Love to travel and want to write for others who share your passion? Now that the tourism industry is finally starting to show signs of life again, travel writing and blogging jobs are once again becoming ample.
In fact, there are tons of markets in the travel niche that will pay you to write about a variety of topics, from feature articles covering offbeat destinations to tips for planning the perfect family getaway. Some pubs might even commission you to write about your own interesting travel experiences.
While there’s a common perception that travel writers spend much of their time jet-setting around the world, travel writing jobs don’t always require you to hit the road before you start typing. There are all kinds of gigs available in the travel industry for freelance writers, including some for those just starting out.
Our list here will help you get started if you’re looking to land freelance gigs in the travel niche. But remember that opportunities also abound when it comes to business-writing possibilities in this industry, including travel copywriting, itinerary writing, and guidebook writing—so don’t stop here.
How Much Do Travel Writers Get Paid?
Before we delve into our list of travel writing jobs and travel blogging jobs for freelancers, let’s talk about how you can expect to be paid as a travel writer.
According to Glassdoor, the average travel writer in the United States earns about $54,105 per year. That’s not bad for writing about topics you love.
Of course, how much you actually earn will depend on many factors, including how often you write and for which publications. But the travel industry can certainly be a lucrative niche once you get your foot in the door.
You’ll notice that most of the markets on our list pay competitive rates, often in the $0.25/word range and up.
How Do You Become a Travel Writer?
If you want to become a travel writer, obviously you’ll need a strong interest in travel! It often helps if you have a significant amount of first-hand travel experience, too.
If you’ve decided that this is the niche you want to focus on, it’s time to jump in.
You can get started by carefully reviewing the markets on our list here and selecting the ones you’d like to pitch.
After that, your next steps are:
- Study the submission guidelines
- Familiarize yourself with the publication and its style by reading some recently published articles
- Develop a story idea that aligns with what the editors are looking for
- Do some research and fine-tune your angle
- Craft your pitch, and send it off to an editor
If you follow that strategy—and keep pushing forward—you’ll be well on your way to landing solid travel writing gigs.
18 Paying Travel Markets
Check out these 18 travel writing markets that pay writers.
Want to write about the state of Washington? AAA Washington runs a travel-themed website as well as a magazine, Journey, that focuses on destinations in Washington state and northern Idaho. The content is geared toward educating and informing readers about interesting activities, places to go, and places to stay in the region.
Rate: Reportedly pays up to $0.50/word, but freelancers can also pitch a rate.
Backpacker is a bimonthly print and digital magazine focused on foot-based travel—primarily hiking—throughout North America. About 50% of the stories in this pub are written by freelancers, which means there may be opportunities for you.
Your pitch will have the best chance of being accepted if you’re willing to start off by writing a short assignment for the pages in the departments section. Plan to write an impactful story with a valuable take-away for the reader.
Contact: See the Editorial Directory section in the guidelines and pitch the editor of the section you’re hoping to write for.
Rate: Varies; reportedly $0.25-$0.50/word depending on the section.
Backroads USA is a monthly publication with a focus on motorcycle touring-related guides, tips, and information. The editors look for articles about unique or obscure roadside attractions or eateries and interesting destinations. Note that all feature articles submitted to this pub must be accompanied by high-quality photographs.
Contact: Email the editor.
Rate: $75 and up
Interested in writing about topics related to the North American desert or surrounding regions? Consider pitching DesertUSA. This digital resource features a blog that includes articles about travel, Native American culture, regional history and geology, and southwestern arts and crafts. Note that all writers for this blog are required to provide digital images along with their stories.
Rate: $50 per article
Escapees is a bimonthly magazine geared toward RVers who enjoy traveling and exploring. They seek general interest RV-related topics, how-to articles, photo features, profiles, and other travel features. All freelance submissions will need to include photos, and stories should be written in a conversational tone. One particularly nice perk of writing for this mag is that they reimburse the expenses of writers on assignment.
Pay: $25-$200 per story
Contact: Email assistant editor Kelly Evans-Hill.
International Living offers both a blog and a magazine geared toward helping people retire affordably by living abroad. They need interviews, reviews of relevant new products, how-to guides, and travel features.
Rate: $250-$400 for print articles; usually about $0.10 per word for blog/website articles.
Lonely Planet is a travel adventure-themed website that publishes feature content, daily news stories from around the world, and guidebooks. The editors are particularly interested in receiving pitches for inspirational, visually pleasing content.
Rate: Varies; up to $0.30/word according to reports on WhoPaysWriters
Oregon Coast is a bimonthly magazine focusing on the coastal region of Oregon. Both new and established writers are invited to submit pitches. Regularly featured topics include community profiles, driving or walking tours, special events, historical pieces, nature, and restaurant features.
Contact: Send an email to editor-in-chief Rosemary Camozzi.
Rate: $100+ depending on the word count and type of story
Pathfinders is a travel magazine geared toward people of color. Its goal is to help readers plan where to travel and how to get there, what to do while at their destination, and where to dine or stay. All articles from new writers must be submitted on spec unless agreed otherwise, meaning that a completed article must be sent in.
Contact: Email editor P.J. Thomas.
Rate: $150 per article
The cruise industry is finally beginning to rebound after a very tough year. If you’re knowledgeable about cruises and want to write about topics that entice readers to travel by cruise ship, consider pitching this pub. Regular article themes include personal experience stories, how-to guides, historical and general interest stories, and travel features about destinations that can be reached by ship. Porthole pays for the travel expenses of writers on assignment.
Rate: Varies; generally pays $500-$600 for assigned feature stories
Recreation News provides travel coverage with an emphasis on destinations in the Mid-Atlantic (including Delaware, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia). They publish print and digital editions as well as a weekly newsletter. Pitch an interesting, conversational article that focuses on a specific locale with details about places to stay and eat. The editors state that they especially like to publish articles pertaining to outdoor recreation of any kind. Note that any seasonal articles need to be submitted at least ten months in advance.
Contact: Email Editor Marvin Bond
Road & Travel Magazine is an online publication featuring topics about automotive, travel, and personal safety. This pub’s mission is to help readers make informed decisions when it comes to planning trips, staying safe on the road, and purchasing vehicles. While articles are intended to appeal to a wide variety of readers, the target audience is women ages 29-59.
Rate: Varies; typically up to $100
Want to write about road travel? Check out Rova—a digital and print magazine that emphasizes embracing life on the highways and byways of North America. Millennials and Gen-Xers are the target audience for this mag, and the editors seek articles with a focus on the ways in which roads connect people to places and experiences.
Rate: $200 per article
RVTravel is a website that features a blog and other content related to camping and the RV lifestyle. They accept submissions of full articles as well as pitches for stories, press releases, and even poems. If your article is successfully published, there’s a chance you could be brought on as a regular paid contributor or columnist.
Transitions Abroad is an online resource for people interested in traveling to work, study, volunteer, teach, or intern. Regularly published articles cover topics such as worldwide bargains for travelers on a budget; how-to guides related to living, working, and studying abroad; and features about travel opportunities and community-organized tours.
Rate: $50-$150 per post.
If you live in Texas or have strong familiarity with the state, consider pitching Texas Highways. The official travel magazine of Texas, this publication is geared toward all Texans and everyone who is interested in exploring the state. Review the guidelines carefully and consider pitching a story about Texas culture, history, or scenery; a small town; or a hidden gem.
Rate: Up to $0.50/word
Wanderlust is a UK-based website and print publication that seeks articles about unique, intriguing destinations around the world. Regular topics include destination features, trip planner features, advice articles, and shorter “pocket guide” and “dispatch” pieces.
Rate: Pay varies but averages around $0.25 per word.
World Nomads publishes content about transformative travel-related experiences in the form of authentic, personal narratives. Pitch a story that describes a life-changing journey and how it affected you, the way you view the world, and what you learned from the experience.
Get paid to write for travel markets
If you’re looking to land work as a travel writer, dive right in.
This list gives you a good jumping-off point, but there are lots of ways to land work in this niche. Competition for popular travel magazines can be fierce, so consider pitching some of the lesser-known pubs where you’ll have the best chance of finding success.
Always read the guidelines for any market very carefully. You’ll often have the best chance of breaking in if you start out by pitching a shorter article. In some cases, the editors even provide specific guidance about which sections you should aim to write for if you’re a new prospective writer for their publication. Once you prove yourself, you can often move up to higher-paying assignments.
Study the potential client or market, do your research, and submit your pitch. Then keep going. That’s the way to launch a career as a travel writer.
Christin Nielsen is a freelance writer based in Virginia. She specializes in writing for digital and print publications as well as nonprofit organizations.