How to Choose the Best Hotel/Travel Affiliate for You in 2018

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Travel blogging is quite popular now. People all over the world deliver helpful information about traveling and inspire others by creating informative content. While blogging is often exciting and a lot of fun, content monetization can be a tricky task. This is when affiliate programs come in handy.

Affiliate Program Definition

Affiliate programs are a monetization tool that involves promoting products you don’t produce. Hotels, travel agencies, and many other companies crave solvent and loyal web traffic on their sites. Moreover, they are ready to pay for it. This means you can use your highly interested audience to build mutually beneficial relationships with affiliate partners.

How Affiliate Programs Work

The point of participating in affiliate programs is to drive additional sales for the partner company. Basically, you recommend your affiliate’s services or products, encourage your audience to place orders, and earn a commission for each purchase they make.

This system allows both the advertiser and the content maker to profit from the channeled traffic.

Why the Travel Niche Is Profitable

First, let’s face one fact – travel services are often expensive. This is crucial, as most affiliate programs pay a percentage of the purchase. Therefore, the more revenue your partners receive, the higher your reward.

Another bright side of the travel niche is the inspirational aspect. A loyal audience always trusts travel bloggers if they promote high-quality services. Having chosen a decent travel affiliate network, you will not only avoid negative comments from your audience but also receive grateful feedback on great recommendations.

Best Travel Affiliate Programs 2018 by Category

We have divided travel affiliates into several categories so that you can better understand their specifics. Here are the ones worth mentioning:

  •       hotel reservation;
  •       travel agency partnership;
  •       travel insurance;
  •       tours and activity affiliates;
  •       cruise partner programs;
  •       transportation affiliates.

We’ll look at every one of them in detail, discover their main advantages, learn how your commission is calculated, and find out how much you can actually earn with them. Let’s get down to it!

Hotel Reservations

These partnership programs often let you integrate a widget for booking a hotel room into your blog. The widget suggests a relevant hotel reservation for your audience. It channels the target group traffic to hotel websites and benefits the hotel affiliate company and, therefore, you.

Most hotel booking partners pay bloggers a percentage for each reservation visitors make via their link. The best travel affiliate networks in this category pay up to 70% of their commissions. However, some partners – like HotelsCombined – pay per every click, regardless of the reservations.

You can earn a buck or two per click or $10+ per reservation. If you stay at hotels a lot and can generate high-quality traffic for the hotel affiliate, this niche is for you. Choose from the top hotel affiliate programs – whether it’s Travelpayouts, Booking.com, or a similar one – and start monetizing your content.

Travel Agency Partner Programs

Old-fashioned offline travel agencies aren’t in high demand anymore. That’s why the most progressive companies have moved to the web along with travelers. You can use their travel affiliate programs to earn from your blog traffic.

Online travel agencies offer so-called travel bundles: combinations of transportation, accommodation, and entertainment. This is convenient for customers, as they can thoroughly plan their travel in advance.

The best partner networks pay up to 5-11% of the orders your subscribers place. If you have a general travel blog, this option may be the best one for you. You’ll receive a significant commission for every purchase because travel bundles are often much more expensive than single services.

Top agencies often have a set of strict terms for the partnership. Make sure to check the program requirements before you apply, whether you would like to partner with Expedia or a similar program.

Travel Insurance Partner Programs

These monetization solutions are the top travel affiliate programs for those who specialize in long-term trips. Your audience is likely to be concerned about their safety during long trips. This can make insurance affiliates quite profitable for you.

Getting an average of 10% commission per every purchase (within the World Nomads program, for instance), you can reach a substantial monthly payment. Just post consistently and place your partner links in the content organically.

Tour and Activity Affiliates

As one of the best choices for video bloggers, tours and activities partner programs are quite popular among content makers nowadays.

Entertainment is the most diverse niche in the travel industry. Due to the scope of tour and activity affiliates, it is better to pick the network that covers your region. This way you’ll provide the most relevant services for your audience.

Liquidity, high profits, and a strong demand for such services – these are the key advantages of entertainment partner programs. This is what makes them the best travel affiliate programs 2018 has to offer.

Cruise Partner Programs

Cruise partner companies can become an abundant source of blog monetization. Take a look at the revenue of the cruise industry worldwide:

With this in mind, you should consider integrating cruise partner links to receive a share of the enormous industry income. A considerable percentage from every cruise purchase will turn into vast revenue over time.

Transportation Partner Programs

If your trips include some long-distance and/or frequent relocations around the globe, you may use transportation a lot. As subscribers tend to replicate your traveling style, they will be interested in transportation services. This is when such partner programs are the most relevant to use.

Tickets for buses, planes, trains, or any other means of transportation – all of this will be necessary for your audience. You should choose the companies you find decent so that you can insert partner links organically. This is how you achieve both grateful blog subscribers and revenue as a percentage of every purchased ticket.

The Bottom Line

Take a look at the following table, which summarizes the information about the trending affiliates in 2018:

Parameter Affiliate Program Category
Hotel Booking Agency Insurance Tours and Activities Cruises Transportation
Commission Percentage from every sale or a fixed payment per lead Percentage from every sale
Where to use Mid- and high-budget travel Long-term travel Universal affiliates Mid- and high-budget travel Long-distance travel

Don’t forget that the highest paying travel affiliate program isn’t always the best for you specifically. Analyze your blog specialty and pinpoint the audience’s interests, needs, and demands to discover the most suitable partner program for you.