Whether you’ve been thinking about launching a travel-oriented side hustle or have dreams about a full-time travel job, we’ve got great news for you: it’s easier than ever to build a lasting career in travel.
Maybe someone has told you you’re pretty good at travel planning. Maybe you’re itching to travel more yourself, but can’t seem to escape the 9-5. Whatever your reason, the first question many travel lovers ask is what kind of career, exactly, they should pursue.
Many modern travel enthusiasts direct their energies to one of two paths: by becoming a travel content creator / travel blogger, or by becoming a travel advisor. If you’re trying to decide which to do, read on.
Or, if you already know travel advising is for you (it is), sign up to become a Fora Advisor today.
The difference between a travel blogger and a travel advisor
While travel bloggers and travel advisors both sound like similar things (they make money traveling, they have work-life flexibility and they get to see the world), they take very different approaches to the travel equation.
Travel bloggers create content using their personal experience, plus writing or photography, to share tips about a variety of destinations. Usually, they're not creating content for one person, but for a wider audience who then reads, subscribes or shares that information, earning them more reach, visibility and, eventually, income through advertising and sponsorships.
Travel advisors work on a much smaller, more intimate level. They have the power to earn a meaningful income more quickly. A travel advisor will plan a trip for one person or a group of people, leveraging their travel experience to develop an itinerary, book a hotel or cruise (learn more about how to become a cruise travel agent) and offer other services.
Rather than earning money from the reach of their audience, they’ll earn direct commission on bookings from hotels and other properties. Some travel advisors charge planning fees for more comprehensive itineraries or additional services, which are paid for by their customers.
“When I'm working with a client to plan a trip, it's very much a collaborative effort,” says Fora Advisor Nancy Deane, who uses her Instagram channel to help build her bookings portfolio. “I love to put my advisor hat on and share my expertise on places where I have been around the world or know a great deal about."
For Nancy, the magic is in the details.
"Is the client a fan of Stanly Tucci's 'Searching for Italy'? Or perhaps they've been dreaming of riding camels in the Moroccan desert," she said. "These special details are what make a trip unique to that person or family and are at the heart of why I love to do what I do.”
Both careers require someone with a keen interest in travel, and both benefit from lots of first-hand experience. But the skills required for each, the type of work done and the way they make money differ.
Running a business, and making money
Fora Advisor Swaylah Faroqi
So, how do travel advisors and travel bloggers make money? How much can they actually make?
Travel bloggers and travel advisors make money in different ways, and their businesses are run in different ways, too.
Travel bloggers need to pursue a variety of revenue streams in order to make their business work. Much of that revenue comes from advertisements and sponsored content, from banner ads to brand ambassadorships. The money bloggers make is often in proportion to their audience size and engagement, so they spend a lot of time building a wider, more engaged audience that takes their recommendations to heart. Many bloggers also work alone, having to build their own suite of tools and resources to grow their business.
While it might take time to build up an audience and start earning meaningful income as a travel blogger, travel advisors can start earning real money from day one. That’s because advisors work directly with their clients to plan and book travel and earn commission from those trips. The more their client spends on the booking, the more an advisor earns in commission. (Learn more about how Fora Advisor A'Rie Thomas earns money booking travel.)
The work is much more custom, but it also gets easier as you build your portfolio. Many travel advisors don’t charge their travelers anything for booking a hotel room, because the hotel is already passing a on commission. If the trip is a little more complex and requires restaurant reservations, full itinerary planning or other support, the travel advisor may charge an additional fee upfront.
While travel bloggers often work alone, having to manage their entire business, tools and flow, travel advisors — and especially Fora Advisors — benefit from a powerful support network and a wealth of resources, from virtual events and programming with Fora's in-house staff, to a dedicated platform to track your sales and payouts. At Fora, you’re never building your business by yourself, and you have a team of people working to help you succeed. (Learn more about our cohort training model.)
Earn income as a Fora Advisor from day one
Fora Advisor Fallon Alexandria
A great way to dive into the world of travel booking is simple: start doing it (and read our guide on how to become a travel agent.) While you may not earn commission until you join Fora as an advisor, you can always go through the motions of being a travel advisor by offering to book a trip for a friend or family member.
You can also attend one of our ongoing Ask Me Anything events, where you can hear about the role of travel advisors straight from our co-founder, Henley Vazquez. With those skills set in motion, you’ll be able to start earning commissions from day one.
Ready to get started? Sign up to become a Fora Advisor today.