Travel Writing for Pay and Other Perks (Hershey, PA)
Some days are just better than others. In my opinion, a day filled with chocolate is the absolute best.
To experience a perfect chocolate day it is best to wake up in Chocolate Town, USA also known as Hershey, Pennsylvania. Fortunately, this recently happened to me and I found myself waking up from my cocoa dreams in one of the beautifully appointed Woodside Cottages at The Hotel Hershey Resort.
The first event in my chocolate day was a trip to The Spa at Hotel Hershey – deliciously dubbed “The Chocolate Spa”.
The interior design of the spa is largely based upon the design of High Point Mansion which was the home of Milton and Catherine Hershey. The spa landings are marble and all massage and facial rooms have hardwood floors and light yellow walls. Yellow was one of Mrs. Hershey’s favorite colors and is the primary color throughout the spa. The backdrop of the reception area features a replica of a stained glass window from the Hershey’s home.
A lovely hostess escorted me to the ladies’ locker room, presented me with a luxuriously soft robe, then directed me to the relaxation spaces to await my spa treatment. The relaxation spaces include a large room overlooking the resort’s formal gardens and reflection pool, an inhalation aromatherapy room and The Quiet Room – as in no talking.
I decided The Quiet Room did not really suit my chatty personality and opted for the larger relaxation room. Coffee, tea, water and hot chocolate were abundant. There were also chocolate muffins and glass bowls filled with Hershey’s Kisses – it was truly chocolate heaven.
The chocolate experiences continued with my spa treatment – the Chocolate & Roses Decadence Body Treatment. The pampering began with a dry body brush exfoliation followed by a light application of Sweet Red Roses mixed in a Chocolate Mousse. My entire body was cocooned in blankets while I received a relaxing scalp massage.
The decadent 80 minute experience was truly dreamy and left my skin soft, younger looking and sweetly scented.
My chocolate experience continued with dinner in The Circular Dining Room and chocolate cocktails.
You know what is amazing about all this – other than the chocolate, elegance and relaxation? I got paid for this experience.
It all started with my dream of being a travel writer. My first step was ordering the Ultimate Travel Writer’s program from AWAI. Using the tips I learned from the program, I contacted a local magazine and pitched the idea of a monthly travel column.
The editor liked the idea and soon I had my own “Travel with Terri” column. With several published clips in the local magazine, I was able to secure a position for Examiner.com as the National Chocolate Examiner – I love that title! Now I get to experience dreamy days like this one as part of my “work”.
Even dreamier than the chocolate decadence was the price tag. The total cost for my day of chocolate pampering (and the night in the cottage) was $0.00. Later when the articles were written and published there were additional paychecks for my “work”.
A day filled with travel, dining, drinking and spa treatments offers many opportunities for publication.
*** First, I wrote a destination piece for my travel column.
*** Second, I wrote several chocolate articles for my chocolate column which included the spa, an interview with the resort’s chef and also an interview with the mixologist who creates those delicious chocolate cocktails.
*** Third, I wrote more about the chocolate cocktails for an online bar magazine.
I am still sending query letters to other publications using new angles and information to create unique articles for additional publications.
Profits and chocolate themed travel is a delicious combination.
[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.]