We love travel — especially interviewing frequent travelers to get awesome suggestions about where to go and how to travel with ease. One of the biggest questions that we have for the nomads we meet is how they finance their wanderlust. After all, it’s not easy for most people to drop everything and head to Bali for a few weeks. In many cases, the adventurers we speak to leverage their online followings or talents to cover their vacations.
This week, we sought out an expert to explain the ins-and-outs of financing your trip by selling photos or videos. Chris Young has traveled to over 400 hotels in over 50 countries across six continents — providing creative content in exchange for accommodations and activities (even airfare on occasion). Hotel reviews, location guides, and gear guides all show up at his website, The Young Travelier, which provides meaningful, and up-to-date info to the would-be vagabond.
Young has a lot of information to offer, which just may be the push you need to start traveling (and getting the costs covered).
RULE 1: Remember That Brands Need Your Work
I’ll start sort of with the reason it’s even possible nowadays. A lot of it is because brands — and brands could be anything from a hotel to a country and its tourism board — have a need to stock their social media accounts with lots of images or videos, a lot of content. And it’s expensive to produce all this content, so they are constantly looking for ways to crowdsource it.
It’s always a question of whether to hire a local professional or to cover the cost of someone coming in and doing this for them. And you’ve probably heard it before, but this is how a lot of Instagrammers, YouTubers, so-called social media darlings go about traveling for free. It’s a lot of quid pro quo.