travel perks I’ve received. This year alone, I’ve embarked on several international hosted trips, with more to come. I’ve been to Mexico’s Riviera Maya, on two European ocean and river cruises, Thailand, a South African safari experience, the Dominican Republic, and more.

And that doesn’t count my domestic media trips to California wine regions, Pacific coastal destinations, and Breckenridge’s Rocky Mountains.

Tourism boards have covered my airfare and transportation, put me up in luxurious boutique hotels and vacation villas, and treated me to exquisite five-course dinners with wine pairings, hot air balloon rides over vineyards, sunset sails, kayaking adventures, zip-lining excursions, horseback riding, and more. In exchange for my published articles, I’m treated like royalty on every trip.

Although I cherished my nursing career, such experiences never came my way in the hospital. Now, I don’t have to dig into my own pockets for travel expenses.

Enjoy Complete and Total Freedom

In my previous career, I adhered to a strict schedule, punching a clock when I arrived and left work. I followed a set routine that dictated which days and shifts I’d be working. But all of that changed when I retired to become a full-time travel writer. I set my own schedule, determine how my day unfolds, take breaks as I please, and often find myself pinching myself to believe that this is really my life.

When I decided to become a travel writer, it felt like I had purchased a winning ticket—a superfecta of sorts. However, the remarkable difference is that I didn’t win just once; I win every day because I’m a freelance travel writer.

Now, it’s your turn to step into this exciting world. You’ll get there too, but remember, it all begins with that first step.

Join our Travel Writers Café today to get started!

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