36 Travel Magazines and Websites That Pay Freelance Writers

36 Travel Magazines and Websites That Pay Freelance Writers

When you dream about your writing career, do you picture yourself scribbling in notebooks about your world travels, hoping to combine your wanderlust with your creative flair to earn money for your adventures? 

If you have travel stories to tell, it’s time to stop dreaming! 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, even for destinations right in your own backyard.

Some writers envision travel writing jobs as sharing tales of globetrotting and exploring the ancient artifacts of Greece, or wandering Machu Picchu. But that’s only a small part of travel writing.

Publications are often even more eager to snap up stories about the mountain trails an hour away that make for easy weekend adventures 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 36 paying international and domestic travel markets. Click on each title to access submission guidelines or editorial contacts.

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.

2. ROVA 

Want to share your thrilling stories of life on the open road? 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 from writers anywhere in the world. The publication is Canadian and it has a “Canadian slant.”

Online stories typically range from 800 to 1,500 words, 2,000 to 4,000 for print and features can be up to about 5,000 words; pay varies.

4. Wanderlust

This British travel magazine publishes destination features up to 2,200 words, along with shorter dispatches, travel guides, round-up features and more.  Pay is typically £220 (about $275) per 1,000 words, but rates vary.


Write travel articles about destinations, activities and experiences for GoNOMAD, but take note that this website seeks pieces that meet its style and focus.

If you want to write for GoNOMAD, its guidelines say, “No glossy magazine fluff, no standard guidebook descriptions, no promotional hype.” Articles are typically 1,200 to 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.

6. 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. Submit your pitches to [email protected]

7. 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.

8. Canadian Geographic Magazine

Write about Canada’s people, frontiers, places and issues in this magazine that comes out six times a year. There are no formal guidelines to follow, but you might want to familiarize yourself with their content and tone to get an idea of what they’re looking for.

It buys about 30 features a year and pay varies.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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,” so focus on how your post will help readers save, earn or grow their money.

They pay $75 for a 700 to 900-word article.

12. KANSAS! Magazine

Celebrate the wonders of Kansas with this publication offered by Kansas Tourism and partner organizations. Pitch a 400- to 800-word nonfiction story that has the potential for interesting photography and reflects the state positively. 

Most readers are locals over the age of 50. Payment varies.

13. 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.

Print stories vary from $200 to $750; online-only stories generally pay $500; Weekend Escapes pay $200, plus additional money for original photos.

14. MotorHome Magazine

This publication for RV enthusiasts wants travel stories covering all aspects of the RV lifestyle, including travel destinations, activities and events and more.

It pays up to $900 for technical manuscripts with photos, and less for shorter pieces.

15. 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.

16. Pathfinders Travel

A travel magazine for people for color, Pathfinders Travel looks for fresh ideas and stories about travel and the travel industry. 

Stories typically pay $150.

17. Road and Travel

Road and Travel specializes in automotive, travel and personal safety articles, including articles that appeal to female business travelers. Travel articles should relate to hotels and resorts, spas, airlines and airline rules, bed & breakfasts, destination reviews, places to go and things to do and much more.

The magazine pays up to $100 per article.

18. 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.”

Pay varies.

19. Trailer Life Magazine

This publication accepts stories about the RV lifestyle, from travel destinations to outdoor recreation. Payment ranges from $100 for a small piece to $700 for a technical feature with photos.

20. 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. Heads up: They’re currently primarily seeking stories about online learning to teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL).

Pay is typically $75 to $150 for a 1,250-word article for the web.

21. World Nomads

World Nomads looks for travel articles that fall under these categories: love, fear, discovery, connection and transformation. Pitch a personal, authentic story about a life-changing journey or experience.

They pay 50 cents per word for stories between 600 to 800 words. Payment is made after publication.

22. 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.

23. WestJet Magazine

This airline’s Canadian lifestyle-travel publication wants stories ranging from insider tips and service-oriented advice to local cuisine and features.

Payment varies.

24. 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]

25. Backpacker

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. 

Pay varies, but Who Pays Writers reports rates up to 50 cents per word.

26. 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 to 40 cents per word.

27. 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.

Rates vary, but Who Pays Writers reports a rate of 30 cents per word.

28. 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.

29. Common Ground Magazine 

Common Ground Magazine’s readers are from Western Canada. They accept articles about the environment, health, wellness, 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.  

30. International Living Magazine

This website and monthly magazine is a comprehensive resource that helps readers find their dream retirement overseas. It wants stories from expats and anyone who can inform their readers about ways to stretch their dollars and simplify their lives.

Pay is up to $150 for website stories; print stories pay $225 for 900 words and $350 for 1,600 words, plus $50 per photo; 600-word daily postcards pay $100.

31. Journey

Journey is AAA Washington’s award-winning magazine featuring “inspiring stories on travel, technology, traffic safety, insurance and member benefits.” 

Who Pays Writers reports a rate of 30 cents per word, but this pub welcomes you to pitch your own pay rate along with your submission. 

32. New Worlder 

This magazine isn’t interested in a taco that has the most buzz — but it definitely wants to know why it has the most buzz. Pitch stories with strong angles about travel, food, culture and people for an American and Latin American audience.

While pay is confirmed, no specific rates are provided in the guidelines.

33. Odyssa Magazine

Freelance submissions are accepted each quarterly issue, though editors are particularly looking for travel pieces in the form of a guide, personal travel experience or reflection of how travel affects our thoughts and who we are.

Pay is $30 per article up to 1,500 words.

Note: Odyssa Magazine is taking a publishing hiatus through Summer 2020 due to COVD-19 and will return in the fall with fresh, new content. 

34. HitTheRoad

To get the green light, write and pitch a story about the adventures, cultures and amazing experiences of road trips in Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. Emphasis is put on experiences in rented campervans and motorhomes, but a journey on the open road is what matters most. 

Standard payment is a link to your site and $50 depending on article type and length.

35. Cruising World

Cruising World welcomes author inquiries and unsolicited manuscripts at all times, but make sure to include photos with your submission. Feature-length articles shouldn’t exceed 2,000 words, and non-features (technical articles and general interest) are capped at 1,200 words.

Payment varies depending on the type of article: $25 to $200 for short, newsworthy items and $300 to $1,000 for technical and feature articles.

The original version of this story was written by Kristen Pope. We updated the post so it’s more useful for our readers.

Photo via natalia_maroz/ Shutterstock 

Filed Under: Freelancing


  • Amman Nafees says:

    Amazing list of all travel related websites that pay for posting articles. We have websites for travel and tourism and would love to invite fun writers to write for us. It is Oman based website and we are providing Khasab Musandam Travel and tourism services for more than a decade.

    You can drop us an email at [email protected]
    can directly contact us at http://www.dhowkhasabtours.com

  • Nice list of travel magazines. Thanks for sharing the information.

  • Thanks for sharing. I hope it will be helpful for too many people that are searching for this topic.

  • Dog Games says:

    I must appreciate the way you have expressed your feelingsthrough your blog!. Click here to play

  • vertix.io says:

    Thanks for sharing.I hope it will be helpful for too many people that are searching for this topic.

  • Kelly says:

    Great post! I’m hoping to do some more freelance travel writing during our world cycle trip! I’m not going to have regular net connection, so will have to see how we go, but you don’t know unless you try. We’re starting our trip cycling through Canada then the USA before hitting Latin America, so a lot of these sites might be worth trying, as they’re mostly American based sites.

  • pamela says:

    owe some list thanks for sharing. very educative and inspiring.

  • Putting the list of magazines who accept content from freelance writers is nothing short of great help. Manyvthanks is for doing so.
    I am a traveller with my camera. I am inspired to add content of my travels to support my photographs.

  • Thanks for putting this together! It’s a great list and now I’ll have some places to aim for getting published in (when I get a bit more experienced.)

  • Olga Baker says:

    Kristen, thank you so much! I came across this post by googling “freelance writer pay” for the magazine I was interested in. This is incredibly helpful, and I so much appreciate that you have shared this!
    All the best luck with all your projects!


  • Arpan Modi says:

    Kristen Pope you really can write very good piece of the content . and great list very nice and researched list.. thanks for sharing it

  • Becky says:

    this is great. thanks for sharing the list

  • ModernDayNomads.com seeks how-to article submissions on the digital nomad + expat work-life for North American globetrekkers. Accepting reprints for now (writer retains all rights), but looking to establish working relationships with writers worldwide, will begin to assign as our budget increases: http://www.moderndaynomads.com/jobs/call-for-submissions-moderndaynomads Thanks + happy travels to all!

  • Linda Ballou says:

    My e-book How to Make Travel Writing Work for You available on Amazon is about going through the back door. I don’t try to make a living at travel writing, I try to get fabulous trips. Obviously, this demands a certain amount of financial freedom, but I consider my trips payment in advance.What I get for my articles is just a little bonus. http://www.LindaBallouAuthor.com
    P.S. Thanks for updating this list for me.
    Cheers, Linda

  • Rachel Lee says:

    I have landed my first assignment with International Living magazine only a month after starting out as a freelancer so it is possible.
    And for those who don’t want to work for peanuts, there is a solution- don’t work for magazines that pay peanuts. There are still plenty of magazines that pay excellent rates if writers are prepared to look.

    • Philen says:

      How long did IL take to respond to your pitch?
      Do they pay on acceptance or on publication?

    • According to their guidelines, International Living expects its contributors to be residents of the country they are writing about.

      • Funny thing, the first article I ever freelanced, as a college student, was a combined article/photo essay on how to get jobs in national parks. I’d worked in Yellowstone Park and written a variety of travel pieces for an employee newspaper–still have ’em. Sold the piece to a LIFE-size Hearst Magazine called EYE for $300, which in today’s money must be well over $1000. Since then I’ve worked with media and started my own publishing businesses. The state of travel writing as a form of remuneration seems dire but I have to appreciate Linda’s forthright assessment. I do wish to dabble in travel writing again because and for one thing I probably know more about the hospitality “industry” than most, especially from an airbnb user and host’s point of view. (Airbnb is very hot and I’ve been quoted elsewhere about it.) Clearly, your travel article angle must be very unique, like my being on Oahu when the missile scare happened ten days ago or so!!! Also, I’m a retirement consultant and have a very specific audience worth addressing. Very glad this list exists, though, saves writers a lot of trouble. I am herewith tooting my own horn BUT maybe you can glean something from this post…

        • William Seavey says:

          Oh, I might add that if you are a travel writer working on a feature that involves retirement or retirees, my website is retirementpossibilities.net, I have examples of people in particular who travel themselves or who have “traveled” in the process of relocating.

  • A word of caution and a comment about the state of travel writing. Your readers should know that this is absolutely the toughest market to break into and one in which it is nearly impossible to make decent money. I know, I have written for Coastal Living, Sunset, AAA Via, Journey, Alaska/Horizon and many others for over 15 years. No more. None of the publications I wrote for have raised their payment rates in that amount of time and many have actually lowered their compensation. Really, how can you make a living with articles that pay $25 or $40? Aren’t your words worth more than that? And remember, MOST magazines do not reimburse a writer’s expenses, so how can you justify paying hundreds of dollars in airfare or hotels or meals and not be reimbursed? Yes, the pay for top magazines like Coastal and Sunset is very good at $1 per word, but the competition is massive and your query may never even be read. It will likely go into a huge pile that will not grace an editor’s desk but will be answered by an intern whose job is to reject you as politely as possible. I sound jaded, I know, but I am really just sad. I followed all the “rules” to make my way up the travel writing ladder (start with local pubs, take whatever payment they offer, turn everything in on time, build your clips, study your target magazines, keep sending out queries), and I enjoyed years of wonderful assignments, reimbursed travel and checks for $1,000 a story. But when the editors who knew me and liked my work moved on or retired, a new crew came on and brought their friends/former co-workers with them. I wasn’t willing to go back to the trenches, and I am weary of the lack of respect many publications have for their freelancers. If you absolutely,positively want to be a travel writer, then buckle up and persevere. But don’t quit your day job.

    • Laura Smith says:

      I don’t think anyone would be tempted to quit their day job for gigs ranging from $.07 a word to $40 an article. But it’s always nice to find more places where you could submit pieces if you wanted to. That’s the hardest part for me– not coming up with ideas but where to put them afterward.

    • Gail Goeller says:

      How refreshing when someone speaks their historical truth re selling their writing. This letter should be a part of the curriculum for any writing class–followed by an honest conversation.

      Thanks for sharing, Linda; it’s a crazy world out there when you dead-end with your finest writing…

    • Linda Hagen Miller: Thanks for the unvarnished truth. Travel writing is one of the pursuits where you can cover a lot of mileage (literally), but stay in the same place (figuratively, i.e. payment. I’ve gotten most of my pleasure from the travel, but have always kept my day job. Since I owned my day job and had a wonderful partner, I was always able to get away and do the fun things while my business at home kept perking.

    • Naushad Mohd Ansari says:

      Your reply is more practical and helpful. It is a bit demotivating but reality should be put forward and you have done it in a good and decent manner. It is correct that competition is rising day by day. But can you clear one more point, besides writing for the magazines, there are options to sell the photographs also?
      Besides photographs, can the travel videos be sold? If I say videos than I mean to say videos of natural places, videos of journey etc.
      Can you please comment on it?

      • Naushad – I’m sorry to be negative about travel writing as a career and I’m glad you saw through my comments and found some helpful info. Having quality photos to accompany an article can help, but won’t necessarily make a huge difference. It depends entirely on the publication and, really, it’s all over the place. You can usually tell what they want/like by reading the publication’s submission guidelines and studying the publication. Further research — If you see a byline that says story and photos by the same person, then you know they’ll buy a package. If you see a writer byline and a different name on the photos, then check the masthead and see if the photographer is on staff. That will mean once they accept a story, they will assign their staff photog to shoot images. If you see “Getty Images” or some other stock house, that means the publication is buying from a library of images. Again, it’s all over the place. As for videos, I’m afraid that’s beyond my experience and knowledge. Hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck. Send me a message when you sell your first story!

        • Alex Porter says:

          Thank you. Your true experiences makes for good advice. However, many people write for free for pleasure. The internet has created a plethora of writers reporting their experiences and it amazes me that newspapers still exist and that anybody is paid to write….anything at all …least of all travel articles. My priority is to travel for which I pay and then generate small secondary income expressing myself through my experiences. I take pics and make videos..

          • Alex Porter: I am glad that is working for you but, unfortunately, the practice of writing for little reimbursement so that you can offset your own travel expenses is exactly what drives the paying market down. Millions of people still read travel articles in newspapers and magazines and the big difference between well-established, paying publications is that they vet their contributors and fact check the articles. Small pubs and online outlets often do NOT do any sort of verification so the reader has no way of knowing that what they’re reading is up-to-date or factual. Writing for your own blog is a different animal, of course, and readers usually understand that blogs present the writer’s opinion and experiences, no fact checking involved.

      • Julia k says:

        I think and I also met a guy who made his income from stock footage and videos. So the answer is yes. You can sell it to businesses like shutterstock. It has to be a professional one though.

    • Mark Archibald says:

      Great insight from an experienced writer. Good to have balanced and realistic info. Thank you.

  • Great list, Kristen! I always assume I don’t travel “enough” to write for travel magazines, but a couple of these publications seem like solid possibilities.

  • Val Vassay says:

    “Scottish Life” is an excellent magazine which accepts articles about Scotland. In my experience they pay well and the editor is very pleasant.

  • Georgia says:

    Lov to do this. I have a tremendous legal, TV and travel background, lived in Europe. Very interested.

  • Good and important piece for start-up freelance writers. Many thanks for mention!

    As a note, since 1977 when my father founded the magazine which is now a website, we have actually largely been a very varied website publishing articles not largely for those currently living abroad, but mostly for those seeking out many modes of travel (adventure, budget, cultural, culinary, independent, etc.), volunteering, study, internships, language learning, and work abroad to allow for extended travel and immersion.

    In fact, the founder sought to emphasize educational travel, as our idea is that you never stop learning at any time in your life, and all practical and inspirational experiences should be shared to help others to do the same.

    In this age of unedited and often unverified user-generated reviews/testimonials, we seek to provide in-depth information and pay as much as we can to freelancers and professionals.

    Thank you again.


  • Kimsea Sok says:

    Thanks for sharing…! It’s an awesome list for writer to get paid..

    Honestly, I’m not a travel writer but I’m interesting in traveling…

    A few week ago, I’ve done some traveling in my local area. Maybe I need to plan to write about that…

    Nice post..

  • Awesome list! Thanks for posting it.

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.