For traditional travel writers, press trips are as old as the beginning of time. Press trips for bloggers and influencers on the other hand, are relatively new. So for those of you reading this who aren’t familiar with the team at Sidewalker Daily, we work with tourism boards, hotels and travel brands on all things influencer marketing.
When it comes to press trips, we do this for a living. From organizing a trip, pitching influencers, hosting trips, providing client recaps – we know the ins and outs of how press trips work. If you’re just starting out in the travel blogging/influencer world, you may be wondering what they’re all about so we’re here to give you the inside scoop.
What is a press trip?
In the travel influencer world, a press trip is not a vacation – it’s a trip where a hotel or destination invites members of the media to promote their location and/or brand. Since bloggers and influencers are now considered media, they have the opportunity to join these invite-only trips once only available to traditional travel writers.
Press trips can be either in a group setting with a host or can be solo (also sometimes referred to as media visits). They are often organized by the public relations team working with the client (hotel, tourism board, destination), unless the client has an in-house person/team responsible for coordinating these types of PR and marketing efforts.
So what’s in it for them?
Travel bloggers or influencers will be expected to sign a letter of agreement and produce a certain number of deliverables (such as social posts, videos, blog articles etc.) in exchange for going on the trip. In the traditional travel world, journalists also sign letters of agreements that ensure they will produce an article or are actually on an assignment from their editor (not just looking for a free trip).
It is important to not confuse “press trips” with “blogger retreats.” Blogger retreats are becoming more and more popular at the moment, where bloggers pay money to travel with a group of other bloggers. To clear things up, here are some major differences between the two types of trips:
- Mostly open to anyone
- Blogger has to pay for all expenses to be a part of the retreat
- More focused on learning and education for blogger
- Not required to post on social or blog in order to participate
- Invite only (very exclusive group)
- All expenses are usually covered (flights, accommodations, meals, etc.)
- Influencer/blogger will have a set of deliverables they need to produce while on the trip
Please keep in mind that the trips available through Sidewalker Daily’s Press Trip Program are press trips and NOT blogger retreats so if you are interested in being a part of our Press Trip Program, we encourage you to apply.
Just FYI: Our Press Trip Program is a database that allows the Sidewalker Daily team to reach out to our community first when an opportunity comes our way. How it works is a travel brand or destination presents us with an opportunity and an overview of their goals of the trip or partnership. We then go through our database and present them with a list of influencers that match the criteria they have set for the opportunity. So basically, we play matchmaker.
How to Get Invited On a Press Trip.
Press trips are an amazing way for travel creatives to get their foot in the door. We highly recommend them as a way to not only create fresh content, but to build relationships on both the brand side and with other creatives in the industry (more on the benefits of group trips below). You may be asking yourself, “how do travel bloggers get on press trips?” The way we see it is it can go two ways:
- Pitch yourself directly to the brands/destinations.
When it comes to pitching to brands, remember it’s not about what you want, but what they want. It’s important to discover what the country, hotel or destination’s key messages are so you can craft your pitch email and media kit around these points.
As we mentioned before, PR agencies mostly handle all press trips for their clients. A great idea is to email a few agencies that represent the brands you want to work with and ask them what press trips they have coming up. Lots of times press trip schedules are built out well in advance and PR reps are constantly looking to fill their trips. If you reach out early enough, you can position yourself to be the “first in line.”
Also, if you are a blogger/writer contributing to multiple outlets (not just your own), it is super helpful to let the PR agencies and brands know when pitching. The more places your content is published on, the more exposure and visibility the destination will receive so you can up your chances of getting invited on the trip!
2. Receive an invitation
If you receive an invitation to go on a press trip, make sure that the trip aligns with your readership, brand and identity. It can be tempting to say yes, but there are times that it’s important to say no to a brand partnership. If it does, then pack your bags baby and enjoy the ride!