20 Publications That Pay for Travel Writing in 2021

Sometimes it feels as though the world has stopped. The travel world, anyways. However, I’m here to tell you, travel writing is NOT dead! Least of all, freelance writing.
Sure, there’s a certain sense of stability and comfort in knowing that someone is going to pay you consistently and tell you what to do. But that’s likely not what you want for the rest of your life.
If the idea of writing what you want and when you want appeals to you, then let me introduce you to the world of freelance writing.
Think it’s only for seasoned journalists and veterans of industry? Not even close.
Think freelancing is only a side hustle? Lola Anna Mendez is a fantastic example of how, with enthusiasm and motivation, you can get to $10,000 in commissions based on pitches per month. She outlines a lot of her premises in this 40 minute video on pitching to publications.
Her main message? Don’t undersell yourself. Ever. Don’t write for free. Your words and your time are worth being paid for. In a field where many are asked to ‘write for exposure’, say no. Unless, of course, you feel strongly about a platform or theme and don’t really care about being paid for some reason, but if you’re writing for a business that is making money off of you? You had better be making money off of them.
If you want to focus yourself (like writing about one region, or culinary travel, or BIPOC travel) this can help narrow down your pitches to what publications are looking for–details.

People are still dreaming and the world is still moving on, with thousands of interesting stories to be uncovered per day. Write what you know, write what you want to know, but here are 20 publications that accept freelance pitches and would love to hear your ideas. And pay you for them.

1) Travel+Leisure
Up to $1 per word. 95% of their articles come from freelancers!

2) Nat Geo Traveler
$2 for up to 2,500 words

3) Wanderlust
About $280 per article.

Flat rate of $200 per article.
Up to $700 per article. On pause due to COVID-19, unfortunately.

6) Lonely Planet
Travel news and destination focus, from $0.30 per word.

7) Cruising World
$200-$1000 per article depending on length.
8) World Nomads
$0.50 per word, from 5 different categories: Love, Fear, Discovery, Connection, Transformation.

9) Common Ground
$0.10 per word for up to 2,500 words.

10) BBC Travel
$350 for between 1000-2000 words.

11) Transitions Abroad
Ranging from $75–$150 for 1,250 word article.

12) Hidden Compass
$200-$300 per article/story.

13) Eat Your World
Have decreased number of freelancers in 2020, but up t0 $50 for food-oriented articles.

14) Afar
From $0.50-1.50 per word from one of their three categories: Wander, Resident, Feast.

15) Road & Travel
Road trip lovers? This one is for you, with up to $100 per article.

16) The Culture Trip
Lower pay, but high rate of steady commissions. (Big push for Mandarin speakers now!)

17) Travel Pulse
$50+ per article, can be more industry-oriented.18) Smarter Travel
$100-$500 per article from a wide range of travel-related topics, including tech.

19)  Outpost
Anywhere from 800-4000 words and $50+ per article.

20) Fodor’s 

$150-500 per article. Heavy on destination guides. 

Don’t be afraid to branch out into travel-adjacent themes like food, wellness, transportation industry and so forth. The wider you branch out, the more likely you are to find a successful niche! Need advice on pitching? Lola Anna Mendez has a great guide for that, too. In fact, she has 2.5 hours of advice, for free!

Remember to always, always, always read the submission guidelines in full before submitting for the best chances of success. What are you waiting for? Challenge yourself today. Right now. Send out a pitch. The more you do it, the better it gets.
Still not feeling confident? This month, we’ll be putting out more in-depth guides on how to snag that first pitch, so stay tuned! Our writers have a cumulative 75 years of experience in journalism, writing, and pitching, so many angles to look at, and tricks to the game.

Have you pitched to one of these publications and have any tips? Let us know!


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