No doubt that the question most often people make us is about how we were able to fund a trip of several years on motorcycle by the world, the money is the great curiosity as if a project like ours depended only of work many years to save thousands and thousands of dollars, have behind a rich family who keep us financing our spends or of winning a lottery.
But none of these situations was our case, when we decided to start we were just a couple of “hippies craftsmen” who walk many miles along the beaches of the Greek Islands as street vendors. We were selling bracelet to bracelet until we save enough to buy a motorbike and then we went to hit the route. How do we get to pay the costs of 4 years traveling by 64 different countries? Here is what we did and some other options more than you can keep in mind if the money means for you an obstacle to start with your travels.
1 CRAFTS, PHOTOS, MUSIC AND ALL YOU CAN DO BY YOURSELF
With some waxed string of those used to make shoes, tweezers, some shells found on the beach or stones from those next to a river and clearly s small drill (like the brand DREMEL) we create bracelets and necklaces that we were selling to get the money we need to cover the costs of the first months. During the journey we were also doing a lot of photos, some of them the print or design postcards with them, at some point we even start with small drawings and although sincerely we were not at all good with it this was not really so important.
You don´t need to be a great photographer, a skillful painter or to have much idea with crafts, your main value is that you are a dreamer and that you are fighting for your dream. This is contagious and generates a lot of empathy in those who cross your path. If you are traveling by backpacking, cycling, motorcycle or car go to main square of the town or city that you are visiting in your travel and put your “stand”, put a map with the route that shows the route you are doing or that you intend to do and you will get the attention for the people to approach and listen your story, many of them will want to collaborate buying some of your creations.
The world of travel blogs seems today to be a saturated market since few years ago exploded a bubble when a lot of people begins to share their travel pretending to earn money not only to pay their trip but thinking also making benefits, turning into work their passions. That’s why many people who thinking about to start a long trip believe almost impossible that a blog will help them economically in a market with so competition. But even like that build your blog, don’t let your motivation be only the money.
We started our blog only because we wanted to share our experiences with those who follow us from home, we felt we had to show that the world is not as dangerous as they believed and we also wanted to live the experience of document a trip, take a dairy, start writing and let a written document for we everything that we were living so when we were older we could remember this amazing moment of our life. Without caring about to how many people would like our writing or if we will get the attention of some sponsors… in fact when we started we had no clue of the chances to use commercially a travel blog. Feel free to write whatever you want, let it flow, everything else will come alone in a very natural way that you will be surprise.
When you arrive to a moment where you think you have some experiences that deserve to be shared and interesting try to contact a local media in your own city or form the places you are visiting, write mail to the redaction of travel magazines and offer them your stories and photos. If the world of communication and media is completely new for you, as was our case, you can start by saying that you will start writing for free some articles for them and so they can see if they like your work, at least you get experience and chance to promote your project and social media channels. After some time you will be who decide when is time to start talking about get pay for your work.
Don’t forget never that there are a lot of work and sacrifice behind of those stories and photos, is you who is out there, facing many risks, surviving in the route, becoming a story teller as time goes, your photography is getting better quality, you work as reporter and even model of your own pictures taking compositions from some of the places more beautiful in the planet. Respect yourself and don´t give for free your work.
Maybe when you started you have no experience and no followers so no one company would bet investing for your project, but after a while surely your number of followers will be increased, your posts will reach a lot more people and you may be interested in working with some companies that can fit your travel necessities and philosophy. Usually they start offering equipment in exchange for a certain promotion, if they see positive results in your collaboration then you can talk about how much need to be paid money for every publications on social media, reviews of their products or services in your blog, editing videos, make photo shooting of their products for their marketing campaigns, placing a banner on your web or their logo on your clothes or vehicle including many other possibilities.
Shirts, canvas or other products with your photos, designs or logo to sell them through pages as REDBUBBLE which will produce and send the different products worldwide. In return your get a small commission for each sale.
Another formula to get some incomes from your experiences traveling is writing a book, you can do by your own without needing for an editorial and sell the book on Amazon, but you can try to contact an editorial in your country and see what options provide you. Once you have the book physically you can contact book fairs or organize events for libraries in the cities that you visit on your journey.
7 TALKS AND EVENTS
At first ir can be difficult get pay for your talks but even if you do it for free you can use this chance and at the end of the speech invite the attendees to buy your book, merchandising, or even to make donations, leave a box with a sign that says “for gasoline or to help me making more kilometers”. There are also pages to create events on the Internet like EVENTBRITE where you can put a collaboration for example 5 euros and attendees can pay with their credit cards or by PayPal.
One of the main option for travelers. We don’t have much to explain because almost everybody know how it works. YouTube have an algorithm system for what you will get pay fees depending on how many more visits receive your videos. But YouTube means many hours of edition with your computer. For us it was an option we din´t take mainly because we prefer to spend the minimum of time with the computer and use that time in the route, discovering new places and meeting different people, basically collecting experiences. And for that we find a good formula and it was avoiding hotels for accommodation, which means that we were most of the trip guests of someone and then there is no time to edit. Although for our next trip with van we most probably explore more the videos for sharing our travels.
This is another formula which we also didn’t use, although there are many travelers who choose to start a campaign to get donors who help financing their travel project. For that you have to present the positive values that your trip can represent or add a charity mission with you challenge. No one will donate money to pay your holidays. You can motivate receive more donations by fixing a program of presents in exchange for the donations, for example for 10 euros donation you will send then a personalized photo or stickers with your logo, for 25 euros you will edit a video dedicated to them, for 40 euros a shirt …. there are many pages for this type of campaigns, the most famous arE Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Patreon or Gofundme
10 PLATFORMS FOR ADVERTISING ON YOUR WEB
if the number of visits in your web is growing with the time you can start dedicating space for advertising by using some of the main platforms for this, mainly Google AdSense or Facebook instant Articles. Your Web meet to have a series of requirements and your writing respect the policies of authenticity and then you can apply with your Web in their system so they will start publishing banners between the text of your articles of your blog, the money you will receive will be depending on how many people visit receive the pages where the advertising is located.
Here are some of the formulas more used by travelers to generate income with their journeys. Now is up to you to decide how much you expect to earn, do you want only cover your expenses, get some extra money to invest in new projects in the future with bigger goals or you want to get all the money possible turning your travel in a business? As the time pass you surely will learn how you can get more and more money with advertising and sponsorship, but remember that every decision has a cost. If you started to travel because it was your dream, don’t let the offers and proposals from companies make you to forget it.
Don´t go to see a sunset thinking only as the perfect background for a photo shooting of some products, don’t get addicted to your social media, don´t entry in competition for having more followers than other travelers, don’t get obsessed with “LIKES” and don´t let your happiness depending of it, remember that the money is not the most important thing and you will see that when you are on the road money is not tha main factor for everything keep going, the road will provide all you need. Our experience an the experience of many other travelers make clear that at the end the money is not a determining factor. Your attitude, trust in yourself, your way to deal with the risks, your empathy with people of the countries you are going to visit, your priorities, your levels comfort or try to learn new skills will be what really make successful your challenge.