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.
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
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
And don't forget to order your scratch-off world map.