travel

'I'm a full-time travel influencer. Here's every question you have about my job, answered.'

Right now, I’m 8,000 metres high in a window seat on VA1531 to Sydney from Hobart, where I’ve spent the last 24 hours with a crowd of creators and travel journalists experiencing the wild Tassie off-season with Virgin, Tourism Tasmania and PE Nation. 

I’m wearing my gifted limited-edition PE Nation outfit, designed for the Virgin crew to wear during these winter flights, my carry-on luggage is stuffed with bottles of delicious gin and my belly is full of Tasmanian cheese, ham and sparkling wine. 

While you're here, watch the horoscopes at the airport. Post continues after video.


Video via Mamamia.

I’ve been pampered and spoilt, and I’ve experienced a taste of Tassie that has me needing more. Not only do I want to return to Tasmania, I really want my audience to visit too.

How did I get to be part of this incredible trip? I’m a freelance travel writer and content creator, and sharing destinations and experiences has been my job for around eight years now. While it’s definitely hard work, there are some very nice perks, and I am incredibly grateful I get to do this for a living. 

Here’s everything I get asked about my job.

How did you start?

I have a journalism degree and I’ve been writing for most of my life, and I absolutely love travelling. In 2016, my then six-year-old daughter and I set off on a big adventure travelling full time, and my worlds collided in the best way. 

I started writing about our travels for media, as well as sharing on my Instagram account, which rapidly grew. I wasn’t the first solo mum to set off travelling full time, but the timing was right. Media followed our travels, my audience grew, and I started getting work as a travel writer, first with family travel magazines and then with other publications - and then, because of our story and the size of my Instagram account, I was offered a book contract and many more opportunities followed.

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How do you get work?

I pitch stories into magazines and newspapers about destinations I’m going to or have been to. Traditional media isn’t easy, as I’m relatively new and there are many established travel journalists with long track records of award-winning writing. Sometimes I get stories though, which is always a thrill - and then I agonise for days over every word I write. 

I also write a lot of family travel stories for online news and parenting sites, which I really enjoy because I feel less pressure. When I write for Mamamia, it feels like I’m having a conversation with friends, so it’s easy and fun to share candid stories and insights like this. 

Often my articles are about specific travel experiences - things we’ve done that are outside the ordinary, like visiting Phnom Penh prison to take supplies into an Aussie who was there on smuggling charges, or moving to Magnetic Island during the pandemic.

With content creation, it’s a mixed bag. I’m often contacted by brands who want to work with me to reach my audience with travel destinations and offers. It’s always super exciting to receive an invitation. 

Sometimes I don’t get jobs I think I would have been perfect for so it can be disappointing, but there are a lot of influencers to choose from. I could be incredibly busy for a few weeks and then have nothing... but I always have work to do whether I’m travelling or not. Social media, in particular, is very time-consuming and there is not much down-time.

What kind of trips do you get to do?

All kinds! From overnight city stays to Aussie destinations and international trips with flights, accommodation and incidentals included. Only a few weeks ago I was in Europe with Royal Caribbean International experiencing cruising on their newest and world’s-biggest ship, The Wonder of the Seas (I am now a cruise addict and planning my next) and sharing it all with my audience online, as well as writing articles for print media back home. 

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In the past few months since the Australian border opened, I’ve been on six overseas trips to explore, share and report back – some of these have been hosted trips and others I’ve organised myself and pitched stories about them.   

I’m planning our next ski trip to Japan in partnership with Club Med with my daughter, and my calendar for the rest of the year and into 2023 is already filling up. 

At the moment, there’s a huge appetite for travel, and an even greater one for the reassurance that comes from watching others take the trip first and show what it’s like.

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What’s the best trip you’ve been on?

The day I opened an email from Disney with an invitation to travel to Disneyland was one I will never forget, and exploring Sabah in Malaysian Borneo on our very first hosted trip back in 2016 was very special too. 

We have stayed at hotels I could never afford, like the $2,500 per night suite at the Palazzo Versace in Dubai when we travelled there with Dubai Tourism a few years ago, and the Park Hyatt in the Maldives.

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I felt very blessed to experience this style of travel, and also have my eyes opened to experiences I may have overlooked, like exploring Catalonia, cruising the Greek Islands and all-inclusive holidays.

I was very disinterested in all-inclusive until I tried Club Med and now I love it, and I will definitely cruise again after my trip with Royal Caribbean.

Staying at the Outrigger Reef Resort in Waikiki, Hawaii when I was on my very first solo holiday away from my daughter made my trip extra special, and I got to share a fabulous resort and brand with my audience, many of whom booked it straight away. And when I travelled to Fiji as Virgin Australia’s guest on their first international flight after our Aussie borders opened, I shared about what to expect from a Fiji holiday as we emerged from lockdown into pandemic travel.

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That part of my job - the exploring and helping people to be confident to travel, and sharing where to go, where to stay and what to do - is my favourite part.

Do you get paid to travel?

Yes, it’s true, travel influencers can get paid to travel, which is a definite perk to the job!

While some jobs are in exchange for the trip itself, I’m often paid a daily rate or they can pay me a set fee, which varies depending on what the brand deliverables are (the work I do in exchange for the trip). 

Payment ranges from the mid hundreds well into the thousands per day. This can include posting and sharing my experience on my channels, selling photographs I take for the client, writing content for their channels and writing blog posts on my website.

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It’s fair to expect payment, as I generate a huge return on investment for the brands I work with – sometimes into the millions – and, of course, it’s work. I can be writing an article, exploring, researching, taking photos, interviewing staff, assessing kid’s clubs and offerings – although sometimes (full disclosure) I’m sitting on a beach or in a hot tub with a pina colada. 

Brands often offer payment when they approach with a trip offer, but sometimes I have to ask if there is a budget and see if they are willing to pay. I must admit, sometimes I forget to ask if there’s a fee when I’m offered a really amazing trip. I just get too excited that I’ve been invited.

Are there any negatives?

I soon realised that combining an actual holiday with work – like staying at a resort in return for sharing it on social channels, for example – can defeat the purpose of having a holiday, so I usually pay my own way rather than do this. If I don’t, I end up focusing my attention on social media rather than my daughter, which is just so awful and something that’s happened in the past. Time together needs to be mindful, not distracted.  

Having a ‘free’ holiday can sound like a great idea, but it’s not a holiday if you’re working and it’s not ‘free’. It’s an exchange and I take it very seriously, so when I’m on a trip I work hard so I deliver value to the brand, because ultimately, working in the travel writing/influencing game is all about delivering value for the brands you work with.

And the best part of your job?

The best part for me is being able to do what I love and connect people with holidays that suit them too. Having a platform means I can also write about issues that are important to me, like the coup in Myanmar and the need to help the Burmese people, as well as why I don’t take photos of children while travelling, how to give back to local communities – like donating blood  – and where I’ve made mistakes (like volunteering in a Cambodian school) and how others can avoid them. 

I’ve also met the most amazing people through this job who’ve become friends – editors and journalists, PR and marketing managers, hotel staff, travelling families, people who love travel and other wandering souls like me. It’s so nice to connect. 

Most of all though, I’m so grateful to be able to do what fills my happiness bucket every day, and share the world with my daughter and the people who follow our adventures.

Evie’s book Backyard to Backpack: A solo mum, a six-year-old and a life-changing adventure is available in bookstores and online. You can follow her on Instagram at mumpacktravel.

Feature Image: Instagram @mumpacktravel.