One of the hardest, or more stressful parts for me, is pitching travel. I'm a full-time traveler without kids, so pitching travel for my specific demographics can be a challenge. As a travel blogger, it is part of the job though. I don't write for free and neither should you. Most travel writers are on assignment from a publication or online source and are typically reimbursed or travel has been setup ahead a time for them. But when you are a travel blogger, you have to do the leg work yourself. Even if you are not a full-time travel blogger, you can still pitch for travel and get it.
Know Your Focus
Always ask yourself what can you bring specifically to a hotel or an excursion? When pitching for a hotel stay, give at least 2-3 months lead time. Send them a media kit with your blog's reach, social media numbers, and what value you bring to their brand. Be prepared that they will research you, so don't lie about your numbers. You don't have to have a massive online presence to pitch either.
For instance, a wine blogger can pitch hotels in Napa Valley as it ties in perfectly to their blogs. They can also pitch for wine tastings or tours as they already have a readership for that information. If you drink one glass of wine once a year, this wouldn't work for you. Know your focus and present this professionally to the travel brands you want to work with.
I went on a day cruise with Kenai Fjords Tour out of Seward, Alaska. The gray whales only in for a short time and I worked with their marketing department for this post.
Travel Boards and PR Companies
It is very rare for you not to be working with a PR company when you want to work with specific hotel brands. Reach out to the PR reps you are already working with and ask if they have any travel or hotel clients in their portfolio. They are more apt to work with bloggers that they already know and don't need to vet out. Send a pitch letter to Chamber of Commerces, State Travel Boards, and Offices of Tourism asking them if they work with bloggers. Again, be specific as to what you want to do in their city or state and how being published on your blog will help them. It is the age old saying – it isn't what you can do for me, but what can I do for you.
Engage with travel brands and companies through their social channels, let them see who you are. Be genuine and engaging and let your personality shine through. Companies want to work with awesome bloggers, not ones that just want things for free. If a brand can't comp your stay or activity, more often than not, they will offer a media rate. Most want to see if you will work together on a media rate before doing an entire FAM trip for you.