How to start travel writing? Unless you have your own blog or know an editor, you’ll need to “pitch” a story idea. That means sending an email to an editor briefly detailing the story you’d like to write for their publication. Travel Writers University and the Travel Writer’s Café have numerous resources to assist writers with how to send effective pitches, but for now, we’re focusing on where to secure those first couple of “clips” – published stories.
The first obstacle most beginning travel writers face is “where to write?”
As a beginner, your first “clips” aren’t going to come in “National Geographic” or “Travel + Leisure.” Writers work up throughout their careers to achieve those heights. How to start travel writing? You’ll want to start small. To begin with, the most important achievement is having your stories published, it matters less where. After your first handful of published stories, you should gradually aim higher and higher with the stature of outlets you’re pitching.
Again, Travel Writer’s University and the Travel Writer’s Café have numerous resources and contacts inside the largest travel publications to help writers on this journey which can take years. This article, however, focuses on quality publications which accept pitches from beginning travel writers – even first timers.
Many publications will want to see examples of your work before assigning you a story, but that’s obviously impossible if you’ve never been published – if you have no “clips.” The great value of these outlets is that they will take pitches and assign stories from first timers, that’s how to start travel writing.
Generally, these publications don’t pay for stories, that’s ok to begin with and here’s why. As a beginner your top priority is getting published. You can’t work your way up the ladder without clips, these publications provide you that opportunity and then you move on. Labron James didn’t get paid for the first basketball game he played in and you shouldn’t worry about not being paid for the first several travel stories you write. If your primary motivator for beginning travel writing is as a revenue stream, stop right now and do something else. To continue the sports metaphor, there are fewer full-time travel writers in America making their primary living from that job description than there are professional athletes.
The number of people supporting their families as breadwinners through travel writing is tiny.
Again, if you need travel writing to make money, look somewhere else because this isn’t a path.
If you have a passion for travel and writing and sharing stories and opinions and can use freelance travel writing as a side hustle for supplementary income, use it as a hobby or in retirement, use it as a piece of your income puzzle, use it for free or discounted trips, a wonderful world of opportunity awaits you. But you have to start somewhere.
How to start travel writing? Here’s where you start.
All of these publications accept pitches from first-time and beginning travel writers. Browse the publications for a sense of subject matter, what’s previously been written about, their article style – first person narrative, long reads, lists – then think about what of your travels would be appropriate to pitch them a story on.
Travel Publications Open to Pitches from Beginning Writers
(follow links or instructions for pitch submission details)
Adventuress Travel Magazine invites its adventurous women readers to “get inspired to plan your next trip and dream for a while.” The readership is primarily women over 50. Contributors share stories of true experiences to stimulate the adventuress in us all.
Bookcottages.com focuses on vacation rental by owner property reviews across Europe. If you’ve stayed at a VRBO in Europe, drop them a line.
Confetti Travel Café welcomes submissions by freelance writers and photographers who celebrate travel, culture and connection. The “about” page states “Confetti, like travel and life, is celebratory. Just like travel and life, confetti can be colorful, messy, and silly, and it shakes up the expected and the planned.”
Epicurean Traveler‘s motto is traveling in a world of good taste and covers stories of food, chefs, wine and spirits, and travel. Interested contributors should contact editor Scott W. Clemens at mossbeach@ comcast.net to obtain writer guidelines.
Families Go! Travel is all about providing new and practical travel ideas to help readers plan fantastic family vacations. Stories should include traveling with at least one baby, child or teenager.
Global Grasshopper provides travel information for the road less traveled. Their site says “we’re unravelling the secrets of the world’s most unique, under-the-radar, and beautiful places. Whether you are a backpacker, a flashpacker, or just prefer to holiday away from the crowds, follow along for travel inspiration…”
Contact: becky@ globalgrasshopper.com
JourneyWoman‘s mandate is to inspire women to travel safely and well and to connect with female travelers all over the world. They feature stories on solo travel, active adventures, the older adventuress, multi-generational travel, slow travel and more.
Pink Pangea is another community for women who love to travel. The publication focuses on authentic and credible travel information, including stories of overcoming challenges and the amazing places travelers saw and the people they met along the way.
Real Food Traveler’s philosophy is to introduce readers to a destination’s local foods along with everything about the people, the adventures, accommodations and products that make different parts of the world special.
SeeGreatArt travels across North America sharing the world of visual art from big city museum exhibitions to small town galleries. If your travels intersect with art – museums, galleries, street art, festivals, graffiti – send an introductory email to the site’s founder Chadd Scott at seegreatart @gmail dot com.
TravelbyVacationRental is the worldwide parent website of bookcottages.com. From North America to Asia, Africa, Central and South America, TravelbyVacationRental.com is looking for your vacation rental reviews and “to do” lists from destinations big and small.
Travel Thru History features travel stories and tips on destinations worldwide. They publish stories featuring the historical, archeological, and cultural aspects of a destination as well as literary journeys and exotic adventures. These stories should convey a strong sense of place so readers can truly experience the destination.
YourLifeIsATrip readers share a common passion for exploration and each story is as unique and original as the experiences and storytellers behind them.
Ready to get started with your travel writing career? Take the next step to assure your success.