You think travel blogging went down the plughole back in January 2020 when Covid-19 made governments start cancelling flights and quarantining travellers?
Because guess what happens when people can’t travel as much as they’d like?
They want to read about travelling so that they can dream and imagine and plan their next trip. 😉
And guess what happens when people are finally allowed to travel wherever they please? Yep, they’ll want to read about it then, too.
So travel blogging is a pretty good opportunity right now for any writer with halfway decent experiences to share!
Before we get into this, lemme answer the question a lot of writers ask me:
Is Travel Blogging Paid Well Enough to Cover All Your Expenses?
I dunno… how expensive are you?
I mean, if you normally live on a shoestring and sleep in a hammock, then I expect a few good travel blogging gigs a month would cover your living costs, your business costs, AND your random buy-it-because-you-like-it costs.
If you’re used to sleeping in the fanciest of hotels and being concierged to within an inch of your life, then… maybe? If that’s the experience you bring to the table, then you could probably get hired by luxury travel brands that can afford to keep you in penthouse suites.
On average, most of the travel blogging gigs I see pay about $200 per post, although there are some that pay $1,000 or more for the right piece. (And if your article gets accepted by a travel magazine for publication in print as well as online, you could earn $1+ per word.) It’s up to you to decide how many posts you can create, which sites to pitch them to, and how much you need to earn!
And now for the other big question:
Do You Have to Travel a Lot to Be a Travel Blogger?
Welllll, kinda, but also no.
If you live somewhere that other people travel to, then you can write posts about that place for those people. As a local, you have knowledge that visitors don’t have. But as a non-traveller, you might also overlook some of the little things that only outsiders notice.
If you used to travel a lot but now not so much, that’s not unusual. And you can still get gigs writing about places you visited a couple of years ago, as long as you can make the post itself relevant and up to date for someone reading it today. (Some blogs have rules about how long ago your trip can be; some of those blogs relaxed the rules back in 2020 to let writers mine older trips for blog post content. And some of them may have tightened up their window of acceptability again by now, so check with the editors to be sure.)
Travel Blogs That Pay Freelance Writers:
How much do you know about passing the time in Oregon? 1859 Oregon magazine is looking for interesting ways to entertain its readers while in their state. For locals and visitors. Stories about local food, wine, history, culture, and outdoor adventures are all good places to start.
Adirondack Life magazine publishes stories about its six million acre natural park in New York State. So it’s all about outdoor fun from hiking and kayaking to backcountry skiing (and everything in between). They also love articles about the wildlife, history, places, and people of the Adirondacks.
If road or mountain biking gets you excited, pitch your dream biking travel ideas to Adventure Cycling. They are especially interested in first-person stories about bike travel. So make sure to include all the details about how to do it along with your story about the amazing spots you visited (and take lots of fantastic pictures too).
If fishing is the reason for your travel passion, you could make some good money writing about your expertise, adventures, and journeys while doing what you love. American Angler magazine and website will be happy to find another great freelance writer who loves to fish. Tell them about all your secret local knowledge, great places to eat, and your favorite travel destinations for fishing.
Have you got family travel stories or ideas? Well, if you live near Atlanta GA, you could pitch a few interesting travel articles to Atlanta Parent, a locally owned online and print magazine. They’re also interested in personal essays and practical articles about parenting from locals.
Dying to write about your backwoods hiking trips? Go talk to Backpacker, an online and print magazine that specializes in “foot-based” travel. They’re ok with the occasional other “human-powered” propulsion systems too (like canoeing or cross country skiing). Just try to keep it in North America and get off the typical trails. They’ll consider everything from day hikes to week-long trips.
- Homepage: https://www.backpacker.com/
- Contributor info: https://www.backpacker.com/page/guidelines
- Pay: From about $150 to $2,000 or more; typical pay starts at 40 cents per word, with article lengths ranging from 400-600 words to 1500-5000 word destination feature articles.
- Contributor byline: Yes.
- Contributor bio: Yes, on a separate page, no links.
BBC Travel wants to hear about your travel story ideas. But read their submission guidelines very closely and study up on some of their best travel articles before you contact them with ANY queries. You’ll need one hell of a story idea to get them to say yes (and remember the photos to go with it).
British Columbia magazine wants your travel articles. But be prepared to show them a few great portfolio pieces first. First-person stories about day trips and lesser-known locales. History and famous (or infamous) figures are also intriguing ideas. And do I need to say it? Only about travel in British Columbia Canada.
How well do you know the Virginia, DC, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania area? Got lots of ideas for family travel fun? Then get in touch with Chesapeake Family magazine and website. They are really interested in great family travel ideas. You can also send proposals about any of the challenges parents face (from a local perspective of course).
If you live in or near the Windy City (also known as Chicago IL), you could pitch Chicago Parent on local family activities or travel articles. They’re also interested in personal essays and feature articles on any of the usual challenges of parenting (education, child care, and managing it all).
Coastal Review Online is a nonprofit online publication focused on the North Carolina coast. They want articles about protecting and preserving this natural area mainly. But they also like “green” travel, culture, or history articles about interesting places.
Cross Country magazine is all about flying. You know, like paragliding, hang gliding, paramotoring… you get the idea. If it involves humans in the air with or without motors, Cross Country will be interested. And it goes without saying, photos are extremely important for any article.
Are you into desert travel in North America? You could be making some money writing for DesertUSA magazine, an online publication focused on all things desert. Geology, wildlife, adventure, even photo essays could make the cut. They are also interested in the culture, history, arts, and crafts of the different desert-dwelling peoples in the southwestern USA.
Have you travelled to somewhere environmentally important? Earth Island Journal is a print journal that also publishes articles online, covering issues ranging from wildlife and lands conservation to innovations in science and technology, public policy, environmental protection, animal rights, public health, and environment-related film, music, and books.
If you’re in the Berkeley, Oakland, or East Bay areas, you could do some paid local freelance writing for East Bay Express. They want to know about local restaurants, events, cultural happenings, and music too. They sometimes do travel articles that fit the vibe of the magazine.
Edible Seattle gets most of its articles from freelancers. So if you’ve got a great local food-based travel story, send your query in. They are most interested in your first-person road trip articles (with a food theme obvs). But they won’t turn down other nontravel local food story ideas (if it fits their submission guidelines of course).
The Escapees RV Club blog publishes posts on anything and everything about the RV lifestyle – from the RVs themselves to traveling, to parenting on the go, to transitioning from recreational to full-time RVing. So if you’re got an RV and love going places in it, write it up and send it to them. That’s right, they do NOT accept pitches, only completed articles. They also love stories about life in an RV.
Great Escape Publishing publishes home-study programs and leads workshops that help their members get paid to travel. Travel writing and blogging, photography, and tour-guiding are their main areas of focus. So if you know something about how to make money writing about travel or other travel-related business, send them a pitch.
Hemispheres is United Airlines’ travel magazine and they are still accepting freelance queries. Have a look at past stories to get an idea of what they want and what they’ve already published. Like most airline mags, they pay pretty well.
Hidden Compass wants a different kind of travel story. They are much more interested in a great story than the destination. So a cute little article about how much fun Paris is… that’s not going to cut it here. But a story about Javanese miners harvesting sulfur, that could get their attention.
“Road” is the key word if you want to write for Hit the Road. We’re talking about road trips in Australia, New Zealand, or North America. They’ll be even more thrilled if your story involves a rented campervan or motorhome (because that’s their business). And remember to include photos and videos to make your story even more irresistible.
Got family fun ideas for the Hudson Valley area in NY state? Pitch them to the Hudson Valley Parent. This publication wants travel articles about local fun only (preferably first-person stories). But they also love articles about camps, schools, health, and anything related to kids.
International Living is a magazine with a popular blog discussing retiring overseas, foreign investments, travel deals and real estate bargains outside the U.S., how to start a business outside the U.S., items from overseas that may sell well in the U.S. market… anything that involves saving or making money outside of the United States.
Yes, you can write a travel article for the LA Times. But they’re super picky, so read the submission guidelines carefully. They will not accept ANY sponsored trips. Nope. Nada. Not even a little bit. Have a good hard look at previous articles too. They want something original and different. Pitch them a story they can’t resist (and you’ll need some great photos to go with it).
Have you taken a trip inspired by a work of literature? Then Literary Traveler wants to hear from you. LT focuses mainly on travels related to literary artists (or their works of art) but also welcomes articles focusing on composers, storytellers, and poets. They like to hear about the creative process and its relationship to location and travel.
If you’ve got a motorhome and love to travel in it, you’ve probably got a story worthy of Motorhome magazine. They’re looking for stories about lesser-known destinations or more popular ones (if the story is especially focused on doing it in a motorhome). You’ll need to include important information that RV-ers really need (like road restrictions and parking locations) regardless of where you go.
- Homepage: https://www.motorhome.com/
- Contributor info: merging and transistioning into a digital only publication at the moment.
- Pay: coming soon (changing format)
- Contributor byline: Yes.
- Contributor bio: No.
You’re probably thinking of Yosemite and Yellowstone right now. But the National Parks Conservation Association includes ALL the national parks in the US. Yep, all 400 of them. So that includes urban parks, historic sites, battlefields, trails, and a few more. The NPCA especially likes stories about conservation, wildlife, history, news, and travel. Essays, long and short features, and news stories are all acceptable.
Nevada magazine is the official tourism magazine for the state. They’re looking for stories written from personal experience and research. You don’t have to live in Nevada, but your story won’t get a “yes” if your research is strictly web-based. They like stories about the cities, the rural towns, interesting restaurants (or other businesses) and stories about its history.
The New Mexico Tourism Department wants your stories for their monthly magazine and online blog. They especially would love first-hand stories about an interesting part of New Mexico. Simple and earthy, upscale and refined, old and historic. If it makes their readers want to learn more about New Mexico, they’re interested.
Do you know about anything fun to do on the Oregon coast? The Oregon Coast magazine wants to hear from you. They’re looking for stories about how to get to interesting destinations, easy day trips, great places to eat, driving tours, and more. Practical information and entertaining stories about how to pass the time on the Oregon coast.
Do you have a lot to say about the outdoors? Outside is an online and print magazine that publishes mostly long-form content (2,000-10,000 words). They want to hear about your travel stories with an active outdoors focus. They really love the more extreme sports too if that’s your sweet spot. National parks, road trips, and new adventure travel spots are just a few ideas to mull over.
Paddling magazine is the merger of three different publications, Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots, and Rapid. So that already gives you an idea of what they’re looking for. If you are an avid fan of the kayak or canoe paddle, you could make some money freelance writing about it. So get to it, so you can afford to buy even more gear!
Paste doesn’t accept unsolicited queries anymore, but they do occasionally accept new members to their pool of freelance writers. Travel is just one of the departments at Paste. Have a look at their online magazine and then contact the department you’d like to write for.
Do you live in Arizona and you’re just overflowing with ideas for local family fun? Then Raising Arizona Kids might pay you to write about it. They’re only interested in locally-based writers. And they want articles that help parents do all the things. So fun activities for kids of all ages, travel ideas, and even local kids and parents-related news stories are a good fit here.
Got a motorcycle and love to go riding around the country? Send a query to Rider magazine and see if they’re interested in your next (or latest) ride. Short day trips and more detailed multi-day rides are both fair game — just remember to take great photos. Anything motorcycle-related is worth pitching too.
Road and Travel magazine readers are women, so you’ll need to focus your travel queries on their leisure and business travel needs. Have a look at Road and Travel‘s published articles to get a feel for their readers’ interests. Destination reviews, great hotels and bed n breakfasts, things to do in different cities, states, regions, or countries are all doable here.
Saveur wants your food travel stories. Whether it’s about foreign dishes or going somewhere with delicious food. It’s all about the food. Or drinks. Got a good story about a certain drink or beverage producer? How about a fascinating story about a recipe? Take a look at their past articles and recipes first. They’ve already got some really fantastic ones. So go get inspired by them before you send in your query.
Are conservation, the environment, and outdoor adventures your favorite writing topics? Then Sierra would love to hear from you. The biggest thing on their wish list is an adventure travel story that mixes your first-hand experiences with “ecological insights and scientific discoveries” mixed into the story. Sierra is a print magazine. But they’ve also got a nice blog going that accepts guest posts.
Are you a frequent flyer expert or a credit card points travel junkie? You might have what it takes to write for The Points Guy. They are looking for freelancers and employees with a TON of experience. If you fit the bill, they pay very well for it. (And they have a very unusual and fun application process, so pay attention!)
At the crossroads of culture, travel, and art, you’ll find The Smart Set, an online magazine for those who love to go deeper. So it’s not just about your trip to Yosemite or Santa Fe. And personal essays are kinda their favorites. You can also write about other subjects — intellectual curiosity is their middle name.
Yes, even the Smithsonian magazine pays freelance travel writers for articles. You’ll need to provide great writing samples, of course. And one hell of a story idea. Have a look at some of their already published articles to inspire you.
A blog about working, living, and studying abroad. Transitions Abroad is looking for articles for culture-seeking holiday travellers, working travellers, and those looking to live abroad either permanently or for school. They are especially interested in stories that encourage off-the-beaten-track locations that teach us more about the world (and the unique people and cultures in it).
So you want to write for Travel and Leisure’s magazine and website? Get in line because you’ll be competing with more than a handful of talented freelance writers for a coveted — and well-paid — assignment. Do we need to say it? Read… no, study their published articles, and get a feel for what they want (and what they’ve already done).
This List Needs YOUR Help!
Have you written for one of these blogs? Will you tell us about your experience?
Or do you know of another blog that pays at least $50 per post on travel topics?
If you’ve got a tip about a blog that pays writers $50+, please send it to [email protected] in exchange for our undying gratitude — thank you for your service.