By Roberta Beach Jacobson

Transitions Abroad (TA) has been around since 1977, which was right around the time I happened to relocate abroad. So I’ve been an avid reader and contributor for years.

I started my association with TA by sending short tips to the Info Exchange page (250 words max). However, this publication requires you to think beyond conventional tourism… even with tips about bargains!

You’ll discover a whole new world when you open a copy of Transitions Abroad magazine. It’s about people and cultures, and many of the writers are themselves living overseas — serving in the Peace Corps in Russia or studying at a university in Japan or teaching English in rural China…

The editors bill the magazine as “a planning guide for cultural immersion travel,” and they want nuts and bolts about independent travel in every article. (Most are about studying, working, or living abroad.) You’ll rarely find an article that doesn’t have a sidebar and a few Web resources listed, providing practical details.

Most articles run 800-1000 words, though 1500 is the absolute maximum.

You can query or send a finished manuscript. The editors will get back to you in about four to six weeks. You’ll need a short bio note at the end of your article, including your e-mail as the magazine publishes these bio notes so readers can contact the writers. (I still get occasional questions or comments to my TA articles that ran years back!)

Start by having a look at the comprehensive guidelines for writers:

While there, scroll down and pay close attention to the editorial schedule at the end. Besides specific themes, you’ll see issues are also pegged to geographical locations. So if you have an idea for an article — see if it fits into the editors’ plan for the year. If it does, mention in your note to the editor the issue for which you think it might be best-suited.

A couple of tips —

1. You’ll do well with niche coverage for this market. Think ecotourism, senior travel, women’s travel, educational travel, disability travel…

2. You still have a chance to write for this publication even if you don’t go abroad. Abroad at Home is a department highlighting how some forms of art bridge cultures. These articles are 1000 words and cover things such as music, film, cuisine, etc.

The most efficient way to work with the editors at TA is through email ( You can expect to use email for both text and photos for this magazine — unless you prefer to send your prints, slides, or a photo disk by regular mail. If you do, the postal address is: Transitions Abroad, P.O. Box 745, Bennington, VT 05201

Speaking of photos, the editors’ greatest photo need is shots of people for the covers (pay is $125 – $150). They buy one-time rights.

Inside photos will get you $25 and you’ll find complete photo guidelines at:

The magazine pays $2 per column inch (about 50-55 words) and is paid on publication. You’ll also receive two copies of the issue.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

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