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Travel blogging and vlogging are exciting avenues because there is so much to cover. I know this to be true since I’ve traveled to 20+ countries and lived in seven. A travel blogger can discuss her experiences, tips, hacks, things to do, places to visit, dining, nightlife, tours, reviews, travel reward cards, money matters, what to avoid, and more.
How to Make Money
Given the size of the travel industry, it’s no wonder many content creators seek to promote travel and related goods. Many creators use YouTube and blogs to monetize their traffic and content. Although there are many ways to profit on YouTube, ad revenue and affiliate marketing are two conventional methods. Ad revenue comes from Google running ads on videos. Earnings are split between Google and channel owners and paid through AdSense. Companies pay affiliates when their marketing efforts result in sales or leads.
Affiliate programs are very common in the travel and tourism industry. Well-known companies including Booking, CheapOair, Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Kayak, Orbitz, Priceline, Royal Caribbean, Skyscanner, TripAdvisor, Trivago, and Walt Disney have affiliate programs. Airlines including Air France, Avianca, Emirates, LATAM, Qatar, and Virgin Atlantic have programs. Major car rental and ride-sharing companies have programs, for example, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, Thrifty, Uber, and Zipcar. Many hotel chains have programs, including Best Western, IHG, Hilton, Marriot, and Radisson. Standard travel affiliate program categories include:
- Business travel
- Car rental
- Money transfer
- Park and fly
- Sharing economy
- Sightseeing and passes
- Travel accessories
The Top Affiliate Programs
Publishers want to promote the top affiliate programs because they can yield more commissions. It’s as simple as that. Other articles highlight “the best programs,” but most of them include random and unvetted merchants that won’t increase your earnings. Let’s identify what excellent and profitable affiliate programs have in common.
A Fair Variable or Fixed Commission
Advertisers who pay single to low double-digit commission rates (or who nickel and dime publishers) aren’t worth your consideration. (Note: some industries pay low commission rates because they operate on thin margins.) A commission rate of 20 percent is the benchmark I use. For fixed commissions, rates are subjective.
A Minimum Cookie Length of 30 Days
Giving marketers one or a few days to convert traffic is ridiculous and unfair. By contrast, a 30-day conversion period allows for prospects to become customers and affiliates to get credit for their promotional efforts. Although thirty-day referral periods are a standard industry practice, a minimum of 90 days should be commonplace.
Other factors you should consider are a program’s earnings per click (EPC), payout threshold, deep linking capabilities, and affiliate support. You’ll want to partner with merchants/affiliate managers who are intelligent, fair, responsive, and quick to resolve inquiries. The affiliate tracking software a merchant chooses is also critical to achieving success. Learn how to choose affiliate products and programs.
Travel Affiliate Programs List
Let’s review the best travel affiliate programs. Creators might also promote products and services in related categories, including books, magazines, courses, dating, relationships, entertainment, food, health, wellness, lifestyle, and personal finance. For instance, a post entitled Ten Ways to Save for Your Next Global Adventure could include an affiliate link to Revolut, which is a mobile banking and money transfer app that helps people save money.
Many of the programs on this list are available on the top affiliate networks. These programs and networks are excellent for bloggers, YouTubers, beginners, and experienced marketers. A company might not mention an affiliate program on its website but may have one. Merchants typically link to their affiliate programs in their website menus and footers, and some offer programs on multiple networks.
Accommodation Affiliate Programs
- Airbnb – $40 (commission rate)
Airbnb provides access to millions of vacation rentals, homes, and experiences for personal and business needs. It has millions of listings across 190+ countries. Learn about the Airbnb affiliate program.
- FlipKey – Up to $20
FlipKey is a vacation rental marketplace that makes it easy, safe, and fun to find and book the perfect place to stay. A traveler can search more than 500,000 listings. Learn about the FlipKey affiliate program on CJ Affiliate.
- HomeAway – $20
HomeAway offers an extensive selection of vacation homes that provide travelers with memorable experiences. Learn about the HomeAway affiliate program.
- Homestay – 24%
Homestay connects guests to 50,000 registered local hosts in over 150 countries. It offers a unique and affordable alternative to hotels, hostels, and B&Bs. Learn about the Homestay affiliate program.
Hostelworld is a leading provider of online reservations for budget-minded and young travelers. It offers online access to over 30,000 hostels and budget accommodation. Learn about the Hostelworld affiliate program.
- TrustedHousesitters – 20%
TrustedHousesitters helps pet owners go on holiday by connecting them with sitters who will look after their home and pets for free. Learn about the TrustedHousesitters affiliate program.
- TurnKey Vacation Rentals – 5%
TurnKey Vacation Rentals manages premier vacation rentals in some of the most desirable locations. Learn about the TurnKey Vacation Rentals affiliate program on ShareASale.
- VBRO – $20
VRBO is an online marketplace for vacation rentals with over 1 million properties in 190 countries. Learn about the VBRO affiliate program.
Flight Compensation Programs
- AirHelp – €35+/-
AirHelp helps travelers to get compensation for delayed/canceled flights and trip-related problems. Since 2013, it has helped over 13 million stranded air passengers get justice. Learn about the AirHelp affiliate program.
Parking Affiliate Programs
- MobyPark – 5%
MobyPark enables travelers to find parking in advance at the best prices. It also provides a platform for private parking owners to rent out their parking spaces. Learn about the MobyPark affiliate program.
Sightseeing Affiliate Programs
- CityPASS – 6%
CityPASS tickets contain admission to the most famous and popular attractions in each city and are priced up to 50 percent less than regular admission prices. Learn about the CityPass affiliate program.
- Gray Line – 5%
Gray Line has been at the center of creating and operating the best traveler experiences in the world’s most sought-after sightseeing destinations. Learn about the Gray Line affiliate program.
- Legoland – 5%
Legoland Discovery Centers are family attractions designed for kids aged three to ten years. Locations have Lego bricks, cinemas, and party rooms. Learn about the Legoland Discovery Centers affiliate program on CJ Affiliate.
- Madame Tussauds – 5%
Madame Tussauds offers visitors the ultimate celebrity experience, allowing them to interact with life-like wax figures of famous people. Learn about the Madame Tussauds affiliate program on CJ Affiliate.
- Priority Pass – Up to $20
Priority Pass is an independent airport VIP lounge program. With more than 1,200 airport lounges, travelers are guaranteed a warm welcome and place to unwind. Learn about the Priority Pass affiliate program.
- Sightseeing Pass – 10%
The Sightseeing Pass offers bus tours, cruises, walking tours, and access to attractions. Sightseeing Passes are available for NYC, San Francisco, and other top destinations. Learn about the Sightseeing Pass affiliate program.
- Smart Destinations – Up to 6%
The Leisure Pass Group owns several brands including Smart Destinations, The New York Pass, and The Philadelphia Pass. Many of its brands have affiliate programs on various networks.
Specialty Affiliate Programs
- Contiki – 5%
Contiki provides tours for 18-35s. It offers a mix of sightseeing and culture in over 40 countries across six continents. Learn about the Contiki affiliate program.
- Intrepid Travel – 10%
Intrepid Travel is a provider of adventure travel experiences. Its family of brands offers 1,600+ itineraries for all ages, budgets, and appetites for adventure. Learn about the Intrepid Travel affiliate program.
- Peek – 5%
Peek.com is a one-stop-shop to discover and book amazing experiences. From underground food tours to surf lessons, Peek has you covered. Learn about the Peek affiliate program on CJ Affiliate.
- Sandals and Beaches Resorts – 4%
Sandals all-inclusive resorts offer a unique Caribbean vacation with unlimited relaxation and luxury service. Learn about the Sandals and Beaches Resorts affiliate program.
- STA Travel – Up to 20%
STA Travel is a student and youth travel company providing affordable adventures. It’s an expert in around the world flights, accommodation, and good vibes. Learn about the STA Travel affiliate program.
Event Affiliate Programs
Travelers like to attend live performances, sporting events, shows, and concerts. Here are four companies with affiliate programs.
- Ticketmaster affiliate program
- StubHub affiliate program
- ShowTickets affiliate program on CJ Affiliate
- Vivid Seats affiliate program
Money Transfer Programs
- bunq – Up to €25
bunq is a fully licensed Dutch mobile bank operating across the EU. It gives you the freedom to spend, save, move, transfer, and invest your money. Learn about the bunq affiliate program.
- Revolut – Up to £20.00
Revolut is a money transfer and financial services app that allows you to hold, exchange, and send funds without fees. Learn about the Revolut affiliate program.
- TransferGo – £10.00
TransferGo is an international money transfer company for migrant workers who want to send money back to their families. Learn about the TransferGo affiliate program.
- TransferWise – £10.00
TransferWise is an online service that lets people send and receive money internationally at the mid-market exchange rate for a small, upfront fee. Learn about the TransferWise affiliate program.
Other Affiliate Programs
- Amazon – Up to 10%
Amazon sells many travel products. It provides numerous tools to meet your advertising needs and helps you monetize your site. Learn about the Amazon affiliate program.
- ClassPass – Up to 12%
ClassPass is a fitness network with 8,000+ partners in 39 cities worldwide. Book the fitness activities you want including yoga, cycling, running, and more. Learn about the ClassPass affiliate program on FlexOffers.
- eBay – Up to 70%
eBay is an e-commerce company that connects buyers and sellers globally. It offers an online auction model in which users can purchase products by bidding and buying at set prices. Learn about eBay’s affiliate program.
- Fiverr – Up to $150
Fiverr is the largest online marketplace for freelancers with services starting at five dollars. A search for “travel” yielded hundreds of services. Learn about the Fiverr affiliate program.
- Groupon – 8%
Groupon features daily deals on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in a variety of cities across the United States and the world. Learn about the Groupon affiliate program.
- Lonely Planet – Up to 15%
Lonely Planet is a leader in travel guidebooks and renowned for its first-hand approach to providing the best information and resources for travelers. Learn about the Lonely Planet affiliate program.
- Meetup – $40
Millions of people use Meetup to pursue a passion, share a hobby, learn something new, champion a cause or explore an interest with others through groups and events. Learn about the Meetup affiliate program on CJ Affiliate.
- Momondo – Up to $0.76 per lead
Momondo is a travel search engine and comparison site for flights, hotels, and car rentals. It reaches travelers in 35 markets worldwide. Learn about the Momondo affiliate program.
- Walmart – Up to 4%
Walmart is a multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of discount department and grocery stores. It sells many travel products instore and online. Learn about the Walmart affiliate program.
*Contact me on LinkedIn to add your affiliate program to the list.