Have you seen a sunset in Indonesia—and itched to capture it on paper? Have you traveled the world, but find yourself reaching for your notebook more often than your map? If so, you may want to think about doing some travel writing.
I don’t mean to say travel blogging, either. From newspapers to magazines, there are a bunch of traditional publications out there that will pay you for well-written travel content. And, don’t forget about the online world: websites such as Paste are also open to pitches that range from the traditional destination article, op-ed, to to the personal essay.
Travel writing is known to be a tough field to crack, in part because there are many writers and not enough publications. In recent years, major newspapers such as The New York Times and Washington Post downsized their travel sections, and there’s always a competing glut of travel articles about popular destinations such as Paris, London, and New York.
That said, there is a travel writing world beyond national newspapers in the 21st-century and you don’t always need to travel to an exotic end of the world to write. Sometimes, you can find what you need in your own backyard. Local newspapers will publish regional-focused articles, for instance. Other niche magazines might take special-interest travel articles—that is, writing that focuses on one particular activity, such as golfing in Spain or the food culture in Moscow. Each type of travel writing is designed to meet a certain audience need.
You’d submit travel articles to publications much the same way you’d submit any piece of freelance writing: through careful research and a good pitch. Find the relevant editor at a publication and query or pitch them your article idea.
You must be prepared to read each publication’s prior content to get a feel for what they might want to publish. Outside magazine, for instance, may only take shorter pieces from freelance writers, not feature articles. On the other end, epicurious.com would probably take a piece about seafood cuisine in Portugal over a piece about mountain climbing in the Andes. Above all, always remember to build positive relationships with editors: that’s the way you can keep your foot in the door.
12 Paying Markets for Your Travel Writing
A multi-award winning magazine for adventurous and authentic travel.
Pays: $325 for 1,000 words
Writer’s Guidelines: www.wanderlust.co.uk/aboutus/writers
2. AMC Outdoors
Your connection to the outdoors.
Pays: $750 for feature articles
Writer’s Guidelines: www.outdoors.org/trip-ideas-tips-resources/amc-outdoors-magazine/editorial-guidelines.cfm
3. Escapees Magazine
A magazine about the RV lifestyle.
Pays: $150 per article
Writer’s Guidelines: www.escapees.com/knowledge/escapees-magazine/tips-submissions
4. Pathfinders Travel
The travel magazine for people of color.
Pays: $150 per article
Writer’s Guidelines: www.pathfinderstravel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/WRITERS-GUIDELINES1.pdf
5. Roads and Kingdoms
An independent journal of food, politics, travel and culture.
Pays: $150 for features
Writer’s Guidelines: www.roadsandkingdoms.com/about/
6. AAA Midwest Traveler
The online AAA travel magazine.
Pays: $400 for a 1,500 word article
Writer’s Guidelines: www.services.autoclubmo.aaa.com/traveler/media/mid/WritersGuidelines.pdf
7. Travel + Leisure
A one-stop resource for sophisticated travelers who crave travel tips, news, and information about the most exciting destinations in the world
Pays: $1 per word
Writer’s Guidelines: www.travelandleisure.com/contact
8. Matador Network
A travel network for fearless travelers and better-informed, more engaged global citizens.
Pays: $40 per article
Writer’s Guidelines: matadornetwork.com/content/contributors-and-job-applicants/
9. The Expeditioner
A travel site for the avid traveler and blogger.
Pays: $30 per article
Writer’s Guidelines: www.theexpeditioner.com/submissions/
10. Smoky Mountain Living
A publication that celebrates the Southern Appalachians.
Pays: Up to $450 for a feature article
Writer’s Guidelines: www.smliv.com/about/contribute
11. Viator Travel Blog
A travel blog that discusses travel, Viator.com, news, and features.
Pays: $100-$150 per article
Writer’s Guidelines: www.travelblog.viator.com/contact-viator/write-for-us/
12. Great Escape Publishing
A magazine on the craft and business of getting paid to travel, whether by writing, photography, tours or other means.
Pays: $50-$75 for requested articles, $100-$150 for interviews and personal stories, and $150-$200 for income articles
Writer’s Guidelines: www.greatescapepublishing.com/writers-guidelines/
- Travelling and Creating By Victor Paul Borg
- Want to Write a Travel Guidebook? By Barbara Hudgins
- Travel Stories Right in Your Backyard By Joan Airey
- The Real Insight into Travel Writing Perks By Roy Stevenson
- Educational Travel Writing: What Is It and How Can I Contribute? By Isabel Eva Bohrer
Emmanuel Nataf is the founder and CEO of Reedsy, a marketplace that connects authors and publishers with the world’s best editors, designers and marketers. Emmanuel dedicates most of his time to building Reedsy’s product and is interested in how technology can transform cultural industries.
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