Friday, 11 December 2015

One Trip, Multiple Stories: A Travel Writer's Journey to Europe & the USA

For the journey detailed below, I paid for my airfares and received on-the-ground assistance from local tourism authorities and hotels. Full disclosures are included with each linked article and blog post.

This is my 400th post at Aerohaveno. Eight years ago I started this blog, somewhat reluctantly, then realised it was a valuable additional outlet for my travel writing.

I've managed to keep the output consistent over that time, averaging precisely 50 posts per year. Often I post about topics which I haven't been able to cover in my work for newspapers, magazines and websites.

For the 400th post, I'd like to do something a little different - draw back the curtain on the mechanics of my trade.

Focusing on a four-week travel writing research trip I undertook in 2014 to Europe and New York, I'll outline how each activity led to a specific piece of writing - with a link to the published article or blog post.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin.

Thursday 21 August 2014

Activity: Fly Qantas flight QF9 from Melbourne to London Heathrow.
Resulting story: A 'Flight Test' review of Qantas' Premium Economy class for the Traveller section of Fairfax Media's Saturday newspapers in Australia.

Activity: Check out the Qantas First Class lounge at Melbourne Airport before the flight.
Resulting story: A review of the lounge, here at Aerohaveno.

Saturday 23 August 2014



Activity: Visit London's Cartoon Museum for an exhibition of World War One cartoons.
Resulting story: A 'Postcard from London' piece for the Spectrum (culture) section of The Age newspaper in Melbourne.

Sunday 24 August 2014



Activity: Visit Abbey Road, West Ham, to investigate local attractions.
Resulting story: An article on the "wrong" Abbey Road, for the Traveller section of the Sun-Herald newspaper in Sydney.

Activity: Take the Gentleman's Afternoon Tea at The Athenaeum Hotel, Mayfair.
Resulting story: A blog post about the experience, here at Aerohaveno.

Monday 25 August 2014

Activity: Visit Hampton Court Palace, to check out the newly reopened chocolate kitchens.
Resulting story: An article on the experience, for the Traveller section of the Sun-Herald newspaper in Sydney.

Tuesday 26 August 2014



Activity: Eat at restaurants in Cardiff, Wales, which specialise in dishes using locally-sourced ingredients.
Resulting story: An article on Cardiff dining for the Traveller section of Fairfax Media's Saturday newspapers in Australia.

Activity: Visit the Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff Bay.
Resulting story: A review of the exhibition, here at Aerohaveno.

Wednesday 27 August 2014



Activity: Explore Cardiff's Victorian-era shopping arcades.
Resulting story: An article on the various arcades and their charms, for the travel section of the Sunday Age newspaper in Melbourne.

Thursday 28 August 2014

Activity: Check into the Ibis London Blackfriars.
Resulting story: A review of the hotel, here at Aerohaveno.

Friday 29 August 2014



Activity: Join the Eating London Tour from Spitalfields Market, London.
Resulting story: An article on the tour's food highlights, for the travel section of the Sunday Age newspaper in Melbourne.

Saturday 30 August 2014



Activity: Investigate several unusual aspects of the London Underground.
Resulting story: An article on secrets of the London Underground, for the Traveller.com.au website.

Sunday 31 August 2014

Activity: Catch Eurostar train from London to Brussels, Belgium (then later on to Cologne and Berlin).
Resulting story: An article on the rail journey and the cities visited, for Get Up and Go magazine.



Activity: Visit the Mini-Europe theme park in Brussels.
Resulting story: An article on the park's quirky appeal, for the travel section of the Sunday Age newspaper in Melbourne.

Monday 1 September 2014



Activity: Visit the Waterloo battlefield outside Brussels.
Resulting story: An article on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, for the Lonely Planet website.

Activity: Explore central Brussels.
Resulting story: An account of my experiences of the city, here at Aerohaveno.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

 

Activity: Visit Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany.
Resulting story: An article on the museum's impressive modernist collection, for the travel section of the Sunday Age newspaper in Melbourne.

Activity: Soak at the Neptunbad baths, Cologne.
Resulting story: A review of these historic baths, here at Aerohaveno.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Activity: Explore central Berlin, Germany.
Resulting story: An account of my wander from the Hauptbahnhof to the Hotel Adlon, here at Aerohaveno.

Friday 5 September 2014

 

Activity: Join a tour of Berlin street art, led by an artist.
Resulting story: A 'Postcard from Berlin' piece for the Spectrum (culture) section of The Age newspaper in Melbourne.
Second resulting story: A blog post about Berlin's street art, here at Aerohaveno.

Saturday 6 September 2014

 

Activity: Explore the remnants of the Berlin Wall along Bernauer Strasse.
Resulting story: An article on the Berlin Wall Memorial, for the travel section of the Sunday Age newspaper in Melbourne.
Second resulting story: A blog post for the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's fall, here at Aerohaveno.

Monday 8 September 2014

Activity: Fly British Airways flight BA173 from London Heathrow to New York JFK.
Resulting story: A 'Flight Test' review of British Airways' Premium Economy class for the Traveller section of Fairfax Media's Saturday newspapers in Australia.

Activity: Check into the Z Hotel, Queens.
Resulting story: A post about the rooftop bar's amazing view of Manhattan, here at Aerohaveno.

Tuesday 9 September 2014



Activity: Visit Little Collins, an Australian-run cafe in Manhattan (and four others in the following days).
Resulting story: An article on Aussie cafes of Manhattan, for the travel section of the Sunday Age newspaper in Melbourne.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

 

Activity: Visit the newly-opened Morbid Anatomy Museum, Brooklyn.
Resulting story: A 'Postcard from New York' piece for the Spectrum (culture) section of The Age newspaper in Melbourne.

Activity: Take a cruise to Ellis Island.
Resulting story: A review of the island's immigration museum, here at Aerohaveno.
 
Thursday 11 September 2014

Activity: Explore the Bushwick neighbourhood of Brooklyn.
Resulting story: An article on the attractions of the area [accepted but as yet unpublished].

Friday 12 September 2014



Activity: Visit the newly-reopened Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows.
Resulting story: An account of the museum and its history, for the Traveller section of the Sun-Herald newspaper in Sydney.

Saturday 13 September 2014



Activity: Join the Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl, a regular literary tour.
Resulting story: An article on the tour, for the travel section of the Sunday Age newspaper in Melbourne.

Monday 15 September 2014

Activity: Fly Qantas from New York JFK to Los Angeles (then home to Australia).
Resulting story: A review of Qantas' Premium Economy class, here at Aerohaveno.

I also wrote two general blog posts about a selection of quirky New York elements:
And that's that! Courtesy of the International Dateline, we arrived home on Wednesday 17 September 2014 - just short of four weeks since we'd left.

Writing output, financial income

By my count, the trip produced a total of 20 paid articles for outside publications, and 14 posts on this blog.

If you're interested in the business side of such things, I calculate the paid articles (less the one unpublished piece) earned a total of $9727.30 before adding GST (sales tax) for both words and photos.

About another $400 should come in from the final article, taking it over the $10,000 mark. And there was additional research undertaken on the trip which I may yet write about, as well as revisiting subjects in a fresh way.

The blog posts don't earn any direct income, but drive traffic to Aerohaveno and thus contribute to the occasional small payments I receive from the Google Ads running on my blog.

Expenses

Of course I had sizeable expenses on such a journey, especially in New York where I received less assistance re hotel accommodation.

Including airfares, I estimate my total expenses on this trip at $6450, which leaves a profit of about $3677 (plus possible income from future stories derived from the same research material.)

Some trips have a greater return on outlay, others less so. This one had higher expenses than I usually incur, mostly because I paid for my own flights; but was a great experience and turned up lots of interesting travel articles.

It's not easy to make a living from travel writing; but if you can wring a story a day from a trip, you're off to a decent start.

Having typed all that, I feel exhausted! I'll be giving Aerohaveno a rest over the holiday season, and will be back with you in early January. Have a great New Year!