10 Essential Steps: How to Make the Most of Your Travel Editorial Internship – The Travel Hack

10 Critical Steps: How to Make the Most of Your Travel Editor Internship - Travel Hacks

Will Peach is one of the site editors at Gap Daemon, a gap year travel community website for backpackers and gap year travelers, where I also work.

Breaking into the travel industry as a budding young writer or editor can be difficult. Securing an internship is the first step on the ladder. But once you’ve gotten that far, how do you go the extra mile?

10 Critical Steps: How to Make the Most of Your Travel Editor Internship - Travel Hacks

These 10 tips will help you find a job while traveling. It doesn’t matter how long or short your internship is or how much blood and sweat you put into it!

Prepare carefully

Once you’ve secured the post and been given the green light, it’s time to get into preparation mode. Ask yourself what you want to get out of the position. However, keep in mind that work is not always possible. But remember: That doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the opportunity.

Create a list of goals. This could be a certain number of contacts or a certain number of published works. Set a specific goal in mind, write it down, and review it each morning before checking in. You’ll be surprised how much energy and motivation this will give you.

show your passion

Ultimately, it’s passion rather than skill that will help you land a job in the travel industry. Show your stuff right from the start and win the hearts of your colleagues and contacts.

Create a list of questions and knowledge points related to this area. Take these with you and ask supervising editors and freelance writers for their opinions. However, be tactful and limit this to one time, either at lunch outside of work, or at a sensible time (perhaps via email). The last thing you want to do is distract them from the important, immediate task.

identify a mentor

Finding a mentor within the travel industry is essential to success. Admit that you don’t know everything, and you never will. Foster a mentor-student relationship with someone in the industry. It doesn’t have to be someone within your internship. It doesn’t matter if you contact someone along the way.

Attract them well and even if nothing happens, take them outside of the internship. This will not only give you more connections and contacts, but also allow you to learn a lot. Ask them to check on your progress via Skype or email and pick their brains!

Unprecedented network

As you work during your internship, you should always keep track of the contacts you make along the way in an Excel spreadsheet. Record your name, company name, job title, email address, and how you first contacted us.

Network as much as you can. Ask your intern’s supervisor to take you to a trade meetup. Ask for people to contact. Ask which pubs tourists hang out in. Never stop asking.

become the key

This applies to all internships, not just travel. Please be important. Instead of just waiting for your boss to hand you something, identify opportunities.

Since the role is junior, they probably won’t expect much from you. That’s why it’s important to prove that you can take responsibility. Consider ways businesses can reach out. Do they have a Facebook fan page? Do they follow blog commenters? Can you improve the copy on your company’s landing page?

We provide solutions. Deliver your ideas. Don’t be a coward.

build your brand

Travel internships offer an opportunity to get your name out there, no matter how junior you are or how low your organization’s expectations are.

Build the web page yourself. Incorporate URLs into email signatures within corporate systems. Link your company’s social networking channels to your site or social networking profiles, especially if you have some control over them. If you can get away with tweeting from their account or posting your own work, please do so!

Point all contacts you make during your internship toward your personal brand. Do you want to work for free? The company has no right to stop you!

build a portfolio

No matter what your internship role is, there’s always an opportunity to work on meaningful work. If they don’t come your way, it’s up to you to ask for it.

If you’re lucky, incorporate that work into your portfolio. Not getting anything? Next, focus on rewriting your company materials, improving them, and filing them in your portfolio. If you followed the previous steps and your portfolio is online, even better!

make an exit plan

Internships can sometimes fall through the cracks, especially in the travel industry, given competitive and economic issues. But by having an exit plan, you can use it to your advantage to increase your chances of finding a job.

That contact list? What is that portfolio that you have built? Go through your list and tell people what you did and what you can do now, and always refer back to examples of work you’ve done.

Pitch to these contacts and offer your services and the skill set that your internship helped you build. Even if it doesn’t get released right away, there’s bound to be something you can do well for free and turn into paid work later.

Maximize your chances of getting a job

Rule number one when facing the end of an internship is to ask about the possibility of staying. If you follow the steps outlined and show great value, the company won’t be in a hurry to lose you.

If that doesn’t work, be sure to update your portfolio and brand channels to reflect the fact that you are currently available and looking for work. People who think you’re still busy are less likely to ask questions.

enjoy the experience

The last and perhaps most important tip: Enjoy your travel internship! Treat every day as an opportunity, a chance to learn. Travel work is fun!

Travel-related internships in the field of editing or travel writing are not only highly competitive, but also very difficult to find because few companies offer them. If you’re looking to break into the travel writing field, why not check out Gap Daemon’s Traveling Intern Program? I wish I had this when I was traveling, as you can earn up to £1,000 for your writing.

Has anyone found a travel editing job after an internship?

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