The travel niche is highly competitive but ripe with opportunity for all those passionate about sharing their adventures. Travel and tourism is a $7.6 trillion industry, it’s no wonder why the search for travel information is at an all-time high. This has created a market for bloggers and content creators willing to partner with travel affiliate programs. How would you like to build and monetize a travel website? People have turned away from travel agencies and all-in-one vacation packages. They now use (and seek) travel information found on personal travel blogs as their go-to source for ideas, resources, and entertainment. A strong brand, passion, killer content, and offers, can lead you to become a full-time travel blogger. Monetization begins with the right selection of travel programs.

The Travel Niche: What You Need to Know

The travel niche is one of the most popular topics on the Web. Every day, hundreds of travel bloggers launch their sites, share their tales, and hope to earn enough to become digital nomads. Many will create incredible travel guides, but few will earn enough to sustain their adventures. There are two camps to travel blogging:
  • Run-of-the-mill travel experiences and guides
  • The anti-travel blogger community
Your generic travel niche example would include any site creating endless renditions of “what to do in X” or “X ways to save on Y”. These are a dime a dozen but gain tons of traffic. The other crowd, anti-travel bloggers, share the gritty side of adventure where experiences don’t always live to expectations. There is no wrong choice for the direction you choose with the travel niche. What does matter is how well you’ll pair travel affiliate programs to make money and continue adventures, so the blog is ‘sticky’ (keeping people coming back for more).

The Travel Industry: By the Numbers

Despite the competition, the travel niche remains one of the best business opportunities when developing a niche website. Those passionate about their travels and willing to share the experiences have many options to earn money through advertising, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and promotions. How big is the travel industry?
  • More than 100,000 flights are taken every day
  • More than 63.5% of all hotel bookings are done online
  • More than 60% of Americans say they’ll travel once or twice within a year
  • More than $36 billion worth of luggage are sold each year
… people absolutely love travel. Look no further than how social media use hashtags like #travel, #solotravel, #travelblogger, and #traveldiary to get a glimpse of this worldwide industry.

Why Promote Travel Affiliate Programs

There are many travel stages – all create a way to make money when paired with a travel program:
  1. Research and wanderlust
  2. Buying travel accessories
  3. Flight and hotel booking
  4. Transportation
  5. Experiences
Great travel content entices visitors to explore their dreams of going abroad or taking a trip inside their country or state. These helpful pieces provide recommendations and guidance for what to do, how to keep it within budget, and a bit of personal branding and likeability. Popular travel bloggers use travel offers to monetize their sites. They work with top brands promoting items covering flights, hotels, cruises, luxury travel, luggage, gear, attractions, vacations, and more. Each travel program offers variable levels of commissions for referrals. Suppose this: Having 10 visitors, to your travel blog, booking through the Hilton affiliate program earns 4% commission for each referral. A $200/night hotel booking would earn you $8 each referral or $80/day (for the 10) with this single promotion! Now… Imagine them using your flight programs to book airfare, or buying luggage based on your recommendations. Perhaps they take you up on a vacation package you documented and suggested, too. Suddenly, you’re earning hundreds of dollars by sharing your travel experiences.

There’s Money to Be Made in Travel Blogging

It’s not going to be easy… but the success of others should provide a beacon of opportunity found in the travel niche. Many naysayers clamor the death of travel blogging, or that it’s too fake. Yet, the industry thrives because the demand is simply so darn high. Expanding to detailed travel guides, YouTube videos, private audiences, and tours seem to be the way the travel niche is going. Yet, even small excursions, write-ups, and media are enough to draw an interesting community if you’re pouring heart and soul into it. Successful blogs using travel affiliate programs to monetize include:
  • Nomadic Matt
  • WanderingEarl
  • Flashpacker Family
And yes, these are popular travel bloggers making big bucks but even your local guides and small-time travelers can earn a few hundred every months by documenting their travels. In fact, one can use blogging and travel affiliate programs as an extension of their everyday experiences whether that’s teaching English in another country or sharing their business trips.

How to Promote the Highest Paying Travel Offers and Promotions

Perhaps you’re researching the highest paying travel offers. Or, looking for travel promotions that’ll blend well with the content you’re creating. Maybe you’ve yet to monetize the travel site because you’re not ready or feel it’ll turn it ‘too commercial’. There are good and bad ways of promoting travel offers on your site. We suggest starting with popular travel affiliate programs to explore monetization. Then, niche down into each category to find those special promotions perfectly aligned with your topics and brand. A few to get you started:
  1. com program – Great commissions and flight selection
  2. Expedia program – Awesome offers for flights, hotels, and packages
  3. Tripadvisor – A one-stop-shop for travel information and promotions
Most commissions pay on a percentage per referral though some have flat rates. One can aim to go big, drive tons of traffic through the offers, and earn. Or, focus on a tight-knit community of repeat visitors.

How to Promote Your Travel Site, Its Offers, and Promotions

How you operate the site is entirely up to you but there are similarities among the top travel sites:
  • Personal travel logs
  • Destination guides
  • Roundups and lists
These three will cover a breath of content especially if you’re able to visit many locations. Each trip becomes a new outlet to share the whole experience. And, each gives you an opportunity to point to popular travel posts that include these offers and promotions. You can further explore monetization through:
  • Digital product creation
  • Offering tours and coaching
  • Coupons and deals
As time goes on, you’ll have collected swaths of travel information about destinations. This expertise and authority within the location will give you an edge. Your personal brand becomes associated with the location and guides. Offer something bigger, while including travel program offers, and you’ll increase your blogging income exponentially as traffic grows.

What Are You Waiting For? Monetize Your Travel Blog Today

There’s advertising, sponsorship, and supporting yourself through normal jobs. Then, there’s creating a passive income with travel affiliate programs. Which sounds better when monetizing your travel niche blog? Sign up for each program is quick and easy (taking 5 minutes or less). Once on board, you’ll find a wealth of banners, email examples, blog ideas, and link building tools to fill in your promotions and offers on the travel site. From there, it’s a matter of getting out there, exploring, and detailing the process – just like you’re already doing! Great content and personality will drive people through your program offers. Each successful sale puts money in your account. That money becomes the fuel to keep traveling. What’s not to love about this prospect of making money with your travel blog? Start now.
Read MoreRead Less

Cruise Direct

Learn More

About the Cruise Direct Affiliate Program The Cruise Direct affiliate program is a great way to monetize a travel blog or website. The cruise market generates nearly $40-billion annually and is poised to increase year-over-year. Joining and offering cruise booking services via Cruise Direct has a high earning potential. Cruise...


Learn More

TravelPayouts Affiliate Program: Overview is a one-stop-shop for finding travel affiliate programs. Avid travel bloggers and site owners can find extensive resources and opportunities for monetizing their efforts through affiliated programs or joining & promoting the white label program on the site. This white label travel offer lets site...

Lonely Planet

Learn More

Lonely Planet Affiliate Program: Overview Lonely Planet is one of the world’s best online sites (and print) sources to find travel information whether it’s hopping city-to-city, discovering untouched wilderness, or sight seeking in popular travel destinations. The site has it all. Visitors can also prepare and book travel services through...


Learn More

Yatra Affiliate Program: Overview Yatra is a popular Indian travel booking website where visitors can book flights, hotels, holidays, homestays, activities, buses, trains, and more. The Yatra platform is like many others in its industry – comparing bookings – but with an added layer combing excursions and extras. Yatra runs...


Learn More

Groupon Affiliate Program: Overview Groupon is a popular, worldwide local and daily deals website. The site offers thousands of discounted deals for local services, goods, getaways, coupons, and more. Groupon is active in 15 countries, within 500+ markets, having worked with more than 1 million merchants to date. More than...

Learn More Affiliate Program: Overview The program lists more than 1 million properties worldwide. More than 1.2 million rooms are reserved daily. The profit potential of the Booking partner program is tiered-based allowing affiliates to make more money the more they refer. The affiliate program offers one of the...

Avis Car Rental

Learn More

Avis Car Rental Affiliate Program: Overview The Avis car rental affiliate program is an easy way to make money whenever your followers need a ride. Avis, one of the most recognized car rental brands in the world, offers a range of services and options. Drive traffic through your Avis affiliate...

Auto Europe

Learn More

Auto Europe Affiliate Program Overview Auto Europe is a leading provider of car rental services across notable brands including National, Hertz, Alamo, Sixt, Budget, Dollar, and Europcar. Travel bloggers and business-oriented marketers, alike, will enjoy the extensive selection of car rental affiliate promotions complete with full reporting and tracking capabilities....

Expedia Affiliate Network

Learn More

Expedia Affiliate Program: Overview The Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN) provides affiliates with competitive rates and worldwide accommodations. The Expedia affiliate program grants access to more than 400,000+ properties throughout the world featuring 650k+ deals (including those for members-only). EAN features a robust, customizable API for dedicated affiliates. Or, easier-to-use options...

Thomas Cook

Learn More

Thomas Cook Affiliate Program: Overview Thomas Cook is the best-known name in travel with its inception as an international travel company all the way back in 1841. Today, Thomas Cook continues that tradition of tailored vacation packages. The website includes all the bells & whistles including airfare, hotel, and rental...


Learn More

TripAdvisor Affiliate Program: Overview TripAdvisor is the #1 online destination and community to discuss travel and things to do. Travelers can save up to 30% on travel costs by searching their database covering 200+ booking sites to find the best flights, hotels, vacation rentals, and more. The online forums, reviews,...