Freelance Travel Writing: Stephanie Frias’ Road to Success

Departing with your family to travel across South America may seem like a far fetched dream for many, but Arrivedo travel writer Stephanie Frias has made the once imagined idea tangible. Traveling by car across the continent with with her five-year-old daughter, three-year-old son, husband and their dog, this family leads a unique lifestyle apart from the masses.

Nomadic Family of Four Finds Success with Arrivedo

Travel for the Frias family is not something to be rushed, they are a group of purposeful travelers looking for enriching experiences and aim to integrate themselves within local cultures. Stephanie found instant success working as a freelance travel writer with Arrivedo. To date, she and her family have stayed at a total of seven hotels in exchange for creating their Neighborhood Guide (NG).

Not only does writing for Arrivedo give us the opportunity to get to know locals, but it also give us access to the amazing insights of tourism professionals. Every single time we visit a hotel, we learn about a lesser known destination that we would have missed otherwise.
– Stephanie Frias

Creating Neighborhood Guides (NGs) for various remote lodges across Ecuador and Peru has proven to be more than just work for Stephanie. From the Ecuadorian Amazon to the Peruvian coast, the Frias family has been exposed to many hyperlocal experiences while embracing immersion into remote villages and their customs. For more travel stories, follow the family’s adventures on Stephanie’s personal blog at www.8duffels2mutts.com.

Local Experiences in Exchange for Neighborhood Guides

While crafting the Cabaña Sachi Wasi NG, the Frias family was welcomed by an indigenous family that showed them the deep cultural roots of their Ecuadorian heritage. The Frias’ stayed at this remote location for a total of five nights, along with receiving three guided tours free of charge for creating the lodge’s personalized NG.

We learned to shoot poison dart arrows and to fish with nets. We ate huge, palm grubs and lemon ants. We even learned how to make a traditional liquor called chicha and a regional dish known as Maito, which is fish cooked in banana leaves. Most importantly, we made friends for a lifetime.

 

Advancing their travels from Ecuador into Peru, the family continues to thrive on consecutive free accommodation while creating NGs. Although the cultural and landscapes are constantly changing, the family’s desire for enriching experiences and maintaining a nomadic lifestyle remains strong. Their first stop was in Northern Peru at Moche Sanctuary Lodge in Trujillo. The Frias’ received three nights of free accommodation at the lodge and got the chance to try some exciting cultural activities during their stay.

Our family went horse back riding on the traditional dancing Peruvian Paso horses. We also learned all about the pyramids of Peru, known as the Huacas of Moche. At the pyramids site, we saw real archaeologists at work unveiling more of the ruins.

Most recently, the family of four has made their way into Southern Peru and spent two free nights of accommodation at Bamboo Paracas Eco Bungalows. In this section of their trip, the wildlife exploration continued as they were acquainted with some of the areas unique fauna including pink stingrays, flamingos, penguins and sea lions. After interviewing the hotel and collecting their local recommendations to create their NG, Stephanie and her family took the opportunity to check some of them out first-hand. The family got to explore new destinations including the Paracas National Reserve, some of the areas top beaches, and more.

Many of these experiences never would have happened without the recommendations of the hotels I was writing about with Arrivedo. Writing with this company has truly enhanced our travel lifestyle.

Finding the Connection Between Sales & Writing

When it comes to freelancing with Arrivedo, there is a sales component required on behalf of writers and which may be daunting for some. But once the key is discovered, there are many doors which can lead to successful opportunities. Stephanie found the formula for success that fits the lifestyle her and family are currently relishing. However, when she first started writing with Arrivedo, she too was overwhelmed about the sales aspect and questioned if she was fit for the position. She was able to overcome those doubts by sticking to the following key points:

  • Utilizing online tools, resources and FAQs provided by Arrivedo.
  • Connecting with Arrivedo team members and other writers via Slack messenger.
  • Formulating pitch emails and asking for guidance from Arrivedo sales coaches.
  • Not being put off by rejection. Arrivedo.com currently hosts more than 500 hotels with a published NG, so keep in mind there is a large group of interested clientele.

How to Nail Your Next Pitch: 4 Tips for Writers

When it boils down to being a successful travel writer, there are several aspects that will help take your pitches to the next level. Check out the following tips as suggested by Stephanie Frias to help you nail your next email pitch.

  1. Keep it personal. When creating an email pitch, write in your natural voice. Nobody wants to speak to a robot, nor do they want to work with someone who writes like one. On that note, be professional but also be yourself. Be honest about who you are and why you want to write about that hotel. Don’t be afraid to compliment yourself, explain why you would be the perfect writer for them and provide examples.
  2. Be flexible and open to negotiation. Once the hotel staff member has replied to your email, give them reasons why they should look forward to creating their Neighborhood Guide. When they ask for more info, provide it. However, don’t overwhelm them with extras when they’ve already said “yes.” You won’t always get what you ask for, but if you get creative you might be able to get more than the hotel thought they were willing to offer.
  3. Free accommodation vs. money. Think of things that are valuable to you, but will also be beneficial in terms of creating compelling articles for the hotel. If you want cash, don’t offer to write for free accommodation. If you want experiences, be willing to take two nights and a free guided tour. If you love food and culture, stay one night but ask for dinner at a recommended restaurant and tickets to a show. Use the experiences as first-hand knowledge for your NG.
  4. Don’t accept less than you’re worth. When you have a great experience, it will reflect in your writing. Don’t accept less than you believe your journalistic skills are worth and remember to have fun. This is a great opportunity, so relax and relish the fact that you have made your way into the world of travel writing.

How Does the Arrivedo Team Contribute to Writers’ Success?

Behind the scenes at Arrivedo, there is a team of 16 enthusiastic professionals based in Lima, Mexico City and San Francisco who are putting all of their efforts into the succession of the company. With writers being one of the main components of making the website produce content organically, our goal is to offer resources, tools, advice and incentives to help set writers up for success.

The enthusiasm of the Arrivedo team is contagious. Their constant support, kudos and suggestions for improvement make it possible to succeed. There is never a question too complicated, or an ambition out of reach. If there is an obstacle to overcome, the Arrivedo team will rise to the occasion.

The team also encourages writers to share their NG content across various social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. This will help writers gain more online exposure and help to attract prospective clients. For those writers looking to build a broad travel writing portfolio, freelancing with Arrivedo is the way to do it!

 

Images Credits

Cover Image: Stock Photo: San Pablo Lake – Stephanie Frias – Otavalo, Ecuador
Image 1: Stock Photo: Friends for Life – Stephanie Frias – Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador
Image 2: Stock Photo: Huaca de la Luna – Stephanie Frias – Trujillo, Peru
Image 3: Stock Photo: Poolside at Paracas Eco Bungalows – Stephanie Frias – Paracas, Peru
Image 4: Stock Photo: Arrivedo Team – USIL Student – Lima, Peru

 

Jacqueline Langen
A multimedia journalist and photographer from Vancouver, Canada. While contributing to news publications including The Richmond Review and Vancouver Sun, she also has experience co-hosting a Canadian based, political radio show airing weekly on Vancouver’s Co-op Radio.

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