How to Make Money As a Travel Affiliate

make money with travel blog

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase anything through the links below I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. However, these are all tools/services I have tested and the opinions in this article are all mine and not colored by any monetary incentives. You can read my full affiliate disclosure in my Affiliate Disclosure.

LEVEL: Beginner / Newbie

Two weeks ago, my good friend and travel blogger Jason hit me up on WhatsApp. 

We hadn’t spoken for ages (he’d been living on an old sailboat in some faraway country for nearly a year) and eventually the conversation turned into a discussion about how he could better monetize his blogs and social profiles. 

After we hung up, I realized that if he as a seasoned blogger still had questions about monetization there must be hundreds, maybe thousands of noobs, having similar questions but on a much lower level. 

I’ve never been much of a traveler but I have some insights anyways when it comes to monetization.

The question is: If you are a beginner - How can you make money as a travel affiliate?


If you want to earn some extra cash while you travel, you can sign up for affiliate programs to make money online. You can use affiliate marketing to drive traffic to sites like Expedia, Hotels Combined, DiscoverCars, Kayak, and others. 

Once you have traffic, focus on creating a campaign that leads to a conversion. 

You can of course also make money from travel affiliate programs even if you are not a backpacker or around-the-world traveler or globetrotter. 

However, as someone who travels frequently, you can take a lot of exclusive images and videos which you can use to create and engage a following on social media. This will make you stand out as a trustworthy go-to source, rather than an anonymous travel affiliate. 

You can join any of the networks below by simply having a presence on social media and marketing their offers through your presence on let’s say Instagram or TikTok.

The way you would do that would be to post images, write reviews of places you visit etc and then give your followers a link to your recommended stay. When they click the link and order, you get paid. 

As Instagram only allows one link in the bio, you can use that link to direct your visitors to a free site like where you set up your affiliate links.

By doing so, you have a huge stepping stone when you decide to set up your travel blog to take your income to the next level.

We have created a comprehensive guide to the best travel affiliate programs in another section of our website, so the following is not a guide on the various affiliate programs per se. 

Instead, use it as a guide on how you can start making money as a travel affiliate and learn about some of the programs you can use to monetize your travel-related traffic or followers.

If you are not interested in promoting travel affiliate programs, but instead want to simply monetize your travel blog hands-off, then I’d recommend checking out Ezoic or Google Adsense for ads you display on your website/blog instead. 

Ok, let’s have a look at some of the top affiliate programs for travelers that also accepts people new to affiliate marketing:


Expedia Affiliate Program Details




If you've ever wanted to make money online as a travel blogger or influencer, the Expedia affiliate program may be the right fit for you. This program will allow you to make money through affiliate marketing without the hassle of building a website. While it may be a bit of work, you'll be earning extra cash, and it will give you a chance to promote the company's products.

It’s a match made in heaven for travelers, and you can promote their deals through email or social media.

Expedia is one of the most trusted travel booking programs in the world. 

As a result, people are more likely to click on links that come from a reputable company than on those from untrustworthy sites. 

As a travel affiliate, you can promote the Expedia website to your followers, website or blog, and 

they will pay you a commission on each sale you send. The affiliate program is easy to join, and you can make money immediately.

Expedia's travel affiliate program has some disadvantages, but it is one of the most profitable ones as well. The cookie duration and commission rate are poor, which clearly is a disadvantage. 

However, the brand makes it quite easy to refer people to Expedia's wide range of offers. 

The best way to promote the company's offers is to have a travel blog and write about your experiences. This will help you to attract more targeted customers to whom you can promote Expedia’s offers in combination with other, hopefully higher commission, offers.


HotelsCombined image example




You can earn big commissions as a travel affiliate by becoming a part of the HotelsCombined partnership program. 

The hotel booking site is a leading source for both cheap and luxury accommodation. 

With millions of satisfied customers, HotelsCombined aims to satisfy the needs of even more 


HotelsCombined is available in most countries around the globe and 42 languages. 

The website automatically compiles the results of the leading hotel booking sites to make one easy search. 

The HotelsCombined affiliate program is open to anyone.  

As an affiliate, you can earn up to $700 per month (of course you can also earn nothing and some will earn thousands, but the $700 seems to be the sweet spot based on a decent amount of organic search traffic). 

HotelsCombined offers a four-month cookie period.

That’s just WOW!

For more information about this program, check out the official website.

The HotelsCombined affiliate program offers two different payment models. 

You'll earn up to $2 per lead with the HotelsCombined affiliate program or up to 50% of the commission each time a visitor makes a hotel booking through your affiliate link.

Another benefit is that the HotelsCombined affiliate program lets you customize the marketing content presenter on your website. You can embed hotel listings, travel articles, or search box widgets into your site. You can even use the API to integrate the program's code into your site's flash content.

The site also provides a comprehensive affiliate support system that's staffed with professionals in several languages. It is also a very reliable affiliate program. With regular payments and a reliable affiliate support team, you can expect a good experience both for you and the people you refer to HotelsCombined.

Another benefit to becoming a HotelsCombined affiliate is a four-month cookie period. 

The HotelsCombined Affiliate Program is available through Kayak.


DiscoverCars Affiliate Program Highlights



If you are interested in making money online as a travel affiliate, DiscoverCars is another great program to join.

It offers an excellent consumer experience and a productive partnership with affiliates. 

They have a user-friendly interface and straightforward booking information, and their marketing team is supportive and friendly. 

The company also offers a generous commission schedule, which will enable you to maximize your earnings.

One of the best ways to make money as a travel affiliate is by promoting the DiscoverCars website directly. 

The DiscoverCars site offers a revenue-share program, which means you can make a commission on all bookings and full-service car reservations. 

The DiscoverCars site also offers a unique widget for your website. The widget is customizable and can be placed anywhere on your website, allowing you to display available cars etc to your visitors. 

You can also generate deep links using a landing page generator.

Renting a car can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. By adding DiscoverCars to your portfolio of affiliate programs to promote, you can tap into a well-oiled “car search” machinery and simultaneously help your visitors find a car for their budget. 

It works similarly to HotelsCombined: By using DiscoverCars, you can find the best deals and avoid any hassles. The website works with various car rental companies, so you can get the best prices on car rentals. DiscoverCars can also offer flat-rate insurance options, which will save you time and money. If you're an affiliate, you'll receive a commission on each rental.

Did you know that DiscoverCars is a global car booking platform? 

It works as a marketplace of car rental companies, offering over 2 million car rental deals across 150 countries. DiscoverCars' revenue is generated from its own income and commissions on the Full Coverage product. 

DiscoverCars' affiliate income averages $18 per purchase, but you could easily make $50 or more from one booking. 

They have an exceptionally 365-day-long cookie period. 

In addition, their revenue split is unique:

You get paid 70% of their profit from each booking plus 30% of their income from the Full Coverage insurance scheme.


Kayak Affiliate Program Highlights



One of the most well-known travel search engines, Kayak, offers an affiliate program. 

Most people know Kayak as a free travel search engine. 

But did you know it also pays you to sell travel products? 

It is an online booking tool, and you can earn money just by recommending airfares and hotels to your visitors. Kayak makes its money through distribution revenues that it receives from travel providers. 

In other words, when you send a client to a travel provider, Kayak will pay you a portion of the commission.

As a Kayak travel affiliate, you can make money in a variety of ways. They have full API-integration possibilities if you want to build a full-fledged site with a lot of features. They also have the option to white-label their search products and they offer regular affiliate marketing materials like text links and banners in addition to widgets you can easily add to your site.

Travel-related websites tend to perform the best, but as long as you have some kind of following or visitors who could be interested in booking a stay, car or 

You can begin by creating a Kayak account and promoting travel deals on your site. This is easy. All you have to do is sign up as an affiliate. Once your account is set up, you'll have access to the Kayak affiliate program. Simply click on the "Affiliate" link in your profile. Kayak will then automatically create a link to your website, so you can earn money for every successful booking.

The Kayak experience itself is excellent. Kayak helps travelers find the best flights and hotels at the lowest prices. They also offer special offers for travelers. This helps fill up airline and hotel rooms. 

The website also has a special deals section where travelers can browse for budget deals. Kayak also provides trip management tools. 



Our Recommendations and Suggestions


The company examples above consisted mainly of travel search engines. 

The reason for that is that these often have a lot of tools you can implement on your site, like for instance a search widget.

While the idea of traveling and making money at the same time may seem exciting, a word of warning is needed:

The competition is fierce!

And to make things worse, the payout per booking is quite small. 

One of the first websites I bought was a travel site. I was so excited because it looked great and professional but I didn’t earn a dime and I eventually just let it die out. 

Don’t let that happen to you.

Our recommendation is to instead find a niche within the travel industry and build a blog around that specific niche. 

Let’s say you are a student traveling on a low budget. You can teach others to do the same. There’s your niche.

Or maybe you and your family like to take weekend trips to big cities? There’s your niche

Once you find your niche, create a list of related keywords and start building out content targeting that specific part of the market. 

That is a huge topic all on its own and not covered here, but if you are brand new to affiliate marketing, you can read our beginners' guide to affiliate marketing here

Best of luck in your endeavors and reach out if you need any help.




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