Can Blogging Pay For My Travel?

| by Jason | 63 Comments » | Blogging Tips

Location Independent Professionals

Location Independent Professional

For those preparing to travel long-term, blogging is almost becoming an expected component of the trip.  Being a travel blogger myself, active on twitter, I see new people eagerly jumping into the travel blogger sphere every week.  Blogging while traveling offers many positives for your trip, but the ultimate question is, “Can a blog pay for your travel?”

Why Blog?

Blogging can be an excellent tool for sharing your experiences with friends and family on-line.  From across the world you can hop on the hostel computer and upload your pictures for all to see.  You can write a story about your latest adventure or cultural awakening.  And most important to me, you have an on-line record of all your travels.  Aracely and I even kept an on-line daily journal of our activities every single day.

Others might be improving their skills in a field they have always dreamed of working in.  Web design, photography, writing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are just a few skills that you can work on while operating your travel blog.

Aracely Santos Photography

Aracely Enjoying Photography

Negatives of Blogging

Travel and blogging is difficult to balance and must not take away from your number one priority of travel.  It also depends on what your priorities are at that moment.  For some that have been blogging for years, the priority may shift more towards the business side, rather than the travel.  Maintaining a travel blog as a potential business while traveling is a challenge that requires a lot of time management.  If you are just updating your blog for your own personal account of experiences, then the pressure doesn’t exist as much.  To succeed as a business however, you must constantly focus on updating your blog through added content, SEO management and networking.

Managing Blogging & Traveling

Blogging and traveling can co-exist peacefully.  Decide what approach your want to take during your travels.  Maybe you can document all your travels and blog about it when you return.  If this is your first time traveling, focus on the trip and maintain the blog when you have extra time.  There are many different approaches available for you where you can do both.

Jason Castellani Video Professional

Jason Capturing the Moment Through Video

Travel Blogging Income

I think like any other money making entrepreneurial business, we tend to focus on the best case scenario.  It’s good to know how much you can achieve, but it’s just as healthy understanding where the average lies.

Blogging does not yield much income for the majority of people. It’s a lot of work for little reward, especially in the travel blogging niche.  You have a better chance making money writing about politics, sports, gambling or porn.  But, for many of us, travel writing or photography is our passion.

Okay, so now we are stuck with travel blogging.  Can I pay for my travels by blogging about them?  No, not travel blogging alone. That is the answer for the majority, if not all, of bloggers in our community.

How to Monetize Travel BlogHow Do I Make Money?

A blog won’t make money, by simply creating it.  After creation you must focus on SEO and content population which will eventually lead to a Google Page Rank and increased visitors.  After your blog has achieved this step you can begin negotiating for some advertising or affiliate sales.  Advertising and text link building is not the only source of income, but it’s typically the first type of offers for payment your will receive.  Okay, so then it’s $1,000 a month and I am ready to travel for free right?  Not so quick.  $1,000 is a lot of money for a blogger and most of us will never achieve that amount.  This is the reality I think you should be aware of.

Build a Better Travel BlogSo why do we blog?  We do it because blogging can be a foundation for your business.  Your blog attracts an audience.  You need an audience to be successful.

What’s next?

Develop a product.  Top blogs don’t just blog, they sell.  Nomadic Matt has developed several ebooks including “How to Monetize Your Blog,” which I purchased early in our blog’s development.  Dave at manages the web community at, of which I am a member.  Christine at has written “30 Ways in 30 Days to Redesign Your Life and Travel the World“, is currently producing an independent film and is consulting with Nomadic Matt at CGMK Consulting.

Blogging alone is not going to pay for your travels, but blogging can be the beginning of an independent digital lifestyle.  If you are just starting out creating your travel blog, understand the journey to earn an income is long and requires tremendous creativity.

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Tags: Blogging Tips

Written by Jason

Co-founder of Jason has been traveling, writing, taking photos and creating adventure videos since 2024, when he departed on his first year long travel backpacking journey. Jason is a full-time blogger and social marketing guru trying to find the way. Visit my website

63 Responses to “Can Blogging Pay For My Travel?”

  1. Dave says:

    Wow, I felt a sense of deja-vu reading this post. It reminds me of the conclusions I ever so slowly came to after my trip around the world. The good news is where there’s a will to establish an online income and a location independent lifestyle, there IS a way to achieve it. But there are no short cuts – patience and hard work are the main ingredients in my experience.

  2. Interesting post. We started our blog to share our travel experiences / travel tips, as a memory for ourselves (I like that you even had a daily journal, great way to remember even the tiniest detail) and to get in touch with other travelers. A lot of people seem to start their blogs mainly for monetary reasons, clearly addressing potential advertisers and hoping to make a quick buck on the way. Although some extra money certainly doesn’t hurt, the trip should still be priority, and not be scheduled around the blog. We think that if you are playing with the idea of making money from your blog you really have to be willing to invest a lot of time in it. The people who actually earn enough money to pay for their travels are mainly ‘digital nomads’, who travel long-term / indefinite and not just for a year. It still amazes us when we hear how much money some travel bloggers earn, but they do work very hard for it.

    • Jason says:

      It absolutely is a lot of time. We began our blog for the same reason as you did, not really expecting to make money. But, it quickly changed after we entered the travel blogging community and got the impression that everyone was doing it. After a year and a half I felt it was time to set some reasonable expectations.

  3. Great article, as I’m about to do the same exact thing. The travel blogging niche is booming as awareness is spreading. My main focus is traveling with as little as money as humanly possible. I also bought Nomadic Matts “how to monetize your travel blog” and it’s a great read. Very inspirational.
    Thanks for the post!

  4. Michael says:

    Exactly. Most travel bloggers have another form of making money that generates most of their profit. Text links and ads are a great start but to aim for $1,000 a month – you’ll have to make a product to sell. The blog is an audience builder to gain trust out of the readers, after you gain trust – you might be able to sell a service or product.

    • Jason says:

      Yup, it’s a great loyal audience to have. We still have not released a product, but its necessary to advance to the next level of income.

  5. Audrey says:

    When we started our blog, we didn’t think much about monetizing it. We thought of it more as a way to share our experiences and as a portfolio for our photography and writing work. This is how we still mainly use our website, but recently we’ve been able to earn a bit of money from it. It’s certainly not enough to live on, but we hope to be better use our travel experience and knowledge to monetize the site better. A little more passive income certainly wouldn’t hurt :)

    But, the idea that you can put a website up and earn tons of cash from Google Ads and other advertisement immediately is a myth for most people. I always try to set expectations for people when they contact us about how to fund their travels through blogging.

    • Jason says:

      I do admire you guys Audrey, because you still found a way to combine your desire to travel and earn a living. No matter how we do it, it’s always the main goal. A blog doesn’t have to be the answer, there are plenty of creative options out there as you guys can attest to.

    • The blogging world is so small, I had to smile when I saw your name. Hi! Anyway, I recently read something about google ads etc, and how they actually are a bad deal for most people because they pull traffic away from your web site, towards products you don’t endorse/wouldn’t put your name behind. It is much better to, like you guys are saying, come up with a product you can back .. .the question is what … I think eBooks could really work in the travel market – little manuals that people could use in their travels/preparations. You could have some free ones to give them a taste – perhaps checklists for travel … anything really.

      Anyway, nice post, Interesting discussion! :)

  6. Adam says:

    Great tips here. We, like many, started a blog when we went on our RTW, as a way to chronicle our journeys and keep up with family and friends. Upon returning home, and with the horrible economy preventing me from getting a full time job in my career, I started looking into blogging more. I rediscovered my love of writing while on the trip, and combined with my love of travel, starting a new, comprehensive site about travel was a no-brainer for me.

    Patience is key as I’ve yet to earn a penny, while putting tons of time and effort into it. But I love doing it, and I hope my site opens some doors for me down the road. It’s all about being persistent with something you love to do, and hopefully with enough hard work, it will eventually pay off.

  7. Keith says:

    Useful post for the travel blogging community – thanks for writing it! I, too, bought Matt’s ebook before I created Traveling Savage. I think it does a good job of conveying the kind of work needed to be successful.

    I think the truth is – and I don’t know who said this – that there isn’t one path to success as a travel blogging right now. We’re in the wild west and many people could find many ways to be successful. The keys are determination, ingenuity, and being tech- and social media-savvy.

  8. Melanie says:

    Wow. you just constructed this blog so perfectly. Great job. Traveling and blogging complement each other. Blogging is our outlet to shout to the world the successful adventure we have in our trip. Traveling, on the other hand, is the interest of everybody so it is nice to share something through blogs.

  9. Kirsty says:

    I think people starting out need to ask themselves what their goals are. If they want to connect with other travellers, share their advice, meet people in the travel industry, and score some freebies then blogging is a great way to go.

    If the goal is to make money online and have a passive income to support your travels (or whatever else it is you enjoy) then blogging isn’t the best way forward, at least not in my experience.

    There are lots of ways to earn online and blogs are a time-suck. If your goal is to earn a passive income then you should put the blog away and explore all of the other ways – affiliate marketing, niche websites and the loads of other ways I don’t know anything about.

    But as Keith said, this is all relatively new and I think there’s still a lot of money to be made online and blogging could prove to work for lots of people… just know that those of us who are earning a living online aren’t doing it solely through a blog. :-)

    • Aracely says:

      Kirsty, great point regarding people needing to be clear on their goals. It’s much easier to obtain what you want once you’ve determined what it is. ;) And yes, blogging is very time consuming. We realized that very early, which is why we decided to focus on the trip and not the blog during our travels. I also agree that this is a new thing and slowly we are all discovering what works and what doesn’t. Best of luck and thanks for the comment!

  10. Diana says:

    Great article. I was actually wondering how (and if) some of my fellow travel bloggers were pulling in a significant income from their work. Congrats on what you guys have been able to do thus far!

  11. Heya Jason, very interesting article and thanks for sharing this. Many people have also asked me about how do I make money from blogging and it is not as simple as everyone thinks. Glad you wrote this.

  12. Beautiful article, thanks for sharing this post with us. I would always like to travel outside. This is nice information about blogger and travel sites. I would like to travel adventure trip. Thanks so much.

  13. Great post! I write a travel blog, and really love sharing my experiences with the world. As someone who loves to write, blogging helps me develop my writing skills. One day I’m hoping that I can take this and pull it into the ability to write a book about my adventures. This obviously wouldn’t fund my travels now but could help me in the future – a sort of travelling education so to speak. I do think though that writing a blog should be about sharing your passion with others first and foremost. Miriam

    • Jason says:

      Writing is very tough for me. I don’t particularly enjoy it, but at the same time I want to get some messages out there. It’s so much easier for me to talk to someone rather than write it on paper and keep it interesting. Videos are really my passion, something we are working on getting started again.

  14. nina says:

    I found myself nodding as I read through your article, as these are the same thoughts that went through my head when I reflect upon my four years of travel blogging.

    When people find out that I’m a travel blogger, they get all excited, and gush at how envious they are about my lifestyle, not knowing that travel blogging is not just traveling — it’s also blogging. Blogging, while enjoyable as a hobby, takes a lot of effort, specially if you’re aiming to earn money from your blog. Earning from blogging, whether travel or any other niche, still entail a lot of hard work.. quite unlike those “earn while you sleep” gimmick that others imply!

    • Jason says:

      You hit on a tough topic there Nina. Many outside of Travel Blogging do think it’s a easy, non-time consuming free life. I guess it depends on what you are trying to achieve with your blog. If it’s for hobby only, then yes, it’s easy in my opinion. You write when you want, and nothing more. If you are trying to make a living or income with your blog, then the approach is completely different. You must push content out as much as possible, even if you feel as though you have nothing to say. You must learn all aspects of the Social Networking environment and become a pro at marketing. You have to seek out your earnings with partners and advertisers. It essentially is a real job.

  15. Nancie says:

    Very refreshing to read an honest post on this topic. I think overtime a travel blogger can probably build an income. I think this could be more from offers to write (and get paid for it), and advertising. I’m not even sure that the majority of products are going to bring in a lot of revenue. You have to sell a lot of e-book at 10 or 20 dollars to make any kind of an income. If you are having affiliates sell for you, which is a given, you are making a lot less than ten or twenty dollars.

    Personally, I think a person should travel blog for the love it (and just maybe) the money will follow.

    • Jason says:

      Nanice, I think that approach, “for the love of it” is what many entrepreneurs are trying to achieve. The belief is that if you love something you will naturally achieve success due to the passion and hard work you are willing to invest.

  16. LeslieTravel says:

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing. Blogging is not a road to riches but your suggestions will help make some extra cash.

  17. Jenny says:

    I blog because I really love doing it. I want to have a memoir of my thoughts and the things I did… we forget so much with time. I have had my blog for about 5 years, but off and on depending on what was going on with life. I’ve recently decided to add more resources than travel stories in an attempt to inspire others to take the leap to location independence and living unconventionally. If I can make money from that, great. If not, I have other sources of income with my location independent graphic design business.

  18. Claire says:

    I have to agree with Jenny above– i love doing it and I feel productive and happy after posting. plus, if for no other purpose, i have my memories down for posterity. would i like to hit the “big time” and start getting paid to travel all over the world and blog about? oh my, YES! just not sure if i ave the intense motivation yet to focus completely on it.

    i like your input and your no-nonsense approach to it.

    • Jason says:

      @LeslieTravel @Jenny @Claire – We are all right, in that we know it’s unlikely to be able to travel the world surviving on only a blog’s income, but we can hope and try to get there. I think like Jenny said, it’s great to have another source on income, like in her case a graphic design business. I was also considering doing some work through but I am dedicating too much time to the blog right now. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s dreams, but we need to be honest when talking about travel blogging income. At the same time, we need to know that some can live on their blogging income, so it’s a possibility, but a rarity. Keep working hard!

  19. Craig says:

    Gosh, I’m late to the comment party on this one! That’s a disadvantage of blogging and travelling: you never see any conversations until they’re over :)

    In addition to the resources you’ve got above, I’m blogging at Make Money Travel Blogging to try and talk about all these issues, and the money we make from travel blogging. There’s a lot to learn and lots of crap programmes around.

    A recent survey we did showed around 60% of travel bloggers making less than US$20 a month, only a dozen people were making more than $2,000 (from memory).

    Some of these people don’t have huge audiences, but do produce something these people are willing to donate towards or buy. The secret to making money with a blog isn’t more traffic … it’s actually having an income stream.

  20. As a professional travel writer, I ‘d like to add that travel blogging and writing can pay for your travel – as long as you don’t have a mortgage, or children or need medical insurance or a steady stream of income.

    As Jason and Craig mention, the majority of travel bloggers don’t make a significant amount of money from their writing. If not for my husband, I would not have a roof over my head, medical insurance or a steady stream of income. Come to thing of it – I wouldn’t have the children if it weren’t for my husband, as well.

  21. Great post and a very clear and honest one at that. I have been blogging for almost a year now and I am just now turning to the monetizing of my blog. To be honest I don’t exactly have advertisizers banging down my door now that I’m open for business. It is a slow process but if you are doing it for the right reasons the little monetary compensation you receive will be worthwhile….I hope.

  22. Coming late to this because we are traveling the world and blogging as we go, not to mention, education our child too in 3 languages! ;)

    We started our world tour & blogging in 2024 ( sold everything in 2024, so started the location independent living and travel then) and the blogs who have joined since then have been amazing.

    We enjoy the process, but it sure is not a way to get rich. Travel and blogging at the same time are not real compatible and why few people do it for any length of time.

  23. It’s about time somebody finally pointed this all out, well done! Still wating on that killer idea to make some extra money too though lol :)

    • Jason says:

      My problem is I feel as though I have several killer ideas, but just managing the day to day tasks of the blog is overwhelming. I am home right now and I have been able to elevate our blog’s traffic considerably. However, I work 8 hrs a day just doing that. When I am away from the computer it will drop so fast it’s unbelievable. I believe that once you can walk away from your computer and still maintain one of the highest ranking blogs, you have made it. Well, we haven’t made it yet, but we are working on it.

  24. Nisha says:

    Agree with you. It takes a lot of effort and patience to achieve something.
    I have been blogging for quite sometime & now I can see the fruits of this labor coming my way.

    Glad that you wrote abt it.

    • Jason says:

      We are also just beginning to see some monetary benefit these last 2 months, but I am curious to see if it will last, especially when we get traveling again. Thanks for commenting Nisha.

  25. Andrea says:

    Unfortunately it’s true that most people wont make money from their travel blog or from any online venture. I’m lucky enough to have other websites which provide me with income so I don’t have to make money from my travel blog but I’m determined to do so anyway. I’m of the believe that if others can do it, so can I. It takes hard work and persistence but anything is possible.

    • Jason says:

      Yup, that’s a great attitude. And we believe it can be done too, hence our blog. Having multiple projects is a great advantage. Good luck Andrea!

  26. Travel blogging in and of itself makes you rich in many ways. The satisfaction of documenting your journey, the theraputic value of writing, creating, the friends and community available in the travel blog0sphere…while the money may not come rolling in we accumulate a wealth of experience.
    great blog and a killer comment thread here!

  27. Lauren says:

    I think another thing is for people to really question themselves about whether or not they want to change their blogs to make income. Because when you start talking advertising, sponsorship, SEO, page views, etc., it means tailoring your writing and content to appease or fuel those factors. People may know what kinds of posts garner the most viewers or traffic, but they may not want to write about those things all the time.

    If your initial vision of your site would lose its integrity if you tweaked it for these elements, you may be better off just keeping it your personal project that you don’t want to monetize.

  28. Nice realistic post. I does a lot of earn a living, or even just some beer money travel blogging, but it can be done (hopefully). I’m in the middle of a 1000-1000 challenge. Trying to build my blog to 1,000 visitors a day and $1,000/month. The travel world is so big that there must be room for a lot of us to reach this mark.

    I’m planning to put up another site dedicated to the challenge so that we can learn from each other. Hopefully it will shed some more transparency on the world of making money by traveling…or if it is even possible.

    • Jason says:

      I agree Todd, it can be done, but it’s work. Many, including myself, saw it as an easy penny. Well, its not, and I wanted to make sure we all knew that. But perseverance always wins. Good luck Todd!

  29. Nicole says:

    Hey! I just discovered your site while looking at different travel blogs. I was hoping to do a similar adventure. I am actually a professional broadcaster right now… but plan to quit my job at the end of the year and go traveling with one of my girl friends. You have the best site I have seen on the internet so far. I was hoping to focus my blog more on video (that is my expertise). I do not plan on making a profit right away but I hope, like you guys, it might open some doors for me. Would you mind telling me what sort of camera you guys use and what kind of editing softward you are using? Are you just editing and uploading videos from a laptop? Or how do you update your blog? I have just started planning out my adventure and have no idea how to create a website. I am starting to realize how important that is… and wondering how on earth I can learn. I do however know how to shoot, edit and write stories. I have a million different questions to ask but I will start with those. Greatly appreciate if you could get back!

    • Jason says:

      We filmed with a Canon Vixia HFS100 camcorder (1920x1080HD 29.97fps) and had 4 SD cards to film on. The cards were 16G and 8G cards with at least a class 6. We used a MacBook Pro with Final Cut Express to edit our films. We quickly ran into the problem of bandwidth while staying in hostels and off the beaten path places. The videos stopped and we focused on Photography until our trip ended. Now, with the trip over, our focus is back on film. We are currently developing a new video intro and learning new software such as Final Cut Studio. Final Cut Studio is not needed unless you are trying to produce absolute professional videos. Final Cut Express is fine. In addition to the laptop, you will need backup external hard drives to store your film on. Consider rugged external drives and send them home once you fill them up.

      Creating a blog is now fairly easy using WordPress and existing blog templates. Its all plug and play. You can operate a blog from the road by using Internet Cafes and the computers in hostels, but you will be limited with what you can do. If you are looking to edit and upload films on the road you will need your own laptop. The learning part is fun. Take your time and experiment. We changed our blog 10 times before we settled on a permanent design.

      • Nicole says:

        Thanks! That is very helpful.

        I have not bought any equipment yet so I am looking to find what might be best for on the road blogging. I want to edit and post videos WHILE travelling on a laptop… would you recommend the equipment you used or can you think of anything better or anything you would change? I am getting a new laptop this month and was learning towards a MacBook. Would you recommend? I am trained to edit on Final Cut Pro for work… is Final Cut Express similar? I am assuming you had to purchase it separately. Thanks for the blog info. too. Sorry so many questions! But I feel like getting the right equipment is so important and I am not so sure if the people at Best Buy are going to know anything about the best equipment for travel. Thank-you so much for your help again!



        • Jason says:

          I am a Mac guy, so I am a bit biased. It all depends on the quality you will be filming at. If you plan to film and edit in full 1920×1080 HD video you will absolutely need a power laptop such as a MacBook Pro. Even then you will need to consider upgrading the hard drive to 7200rpm to handle such massive film footage. First, consider what type of filming you want to do and then decide. If you want to create a documentary, you will need to make a hardy investment in equipment. If you are interested in short web videos only, then save yourself money and equipment and film in 720 HD. Visit an Apple store where they can provide some feedback. Good luck.

  30. Jason says:

    Interesting post, 2backpacks:

    My take is that no one is “making money” (as in, more income than expenses) and that no one’s travel blog “pays for their travel.” (Unless Nancy’s husband is paying for it)
    Doing well in the travel blog space means spending lots of hours social networking, tweaking SEO and commenting on other travel blogs. (A travel blogger’s audience is…other travel bloggers)
    If you take a “successful” travel blogger’s income and divide by the number of hours on the web, you won’t have minimum wage.
    I enjoy travel blogging but unfortunately it will never be my day job.

    • Jason says:

      Jason, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Many are making money by blogging, but even fewer are making money as independent travel bloggers. It is possible, however it was important for me to let readers know how challenging and frustrating it can be. Like any other business venture you need to put all your time and energy into it if you are indeed trying to monetize. I am trying to monetize, it has become my full time job. And since it is my job I am growing the business now versus just documenting our travels. I think it all depends on what your goals and priorities are. Not everyone’s goals are to make a living blogging, but right now, that is mine.

  31. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler says:

    I’ve always felt this way about, not only travel blogging, but many other things in my life. I realize all the work I’m putting into my blog will not make me monetarily rich, but I firmly believe that if you put enough effort into it and you have talent, then it will open doors that you may not even know existed. Very insightful post.

  32. Ted Nelson says:

    Good article. Just starting out myself, so it is beneficial to have a realistic idea of success. Right now it is more of a hobby for me that I juggle with other jobs and activities, so if I can make any money off of it I am happy.

    • Jason says:

      That’s a good approach to have Ted. If making money isn’t your first priority, you can relax and just enjoy when a few extra bucks are sent your way.

  33. It does take a LOT of hard work and hours and hours of unpaid labor. I remember when we got $0.01 and were so excited. lol I don’t think we’ve made much since then but we also slowed down the content. Content is King! :D I was thinking about taking the ads off completely and just going back to basics for a while.

    • Jason says:

      Whatever you try, there are always possibilities. That’s the thing with making money blogging… there is yet to exist a concrete business plan. There are so many different methods to try an experiment with. Content is important, but just as important, to me, is the ability to market your content. If you build it, they “won’t” come. You have to bring your content to them. Unless you have a YouTube video that goes viral. Then they will come to you.

  34. Walter says:

    Wow, Jason, great article and according valuable comments!

    I guess the revenue stream for most of us will contain several aspects such as a product / service, AdSense, paid ads, affiliate programs, sponsored trips (or part of if), etc.

    But that only comes once you get a reasonable amount of traffic. And that only comes after you compiled tons of good and relevant content. And we all know how hard that is to collect and produce…

    I think traveling is the easy part. Being tech savvy regarding SEO and social media with its ever changing facets is at least as important as writing good copy and taking appealing photos. All very time consuming activities…

  35. That’s great advice! I think this whole myth about being paid for blogging needs to be cleared up, just like you did, because really if you’re into travel blogging for the money, you’re at the wrong place.

    You have to do it because you want to, not because you want to travel for free.

    • Jason says:

      If your #1 goal is to make money there are definitely better options available. However, it is possible to make some money blogging, but it’s difficult, rare and challenging. We are slowly making that attempt.

  36. Greenie says:

    Good. I can pay for my travel. Even if it for replacement shoes laces. It all helps.

    You can help me if you like ;-) by visiting my blog.

    Great advice you have there.

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