Guidelines

Background

AFAR is the multi-platform travel media brand that inspires and guides travelers to have deeper, richer, and more fulfilling experiences—whether on a yearlong odyssey, a two-week vacation, a weekend getaway, a business trip, or a Sunday afternoon in their own city.

AFAR’s readers are curious, sophisticated, optimistic, intelligent, and open-minded. They travel a lot, both for work and for pleasure. They are discerning, and desire meaningful, authentic, and transformational experiences that align with their values. They enjoy venturing off the beaten path, especially in places that are on the beaten path.

The Wayfarer is AFAR’s original online content initiative. We publish fresh, timely, and positive stories that inspire and inform readers, answering the questions: Where should I go next? What’s new and interesting? As a regular traveler, what do I need to know?

What to pitch

Some travel topics we are particularly interested in:
Experiential
Food
Culture
Luxury
Solo
Family/multi-gen
Retirement
LGBT
Adventure/outdoors
Environmental/sustainable/voluntourism
Tech

We accept pitches that fall into the following loosely defined (and not exhaustive) categories:

Insider guides
Street-level recommendations for what to do and where to eat/drink/shop/stay in specific blocks, neighborhoods, cities, and countries.
– 6 Ways to Eat in Stockholm on the Cheap

Hotspots & travel trends
Where to go NOW, why, how, and what to do when you’re there.
– The Trendiest Travel Destinations—and Where to Go Next
– This Hotel Will Change the Way You Look at Cancun

Topical & timely
Travel stories that are interesting or relevant because of timeliness / what’s in the news.
– What It’s Actually Like to Travel to Greece Right Now
– Celebrating Oktoberfest during the Refugee Crisis

How to / What to do if…
Stories that illustrate practical/philosophical approaches to travel.
– How to Choose a Yoga Retreat
– What to Do If You Lose Your Passport
– What to Do When Your Flight is Canceled

Cultural exploration
Stories that cast light on culture around the world.
– 8 Surprising Things That Are Actually Offensive in Europe
– How to Haggle without Being a Jerk
– What to Expect When Traveling to the Middle East during Ramadan

Commentary & opinion
Thoughtful commentary on an issue that affects travelers.
– Are Selfie Sticks Ruining Travel?
– Why You Should Throw Out Your Bucket List

Personal essays & longform
Lightly reported, atmospheric travelogues that speak to the question of where to go now and why; evocative and thought-provoking essays that get into the mind and philosophy of the experiential traveler.
– What I Learned during the Honey Harvest in Portland
– Why We Travel for the Food
– What It’s Actually Like to be a Travel Writer

Tone & voice

A Wayfarer story should have a definite point of view but not be earnest or preachy. The tone should be inviting, personable, thoughtful, sophisticated, and reliable, but also fun.

  • Keep the language crisp; be forthright, not ornate.
  • Do not stray from the subject; omit the extraneous.
  • Favor the active voice and shun streams of polysyllables and prepositional phrases.
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short, and vary the structure of both.
  • Be frugal in the use of adjectives and adverbs; let nouns and verbs show their own power.
  • Avoid clichés and marketing-style language.
  • Unless it’s a personal essay, avoid unnecessary first person.

Practicalities

Before pitching a story idea, read all these guidelines, and check to see whether we have already covered the topic (or similar).

Consider the following questions: What does this story offer a traveler? What makes this an AFAR story? What makes this story exceptional?

Pitch a specific, fleshed out story idea. Not: “I’m going to Tokyo do you want me to write something?”

Stick to just one story pitch per email, not a whole list of ideas.

Give a rough idea of timeline and suggested format. Where appropriate, we like stories broken into subsections. For example: The Trendiest Travel Destinations—and Where to Go Next & What I Learned during the Honey Harvest in Portland

Word count will typically be around 500–1000 words. Exceptions may be possible, depending on the story.

Tell us if you can provide images—either your own or whether you can source from elsewhere. If the latter, we will need proof that you have permission to use the image; if it is from the Creative Commons, we will need the link.

Pay is competitive for online-only publication, and will be based on story type/format, length, images, and contributor experience.

If commissioned, you must be available for rounds of feedback and editing.

Send pitches in the body of an email to wayfarer@afar.com.

If you don’t hear from us within three weeks feel free to follow up again by email.

Good luck!