Do Travel Influencers Really Get Paid to Travel the World?

Kristyn Snell (She/Her)

May 6, 2024

Those who love to travel tend to follow travel influencers on social media platforms. Living vicariously through these creators, following along on their trips to beautiful locations, and seeing their exciting excursions paid for by resorts and destinations makes many of us wish we were in their shoes. 

But there’s more to being a travel influencer than just hopping on a plane, getting a sun tan, and striking a pose—these skilled creators work hard in partnership with travel brands to highlight the destination through visual storytelling, blogging, content creation, and more.

Skills such as photography and videography are essential. Storytelling, social media, project management, adaptability, networking, negotiation, branding, and writing are too. 

Successful travel influencers don’t just happen upon their careers, they put significant time into learning skills, testing out what works and what doesn’t, and honing their personal brand to attract an engaged and dedicated following. 

So, do travel influencers really get paid to travel the world? 

You bet they do—but they work hard before, during, and after their trips to make it possible.

Find out more about travel influencers, their unique skill sets, responsibilities, and how to forge successful brand partnerships in the sections ahead.

What Is a Travel Influencer?

Travel influencers are different than other types of influencers in that they specialize in crafting content that highlights travel destinations, accommodations, services, products, and experiences. 

  • Destination Promotion: Travel influencers work with tourism boards to promote specific destinations or highlight what a destination offers at different times of the year.
  • Hotel & Accommodation Reviews: They often stay at resorts, hotels, or other types of accommodations provided by the hosts and share their experience with room tours, dining, amenities, and more.
  • Excursions & Activities: Whether participating in activities or providing a behind-the-scenes look at tourist attractions, travel influencers give their followers a close look at what these features are really like.
  • Content for Travel Brands: Creators often provide photography and video content to support brands’ marketing campaigns offering an alternative to large-scale commercial shoots.

They are storytellers, guides, and adventurers all rolled into one, offering their followers a virtual escape while showcasing the attractions of destinations around the globe. 

How Do Travel Influencers Make Money?

It’s easy to marvel at the idea that travel influencers get paid to travel the world, but the reality is they aren’t necessarily getting paid just to travel—they’re getting paid for all of the other work that comes with the main marketing goal of the destination or brand. 

Common marketing goals of travel brands include:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Boosting customer engagement
  • Enhancing brand loyalty and retention
  • Driving direct bookings
  • Expanding market reach
  • Improving online presence
  • Enhancing customer experience
  • Promoting sustainable travel

These goals can be further broken down into objectives such as increasing direct bookings by locals, boosting customer engagement of a certain demographic, and so on. 

Case Study: MODERNSPEAK x Coast Canmore Hotel

For example, in the MODERNSPEAK x Coast Canmore Hotel collaboration, the goal was to showcase how easy it is for locals to explore the wilderness in their own backyard. This campaign encouraged Alberta locals to visit Canmore for a mountain getaway. 

Over the course of the year, this brand partnership saw  22 creators document their stay and experience in the Canadian Rockies. The results? 1,480,000 impressions and 368 pieces of content for use in the brand’s social media channels. This generated significant hotel and conference centre awareness, driving direct bookings and awareness.

The Critical Role of Travel Influencers 

In the MODERNSPEAK x Coast Canmore Hotel case study, travel influencers helped the hotel meet specific marketing goals through content creation and visual storytelling. A comprehensive list of all the ways travel influencers monetize their work includes:


  • Content Creation for Travel Brands: Crafting unique content for brand campaigns.
  • Travel Blogging: Sharing detailed travel guides, personal experiences, and tips through their websites.
  • Visual Storytelling: Using platforms like Instagram and YouTube to share compelling videos and photos.
  • Publishing Books: Providing deeper insights into adventures in published form.
  • Sponsored Posts: Brand collaboration that promotes travel-related products and services.
  • Merchandising: Selling travel gear, accessories, or personalized merchandise.
  • Partnerships with Travel Brands: Working directly with airlines, hotels, and other travel services.
  • Online Courses & Workshops: Educating others about travel blogging or photography.
  • Affiliate Marketing: Earning commissions by linking to travel products or booking sites.

How Travel Influencers Can Forge Successful Brand Collaborations

Successful brand collaborations mean all parties involved are satisfied. The brands achieve their marketing goals, the travel influencers are fairly compensated, and the target audience loves the content. In cases like this, brands and influencers will likely go on to forge long-term relationships and generate future campaigns.

What are Brand Collaborations?

Brand collaborations are partnerships between brands and influencers. These two parties work together to promote a product, service, or the brand itself through the influencer’s channels and platforms. 

Leaning on the influencer’s credibility, creativity, and audience reach, they aim to achieve specific marketing goals such as increasing brand awareness or advertising a new service or experience. 

It’s the influencer’s job to come up with creative content that satisfies the goals of the brand while appealing to their own audience.

How to Navigate Brand Collaborations Effectively

More and more brands are turning to influencer marketing to reach specific marketing goals, which means influencers have never been in higher demand. This sets the groundwork for the potential of incredibly successful brand collaborations, but knowing how to navigate the relationships is key.

  1. Know Your Worth: Understand the value you bring to the table to ensure you’re compensated fairly.
  2. Identify the Right Partners: Choose brands with products or values that align with your personal brand.
  3. Set Clear Objectives: Clearly define what you and the brand aim to achieve from the partnership at the beginning.
  4. Negotiate Terms: Discuss expectations and deliverables to create an agreement that benefits both parties.
  5. Build a Co-Branding Strategy: Work together to create content that will resonate with both audiences.
  6. Execute & Coordinate: Get technical. Plan the logistics of your collaboration (ie. content creation, scheduling, deployment, communication, and more).
  7. Measure Success: Use analytics to assess the impact and reach of your campaign.
  8. Sustain Relationships: Keep a positive relationship with brands even after you’ve finished working with them. More opportunities may arise in the future.

Find a Travel Brand that Resonates with Your Followers 

It’s easy to look at the lives of travel influencers from behind a screen and only see the glamour. In reality, the skills, creativity, and hard work of these creators are where the real magic occurs. 

This is one of the main points we hope you take away from this—whether you’re just embarking on your influencer career or already have an established following. 

Another key takeaway? Choosing the right brand to partner with is crucial. That’s where MODERNSPEAK comes in. 

As experts in influencer management, we help travel influencers find the right brand collaborations. From developing creative briefs to managing the entire influencer marketing campaign, we’ll help you handle the intricacies of influencer-brand partnerships.

Get in touch with us today to learn how to take your career to the next level.


How many followers do you need to be an influencer?

There isn’t a set number, but influencers can start seeing opportunities with as few as 1,000 engaged followers. Micro-influencers and even nano-influencers are becoming increasingly popular.

Do all types of influencers get paid to travel?

Not all influencers get paid to travel. Travel influencers uniquely craft content centred around travelling and have engaged audiences that look forward to this. If other influencers partnered with a travel brand, their audience may not be as receptive. 

What is the difference between a travel influencer and a travel creator?

While both share travel content, influencers leverage their personal brand to affect purchasing decisions. Content creators primarily focus on producing engaging, informative, and entertaining content in the form of videos, blogs, podcasts, or social media posts. Creators are often skilled in specific creation tools and platforms. 

A brand will select the type of campaign and purpose of their partnership and then determine whether the outcome is beautiful content that reflects their brand and can be shared and amplified by a paid campaign, or they will work with an influencer to gain access to their audience, or sometimes both! 

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