If I had to have one hobby for the rest of my life, it would be “travel“. I love to see new places and learn about different cultures. I’ve been fortunate enough to have done this professionally and enjoyed my time abroad. But travel has its costs, and after a while, it can become difficult to justify the expense.
But when I learned that people are making their living by traveling, I was intrigued. The first thought popped up in my mind: Why not use my travel hobby to pay for my next trip?
There are many jobs around the globe that require you to travel a lot. Pilots, flight attendants, cruise directors, sales reps, engineers and doctors are some of the professionals who need to travel in order to do their job. But you are not one, are you?
No worries, this article is made just for you. It is to explain how to travel as a hobby, earn money with it, pay for your next trip, and earn enough money to pay for your next 1,000 trips.
Here’s how to live a dream life of turning travel hobby into money:
6 ways to make your travel hobby pay for your next trip:
1) Sell your photos
One of the best, easiest, and fun ways of making your travel hobby pay is to get paid to take pictures. You can shoot pictures and sell them on stock or photo agencies. You can also sell them directly to local businesses for use in their marketing or create your own travel blog and monetize it with ad networks such as Google AdSense, Affiliate Links, Twitter’s MoPub or Amazon Affiliate Program.
If you have an eye for composition and detail, you can create photos that are worth money by adding creative touches, such as silhouettes of people in the foreground or reflections of landmarks in the water around them. Just make sure that your images are professional quality, and you get a good camera to take those shots.
A good camera doesn’t have to be expensive either. You can get a basic model that will give you good quality pictures for under $350. It will take care of most of your photos. If you’re looking for top of line cameras with different lenses, then the price is going to go way up into the thousands.
Etsy is a great place to directly sell your travel photographs. There are many talented sellers around the world who will make you their most loyal customer by selling your photos for a fair price. You need to be skilled in photography and know how to edit them though.
Social media is another place to make money from photography. Post your pictures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and make money from your followers clicking on a photo or on an ad that they see in an image.
2) Sell your travel diaries
This is not the most common ways of making your travel hobby pay for your next trip, and you probably will not get rich doing it. However, if you want to sell your diaries, especially in the form of e-books, they can be very profitable.
A good example of this is my friend’s blog that I mentioned about in a previous article. He traveled from Beijing to London on a budget and had such an amazing experience that he wrote an ebook about it. Now, he’s getting paid every time someone reads his story. Pretty smart way to make money with your travel hobby!
Also, this method does not require setting up a website or publishing an ebook. You can simply make your own digital book, scan it at home and upload it to Amazon’s Kindle KDP Select program. If you do it at home, then the cost is very low.
3) Become a tour guide
If you have the talent of guiding and talking to people, then you could be successful as a tour guide. Tour guides are often college graduates with degrees in tourism or hospitality. They have to have good English and communication skills.
A few years ago, I met an Englishman who had become a tour guide in Macau, and he told me how he made money by selling his photos and his tour guides services to tourists. He told me that he earns about $900 or $1200 per day by taking people on tours. He said he then earned around $30,000 per month from his tour guide service.
If you have a rich family to sponsor you, then your tour guide business could be successful for you too. I’m sure there are many other opportunities for this kind of business. You can use this guidebook that is all about tips on how to become a tour guide. But if you don’t have the money to buy one yet, then just follow the steps I recommend in this blog (one at a time) and see how long it takes before you can buy the book: or Click here to start your own successful tour business!
4) Start a travel blog
It’s 2022, yet not too late to begin blogging. And the world is still very interested in the stories of people who travel. Start a blog today and make money with it in your spare time. You could always link it to your other social media accounts, too, if you want to increase your followers.
Travelers earn more than decent money for blogging about their destinations. My favorite blogger is Matt Kepnes (AKA Nomadic Matt). He has been so successful that he published a book called How To Travel The World On $50 A Day. And now he’s making an even better living through his travel blog.
Blogging gives you the opportunity to make money by writing about your trip. You can write about the places you’ve visited or tell stories of other people who inspire you. I make my living this way, and if it wasn’t for blogging, I wouldn’t have been able to travel to more than 40 countries around the world.
5) Start a YouTube channel
While this is not the most feasible of ways to make a living with your travel hobby, now is the right time to start a YouTube channel and grow your online audience. YouTube is just second in popularity and exposure for travelers, only to Instagram. It’s really easy to get started and make some money with it. You can try doing videos of your travel photos for fun. Or, you can start making videos about your destinations, such as a 5-minute guide to a city. Try being creative and making entertaining videos that people will enjoy watching.
While it might take a lot of travel to reach 4,000 hours of watch time and monetize your channel, you can make use of YouTube in other ways like selling a book or getting paid for sponsored videos. You should also make sure that you have a profitable niche that attracts people to your channel.
Most travel vloggers give up YouTube due to the competition, saturation, lack of views and low ad income. But if your way of doing things is different enough, then you can make it big. Casey Neistat is one of the most popular travel YouTube channels right now in August 2022. He makes a living making videos and travels everywhere in the process. Don’t aim to be Casey Neistat just now, but you’ll get there eventually.
6) Create your own app
If you are an experienced programmer, then you could make an app that helps travelers get the best deals on flights, hotels and tours. Look up local companies on Google or Bing and see if they are looking for an app developer like you to help them make more money.
You will have to write code for apps, but training is not too expensive these days. In fact, you can do this completely free nowadays by going to codeacademy.com.
You can also hire local experts to create your app, but that will cost more. Visit here because this is a good example of an app by a travel blogger.
You must do the above points one by one, not all at once. If you manage to do this properly and take your time, then you will soon have a great life with a travel hobby that pays well.
Make sure that you are doing this more for the satisfaction of traveling than to earn money. If you choose your travel hobby wisely and creatively, then it can be a very profitable source of income in the future.
The amount of money that you make will depend on how much work you put into it and how many hours per day or per week you spend doing it.
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