Amazing experiences await once you get up the courage to ask for trips, but getting there is different for everyone.
I hate it when more experienced people say something like, “Just do it, it’s easy!”… because, you know what, some things aren’t that easy for everyone.
Asking for free trips and tours, which could be quite expensive… well… I found it hard.
Through trial and error, necessity, and a little embarrassment (i.e. sending an email to the wrong name by accident)… I finally found my way.
Helmet-diving trekking the ocean floor, becoming a Tequila connoisseur, swimming with dolphins, and discovering the Caribbean’s only Pearl Farm. All of these are free trips I’ve had within the last month that have delighted my senses and provided exhilaration, relaxation, wonderment, and a joy for travel.
Asking for these trips or tours is hard for me. I don’t deny it, I won’t deny it… but I can supply you with a sure-fire way to grab attention, gain access, and get on that boat, bus or burro (donkey) for an adventure of a lifetime.
TRY – If something doesn’t work, try another way. For example, in Mexico they rarely email. But, when I discovered they love Facebook, I changed my approach. With my initial contact through messenger, all of a sudden, the world opened up.
EMAIL – Make a template with all of your information so you only have to change a few words each time. This will cut your work down from hours to minutes. Include what you are looking for, who you are, and what it will be used for, so they understand straight away.
PROVE YOU ARE WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE – Provide links to your published works for instant credibility and professionalism. It will appease any concerns they may have and they are more likely to ask you on a trip without all the time-wasting back-and-forth.
Some may make you work for it. I recently had a week-long ordeal answering questions for a $15 Chocolate-Making Tour. Then other tours over $100 jump at the chance, so remember every single one is different. Just be patient and polite and you’ll get there.
PATIENCE – Don’t lose faith. If you don’t hear back, keep going and move onto the next business, restaurant or tour operator. There’s always more than one.
LAUGH – If something goes wrong, laugh and try again. A couple of weeks ago, I had started a pitch to a big glossy magazine when my landlady started yelling out to me in Spanish. Not concentrating, I accidentally hit “send” with only a sentence and a half starting to set the scene. So, to them it would have been gobbledygook with no title, set place or fully formed idea of what it was about.
Oops. So, I laughed it off, thought “I’ll never hear from them,” and then looked for another magazine to pitch to. There is no point in berating yourself.
If you are traveling abroad, remember niceties like greetings in their language helps build relationships. They will see you are trying and become more receptive. I received over $500 worth of trips in the last few weeks in a Spanish-speaking country using this technique.
Above all else, remember you are just starting. There may be mistakes. I have made tons. So, don’t be hard on yourself. Kick those nasty negatives out. It is not the end of the world—there are thousands of places and magazines out there!
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