Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Sites That Pay for Your Travel Writing

This is an update of a previous post on publishing travel articles in print and online. 
So, you think you're a writer, huh? Well, now, isn't that cute. Let me give you some advice.


You're wasting your time: travel writing is dead.

Okay, maybe that's a little harsh. 

Sure, the publishing industry has fallen on hard times lately. Newspapers are throwing themselves off the ledge as fast as they can. Nobody buys magazines anymore.

But travel writing dead?? Sure, the marketplace for writing is changing. Competition for limited print space is fierce. But in a lot of ways, especially in emerging literary markets, it's getting even easier to break into. Not only do people WANT to read new, fresh travel stories, they want to publish them.

And they want to publish them SO MUCH, that they'll pay you to write them!

Here is a running list of publications (online and in print) that want to pay you to write for them!

(Just do me a favor: Read their submission guidelines; search their website; get to know the publication before you start bugging the editors.)




A fan of festivals? So are 2camels.com.
"From downing a stein at Oktoberfest to cheese rolling in Gloucestershire to dancing in the streets in Berlin, our aim is to provide the travellers' perspective, warts and all."
Don't forget to include logistical info about where to stay and how to get there. Just make sure to spice up the experience. And keep it timeless - the kind of thing party-goers can expect year-after-year.
Not so much an, "I went here and saw this then had an egg sandwich" type experience. More a, "I was swept up in a crowd of ten thousand revelers, horns blew and champagne flowed" kinda thing, with a touch of history and culture added to the mix. 
The spin: All things festival!
The contact:  Paul Dodson. editor@2camels.com.  Just follow these guidelines.
The pay: 20USD per article.
The length: 500-1,000 words. (Accompanying photos are welcome.)

What started out as a group of American and Aussie friends traveling around the world in the '90s has become of the largest independent travel guides on the web.

BootsnAll is looking for articles with wide appeal. They publish Features (1,200-1,600 words), Photo Feature Articles (50-100 words/photo), Expert Travel Articles (1,200+ words), and Travel Essays (600-3,000 words)

Stay up to date with their Editorial Calendar for new pitch ideas!

BootsnAll owns all future rights to the articles they pay for. If you want to keep the rights to your article (but don't care so much about getting paid), you can submit a guest post.

The spin: Independent travel, anywhere!
The contact: Katie Hammel. Fill out the form here. (Katie does read all submissions.)
The pay: 20-50USD, depending on article type.
The length: see above

Read an interview with editor Katie Hammel here about what BootsnAll is looking for in freelance pitches!

Matador Network
Matador is to independent travel what Richard Branson is to flying. Sexy. Oh, and they are out to make it accessible to everyone.
With 12 blogs covering everything from travel videos to sports to the philosophy of the "inner journey", Matador has skyrocketed to the top of the travel blog world since its launch in 2006.

The blogs:

  • The Traveler’s Notebook – Travel writing, photography and expert travel tips
  • Matador Abroad – Study abroad, languages and cultural immersion
  • Matador Change – Voluntourism, sustainability and global development
  • Matador Life – Voluntourism, sustainability and global development
  • Matador Trips – Adventure travel off the beaten track
  • Matador Nights – Nightlife, events and the arts
  • Matador Goods – Travel gear, clothing, gadgets
  • Matador Pulse – Travel news from around the world
  • Matador Sports – How do you play around the world?
  • Matador TV – Filtering the best travel videos on web.
  • Matador Travel – Our vibrant and growing social network with over 10,000 active user
  • Brave New Traveler – Spiritual travel in the 21st Century

  • Join the community, get involved, do your research, and submit an article on the contributors' page.

    The spin: Each blog has its own.
    The contact: Each blog has a different editor. Upload your article here.
    The pay: 25-60USD via Paypal
    The readers: 1,092,756 a month!

    Transitions Abroad
    One of the longest-running go-to sites for all things cultural immersion (since 1977!), transitionsabroad.com publishes practical advice on moving to and studying, living, working, and volunteering around the globe. Don't be put off by the austerity of the website's design (which looks like it was built at the internet's inception) - they get upwards of 8 million visitors a year. And they are one of the best-paying sites for new travel writers anywhere on the web.

    Current Needs! Articles on:

    • Working Abroad
    • Studying and Student Travel Abroad
    • Living abroad & long-term travel
    • Cultural immersion travel
    The spin: Immerse yourself! But be practical about it. Work, study, and low-cost travel.
    The contact: Dr. Joanna Hubbs. webeditorial@transitionsabroad.com
    The pay: 50-150USD per article, depending on projected popularity.
    The details: Review submission requirements here.


    Though not so independent (it's an AOL blog), Gadling's still got a sense of humor and a youthful edge.
    "Covering fun, interesting, and relevant travel, Gadling is the premiere source for everything from general travel news to highly specific travel tips, from budget travel to adventure travel -- and for everything in between." 

    The spin: Um, travel? There's not much they don't cover.
    The contact: Grant Martin. editor@gadling.com.
    The pay: 25USD per post.

    World Hum

    Practical isn't the most important at World Hum, where the journey is the story and the story is the destination.
    "Who are we? We’re storytellers of all kinds, from world renown authors and adventure photographers to videographers and bloggers on the backpacker circuit. What all of our contributors share is a passion for travel—and a talent for telling great travel stories."
    World Hum has several options for writing submissions:
    • Travel Stories are first-person travel narratives.
    • Speaker’s Corner essays feature rants or raves about any travel-related subject.
    • Travel Interviews are interviews with travelers, writers, artists—anyone with something interesting to say about travel.
    • Lists explore a wide range of travel-related topics.
    • Audio slideshows explore travel through photographs, sound and narration.
    The spin: Tell a great story
    The contact: Eva Holland, Senior Editor. dispatches@worldhum.com.
    The pay: Send a submission for specific payment info.

    You remember that time when you read that awesome travel narrative about the guy who went canoeing down the Zambezi and ended up being the best man in a tribal African wedding? Ever wished you could steal someone else's travel itinerary? Now you can...well...buy one.

    Unanchor.com needs travel writers to create 1- to 3-day city-specific itineraries for those, well, less-than-inspired tourists among us. Fortunately, access to elaborate indigenous ceremonies is not necessary. They're looking for itineraries that include destination specifics, maps and logistical information, and insider insight into the places on your list.

    The spin: Exhaustive self-guided itineraries
    The process: Fill out an Itinerary Writer Application here.
    The pay: 100USD advance upon acceptance of itinerary, plus 75% of your itinerary's revenue.


    According to famed travel writer Bill Bryson, "There simply isn't a better magazine for the serious traveller." Though Mr. Bryson himself never really was very serious...

    Wanderlust has been around since 1993 (in print), dishing up travel news, advice, contests, and more to like-minded individuals sick with the travel bug. 

    Wanderlust includes various features open to submissions:
    1. Destination features – Covering a specific destination – a country or a region – or an activity, eg, horseriding in Chile, walking in Morocco. Should be both anecdotal and informative, written in the first person and in the past tense, and between 1,800-2,200 words.
    2. Dispatches – Shorter, topical pieces (700-1200 words) describing a recent development in a destination of interest to our readers. Examples include an eyewitness account of a royal wedding in Uganda, a new walking trail in the Middle East, and slum tourism in Mumbai.
    3. You did what? – A single page in the front of the magazine describing a truly outlandish adventure. Recent examples include being kidnapped off Colombia, rowing across the English Channel in a bath, and sleeping on every Scottish island. First person, 300-400 words.
    4. Special-interest features – Do you have specialist knowledge on a travel-relevant subject? Topics covered to date include safaris, cycling holidays, New Zealand walks, family adventure trips. Must be authoritative – authors should have in-depth and regional or global knowledge.
    5. Consumer articles – A practical guide of value to travellers. Explain how people can save money, or make their travels better and easier. The style should be direct and instructive, but easy to read and understand. Recent articles have included: finding cheap flights online; road safety abroad; making better travel videos
    Visit their writers page for more details. 

    The spin: passion for travel
    The contact: Dan Linstead, Editor. submissions@wanderlust.co.uk (read writers page for details)
    The pay: 90-220 pounds The reader:  Diverse; from 25- to 35-year-old single people seeking activity-based adventure holidays to mature, empty-nesters looking for soft-adventure and cultural experiences.

    The Expeditioner
    Some recent popular articles on theexpeditioner.com: "How to Last a Weekend in London for Under 100 Pounds", "An Insider's Guide to the Top 10 Destinations in Asia", "What's the Longest Non-stop Flight in the World?", "Top 8 Free Things to Do in NYC This December".

    The spin: Travelers - not tourists
    The contact: Matt Stabile. matt.stabile@theexpeditioner.com
    The pay: 30USD per article
    The length: 1,000-1,300 word narratives


    Action Asia

    For those of you with a heart for adventure of a physical nature, "bikes and hikes not buses and trains", take a look at Action Asia. Just make sure you've got photos to back up an edgy article - they rarely buy anything without the combo factor.

    Areas of interest (in order of reader ranking):
    Hiking / trekking, Diving, Mountain biking, Ecology / nature watching, Photography, Climbing, Surfing

    They also have yearly special issues with a particular focus:
    May/June - Biking Special
    Sept/Oct - Great Gear Guide
    July/Aug - Action Diver (Exhaustive country-by-country SCUBA dive guide)

    Action Asia has been in publication since 1992.

    The spin: Adventure sports in Asian countries (including Australia, NZ, and the Middle East).
    The contact: Steve White, ed-in-chief. aa@bluincmedia.com.
    The pay: 100USD per page for photos and words.
    The readership: 25-49 year-old college grads. ~150,000 annually.

    I'll keep posting more here as I find them. If you know of any I missed, please let me know in the comments!


    1. Anonymous12:50 AM

      You earned an "Add Favourite" click on my laptop. The simplicity in the presentation of this list is attractive, and I plan to make a hard copy for future pitching! Thanks.

      ~Jules (from Matador U)

    2. Anonymous2:58 AM

      Great info! Thanks for sharing!


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