How Do Travel Influencers Monetize Their Work? | MODERNSPEA

Kristyn Snell (She/Her)

March 30, 2023

Making money as a travel influencer takes effort, time, skill, and making the right connections.

But when everything clicks — there’s definitely a world of possibility out there.

In 2023, the travel industry is rebounding and influencers are uniquely positioned to showcase their wanderlust while monetizing their passion. With a combination of creativity, determination, and strategic planning, you too can make money as a travel influencer.

How Do Travel Influencers Work?

Travel influencers promote services and destinations through e-word of mouth (eWOM) using their online presence and publishing travel content on social media channels. While they can work in many ways and have different sources of income, their primary approach consists of either selling information or selling a lifestyle through:

  • Number of views
  • Followers
  • Subscribers
  • Organic or paid reach
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Domain authority (trust flow)

When selling information, a content influencer will:

  • Gain expertise by researching and exploring different topics or destinations
  • Focus on creating travel videos or written content
  • Usually operate solo or acquire some freelance help
  • Work many hours before seeing a growth in their audience or income

Whereas lifestyle influencers will:

  • Devote their time to finding the best appearance, as in locations, clothing, backdrop, and other factors
  • Focus on images through YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram
  • Work as a team with skilled photographers and videographers (at a minimum)

Do Influencers Get Paid to Go on Trips?

Whether or not an influencer can travel and make money largely depends on the value they bring to the travel agency, brand or service they’re looking to promote. Both larger and smaller influencers can provide value to the industry in their own ways.

For example, when larger travel influencers ask for a free night's stay at a luxury hotel in exchange for an authentic review on social media that could potentially reach thousands of followers, the brand may be more inclined to say yes because of the popularity of the influencer. The brand understands how valuable it is to build brand awareness with a large follower base that likely includes their target audience.

What about micro influencers? Although micro influencers bring a smaller following, that following could be more uniquely aligned with a brand’s target audience. Similar to macro influencers, micro influencers also create high-quality and engaging content that brands can leverage in their marketing. Companies will often swap products and services for curated content.

Regardless of size, both large and small influencers play an important role in the industry, giving brands access to specialized channels for building brand awareness and engagement.

How Do Travel Influencers Make Money?

Travel influencers can have different income streams, and make part-time or full-time income in various ways including:

  • Travel blogging
  • Visual storytelling using photo and video masterpieces
  • Publishing books
  • Sponsored travel blog posts and content for YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram
  • Merchandising
  • Direct donations through tipping, subscriptions, etc
  • Partnering with travel brands
  • Online courses and workshops
  • Affiliate marketing

How Do You Collaborate with Travel Brands?

Finding the right travel brand to collaborate with can be challenging without the help of an influencer management team. It involves tons of networking to find brands that fit well with your image and followers. 

It also requires negotiating with the brand’s marketing team, clarifying agreements on what’s expected from you and for you as a travel influencer, discussing due dates for deliverables, and more.

When first starting out, be cautious of travel brands that may scam you. Be willing to turn away from any brand asking you to purchase goods, or those offering payment solely through affiliate income.

Need Help Finding a Travel Brand That Resonates With You and Your Followers?

MODERNSPEAK connects aspiring travel influencers with brands and campaigns that speak volumes to their audience.

We help you develop creative briefs, contract your partnerships, deliver products, and everything in between, like insight reports, whitelisting, and managing your content calendars and timelines. We handle every step of influencer management, so all you have to do is focus on creating wanderlust experiences that make people crave their next adventure.

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