One of the most asked questions I get is “how can I do what you do?”
The short answer is: anyone can do it, if you are willing to put in the work. Most people are not an overnight success – so I want to manage expectations upfront.
When I started in the travel industry in 2016, it was newer as an influencer/content creator, and there was no one to really help me. I had to learn everything myself by trial and a lot of errors.
I quickly realized over the last couple years that there is not enough people who do what I do and there wasn’t anyone out there fully teaching it to others. So I decided to be that person.
Before we get into it, I want to tell you what it is I do and what I do not do.
*I would highly recommend reading this in its entirety so you do not miss anything.
How I get paid to travel
One of the biggest confusions is that people think I am a travel agent – I am not. I do not sell travel in the literal sense. I am a travel influencer/content creator/photographer and so on.
Companies hire me to come to their hotel/destination/cruise/etc and create the content (photos and/or videos) and to share them on my social media channels, blogs, or they just purchase the content for their own use.
I am fortunate enough to be in a position now that I don’t take a lot of sponsored content and pay for a lot of my travel with money I make in other areas of my business, or use points/miles to travel for nearly free.
But for the clients I do work with, they pay my rates, which are very expensive because I have a large audience that is consistently growing across channels.
^^^this was always my goal.
All that being said – I still get a lot of work offers that I turn down for a number of reasons, but usually it is not a good fit for my brand.
Here are some of my sources of income as a content creator:
- sponsored posts from tourism boards/hotels/brands on various social media channels
- selling photos or videos
- writing blogs for clients
- affiliate links
The sky is the limit on how much money you can make in this industry and the growth for social media has changed so much since 2016 when I officially got into this career. Photos are great, but videos have all the power.
How can you get paid to travel?
The most beautiful thing about the travel industry is that everyone has a unique voice and brand and there is an infinite amount of work out there just waiting for people to do it.
I work mostly in luxury travel, but when you think about travel, there are endless niches. Some of the most common themes are: family travel (this could be luxury, mid range, budget, cruising, etc), budget travel, luxury travel, couples travel, solo travel, and so on.
There is also niche specific travel – some creators focus on certain areas, for example: California, van life, USA travel, cruise travel, and so on.
For all the travel destinations and and niche content, there is not enough people who work in this industry to cover every thing. When you think about these brands, they hire new content creators/influencers every single year. Same with tourism boards.
Some tourism boards I have worked with 2-3 times! Which if you think about that – is a lot. Most destinations want new people – but when something works and you can continue to showcase n area and new stuff, it just works out.
If you think the market is saturated or that there isn’t room for you, I am telling you that is not true… unless you are trying to be a content creator in a very tight niche where work is limited, say a super small island with 10 hotels.
Full transparency – you cannot just ask brands for work. You need to build up a portfolio of work and have an audience. Too often, we as creators get focused on number of followers, but that is not the ultimate driving in force in being hired.
But this is why you are here … looking to me to help you create your brand, grow it and ultimately, get paid.
Something I tell everyone – if your heart is not in this, you will not love it. On the outside, everyone thinks this is a dream job (and to me, it is). But if you aren’t fiercely passionate about travel – you will most likely not want this for yourself.
There is going to be a lot of days where you aren’t traveling (most likely) and will need to do all the other work like: editing photos/videos, keeping up with social media, pitching new brands, going through contracts, billing, etc.
It is not all glamorous travel days.
I wake up everyday excited to walk into my office or work – or wherever I am in the world. Travel consumes me.
When I am working on the road, I take photos and videos of everything, even food.
How to get started learning and building your brand
If you think this is truly meant for you and you want to travel and have brands pay you to create content for them – then your next step is diving right in.
Commit to it. You have to stay focused and commit to creating an online presence and building the brand of your dreams.
I wrote an e-book, Learn to Get Paid to Travel, that is 100+ pages with very easy to read content. This will teach you everything from picking a niche, building your brand, how to pitch brands, what to charge, how to find contacts for work, how to create a media kit for brands, full chapters on Instagram and Tiktok and how to use them, and so much more.
I wrote this guide so that anyone could read it, easily understand it and have success if they put in the work. I included my Instagram Reels e-book with this as it teaches you how I have grown several pages over 100K, two of them to 100K in less than 60 days!
I replicate all my success across channels and it still works.
So if you are ready to do this – GET MY E-BOOK.
Don’t wait another day – this could be the best decision you make. Your entire life could be different in the next year.
If you feel this is your calling – make the jump. Everyone in my life thought I was crazy – and now they beg me to take them places. The tables have turned.