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Navigating Press Trips and Perks: A Comp Compass For Travel Writers

Tempted by a press perk? Travel writers and editors share tips for keeping your credibility and avoiding common mistakes

By Melanie Nayer - January 12, 2010
Alas, travel writers do not spend their days flitting from one glamorous spot to another, swathed in luxury and commanding vast salaries. More often, the life of a travel writer might involve a four-hour delay in a cheerless airport, followed by a cramped ride next to a screaming baby or a struggle to communicate the need for hot water to an unhelpful hotel staff.

So why do we do it? First: because we love to travel. Second, because we want to inspire others to explore the amazing and wonderful world beyond their familiar hometowns. If we're good at what we do, we may be treated to a perk often better than the paycheck: the press trip.

Press trips allow public relations professionals to introduce writers to their clients, and in return, possibly generate some news around those clients' offerings. The perks of a press trip come in all shapes and sizes -- upgraded airline tickets, luxury hotel rooms, free meals and fabulous dinner guests. With all these freebies thrown at you, how can you keep a story simple, objective and honest? It's not always easy, but with a little focus and adherence to the proper protocol, you can produce a thorough piece and enjoy a little adventure along the way....

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