I feel the need to address this issue, because a lot of people have asked me about it. I don’t think I travel that frequently, but I don’t want to mislead anyone. I am not crazy rich, nor do I have some kind of ooooooh fancy jet-setting job.
First of all, I do not travel for work. I work in book publishing*. If you want a job that requires travel, or gives you enough money to travel, publishing is not it. (I love working in book publishing, but trust me, no one is in publishing for the money.) There might be the occasional conference, but 99% of my travel is leisure travel.
I really like travelling, so it’s mostly propelled by the following:
1) One of my hobbies is finding travel deals. The internet is my friend, and I spend sometimes a ridiculous amount of time on this. Would I have gone to Barcelona earlier this year if I hadn’t found an amazing $250 roundtrip ticket on American Airlines? No, definitely not! I stalk a lot of travel-related sites religiously. To me, it’s worth it. I start to get antsy if I’m not on an airplane at least once a month.
2) A credit card that accumulates frequent flyer miles. The boyfriend and I put practically everything we buy on an Amex that gets us Aeroplan points, which usually equals a couple trips a year on miles.
3) The boyfriend works in the much more lucrative field of web development. If you want a job that affords you fun travel, work in web development. He appreciates the travel deals I find, and I appreciate his contribution to the travel fund. He also goes to work-related conferences and I often tag along, because that means an almost free trip for me.
There are no big secrets; if you want to travel, you can make it happen. Boatloads of money are not required. A good example is Lucky — he travels ALL THE TIME, almost always in first class, and he’s a university student.
I’m actually glad I don’t travel for work — it allows me to keep a romantic perspective on travel. I’ve always loved flying, but I don’t know how much I’d still love it if I had to fly weekly for work. I still enjoy just sitting in the airport, and I love the feeling of WHEE I’M GOING SOMEWHERE! Yes, I get annoyed waiting behind 87 people in the security line with metal in their pockets, but still! I’M GOING SOMEWHERE!
Lastly, since I’ve been asked about this too — I do travel in first class, but not all the time, and almost never paid. The secrets to that are easy: get yourself status on an airline. I collect miles into United’s Mileage Plus program, and the boyfriend into Air Canada’s Aeroplan. We each earn status with our respective airlines and status means free upgrades and lounges. I’ll write more about this someday, but that’s the basic idea.
Hope that clears some things up!
* Do not email me asking about how to publish your book.