What is a Press Trip?
Some people hope to become a travel journalist. They long to travel from state to state, country to country. However, the harsh reality is that most of them do not succeed. After a year or two of learning the harsh realities along with the low pay they give up. If these same people looked at a press trip then another world may have opened to them before they gave in.
A press trip involves a business arrangement between the writer and the selected sponsor. The sponsor can be a city, a state, a country, a resort, or other similar locations. The business entity invests time and money to bring a journalist to their location. If the writer is being compensated by the business after travelling, then a detailed time sheet must be kept. After the writer returns home s/he is expected to sell the stories to newspapers, magazines, or other media. Sometimes a press trip is called a fam trip - either way they are one and the same. They can also be called media visits.
The press trip is either an organized group trip generally comprised of two to 20 people; or, an individual trip where the writer travels solo. The sponsor arranges the itinerary along with meals, accomodations, and the schedule. Unless the writer lives near by s/he is usually flown to the destination. The sponsor then shows the writer the different attractions in the area that they hope to promote. Although this venture offers some wonderful advantages there might be one disadvantage to consider: often free time is extremely limited.
Such trips can be organized by an individual. You would start by contacting whomever you see as a sponsor. This might be a resort, a PR firm, a city, or whatever. During the initial contact you ask for complimentary arrangements (eg, cheap flights or accommodation). All the sponsor is really asking for is to receive positive feedback about what they have to offer. They want to increase their tourism while keeping down their divorce cost and you are one of the means in order to fulfill this goal.
Those people who have some press trips under their belt are the prime candidates to receive future assignments. For example, if you did a press trip to New York City and later sold five stories about your trip then you can be assured the city or the PR firm will want you for another assignment. If your New York City trip resulted in only one story, as long as it was to a magazine, or other media, with a million readers, you might also be invited on another assignment. If you sold zero stories - your chances might be weak for future assignments. You might as well play igre (Games in Slovenian).
Since you might be starting out you will need to establish yourself. You might begin by writing some travel articles about the area where you live or an area where you spent your vacation (eg, that trip you took to the cottages in the Lake District). You need to get some sales. Then you need to continue building your sales. You need to be a great writer because travel writing has great competition. However, if you really want to join the press trip then you will find that persistence is one of the keys to success.