16 travel writing jobs for beginners

Table of contents
Hamburger menu icon
March 23, 2021
5 minute read

When you hear the words “travel writing,” what comes to mind? Most people imagine staying at a luxurious hotel at the beach, dipping their toes in the water and sipping lemonade as they compose a few blog posts on their laptop from around the world. And while some travel writing jobs come with pre-paid travel and beautiful surroundings, there are plenty of other opportunities, even if you’re a beginning freelance writer.

What is travel writing?

Travel writers are people who get paid to write about travel. Any type of writing that touches on this topic can be considered travel writing. It’s a broad niche, so there are many different opportunities for you to try.

Here are a few things travel writers help to create:

  • Travel itineraries for popular destinations
  • Packing guides
  • Reviews about hotels, destinations, and popular restaurants
  • Travel advice
  • Blog posts
  • Social media content
  • Travel books

With so many options, travel writers can niche down and specialize in one or two areas, or stay generalists and work on whatever assignments they’re able to land.

How much money does a travel writer make?

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t collect data specifically for travel writers, it does include information for writers and authors.

The median annual salary in 2019 was $63,200.

The type of travel writing job you select, the size of the company you work for, and your experience all play a part in determining how much money you can make. When you’re just getting started as a writer, you probably won’t earn as much as experienced travel writers. In fact, you might keep your day job while you write a few articles on the side. Then, as you gain experience and improve your portfolio, you can eventually say goodbye to your full-time job.

How do you get paid to travel and write?

Payment as a travel writer isn’t always in the form of cash. Sometimes, a company comps your travel expenses, food, and lodging. These are benefits you can negotiate with each client. Typically, the more experience you have and the larger your influence on social media, the more likely you are to get compensated for travel jobs.

Always find out the details of payment for travel writing jobs before agreeing to the work.

Is travel writing a good career?

If you enjoy both traveling and writing, travel writing can be an excellent career choice. Your work may not even feel like work.

However, finding travel writing jobs won’t always be easy.

According to BLS, the writing industry is expected to have -2% growth over the next ten years.

This means you’ll experience more competition as you try to break into the travel industry as a writer.

Also, it’s important to remember that you’ll likely be running your own business as a travel writer instead of working as an employee. That means you’re responsible for paying your self-employment taxes, invoicing your clients, and making sure your business is legal. Being your own boss comes with a lot of responsibilities, but it can be a fulfilling experience.

Do you need a degree to be a travel writer?

While some travel writers have a degree in journalism or English, it’s not mandatory for many travel writing jobs. Most clients care more about your ability to create great content than your education and background.

However, here are six essential skills all travel writers should have.

  1. Excellent writing skills. You want to engage people with the content you create. It needs to be well written and understandable. If you hate writing or struggle to put words together in a grammatically correct way, you’ll have a hard time in this position.
  2. A passion for travel. If you’re a creature of comfort and a homebody, frequent travel to strange lands might be enough to suck the passion out of your writing. But if you love travel and writing, your enthusiasm can shine through and captivate your audience.
  3. Broad knowledge of the travel industry. When you’re up to date with current trends, you can create authoritative content on that topic.
  4. SEO knowledge. You want people to actually find the content you create, so you must use SEO best practices to make that happen.
  5. Ability to research. You may need to create content about a travel topic that’s not your specialty. If you do, your ability to research and find accurate information online is vital. Research is also crucial if you’re going on a trip and writing about it. You’ll need to know where to go and what to share.
  6. Organization skills. Deadlines are essential when you’re a writer. You need to keep track of your due dates and ensure you complete everything on time.

In addition to those basic skills, each hiring company has its own set of requirements. For instance, some may want you to include photos of your travel, so you’ll need to take great pictures.

Always read requirements for travel jobs carefully. You don't end up with anything unexpected in your workload.

68% of travel writers hold a Bachelor's degree.
- Zippia

16 travel writing jobs for beginners

Here are some of the best types of travel writing jobs for those starting out:

  1. Travel magazine article writer. There are loads of periodicals dedicated to travel. Many of them pay you to create content for them. You may even land a recurring writing gig if editors like your work enough.
  2. Travel-themed social media content writer. Many travel companies market themselves on social media. You can find a job creating these posts.
  3. Travel guide writer. Before someone takes a trip, they want to know what to expect. You can write the guidebook they need to have a blast on their journey.
  4. Travel copywriter. If you know how to use your words to persuade people to take action, you can craft website copy, advertisements, brochures, and more in this position.
  5. Travel blogger. You can start your own travel blog or write for existing ones. If you create your own, you may even get sponsors someday.
  6. Travel eBook ghostwriter. As a ghostwriter, you’ll create content without getting a byline. Since you won’t be getting credit, you can often charge more for your work.
  7. Destination travel writer. You can create content about specific destinations. In travel writing jobs like this, you’ll help readers learn more about each place’s culture, food, and climate.
  8. Travel list article writer. List articles round up the top options in one easy-to-digest article. You can write about the top 10 road trips from Philadelphia, the best seven steak joints in the west, or about any number of travel-related topics.
  9. Personal essay travel writer. People enjoy reading real travel stories. They can glean nuggets of wisdom from what you’ve experienced on your own travels.
  10. Travel journalist. Journalists share the facts, not their opinions. You’ll have to do your research to succeed in these travel jobs. You can write documentaries, articles, books, and more as a travel journalist.
  11. Press release writer. Hotels and destinations put out press releases when they open or make changes. You can help them market by crafting an informational piece for the press.
  12. Video scriptwriter. YouTubers often use scripts to plan their video content. Some pay writers to craft these scripts for them.
  13. Show notes writer. Are there any travel-themed podcasts you enjoy listening to? Each episode typically includes show notes, which sums up the content for people to scan. Someone has to produce those notes, and some companies hire writers to tackle this task.
  14. Travel foodie writer. The best food can help make the best memories. If you’ve got a passion for travel and food, you can create restaurant reviews, dining tips, chef profiles, and more.
  15. Local travel expert. What is unique about where you live? Create great content that shares the inside scoop with visitors. You can find travel writing jobs with regional magazines, local newspapers, and online publications.
  16. Airline magazine writer. While many airlines have currently stopped publishing magazines due to the pandemic, these opportunities may see a comeback in the years ahead. If airlines resume publication, you can create content about travel and other lifestyle topics of interest to travelers.

How do you become a travel writer?

Now that you know more about travel writing, are you ready to become a travel writer? Here are five different strategies for finding paid work in this field.

1. Search job boards for travel jobs

If you’re looking for work, plan on regularly checking a couple of job boards and using filters to search for travel jobs. Indeed and ZipRecruiter are popular options. Companies from all different niches post job opportunities on these, so you’ll need to use the search or filter feature.

2. Cold pitch travel companies

You can send cold pitches to companies and ask them if they need any freelancers to create content. If you give this route a try, make sure you research each company before sending your pitch. You want to customize your email for each one so that it’s personalized. Otherwise, you’ll sound spammy and likely won’t get any responses.

3. Start your own travel website

Though this path takes longer to generate income, starting your own blog can be an excellent long-term strategy. Decide what type of travel writing you want to include on your blog, and start generating content.

You’ll have more success if you niche down even further. Will your blog be the go-to resource for large family travel? Or will you focus on minimalist travel? Do you prefer a more general lifestyle website, touching on travel and other areas of life? There’s no wrong answer, as you can always pivot later.

Once you know what you’re going to write about, start creating content. As your traffic grows through your content marketing strategy, you can begin the monetization process.

A bonus of creating your own blog is that you’ll be writing your own samples as you go. If you plan on writing for others, you’ll need a portfolio with quality pieces to demonstrate your skills.

4. Turn to social media

You can use social media for marketing your new business and finding new clients. Make sure you’re following other travel writers on the platforms where you’re active. You can glean tips and tricks from them as you continue to grow your business.

You can also connect with companies that post journalist opportunities. For instance, if you’re on Twitter, check out feeds from @Mediabistro, @FreelanceWJ, and @jjobs_tweets. These three post various writing jobs, and you can use their content to check for travel writing work.

Hashtag searches can also help you find gigs on social media. Search for #travelwriters, #writersneeded, and #editorchat to see if anyone needs help.

On social media, you’ll have to wade through a lot of noise to find positions. If you’re easily distracted, setting a time limit or giving yourself boundaries to stay productive can keep you focused.

Never too late to start:
More than 50% of travel writers are over 50 years old.
- Zippia

5. Pitch publications that accept posts

Another way to score paid travel jobs is to send a pitch to lifestyle or travel publications that frequently hire freelance writers. Further below, there’s a list of 35 different companies you can pitch. Most of them are a great fit even if you’re a beginner.

If you get a byline with your post, you can use these articles as samples to build your portfolio. Having a strong portfolio is essential when landing future work, so make sure to submit quality pieces for each site.

To help increase your chances of getting accepted, here are four tips for pitching to travel publications:

  1. Study the site before you pitch. You want your content to match their reader’s expectations. Otherwise, you may send a pitch with some personal travel stories when they really want travel guides. Let their existing content be your guide, and see what’s missing from their site. That’s what you want to provide, instead of rehashing the same topic for the third time.
  2. Follow the directions. Every site has its pitching requirements. Read them carefully and follow them precisely. If you’re looking to guest post to grow your portfolio and gain credibility as a beginner, note any guest-posting policies listed. Many questions about the process will be here, which make the pitching process easier for you.
  3. Personalize your pitch. If you’re sending an email, take time to find out who you should address it to. Do some research on the site to find the owner or editor’s name. As you write your pitch, make it clear that you’ve spent time studying the publication’s content and know that you can create a piece that resonates with its audience.
  4. Keep your pitch short. Editor teams get a lot of emails. Do them a favor, and don’t write a novel. Include the information they ask for, and tell them a little bit about yourself and your travel experiences. But don’t write your entire life story.

35 travel publications that hire freelance writers

If you’re ready to get your business off the ground and pitch some travel publications, here are some you can start with. You’ll find a variety of travel websites and printed travel magazines that accept freelance writers and offer paid travel jobs, even if you’re a beginner. All published rates are in USD.

Travel websites and magazines


Can you create an honest, well-written and detailed travel piece or destination guide? Will your content guide a future traveler? If yes, you’ll want to query GoNOMAD. If your work is published, you’ll get $25.

The editors have plenty of tips for freelance travel writers in the writer’s guidelines, so take the time to read them carefully. Please note that photos are required, so make sure you have some quality images ready to share as well.

2.Outpost Magazine

This Canadian travel publication features long-form travel journalism and beautiful photographs from around the world. This company has both an online and a print publication, and it accepts freelance articles for both.

If you’re hoping to get published with Outpost online, you’ll want to keep your piece between 800-1,500 words. Longer articles, from 2,000 to 5,000 words, are accepted for the print magazine. You’ll need to work out payment terms with the editor during the pitching process.

3. Pathfinders Travel Magazine

A travel magazine for people of color, Pathfinders provides readers with lively, well-written stories about where to go and what to do. It also accepts articles for their Chef’s Table and Wine Column sections. While payment depends on the article type, most pay $150.

If you’re a freelance writer who hasn’t worked with this magazine before, its editors want you to pitch with a completed article instead of a query.

4. World Nomads

Do you have a life-changing travel experience to share with the world? If you do, World Nomads wants to know about it. In addition to written content, World Nomads also accepts photo essays and video content. For written stories of 600 to 800 words, it pays $0.50 per word. You can see on its website other payment details and which categories are currently accepting pitches.

5. My Itchy Travel Feet

If you can create content geared for travel-loving baby boomers, you’ll want to pitch My Itchy Travel Feet. Posts must be at least 700 words, be original, and come with high-quality photos. The week of publication, you’ll receive $30.

6. Hit the Road

You can earn $50 and a link to your website if you get published on Hit the Road. It publishes content about road journeys in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada.

7. Travel and Leisure

While this publication doesn’t have specific writer’s guidelines on its site or information about pay, the editors do accept pitches from freelance travel writers. Some writers report that this magazine pays well. This means you’ll want to wow the editors with your pitch, so make sure it isn’t something that’s already covered in previous editions. You can find the email address to submit your pitch on Travel and Leisure’s “Contact Us” page.

8. Wander

Wander accepts original articles from commercial brands and freelance writers about wellness and travel. While submissions to their website are unpaid, this company also has a print magazine. As part of your query for that publication, you share your desired rate with the editor.

9. Hidden Compass

The editors at Hidden Compass aren’t driven by travel destinations. Rather, its readers want to hear your stories and how your experiences connect travel to a broader conversation. If your article is accepted, you’ll receive a flat-rate plus 50% of crowdfunding proceeds.

10. Road & Travel Magazine

Submit travel articles about hotels, spas, travel destination reviews, and other travel topics to Road & Travel Magazine. This publication has a slant towards women, so make sure your post appeals to this target audience. The required length ranges from 200-300 words for blog posts to 1,000-1,200 words for feature articles. You’ll work out payment details with the editor.

11. Verge Publications

If you travel with a purpose, you might be a great fit for Verge magazine, a digital publication. Its readers are socially aware and want to make a difference. Submissions about volunteering, working, or studying abroad are welcome. Verge editors will notify you of payment details if they accept your piece for publication.

12. Transitions Abroad

The detailed writer’s guidelines on the Transitions Abroad website can help improve your chances of getting published. It looks for pieces about cultural immersion travel, living abroad, slow travel, country guides, and more. This company pays between $75-150 for an accepted article.

13. Go World Travel

Help the readers of Go World Travel experience a destination through your words. Articles should be in the 850-1,600 word range and include an “If You Go” section at the bottom. Accepted posts are worth $30 to 40.

14. GoMad Nomad Travel Mag

You can pitch GoMad Nomad Travel Mag with article ideas about travel advice, travel destinations, and travel stories. It accepts unpaid guest posts from travel bloggers in exchange for a link. You can also opt to receive a $25 payment instead.

15.Loaded Landscapes

If your passions include travel, photography, and writing, you’ll want to submit a pitch to Loaded Landscapes. It accepts travel articles and written content related to landscape, nature, and travel photography. Payment terms are negotiated with the editor but are in the $20 to $150 range.


Do you prefer traveling on foot? Backpacker accepts freelance writer contributions related to human-powered travel such as hiking, canoeing, and kayaking. If the company is interested in your pitch, you’ll work out payment details with the editor.

Lifestyle websites and magazines that accept travel content

17. The Penny Hoarder

Can you stretch your pennies during travel? If you have tips and tricks for traveling on a budget, The Penny Hoarder wants to hear about them. Your article must be evergreen and at least 700 to 900 words. You’ll work out payment details with the editor.

18. Listverse

While Listverse isn’t strictly a travel website, it does accept list posts about the travel industry. If the editors select your post for publication, you’ll earn $100.

19. Outdoor NW

This magazine regularly publishes adventure travel and outdoor recreation stories. You can query the editor of Outdoor NW with your article ideas related to these topics. Payment ranges from $35 for an inside photo to $125 for a feature article.

20. AARP The Magazine

Do you have tips to help AARP’s readers know how and where to travel? If you do, send your story as an email to the editors at AARP The Magazine. While it’s not an exclusive travel magazine, this lifestyle publication does include articles in the travel niche. Some writers report AARP pays $1 per word for online publications and $2 per word for print.

RV lifestyle websites and magazines

21. Escapees Magazine

What tips and advice can you offer to make the RVing lifestyle easier? If you’ve got something unique, pitch it to Escapees Magazine. Though the magazine prioritizes member content, it does accept submissions from non-members. Escapee Magazine pays $100 to $200 for feature submissions and $50 to $100 for short fillers.

22.Trailer Life Magazine

Topics about the RV lifestyle are welcomed in Trailer Life Magazine. Payment ranges from $100 to $700 for published posts, depending on the category. This travel publication also pays for photos, so consider submitting them if you have some great RV shots.

23. ROVA: The Magazine for Epic Road Trips

Are you an RV travel expert? Share your North American road-tripping travel stories with ROVA as an article or photo essay. If your piece is accepted, you get a flat rate of $200, plus a byline in ROVA magazine.

Local publications with travel sections

24. Arizona Highways

This publication encourages travel to and from the great state of Arizona. It accepts queries once a year, so if you’ve missed it for this year, put it on your to-do list for the next opening. Pay rates for articles accepted by Arizona Highways vary.

25. Canadian Geographic

Twice a year, this magazine publishes a Canadian Geographic Travel section. If you’ve got a great idea about travel in Canada, you’ll want to submit it to its editors. The magazine only purchases a few articles for each issue, so you’ll need to have patience with this publication.

26. Kansas! Magazine

Can you use your words and photos to promote Kansas tourism? Kansas! Magazine articles emphasize travel in this midwest state. You can work out the payment terms with the editor during the query process.

27.Seattle magazine

If you know your way around the Pacific Northwest, Seattle magazine wants to hear from you. Its writer guidelines are full of information to improve your chances of publication, so make sure you read them in full. You’ll need to wait quite a while for payment after publication, so be aware of that if you’re looking for a travel writing job that pays quickly.

28. Time Out New York

While this magazine isn’t one you can send a pitch to, it occasionally hires employees to create content about New York. If you can create articles that encourage people to explore this city and the surrounding areas, you might be a great fit. You can find more details on the Time Out New York’s career page.

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
- Marcel Proust

Other paying travel writing publications to consider

Once you have a little experience as a freelance writer, you can try pitching for some of these travel writing jobs as well:

  1. Lonely Planet
  2. National Geographic
  3. AFAR
  4. Global Grasshopper
  5. Great Escape Publishing
  6. BBC Travel
  7. Dotdash (look in the freelance category for travel openings)

Grow your freelance travel writing business

Being published on popular travel websites can help you grow your business as a travel writer. You can also get your name out there by guest posting on the sites below. Though these articles aren’t paid, landing bylines in reputable digital and print publications are great for your portfolio when starting out.

Final tips for growing your writing business

Now that you have a list of publications you can submit content to, here are five final tips to help you succeed as a freelance travel writer and as you search for travel jobs.

  1. Read the directions. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again in case you missed it the first time: read the instructions of the publication you’re pitching to. You’d be surprised how many emails editors toss in the trash because the freelance writer didn’t follow directions. Always take the time to read writer guidelines and make sure your pitch is a good fit before you send it in.
  2. Remember to invoice. If you’re getting paid for an article, most companies want you to send them an invoice. No invoice means no payment, so don’t forget this step.
  3. Improve your photography skills. While not every site requires you to send in photos, many do. Learn how to take great pictures so that you can send a complete package to publications.
  4. Continue pitching. Your content won’t be a great fit for every publication. If you get told no, don’t take it personally. Instead, send more pitches. You’ll only fail to get a yes if you give up.
  5. Keep track of your expenses. As a travel writer, you might be able to write off some of your travel expenses. However, you need to keep track of these in a professional way that’s easy to figure out when tax season rolls around.

Get paid to write about travel

With so many freelance writing jobs available, there’s no reason you can’t launch a career as a travel writer. So pick a publication that interests you, and get started today.