Dan Linstead | 28 December 2021

10 top tips for writing inspiring travel articles.

Want to begin your travel writing career in 2022? Start with this advice – from having a clear storyline and using dialogue, to beginning with a killer first paragraph...

1. Have a clear storyline in mind

A trip is not a story in itself, it’s just a series of events. Some of these events will be interesting (you made it up Kilimanjaro!) and some will not (you arrived back at the airport on time).

That said, what makes an event interesting depends on the story you want to tell. A rriving back to the airport on time  could  be interesting, but only if your story was about how everything ran late while you were in Tanzania.

So, as a writer, your first job is to decide on the particular story you want to tell, and the events which make up that story, and ensuring all of those events are interesting or useful to the reader. 

To see the kinds of stories that get published, look at the bold line of introductory copy (known as ‘standfirsts’ in the trade) of articles in papers, magazines and websites. Try writing the standfirst for your own story, and then use it as your brief.

2. Make sure your article has a purpose or goal

Is crossing Costa Rica your goal or purpose? (Shutterstock)

Is crossing Costa Rica your goal or purpose? (Shutterstock)

Some trips have a physical objective (like reaching the top of Kilimanjaro, crossing Costa Rica, or seeing a tiger) that gives your article direction and purpose. The reader (hopefully) sticks with you because they want to know if you’ll achieve your goal.

But many trips don’t have an obvious goal. They are more about discovering a place, unpicking its history or meeting its people. In this case, create a personal goal to give your reader a sense of where you’re taking them.

Sentences like “I wanted to discover…” or “I was keen to understand…” give readers an idea of what’s to come, instead of you simply plunging them into the unknown.

3. Edit your experience to fit your story

Stories have characters, dialogue, pace, plot, suspense, drama – and all of those things need shaping and organising to hold the reader's attention.

Once you know your storyline, gather the experiences that fit it – and dump the rest. Most travel articles will be 1,000 to 2,000 words long. That's only 10 to 20 paragraphs, so you don’t have time for detours.

4. Write an irresistible first paragraph

You can start a travel article any way you like, as long as it grabs the reader’s attention. You can use drama, humour, dialogue, (or all three) – but those first sentences must grip like glue.

Many travel articles start in media res – in the thick of the story – and then backtrack to explain how you happened to be in this situation. Give this a try if you aren't sure of another way in.

Put yourself in the reader's shoes - what would grip you to keep reading? If you're unsure, our travel writing prompts   will help you get there.

5. Include dialogue

Saw a tiger on your trip? What did you have to say about it? (Shutterstock)

Saw a tiger on your trip? What did you have to say about it? (Shutterstock)

“Look! There! The tiger is on the prowl,” whispered Joseph. Or: "we could see the tigers heading off hunting." Which sentence is more interesting to read?

Dialogue brings a scene to life, gives personality to the people in your story, and allows you to convey important information in a punchy way. Whenever you travel, make notes of what people say and how they say it, so you can refer to your conversations accurately when you come to write your article.

6. Value the difference between 'show' and 'tell'

‘Showing’ and ‘telling’ are two everyday storytelling techniques you probably use without realising.

Showing is when you slow down your writing and describe a scene in detail – what you saw, tasted, heard, felt – you are showing the reader the world through your eyes. Telling is simply moving the story along: "We returned to the tents for a well-earned rest."

Articles typically switch repeatedly between the drama of ‘showing’ and the practical economy of ‘telling’ – you need both, so include a good mix in your feature.

7. Aim to entertain the reader, not impress them

Novice writers often try to pack their writing with complicated phrases or recherché nomenclature (like that). Fortunately, it's not necessary, as the point of an article is to entertain and inform the reader, not show off your literary prowess.

Good writers tend more to follow Hemingway’s maxim: “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.” That doesn’t mean you can’t be playful and experimental – just don’t do it at the reader’s expense.

8. Use vivid language to describe your surroundings

Travel articles are peppered with meaningless words and phrases: stunning, incredible, pretty, diverse; ‘land of contrasts’, ‘melting pot’, ‘bustling’. They surely apply to your destination, but they could also be applied to thousands of destinations worldwide.

We'd recommend trying to use language that is specific to what you’re describing, and which allows readers to paint a picture in their mind’s eye. Make an effort to switch up the descriptive words you use.

9. Leave signposts throughout the article

Where are you headed? Let the reader follow your journey (Shutterstock)

Where are you headed? Let the reader follow your journey (Shutterstock)

If you’re wandering around a strange country without a guidebook, you look for signposts. So do readers as they travel through your story. Every few paragraphs, tell them where you’re going next and remind them of your ultimate goal.

For example, you could write: ‘The next day we travelled from Tokyo to Hirosaki.’ Or you could signpost things a little, by writing: "It was tempting to linger in Tokyo’s restaurants, but my search for Japan’s best sake would next take me deep into the countryside." 'Aha', thinks the reader: I can see where this is going, and why – I’ll keep tagging along.

10. Give yourself time to finish

In an effort to include every fascinating tidbit, too may travel articles finish like a high-speed train hitting the buffers, leaving readers dazed and confused. With a paragraph to spare, put the brakes on and start setting up your conclusion.

Show your readers that the end is nigh. Think about where you started, and reflect on the journey. Try to sum up the experience. And - though it may well be true - come up with something more specific than, ‘I would just have to come back another time.’

More travel writing guidance:

How to turn your travel passion into a blog, a few key travel writing mistakes to avoid, the top travel blogs you must read, related articles, looking for inspiration.

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how to write a travel magazine article

8 Travel-Writing Tips From Professional Travel Writers

Devon Delfino

​​Travel writing has a way of transporting the reader to new places. When done well, it can even inspire others to explore, experience new things, and gain an appreciation of different cultures. But when you sit down to start writing about your own travel experiences, it can be challenging to know where to start.

A place is so many things, after all. It’s the people, the architecture, the sounds of the city, the smells and tastes of the food, and more.

Here’s a tip: Want to make sure your writing shines? Grammarly can check your spelling and save you from grammar and punctuation mistakes. It even proofreads your text, so your work is extra polished wherever you write.

Your writing, at its best Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly

So how do you take everything that happened and condense it into a readable blog post? How do you take your experiences and turn them into a story ? To find out, we talked to six professional travel writers and bloggers.

Here’s what they said:

1 Understand why you’re writing

Before writing a travel post, think about what you want to get out of it. That way, you can work toward something and have a starting point you care about.

“I feel accomplished when I get feedback that travel posts on my blog sparked interest for someone to go to a place or exposed them to a locale they’d never heard of,” says Lola Méndez, the writer behind Miss Filatelista , a travel blog with a focus on sustainability. “For me, the elements that are important are those that will make someone wonder or question something . . . I’m trying to spread awareness about how we can all be more mindful travelers as we explore the globe.”

Your approach will depend on what you value most. For Amanda Kendle of NotABallerina.com, that’s getting other people to value travel as much as she does.

“I start with what makes me most excited,” says Kendle. “Rather than write a ‘Top 10 things to do in Venice’ post, I tend to start with the event or story that affected me the most, or that I’ve found myself telling people over and over . . . what I love to do is talk about something I learned from the experience and how I pushed the borders of my comfort zone, perhaps by making a bigger effort to talk to strangers, or by taking part in an activity I wasn’t sure I’d like.”

Having your ‘why’ in place at the start allows you to easily build in a sort of theme into your post. Then you can thread that throughout your work and create a stronger, more cohesive post and blog.

2   Make it your own

“Travel writing should be exciting to read. It should make the reader feel like they are next to you on the powdery beach with a warm breeze tickling their shoulders. They should be able to taste the curry, rich with coconut milk, lime, and lemongrass. They should be able to hear the chaos of the city traffic and smell the sewage wafting from the grimy streets,” says Katie Diederichs of Two Wandering Soles, which she runs with her husband, Ben Zweber.

In other words, details matter, and so does your unique perspective.

“Figure out what’s important to you and focus on that; write about your experience, and what’s unique about it. We live in a world where so much information is at our fingertips, but the way you experienced a trip—your emotions, your reactions, the crazy things that went wrong, the people you met and chatted with—is unique. That’s what makes interesting writing,” says Kendle.

3   Know the general rules of travel writing

Every type of writing has its own conventions—things that are expected and generally agreed upon as best practices within the space. For travel blogs, that often means the writing should:

Since you’ll also be writing online, readability is key. For Diederichs, that means doing things like including a table of contents so the reader can jump to what they’re looking for, using short paragraphs, bolding key sentences, and segmenting the article with subheads. She adds, “Also, keep in mind that the majority of your audience is likely coming from mobile, so make sure that the text is an appropriate size and it is easy to read while scrolling.”

You don’t have to stick to the established rules and conventions, but it’s helpful to know what’s common—that way you’ll be able to break those rules with intention and purpose, rather than accidentally.

4   Edit your travel writing

Writing is a skill, and first drafts—whether they’re novels, articles, or travel blog posts—are rarely, if ever, perfectly executed. That’s where editing comes into play.

“The editing process really is the most important part, as that’s when I take my rough idea and hone it into something useful,” says Matthew Kepnes of travel blog NomadicMatt. “Anyone can start a blog these days. What separates the good blogs from the great blogs is the quality of writing.”

While editing your work, you’ll want to consider several key aspects, like: Storytelling (including things like word choice and evocation); grammar (word processors and editing software can help); and overall effect (is there a consistent tone and voice? Does everything serve the larger purpose of the post?). Reading the post out loud can help you identify inconsistencies.

“I learned early on from re-reading my much-too-detailed travel diaries from various trips that there really is no need to reproduce a trip in every detail. I find the most important part, the message I really want to share, and focus on that,” says blogger, and host of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast, Kendle.

5   Avoid travel writing cliches

The travel-writing space is awash in cliches. But those are never something you want to include in your posts because it makes for a stale, rather than engaging, reading experience.

“Everyone has their own experiences and voice. Tell your story, and don’t copy others,” advises Diederichs.

If you’re working on a description and you just can’t seem to avoid the cliches —crystal blue waters, breathtaking vistas, “a place out of time”, bustling marketplaces or city streets, authentic anythings, places that are “off the beaten track”, cultural melting pots—try focusing on the truly evocative details, the things that stick out you most, the themes or comparisons you want to make, and break out the thesaurus.

If that doesn’t work, consider using a photo to convey the information instead. A travel blog is a multimedia platform. Writing is the core of it, but the photographs, videos, and audio recordings contribute as well.

6   Be confident in your abilities

It’s easy to see the many existing travel blogs and think, ‘what could I possibly have to add?’ But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a valuable and unique contribution.

“Don’t hold back because you think it’s a saturated field or you only have the budget to visit the town next door,” says freelance journalist and travel blogger Méndez. “Your experiences are valuable. Write from your heart—people will keep coming back to your blog if you’re authentic in the way you share what you saw or felt in a place.”

Your writing should sound like you and should reflect your unique perspective. And the more you write, the more confident you’ll become in the value of that point of view, as well as your own expertise.

“Over the years I’ve also become much more focused on what’s important to me about a travel experience (which is usually the life lessons) and less concerned about what I thought ‘should’ be in it (like an analysis of a painting at a gallery). I write what I want to read,” says Kendle.

7   Continually hone your craft

Practice is a necessary part of learning any new craft. Travel writing is no different in that respect.

“I’ve gotten much better at using things like Grammarly to help with my writing…I kick myself all the time that I didn’t have the courage to start earlier. The more you write, the better you get at it and if you help even just one person, it’s rewarding,” says Kristen Guglielmo of KristenAbroad.com.

If you want to be a better travel writer, it’s a good idea to build your skills by writing every day and reading great travel posts to get inspired, notes Kepnes, adding, “It’s a long, slow process to improve your writing, but as long as you stick with it you’ll make progress!”

8   Remember: It isn’t only about the Instagram-worthy stuff

Good travel writing doesn’t have to focus solely on the beautiful and expected. It’s about all aspects of your experience, and taking the reader somewhere new often means showing them the unexpected.

“I want it to look good and I want to inspire, but I don’t want it to be so unrealistic that people think they’re failing because they can’t live up to it,” says Eric Stoen of Travel Babbo, where he chronicles his trips with his kids.

Travel isn’t always beautiful, and as Stoen points out, people tend to bring their real-world problems with them on vacation and that impacts the experience. But more than that, places are no more perfect than humans are. And sometimes they don’t live up to our expectations.

Even though it may feel like you have to conform to certain standards as a travel writer, there’s room for more than one kind of experience of travel.

“I think being authentic and honest is one of the biggest things to separate the mediocre bloggers from the great ones. The goal is for the reader to see, feel and taste what you are describing. Even if it’s not pretty,” says Diederichs.

Places, like people, are seldom what we think they’re going to be. That’s a good thing. The world would be a lot less interesting if we knew how every new experience, every trip, every new encounter, was going to play out. And it’s ok, and even encouraged, to talk about those discrepancies.

how to write a travel magazine article

The Write Practice

5 Easy Steps to Write the Perfect Travel Article

by Joe Bunting | 17 comments

I used to volunteer for an organization that sent thousands of people around the world a year, most of whom kept blogs about their travel experiences. Working with these fledgling writers, I found out most people had no clue how to write about travel.

Sunset Picnic in Paris

How Do You Become a Travel Writer?

Who hasn't dreamt about becoming a travel writer. Get paid for having fun? Sounds like a dream job, right? However, first you have to learn how to write a great travel article, which is no easy feat.

As I live in Paris and work on my collaborative memoir,  Goodbye Paris , I am reading lots of books and articles about travel, including Mark Twain's Innocents Abroad , Ernest Hemingway's  A Moveable Feast , and David Lebovitz's great blog , and I'm learning from these masters as I refine my travel writing technique.

Here are the five steps I use to write about my travels.

1. Have an Adventure

No one wants to read how about how you checked Facebook from your hotel room all day. If you want to become a travel writer, you have to have stories to tell.

One great way to find adventures worth writing about is to ask your friends and family what sites they would want to see, food they would want to try, and experiences they would want to have. Once you arrive, ask the same questions to locals and expats. By inviting other people into your planning process, you help get a feel for what will interest people in your writing.

As you go on your adventure, make sure to bring your notebook, and when you encounter other people on your journey, write down their names and where they're from. These little details make your story more memorable.

Before you start writing your actual articles, it's important capture as much of your experience as you can in a journal. Every day in Paris, I hole up in a café and write as much about my experiences as I remember. This isn't usually great writing. The point isn't to write something publishable, but to capture your experience for later.

As you journal, make a special effort to remember the things people say, and other specific details like the color of the sky and the smell of the food. Dialogue always makes for a much better story, but it's the easiest to forget.

3. Choose One Moment

As important as capturing all of your memories in your journal is, most of them won't make very good stories. Instead, read through your journal, and then choose just one moment to build your article around.

For example, I recently wrote about our terrible eighteen hour travel day to Paris. When I first journaled about the experience, I wrote nearly 2,500 words, far too long for an article. And so I decided to focus on just one piece of the trip, how we almost missed our flight, a moment that had enough excitement and drama to carry the whole article.

What's nice about this is that your journals while your journals don't directly become published articles, they're instead turned into a fertile field of stories. I could write five or six articles from one day's worth of journals.

4. Expand the Story

Next, take your single moment and expand it, illustrating the story with the following:

This is where your article goes from being just a sketch and turns into a real story.

Here, I also try to insert my own voice into the story, adding tone, humor, and dramatic shifts. Do you want this to be a funny story about your travel misadventures or do you want this to be a serious, reflective look at culture and identity? Whichever you choose, try to add it to your story.

5. Revise With Your Subjects in Mind

One of the tricky parts of writing about your travels is that you're writing about real people. In many ways fiction is easier because you don't have to worry about offending other people. However, when writing about real people you have to consider their feelings.

If you're able, it's always a good idea to send your story, or at the very least, the quotes, to your subjects for permission. If you can't contact the people in your stories, read and revise with them in mind. How would you feel if this was printed about you? You may also want to change the names of your subjects to protect their identity.

Become a Travel Writer Today

You don't have to leave your hometown to be a travel writer. You can go on adventures and write about them no matter where you live, even if it's not frequented by tourists.

Or perhaps you've been somewhere in the past but haven't written about it yet. Why not start today? By reliving your experiences, you could discover a new vein of creativity.

And remember, as long as you choose a moment and then bring it to life for us, you'll do just fine.

Have you ever wanted to become a travel writer?

Write about an adventure you had while traveling. If you somehow haven't had an adventure while traveling, then go have one now no matter where you live and then write about it!

Write for fifteen minutes, following the steps above. When your time is up, post your practice in the comments section. And if you post, please be sure to leave feedback on a few posts by your fellow writers.

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Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris , a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

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how to write a travel magazine article

The Six-Figure Travel Writer

“how do i write a pitch for a travel magazine article”.

how to write a travel magazine article

We’ve got a new book out, 101 Things You Need to Know to Make it as a Travel Writer , that answers 101 questions that we hear from travel writers all the time that are holding them back from achieving their Dream of Travel Writing. To celebrate the new book, we’ll be tackling a new sticky travel-writing situation each Monday here on The Six-Figure Travel Writer blog.

All pitches should have three key sections, typically in the same order, to be successful:

The opening of your pitch should bear a very strong resemblance, if not be identical to, how you would start the article you are pitching. This means that it isn’t an explanation of:

Its purpose is solely to grab the editor’s attention (and by extension show that you are a good writer and your article idea is interesting).

The topic of how to grab people’s attention is the purview of extensive studies in marketing, especially copywriting, so, if you’re curious, you can really dig deep into this, but for our purposes, there are two main easy ways to go about leading your reader into the world of your article or pitch: setting a scene or starting “in media res” or in the middle of a story.

(Notice that these both revolve around the idea of having a story or scene rather than simple description or historical fact dumping about a topic. If you don’t have this, your pitch has deeper problems that you need to figure out before pitching.)

Some specific tactics for that first sentence are to:

The Outline

For many writers, this is the weakest part of the pitch, if it’s there at all. For me, however, the outline is the hardest part of the pitch, because by the time I’m sending a pitch to an editor, I already have a very good idea of what the article will include and want to throw it all in there to paint a complete picture for the editor.

I know exactly what I want to have in the article because I’ve been doing this for a while, however, so it’s something you can easily learn to do—much more so than leads, which take a certain amount of practice.

If you look at the magazine that you are pitching and find a specific section to aim your query at, the pitch, and by extension the article, writes itself.

The ISG Paragraph

I borrowed this term from the lovely Kelly James-Enger of Dollars and Deadlines, because I think people get so stuck about what to write here and it really sums it up.

You need to take the end of the pitch to explain why you are so great for this piece. Not saying why the magazine needs it. Not expending five sentences about other places you have written about and why you are qualified to write about them. And not regaling the editor with your full travel CV. Simply and succinctly explaining why you are great for this piece.

This is often the part of the pitch that new writers agonize about the most, so I’ll give you a cheat sheet for this paragraph. Keep it to two sentences only. Focus the first sentence on why you are the person that should write this article, with a combination of physical/in-person knowledge of the destination and familiarity with the topic. In the second, simply say that you are a freelance travel writer or journalist who has been published in…. and list your three most impressive credits—or the ones most relevant to what you’re pitching.

If you already know an editor, you may sometimes omit this final paragraph, although it’s great to keep it, but tune it more closely to the article at hand. For instance, with an editor that I had pitched several times but hadn’t quite gotten a connection with yet, I eschewed the typical rundown of credentials and stuck with the pertinent facts for why I should write the article—that I was going to be in the area in question that weekend and available to do the research.

Need More Answers to Your Burning Travel Writing Business Questions?

Want to get instant answers to more than 400 travel writing questions on everything from placing stories to dealing with editors and free travel to landing lucrative work writing for companies?

We’ve spent the last two years building up our On-Demand Coaching Concierge to answer all of your questions!

You can get access to it, along with more than 200 hours of video classes on building a travel writing business, and how-to-pitch information for more than 600 magazines that cover travel, with the Dream Buffet , our all-access resource pass.

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how to write a travel magazine article

The Writing Cooperative

Austin Hackney

Mar 16, 2020


How to Write and Sell Travel Articles

Learn how to research, write, and sell travel articles to websites and magazines, your passport to freelance writing success.

Professional travel writing is a tough, competitive market. But if you have what it takes — and it may surprise you that you don’t even need a passport! — it can be one of the best paid and most enjoyable ways to make money as a freelance writer. The keys, as ever, are to research your market thoroughly, follow editorial guidelines, come up with a fresh, original angle, and submit your best work.

But what do you need to know to get started? Besides good writing skills and a passion for people and places, there are several things you’ll find it useful to understand to make a success of travel writing:

Exotic locations, sun-drenched beaches, five-star hotels, and… the truth

Travel writing isn’t all about exotic locations and fancy hotels. Nor is it always a life of adventure; trekking through unexplored jungles, waxing your surfboard in preparation for sun-drenched beaches, or flashing free passes to the world’s most stunning architecture and artwork. It can be all those things and more, but mostly it isn’t.

Often, the locations you’ll be commissioned to write about as a freelance travel writer will be much more prosaic. Many successful travel writers never leave their home county, let alone the country. Several may not even leave the house! Once you research the markets for travel writing , you’ll soon realize that as many articles are written about everyday locations as about exotic ones. What’s commonplace to you may be exotic to someone else, after all.

Whether you want to be a full-time travel writer jetting all over the world, cover the costs of your next vacation, or share an enthusiasm for your local territory, the secret of good travel writing is the same: it’s not where you write about, but how you write about it. You could sell an article about your local high street or the park on the corner of the block if your style is on message and you come at it with a fresh eye and a creative angle.

So, whether you’re writing about a popular tourist destination, a local site of interest, or somewhere completely off the beaten track, any experience has potential to be turned into a saleable article. As a travel writer, your task is to develop an evocative style and offer surprising and unique insights into a place, its people, history, culture, and life — even if that place is on your own doorstep or has been written about a dozen times before.

This is good news for the freelance travel writer because it opens up hundreds of potential markets at every level: local, national, and international. It’s worth pitching your ideas to your local newspaper, color supplements, specialist publications, travel blogs, tourism websites, and in-flight magazines. With a little ingenuity you can sell travel writing to cooking, fashion, lifestyle, and hobby magazines and blogs, too.

What do editors look for in a travel article?

If it’s not necessarily an exotic, far-flung location that editors look for in travel articles, then what is it? Each editor and publication will have their individual take on what they’re looking for, and it may change from time to time. So, you can’t get round the need to do specific market research. For detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to do that, read The Complete Guide to Market Research for Freelance Writers . But most editors look for the following in all travel writing:

If that seems like a big ask, it is. Travel writing is demanding, highly skilled work. That’s one reason it pays so well.

You should also know what editors don ’ t want to read in travel writing. They get submissions with the following mistakes every day. If you avoid making them, you’ll stand out from the crowd and grab any travel editor’s interest. It won’t guarantee you sell your piece, but at least the editor will read it, which means you’re over the first hurdle. So, this is what editors don’t want to see:

How to write a travel article that’s likely to sell

With the foregoing information in mind, it’s time to look at how to write a good travel article — one that will inform and entertain the reader and is therefore likely to find an editor keen to buy it. To be a professional travel writer, you must sell your work and do so regularly. As almost all travel writing is commissioned, you’ll need to research the market, choose an editor, and send a pitch first.

But just because an editor commissions a piece doesn’t oblige her to buy it. Writing a good pitch and writing a good article are two sides of the same coin. Taking care of the following points will improve your chances of turning a pitch into a commission and a commission into an article that will sell.

1. Research your market

The most common reason new and inexperienced writers fail to sell — besides poor writing — is because they skip over this vital aspect of the freelance writer’s work. What you write and to whom you send it is a business decision as much as a creative one. Don’t base business decisions on speculation, assumptions, and hope; base them on analysis of research data.

The Complete Guide to Market Research for Freelance Writers will show you exactly how to find paying markets and do a seven step meta- and micro-analysis of each. Remember that travel writing is one of the most competitive niches. You need to take every step to boost your chances of success. Market research will equip you with knowledge about what a particular magazine or website’s editor is looking for, who the readers are, and want they want to read. Thus equipped, you’re in a strong position to tailor a pitch to that publication.

2. Choose a place and a perspective

Once you’ve chosen a market, you’ll need to choose a place to write about. Again, you’d be wise to base this decision on thorough research. You’ll only waste everyone’s time — including your own — if you pitch an article about how to enjoy a family “staycation” to a magazine like Backpacker , Alpinist , or Mountain Bike Action . But it might be on-message for a publication like Parents or Family Fun . Likewise, no in-flight magazine would buy an article about a destination to which the airline doesn’t fly. So, do your homework.

Once you’ve chosen your location — which could be a place you’ve already visited or somewhere new to you — you need to decide on an angle. Take your time before settling on something. This is an opportunity to brainstorm every possibility, however unlikely it may seem. Keep all these ideas. Those you don’t use this time might inspire future work. If you find you’re stuck for a fresh, original approach, try the following to jump start your creative engines:

You can almost certainly think of dozens of other ways to find a new viewpoint. Another advantage of this brainstorming process is that you can write and sell articles about a single location to multiple markets. So, you could sell an article about the local cuisine to a cooking blog; one about colorful local customs to an in-flight publication; and an exploration of the artisan quarter to a craft magazine. You get the idea.

3. Research, research, research

Very often the difference between a successful freelance writer and one who doesn’t make the grade is that the former understands the importance of research and the latter shrugs it off as unimportant. But travel writing is all about research! You’ll need to look up as much background information as possible about your destination before you leave.

When you arrive, you must keep your eyes and ears open. Note down everything of interest; talk to local people; and listen to their stories, perspectives, and opinions. Keep copious notes of every experience, including all the sensual details characteristic of the place, its culture, and its people.

Many freelance travel writers make good use of portable voice recorders to capture their thoughts, conversations, and sound impressions in real time. A good portable sound recorder needn’t be expensive and can be small enough to slip easily into your pocket. You may find that your smartphone will do just as well.

But whether you write, record, or both, don’t let anything slip by you. Research every angle and possible experience the destination offers. Once you get back to your desk, you can organize, select, write, and edit the information to use in your article — or articles — according to the specific remit of your commission.

A picture sells a thousand words

You’ll vastly increase your sales to pitch ratio if you can provide high-quality, original photographs to accompany your articles. If you don’t own a good DSLR camera and editing software, you’d do well to get kitted out if you mean to make a career of travel writing. The costs of the equipment can all be offset against tax. As can a short course in professional photography and image manipulation.

Study the photographs alongside articles already published in the markets you’re aiming to write for. They’ll give you a good idea of the kind of photos you should take. Don’t copy what’s already been done, but don’t be tempted to innovate, either. Follow the editorial policy. Ask yourself the following questions:

Make sure you mention that you can provide photographs when you make your pitch. You will be paid an additional usage rights fee for each photograph the editor uses. Once you have a commission in the bag, you can talk to the editor to get a precise idea of the shots they want to see in the finished article. Remember, if you photograph people, you’ll need to let them know how you mean to use the photograph and obtain their written permission to do so.

If you’re working up a piece based entirely on research à la distance — we’ll look at “armchair travel writing” last — then you must source your photographs from stock collections, image libraries, or agencies. Unless the images you use are in the public domain, you must be sure to credit the creator as they wish to be credited, and in most cases you must pay a fee.

Make sure you have researched all this in advance and agreed terms with your publisher about who is responsible for such payments. And never be tempted to pass off stock or library photos as your own work. Not only is it unethical, it’s also illegal. At best, you could face a court case and a hefty fine. At worst, you could find your career over from that point.

How to find the best paying markets for freelance travel writing

Now you should have a good understanding of what’s involved in travel writing, how to choose a place worth writing about, what editors look for in travel articles, and how to research and write an article that’s likely to sell. But you’ll also realize that it all begins with researching your market — and by a market I mean a specific publication, magazine, blog, or website. So, how do you find the best paying markets in the industry to research and pitch to? The best paying markets for travel writing are:

Never send a complete manuscript to a specialist travel or in-flight magazine or blog. The editor probably won’t read it. Unless the submission guidelines explicitly state otherwise, always send a pitch first.

A pitch should be brief, business-like, polite, and address the editor by name. Outline your idea and add a bullet-pointed summary of the article. Explain why the article would be a good fit for the publication you’re pitching to and mention if you have any special experience or authority which qualifies you to write it. If you have or can take photographs, mention that, too. You could include a couple sample photos.

The armchair travel writer

Almost any location could be turned into a saleable travel article in principle, so long as you find an innovative, entertaining, and informative angle on it. And while most travel writing — and the best paid — means getting out there and traveling, legitimate ways to write and sell freelance travel articles without leaving the comfort of your home also exist.

If you have restricted mobility, for example, you’re a full-time carer for a family member, or you just don’t have the time and resources to travel at this point in your writing life, you may want to consider these options. Your writing must be based either on past experience or current research, and photographs sourced from stock photo sites and image libraries. But there’s no reason why you can’t produce a valuable article that will sell, and be read and enjoyed, so long as your research is thorough, your facts accurate, and your writing style a pleasure to read.

You won’t be able to sell such pieces to the big players. But local magazines, newspapers, tourist brochures, and travel guides all buy research-based travel articles and many pay reasonable freelance fees, albeit at the lower end of the professional scale. Writing research-based articles is a skill in its own right. To learn a proven 12-step method for producing first class articles from research alone without breaching copyright and plagiarism laws, read The Writers’ Guide to Research , which will teach you everything you need to know .

The journey is about to begin

Freelance travel writing can be another arrow in your quiver or your full-time focus. You can fly to the furthest corners of the globe, or stay in your home county. Whichever you choose, it’s always interesting, challenging, and immensely rewarding. If you’re good at it, you can make a lot of money writing and selling freelance travel articles, too. And if you stick at it, you could be the next Elizabeth Gilbert, Bill Bryson, or Paul Theroux.

If you’d like to make a full time living as a freelance writer, but you’re not sure how to get started, read this next:

How to Write Articles That Sell: A Beginner’s Guide to Freelance Writing

Everything you need to write content editors want to buy.


If you’re already a freelance writer and making a living at it, make sure you have a good handle on all the legal aspects of your writing business by reading this:

Copyright, Plagiarism, Libel, Taxation, and Contracts for the Freelance Writer

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Interesting fact: I wrote the first draft of this article in about 20 minutes using my ‘1k Every Day’ technique. It helps writers generate an endless stream of ideas and outlines for articles and stories. No catch, no sign-up, no fee, no up-sell. Just a simple explanation of a powerful technique. It’s all explained here .

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Writing contests, make money writing, hottest topics, travel magazines: 10 tips for getting published.

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Writing articles for travel magazines is a great way to get your articles published, earn some extra cash and become known as a travel writer. If you travel a lot, this is a great opportunity to share your experiences with others. If you want to succeed with article writing for travel magazines, here are 10 tips to getting published that will greatly help you along the way:

1. Know the magazine

Know who you plan to submit to and become familiar with their guidelines. Buy a couple of issues of their magazine and read it to see what they’re looking for and the tone that is used in their magazine.

2. Take photos

Photos can seal a deal when it comes to magazine publishing, especially when it comes to travel writing. Take lots of photos.

3. Visit landmarks

When you’re going to be traveling past them anyway, visit landmarks and take photos and write about the experience for the travel magazine of your choice.

4. Don’t make your story too long

Magazines don’t need to hear every single detail of your experience while traveling. Stick to the main points and the things your reader will want to hear.

5. Show your experience

Explain why you travel, how often you have traveled and what experience you have that can be of benefit to the reader.

6. Don’t use first person

Your story shouldn’t read like a journal of your travels and the readers don’t care about what you thought about this or that. They want the facts of what they can expect.

7. Write a killer query letter

Your query should leave the editor begging for more. They will contact you for your story because they want to know what else happened with you and where you traveled.

8. Take lots of notes

When traveling, write down everything. Even if you end up not needing it, you want to have as much info as possible when it comes to writing and selling your article. If an editor comes back and asks you to back up facts or confirm an address, you want to have it all ready to go.

9. Avoid the negative (unless an editor has asked for it)

Travel writing is supposed to focus on the positive, not include every gritty detail about what you didn’t like about your destination.

10. Use proper language

Keep your words short and easily understood by others. Don’t be a “writer snob” by using language and references that the average reader wouldn’t understand.

With these 10 tips to getting published, article writing for travel magazines is a breeze! If you travel or plan to travel, this could be a good way to cash in on something you’re going to be doing anyway.

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how to write a travel magazine article


how to write a travel magazine article


36 Travel Magazines and Websites That Pay Freelance Writers

by Farrah Daniel | Aug 25, 2020

magazine story in front of an airplane window

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.   

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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How to Write for 'Travel + Leisure'

Since 1971, Travel + Leisure editors have followed one mission: to inform, inspire, and guide travelers to have deeper, more meaningful experiences. T+L's editors have traveled to countries all over the world, having flown, sailed, road tripped, and taken the train countless miles. They've visited small towns and big cities, hidden gems and popular destinations, beaches and mountains, and everything in between. With a breadth of knowledge about destinations around the globe, air travel, cruises, hotels, food and drinks, outdoor adventure, and more, they are able to take their real-world experience and provide readers with tried-and-tested trip ideas, in-depth intel, and inspiration at every point of a journey.

We tell stories from around the world: stories that are big or small, visually driven or essayistic, first-person or as-told-to or service-oriented.

Our audience is made up of active and passionate travelers — travelers who book an average of seven trips per year, big and small. They're up for anything: adventure, active travel, history, solo trips, luxury, the arts, spa vacations, multi-generational travel, food, wine, RVs, private jets. (Well, some of them take private jets.) Our readers want to learn about people and places around the world, even if they'll never visit those places themselves — to gain a deeper understanding of what's relevant there, and to challenge their own assumptions.

If you want to pitch a story to us, make sure your idea adds something to the conversation. We don't want to have seen that story elsewhere. We love stories about a place that is misunderstood or changing, stories about seeing the world in a new way, and especially stories by writers or photographers who bring a new voice to the conversation about a place or topic.

What We Want From a Pitch

A paragraph encompassing:

If we've never worked with you before, a pitch is your shot at giving us a sense of what your (unedited) writing is like — feel free to show us your voice.

For stories about a particular destination: maybe you have never been to the place before; maybe you went there all the time when you were growing up; maybe you live there now. That part doesn't matter so much as why you are the right person to tell this story, and what particular angle you will bring to the table. For longer, first-person stories, we prefer to have the writer travel on assignment, or write based on a recent trip. If your story will require additional travel, let us know. If you just got back from a trip, or are already planning your own trip, let us know.

If you have never worked with us before, please also include some relevant clips and/or a link to your portfolio. Clips for digital publications are perfectly fine, but if you're pitching print it's also helpful to see what work you've done that's similar in length, style, and scope to what Travel + Leisure does in print.

What We Don't Want From a Pitch

Please do not send a pitch to everyone on the team; instead, use the guidelines below to decide who might be the best target for your idea. If an editor says no, it is best practice to not send the same idea to another editor. And if an editor says yes, it's often advisable to try to keep working with them in the future; if they're not the right person for a particular story, they can point you to a colleague. These types of writer-editor relationships are essential and help streamline the pitching process for everyone.

Another thing: we often get asked "what we're looking for" or "what we're currently working on." We totally get it, but we will almost never be able to give you a clear response. The answers to these questions change by the minute, and it's rare that we have a "hole" that we need to fill or a story idea that needs a writer. The best way to start working with us is showing you have unique story ideas that we wouldn't find anywhere else.

What to Expect When You Pitch

Many of us have been on the other side of this conversation (i.e. we've freelanced ourselves, and pitched many other faceless editors) and we know it's often frustrating. Feel free to follow up. If you don't hear back, follow up again! We will never be offended by "if I don't hear back by X date, I'll assume you're not interested and pitch this elsewhere."

Press/FAM Trips and Conflicts of Interest

We are aware that press trips are often a necessity for writers to familiarize themselves with new places, make industry connections, and develop their voice in the travel space. We won't fault anyone for taking press trips, and we don't mind if you pitch something to us based on independent reporting from a past press trip. What's important to us is editorial integrity and fresh storytelling. If you went on the trip for another publication, or have written about it elsewhere, your pitch should be distinctly different from your previous work on the topic. If it was a group trip, your pitch should hinge on your own fresh reporting and angle, not the same itinerary attended by a dozen other writers.

Writers must disclose any and all affiliations with travel companies, tourism boards, or government entities that could present a conflict of interest in their reporting. This includes previously contracted work such as copywriting, social strategy, consulting, or acting as a brand ambassador. If in doubt, point it out! Those who fail to do so will not be considered for future assignments.

It is very, very rare that we actively send writers on press trips for print stories. If your pitch is tied to your attendance on an upcoming press trip — and we can usually tell — we will most likely say no, though we always welcome you to report back afterwards if you find anything interesting.

How to Pitch Us: Digital

Travel never sleeps and neither do we (well, we do sometimes). At travelandleisure.com we write inspirational and instructional stories for passionate travelers. Digital editorial is a mix of short-lead and long-lead story creation. We are looking for all types of travel stories: From practical travel tips and expert advice to inspirational first-person stories and features about a destination or experience. We cover small towns and big cities, beaches, lakes, and rivers (basically if it's a body of water, you'll find us there), mountains and valleys, outdoor adventures and exploring hidden gems, fine dining and speakeasies, and everything in between all over the world.

The Writing and Editing Process: Digital

We commission short-lead and long-lead stories daily. We generally work with regular contributors on our daily stories. Word count varies…a lot. We aren't constrained by page count or, quite, frankly, pages at all — our pages can scroll forever. That said, our news stories are generally 300-500 words. Our general travel stories, first-person storytelling, or listicles can be anywhere from 500 - 2,000+ words.

As you can imagine, we are pitched a lot and don't always have time to respond to every single email (please don't be offended!), so in order to make yours stand out, here's what we suggest:

We do not pay by word count. We have a flat rate that we pay by type of story. Your editor will share our rate sheet with you. That said, we pay upon receipt of the story and your story must be filed with an invoice. Along with your story, you must also provide press contacts and press releases.

Our daily news writers have a minimum number of stories they write for us each day. If you're interested in becoming a daily news writer, please email [email protected] along with recent news clips, why you're interested in becoming a daily news writer, and your expertise in the travel news space.

For everything else, here's who you'll want to pitch:

While we're at it, meet the rest of the Travel + Leisure digital team:

Annie Archer, assistant social editor

Mariah Tyler, visuals editor

Alessandra Amodio, photo editor

Courtney Dennis, producer

Madeline Diamond, ecommerce editor

How to Pitch Us: Print

Travel + Leisure is the only monthly print travel publication in the United States, with a circulation of nearly one million.

Print editors are usually thinking at least three months ahead, and sometimes up to a year or more. Breaking, same-day, or otherwise time-sensitive pitches will not be considered; the T+L digital team is the best point of contact for pitching travel news stories, and social takeovers.

We are also constrained in our assigning by the simple fact of page counts. Pitching for print, by nature, involves a lot of rejections. Maybe we've done a similar story recently, maybe we have something similar in the works, maybe that particular editor just doesn't love the pitch as much as others they've gotten, maybe it's just not right for our audience at the moment but two years from now it would be. It happens all the time, even for those of us on staff, and it's not a referendum on you as a person or the quality of your ideas and reporting.

Another thing: If you are used to digital timelines, please manage your expectations for print. Our internal pitching process is rigorous. If the editor you pitched likes your idea, it still has to get past a number of other people. Sometimes those people will say no. You may be grumpy about this, and understandably so! Your editor is probably grumpy, too.

Most positive responses look like: "This is such a cool idea! I'd love to run it past our executive editor to see what she thinks." or "Hey, I love this idea and I think it could be a good fit for our Discoveries section. I'll bring it up with the section editor, and if she likes it too, she will propose it to our editor-in-chief at their next meeting." At that point, we hope that you won't pitch the story around while you're waiting for next steps. Sometimes we'll be able to get an answer for you after a few days; sometimes, depending on the story, it could be a month or longer. Feel free to follow up if you're curious about where we're at, and if you're getting antsy and considering pulling the piece, let your editor know!

The Writing and Editing Process: Print

Travel + Leisure is the only monthly print travel publication in the United States, with a circulation of nearly one million. We tell stories from around the world: stories that are big or small, visually driven or essayistic, first-person or as-told-to or service-oriented.

Our audience is made up of active and passionate travelers—travelers who book an average of seven trips per year, big and small. They're up for anything: adventure, active travel, history, solo trips, luxury, the arts, spa vacations, multi-generational travel, food, wine, RVs, private jets. (Well, some of them take private jets.) Our readers want to learn about people and places around the world, even if they'll never visit those places themselves—to gain a deeper understanding of what's relevant there, and to challenge their own assumptions.

Print editors are usually thinking at least three months ahead, and sometimes up to a year or more. Breaking, same-day, or otherwise time-sensitive pitches will not be considered; the T+L digital team is the best point of contact for pitching travel news stories and social takeovers.

The Sections of the Magazine

While you don't need to have a section in mind when pitching a print story, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with them. It's a cliche for a reason: The best way to have success with a pitch is to get to know the magazine well. If you can't see a story idea fitting into any of these, it's probably not right for us. All editors on our team can slot their stories into any of these sections, but each has one or more dedicated editors who oversee the general mix of stories.


A globetrotter's guide to the latest in travel.

Our front-of-book opener section, made up of stories that are often bitsy and news-driven. A great place to break into the magazine.

Story Formats: Short news-driven write-throughs, roundups, Q&As, step-by-step itineraries, neighborhood guide maps, short blurbs with a collection of beautiful pictures, etc.

Story Length: 100-600 words, though the shortest pieces are usually staff written.


Travelers' tales, from near and far.

First-person travel narratives, often with a literary bent, as well as the occasional photo essay. Where appropriate, we try to incorporate relevant travel news (e.g. new hotels, restaurants, shops, galleries, etc.) or a "why now" element.

Story Formats: Essays and written-through travelogues, occasionally broken out into itinerary form, almost always first-person.

Story Lengths: ~700-1,500 words

Intelligent Traveler

Tips and tricks to help you travel smarter.

Travel hacks and insider info on the logistics and process of travel: innovations in the industry, trends in how we're traveling, tips to help you plan ahead and save money while doing it, cool gear you should have on your radar, and news about planes, trains, and automobiles.

Story Formats: A mix of written-through pieces and broken out roundups; they are generally not first-person or based deeply in a personal experience, but rather synthesize trends or give directions. (It's okay to use a first-person experience as a jumping-off point to discuss something larger in the industry.)

Story Lengths: Under 600 words.

The longest stories in the magazine, which live in the "well"—no ads, just beautiful images and thoughtful writing. Most of these are place-based stories—usually a city or a route around a particular state, island, or country—with a literary approach and with plenty of historical and social context. These types of features always include a fairly comprehensive "how to do it" sidebar for readers who want to replicate the journey. Sometimes, we will run travel essays or commentary that aren't about a particular trip, or we'll want to showcase an outstanding photo portfolio and will commission an essay to accompany it.

Story Lengths: typically 2,500–4,000 words

A Note About Feature Assignments: It's tricky to break into T+L with a feature—they're costly to produce, we run fewer of them each year than other kinds of stories, and rarely assign them to new-to-us writers unless there's significant evidence (generally in the form of multiple feature-length bylines and/or a book) that said writer can tackle something of that scope. That's not to say it never happens, just that you may get more traction with your T+L pitches in another section of the magazine, at least until we get to know you and your work.

"Your Best Shot." On this page, we spotlight an outstanding photo from one of our readers, accompanied by a short interview about their experience getting the shot. This is not a paid opportunity, but rather a prize for our Photo of the Day contest. If you're interested, you can submit your best shots HERE for the chance to be featured on this page in a future issue.

Who to Pitch on Print

Every print editor works on all sorts of things and can direct you to the right person if it's not them. But we each focus on certain sections, themes, and geographical areas, and for new writers, those will help you decide to whom to direct your ideas.

Here's the breakdown:

Meet the rest of the Travel + Leisure print team :

Jacqueline Gifford, editor in chief

LaToya Valmont, managing editor

Tim Latterner, senior editor

Ray Isle, wine and spirits editor

Erin Agostinelli, editorial operations manager

Fryda Lidor, art director

Devin Traineau, associate photo editor

Griffin Plonchak, production manager

Kathy Roberson, copy and research chief

Kevin Ford, associate research editor

How to Pitch Us: Social

Travel + Leisure has over 15M followers across its social channels. On Instagram, we share awe-inspiring destination images, first-person travel experiences, and educational articles. On TikTok, we post travel vlogs, hotel suite tours, destination roundups, and more. Overall, we use compelling photos and videos to inspire our audience to explore the world.

We want pitches for:

What pitches should include:

Please send social pitches to [email protected] .

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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Tourism Review

Respected Voice of Tourism


For most people, travelling is a break from the hustle and bustle of work, but for some lucky individuals, it is something that they get paid to do. They get to visit and explore different places, and relay their experiences to interested readers through various types of publications. As such, it’s no surprise that Business News Daily lists it as one of the best jobs for those who love to travel.

As mentioned, there are various publications and outlets where travel writers can submit their articles, with the most prestigious being physical travel magazines. For those worried that the current circumstances may have put travel writing to bed, the good news, as we shared in our Tourism Review Online Magazine 1, 2020 , is that the industry is resilient. This is because many tourism businesses have already adapted to the new normal by remodeling their offers and ervices to adhere to social distancing protocols. In addition to this, ZenBusiness' guide to the magazine industry also highlights how the trade continues to stay lucrative, as there are more people reading magazines, both physical and digital, compared to 2012.

So, if you’ve been considering a career as a writer for a travel magazine, here are a few helpful tips:

Read, read, read

This may seem like a generic tip, but we can’t stress enough how reading good writing is one of the best ways for any budding travel writer to improve their writing. Not only do you get exposed to different styles and forms of writing, you also get to see what kind of content your chosen publisher/s prefer and match it. So read as much travel writing as you can, and let it inspire and teach you.

Create an online portfolio

The competition to become a paid travel writer is fierce, and to increase your chances of being a writer for magazines, you need to show that you’ve got talent that will set you apart. And the best way to do this is by having an online portfolio, where you can showcase your biography and past and upcoming travels. A travel website and multiple social media feeds, where you can post your travel articles, photos, and videos, is the best way to grow an audience. With such fierce competition, you need to start building your online portfolio website now to get noticed.

Grow your network

As aforementioned there are many aspiring travel writers. This means that the need to network in order to find work is high. You should aim to connect not only to editors of travel magazines but with fellow travel writers as well. You may widen your writing network not just by directly contacting people, but also by attending meet-ups, workshops, and conferences. Through these, you’ll be able to meet more publications and established travel writers whom you can learn from.

Add depth to your writing

A lot of novice travel writers tend to write only about what they see, but doing so can lead to a one-dimensional blandness in their articles. Therefore, to become a better travel writer and separate yourself from the hordes of other writers, you must aim to go beyond relaying just seeing, and incorporate descriptive language that cover the different senses to give readers a clearer picture. Writing to all the senses will help elevate your work above other writers and it will show that you truly understand what it means to travel.

Proofread your work

If you want to get a look in, then your work needs to be flawless in terms of spelling and grammar. You can’t afford to make even a tiny mistake in such a competitive industry. One way to avoid these mistakes and improve the flow of your writing is to read your work out loud. Writer David W. Berner shares that reading your writing out loud makes it easier to spot awkward or unnecessary phrases, find your mistakes, and help you become a better reader of your own work. So, before you submit any piece to a travel magazine, make sure to read it out loud multiple times.

We hope that the tips we’ve listed above inspire you to start your travel writing journey today. Remember, writing is an art form that takes a lot of practice. So write as much as you can to improve, but don’t forget to also give yourself time and space to grow.

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