FAM trips, while fun, often come with a packed itinerary. The tourism representatives who plan these trips are on a mission to showcase as many highlights of their destination as they possibly can in a short period of time. My biggest challenge with these trips is keeping all of the article ideas straight, so that I can write the best possible article or articles from each trip. Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years:
- Taking notes is key, but with all the typing I do, my handwriting has deteriorated to the point where I can barely read my own notes! The solution for me has been to use the audio-record option on my iPhone. For example, on a recent Wine Quest Weekend FAM trip to Hershey/Harrisburg, our group sampled countless wines at numerous vineyards. Rather than try to balance a wine glass in one hand and a note pad in another, I just hit the record button as the vintner spoke about the wines. I did a separate recording for each vineyard and labeled them by name. It was the perfect solution for a somewhat muddled brain from all the wine tasting!
- Take photos of EVERYTHING! You aren’t necessarily going to publish a photo of every meal you eat on a FAM trip, but take a photo anyway. Photos provide visual documentation and are invaluable in helping you remember the details of a meal or an experience. I take photos of menus, food, drinks, and even street signs. When I’m home and ready to write the article, those photos help me to remember details I might have otherwise overlooked.
- Keep the itinerary for the FAM trip with your notes and photos. I often have back-to-back trips which means I may not have time to write a draft article from one trip before I leave for the next. The itineraries from each trip help me keep the details of the trip straight when time comes to write the article. Most publications want “service” information that provides the address, website, and phone number for hotels, restaurants or attractions. The itinerary usually has all of that information and is an excellent resource when it’s time to write your article.
- Choose your FAM trips wisely. Sometimes this means declining a FAM trip invitation. I recently had to decline an invitation for a FAM trip to Switzerland. Yes, I know that sounds insane, but the trip was scheduled the week before a trip to The Netherlands that I’d already accepted.
The editor for my primary publication had requested three articles from my trip to The Netherlands. Having covered Switzerland extensively, they weren’t interested in picking up more articles presently. While I have other publications willing to publish articles on Switzerland, I chose not to overload my travel schedule. By declining the Switzerland trip, I was able to focus on the story angles and research I needed for The Netherlands. Of course, I will be trying to get that Switzerland trip again in the future! Share on Facebook [Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up today here and we’ll send you a report, Get Paid to Travel as a Travel Writer, completely FREE.]