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Ahhh travel blogging…
A lucky few make MAJOR money with their blogs.
The rest of us pour major time into blogging…without much to show for it.
Is it possible for ordinary mortal folk to make money travel blogging?
The answer is yes.
Here are 10 examples of travel blogs that make money. And more importantly…the secret sauce they use to make it rain.
Table of Contents
- How much money can you make from a travel blog?
- How do travel bloggers make money?
- 10 awesome travel blogs that make money (and how they do it)
- Can you make money from traveling blogging?
- Free travel blogging courses for beginners
How much money can you make from a travel blog?
Blogging is one of the best digital nomads jobs (at least for the few who “crack the code” to success).
Not only do you get to work on a travel hobby you’re passionate about. But you can make a pretty penny from it.
There is essentially no income cap.
The only real limitation is your imagination and how hard you’re willing to work (ok ok, I know that sounded cheesy—but stick with me).
Some travel bloggers scrape by earning pennies. Others rake in tens of thousands per month.
Let’s take a look at what makes the difference.
Blogging isn’t the only way to earn money traveling—here’s over 100 other awesome travel jobs to choose from.
How do travel bloggers make money?
Successful travel bloggers almost always have several income streams. These can include:
- Paid services
- Affiliate marketing
- Sponsored content
- Digital product sales
- Physical product sales
- Patreon and other donations
- And more
If you play your cards right, travel blogging comes with even more perks—“free” luxury safari stay in Africa, anyone?
That said, travel blogging has fierce competition and is tough to break into (speaking from experience here!).
Everyone wants to become a digital nomad and explore the world, and social media (*cough* Instagram) is packed with thousands of images of the exact same destinations.
To succeed, you need to have a unique angle and stand out from the crowd. “Me too” blogs won’t cut it.
To speed up the process, here are some of the best blogging courses:
▶ Travel Blog Prosperity – Designed specifically for travel bloggers. Her free course alone will put you ahead of most of your competition.
▶ Fat Stacks – Fat Stacks teaches a blogging strategy to explode your traffic in any niche (see my full Fat Stacks review). He has a gold-nugget packed free course as well.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to blog about travel. You can start a lifestyle blog in any number of niches and make a good living.
10 awesome travel blogs that make money (and how they do it)
This is by no means a complete list of travel blogs that make money, but it should give you inspiration and ideas to earn more with your travel blog.
(Note: Since travel basically shut down in 2020-21, most income data is from 2019. That said, many of these blogs found ways to grow even more during the pandemic.)
#1.) Two Wandering Soles
Katie and Ben are based in the U.S. and are a great example of how to make money through your travel blog. Originally from Minnesota, they started Two Wandering Soles back in 2014 after quitting their 9-to-5s to travel around South America.
Since then, their travel blog has exploded. They focus mainly on eco-friendly, responsible travel, van life, and leaving a smaller footprint on our beautiful planet. Basically, they’re all about the importance of sustainable tourism.
They also have a great free blogging email course for beginners.
▶ Affiliate marketing
▶ Sponsored content (e.g., reviews for services like hotels and restaurants in exchange for free accommodation or food during their stays).
▶ Digital products – Van Life Build course
All this racks up a hefty income. They earned $73,367 in Q4 of 2019. This was a couple years ago, and they have since launched their online course, so you can bet their income has grown even more.
Takeaway: If you poke around their site, you’ll immediately notice (1) their content is super in-depth and top notch and (2) they have a lot of content. This goes to show that one way to stand out in the competitive travel space is to not cut corners so you can blow the competition out of the water.
#2.) The Professional Hobo
Nora Dunn is a long-term traveler who’s been exploring the world for over 15 years. She’s a former Financial Planner and currently runs The Professional Hobo blog, which focuses on financially sustainable travel. This is a concept that combines her corporate experience and financial expertise with her love of travel. She teaches people to earn, spend, and save money sensibly while on the road.
Over the years, she’s built up a sizable following of people who are interested in living their own nomadic adventures.
In 2019, her income from her travel blog came in at $50,922. Here’s how that income was broken up.
▶ Affiliate sales ($23,337)
▶ Advertising ($17,543)
▶ Freelance writing ($7,253)
▶ Book sales ($2,209)
▶ Miscellaneous earnings ($580)
Takeaway: Nora is known for writing mega in-depth guides on important topics that most travel bloggers aren’t willing to tackle. She’s also a big proponent of using freelance writing as a tool to supplement blog income. If your blog isn’t yet earning as much as you’d like, find a freelance writing client!
#3.) Adventure in You
You may have already heard of Adventure in You as they advertise their blogging courses all over Facebook. However, you may not know that their income for 6 months in 2018—just three short years after starting their blogging journey—hit a whopping $83,290 in profit.
▶ Affiliate marketing
▶ Sponsored posts and partnerships
▶ Digital product sales
The Filipino-Welsh duo, Tom and Anna, are one of the cutest travel blogging couples you’ll ever meet. They met while (separately) exploring in Vietnam and have been traveling the world together ever since. Adventure in You was born in 2015.
Their blog focuses on adventure travel and aims to help people live their lives to the fullest. But, they’ve also branched out into blog coaching and have taught thousands of aspiring travel bloggers how to make money online.
They have a free course on how to start and monetize a blog, plus a paid course, The Blogging Fast Lane, which generates a fair portion of their extraordinary income.
Takeaway: Unless you’ve reached a certain level of success blogging, creating a blogging course isn’t a good idea. However, you can take a page from Tom and Anna’s affiliate marketing playbook. If you check out their Gear section, you’ll see they have TONS of articles reviewing very specific types of gear. Instead of writing articles that everyone writes about (e.g. best travel backpacks), look for more obscure topics (e.g. best travel water bottles).
#4.) Practical Wanderlust
Practical Wanderlust is a wonderful example of how to take a bad experience and flip it on its head. Lia created the travel website in 2016 as a hobby blog to document her wonderful year-long honeymoon with her new husband Jeremy.
Little did she know that the honeymoon would be a disaster, but Practical Wanderlust would blossom into her full-time passion and career.
Since it began, the blog has been providing practical (it’s not in the name for nothing), detailed, and realistic guides for couples or solo travelers wanting to travel the world. They are a hilarious pair, and their blog is bound to make you chuckle.
It’s also one of the top earning travel blogs.
Just two years after starting, their blog was bringing in over $10k per month.
▶ Affiliate income
▶ Freelance writing
▶ Press trips
▶ Digital product sales (social media courses)
Fast forward to 2021 (three years after the income report above) and Practical Wanderlust is now earning a multiple six-figure income. Because of her success, Lia also offers blog coaching calls to help aspiring travel bloggers follow in her footsteps.
Takeaway: New bloggers often complain that the top-earning blogs are just lucky because they started way back when there was no competition. Lia and Jeremy’s quick path to success proves that this is just an excuse. They stand out because they are FUNNY. Unlike most dry content online, they’re posts are entertaining to read and make you want to keep coming back for more.
#5.) It’s a Lovely Life
Heather and Pete from It’s a Lovely Life are two of the highest-paid travel bloggers on this list. They launched their luxury family travel site in 2014. That same year, the pair developed It’s a Lovely Life into a six-figure blog…all while traveling the world for 150 days and being excellent parents to their three children.
In 2019, earnings from their blog hit $2,233,236.
▶ Online courses
▶ Training program sales
▶ Affiliate commission
▶ Sponsored posts
The concept behind their blog is simple: to help other families satisfy their travel bug by teaching them to make a living from their laptops as digital nomads.
Although they are adventurers at heart, they also have a family home in California where they spend their time (and hard-earned cash) when they’re not exploring the world.
Takeaway: Heather and Pete earn about half their income selling multiple courses on how to blog and make money online. They also offer multiple “tiers” of courses that contribute to their impressive income—including an entry-level blogging course and a next-level blogging mastermind. A percentage of students who buy their beginner courses will go on to purchase the advanced training as well.
This isn’t a viable plan unless you’ve built trust with an audience who believes you know what you’re talking about. Maybe you’re not a high-earning blogger yet, but are you an expert in anything else that you could teach (photography, video editing, social media, etc.)?
#6.) A Dangerous Business
Former travel journalist, Amanda, is a little different from her fellow travel bloggers. She didn’t quit her job to travel the world. Yet, since 2005, she’s still managed to visit over 60 countries and 6 out of 7 continents.
Her blog, A Dangerous Business, was born in 2010. The award-winning website focuses on helping people fit travel into the lifestyle they already have.
Since starting her blog, she’s been either working full-time, in full-time education, or working from her home in Ohio—all while pulling in a steady $10,000+ per month from her blog.
She’s an inspiration to anyone wanting to create a successful travel blog around a full-time job—it is possible, people!
In November and December 2020, she raked in a total of $19,746 from A Dangerous Business.
▶ Photography work
▶ Speaking gigs
▶ Online courses (not included in income report)
She also has another website, Cleveland Traveler, which focuses on local travel in her hometown. The site launched in 2019 and brought in $1284 over the last two months of 2020.
Takeaway: One of the keys to Amanda’s success is looking for underserved niches. Millions of people love to travel but don’t want to have to quit their jobs to do it. Amanda focuses on helping them.
#7.) One Step 4Ward
One Step 4Ward tells the story of Johnny Ward’s incredible quest to travel to all 197 countries in the world. He left his hometown in Ireland in 2006 and started his travel blog in 2010.
Within 6 months, he was making $500 per month from his blog.
Not long after that, $500 became $1000, and $1000 became $30,000.
Fast forward 10 years and Johnny now owns three websites, has accomplished his goal of visiting all 197 countries, and became a millionaire travel blogger in the process.
One month he generated nearly $60,000 from his sites—more than the average American makes in a year!
One Step4Ward focuses on destination guides, travel, and adventure tips from (literally) all over the world. His other websites, Find A Tutor and Step4WardMedia, focus on virtual tutoring and online marketing respectively.
Takeaway: During his journey, Johnny kept his living expenses low so he could reinvest his earnings in starting and purchasing a portfolio of websites. He then hired a team of workers around the world to help him manage those sites. This goes to show what you can accomplish if you’re willing to risk investing in your business (instead of trying to do everything by yourself).
#8.) Helene in Between
Helene in Between was created by Helene and her husband Michael. She moved from Dallas to Germany in 2016 and started her blog for fun after a rock-climbing accident. Since then, it’s become her entire life.
Helene in Between is an inspiring collection of travel experiences, tips, and tricks for getting the most out of your adventures. Her guides talk about destinations from all over the world, from Italy to Aruba, and she has some wonderful stories to tell.
She also teaches strategies to create a successful blog and manage social media (and real-life).
Her blog has earned over $15k per month while traveling full-time.
▶ Affiliate sales (mostly Siteground and Genius Blogger’s Toolkit)
▶ Sponsored work
▶ Digital products (Lightroom presets, Instagram eBook)
Takeaway: Helene boosted her income by contributing a digital product to the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit, then promoting it as an affiliate. This is a toolkit of 100+ blogging-related courses and tools bundled together and sold super cheap. As a contributor, you earn a higher percentage as an affiliate. So, think of something you could contribute, and then promote the toolkit like crazy!
#9.) Local Adventurer
Local Adventurer is a popular travel blog that earns money using an interesting twist.
Esther and Jacob immerse themselves in one new city every year. So far, they have lived like locals in Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, New York, and are currently in Las Vegas.
They are great at finding adventure in the everyday, stepping outside their comfort zone, and staying flexible in whatever crazy situation they find themselves in.
Since Esther and Jacob started Local Adventurer in 2013, they’ve managed to earn significantly more than the average travel blogger salary.
In 2019, Local Adventurer brought in a staggering $302.9K.
▶ Affiliate marketing
▶ Brand partnerships
▶ Sponsored posts
Takeaway: Unlike every other travel blog on this list, Local Adventurer earns the bulk of their income from sponsored posts. It just goes to show that you don’t have to follow the crowd to succeed. When everyone is zigs, sometimes it pays (literally) to zag.
#10.) Living the Dream RTW
Angie and Jeremy are the faces behind Living the Dream RTW, a lifestyle design blog with a travel twist.
They quit the 9-5 life to explore the world over 12 years ago, were named one of the USA’s top 10 travel couples back in 2014, and are known for telling it like it is (no sugarcoating).
Angie and Jeremy do their income report a bit differently. Instead of writing a new post each month, they simply update the old one. They also run another blog called Discover the Burgh, a local Pittsburgh travel blog, which they combine into their income report.
In March 2021, their two travel sites earned in $8,200.
This only includes ad revenue ($6,150) and affiliate commissions ($2,050) for their two sites. It does not include extra income from SEO consulting services or income from their other affiliate site projects.
Takeaway: If you have a general worldwide travel blog without a specific niche, it may be useful to complement it with a local travel blog focused on your hometown (especially if your hometown is a big city). Not only is it easier to be an expert in one city than to be an expert of the entire world, but you’ll also have plenty to write about when you’re not traveling (or stuck at home in a pandemic).
Can you make money from traveling blogging?
You can make money from travel blogging—even if you’re starting from scratch today. Yes, the competition is fierce compared to 10 years ago, but travel is also cheaper and more accessible, which makes the pie bigger. If you niche down, you can still stand out.
Here are some other keys to success:
Find a teammate. You may have noticed that most travel blogs that make money on this list are backed by a dynamic DUO. While it’s certainly possible to build a successful travel blog by yourself, teamwork makes the dreamwork.
Give it time. Blogging success doesn’t happen overnight. Most blogs on this list have been at it for at least five years. Yes, some grew impressively fast, but with today’s competition, expect things to take longer.
Have an alternative income (or savings cushion). It will take at least a year or two for most people to earn livable wages from their blog. That means you need a Plan B to support yourself in the meantime. This might be a normal full-time job at home, or it could be other travel-friendly jobs like freelancing and teaching English.
Study and get inspired from others. Follow all the bloggers on this list, read their income reports—including the struggles they overcame to get to where they are today—and keep your inspiration tank full.
Never forget your WHY. It’s easy to get lost in your neverending To-Do List, lose sight of your end goal, and feel discouraged. To avoid this, write out the ultimate lifestyle you’re trying to achieve, and post it somewhere you’ll see it everyday.
Work smarter, not harder. Blogging takes a TON of time. The more efficient you can be, the better. My Work from Anywhere Toolkit reveals hundreds of free (and super cheap) tools that help you automate your business and finish more work in less time.
Free travel blogging courses for beginners
Several of the blogs on this list offer some sort of free travel blogging training—I recommend checking them all out.
Two of my other favorite blogging courses are Travel Blog Prosperity and Fat Stacks. They each have their own free intro courses that are extremely valuable as well.
Mitch is your typical nomadic backpacker. Or at least, he was. But after stopping in Colombia to take “one week” of salsa lessons, his life took a sharp left turn. He met a cute Colombian girl in dance class, fell in love, and got married. Over half a decade has passed since he left his career to travel the world as a digital nomad, and he’s never looked back.
Nowadays, he’s the blogger behind Project Untethered — where he runs an awesome email newsletter and Youtube channel teaching adventure-craved wanderlusters how to escape the rat race, earn money from anywhere, and build an “untethered life”.
His advice has been featured in Forbes, USA Today, Yahoo, MSN, Reader’s Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, and more.
Mitch's Travel Recommendations:
Travel Planning Resources - Everything you need to plan your trip on one convenient page.
Safetywing Insurance - This cheap travel insurance has saved me over $15,000 in medical bills.
Booking.com - Book accommodation without adding your credit card (in case you need to cancel).
Skyscanner - Find cheap flights.
Trusted House Sitters - Take care of pets in exchange for free (sometimes luxury) accommodation.
Flexjobs - Find remote jobs without having to sift through crappy ones.
Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Anytime Mailbox - Virtual mail service that can handle your mail while you’re away.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).