If you are a travel blogger, chances are at some stage in your career you will be looking for a free Familiarization or FAM trip. But before you start looking for a familiarization trip, let’s figure out what we mean by FAM trip.
What is a FAM trip?
You have more than likely either heard of or attended a FAM Trip if you are a travel agent or travel professional. A FAM trip is a program for a brand or destination to get positive publicity. The brand or destination invests time and money to bring you for a visit, and in return, you provide a blog and story to your followers on the experience. A FAM trip can also go by names like “Press,” which stands for a media visit. Some trips will offer fee on top of your expenses being covered for you to provide specific deliverables, other trips will not. FAMs often prove to be a fantastic time and are well worth the investment if you are looking to add some value.
How is a FAM trip organized?
Usually, there are two procedures to attend a FAM trip. You can organize your trip or visit a planned group trip. On a group trip, you will work hard. The itinerary will usually include activities scheduled from 8 a.m to 10 p.m., seven days a week. The itinerary will be organized in advance and covers your accommodations, meals, attractions and transport arrangements.
You likely will be flown into the destination, then escorted to your hotel and provided your schedule. The upside is that everything is taken care of. The downside is you rarely receive free time, and you also may endure feelings of being herded from place to place, without much opportunity to stop and experience.
On an individual trip, you usually contact the destination, brand or PR agent to set up your arrangements. This can include anything from flights to meals to activities and accommodations. The up-front work can be time-consuming, but generally, you get to run your itinerary when on the trip and experience only the places you are interested in.
Here are a few tips on getting familiarization trip invitations:
Be reliable. Write whatever articles you have agreed to and promote them on social media. Most multiple day press trips include visits to several attractions. Write individual articles about the places you visit instead of one quick roundup.
Be consistent with your blog posts, whether you publish them weekly, several times a week or daily. Staying away from publishing for a while will make you look unprofessional.
Re-publicize articles on social media occasionally and stay in touch with your hosts, and you may be invited for return visits to your favourite destinations.
Follow the destinations you want to visit on social media, commenting on and sharing their posts before approaching them about a possible visit.
Where do you find Familiarization Trips?
Here are five places you can use to start your search for a Fam or Press trip.
- Search on Google
This shouldn’t be a surprise, but if you Google “Press Trip” or “FAM Trip” you will already start seeing multiple ones come up. Besides, if you are looking for something more specific, you may also find an easy Google search works. For example, Google “Press Trip Thailand.”
- Join A Facebook Group
Multiple blogging groups share press trip information from people looking to have bloggers in attendance. One of the more exceptional groups is the Travel Press Trips group. It has a request process to gain entry, but once in you can see plenty of openings to apply for advertised press trips. Plus, on top of that, you have the chance to ask fellow members for help finding contacts for places you may be heading to, saving a bucket load of time.
- Attend A Conference
Most conferences include an opportunity for bloggers to interact with Marketing representatives and mingle with PR firms who provide press trip opportunities. Sometimes you will receive an invitation then and there, sometimes it may take months for the magic dust to hit your inbox
- Join An Organisation
Several organizations are attempting to help brands find suitable bloggers, and if you are a member, your chances are a lot higher. You could also find trips on Blogger Bridge and TravMedia.
- Contact A DMO or PR Firm
Get ready to do some legwork for this one. Reach out to local PR firms in your area and ask them to place you on their media list. You will get a lot of press releases and some irrelevant information, but you may also receive that magical invitation to a press trip. Moreover, reach out to the DMO of your choice to organize your press trip.
If you are brave, tell us the best places you’ve found contacts or press trip invitations?