A 2022 Aim: Travel Less, Stay Longer
This year, I aim to fly fewer miles (compared to the last ‘normal’ year) and to stay longer in each destination — covering multiple stories if possible. While my job does necessitate travel and I’m wholly unconvinced by both the principle and science behind no-fly philosophies, I do think those tacks will be beneficial to the planet and the travel industry’s more in-need pockets.
An example of this is a forthcoming late-spring trip to Sweden: as it stands, I’ll be flying in to cover one region for The Times, then getting the train to another not-far-off place to do a Metro article. I hope to score more commissions on both locations — the biggest challenge to this being finding the time to ferret out angles and pitch — before finalising my flight dates.
I’m not alone in this tack. Laura Millar, Metro’s travel editor, wrote to me last week from a “five-week odyssey around the US, moving every few days.” Her motivation? “I want to keep my carbon footprint down, so I’m trying to do as many stories as possible when I go to a long-haul destination.”
“It’s definitely something I’m also hoping to do,” admitted Lottie Gross, fresh from publishing her Bradt guidebook, Dog-Friendly Weekends, when I checked in with her. “Not only will it be more sustainable, but another key factor for me is financial sustainability. I’ll get more commissions from one trip while building up valuable knowledge you can’t get in a fly-in, fly-out press trip, and it’ll mean I can keep working while on the road, too, so I don’t lose earnings.”
PRs need to be aware of this growing mentality among travel journalists — chiefly in the sense of being willing to be flexible around air-travel dates. Perhaps you could moot trips to an area/country combining two clients who are based close together? Or seek out another client close to an existing one in the name of such sustainability? For those representing tourist boards, be on top of — and ideally in touch with — internal transport providers in order to best facilitate multi-stop, multi-commission trips. Finally, if you have a freelancer already going to place A, and interest from a different title in place B, could you put that freelancer and title in touch?
I do realise that this is an entirely self-serving request, but it’s also one which might just reduce carbon emissions.
What Richard thinks…
“This invite to the launch of a forthcoming Lonely Planet book is proof positive of train travel’s continued resurgence”