Other than interesting topics, lyrical anecdotes, and an encyclopedia of travel know-how, every travel writer needs to have contacts. Without having good contacts, who will publish your carefully crafted articles? It’s always a good thing to have a network of travel publications, editors, and other travel writers in your back pocket. You never know; one of your travel industry partners might have a job that they know you’re the perfect person for, or even give you a nudge in the right direction that takes you down a new career path.
Now that the industry is evolving, freelance writers, guest bloggers, and contributors are much sought after. This gives you, dear writer, the flexibility and creative leverage that people in other industries would kill for.
Here’s a list of six publications that accept unsolicited submissions from groovy freelance writers such as yourself.
1.) Go Overseas
This website was where I published my very first article, Living Abroad: Become One With Your Host Country. Back in the day when I contributed this article, the main focus was students studying abroad. But now the website covers teaching abroad, studying abroad and volunteering abroad, and welcomes an array of articles from contributors who have valuable information to share with other vagabonds.
If you do plan on writing an article for Go Overseas, they ask for submissions to be originals, meaning this isn’t something that was previously published (even if it was on your personal blog). They ask for pieces that are about 800 words, but do not exceed 1,000.
To contribute, send your articles here. You’ll hear a response in about 2 to 4 weeks, and if they decide to publish your work, you’ll get a whopping $25 via PayPal.
2.)The Lost Girls
These three bodacious babes broke free from their mundane business jobs, traveled around the world, and began a community dedicated to travel for women. Not only do they offer unique opportunities for interns and freelance writers, but they always feature a Lost Girl of the Week as well as feature articles about how to write for some of the web’s most popular travel publications.
If you’re a wiz-kid when it comes to a certain far away land or a travel destination, then you’re in luck! They also are in need of travel guides! Published articles tend to be anywhere form 500 to 1,000 words and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. At the moment, they do not pay for articles, but I think think it’s a great way to network, get your foot in the door, and get your name plastered on the internet.
When you do submit work to The Lost Girls, make sure to keep checking back on their website. The way I found out that my pieces were posted on was by checking up on a daily basis. I wasn’t informed when my work was published, it just kind of appeared one day. Which isn’t necessarily bad! It’s actually a pleasant surprise.
3.) The Expeditioner
An edgy take on travel, these kids are into off the beaten path and extreme travel narratives. Articles are submitted on speculation but they also take well written query letters and proposals. Pieces for The Expeditioner have 1,000 to 1,300 words and can be sent to Matt.Stabile@theexpeditioner.com. Matt is always sure to get back to you with a quick reply. In fact, ringing in at two weeks, I think he has responded faster to my emails than any online publication I’ve ever submitted to!
A wonderful resource for in depth travel guides and itineraries. These travel guides focus primarily on cities around the world and offer new and freelance writers a chance at being published. They pay $50-$100 per guide, and once your travel guide reaches what they paid you in advance, you make 75% of what your travel guide makes in sales. Those royalties can really add up. You can submit your inquiries by filling out the simple form here. Due to the amount of submissions, it might take a while for them to get back to you, but they will eventually.
5.) The Philadelphia Inquirer
This is Philadelphia’s very own daily newspaper and every Sunday, gives readers a whole section dedicated to travel. Many pieces are local trips that one in the Philadelphia area can take for a weekend, but they do feature several articles about destinations abroad. For a maximum of $300, they will publish articles that have about 1,200 words. Along with your article, they will also ask for what’s called a “Reader’s Information Box”, which includes tidbits of facts on what to do, what to eat, where to stay, and how to get there.
They only take articles submitted on speculation because, frankly, they don’t have time to answer queries or assign freelancers to projects. They also ask that your articles be from trips be on your own expense, meaning no press trips and no government sponsored trips are allowed.
A good contact is the Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Editor, Bill Reed at email@example.com. His response time is very fast.
Excuse me while I plug my other website! Yes, at the moment I am heading up a collaborative effort at building a community of eco-vagabonds dedicated to traveling sustainably. The web based publication is centered on green destinations, sustainable forms of transportation, and eco-friendly activities! We’re also looking for articles reviewing products as well as DIY projects. We’re pretty flexible (as long as you don’t write about your Manifest Destiny road trip with your Hummer), but we do ask that articles be 700 to 1,000 words and be submitted with pictures.
We can’t pay at the moment (we launched last week), but I’m a marketing nut, and I will be sure to publicize your work as well as your personal blog on every social media avenue imaginable! You also get to sport your own “Tramp Stamp”! It tells your readers that not only are you a published travel write, but you’re a published travel writer who cares about the Earth!
Feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Of course, before submitting your work, be sure to read articles from these publications. There are several reasons for this; to make sure that your voice fits in with the rest of the publication and to make sure you don’t send in an article that they’ve already run!
I also suggest writing a very short background about yourself. Sometimes, it helps for an editor to hear that you’ve been published before, or that you took a course on travel writing.
With this list, you’re sure to be on the right path towards starting your travel writing career. So make sure to network, build those relationships, and keep on trying!