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The Perks of Being a Travel Blogger

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Prior to starting this blog earlier in the year, my other blog – a travel blog – has been my main focus up until this point.

I have been writing on it for 2.5 years and it really opened a lot of doors for me; it’s why I can now make a lot of money each month from sponsored posts. It’s why I can now become location independent and live wherever I want.

To say it’s changed my life is an understatement – it’s completely redesigned my life and given me opportunities I could only dream of.

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As most of you who read this blog are finance bloggers, I thought it could be interesting to share the perks of being a travel blogger with you…

1) A Network of Travel Geeks
Planning to visit somewhere? No worries, all your other travel blogger buddies have probably been there or at the very least know someone who has. Want suggestions of where to stay, eat and what to do? An group of well-travelled friends are at your call.

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2) FREE Accommodation/Cheap Travel
Ok, so it’s not really free but more of a barter agreement. For this trip to bali, I have sorted out about 20 nights free accommodation. I could have been sponsored for the whole time, but one of the places I want to go is booked out almost everywhere, so I would rather just go and pay for it myself. Today I have a beautiful big suite room (nightly price of $400) with an infinity pool and another pool on the roof, just cause. Yesterday I stayed at a luxury resort, with my own 24/7 butler. Yes, butler.

In exchange for exposure on my blog I was provided with free accommodation in numerous parts of Bali. What does this have to do with finance?

It has lowered my travel costs considerably and I’m staying in way nicer places than I would otherwise be able to afford.

For example, as my accommodation and buffet + A La Carte breakfast was complimentary, I have paid $4 for a small snack for lunch and Ben and I went halves in a $16 forty five minute long taxi to our new destination. So that’s $12 for me, so far. Later we’ll go to dinner and I’ll probably spend $10 and I might get an hour long massage for $6.

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My daily total for today: $28 to stay in 5 star accommodation, eat well, get a massage and a private taxi to a new destination.

Or some $210 a week.

Of course the days vary and overall I have spent a lot more than that, because of the initial excitement of arriving and certain activities we did. But yes, a perk of being a travel blogger is cheap travel. I’ve also done a bunch of sponsored activities during my travels which help keep costs down.

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3) Having a Network of Friends Everywhere
This is something finance bloggers can probably relate to, but it’s different because travel bloggers are constantly on the move. I’ve had so many people comment on my blogs to meet up with me or others that I knew were in a certain place. It’s great for meeting new people!
I love being a travel blogger. It was really hard to blog about travel when I was stuck in one place, but now we’re on the road again I feel like I am back into it.

So that was my weekend in a nutshell.

What did you get up to this weekend? Would you be down with cheap/free travel?

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17 Comments

  • Charlotte says:

    Wowww I had no idea travel bloggers were able to barter so much! How do you set up these arrangement, offer to review the hotel on your blog in exchange for free/cheap accommodation? So cool! You’ve got a good thing going on, Christine 🙂

    • Christine says:

      It’s pretty cool, my boyfriend wants me to do ALL sponsored stays, but I find it kind of intense… like at one of the hotels the marketing manager was really lovely, but took me on this way-too-long tour of the property and then when we had a problem regarding my partner being held up, she invited me into the VIP lounge to sit and talk for an hour and a half… kinda was really awkward lol. So I prefer the freedom of independent stays, but a lot of places are less intense.

      I ask my VA to ‘pitch’ a letter I wrote to hotels and then some get back to me and a lot don’t. I negotiate with the ones who do get back to me and find some middle ground. I’ve done pretty well on this trip 🙂 I am quite impressed, especially as I only have one ‘example’ of a previous review on my blog!

  • Great job on your travel bartering! =) That is definitely a great perk to have and one I have been able to take advantage of as the owner of a travel website. On the other hand, I can’t take advantage quite like you can because I have a husband and kids. My job makes me location independent, but his does not. I don’t particularly like leaving my husband and kids alone that much either, so I am somewhat stuck with his vacation days. Fortunately, he can take 4-5 weeks off. I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be if he only had a handful of vacation days.

    I am going to Mexico in a few weeks sans husband and kids. It will be my first husband-free trip so I am nervous! =)

    • Christine says:

      Thanks Holly, it’s a lot of fun (but a bit of work too). Husband and kids would certainly make it hard, but worthwhile. I’m very grateful I have this opportunity before I settle down and have a family 🙂

      4-5 weeks off is pretty generous and a lot more than average, for sure. I think you’ll have a great time in Mexico!!! How long are you away for? It’ll make your husband REALLY appreciate you I’m sure!

  • Did you draft up the proposition letter or is your VA just that awesome??

    I hear you about it all being a bit intense. Sometimes when people want you to have a good time, they smother you!

    • Christine says:

      Great name, Will 😉 I wrote the letter myself, but specified where she should edit. She pitches it (changes the dates, the names of the hotels etc) and then I respond to any follow up emails. I think it’s important that I deal with the people directly. Some hotels have been really casual and just let me check in and not had anything to do with the managers, others have taken me on tours etc. Today the manager I met with was lovely and we had a good hour long conversation – funnily enough she knew the previous two marketing managers I had dealt with – which was weird!!! Small world, even overseas.

      There is a bit of work involved – I would say on average 1 hour dealing with the marketing manager, 2 hours drafting posts/writing reviews and maybe 30 mins on photos. So, all in all 3.5 hours work. This place I’m staying in at the moment is $420 per night, so that’s $840 total for 3.5 hours work. Not bad… I’m quickly realising it’s not really worth it for the cheaper places, even though I like staying in them to meet people.

      The best thing is that it’s helping me save money so traveling is really a LOT cheaper for me than living at home 🙂

  • Jason Butler says:

    I think it’s awesome that you were able to barter your travel. I need to do this in the future.

    • Christine says:

      It’s been such a big help… we’ve stayed in places that would have been otherwise outside our reach. I estimate we’ve ‘saved’ about $4,500 on accommodation for the month, maybe more! If you ever want any tips on how to do this in future, please hit me up. More than happy to help 🙂

  • Marie @ 4HWD says:

    Wow, Christine, honestly, I didn’t have any idea that you can do travel bartering! Well, I got a crazy busy weekend, we went swimming with my family and friends.

    • Christine says:

      Hi Maria,

      That sounds really lovely! I like swimming 🙂 Thankfully there’s heaps of pools here in Bali so I’ve been doing some too. Yeah, it’s crazy what you can barter… it definitely makes travel cheaper 🙂 Thank you for stopping by.

  • Michelle says:

    Love this post! I have earned a lot of free travel through my blog and it’s pretty awesome. I love it!

  • Wow this sounds amazing !

    All joking aside – as someone that *doesn’t* have a travel blog and compete against you, how did you find these opportunities? Do they come to you? Is it through a network? Do you have to “sell” your blog to each hotel and hope they bite?

    • Christine says:

      I approach hotels out of the blue with a pitch email that my VA customises for me for each location and hotel. It doesn’t take much work… I have hooked in the Four Seasons for Singapore 😀

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