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36 Travel Magazines and Websites That Pay Freelance Writers

by | Aug 25, 2020

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.   

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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.

Write your own travel book

An alternative to finding travel writing jobs is to simply go ahead and publish your own travel book. If you have written over 10,000 words for a certain travel journey or advice, you could easily turn that into a whole book to sell.

Curious to learn how? Check out this program: “How to write a book“.

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 

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