Editor’s note: Travelllll.com suggests respect for the travel blogger is long overdue…

While we’re on the subject of freebies, let’s take a quick look at press trips. If you’ve never worked at a major American mainstream newspaper, you may not know that most officially do not allow their staff to take part in press trips and will not accept freelancer articles made possible by one. ‘Officially’ is an important word here, since what used to be a hardline policy has been so thoroughly ignored of late, its validity hardly seems worth defending.

Faced with increased competition and dropping pay rates, most freelance travel writers are simply not able to cover the costs of a journey. As a consequence, they increasingly rely on the generosity of PR firms and tourist boards for access. And then just don’t tell anyone about it when it comes time to shop the results.

Is there anything wrong with that? Some think no; others say yes (see “Press trips aren’t for the press”). Yet others simply question the merits of all press trips.