In Case You Were Wondering (Yes, This Is How I Finance My World Adventures), Here It Is!
The Question of How to Make Money While Traveling
For the past decade, I've been exploring the world, and the question I get asked the most is, "How do you make money traveling?" or "How do you make money off of travel?" As promised, here is my lengthy response:
After many years of hard work, I finally realized my dream job: working as a professional travel blogger and photographer.
But I can appreciate your interest Is this really how I'm getting paid to see the world?
My life may look like a never-ending series of exotic vacations to exotic locales like Costa Rica, Morocco, Antarctica, Iceland, and Afghanistan, but behind the scenes there's a lot more going on. If I'm going to survive, I need to find a way to contribute financially.
Specifically, how do I earn money? How do I save money for my trip? Does it appear that I have any sponsors? How am I going to afford this world tour?
You may not believe me, but it is possible. And now I shall demonstrate how
Earning Your Way Around The World In 2022
For the Record, This Is Not My Vehicle
Ways abound to make money while seeing the world. This travel blog I started ten years ago, the one you're reading right now, is how I put food on the table.
But I'll also list some alternative jobs that are suitable for those who like to travel at the end of this piece.
My personal income fluctuates from year to year, and some of my income streams are more involved than others. It usually takes me a while to explain in casual conversation how I am compensated to travel.
Instead of starting a long explanation, I'll often just say "travel writer" or "photographer." I'm basically a nomadic digital worker.
However, since this is the burning inquiry of the masses, I shall make an effort to explain the specifics to you today.
You'll find out the ins and outs of how I've been able to travel full-time for the past decade, and how I've been able to use a blog to turn that into an income.This is not my helicopter, by the way.
Getting PAID to See the World
In 2009, I made the decision to leave my job and travel the world indefinitely. The two of them were my inspiration. They were both traveling on a shoestring budget, spending less per day than the average American family.
Their pictures and accounts of travel to far-flung places captivated me completely. They got me hooked on travel literature and quotations.
I had no idea at the time that you could go on a year-long trip spending less than $1,000 per month. I'd never considered a trip on a budget before.
While I was in Europe, my friend Ferenc was traveling around Southeast Asia, using Google Adsense to monetize his photography website.
Katie, a friend of mine, was working as a chef on luxury yachts and traveling the Caribbean and Mediterranean.
If they could make a living on the road, I figured I could, too.
Put Away Cash For Vacation
Budgeting for Vacation
When it comes to American standards of wealth, neither my family nor I qualify. I was a single guy living in South Florida with two jobs and an annual income of around $30,000, putting me in the lower middle class in the United States.
How on earth am I supposed to save enough money to go around the world for a year if I only make that per month?
The truth is that I reduced my standard of living so that I could get by on even less money.
After finally clearing the balance on my car loan, I made the tough decision to part with it. After deciding to forego these expenses any longer, I terminated my auto insurance, fitness center membership, and Netflix membership. In order to get around, I invested in a used commuter bicycle, an umbrella, and a bus pass.
I got rid of nearly all of my valuable possessions. DJ equipment, stereos, and sports gear, farewell.
The same goes for me; I stopped frequenting entertainment establishments. Some of my best home-cooked meals have been pasta and rice. I opted to make my own inexpensive sandwich lunch.
When I first moved to the suburbs, I shared a small two-bedroom house with two other people and paid $400 a month to rent a small room.
By following these easy (albeit dull) steps, I was able to put away ,000 in a year. There was a need for self-control, and the experience wasn't exactly pleasurable.
The Daily Routine at Work
I spent a year working full-time to save for (what I thought would be) a 12-month trip through Central America, and I also spent that time building a side-hustle to supplement my income while I was gone.
I poured countless coffee-fueled hours into learning the ins and outs of the industry and building a base of customers for my ebooks before calling it a "real" business. Due to my inability to leave the house and focus on anything but my side business, my social life deteriorated.
However, at the time, my desire to travel was more important to me.
In addition to my savings, I was making between $1,000 and $2,000 per month from the sale of three nightlife industry how-to guides when I finally left for Guatemala in November of 2010.
My ebook side business slowed down after a few years, and I blame Google Adwords, an advertising platform that displays ads alongside search results. Because of Google's recent changes, my company has suffered greatly.
Thankfully, I had already started diversifying my income and was making money from my travel blog. , and have done so ever sinceHow a Typical Day in My Life Looks Like...
Present Blog Income Streams
1. Marketing with Influencers
Traveling is paid for thanks to the advertising revenue generated by my blog and social media pages. It can come in a variety of formats, such as paid blog posts, Instagram takes overs, ambassadorship programs, and newsletter plugs.
Because of my success in building a dedicated following of travelers, these businesses are eager to connect with my readers.
Partnerships with well-known brands such as American Express, Momondo, Citizen Watches, and Backcountry are just a few examples.
Whenever I'm working with a brand, I always make it clear in the post that I am doing so in exchange for compensation, and I only ever collaborate with brands that I truly respect and believe in.
2 Affiliate Marketing
When I recommend some of my favorite pieces of travel equipment, photographic tools, books, or online courses, I always include a link to my affiliate tracking page where you can purchase those items directly from me at no additional cost to you.
This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. There is no difference in cost if you use my referral link or not.
Find Cars, Get Your Guide Tours, Amazon, Backcountry, Booking, Airbnb, Adorama Photo, and countless others are just a few examples.
Many different products are represented by specialized affiliate networks like Share A Sale and Commission Junction.
Check out my Travel Gear Guide for an example of how I put my affiliate links to use!
The site receives 500,000 unique monthly visitors, so even though individual commissions are low, the overall revenue is high. People are really buying stuff through those links, so I can afford to travel.
Third, Independent Professional Vacation Photography
My photographs from around the world have been licensed for use in advertising and editorial projects. At times, my photographs are purchased by tour companies, national tourism boards, outdoor brands, magazines, book publishers, and others in the travel industry.
My travel photos have even been featured in National Geographic.
I don't make a lot of money off of selling prints of my travel photography. The majority of my photography gigs come from brands, travel companies, and media outlets that discover me online.
To supplement my photography income, I sometimes pursue unauthorized image users and demand that they purchase a license from me. Online copyright infringement is rampant, and I need to be compensated as the rightful owner of these photos. To accomplish this, I make use of a program called Ryde One.
4. Marketing for Vacation Spots
The tourism boards of various countries occasionally invite me to visit and write about my time there.
They used to be unpaid, but the media would pay for everything associated with the trip, including transportation, lodging, and meals.
The good news is that I am now being compensated for my time spent on the road for destination marketing initiatives. I usually hear from them, but I also occasionally make proposals.
Various forms of media such as blog posts, social media posts, photographs, and videos may be created during a campaign.
5. Advertisements on Display
Adsense is Google's system for displaying promotional content. They insert unique code into your blog that displays targeted advertisements directly within the text you've written.
Every time one of your readers clicks on one of these ads, you get paid. And because they're easy to incorporate into YouTube videos, that's where vloggers' real money is made.
Premium ad networks, such as Mediavine, can outperform Adsense in terms of revenue for popular blogs. Depending on the nature of your video, rates can range from $2 to $40 per 1000 views.
6 - Getting Paid to Speak in Public
Traveling the world and speaking at conferences and events related to your blog's topic is a great way to make money as a blogger. Well, in my case, I've given talks and hosted photography workshops centered on travel and the subject matter.
Many businesses are willing to pay for employees who can teach others through motivational and informative speeches. You can get hired for speaking engagements like these and others if you establish yourself as an authority in your field online.
How to Make Money While Traveling in Other Ways
Online employment and world travel
While I enjoy writing about my travels, there are other ways to monetize a blog. I'll give you a few more instances:
Travel Writing as a Freelance Profession
In the past, I've contributed travel pieces to various online publications. I had material to contribute, in the form of personal experiences and anecdotes, and they needed it. At one point, TravelChannel.com was one of my clients.
The money I made from it was inconsistent, but I know it can be a good source of income for others. Nowadays, I'd rather earn more by working on my own site than by writing for others, so I rarely go after that kind of money.
I've also dabbled in text-link advertising in the past. Businesses would pay me to include a link to their site in one of my older blog posts, or they would send me a fully-written "guest post" stuffed with links to publish.
Why To put it simply, it improves a company's visibility in search engine results, which in turn attracts more customers who spend more money and expands the company'
But Google expressly forbids this, so it's generally frowned upon.
Unfortunately, this strategy can backfire if you get caught by Google. This is still a common way for bloggers to monetize their sites, though, so I thought I'd bring it up.
Facilitating Group Activities
Some photographers and bloggers organize their own tours to far-flung locations or hold workshops for amateur photographers.
There are blogs dedicated to cheap destinations, specific cuisines, creative retreats, and photography tips, just to name a few. You're basically just showing total strangers around a place you know very well and teaching them something new.
It's no easy task to organize a tour, but the rewards can be substantial. Even though my adventure travel and photography tour of Russia was a success and a lot of fun for everyone involved, I doubt I will ever lead another one. I'm not really cut out to be a guide. LOL
Marketing Digital Products Like Books and Courses
Some bloggers make money by selling digital products in addition to writing about their travels. Either destination-specific guides or more general books on travel-related topics such as saving money, starting a blog, taking better photos, writing better stories, etc.
It's funny how ebook sales helped pay for my first year of travel, but I haven't made any in months. Having done this for so long, I have a lot of advice to share, so that may change in the future.
Approximately, how much do I earn per year?
When I travel and write about it, how much money can I expect to make?
That's right, I'm aware of that. You seem to be after specifics What is the rate of pay for trips abroad?
To ask someone their exact salary is a very personal question, and I'm not entirely comfortable sharing it here, but I can give you a ballpark figure.
In a typical year, this travel blog brings in well into the six figures.
I don't have a million dollars, but I also don't need to live in a cardboard box.
I come from very modest beginnings and continue to favor low-cost international travel. However, I am now in a position to save quite a bit of cash. My wife and I are new homeowners in Utah. It's okay to treat ourselves to pricey activities every once in a while.
Naturally, there are a lot of costs associated with keeping my business open. Hosting fees, camera equipment, transportation costs, etc.
Going places like Greenland and Antarctica on my own dime is an integral part of maintaining my travel blog, but no one has ever offered me money to do so.
Even now, I have no idea how much money I'll make each month because it varies from one month to the next. The disadvantages of being your own boss include having to deal with this. You give up some safety for more independence.
However, I value independence more than safety.
In the past decade, when I was just starting out as a travel blogger, there were a few times when I was down to my last $300 in the bank.
Taking chances in pursuit of your passion can be terrifying. I mean, it's scary as hell.
If things came to that, I know how to survive in a cave. :-)
Since I enjoy what I do so much, I plan on keeping on learning new things and working towards making my nomadic lifestyle permanent.
With enough time, effort, and focus, I believe anything is possible.
It's also important to have a healthy dose of risk-taking and the willingness to learn from your missteps.
Means of Financing Vacations
How to Make a Living While Exploring the World
I won't lie and say that earning a living on the road has been a breeze. In fact, it's the complete opposite As time has progressed, my workload has increased significantly.
I worked hard for ten years to build up this money, so it didn't appear out of thin air.
If you don't know how to blog professionally, these numbers may seem shocking. Blogging is more than a pastime, but it can be If run as a business, it has potential.
However, it should be expected that, like any business, expansion will take some time.
It would have been impossible for me to support myself for the first two years writing a travel blog.
Still, if you're set on finding a way to make money while you travel, I can suggest a few more excellent resources:
- My comprehensive guide to getting your very own travel blog up and running Blog, regardless of subject matter (cooking, hiking, fashion, etc.). )
- Forget about blogging; it's not one of the top travel jobs. Fortunately, there are numerous options for making money on the road.
- Not ready to leave your regular job but need some extra cash? How about I give you a few ways to make some extra cash on the side?
- Rolf Potts's book "Vagabonding" inspired me to become a "budget backpacker" and travel the world in search of adventure.
- Tim Ferriss's The 4-Hour Workweek is a practical guide to creating a life where you can work from anywhere in the world.
Thanks for reading my article, and I hope you now understand how I can afford to travel as much as I do (spoiler alert: I get paid to do so). )
It's been quite a ride thus far, and I'm constantly appreciative of the wonderful life I've been given. ★
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