From Cubicle to Cancun: How Travel Influencers Say Goodbye to the 9-5 and Hello to Paradise – All While Earning Big!


First of all, what is an influencer?

An influencer, also known as a content creator, is someone who posts content on social media about their daily lives.  They have a following of people who support them and stay updated from their daily videos. The followers of influencers follow them because they are entertained, inspired, or invested in their lives, therefore growing a sense of trust in the influencer.  Thanks to the trust that they have earned from their social media when an influencer posts a product or service that they use and love, there is often a spike in sales from the people who follow them. 

How do they get their start?

Like any job, you have to start at the bottom. Growing a following takes time and you have to earn your followers and the trust they have in you. Most influencers have been posting consistently for years, starting from 0 followers. When starting to grow a following, you have to start by staying consistent and posting multiple times a day, creating engaging content that will inspire, inform, and entertain your audience. Influencers also have to choose a niche that they want to create content around. You should have a broad niche, such as travel, and a more specific niche inside of this, such as “luxury tropical destinations”, “budget backpackers”, or “long-term family travel”. Growing a social media page based around this more specific niche will help to gain followers who care about your specific lifestyle. 

How do they earn income? 

So travel content creators may have a lot of followers on social media, but how do they earn money from this? 9-5’s are a thing of the past, people can work remotely and have side hustles or main hustles. Some of the most prominent ways that travel influencers earn money are brand deals, the creator fund, and group trips.  Since the influencer has a following of people who support them, when they love a product or service, their followers are inspired to try the product or service as well. Companies will hire influencers to post about their brand on their social media. In the travel niche, common brands that are promoted include hotels and excursions. Smaller influencers will often start out sharing products or services in exchange for being able to receive a hotel stay or join an excursion for free but those with a larger following can earn thousands of dollars for their content.  The creator fund is where you are paid directly from TikTok or YouTube. The platform pays a small amount of money for each view that the video receives. When videos go viral, receiving millions of views, this adds up!  Group trips are becoming very popular in the travel content creator world. This is where a company that sells group trips will hire an influencer to “host” the trip. People who follow the influencer will book a spot in order to be able to experience traveling with the person they have grown to love through their videos. The influencer hosting the trip earns commission through each person who books as well as gets to join the trip at no expense. 

Who are successful influencers? 

To fully understand travel content creators, it is best to check out their pages for yourself! A successful influencer in the “budget backpacker” niche is @yogirl_rin on TikTok. Rin does work exchanges around the world and posts her experiences online. She has grown a connection with her followers, inspiring many people to experience solo travel for the first time!  An example of a “family travel” page is @thebucketlistfamily on Instagram. This family with 2 young kids goes on adventurous travels all around the world sharing their experience of the highs and lows of living this lifestyle with young children.