Monday, November 28, 2011

Writing Markets for Beginning Travel Writers

Getting published is the biggest challenge that beginning travel writers face.  The ideas are flowing and the words are appearing on the screen, but without the acceptance of blogs, websites, or travel magazines, the stories remain uncredited and limited in potential.  What a feeling it is when someone wants to pay you for your ideas.  The pay may be low, but experience can lead to future success.  Of course our goal is to earn an income for our stories, but aren't we also trying to give advice to future travelers and give them the opportunity for the best possible experience ever?

So the journey must begin.  The list below includes five possible writing markets that may be interested in your work.  It is time to take the next step and see where your travel prose can take you.

In the Know Traveler

Submission Guidelines:
    • They are looking for bloggers focusing on the following subjects: travel photography, international music, adventure, family, and working with a travel agency (experience not considered)
    • Send a story and/or photographs (450-600 words in length) for Features
    • If your submission is accepted, you retain all of your rights
    • They retain the right to publish article/photography on their site
    • Send stories to
    • Should promote travel
    • At least 150 words
    • Avoid profanity

Response Time: N/A

Pay: $10 per story, $3 per blog


Submission Guidelines:
  • You MUST pitch an idea before submitting your work
  • Work should be submitted using the submission form found here
  • You can only submit articles not yet published
  • All forms of articles have a picture requirement (does not have to be taken by you)
    • Seeking articles related to travel, which appeal to a wide audience
    • Articles can be about one specific destination, as long as the theme or topic might interest a broad group of people
    • If you pick a well-known city, show a different perspective
    • Smaller places will not reach a large enough audience 
    • 1200-1600 word count
    • Between 600-2500 words
    • Must include 3-4 photos
    • 1200 or more words
    • Must include one image
Response Time: N/A

Pay: $50 for feature article, $20-$40 for travel essay, $30 for travel expert article

World Hum

Submission Guidelines:
  • Paste your submission or a short pitch as well as a brief bio into the body of an email—they will NOT open attachments
  • Send it to 
  • Writing submissions should be no more than 1,500 words
  • Do not send multiple submissions
  • You must choose to submit for travel stories, speaker's corner (rants or raves), travel interviews, lists, or audio slideshows (includes photos and narration)
  • Designate choice in the subject line of the e-mail

Response Time: ASAP, be sure to note if the article is time sensitive

Pay: Determined Once Accepted

Transitions Abroad 

Submission Guidelines:
  • They are looking for articles about cultural travel, the working traveler, living abroad, and student travel
  • The articles should be information-based
  • Avoid destination pieces
  • Visit site for current needs
  • Manuscripts should be sent electronically and addressed to
  • The author's name, address, phone and fax number, and email address should appear on at least the first page of the manuscript of the attached document
  • Attach only Microsoft Word documents
  • You may send photos which illustrate your piece electronically as attachments after acceptance of your piece
Response Time: 1-2 Weeks

Pay: $50-$150

Go World Travel

Submission Guidelines:
  • They accept only stories from trips taken within the last year
  • If accepted, the managing editor will contact you
  • Submit articles to and include the following: article title/location in the e-mail subject line, completed article, word count and state whether images are available
  •  Over 50% of the audience is American with an income higher than $50,000
  • An "If You Go" section at the end of the piece should include address, phone and website info of destinations covered
  • Feature articles should be 800-1200 word count
  • Department articles should be 500-900 word count
  • Let them know if you have photos to accompany the story
  • Include metric conversions in your article
Response Time: N/A

Pay: $35-$50 for Feature Articles

Take the risk of sharing your work and trying to reach a greater audience.  Your experiences could be valued by others and getting your name out there may lead to new opportunities.  Give it a try; the pros greatly outweigh the cons.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

5 Steps to Moving Beyond the Beaten Path

"Move beyond the beaten path.  Experience the culture.  Avoid the tourist traps."  I've heard this on most shows and guidebooks, but branching out can be scary to the novice traveler.  Usually when I begin to plan my itinerary I immediately dart for the places that are a "must see."  Perhaps it is climbing the Eiffel Tower or visiting Versailles that entices my presence, but when I think back to the moments, or hours I spent in line at these places, I do not see them as highlights.  Not to mention that all that time in lines resulted in a crowded space of rude tourists cutting in front of the line and butting in with their cameras.

To build a trip that is more rich and filling, follow some of these simple guidelines.  You can begin with one piece of advice and expand from there, or try it all.  Consider trying these tips in a local destination for practice.

Step 1: Plan Sparingly
Having a plan can be very comforting for the anxious traveler.  It can also be beneficial for saving money and making the most of your time.  Last summer I saved BLANK euros by purchasing a museum pass in Paris.  This is a great idea, but be cautious.  I made the mistake of trying to plan everything.  I ended up with a trip that was overfilled with museums and lacking in authentic experiences.  My time felt limited so I wanted to do everything, but I eliminated the opportunity for spontaneity.  When I reminisce about the highlights of my trips, I find the most fond memories take place during my interactions with people.  You can't plan the people you will meet, so make sure you leave room for it in your schedule.

I don't discourage planning because it makes the wait for the departure date more manageable.  Knowing that I will be immersing myself in another place helps me make it through the day to day drudgery.  So don't cut out planning, but stick with a tentative itinerary.  When you are building an itinerary, understand that it is a guideline, not the requirement.  Be open to changing plans. 

On the same trip to Paris, we also went to London.  We boarded a tour of the "English Countryside in One Day."  The tour had a picture posted of the Cotswolds, which was an area that I wanted to spend some time in and take a lot of photographs.  It turned out we were just driving through, we never got out.  If I was not held to such a rigid schedule, my interest could have been pursued. 

Step 2: Carefully Consider your Base
Deciding on sleeping quarters can greatly affect your ability to seek adventure.  When I am visiting a big city, I like to stay in a neighborhood downtown that has easy access to public transportation, restaurants, and sights to see.  A few years ago during my beginner traveler days, I was booking a hotel in Savannah, Georgia.  The price was great and so were the reviews, so I booked it.  Unfortunately the hotel was located just off the interstate many miles from the city center.  Luckily we had a car, but it definitely limited our chance to explore. 

Just recently I had to book a hotel in Paris for a solo night.  Since I knew I would be alone, I wanted to pick a safe place with a lot of options for activities.  I decided to go with Rue Cler because it is a pedestrian street with many restaurants.  The metro is also very close which will be important for traveling to the airport, and it makes the city very accessible.  The location is also great because I am within walking distance to the Seine and Eiffel Tower.  In other words, I would recommend considering your travel companions, what you want to see and do, and how you will get around.  Selecting the right accommodations can provide you with the confidence and opportunity you need to experience the unexpected.

Step 3: Spend Some Quality Time With Yourself
One of my favorite moments in my travels took place alone.  I was tired of waiting for my travel companions to finish getting ready, so I decided to go for a walk. As I weaved across the canals of Venice, I stumbled upon a special service for Palm Sunday.  Outside a church I found a band of young men playing a song that still lingers in my mind today.  I do not know what it is about, or even the name of the song, but the memory is so strong that it plays on repeat.  I think one of the reasons that I am so fond of this memory relies on the pride in being the only one to have this experience out of my travel group.  I felt like I got a little treat and was privileged to be a part of this private concert.

During solo travel, it is important to stay safe and feel comfortable while on your own.  My recommendations do not differ much from going on a blind date.  Go out during the day, stay in populated areas, and be aware of your surroundings are all examples of ways to stay safe.  If you can follow this advice early on in your venturing out independently, you will become more savvy for future adventures on your own.

Step 4: Ask Locals for Advice
This tip is one that is stated so often, yet so many do not follow it.  The turistico menu seems so appealing and before you know it, you are sucked into mediocre food that lacks tradition.  Another culprit of staying on the beaten path is internet forums.  Sure the convenience of the internet may lour you into finding suggestions, but it lacks the personal connection that can occur through conversation with locals. 

If you are nervous about asking locals on the street, there are many respectable opinions out there that are within easy reach.  One of the best places to start could be your hotel host or concierge.  The more detail you can provide about your interest, the more likely they will be able to provide a good match.  I found a great Indian restaurant in London this way.  Other great resources include store employees, bartenders, and visitor information desks.  Don't forget, the danger spots are usually close to the major tourist attractions. Beware.

Step 5: Go During the Off-Season
Avoiding tourist season offers many benefits.  One of  the primary reasons people avoid booking deals during peak times is based on the cost factor.  Flights and sleeping accommodations can be far less expensive during time periods that are less common with vacationers.  Besides saving some money, we can also bypass the stereotypical tourist behavior. 

One of the best ways to get out of the mold is to immerse yourself in the culture.  This task is much easier when there are fewer tourists around.  You are naturally being placed in an environment that encourages you to interact with locals rather than a larger pool of visitors. If you have the time available, definitely consider this option.