Three Ways To Turn Your Travels Into Cash

September 5, 2021

Travel is generally more about enriching your mind and spirit than increasing your bank balance. That said, there are options for turning your travels into cash. Realistically, these may not generate enough money to cover the cost of your trip. They can, however, make a useful contribution towards the costs. Here are three tips to help.

two hands holding passports in the air.

Photo by Spencer Davis from Pexels

Mystery shopping

This one is a bit hit and miss but it’s definitely worth researching. Airlines and hotels both need mystery shoppers. You may also be able to find mystery shopping opportunities at popular tourist destinations.  

With mystery shopping, you tend to need to pay upfront and then recoup the money afterward. It’s also important to note that you’re only guaranteed to get paid if you follow the instructions exactly. That will typically involve submitting a report by a certain time.

The best approach to mystery shopping is usually to think about what you want to do anyway. Then see if there are any opportunities that fit in with your plans. You can, however, be creative here. For example, if you’re going self-catering (or just putting together a picnic), look for mystery shopping opportunities at the shops where you want to buy your food.

Informational products

man sitting on a bench outside using a laptop.

Photo by Arina Krasnikova from Pexels

This is a huge niche with all kinds of options. In the context of travel, the most obvious option is travel guides. This can be worth exploring. Be aware, however, that this market is very saturated. This means that you’d both need to offer something unique and market it well if you wanted to make any real money out of it.

Instead, try thinking laterally. Is your chosen destination known for anything in particular? Most places will be famous or at least recognized for something. Can you learn enough about this to leverage it for an informational product? Remember, you don’t necessarily have to become an expert in something to teach it. You just have to know enough to deliver value to your audience.

In fact, it can be helpful to approach a subject with a fresh pair of eyes. That can give you a clearer view of what matters to other beginners. For example, someone reading a letter cake recipe tutorial usually won’t need or want to know all about the intricacies of lettering or baking. They just want to know enough to make their cake.

If you’re not up for creating an informational product to sell on its own, consider pitching content to relevant publications. Again, you probably want to steer clear of travel publications, at least to begin with. These are highly competitive. Instead, look for publications related to the skill you want to teach.

Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is essentially where you refer a consumer to a store. If they make a purchase there, you get a commission. Probably the most famous affiliate marketing program in the world is the one run by Amazon. It’s easy to access but there are plenty of others.

There are two ways you can use your travels to earn money through affiliate marketing. One is to use your travels to create content. Then put relevant affiliate links in the content. The other is to use your travels to review products and then use an affiliate link to direct people to your recommendations.

For example, say you went to Canada in winter. You could review cold-weather products, showing them in action. This would give your reviews strong credibility. Ideally, they will also be engaging and entertaining as well.


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