Tomorrow afternoon, I will be heading to Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic on my first press trip. Thanks to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism’s interest in travel blogging, I’ll be their guest for the next five days, primarily exploring the north coast of the island. The trip begins in Santo Domingo, winds around the Samaná peninsula and then takes us toward Puerto Plata, close to Cabarete. As first press trips go, this one seems well-suited to my travel activities: there will be hiking, snorkling and canyoning, as well as horseback riding.
Press trip in the Dominican Republic
The question of a press trip is an interesting one. As many of you who have been following the site know, I did not quit my job as a lawyer in order to be a travel writer or photographer, I simply quit for a sabbatical, started a blog for my mum, and somehow along the way aggregated enough readers that I started seriously thinking about this site as the basis for a new career.
The travel blogging industry is exploding, and many of the people working within it have been far more strategic and business oriented that I have. For the years of travel, I have figured it out as I’ve gone along, not truly being as strategic as others. I am grateful that this site has grown but there is no question that being a full time travel blogger just wasn’t in the cards for me before — or during — the first two years.
Many traditional writers do take FAM (familiarization) trips as a way of subsidizing their travels, trips that lead to the pieces that they eventually pitch to freelance outlets. Sites like the New York Times travel section do not allow you to write for them if you have taken comps, whereas other magazines turn a blind eye, and yet others have no issues at all.
As online writing and traditional writing blur into one platform in the eyes of readers, it will be interesting to see what happens with press trips and disclosure and the future of travel writing. In my case, I don’t plan to make a habit of trips like these but I am curious about how the Dominican Republic trip will go.
Here is a map of the trip:
For additional information about the Dominican, head to Travels with Two’s Dominican binder.
Those of you who know me know that I’m a serious soccer fan, and I have been assured that we will be able to watch the World Cup‘s final two matches in the Dominican. And I’ll be joined by a great group of bloggers, including two great women who I had the pleasure of meeting at TBEX last weekend.
p.s. My flight over to the Dominican Republic was CRAZY.