After compiling a list of travel sites that offer guest posts I was curious to find out which websites pay writers for travel articles. Compiling this list confirmed to me what I already knew; that you won’t get rich by being a travel writer.
Still, if you like writing travel articles and would like to be paid something as opposed to nothing, then this is a good place to start.
This list covers online publications, so it doesn’t include print (newspapers and magazines). There is some overlap where magazines have an online presence, but I have only included sites where you can read your entire article in full online.
This list is not definitive as bigger publications don’t usually put the call out for writers. For example I have landed some writing gigs which have either been referred to me by other writers, or they have found me via my blog. For my last freelance article I was paid 80 cents a word for a 500 word article ($480). Most of these sort of gigs are offered to established writers, so building a portfolio of previous work is essential to get to that level.
To get a paid travel writing gig you should at the very least start a blog if you haven’t already, and publish your collected works there. Also write some guest posts for other travel sites to get your name out there. Whether you should write for free (or “exposure”) for big commercial sites is a topic for a another blog post.
List of paying travel writing jobs
If you know of another website that is paying for travel articles let me know and I will add it to the list. New additions to the list will be announced at the newsletter, so sign up here.
All prices are in USD unless otherwise indicated, and please email me for any additions or corrections.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, social welfare organization with a membership of nearly 38 million. They publish articles in their magazine as well as online. The travel category covers tips and trends on how and where to travel.
Rate: Not disclosed.
Apply at: aarp.org
About.com have a travel section with available destinations for a freelancer to become the writer for. Opportunities are ongoing as you will be writing content on a regular basis on your own time.
Rate: Not disclosed.
Apply at: about.com
Big Grey Horse
Big Grey Horse Media write about Texas and media marketing. They accept Texas travel writers for destination reviews (restaurants, hotels, events, music, bars, etc). You can also write about unique people, cities, out of the way places, etc.
Rate: $125-200 per article (600 to 1,000 words).
Apply at: biggreyhorse.com
Independent travel guide that has four separate programs for writers, three of which are paying markets.
Rate: $50 per article.
Apply at: bootsnall.com
While this isn’t a travel site, if you have what it takes to write a funny long list article then give Cracked a go. I saw some posts that were kind of travel related, such as “6 Dark Sides Of Canada That No One Ever Talks About”.
Rate: $50 for small articles, $100 for full-length feature articles, and after your fourth published article you get $200 per article. If your article is among the ten most popular that month, you get a $50 bonus.
Apply at: cracked.com
Travel in the North American Desert and surrounding regions.
Rate: $50 to $100.00 for 1000 to 1700 words (depending on the subject category).
Apply at: desertusa.com
Expatica publish news and information for English-speaking expatriates in Europe.
Rate: Contact Expatica’s editors to discuss fees before submitting a finished article.
Apply at: expatica.com
Publishes articles and destination guides and is looking for less visited places.
Rate: $25 for 1000-2000 word articles.
Apply at: gonomad.com
If you are a writer living in New York (congrats on sustaining your lifestyle!) or you have a deep understanding of the city then Gothamist are looking for “stories that help the reader better understand New York City and the people living in it.”
Rate: Pay depends on experience, quality, and length.
Apply at: gothamist.submittable.com
Go World Travel
An online travel magazine that publishes articles about the people that call a destination home, the customs, or the places where locals hang out.
Rate: $30 for articles up to 1,000 words in length.
Apply at: goworldtravel.com
Great Escape Publishing
While they don’t publish straight travel articles, if you are already an established writer they publish articles on the craft and business of getting paid to travel, whether by writing, photography, tours or other means.
Rate: $50-$75 for website articles, $100-$150 for interviews and personal stories, and $150-$200 for articles with specific income advice a reader can print and follow to earn more income.
Apply at: greatescapepublishing.com
A magazine dedicated to overseas retirement looking for expats living overseas.
Rate: $75 for their Daily Postcards series.
Apply at: internationalliving.com
In The Know Traveler
Looking for writers focusing on the following subjects: travel photography, international music, adventure, family, working with a travel agency. Stories should be 500-700 words.
Rate: Payment amount isn’t specified.
Apply at: intheknowtraveler.com
This site is – as the name would imply – a listicle site which has a travel category.
Rate: $100 for lists over 1,500 words.
Apply at: listverse.com
Lost Girls World
Accepts country and city guides as well as contributions to their “Pitching 101: How to Pitch…” series. [edit: site doesn’t appear to be active.]
Rate: $12 per article.
Apply at: lostgirlsworld.com
Seeks original writing, photography, and video on worldwide destinations.
Rate: $40 per article, with higher rates in special circumstances.
Apply at: matadornetwork.com
My Itchy Travel Feet
My Itchy Travel Feet is a personal travel site geared to active, travel-loving baby boomers. A Baby boomer is someone who was born between 1946 and 1964, but the site doesn’t specify if you have to be a baby boomer to contribute.
Rate: $30 per article.
Apply at: myitchytravelfeet.com
New West is a guide to news, analysis, and culture for the Rocky Mountain region: Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. The site includes a “Travel & Outdoors” category.
Rate: $50 for smaller, local stories to up to $500 for more complicated, regional pieces. They also accept big, investigative stories and projects that pay more so pitch if you think you have something to offer.
Apply at: newwest.net
An adventure, culture, and travel magazine accepting articles for their print and online versions.
Rate: Payment rates are negotiated with the publisher on an individual basis.
Apply at: outpostmagazine.com
Accepts offbeat stories from authors with book(s) in print (if you don’t have a published book you will not be accepted).
Rate: $100 for 1,200 to 2,000 word articles.
Apply at: perceptivetravel.com
Roads & Kingdoms
Roads & Kingdoms is an independent journal of food, politics, travel and culture. It has quickly become one of the most respected digital magazines and Anthony Bourdain has become an investing partner.
Rate: Rates are emailed once you pitch.
Apply at: roadsandkingdoms.com
Tales To Go
Tales To Go by Travelers’ Tales publishes personal, nonfiction stories and anecdotes—funny, illuminating, adventurous, frightening, or grim.
Rate: $50 honorarium for stories of any length.
Apply at: talestogo.travelerstales.com
Accepts travel stories written in the form of first-person narratives.
Rate: $30 for articles around 1,100 – 1,300 words.
Apply at: theexpeditioner.com
Australian online travel magazine that accepts writers from around the world.
Rate: $40 AUD for 1000 word articles.
Apply at: travelicious.world
Travelsignposts publish travel articles about places to go in Europe, things to do and real life experiences.
Rate: $25 for 800 to 1,500 words.
Apply at: travelsignposts.com
A travel resource for work, living, volunteering, and study abroad.
Rate: $50 to $150 for an article in the 800-2000+ word range.
Apply at: transitionsabroad.com
Publishes longform narrative written by women. Much of the work they publish is informed by a sense of place and/or journeying, but they don’t publish conventional travel writing.
Rate: Payment terms upon submission for articles of 3,000 to 6,000 words.
Apply at: velamag.com
Viator Travel Blog
The tour and things-to-do giant accepts destination and travel inspiration articles.
Rate: $100-$150 for articles from 1000 to 2000 words (most are 1200-1600).
Apply at: viator.com
What’s on Sukhumvit
A Bangkok news and destination guide, so knowing the city well is a prerequisite.
Rate: Payment amount not specified (fees agreed before you start).
Apply at: whatsonsukhumvit.com
Accepts article submission related to travel, culture, food or outdoor adventure in Malaysia.
Rate: 25 MYR per 400 words.
Apply at: wonderfulmalaysia.com
World Hum is one of the old-school online travel magazines, though it is rarely updated these days. They publish travel stories (first-person travel narratives), rants about any travel-related subject, and interviews with travelers, writers, artists—anyone with something interesting to say about travel.
Rate: Payment details are provided if your submission is accepted.
Apply at: worldhum.com
Who Pays Writers? – An anonymous, crowdsourced list of which publications pay freelance writers, and how much.