Welcome to the Friday Freebie Five, a new weekly feature on Dream of Travel Writing’s Six Figure Travel Writer blog.

Each week, we comb our Travel Magazine Database to bring you five magazine sections open to freelancers around a theme–front-of-book trend pieces, long-form first-person features, short narrative postcards–to inspire your pitches.

Travel + Leisure

“Beyond” is a compilation of stories surrounding a personal experience by the author in a specific destination. A recent issue focused on the destinations of Mexico, Croatia, Vermont, England, and Denmark. For example, “At Home on Hvar” is about the author’s perspective on Hvar, Croatia from when he visited as a college student and how it changed (and didn’t) when he returned years later. The articles in this section are approximately either 1,500 or 500 words long and are written in first or third person.

Discovery (Cathay Pacific)

“Wordly Wise” is a collection of 11 short travel profiles, focusing on either a place, food, or fashion style, with one Hong Kong-centric essay. Most of these are written by editorial staff, but two to three are usually written by freelancers. Recent examples include “Lessons from the Konger Kids” (the writer reflects on raising his children in Hong Kong), “The Ballad of the Birkin” (a history of the iconic birkin bag), and “The Light Show” (about the bioluminescence of Puerto Rico’s Bio Bay). These articles are approximately 50-to-300 words and are written in either first or third person.

The National (Amtrak)

“Train of Thought” is a personal essay written in the first person around a topic related to train travel. This is the very last section of the magazine, and runs about 500 words in length. Past essay titles include, “Spotting (and not spotting) the famous on the Northeast Corridor” and “On the Southerner Line: For a boy growing up in Mississippi, having a grandfather as a conductor was a window on the world.”

National Geographic Traveler

“Obsessions” explores an aspect of travel or culture that the writer is obsessed with. It’s written in first person and is about 1,000 words long. Examples from recent issues include “Breakfast” (about the writer’s obsession with kaya, a Singaporean breakfast including the story of how he became so passionate about it) and “Vikings” (about the writer’s obsession with Vikings including her travels to Norway and Iceland to find out more about their culture). There is often a sidebar to accompany the article which, in about 100 words, provides further information on the topic. For example, for “Breakfast” the sidebar highlights three breakfast spots in Singapore and for “Vikings” it highlights two further activities where you can learn more about them.

Southwest: The Magazine

“Point of View” is a personal essay of 3,000 to 3,500 words that tells the story of particular character in a way that challenges the reader to consider the topic in a different light. One example is, “Superhero Worship,” the story of a sports writer’s assumption that his son would inherit a love for sports, but faces the realization that he will instead need to attend comic book conventions. Another example is, “Your Cold, Cold Heart,” an essay detailing the story of a scientist who discovered a controversial method to save thousands of cardiac arrest victims with ice.

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11 full travel magazine database breakdowns

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