Travel Writer’s Guidelines

A guest editor’s summary that makes it easy to write for GoNOMAD Travel

By Roberta Beach Jacobson
For The Write Way to Travel

Editor Max Hartshorne of the GoNomad travel website wants unique, entertaining coverage about travel experiences or destinations. To make him happy,  a travel writer should think snappy. He isn’t accepting “guest posts”, which are simply ways to get links on our website. No, that’s not what we are looking for.

If you write for GoNOMAD, it’s best to avoid guidebook lingo, promotional hype, and extra fluff.

[Ed. Note: See “Do you suffer from “Travel Speak?” in the travel writing resources below.]

Give him oodles of specifics – details folks would need to really get the most out of a trip to the destination you are covering, everything arranged in short paragraphs with plenty of sub-heads to keep readers riveted. Typical travel articles run anywhere from 1200 to 2,000 words.

Don’t write in the present tense. Really. That only worked for the late Anthony Bourdain, but not for you.

Use these as examples of how to write for GoNOMAD.

Our Ten Best Stories of 2023

Our Ten Best Stories of 2022

Our Ten Best Stories of 2021

Our Ten Best Stories of 2020

Our Ten Best Stories of 2019

Our Ten Best Stories of 2018

GoNOMAD solicits several types of articles:

1.) A first-person account of a unique trip (known as “Journeys” – sidebar information is required for this type of piece) or

2.) A “Destination Mini-Guide” to a favorite region or city.

I did a mini-guide to our little Greek island. You can read what I wrote here.

And the good news is that for a mini-guide piece, GoNOMAD supplies you with a template of what to write about, which makes the job that much easier.

You’ll have to sniff out tons of little facts and details to chalk up a sale to GoNomad.

I had to hunt down telephone numbers for cafes, hotels, and restaurants as well as website addresses for businesses and local activities that I covered in my piece. It’s a lot of effort for the $25 offered, but I rarely refuse a travel-writing challenge because of the pay rate. After all, it’s another by-line and a clip to add to my portfolio!

Don’t get the impression Max wants you to supply him with nothing but a bunch of facts. He encourages writers to get creative. You can submit photos too (sent in.jpeg or.gif). However, your photos will need very detailed captions. And here’s a novel idea: You can also send him sound clips (mp3). Here are Max’s sound clips

If you’re interested in writing for GoNomad, you should write a query letter first, and keep it to a single page. Query Max at

However, before you begin, I’d recommend that you read the site’s comprehensive guidelines for writers here. (The longer version).

The photos are important…try to shoot the things you mention in your story, don’t leave us guessing what it looked like. Remember it’s good to have people in the photos as well as the buildings and the scenery.

Here’s a tip to help get you to the top of GoNomad’s query list. If you put a link on your personal website that goes either to GoNOMAD’s guidelines or to a particular story, your query gets scooted up to the head of the waiting list!

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