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Travel Writers Share the Coolest Press Trips They’ve Ever Been On

By Bianca Mendez

Don’t get Ed wrong; being a travel writer is still like any editorial job—they pitch stories, brainstorm video content, and on top of all the traveling they do, they still have to be on top of work when OOO. But, even they’ll admit that press trips are a cool work perk. Here, travel editors reveal the best press trips they’ve ever been on, and after you read this, you’ll want to email your boss about your tentative vacation plans.

Eating Bugs with Other International Journalists in Zimbabwe
“My best press trip was to Zimbabwe with a group of international journalists. This was totally enlightening for me because I was given such insight into how other nations think and perceive world affairs. We stayed in the City of Kings, Bulawayo, ate bugs as a delicacy, wandered through the Great Zimbabwe, bungee jumped at Victoria falls, and were given insight into the future of tourism for the country. This was single-handedly the most intelligent, witty, and hilarious group of journalists I had ever travelled with—and I’ve been on over 85 press trips!”  — Olivia Balsinger, travel writer

Sailing Around French Polynesia
“I got to go on a nine-day sail to Tahiti, documenting a race from the island of Tahiti through five other Society Islands (Moorea, Bora Bora, etc.) in ancient Polynesian sailing canoes.” — Kristen Gill, travel journalist

A Luxury Sail in Australia
“One standout [press trip] was spending five days on a luxury superyacht that costs about $200,000 a week to charter. We cruised around the Whitsundays in Australia and snorkeled, kayaked, ate incredible food, drank cocktails, and even flew over the Great Barrier Reef in a helicopter. It was an experience I could never afford.” — Jo Stewart, Melbourne-based travel writer

Living the Luxe Life in Fort Lauderdale
“My favorite press trip is one I went on in Fort Lauderdale. I stayed at the Conrad which was gorge. The staff was super friendly, and the hotel dining was superb. The beach was right across the property so I spent a lot of time soaking up the sun on the hotel chair. It was an amazing experience touring Fort Lauderdale and the strip of food, bars, and restaurants.” — Ezinne Mgbeahuruike, freelance writer

Camping in North Canada
“A rare press trip where I was the sole [journalist] joining regular citizens on an incredible trip to Nunavut—Canada’s most remote and Northern Territory. I had to share a room and a yurt out on the ice with a single woman. We had armed Inuit guides and a guard dog for polar bears. We flew on a charter airline with no washroom and had to stop every three hours for fuel.” — Jennifer Bain, Canadian travel writer

Making Wine in Napa
“A few years ago, I went on a trip hosted by Microsoft, promoting their Surface Pro tablet. Sounds sort of ‘meh,’ but they flew us to San Francisco and then we spent two days in Napa using the Surface in various hands-on activities related to wine-making: We used it to write down tasting notes, calculate grape blends for our own wines (Which they then bottled and later sent to our homes!), and had an over-the-top lunch at Stags’ Leap, which would make any wine nerd faint. I go on lots of press trips that are pure luxury and they’re great, but this was a really neat way for a brand to actually integrate the product they were promoting into the trip.” — Laura O. Ratliff, freelance travel writer from New York
Skiing in France
“For me, it was a ski trip through France. I skied at several resorts within Les Trois Vallees, which was amazing, but also went ice diving (scary), ice driving (crazy), and snowmobiling at night (fun). We had spa treatments at every turn, ate everything from fondue to Michelin-starred food and explored some of the historic towns in the area.” —Katie Gohn McElveen, travel writer.
Trekking Through Mount Everest
“The press trip was put on by ATTA at the end of 2015, in an effort to boost tourism in Nepal again after the earthquakes earlier in 2015. It was an amazing press trip, in which I did the first five days of the Everest Base Camp trek. Then, due to time constraints and not being able to do the whole trek, we helicoptered back to Kathmandu, via Everest Base Camp! Honestly one of the best experiences of my life.”— Elen Turner travel writer and editor, with a specialization in South Asia
Bianca Mendez is a writer and editor who has contributed to Refinery29, TeenVogue.com, Bustle, and other publications. Her perfect day in NYC consists of trying the latest fitness class followed by a night of wining and dining. Check out more of her work at biancammendez.com, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
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