When you dream about your writing career, do you picture yourself sitting at a romantic cafe, sunlight streaming through the windows to light up the table? As you sit, sipping a steaming latte, you scribble in your notebook about your world travels.
If you have travel stories to tell, lots of markets are willing to pay for your stories about destinations, tips and your experiences on the road.
Get paid to write about travel
Don’t think travel writing is limited to travel-specific magazines or travel websites. Plenty of local and regional publications are actively looking for travel stories, sometimes for destinations right in your own backyard.
Some writers envision travel writing jobs as sharing tales of globetrotting and running with the bulls in Pamplona, exploring the ancient relics of Rome, or island hopping in the South Pacific. But that’s only a small part of travel writing.
Publications are often even more eager to snap up stories about the lake an hour away that makes an easy weekend getaway or the nearby metropolitan city that has a new art exhibit and great restaurant scene.
Publications that offer freelance travel writing jobs
While full-time travel writer jobs can be hard to come by, it’s more common for freelancers to sell travel writing to magazines and other outlets. To get you started, we compiled 34 paying travel markets. Click on each title to access submission guidelines or editorial s.
So let’s get to it! Here are dozens of publications that provide opportunities for travel writing jobs:
1. Matador Network
Matador Travel seeks original writing, photo and video contributions “that speak to the adventures, cultures, and identities of people around the world.” It encourages creators to join their Matador Creators Community to find the latest journalist opportunities.
While the website does not list a specific payment, Who Pays Writers reports payments ranging from $0.03 to $0.20 per word.
The site often looks for stories featuring road trips, RVs and adventure. Most of their readers travel the roads of North America and want insightful stories about the continent.
Submit an article or photo essay and earn $200 upon acceptance at the ROVA Magazine website.
3. Outpost Magazine
Outpost Magazine looks for submissions about travel, adventure and culture. It is looking for longform travel stories, travel guides, and stunning photography. The publication is Canadian and it has a “Canadian slant.”
Columns and stories typically range from 800 to 1,500 words and features can be up to about 5,000 words; pay varies.
This British travel magazine publishes destination features up to 2,200 words, along with shorter dispatches, special interest features and consumer articles. Pay is typically £220 (about $325) per 1,000 words, but rates vary.
AFAR Magazine appeals to college-educated, high-income readers who seek a personal connection through travel. The publication is looking for pitches for One Great Block (focusing on one block of one special neighborhood), news items, local resident stories and food pieces.
While its guidelines don’t include rates, Who Pays Writers reports rates ranging between $0.50-$1.50 per word.
Write travel articles about destinations, activities and experiences for GoNOMAD, but take note that this website seeks pieces that meet its style and focus.
GoNOMAD’s guidelines say, “If you write for GoNomad, it’s best to avoid guidebook lingo, promotional hype, and extra fluff.” Articles are typically 800-2,000 words and a detailed list of locations and topics the publication is seeking is available in its guidelines.
Pay is $25 per article.
7. New Mexico Magazine
The New Mexico Magazine publishes travel posts about the state’s multicultural heritage, arts and diverse people.They want New Mexico experiences with opinionated storytelling.
Payment is 35 to 40 cents per word.
8. National Geographic Traveler
This magazine looks for fresh content and stories that share the spirit of each destination. Each issue typically includes about five features, with about half on U.S. destinations and half covering international travel. It aims to cover places regular people can go, not just the wealthy.
Stories range from 750 words for a department to up to 2,500 words for a feature. Pay is competitive.
9. Travel + Leisure Magazine
While this magazine doesn’t have specific submission guidelines online, Freedom with Writing says this magazine is written 95 percent by freelancers on assignment and pays up to $1 a word.
10. Arizona Highways Magazine
Arizona travelers rely on this magazine for destination-based ideas, and the publication also encourages travelers to come to Arizona.
Check its guidelines to see when queries (typically on specific locations) are accepted. This period is often in March. Pay varies.
11. Canadian Geographic Magazine
Write about Canada’s people, frontiers, places and issues in this magazine that comes out six times a year.
It buys about 30 features a year and pay varies.
12. Delta Sky Magazine
This airline magazine seeks stories about travel, lifestyle and business. Features are typically 600-2,000 words, but shorter pieces can contain as few as 100 words.
Payment varies and the magazine has a four-month lead time.
13. DesertUSA Magazine
Desert lovers can write all about the North American desert in this publication targeting those who love the natural and cultural history of the region. Wildlife, adventure, history, desert lore, and travel stories are in demand.
Articles with photos receive payment of $50.
14. Escapees Magazine
RV travelers with stories to tell and wisdom to share might consider submitting to Escapees Magazine, which specializes in RV lifestyle.The publication only accepts fully written articles on spec.
They pay $100 to $200 for feature submissions and $50 to $100 for short fillers.
15. The Penny Hoarder
Penny Hoarder seeks stories about traveling on a budget from Disneyworld to Hawaiian cruises. Most of their readers are “relaxed and excited about earning — and saving — money.”
They pay $75 for a 700 to 900-word article.
16. KANSAS! Magazine
Celebrate the wonders of Kansas with this publication offered by Kansas Tourism and partner organizations.
Most readers are locals over the age of 50. Payment varies.
17. Los Angeles Times Travel
The travel section of the Los Angeles Times looks for pieces with a strong visual component. Trips must be taken in the previous two years and writers must follow specific ethical guidelines, including not receiving comped travel.
18. MotorHome Magazine
This publication for RV enthusiasts wants travel stories with an RV angle.
It pays up to $900 for technical manuscripts with photos, and less for shorter pieces.
19. Oregon Coast Magazine
Write about Oregon’s stunning coastal region and tell stories about everything from day-long driving tours to restaurant features and historical sites.
Payment ranges from $100 to $650 depending on story type and word count.
20. Pathfinders Travel
This magazine looks for fresh ideas and stories about travel and the travel industry. Its main audience is African Americans.
Stories typically pay $150.
21. Road and Travel
Road and Travel specializes in automotive, travel and personal safety articles, including articles that appeal to female business travelers.
The magazine pays up to $100 per article.
22. Sunset Magazine
This magazine focuses on 13 Western states and wants “take action” travel ideas as well as destinations that offer a variety of experiences and “soft adventures.”
23. Trailer Life Magazine
This publication accepts stories about the RV lifestyle. Payment ranges from $100 for a small piece to $700 for a technical feature with photos.
24. Transitions Abroad Magazine
This publication for people who live abroad is looking for a variety of pieces about working, living and studying abroad, as well as cultural and culinary travel.
Pay is typically $75 to $150 for a 1,250-word article for the web.
25. World Nomads
Emirates Airlines’ inflight magazine looks for travel articles that fall under these categories: love, fear, discovery, connection and transformation.
They pay 50 cents per word for stories between 600 to 800 words. Payment is made after publication.
26. Verge Magazine
Travelers aged 17-40 are the target audience for Verge. It seeks articles about volunteering, working and studying overseas.
27. Alaska Airlines Magazine
This monthly in-flight magazine for Alaska Airlines seeks business, travel, technology and personality articles, among other topics.
Rates range from $150 to $700 depending on the topic, length and treatment of an article.
28. WestJet Magazine
This airline’s Canadian lifestyle-travel publication wants stories ranging from insider tips and service-oriented advice to local cuisine and features.
29. Via Magazine
The American Automobile Association publishes Via Magazine, which focuses on auto travel out West.
Payment varies and you can request guidelines by emailing [email protected]
This magazine covers North American destinations. Pitches must cover foot-based travel, wilderness or backcountry experiences and advice.
A feature story’s word count varies from 1,500 to 5,000 words, although there are shorter assignments available from 100 to 1,200 words. They accept pitches via email and require a signed contract which specifies the payment amount and payment terms.
Rates are $.40 to more than $1.00 per word.
31. New Mexico Magazine
Showcase New Mexico’s rich environment and culture through this publication of the New Mexico Tourism Department. One-third of readers live in the state and the out-of-state readers typically visit twice a year or so. The magazine looks for a lively editorial mix, with articles that show readers things they can do in New Mexico.
Pay is typically 35-40 cents per word.
32. Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet is an award-winning website that gives travelers the tools they need to plan their next trip such as in-depth information on destinations, things to do and travel advice. They are looking for freelance contributors who want to write digital content, travel news and guidebooks.
33. Texas Highways
Texas’ official travel magazine reaches 500,000 readers in 54 countries each month. It is looking for pieces featuring “scenery, history, small towns, and out-of-the-way places.”
Pays 50 cents per word.
34. Common Ground Magazine
Common Ground Magazine’s readers are from Western Canada. They accept articles about the environment, transformational travel and personal growth.
Submissions usually range from 600 to 1,500 words are accepted, but they can accept articles up to 2,500 words. Rates are 10 cents per word.
This post was updated in July 2019 so it’s more useful and relevant for our readers! It was originally written by Kristen Pope and updated by The Write Life team.
Photo via natalia_maroz/ Shutterstock