Are you a travel blogger, travel writer, or just someone who has a skill for imparting information in a humorous and informative way? How’d you like to publish a piece on Practical Wanderlust? It’s the big leagues, kid. You’re gonna be a shtar!
Well, not really. But you will be getting your piece read by millions of people each year, so that’s pretty cool!
Before you read any further, please make sure that our contributing writer program is for you:
Writers should be experts about the destinations they pitch.
We are looking for writers to cover destinations that they know very well. We’re looking for writers who live in a place or have spent weeks or months exploring a place. We are NOT looking for posts written about a trip you took or a destination you’ve only visited once for a few days at a time.
What’s in it for you?
We pay our contributing writers $300 per piece and are looking for about 3,000 words and a selection of photos (either taken by you or properly sourced).
Alternatively, if you are a travel blogger and are more interested in a do-follow backlink from us than a writing fee, you can forgo the payment and instead link back to relevant, related articles on your blog.
We don’t accept the vast majority of pitches we recieve.
We receive a high volume of pitches, and only accept a very small percentage of the absolute best ones.
Unfortunately, this also means you likely won’t hear from our editorial team unless we’ve decided to move forward with your pitch.
This opportunity is for bloggers and writers only.
We are thrilled to be able to support aspiring writers, professional travel writers, and travel bloggers through our Contributor program!
But if you are looking for a do-follow link back to a business or reaching out on behalf of a client, that’s a sponsored post, and we do NOT publish sponsored posts that aren’t written by us. We will NOT publish your pre-written post, even if you pay us. Do not ask us what our rates are, they do not exist because we don’t do that (have never done it, and will never do it). Don’t bother emailing us either – you will not get a response from us, and we will send your email to spam where it belongs. Sorry, but also, not sorry.
If you are a business with a marketing budget who’d like us to publish an article about your brand or product, please head over to our Partnership page.
We may need to edit your post to best fit our readers.
Part of being a blog instead of a traditional publisher is that we need our posts to fit seamlessly in with the content that is created and written by us – the content that our readers return to us for, and upon which our reader’s trust is built.
That means that your final, published post may be altered from what you submitted to us – even after going through two rounds of edits (though we always do our best to give you a chance to make edits before we go in and make them on our end).
We may add recommendations based on what we know is the best fit for our readers, and we may do so at any time – even after publishing your post. If that’s a deal-breaker, unfortunately, this opportunity may not be for you.
What We’re Looking For
There are a zillion travel blogs out there, and each one has its own distinct style. Ours is … well, spend a few minutes reading the other posts on our site, and we hope you get a feel for what we’re all about: insanely detailed travel information with a side of (usually really cringey) jokes.
So when it comes to your submission, your voice and the depth of travel information you share is key!
Currently, we are accepting pitches for destinations within the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Europe.
We are open to pitches for just about anywhere within the USA, but we are currently prioritizing content about:
- New England
- USA National Parks
- The West (UT, NM, NV, CO, all of it)
- The Pacific Northwest
Topics & Types of Posts
Here are the types of posts that we’re currently accepting:
- Winter guides for major cities, national parks, and skiing destinations. We’re looking for detailed round-ups for winter destinations that have cold weather activities, with specific tips based on personal experience. Here’s a winter city example, and here’s a National Park / skiing example and another one.
- Weekend Getaways in your state. We’re looking for lists of places to visit in a specific state. Here’s an example. Here’s another example.
- Road Trip itineraries: Create the perfect road trip through your state, with details for each day about what to see, do, eat, and where to sleep. Here’s an example. Here’s another example.
- Day trips & Weekend trips near major cities: What are some of the coolest places to visit near a major city? How can our readers get off the beaten path? Here’s an example.
- Self-guided Walking Tours of Cities: If you had to design a path for our readers that would take them through the coolest parts of your favorite city, where would you send them? What route should they take, and where should they stop? Put your tour guide skills to the test and design a self-guided walking tour for our readers! Here’s an example.
- Local’s Guides: Tell us everything about where you live! What to do and see, where to stay, what to eat, and insider tips that only locals would know. Here’s an example.
See something on the list that you can write about? This is what a submission for Practical Wanderlust needs:
- Your writing should make us laugh. We’re looking for general hilariousness and funny anecdotes, told with ridiculousness and humor (but not like, in a mean way). Do you got jokes? Jokes are good. We also like cussing (although we try to bleep that sh*t out). If your friends describe you as “the funny one” and also “the one to ask for travel recommendations,” you’re a fantastic fit for Practical Wanderlust. (And also, can we be friends?)
- Your blog post should be insanely informative. “Practical” is in our blog name for a reason: we’re all about down to earth, useful information. And a whole, whole lot of it. No matter what you’re writing about, you should cover ALL of its angles, and avoid leaving questions for our readers to search for elsewhere. This is also our posts are pretty freaking long: all those juicy details take up a LOT of words, not to mention time to research & fact-check. We have horribly high expectations here at Practical Wanderlust, please join us in our stress circle.
- Your post should include contextual history. We want you to dive deeper than surface level. Don’t just tell us what to do in a place and leave it at that. Tell us WHY you recommend doing it, WHY it matters, WHY it’s important. We want to tell the story of a destination: what in its history has shaped the place you’ll experience today?
- Your post should “SELL” destinations and experiences. Whether you’re writing about your home town or your favorite vacation spot, by the end of the post I need to want to go there immediately. Tell me what makes it special and convince me that I absolutely HAVE to visit. This also goes for everything that you recommend: tell me what to order on the menu, tell me why I NEED to visit that attraction, tell me why the vista on your favorite hike is SO worth a 9-mile shlog through a gator-filled swamp to see, etc.
- Your recommendations should not be cookie cutter. We look for a balance of typical and off-beat travel recommendations. We’re looking for tips and information that you can only get by spending some time getting to know a place or being a local: which popular tourist attractions are worth visiting, and which can be skipped?
- Your post will need to be built around a competitive keyword. Before you start writing, we’ll work with you to determine a specific keyword based on your pitch that you’ll then design your post around. We will also provide you with an outline. Please don’t start writing your post until we’ve provided you with a keyword, topic, and outline, and please don’t agree to write a post for us if you aren’t comfortable following our outline!
- Your post should be relevant to our readers. Your topic should be something that our readers are interested in. Spend a few minutes browsing our site to get a feel of our content. FYI, we are a budget travel blog, so leave the luxury at home in your mansion or on your yacht.
- Your post should NOT be a story about your personal experience. We are looking for submissions that are informative travel resources. Awesome stories about your own travels are a great fit for your blog (or like, to share with us over a beer or 5) but not something we’re looking to publish on Practical Wanderlust. That said: we love when you work in few short personal anecdotes into your post!
Psst: Yet again, we want to remind you: if you’re looking for do-follow links back to a for-profit website or business that is not a blog, don’t fill this form out. This opportunity is for bloggers, writers, and regular folks only.
If we love your pitch, we’ll be looking for a piece that follows these guidelines. We might request a few edits before we’re ready to publish your post on our site.
- At least 3,000 words. We don’t write short posts. We don’t think they’re sufficient to convey the depth of information that our readers come to our site looking for (our readers are a bunch of nerds, just like us). So beef your post up and get wordy!
- A short bio about yourself. Our readers want to be introduced to you before they dive into your amazing post, so give them a little bio with some context about who you are and what makes you a destination expert! Feel free to plug your social media, website, or blog in here as well (note that links will be no-follow unless you are forgoing your writer’s fee). You can also work this into your intro & conclusion sections.
- Include relevant links to other sites. If you list a business or attraction in your post, you MUST include a link to their website (or a TripAdvisor review, or some other relevant link). You should be providing enough relevant information to need lots of relevant links!
- Include photos, either sourced or your own unedited photos. Your photos should match the content of your post and be visually stunning – their job is to help tell the story of a place visually. If photos aren’t your strong suit or you don’t have photos that will work for your post, we’ll need you to source copyright-free stock photos (and we’ll help with that process if you’ve never done it before).
- You’ll work with us through 2 rounds of edits. We have an amazing and experienced editorial team that will help you perfect your piece to meet Practical Wanderlust’s guidelines by collaborating with you on a round of edits. You’ll know exactly what to change and why. Our goal is to help you learn and even improve your writing skills by working through the editing process!
Things to Avoid
Want a better chance of getting your pitch accepted? Here are a few things we look for that make us side-eye and hover our mouse over the “delete” button. Please avoid these in your pitch and draft!
- The phrase “truly something for everyone.” Don’t tell us how your destination is for everyone. We don’t want that. At all. Tell us how it’s perfect for OUR READERS specifically. (Our readers, FWIW, are millennials without kids living in the USA and traveling on a budget. They are interested in responsible travel, cultural travel, soft adventure, and foodie travel.) So, if you catch yourself typing the phrase “something for everyone,” immediately delete it and rewrite that sentence.
- The phrase “you’re sure to.” This just drives us nuts. It’s a passive-voice jumble of words that doesn’t really say anything. Don’t say “you’re sure to enjoy the food at this restaurant;” tell us what to order, and then describe it in mouth-watering detail. The more specific and succinct, the better!
- The phrase “if you’re looking for” or “if you want.” Assume our readers do not know what they’re looking for or what they want. That’s where you come in: your job is to tell them exactly what they SHOULD do in a destination, rather than offering them choices based on their personal preferences. You are the expert, and you are the best source of information: be firm with your recommendations!
- Using cliches instead of using specifics. Please avoid travel cliches or generic descriptions that don’t actually say anything, and instead use as many specifics as possible. After all, what makes you want to visit: “This restaurant has a great vibe, and it’s one of my favorite places to eat in [destination]” versus “The brightly colored Spanish-tile floors and salsa music will make you want to get up and dance – and so will the gooey grilled cheese paella topped with crispy shallots!” Also, please do not describe a place as “Instagrammable” without also including specific details as to what exactly about it is appealing.
- Activities for kids. Our readers don’t typically have kids, so we don’t suggest kid or family-friendly things to do. There are a ton of fantastic family-friendly travel blogs out there, but we aren’t one of them!
- Luxury. Our readers don’t have that kind of skrill, so please, leave the suggestions for luxury resorts and pricey hotels for someone else.
- Activities that aren’t unique to your destination. Whether you’re suggesting a restaurant, museum, or tour, it needs to be unique to your destination. Please avoid recommending non-local chains, and please refrain from suggesting something generic, like a bowling alley or zoo – unless that bowling alley or zoo is unique and well-known in your destination, like the historic duck-pin bowling alley in Indianapolis or the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
- Activities that are better suited for residents than tourists. The things you do in your hometown as a resident are not necessarily the things that a visitor to your hometown would want to do. Your favorite local bar and your favorite local grocery store are all fantastic neighborhood amenities, but please consider whether they’re really worth recommending a first-time visitor.
Send Us a Pitch!
Have an idea? We want to hear it! You can pitch us using the form below.
If you’ve already got a draft for us to review, we prefer to receive drafts as a shared Google doc, and even better, we’d love it if you could create a shared Google Drive folder that includes your photos! You can send those along with your email.
Here’s what to expect when you email us:
- If your pitch is a good fit, our editorial team will be in touch to let you know we’d like to move forward. We will provide you with a keyword and an outline to create your post around. Please make sure your post fits this keyword and the outline we’ve provided, otherwise, we won’t be able to publish it.
- Our editorial team will go through 1-2 rounds of edits to help you tailor your post to our needs. If by round 2 your post isn’t where we need it to be, we unfortunately won’t be able to move forward. We try not to make you jump through hoops if we don’t intend on publishing your post, but please be aware that it does happen.
- After you’re finished with your edits, sit back and relax! We are hard at work putting the finishing touches on your post. We’ll be in touch when it’s live, and you can share it with everyone you know 😉
- After the post is published, it will be up forever and ever. Chances are we’ll be going into edit it regularly to keep things up to date. Spot an inaccuracy or want us to make a change? We can’t make any promises, but please just let us know and we’ll do our best!
Please note that we will try to limit edits to your post as much as possible, but we reserve the right to make changes to fit the tone, voice, or narrative flow of your post to fit our site. Whenever possible we will ask you for edits before we make our own changes.
Oh, and this is important: once you’ve created a blog post for us, you cannot republish it anywhere else, including on your own site.
Ok – I think we’ve covered everything. Still with us? Yay! We’re looking forward to reading your pitch!