Live the dream, find out how to get paid to travel.
Are you tired of sitting in your stuffy cubicle? Does your day-to-day routine feel like you're stuck on a hamster wheel?
It might be time for a change.
Instead, imagine exploring mysterious canyons. Burying your toes in the sand. Letting Old Man Winter nip at your nose. Trying different foods and exotic flavors… All while getting paid for it.
No, we're not kidding. People are learning how to get paid to travel so they can take their lives to the roads, skies, and seas. More people are trading their office cages for a life of adventure.
Do you want to join your fellow travelers? Before you pack your bags, stick around. We'll show you how.
Everything to Know About How to Get Paid to Travel
How Can I Travel And Make Money?
There are so many ways to cultivate your adventurous spirit and make money while doing it. In the following sections, we're exploring:
- The different jobs you can work while traveling
- How to make money with a travel blog
- How to make money on Instagram
- and much more!
What Jobs Can I Do While Traveling?
While many people think you can get paid to travel and party, reality doesn't exactly work like that. Regardless of whichever route you travel, you still need to work for your new lifestyle and career. Below, we're listing some get paid to travel jobs that might interest you:
Work a Cruise Ship
If you have the affinity for the ocean, working on a cruise ship for you. Landing a job on a cruise ship can take you to many places — from icy Alaska to the sun-kissed beaches of Cancun. And there are tons of perks from working on a cruise ship:
- Free room and board
- Gym access
- Participating in cruise activities
- Amazing views
- And of course, exploring new places
So, what type of jobs can you expect to do while working on a cruise ship? I'm guessing you don't have the credentials and training to captain your own boat. Fortunately, there are other options:
- Excursion guides
- Entertainers (most cruises don't have reliable Wi-Fi and guests need distractions other than the buffet!)
- Line cook/kitchen staff
Seasonal Jobs in Tourist Spots
There are popular tourist destinations that need extra hands on deck during peak season. For example, a ski resort will require additional support during winter, and a beach resort in Thailand will likely need help during the warmer seasons. Sites like Resortjobs.com and CoolWorks.com will help you find gigs in places you want to visit.
Here's an example of a job listing from CoolWorks.com:
The only educational requirements are a high school diploma or general education degree. And free housing and meals are included! Jobs like this allow you to travel to different locations, enjoy added perks, and make money.
Credit: The Cut
Did you know that some companies will hire you to pose as a regular customer? Your job is to evaluate your experience when buying a product or service within that company. The Cut shared the story of one music teacher who was able to travel and get paid as a mystery shopper. One of her mystery shopping assignments included a ski resort in Utah, which was "one of the best weekends of [her] adult life." She went to the spa, had a stone massage, ate at various restaurants, and enrolled in ski school. The best part: they were all paid for!
Get Paid to Travel and Review Hotels 2020
"How can I get paid to travel for free?" you might ask. If you're lucky, you can find hotels that will pay you to stay in their lodgings. That's right! You get to book a hotel room, enjoy their services, and get paid for it.
Don't believe me? Here's an opportunity from Travel and Leisure:
"The job is simple: travel to six incredible hotel properties, sip on fruity drinks, snap some photos, report back to reward-loving Hotels.com fans."
And Hotel.com will cover your travel and lodging expenses, which includes staying at their hotels in Hawaii, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, and Miami. Hotels.com is just one of many companies that pay you to travel. Keep an eye out, and you may find a lucky, all-expenses-paid, lifetime opportunity!
Teach English Abroad
This one isn't new, but it's still one way many people get paid to travel abroad. If you have the patience and enjoy a challenge, you can teach English to students in different countries. But there are a few qualifications to be mindful of:
- You don't need a teaching license, but you'll likely require a Bachelor's degree
- TESOL, TEFL, or CELTA certification (which can be completed in a few months)
If you're an expert within your field, schools and businesses may ask you to speak at one of their events. Many motivational speakers get to share their thoughts and work with people around the world. People, like:
- Tony Robbins, Motivational Speaker and Life Coach
- Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia
- Josh Linkner, founder of ePrize
- Nick Vujicic, Motivational Speaker
- David Meltzer, CEO of Sports 1 Marketing
- Todd Herman, Global Leader in Peak Performance
When agreeing on your fee, you may even be able to negotiate your travel expenses. Public speaking is a great way to expand your brand while getting paid to travel.
Become a Digital Nomad
In this digital age, a brick and mortar location isn't a requirement of doing business. You can take your entire business online (and make a lot of money doing so). The exciting part of building an online business is location freedom. Whether it's dropshipping or starting an online store, you can run your business while traveling the world — so long as you have access to stable Wi-Fi.
Freelance While You Travel the World
You can also consider building a freelance business. If you have a high-ROI skill, like copywriting or marketing, you can monetize it and work with different companies — again, all online! Leverage online marketplaces, like Upwork and Fiverr, to gain experience and build your portfolio. You can work paid gigs, doing nearly anything from social media marketing to SEO keyword research.
If you want to integrate traveling into your full-time career, consider becoming a flight attendant. According to Glassdoor, flight attendants get paid an average base pay of $41,881 per year. With that, you get to fly all around the world, traveling to different countries.
You should know, however, that being a flight attendant is hard work that requires tons of training and patience. Sleep deprivation, standing on your feet for long periods, and demanding passengers are also part of the job. But if you're a customer service professional that wants to nurture your adventurous spirit, then flight attending may be a good fit for you.
Credit: Daily Mail
Private Island Caretaker
Forget about the hotels in Hawaii and Malibu. How about getting paid to live on a gorgeous island? Daily Mail shared a nearly unbelievable travel opportunity: being the caretaker for the breathtaking isle of Skye. Skye is the most northerly island in the Inner Hebrides. It's home to lush wildlife surrounded by lapping ocean waters.
Perks of the job?
- You and your partner get to live on the isle from April 2020 to October 2020
- £1,200 each per month
- Free private accommodations
- Exploring medieval castles
- Taking scenic boat rides
- Breathing in all that fresh air
But what does the job entail? Well, you must manage a remote apartment that serves tourists. Of course, this means delivering impeccable customer service, maintaining facilities, and giving tours of the island.
It sounds like a fantastic opportunity, right?
Less Conventional Jobs
The above list is some typical jobs available. If you're looking for something adventurous and less conventional, The Story Pedia has some intriguing travel job recommendations:
- Food Stylist: Capturing exotic foods in the best possible light.
- Video Game Player: Work with video game companies on how to improve their upcoming releases.
- Water Slide Tester: Yes, this is real and is not for those who can't swim or fear heights.
- Disneyland Character: There are 12 Disneylands in the world, including Tokyo, Paris, and Shanghai. They need people who can dress up in costume and interact with guests
- Ice Cream Taster: A sweet tooth's dream job, am I right?
Create a Travel Blog
You've seen a lot of them popping up online. You're amazed by breathtaking shots of landscapes. You're captivated by waterfall jumps captured by Go-Pros.
If they can do it, why can't you? So, how do you start a travel blog?
While you can certainly make money from travel blogging, the income isn't as straightforward as working for a company and collecting a paycheck. There are specific steps you must take to:
- Start your blog
- Grow your blog
- Monetize your blog
But first things first. If you want to document your travels, you'll need to fund your adventures.
Save Money to Travel
Traveling can get costly, and unless you have a hefty trust fund, you'll need to figure out how to come up with the money. When you boil it down, there are two ways:
- Increase your income
- Downsize your lifestyle to live on less
It's not a glamorous answer, but it is the most realistic. To increase your income, consider starting a side hustle to supplement your income. For example, you can get paid selling Amazon liquidation pallets or learn about storage unit auctions.
Credit: Twenty-Two Words
Let's not forget saving. Whether you're a minimalist backpacker or want to live large, how you save will help you meet your goals. Twenty-Two Words has compiled a list of travel hacks from travel influencer Ciara Johnson "who quit her corporate HR job to travel the world." Here are her top tips:
- Check out Google Flights for significant savings on flights
- Compare prices for different airports
- Search flight prices often — they change every day
- Try booking your trip at least three months in advance
- Location matters — Areas like Mexico, Central America and Southeast Asian tend to be less expensive than Australia and Western Europe
Document Your Adventures
If you've perused any travel blog, the reading experience is almost always visual. Travel blogs tend to feature high-quality photos of the different places these bloggers visited.
If you're serious about building a business through your travel blog, consider investing in a camera. With a high-quality camera, you can better document your adventures. You may also want to invest in cameras with recording features or a Go-Pro. The different angles and dynamic movements will help distinguish your content from other travel blogs.
While photography and videography tend to be central focuses on travel blogs, written content also holds significance. Content marketing will help you rank on search engines and deliver value to your readers.
Grow Your Audience
The best way to make money from your travel blog is first to build an audience. These days, creating a website and publishing a blog post is easy. But growing an engaged audience? That takes time.
Starting out, you may have only a handful of readers. You might even wonder if it's worth publishing when there are barely any eyes on your content. But that's all part of the blogging process
Even when you feel like nobody is listening and you're talking to yourself, you must continue to publish consistently. It may be slow, but consistency and determination will reward you over the long-term.
Growth Hacks for Your Travel Blog
Although, there are some "growth hacks," you can use like:
- Facebook groups and ads
- Connecting with influencers
- Guest blogging
- Building a presence on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook)
But none of these will replace publishing consistently. After all, even the best marketing tactics will fail if you don't have high-quality content to promote. And when you start growing your audience, you prime your travel blog for money-making opportunities.
So, how does one make money from their travel blog? Let's take a look.
How Do Travel Bloggers Get Paid?
Unlike a traditional job, many bloggers cultivate multiple income streams within their blogs. Here are a couple of ways travel bloggers make money:
Right now, social media is prevalent. If your website is gaining traction, you have an engaged email list, and you're killing it on social media, companies will notice. When you've reached this level, travel companies may invite you to join their brand ambassadorship programs. That means they will pay you to travel to their location and enjoy their venues. In return, you'll advertise the company on your blog and social media accounts.
Sponsored Blog Posts
If a company pays you to publish an article on your blog, that's called a sponsored blog post. Sometimes, you'll reach out to companies to feature them on your blog. Companies may also reach out to you to pitch an article. This monetization technique overlaps with influencer marketing because companies are leveraging your blog and audience to drive traffic to their business.
What are some examples of sponsored blog posts? A travel backpack company may want to publish a blog post that highlights the backpack functionality and features. Or a travel company may pitch an article that shows off their newest resort.
Affiliate marketing is getting paid a commission for referring a customer. For example, if your reader reads your article about Product X, clicks your affiliate link and buys the product, you'll get a 10% commission.
This monetization tactic is useful when you have a large and engaged audience. The more eyes on your article, the more opportunities you have to refer a customer to a brand you trust. And there are so many companies who will partner with you. In the travel industry, you can refer customers for:
- Photography equipment
- Favorite travel gear
- Online course recommendations
- Books and more
Freelance Travel Photography
Since you're likely snapping photos of your adventures, why not learn how to get paid with photography? Freelance travel photography is a side hustle that complements traveling. If you capture high-quality images, you can license your travel photography for commercial use.
Essentially, you get paid to travel and take photos. The type of buyers you can expect to work with include:
Business That Will Pay You for Your Travel Photography:
- Tour companies
- Outdoor brands
- Travel magazines
- Book published
- Maybe even National Geographic!
A country's tourism board may invite you to visit their country and document your experiences. In some cases, you'll get your travel, hotel, and tourist activities covered. Your job is to produce or publish marketing materials, such as blog posts and social media content, that will drive business to their country.
Google Adsense has been around for a long time, and it's an easy way to boost your profits. When you sign up for Google Adsense, you allow Google to post ads on your website and YouTube channel. Google pays you a certain amount based on how many clicks the ads get. Since profit depends on the number of clicks, your traffic size will influence how much revenue you generate.
Create Digital Products
If you're a seasoned traveler and become a successful blogger, you can package your knowledge into a product and sell it. For example, you can create an online course on travel budgeting. Or you can write an autobiographical eBook that documents your various journeys and self-publish on Amazon. The more authority you build, the more valuable your knowledge becomes, which increases the likelihood one of your readers will buy from you.
How Do I Start A Travel Blog Without Traveling?
Believe it or not: you actually don't have to travel if you want to run a successful travel blog. While documenting your personal journeys adds texture and personability, it isn't exactly necessary. You can build a successful travel blog from the comfort of your own home!
Blog About Your Local Area
You don't need to jump from a waterfall in Costa Rica or navigate through red canyons in Utah. You can blog about your city. This is useful if you're ranking for local SEO. For example, you can start a list post that compiles the best restaurants in Miami, Florida, or hotel reviews in Fayetteville, Georgia. Your blog can cater to people who want to travel to your area.
Create a Service that Makes Traveling Easier for Other People
As we mentioned earlier, your travel website doesn't need to document your personal travels to be successful. Instead, you can create upfront value by making travel easier for other people. That's what Jeff and Katie did.
Jeff and Katie run a family-run small business whose commission data has been featured in travel news outlets. They have two websites that service travelers going to New York City and Washington, D.C. They help people discover where to stay in Washington. D.C. and hotels near NYC close to public transit options like the train, ferry, bus, or subway.
Their success is thanks to organic search, YouTube, Pinterest, and even Chatbot technology to streamline their business and increase its profitability. "Set small goals and work in sprints. Use Ahrefs.com and learn how to find out what keywords people search for and how hard it will be to obtain traffic from those keywords," they explain.
And their success isn't about painting an entire lifestyle like many travel blogs. "As for travel, go deep, don't be a lifestyle blogger, be a problem solver," the couple says. "Work with TripAdvisor as your affiliate partner. Through keyword research, develop a deep understanding of what types of travelers need help. "
Their travel website is all about offering value, delivering useful information, and answering questions.
Blog About the Not-So-Exciting Aspects of Traveling
There is a need for content that covers the unglamorous parts of traveling. For example, readers will want to know:
Unglamorous Travel Topics
- How to budget for a trip
- How to survive a 10-hour flight
- What you need to know before spending one year abroad
- How to get paid to travel blog tips
Your content doesn't always have to revolve around the actual locations. You can still create useful material about the seemingly mundane parts of traveling.
Accept Guest Posts
Want to publish content about locations you've never visited? Start accepting guest posts. For travel blogs, guest posts are like outsourcing your traveling to somebody else. Chances are, somebody has traveled to a place you haven't been before. You can share that person's experience with your audience.
Milk Your Past Travel Experiences for All They're Worth
If you've traveled to one place, you can stretch that single traveling experience into an entire series of content. Let's say you went to New Zealand last year. From that experience alone, you can publish:
- Pros and cons of traveling to New Zealand
- The best places to visit in New Zealand
- Tourist Spot #1 Review
- Tourist Spot #2 Review
- Favorite restaurants in New Zealand
- Sites to avoid in New Zealand
- Surprising facts about New Zealand
- Hotel reviews
Just from traveling to New Zealand, you already have eight topics to write about. If you publish once per week, you have enough blog posts for about two months.
Don't think that you need to travel somewhere new every month to generate content for your blog and social media accounts.
What Is The Salary Of A Travel Blogger?
How Much Do You Get Paid To Travel The World? (as a Travel Blogger)
So, you want to know how much a travel blogger makes. Honestly, it's difficult to nail a ballpark figure because circumstances vary among travel bloggers. The amount a blogger makes depends on whether they work on it part-time or full-time, and how long they've been blogging. Just to provide a number, Zip Recruiters' approximates a travel blogger makes $63,173 annually nationwide.
Who is the Highest Paid Blogger?
The national average is $63,173, but you can find bloggers making well above this figure. Museuly has compiled a list of the highest-paid travel bloggers:
- Matt Kepnes from Nomadic Matt – $50K+ per month
- Johnny Ward of OneStep4Ward.com ($20,000 to $25,000 per month)
- Dave & Deb of The Planet D ($15,000 to $20,000 per month)
- Earl of WanderingEarl.com ($12,000 per month)
- Monica of The Travel Hack ($10,000 per month)
If you want to start your own travel blog and make $50,000 monthly like Matt Kepnes, study them. Dedicate time to visit these blogs and observe what they're doing right. Subscribe to their email lists and note what type of content they're publishing.
Then incorporate what you learn into your own blog. Also, ask yourself how you can do something better or different? The number of travel blogs is increasing every day. You'll need to find some way to distinguish your brand from the competition.
How Can I Make Lots Of Money?
Making a lot of money as a travel blogger is about treating your blog like a business. Running a blog isn't something you can just do when you feel like it or when you have free time. Instead, making a lot of money blogging requires:
- Dedication to creating value
- Offering a unique selling point
Without consistency, you won't be able to grow your audience as fast as you'd like. Without creating value, you won't engage your customers. And without a unique selling point, you'll lose business to your competition.
Again, blogging is a lot of work. You'll need a game plan and discipline to grow your blog until it becomes profitable.
Build Your Business on Instagram
With the rise of social media, we're seeing some people ditch the blog and website and learning how to get paid to travel on Instagram. This, of course, gave rise to the term "Instagram Influencer."
And it's not a bad gig. Getting paid to be an Instagram travel influencer sounds like a dream. It also follows many of the steps to growing a blog.
Build an Audience
The number of followers you have fall under vanity metrics. And vanity metrics don't automatically indicate you'll make money. After all, you can have $1 million followers and not be making money. You can also have 100 superfans who will buy anything you're selling.
Still, on Instagram, the number of followers you have is a good indicator that you're captivating your audience. Also, it's useful for earning that blue "Verified" check icon next to your name, which boosts your credibility.
Publish Amazing Content (Consistently)
Of course, to grow your audience, you'll still need to publish amazing content. Since Instagram is very much a visual platform, you must focus on high-quality visual branding and content to rise above the noise. In an interview with Carla Bie Singer, Instagram influencer Lara (@your_passport) comments on the increased saturation:
"I think nowadays it's getting much tougher to get paid as there are loads and loads of new people trying to succeed in this business so the "competition" is quite high if you can call it that. We reached a point where we can live really good [sic] from our business, but it takes lots of effort, patience, and motivation. I think it will only go up from here, fingers crossed nothing can surprise us."
Reach out to Companies
Similar to growing a blog, you can start making money by partnering with different brands. What's exciting about being a travel influencer is that the travel industry intersects with various sectors. In addition to working with travel agencies, you can also partner with other brands in fashion, cosmetics, finance, and more.
You Can Travel AND Make Money
Getting paid to travel is no longer a dream. There are many ways to travel the world and make money, from becoming a mystery shopper to pursuing the digital nomad lifestyle. You can even make a full-time living through travel blogging — something almost unimaginable a decade ago.
Yet, don't think it will be easy. It will often be challenging to make your dreams a reality. But with hard work, discipline, and a little creativity, you can learn how to get paid to travel the world.
What it all boils down to is the drive to call our own shots - whether we’re home or traveling all over the globe. It’s that craving for freedom, for the financial and location independence people envy when they hear about people getting paid to travel. If that sounds like you, we’ve got something special for you. Check out this free training we created - it’ll help you get where you really want to go.