Getting Started As A Travel Writer

Are you one of those individuals who constantly thinks about yourlast grand adventure or is mentally planning their next “escape?”


By: Marlene Affeld

Do you dream of becoming a travel writer, jaunting about internationally with a notebook, camera, and a laptop? Do you want to visit exotic ports-of-call and be paid for writing about your experiences? You may say that sounds like a fantasy from a storybook, exciting, intriguing, but too good to be true.

You can do it! Put the days of being tied to a cubicle behind you. More and more publications allow writers to telecommute, providing an opportunity to work wherever.

Don’t get me wrong! Travel writing requires effort and commitment. You will need to be flexible, self-motivated, deadline-driven, and willing to step outside your comfort zone at short notice.

Travel writing is hard work for low pay, and highly competitive unless you are good enough to stand “head-and-shoulders” above a pack of other eager journalists. A great many people do make a good living as travel writers. However, they are a small minority. Many are full-time travelers, part-time writers, working on travel assignments on the side. Like me, others are senior citizens, writing to supplement a pension or social security check.

Don’t decide to get into travel writing for the money. It just isn’t there. If you have a passion and love for travel and sharing your experiences with others, travel writing can be a significant second income and a lot of fun. Do it for the fun; not the money. If you don’t have “deep pockets,” be prepared to manage on a very limited budget – you will not earn much starting out and traveling when money is tight can take a bit of the fun out of the experience.

Prerequisites Of A Travel Writer

Do you have impeccable grammar? Is English your native language? Do you demonstrate fluency in another language? What experience, knowledge or skill set do you bring to the table? If you love to travel and travel regularly, you are already off to a good start.

Patience and perseverance are required. If not put off, and roving the world remains your goal, here are a few tips to help fund your journey through travel writing.

Write And Write Some More

Working as a travel writer, it’s your job is to ferret out intriguing destinations and tell a story in an engaging manner to pique the reader’s imagination; make them dream of traveling where you have gone. That’s heady stuff; another good reason to wake up in the morning put on the coffee pot and write.

You need to be writing constantly, not just for potential publication, but to hone and polish your word weaving skills. Write, then, write some more, always being sure that it is your original work. Use a grammar, spelling and plagiarism checker on each and every article. Get in the habit of reading your words out loud. You will find that you will discover errors or repetitive phrasing that your eye missed.

Write Your Passion

If you are not intrigued by the subject matter, it will be reflected in your writing. Who wants to research and write about something that bores you to tears? Write about your hobbies, children, your passion for organic gardening, or tips on training your puppy. It doesn’t matter what you write about, just make sure that it is something that your find engaging so your readers will too. Take the subjects that intrigue you and incorporate them into your travel writing.

Find a niche that appeals to your passion and become knowledge about the subject matter, then share your quest with readers.

Create Multiple Streams Of Income

Search out sites that will accept your submissions on a regular basis. The pay may not be the greatest, but if it’s a dependable source of revenue, don’t turn down the opportunity. Attempt to establish a relationship with several clients, so if one opportunity dries up, you will still have others that you can count on to accept your submissions for pay. As you improve your skills and build your writing portfolio, lower paying gigs are replaced with others that reflect the increased value of your work.

Here are a few sites that pay writers for submissions. Be sure to acquaint yourself with each website to familiarize yourself with their style and the type of articles they seek before submitting a pitch or query.

Create A Writer’s Portfolio

Create your own website to showcase your writing talents.

Apply For Online Writing Jobs

Matador Network

Matador accepts submissions. Authors are paid $40 upon publication. Visit their site for submission guidelines. Matador is a great place to showcase your talent.

Wanderlust advises, “We rarely publish narrative travel features on this site, but we do consider interesting blogs, inspirational round-ups, guides and advice pieces. Please ensure that you are familiar with the site, our style, and our audience. To suggest an idea, please email us at”

Check out – read other writer’s unique stories and submit your own.


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