It’s no secret that travel is a trillion (with a T) dollar industry. People are traveling all around the world. So it shouldn’t surprise you that everyone seems to want a slice of that cake. Whether you are spending money or making money with travel, it’s an exciting time to be in the travel niche. You can actually do both by being an affiliate of these travel companies. With that in mind, here are the top 5 of The Best Travel Affiliate Programs you Should Join!
How To Choose The Best Travel Affiliate Program To Join?
Make no mistake that the best travel affiliate program is not always about the highest commission rates. There are other factors that determines what may make the best travel affiliate programs for you besides the payday. They are as follows:
Cookies Period – The best travel affiliate programs should have a longer cookie period. These types of affiliate programs gives you a better chance of earning a commission in the travel niche. There is no guarantee that a visitor will buy something immediately after they click on your affiliate links. So the longer the cookie period, the better.
Affiliate Marketing Support – You’ll need reliable affiliate program managers if something goes wrong with the travel affiliate program you may be promoting . So ideally you want to have a great affiliate manager on the other end of the line to answer your questions. This can mean the difference between having one of the best travel affiliate program or not.
Minimum Payment Threshold – Travel affiliate programs with a very high minimum commission payment threshold may mean you could be waiting forever to get paid if you can’t reach them. So it’s a good idea to find travel affiliate programs with a low minimum payment threshold when possible.
Available Commission Payout Methods – You should be able to conveniently get paid wherever you are, with minimum or no transaction costs to you. Obviously the most convenient payment processor is PayPal in my opinion. Most well run affiliate program will have that option. But other options like direct deposit, checks or alternative processors like Payoneer, Skrill and Payza are great to have and tend to work for everyone.
How Much Money Can I Make With Travel Affiliate Programs?
With the best travel affiliate programs, the short answer would be anywhere from a few dollars each month to millions. It varies wildly in the travel industry and depends on the programs. Some travel bloggers may tell you there’s no cap to your income potential. Other factors like your marketing skills, the size of the travel blogs, your audience and how much money you’re willing to invest in scaling up your website’s content are important factors too.
Best Travel Affiliate Networks
Okay travel bloggers, now that we got all that stuff out the way. Here are some of the best travel affiliate programs you can consider joining based on some of the things we laid out above for this lucrative travel industry.
- URL: https://www.travelpayouts.com/auth/registration
- Cookies Period: 30 days
- Commission rate: 1.1-1.5% of ticket price
- Minimum Commission Payment Threshold: $50 paid between 11th and 20th of every month
- Available Payout Methods: PayPal, ePayments, Bank Transfer, Webmoney, Yandex.money
One of the smaller players in the travel industry is Travelpayouts. They allows you in the travel blogging niche to monetize your affiliate site, social media page, blog or YouTube channel. They have a variety of travel services like flight tickets, hotels, insurance, car rentals, transfers and more. Their metasearch engines include Hotellook.com, Jetradar.com and Aviasales.eu.
What we like about the Travelpayouts Affiliate program:
Anyone can join – You don’t need a high traffic travel blogging website to join Travelpayouts. Even small travel blogs or your personal Facebook page will do. So this should be encouraging to travel bloggers of all sizes who may get rejected by another bigger affiliate program like a booking.com affiliate program.
Low minimum payment threshold – You only need to make $50 to get paid which is quite low compared to most other travel affiliate programs.
High commission rate – Travelpayouts says they’ll give about 1.5% commission, an 80% revenue share, which is quite generous for any affiliate programs.
Travelpayouts Affiliate Program Complaints
You may not get paid – Allegedly some affiliates have reported that they did not get paid. But Travelpayouts have argued that has happened with affiliates that have fraudulent traffic or suspicious activity. If that happens they obviously place your payment on hold and ask you to justify your traffic sources. If you fail to do so then you probably won’t get paid. But this doesn’t seem to happen frequently from what we can tell.
- URL: https://www.expedia.com/p/network-affiliate
- Cookies Period: 30 days
- Commission rate: up to 11%
- Minimum Commission Payment Threshold: $50 per month
- Available Payout Methods: Check, direct deposit
In the travel industry Expedia is arguably one of the largest travel affiliate programs with over 500,000 hotels. You can earn up to 11% per transaction depending on the type of transaction made. Basic hotel transactions earn you 3%, flights earn you 1%. And premium hotel transactions can earn you 10-11% in commissions. Joining their affiliate network is free subject to a review by the affiliate manager. Once you’re in they’ll give you access to tools such as search forms, text links, banners, api and white label.
What we like:
Superior Inventory – Half a million hotels and over 400 flights is too large an audience to ignore. So as an affiliate this gives you a lot of options to promote and increases your likelihood of earning a commision in this travel industry.
High commissions – Commissions go as high as 11% per each completed transaction which is a travel affiliate industry high.
Strict selection process – Unfortunately Expedia travel affiliate program is very selective with their approval process. People say it’s not clear what criteria they use to select travel affiliates in their programs. But chances are if you don’t have a large enough audience you won’t be accepted into their affiliate marketing program.
- URL: https://affiliates.hotelscombined.com/
- Cookies Period: 365 days
- Commission rate: $0.5 – $2
- Minimum Commission Payment Threshold: $100 (PayPal), $500 (Bank Transfer)
- Available Payout Methods: PayPal, Bank Transfer
If you have a website with decent traffic, Hotelscombined is a great travel affiliate program to be part of. They have presence in over 50 countries with 40 languages. You’ll receive up to $2 in commissions based on the quality of traffic you send them. With a 1 year cookie period, chances of monetizing with Hotelscombined are probably better than other similar travel programs.
What we like:
Long cookie period – This is perhaps the longest cookie period in this list which will appeal to any affiliate. Compared to other offers, Hotelscombined has done quite a lot to ensure their affiliates stand the best chance of earning a commission. This makes it better than other programs in some ways.
Useful Affiliate Resources – As an affiliate you’ll get access to a couple of tools and resources including text links, deep links, banners, search boxes, a white label, co-branding and more. The white labelling option is a unique feature for affiliate programs to have and not very common in a travel affiliate program.
Hotelscombined Affiliate Program Complaints
Complicated Affiliate User Interface – Travel affiliates say Hotelscombined’s stats dashboard are hard to interpret and require an experienced mind to make use of. Most affiliate programs strive to make tracking easier. So it’s weird their dashboard is complicated.
High payment threshold – If you don’t have PayPal, you’re only left with bank transfer as an alternative method. That means you’ll need to earn at least $500 per month which may be a huge ask if you don’t have tons of traffic to drive leads.
- URL: https://aviasales.com
- Cookies Period: 30 days
- Commission rate: 1.4%
- Minimum Commission Payment Threshold: $10
- Available Payout Methods: PayPal, ACH, Check
Aviasales is a popular flights, hotel and travel affiliate program. They have 45 booking agencies and 5 proprietary booking systems. They don’t sell tickets, they just point customers to available offers and leave the buying decision to them. Your affiliate commission rate will increase as you get more deals, and they support both small blogs and large websites.
What we like
Great for small blogs – It’s great that they don’t have a minimum traffic requirement to get accepted. Your leads and effort determine your paycheck,
Aviasales Affiliate Program Complaints
Third party management – Everything concerning Aviasales seems to be running through the Viglink Affiliate network. So if you decide to join be sure you are familiar with how the network operates. You can read our full Viglink review here.
- URL: https://company.wego.com/affiliate-program
- Cookies Period: N/A
- Commission rate: $0.05-$0.80 per click
- Minimum Commission Payment Threshold: $100
- Available Payout Methods: PayPal, Bank Transfer
Wego is another affiliate program open to everyone. Affiliates earn a commission when visitors make bookings through their affiliate links. They use the “exit click” system to track earnings meanings you’ll get paid once a visitor follows your affiliate link to the Wego search results and goes further to book through one of their partner sites such as Booking.com.
What we like
Open to anyone – Whether you own a blog, forum, or social media page, Wego is open to just about any marketing platform.
Easy Income – Since you’re getting paid per click, it doesn’t matter if someone makes a purchase or not. At the end of the day you’ll still get paid. So it’s a lot easier than hoping someone actually books through your affiliate link.
Wego Affiliate Program Complaints
Payout takes too long – It will take Wego 2 months to pay you.
Their API is not free – If you’re planning on using the API method, be prepared to fork out $1000 every year for it.
How Do I Make The Most Money With Travel Affiliate Marketing Programs?
Now that you know which travel affiliate programs to join, here’s how you can actually make the most money with one or more affiliate program.
A travel blog is an exciting way to make money as an affiliate. So if you can come up with regular, interesting and relevant blog content the earning potential is huge. But your content has to rank well Google. If you don’t know how to go about starting a travel blog achieving any of this you can join Wealthy Affiliate and learn about the tools, strategies and skills required to run a successful blog. Even if you have an existing blog, Wealthy Affiliate can teach you how to get more high value traffic to your site. Best of all you can get started for free.
Being the second largest engine, YouTube is a great platform to use as a travel blogger or a travel affiliate marketer. Again, you don’t even need to have a fancy camera to successfully run your channel. You can use your smartphone as your camera. Then all you need to do is create content like reviews, features and topics around these affiliate programs. You can even promote the travel affiliate program based on your personal experience with them. To learn more about how to make money with Youtube, check out this FREE webinar to learn all about YouTube Marketing and how to successfully run an affiliate marketing channel on YouTube.
PPC (Pay Per Click)
Unlike blogging where you are creating a website with tons of pages and waiting for Google to send you traffic, PPC can send you traffic immediately. You would need to create landing pages with your affiliate links based on content relevant to the travel niche. You can then promote that page on Google and pay for it to show up based on certain keywords. It’s another proven way to market your affiliate links, and Wealthy Affiliate teaches you how to go about it successfully, including the strategies that will help you make money with PPC.
So there are a lot of ways to go about promoting these travel affiliate programs.
Are Affiliate Programs Worth It?
Yes, joining an affiliate program is definitely worth it. It’s a great way to earn money without having to deal with customer service or creating your own product.
How do I become a travel affiliate?
First you need to create a travel website. Then you need to write content around travel and then you’ll need to drive traffic to your website. Once you’ve done that, you just need to Google travel affiliate programs or use the ones on this page. Submit your site information to the affiliate program and wait to hear back from them. If you’re accepted then you can become a travel affiliate for their company.
What are some Alternative Travel Affiliate Programs?
Maybe none of the affiliate programs we mentioned above are high commission potentials for you. Or maybe you just want to expand your commission income potential. Either way we have you covered. Here are a couple more options you can check out as well.
If you would prefer an affiliate program that doesn’t require someone to buy something for you to earn a commission, MaxBounty is a great option. They offer CPA (Cost per
Action) offers like free sign ups, taking a survey and so on, in addition to sales-based offers. You can go here to join MaxBounty.
ShareASale gives you tons of options with regard to companies to promote. So if you prefer flexibility while choosing a company to promote, consider joining ShareASale. They have lots of categories to choose from and chances are you’ll get a better company to promote if neither of the companies we mentioned above appeal to you. You can go here to join ShareASale.
Since travel affiliate marketing programs is not all about promoting bookings, you can think outside the box and promote travel guides, information, tips or even cheat sheets. However, if that sounds like something you would be interested in, then definitely join JVZoo as an alternative to marketing flight and hotel bookings. You can go here to sign up for JVZoo.
We didn’t mention the booking.com affiliate program above. But it may be worth looking into the booking.com program as another option. The lack of inclusion here doesn’t mean that booking.com is bad.
Well, it’s a wrap! I hope you can find the best affiliate referral program with the list we compiled above. And if not maybe the non traditional travel alternatives we provide will help you. Either way let us know which travel referral program you may consider. Do you plan to use your travel commission to travel around the world? Feel free to chime in your thoughts in the comments section below!
Until next time
Eddy “with a Y”