There are two parts to a journey: The journey itself, and the opportunity to tell others about your adventure.
As a travel writer, there is ample opportunity for both. But, more importantly, you can get paid to share your stories with others! All you need is your recreational vehicle, a laptop, and the occasional WiFi access point.
Travel in Your Car, Truck, Van, or RV and Get Paid to Write!
Today, there are tens of thousands of people earning a living while on permanent vacation. They are the quest-bound quill-drivers, boondocking bloggers, cross-country copywriters, and Airstream authors.
Getting started in this line of work is easier than you probably think. So, set the parking brake, and let's explore some of the best options to turn your road trip into a money-making venture.
4 Ways to Get Paid as a Travel Writer
1. Contribute to a Travel Magazine
You're traveling, and they’re looking for travel-related content; it's a match made in travel writer heaven.
- National Geographic Traveler
Beyond the competitive pay, getting a byline in a National Geographic publication is a reward in itself. National Geographic Traveler accepts department stories at around 750 words and feature stories in the 2,500-word range. It prioritizes destinations that are off-the-beaten-path and not widely covered in other publications.
- Travel + Leisure
Do you have a knack for traveling in style? Travel + Leisure considers stories with a specific angle, news that makes the subject fresh, or a writer's enthusiasm for and familiarity with the topic. Pay is highly competitive (up to $1 word).
- Escapees Magazine
Escapees Magazine is a publication for RVers, by RVers. All content submissions should be relevant to RV enthusiasts.
Note: There is a 4-month lead time on articles (last we checked), so pay (and publication) may be slow.
- Westworld Magazine
Do you actively travel in Western Canada? Westworld Magazine boasts the largest distribution of any magazine in the region. And, if they select your article, you may be paid up to C$0.60 per word!
2. Join a Freelancing Website
The '20s are the golden age of freelance writing. The demand for original content is always on the rise, and there is a seemingly endless pool of clients. It is now easy to travel writing jobs on the web. Some of the top options for those looking to get started in freelance include:
Formerly known as ODesk, Upwork is by far the most well-known website for freelancers of all stripes. Upwork is essentially a website that helps connect freelancers and clients. Like most other jobs, you have to start as a bottom feeder. But, do good work, and you can begin charging the kind of rates that will keep you and your RV well fed. As a freelance travel writer, you can expect to pay anywhere from 10-20% commission for each lead that you generate through Upwork. It's a small price to pay for all the opportunities that will come your way!
Freelancer is another popular website that connects freelancers with prospective clients. This website sports a ton of options for copywriters, ghostwriters, and article writers. Like Upwork, the pay isn't so great to start, but make a name for yourself, and the sky's the limit.
3. Self-Publish an eBook
Why not skip the clients and go straight to the readers? Amazon's Kindle storefront is the largest marketplace for self-published fiction and non-fiction works.
While the annual pay of authors in this digital marketplace is only $1,000 per year, it's worth pointing out that many of these self-published authors are merely repackaging works with expired copyrights.
So, if you have a well-written, original story, you can expect to make quite a bit more than the status quo. And, yes, there is even a book on Amazon called Self-Publishing for Passive Income: How to Publish a Book on Amazon and Make Money.
You don't have to limit yourself to Amazon. Barnes & Noble Press™ and Kobo Writing Life™ are also viable options. We highly recommend publishing your work on all three eBook platforms to maximize your income potential.
4. Write for a Travel Blog
As this ProBlogger listing for a long-term RV travel writer shows, there is ample opportunity for road warriors to share their experiences… and get paid for it by writing regular blog updates!
Search something like write for us travel blogs to uncover numerous opportunities. Be aware that some publications don't pay travel writers, instead asking for guest posts that offer online visibility and social shares. That may or may not benefit your current circumstances.
Experience is the Real Reward of Being a Travel Writer
There are so many freelance writing opportunities available that we've barely scratched the surface in this article. But, the information contained here serves as a good starting point for those looking to earn extra money road tripping or RVing as a freelance travel writer.
The United States has over 164,000 miles of highway. Hitting the open road and going on a cross-country journey is a life-changing experience; one that will undoubtedly alter how you view the vastness, magnitude, and magnificence of this beautiful country.
If you've longed to make a living on the road as a roaming travel writer, this dream isn't as far-fetched as you'd imagine. But, it's always a good idea to have a backup plan.
A wise road tripper once said, "Don't store all your lug nuts in one tool box." That means building up your savings in case your vehicle gets a flat or you hit a dry spell in your travel writing gig. Give it a try for a season, and if it doesn't work out, you'll at least have a few great stories to share around the campfire.