BootsnAll Feature Articles

Note: We are accepting ideas for 2014 (see below to learn what specifically we are looking for).

BootsnAll is focusing all of our content on long-term, independent travel.

These articles must directly relate to the ideas of indie travel . Before you pitch any ideas, take a look at our Indie Travel Manifesto to see if your story seems like a good fit.

Here are some of the topics for features that we are currently looking for:

  • Possible Article Titles/Ideas: The following are titles/ideas of articles that appeal to us. Not all have to revolve around the written word, as we’d love to start utilizing more infographics and videos. The ideas can be fleshed out with our editor if any appeal to you. Are you the right person to write one (or more) of these? Pitch us and tell us why!
    • The Secret Life of Long-Term Travelers (A Day in the Life of a Long-Term Traveler
    • X Defining Stages of Planning Your RTW Trip
    • X Things You Probably Never Knew About Long-Term Travel
    • X Side Effects of Having Taken a Long-Term Trip
    • Why a Pro Travel Blogger Might Be the Best Job Ever
    • Why Everything You Think You Know About Travel Blogging is Wrong
    • X Powerful Quotes from Long-Term Travelers
    • A Video Guide to Packing For Your Long-Term Trip
    • How to Pack for Your Long-Term Trip Using Only a Carry-On
    • Travel Ads for People Who Hate Travel Ads (using infographics and/or videos)
    • How to Save Money for Long-Term Travel When You Are Poor
  • Follow Up to Existing Articles: Sometimes it’s smart to replicate or follow up what’s already worked. Here are some articles we’ve published on BootsnAll over the years that could use a follow-up article.
    • World’s Most Underrated Destinations: This popular article only has 6 countries, but there are countless other countries, cities, activities, food, etc. that this same type of article can work for. Pitch your idea!
    • Round the World Travel Budgets Revealed: The Real Costs of 11 Real TripsWe broke down 11 different travelers’ trips, but we want more! This first article was heavy on using travel bloggers, and we’d prefer to find more “regular” people to interview about their budgets. This could possibly be turned into a series.
    • How to Plan an Extended Trip in Southeast Asia: This article outlines how to plan an extended trip through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, but that’s only part of SE Asia. We’d love a follow up, using the same structure, for the rest of the region.
    • How to Plan an Extended Trip in South America: Same as above – we only broke down about half the continent and need a follow up covering the other countries in South America: Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Uruguay
    • How to Plan an Extended Trip in…: We also want to fill in the gaps in the other regions of the world we’re missing, like
      • Western Europe
      • Eastern Europe
      • Central Europe
      • Northern Africa
      • Southern Africa
      • Middle East
      • Northeast Asia
      • South Asia
      • Central Asia
      • Australia/New Zealand
      • USA/Canada
  • How I Saved: The biggest excuse reason people give for not being able to take a long-term trip is that they can’t afford it. We call bullshit on that, but the only way for those people to truly believe is to be able to relate to people in similar situations. Do you have a story to tell about how you saved the money for your big trip? Let us know and pitch your idea.
  • Traveler Interviews: Many people dream of taking a long-term, round the world trip, but they never take the leap of faith. One of the reasons, particularly for Americans, is that you might not have anyone to relate to because long-term travel isn’t part of the “American Dream.” If you are (or know) a long-term traveler who has an interesting story to tell that could inspire others to take that leap of faith, then pitch us the idea.
  • Transformational Stories:  Has travel had a major impact on your life?  Do you have an inspirational story to tell that might help others take that leap of faith and get out on the road?  Have you met someone extremely interesting and want to tell their story?  We want to hear those stories.  Here are some of our best and most successful transformational stories:
  • Point/Counterpoint Series:  We plan to launch a new series in 2014 called Point/Counterpoint.
    • The idea is simple – on Monday, we publish a practical, how-to type of article – like an article about Travel Insurance on your round the world trip.  Prior to publishing that article we would have two writers lined up to take different sides of the argument.
    • On Tuesday we would publish an article written by someone who thinks travel insurance unnecessary.  They would provide their viewpoint and explanations as to why.
    • On Wednesday we would publish the opposing article – someone who thinks travel insurance is 100% necessary for a long-term trip.
    • Then later that Wednesday afternoon, we would invite both writers to join us, on video, for #rtwchat on Twitter, a community event hosted by BootsnAll every week.
  • We always look for articles about long-term, round the world travel.  Have you taken a long-term trip and have tips and advice to share?  Can you inspire others to take a similar trip?  We have a lot of practical advice-type articles already, so if you are pitching a practical article, make sure it’s something we haven’t covered already. What we are really looking for going into 2014 are inspirational articles to share with our readers.  If you have any other unique ideas, we’re all ears!  Here are some of our most popular RTW Wednesday articles:
  • Destination specific articles:  We do still publish destination specific articles, but we won’t be publishing as many as years past. When we do, we want those to follow a specific template, whether it’s for a city, country, or region.  It’s imperative that you have actually traveled in the region you are pitching, so even if you are really good at researching, we want first-hand accounts and information about the place you are writing about. Make sure you check out the editorial calendar before pitching a destination specific article. If you don’t see a week devoted to the region/country/city you are pitching, don’t pitch it. Here are some examples of articles we are looking for:
When thinking of topic ideas, ask yourself these questions and be prepared to answer them when discussing your proposed article with the editor:
  • How does this idea promote long-term, indie travel?
  • How does it inspire people to take an indie trip?
  • How does it inspire people to change their lives?
  • Has this topic already been covered on BootsnAll or elsewhere on the web? (Do a google search and check our archives)
  • Could I tackle this topic in 2000-3000 words? If you’d need more, consider breaking it into sections. If your article would be significantly shorter, there’s probably not enough “meat” there for a feature.
  • Does this article prominently feature (or is it mostly about) a single hotel, tour, attraction, or experience? If so, it’s probably not the right fit. Same goes for if it’s extremely expensive or a trip that few people could recreate.

Photos

Accompanying photos are required for all articles and are just as important as the article itself. They don’t need to be your own though, and often photos from the Creative Commons are often better quality and complement the article better, so don’t feel compelled to use your own if they aren’t the best. I know it’s easy to fall in love with your own pictures, but you should always look through the Creative Commons for better pictures.

Gathering photos is often more difficult than you’d expect, so it’s a good idea to confirm that usable photos are available before an idea is pitched, or at least before writing begins. It’s not uncommon to spend just as much time looking for photos than it is writing the article, and we can and do reject well-written articles if the photos aren’t up to the same standard as the writing.

Number of photos per article:

All articles should be split up into subsections with subheadings, regardless of the topic.  You should plan on having at least one photo per subsection.

Feature Article Requirements & Rights Information

  • Word Count: 1200-2000 words is preferred, though the word count will actually relate more to the topic of the article and to the number of points covered within it. We will generally accept anything from 1200-4000.
  • Pay: $50 upon publication.
  • Photos: One big, beautiful, eye-catching photo (that tells the same story as the text) is required for each subheading. The photos don’t have to be yours – they just need to be Creative Commons licensed and allowed for commercial use.
  • Publication Rights: We are only interested in articles that aren’t yet published, and BootsnAll owns all future rights to the paid pieces you publish through us. If you prefer to maintain future rights, please submit your article through our unpaid articles program.

How to Submit a Feature Article Pitch

Information on how to submit a pitch is here.

Help for New Travel Writers

Travel writing sounds like a wonderful job, and in many ways it is. Because of this, there is limitless competition for paying jobs, and unfortunately, there is also huge competition among the publishers and companies, so pay tends to be low.

For some perspective on how things really work, we recommend reading Tim Leffel’s article discussing the Seven Myths of Being a Travel Writer. In addition to being helpful about how the industry works, it contains several tips that will help you figure out the sort of articles that we are looking for, as well as information that helps clarify what we can’t use.