As far as dream jobs go, getting paid to write about travel is pretty darn sweet.
… but behind every glamorous travel writer is a long history of hustle, failed pitches and crippling self-doubt. Not to scare you off or anything, but breaking into the travel writing industry is a real piece of work. Luckily, there’s many publications online that accept pitches and submissions from regular folk just like you and me!
As bloggers, we spend a lot of time writing for free. This post is for those of you keen to cross over into the realm of paid writing work! We all need to start somewhere, so here’s a list of publications that pay contributors, arranged from lowest payout to highest. Note that there are plenty more out there who accept submissions (especially big names like National Geographic and Travel + Leisure), but I specifically chose ones that are open to submissions from anyone (including newbies/non-pros), had clear rates outlined on their website, and weren’t geography specific.
Verge prides itself on being a “magazine for people who travel with purpose,” focusing on topics like volunteering, working and studying overseas. Their “readers are typically young (17-40 years), or young at heart, active, independent travellers who want to do something different and make a difference doing it.” Issue-driven, engaging content with a focus on unique people/experiences is what they’re looking for.
Payment: 10 cents per word (for first time contributors)
This site looks for “first-person narratives of all lengths and sizes (anywhere from 1,200 words and up),” and on occasion also “Top 10 pieces, location overviews and other types of non-narrative pieces”. According to their site, their only requirement is that the “piece be interesting, informative and inspiring for future travelers.”
Payment: $30 per article
My Itchy Travel Feet
This site is looking for original content that caters to their target audience of “active, travel-loving baby boomers”. The content they’re looking for is “personable and relatable… [but] also informative.”
Payment: $30 per article
Go World Travel
Go World Travel welcomes all kinds of contributors “from seasoned travel journalists to first-time writers”. They’re on the hunt for “honest, down-to-earth descriptive writing” (so no plain listicles here!).
Payment: $30-50 per article/photo essay
Matador Network is looking for “original writing, photography, and video that speaks to the adventures, cultures, and identities of people around the world.” They’re known for unique and punchy pieces about different destinations, usually with a humorous slant. A good tip is to look at articles they’ve already published to get a feel for what they go for.
Payment: $40 per article
Tales to Go
Tales to Go is “looking for personal, nonfiction stories and anecdotes—funny, illuminating, adventurous, frightening, or grim. Stories should reflect that unique alchemy that occurs when you enter unfamiliar territory and begin to see the world differently as a result.” Bonus: they accept previously published content!
Payment: $50 per article
Great Escape Publishing
While they don’t accept pure travel pieces, Great Escape Publishing is on the look for “articles on the craft and business of getting paid to travel, whether by writing, photography, tours or other means.”
Payment: $50-$75 for articles we request for the website, $100-$150 for interviews and personal stories, and $150-$200 for articles with specific income advice
Fund Your Life Overseas E-Letter
This e-letter aims “to introduce readers to the vast array of earn-from-anywhere incomes out there—such as teaching English, blogging, copywriting, and online importing,” while also “uncovering the niches that expats are filling in the world’s most desirable retirement destinations.”
Payment: $75 per article
Listverse isn’t limited to just travel content, plus their process is very simple. According to their website:
“You write your list (10 items per list minimum), you send it in, we reply and say “Great—we’ll publish it” and send you $100 by PayPal”. Not a bad deal!
Payment: $100 per list
This one is a bit more niche. Escapees Magazine is looking for contributors who are “RVers interested in sharing the RV lifestyle” and can write in an engaging and conversational tone.
Payment: $150 per article (max)
Pathfinders Travel Magazine
Pathfinders has a target audience of African Americans (although they sometimes accept content relating to other persons of colour). They’re looking for “lively, original, well-written stories that provide a good sense of place, with useful information and fresh ideas about travel and the travel industry.”
Payment: $150 per article, $20 per photo
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
A higher payout than others in this list, but also rather stiff competition. According to their site, “the vast majority of [their] articles are commissioned specifically for the magazine, and written by experienced journalists, guidebook authors or travel experts.” Still, no harm in trying right?
Payment: £220 per article
Incomes Abroad Newsletter
Just like the Fund Your Life Overseas e-letter, Incomes Abroad aims “to introduce readers to the vast array of earn-from-anywhere incomes out there—such as teaching English, blogging, copywriting, and online importing,” while also “uncovering the niches that expats are filling in the world’s most desirable retirement destinations.”
Payment: $400 per article
Viator (yes the giant tour website) is always looking for “travel writers to contribute to [their] network of Things to Do blogs on an ongoing basis.” Specifically, they need writers who are experts in certain regions/destinations (see list here).
Payment: $45 per post
Are there any big ones I missed? Let me know in the comments! And feel free to leave any tips or success stories for me too. Happy pitching, guys!