Copywriting jobs don’t come much more enjoyable than going away to a zoo/theme park/holiday resort for a family weekend.
That was where I ended up recently when I was asked to do some freelance travel writing for Trinity Mirror.
Flamingo Land in Yorkshire was the destination, with accommodation provided and the opportunity to not just experience all the delights the expanding resort had to offer but to write about it for the Daily Mirror, Liverpool Echo, Daily Record, Manchester Evening News, Newcastle Chronicle, Teesside Gazette, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Hull Daily Mail and Grimsby Telegraph too.
Writing for a national newspaper has been a long-held ambition of mine, even if a travel review is hardly Pulitzer-prize winning subject matter.
It was an ambition I abandoned when I exchanged the possibility of heading for London and the big nationals for getting married and spending time with my family – an exchange I’d repeat in a heartbeat – but this was the best of both worlds.
The great thing about travel writing when you’re a family man as well as a copywriter is that to your children the fact that you’re working is actually an advantage.
At Flamingo Land, it meant having their make-up and hair done by professionals, being followed around the park and treated like pop stars by a small army of ladies whose job it was to make them look good and to take photographs.
At this point it would be remiss of me to say that these ladies didn’t just do their job but positively enhanced the day out and my girls in particular were sad to see them go.
As well as the pampering, the fact that cafés need to be sampled and food reviewed also means that there’s no packed lunches for the children – an added bonus when Greenhalgh family holidays are generally on a tighter than tight budget with eating out a once-in-a-holiday treat.
Of course, all this would be tasty icing on a gruesome cake if the destination didn’t live up to expectations – but that wasn’t something we had to worry about at Flamingo Land.
If, like our family, yours is into theme parks and zoos and having fun then I would heartily recommend it.