Travel writing is basically part travel reporting, part blog, and part giving travel advice. Travel writers often make their craft with a myriad of various styles and techniques but generally the best tales tend to share some basic traits, especially: clear writing style, without effort or fluff. And you can’t find better material for your travel articles than true stories of adventure. And the best part is that travel articles are often free for anyone to use and distribute as they see fit.
But how can you tell if your travel articles have merit? A great way is to look at the actual rates that travel magazines charge for the same content. Most travel issues of major magazines come with an Inside Sports Special. What that means is that they’ve got one or more pieces about the major traveling events of the year – and they’re willing to shell out a few cents per word for just those pieces.
So what happens if you want to write a travel piece for a magazine whose readership is much smaller than the editors and writers who write for it? Do they cut you down to size or do they let you write freely? It depends on the magazine, of course. But generally, if the magazine has a strong market for high quality travel articles – one that covers a broad range of topics and provides interesting insights – they’ll usually appreciate your work and pay you accordingly.
You can find plenty of smaller travel magazines in your community that might be willing to accept your travel articles. Or you can send off multiple e-mail invitations to them with an attached story or several. But remember, they don’t always bite. Even those big dogs with a huge circulation might not want to publish something so brief. Keep your articles below 1,500 words and they’ll take more notice.
If you’re working for a major publication, then you can count on a higher fee. But even if you’re working for a small publication, your articles may still get some consideration. The most important factor is the quality of your writing. You want your travel pieces to catch the eyes of a wide variety of readers. You want them to get read by people who are interested in the travel industry and the experiences that travelers go on.
Some publications will even allow you to write one or more featured articles that summarize your travel stories. These articles can be used as the basis for a feature story in their next issue. Many large travel magazines do this very often. The advantage to small magazines is that they have limited space for text. But the real draw to those publications is the authors.
If your pieces are well written and tell a compelling travel story, many people will contact you looking for information about a particular destination. This means that it’s very important for you to keep your contact information current. It might take some time to respond to each request, but that shouldn’t stop you from continuing to send articles to those publications. Keep the travel news part of your job title if you want to maintain your current contact information.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on local newspapers, magazines, and websites that focus on travel writing. Many of these publications will hire travel writers at some point. And you never know when you might win a piece of such a contest. As long as you stay on top of new trends and new destinations, you can be sure to have work for many years to come.