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15 Highest Paid Travel Bloggers That Make Thousands of Dollars

Have you ever thought of leaving everything else behind and going for a world trip? We know your 9 to 5 job is not feeding your soul, and you desperately need some adventure in your life.

What if we tell you that you can make thousands of dollars while traveling the world?

No, seriously!

While you are counting up your savings in order to travel to that one dream destination, there are travel bloggers who are traveling full-time, making thousands of dollars from their travel blogs.

Still not convinced? Check out these 15 highest-paid travel bloggers that make thousands of dollars from their travel blogs.

But before jumping into the travel bloggers’ list, let us give you a brief context on how these globetrotters earn from blogging.

Table of Contents

How Do Travel Bloggers Earn from Blogging?

There are multiple ways for travel bloggers to generate income from blogging. Let’s take a look at some popular ones: 

1. Advertising / Display Ads

After attaining a decent traffic flow on the blogging website, one can display adverts on their web pages which act as a passive income source. These banner ads work in two ways:

  • CPC (Cost Per Click)

You earn a certain amount of money when someone clicks on the ad.

  • CPT (Cost Per Thousand)

You earn a fixed amount for every 1000 ad impressions on your website.

Here are some of the ad networks you can sign up for effective monetization of your content:

  • Media.net
  • AdThrive
  • Mediavine
  • Google AdSense
  • Adversal

2. Affiliate Marketing

Whenever a blogger writes about a certain product they’re using or certain favorite products they love, they provide a link that leads to the sales page of that product or service. If they’ve signed for an affiliate program with the brand, they receive a small commission every time a purchase is made via their link without adding extra cost to the buyer.

Travel bloggers can use affiliates for cameras, flights, hotel bookings, etc. Amazon Associates is hands down the most popular affiliate marketing program in the market.

Related: 20 Best Travel Affiliate Programs For Travel Bloggers

3. Sponsorship

When brands launch a new product, they approach bloggers to try out their product and write a review on their blogs. You might only get free products in return on your initial days, but as your blog grows, you tend to attract a good sum from sponsored content. 

4. Campaigns / Press Trips

Tourism boards and other private sectors invite travel bloggers from all around the world in order to promote their campaigns. When you are a beginner, you might only get an all-inclusive free trip. But as you get established, you get an impressive payment as well. 

5. Selling Online Courses

Experienced travel bloggers, once they have traveled enough and acquired knowledge, tend to prepare courses for others to do the same. They sell detailed courses or even travel books to help people live a nomadic life traveling full-time.

6. Some Other Sources of Income of Travel Bloggers:

  • Ambassadorship
  • Freelance Writing
  • Trip Planning
  • Travel Consulting 
  • Social Media Marketing

Now that you’ve understood the money game behind travel blogging let’s move on to our main agenda.

List of 15 Travel Bloggers That Make Thousands of Dollars

Here’s the list of 15 travel bloggers who have broken the chain of their routine life and are earning way more while living their dream life.

1. Matthew Kepnes from Nomadic Matt

Matthew Kepnes, a.k.a Nomadic Matt, is a New York Times best-selling author and a full-time travel blogger who has traveled to more than 100 countries in the past 15 years. He earned loads of money while traveling with his blog website “Nomadic Matt,” attracting over 1 million visitors each month.

His book titled “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day (2013)” gives insightful ways to travel cheaper, longer, and smarter. Kepnes later published his memoir “Ten Years a Nomad,” sharing his travel memories throughout the world.

How It All Started?

Born and brought up in Boston, USA, Kepnes hadn’t had an opportunity to travel until the age of 23. For his first work vacation in 2004, he went to Costa Rica, which left a sweet taste of wilderness in his heart. On his second trip to Thailand the next year, he met five backpackers who inspired him to travel full-time.

After returning back home from Thailand, he finished his MBA, quit his 9 to 5 job and stepped out to explore the world in 2006. Since that day, he has been living the life of his dreams. On the way, he is helping the new adventure seekers how to achieve this dream via blogs, guides, and books.

Estimated Yearly Income – 6 to 7 figures in USD

Sources of Income

  • Travel Media School
  • Sells Content Creation Courses
  • Affiliate Marketing 
  • eBooks
  • Destination-Specific and General Travel Guides

Featured on

  • The New York Times
  • CNN
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • BBC
  • The Guardian
  • The Sydney Morning Herald
  • National Geographic
  • Forbes
  • The Huffington
  • TIME
  • Lonely Planet
  • The Washington Post

Instagram @nomadinmatt 130k followers

2. Johnny Ward from One Step 4Ward

Johnny Ward is an Irish travel blogger who has successfully made over $2 million USD just from blogging. He has traveled to every single country of the world, North Pole, South Pole, and is currently on a mission of climbing seven summits. Out of the seven highest peaks on each continent, he has already stepped his feet on four. He plans to fulfill his next big dream, climbing Mt. Everest in April/May of 2023.

How It All Started?

Being born in a middle-class family and raised by a single mother, he didn’t have the luxury to travel growing up. After his graduation in Finance in 2006, he took a year-long gap teaching English in Thailand, and since then, he has been on his lifelong adventure.

While on his budget backpacking, he went broke and moved to Australia to do a desk job. That is when he launched a blog, “One Step 4 Ward,” after being inspired by Nomadic Matt. His blogging career started at $85 for one ad, and after six months, he was already making $500 a month, which soon became $1000. After his blog took off, he started buying more sites. He now owns more than 100 sites and a digital media company, “Step 4 Ward Media.”

Estimated Yearly Income – 6 to 7 figures in USD

Sources of Income

  • Blogs
  • Ads
  • Affiliate Commissions
  • Online Marketing (Step4Ward Media)
  • Guest Posting
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Management
  • Blog Creating and Blog Management
  • Copywriting
  • Run Obscure Adventure Trips Around the World
  • Motivational Public Speaking

Featured on

  • CNN
  • Forbes
  • Lonely Planet
  • National Geographic
  • The New York Times
  • FHM
  • BBC
  • The Guardian

Instagram @onestep4ward 92.4k followers

YouTube: Johnny Ward 3.01k subscribers

3. Heather Delaney Reese from It’s A Lovely Life

It’s A Lovely Life” is a family travel website created initially by Heather Delaney Reese, and now her husband Pete and three daughters are also a part of it. This adventurous family travels more than 150 days a year and earns a 6 to 7 figure income solely from this blog. They write about their luxury travel destinations and resorts and share blogging tips and tricks.

When not traveling, this Southern California-based family writes reviews about products and services, latest tech gadgets, food, inspiring blogs, and enjoys a distant ocean view. They also provide training on blogging and online businesses for thousands of students every year.

How It All Started?

Having had a Journalism degree, Heather loved storytelling. She stumbled upon blogging when she was looking for a way to use her skill. She started writing online through Yahoo groups in 2000 while being a full-time stay-home mom taking care of two children. It was actually 2002 when she shifted to an actual website and came up with “It’s a Lovely Life.” 19 years later, a small website that started as a hobby has now become a full-time career for the whole family and has made them millionaires. 

Estimated Yearly Income – USD 2,233,236.40 (according to their 2019 year-end report)

Note: They spent more than half of their income on online advertising, mostly on Facebook and Instagram, in 2019.

Sources of Income

  • Online Course and Training Program Sales
  • Affiliate Links
  • Sponsored Posts

Instagram @itsalovelylife 140k followers 

YouTube It’s a Lovely Life 7.44k subscribers

4. Katie and Ben from Two Wandering Soles

Katie and Ben are adventurous and nature-lover couple travelers from Minnesota. Together, they run a fun and award-winning travel blog, “Two Wandering Soles,” where they share about their responsible yet adventurous travel journeys from around the world. They have been living and traveling in a van while sharing practical tips and advice on van life, responsible travel, travel photography, and budget travel.

How It All Started?

Katie and Ben met on a snowboarding trip at the age of 16. After dating for nine years, the high school sweethearts got married, and soon after that, they left everything behind and booked three months trip to Columbia. After the trip, they never went back to their 9 to 5 jobs!

It was back in 2014 when they started their blog “Two Wandering Soles” to share their stories, and now is the main source of their income that keeps them moving. In the initial days, they taught English in South Korea, saved enough to travel for a year, and when they ran out of money, they settled in the US for some time to work at a ski resort.

They are currently based in Chiang Mai and Bali.

Monthly Income – Around USD 24,000 (according to their quarterly income report published on February 6, 2020)

Sources of Income

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Advertising/Ad Displays
  • Sponsored Posts/Brand Partnerships
  • Free Trips

Awards

Instagram @twowanderingsoles 22.6k followers

Youtube Two Wandering Soles 5.4k subscribers

5. Esther and Jacob from Local Adventurer

Esther and Jacob are a travel couple who explore a new city every year and document the moving on their travel and lifestyle blog “Local Adventurer.” Their goal is to take baby steps outside their comfort zone and explore every city they live in like a local. While earning on the go, they are also mindful about giving back to the community and aim to provide 50% of their profits to NGOs in a couple of years.

Initially started by Esther and Jacob, Local Adventurer is now supported by an adventurous team of Josh, Macy, Kim, and Rob. Their blog was named one of the Top 5 Travel Blogs in the US.

How It All Started?

It first began with Esther sharing travel experiences on their wedding website in 2010. It didn’t do quite well, but later, she moved across the country, started a new project, and documented her adventures. The same project now is well known by the name “Local Adventurer,” with which they have been able to travel full-time locally and globally.

Estimated Yearly Income – USD 302,940 (according to their 2019 travel blog income report)

Sources of Income

  • Affiliate Links
  • Sponsored Posts
  • Display Ads

Featured on

  • Lonely Planet
  • National Geographic
  • Conde Nast Traveler
  • BuzzFeed
  • Today

Instagram @localadventurer 19.1k followers

YouTube Local Adventurer 95.2k subscribers

6. Greg and Holly Johnson from Club Thrifty

Founded by an American couple in 2012, “Club Thrifty” is a website that publishes content related to family travel, frugal travel, and credit card rewards. In addition to that, it covers financial topics like investing, banking, online business, etc. Greg and Holly Johnson have traveled to over 40 countries, and they spend 16 to 20 weeks each year traveling the world with their two young daughters.

How It All Started?

Initially, Greg and Holly created Club Thrifty to document their personal finance. Since the couple was on a debt of over $50,000, their website was focused on budgeting, tracking expenses, savings, paying debts, etc.

Eventually, they came out of their debt, started to live a dream life and the horizon of their content expanded to travel and lifestyle. Now, the website receives millions of visitors every year. They still create content on personal finance in order to help others pay off debt and live a better life. With the same goal, they have also published a book “Zero Down Your Debt.

Estimated Monthly Income – USD 22,000

Sources of Income

  • Club Thrifty Media, LLC
  • Advertisement
  • Sponsored Posts
  • Amazon Affiliate Links

Awards

Instagram @clubthrifty 2k followers

7. Dariece and Nick from Goats on the Roads

Dariece and Nick are digital nomads from Canada who left home in 2008 to fulfill their dream of becoming full-time travelers. 13 years down the line, they have been traveling the world, living their dream life, blogging their journey, and helping people do the same.

They abide by their mantra, “Travel More, Work Less, Love Life.” On the website “Goats on the Roads,” founded in 2012, they post content related to travel destinations, travel tips, how to make money online, how to start blogging, and many more.

How It All Started?

Unsatisfied with routine life in Canada, the couple booked a one-week vacation to Mexico, which planted a seed of travel in them. Eight months later, they sold their house, car and booked a flight to Bangkok. For the next 13 months, they backpacked in the wilderness of SouthEast Asia but had to return to the old job as they went broke.

They worked for a year and again headed for a 16 months journey to Europe, Africa, The Middle East, and Asia. Towards the end of that trip, on getting broke again, the couple realized that they didn’t want to go back to their normal corporate life and started to find ways to earn money on the go.

 As a result, “Goats on the Roads” was born. Today, the website earns them a six-figure income each year.

Monthly Income – Over USD 20,000 (according to “Our Journey to a Six-Figure Online Business”) 

Sources of Income

  • Advertising
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Freelance Writing
  • Press Trips
  • Social and Blog Management
  • Product Sales
  • Social Campaigns

Featured on

  • CNN Money
  • Forbes
  • Lonely Planet
  • NBC’s The Today Show
  • TIME
  • National Geographic Traveler
  • Business Insider
  • Travel Pulse
  • World Packer
  • News.com.au

Instagram @goatdontheroad 26.2k 

YouTube Goats On The Road 19.1k subscribers

8. Dave and Deb from The Planet D

With a mantra of “Adventure is for Everyone,” a Canadian couple, Dave and Deb, founded the website “The Planet D.” This travel blogger and photographer couple has visited over 115 countries on all seven continents and worked with 100 brands since 2007.

After collecting more than ten years of experience, this couple shares destination guides, bucket list experiences, detailed itineraries, and travel tips on their blog, The Planet D. This blogging website attracts over 1 million travel enthusiasts on a monthly basis.

How It All Started?

Before traveling full time, Dave and Deb made their living working as a Rigging Gaffer and Makeup Artist in the film industry. Dave has worked on films like X-men, Chicago, and The Incredible Hulk. They used to overwork, dreaming about the next vacation.

In 2004, they realized that they wanted to make traveling a part of their lives while on a seven months trip through South East Asia. 2008 was a turning point in their life when they participated and won prestigious titles at Tour d’Afrique (the world’s longest cycling race). Since the race, they have been traveling the world sharing their stories on the blog, The Planet D.

Estimated Monthly Income – USD 17,000

Sources of Income

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Ad Networks
  • YouTube Videos
  • Social Media
  • Sponsored Posts and Articles
  • TV Appearances

Featured on

  • National Geographic
  • Forbes
  • BBC
  • CNN
  • CBC Television
  • Today
  • 4X Gold (Best Travel Blog and Photography)

Awards

Instagram @theplanetd 206k followers

YouTube The Planet D 49.7k subscribers

9. Amanda Williams from Dangerous Business

Amanda Williams is an award-winning travel blogger from Ohio. She writes about her blissful travel journeys, solo female traveling, inspirational travel blogs, travels tips and also sells online courses for travel bloggers. All her adventures of traveling to 60 countries and six continents are published on her website named “Dangerous Business,” quite a unique name actually. Do you know what is even more unique? She doesn’t call herself a “digital nomad” and believes that one doesn’t have to quit their job to be a travel blogger.

Her goal is to show people as much world as possible and help them find ways to include more travels into their existing lifestyle.

How It All Started?

Amanda started the blog in 2010 as a pass-time when she was bored while working as a design/copy editor at a small newspaper in Ohio. She chose to blog because she had always loved writing, but her editing job didn’t involve writing. Since she had traveled in the past and had studied abroad in college, travel was an interesting niche for her. Though she didn’t write much in the initial months, she got fascinated about it within a year and is still continuing.

Monthly Income – Around  USD 15,000 (according to February 2020 Travel and Blogging Recap and How I Make Money as a Travel Blogger)

Sources of Income

  • Display Ads
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Paid Campaigns
  • Consulting
  • Courses Sale
  • Sponsored Content

Featured on

  • National Geographic
  • BuzzFeed
  • TripAdvisor
  • Mogul
  • The Oprah Magazine
  • The Huffington Post
  • U.S.News
  • USA Today Travel

Instagram @dangerousbiz 20.9k followers

10. Derek Baron from WanderingEarl

Derek Baron is a true nomad who has traveled, worked, and lived all over the world since 1999. With a mission to show that long-term travel doesn’t have to be a crazy fantasy, he created the website “Wandering Earl” in 2009 and still stands strong by his mission.

Currently based in Aruba, Derek has visited 118 countries and has been on roads for 7370 days. An enthusiastic community of 21,000 travel lovers receives his inspiring newsletter every week. His website includes travel resources, blog posts, travel advice, and itineraries. He also hosts small group trips to unique destinations around the world through his tour company, Wandering Earl Tours.

How It All Started?

After graduation, on December 25, 1999, he went on a three months backpacking trip through Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam with a plan to start a career in sports after returning back to the US. During that trip, he became so addicted to traveling that he refused to go back home even if he had no money left.

He worked as an English teacher, worked on cruise ships, worked online, and saved money to travel all over the world. He has been traveling non-stop for 20 years and still continues his lifelong adventure, sharing realistic and honest travel experiences.

Estimated Monthly Income – USD 12,000

Sources of Income

  • Advertising (Ad Display)
  • Sponsorship Deal
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Selling eBooks
  • Wandering Earl Tours

Featured on

  • The New York Times
  • Bloomberg Businessweek
  • CNN
  • Culture Trip
  • Time
  • USA Today
  • National Geographic Traveler
  • Business Insider
  • The Huffington Post
  • TravelCon
  • TBEX
  • The Guardian

Instagram @wanderingearl 4.8k followers

YouTube WanderingEarl 1.72k subscribers

11. Lia and Jeremy from Practical Wanderlust

Lia and Jeremy are a joyous couple who love off-beat travel and discovering unique places. They share their fun, accident-prone travel experiences, packing lists, travel tips, and itineraries on their blog, “Practical Wanderlust.” They run this blog with the sole purpose of showing that travel isn’t always perfect, and that is the beauty of it.

Apart from content creation online, they also run a travel blogging resource site and a Facebook Group to help booming bloggers create a successful blogging business. With a claim of having an overly Californian accent, this couple also releases entertaining podcasts talking about travel every alternate week.

How It All Started?

Working on a corporation after graduation, Lia had always wanted to go for ‘one big adventure.’ After a long five years of dreaming, working, saving, and planning, she found a person who was ready to share this wild adventure with Jeremy.

So, they quit their job and went on a year-long vacation. Lia had started the blog in 2017, just before leaving for her life-changing adventure. While on the roads, she wrote blogs for her website. After returning, she joined another corporate office, and she realized that she wanted to blog for a living. Within two years, she was able to turn her baby blog into a full-time job, earning her six-figure income.

Monthly income – Over USD 10,000 (according to Travel Blog Income Report, October 2018)

Sources of Income

  • Advertising
  • Affiliate Program
  • Sponsored Posts
  • Freelance Writing
  • Social Media Consulting and Courses
  • Product Sales

Featured on

  • Lonely Planet
  • Washington Post
  • Travel + Leisure
  • VICE
  • BuzzFeed
  • Forbes
  • Fodor’s Travel
  • CNN

Instagram @practicalwanderlust 20.2k followers

YouTube Practical Wanderlust 307 subscribers

12. Monica from The Travel Hack

Monica Lucy is a full-time travel and lifestyle blogger. She is a British based in North Wales, where she lives with her husband, Sam, and three children. She shares her travel experiences of 11 years, travels hacks, travel tricks, blogging tips, family travels, etc., on her blogging website, “The Travel Hack.” Post-COVID, she has been blogging about her life in the countryside, motherhood, and her tiny but wholesale family adventures.

How It All Started?

Monica began blogging in 2009 with a blog, “The Travel Hack,” while she was backpacking around Asia. That was the time when she got addicted to traveling, and she kept visiting country after country for another 11 years.

COVID-19 pandemic was a turning point in her blogging career. Staying home made her appreciate the little things in her life, and she realized that she didn’t want to travel to far lands anymore. So, now her content is focused on an adventurous lifestyle. She still enjoys her full-time blogging job wholeheartedly and takes 4-days weekends so that she can travel around and spend quality time with her family.

Estimated Monthly Income – USD 10,000

Sources of Income

  • Ad Displays
  • Affiliate Links
  • Sponsored Posts
  • Online Courses
  • Freelance Writing

Instagram @thetravelhack 22.7k followers

13. Matt Karsten Expert Vagabond

Matt Karsten calls himself an adventure travel photographer, a professional blogger, and a digital nomad. Matt has been on the wheels for over a decade and shares his adventurous journeys of over 50 countries and exceptional photography skills on his blog “Expert Vagabond.”

His content is mainly focused on entertaining travel stories, budget travel tips, fun YouTube videos, outdoor adventures, and advice on a nomadic lifestyle. His goal is to inspire people to seek experiences over possessions.

How It All Started?

Working as a freelance nightlife and event photographer in Miami with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, Matt always felt a void in his life. He dreamt of a life full of adventure. So, he saved for a year, didn’t go out, and finally, in the fall of 2010, he quit his job and set out for Guatemala.

The initial plan of 1 year of travel has extended for over a decade now. He continues to learn about the world, meet new people, and indulge in life-changing experiences to this day. 

Yearly Income – Healthy Six figures (This Is How I Get Paid To Travel The World

Sources of Income

  • Influencer Marketing
  • Sponsored Posts
  • Instagram Features
  • Brand Ambassadorship
  • Newsletter Mentions
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Freelance Travel Photography
  • Destination Marketing
  • Display Ads
  • Public Speaking
  • Selling eBooks and Courses

Featured on

  • National Geographic
  • Lonely Planet
  • Travel Channel
  • New York Times
  • GoPro

 Instagram @expertvagabond 142k followers

YouTube Expert Vagabond 60.5k subscribers

14. Kach from Two Monkeys Travel Group

Kach is a Filipino travel blogger from Laguna, Philippines, based in Montenegro. She now independently shares her adventures of long-term traveling on her blog, “Two Monkeys Travel Group,” initially run by Kach and her partner, Jon.

Her blogging website features destination blogs, itineraries, travel guides, adventure travel, luxury travel, and lifestyle blogs. Despite having a relatively weak passport, she has visited 146 countries so far and aims to explore every country in the world with her Philippines passport.

How It All Started?

Kach stepped outside of the Philippines for the first time after college. Working in Kuwait and Iraq for several years made her realize her passion for traveling. She quit her day job and headed to Southeast Asia as a backpacker in 2013. After a year of hopping to different countries, she finally started writing blogs about her experience full-time.

After four years of travel nomad lifestyle and two years sailing the Caribbean, she began her new expat life in Montenegro. Kach now lives in a stone house villa in Herceg Novi.

Estimated Monthly Income – USD 10,000 to 15,000 

Sources of Income

  • Paid Press Trips
  • Brand Ambassadorship
  • Sponsored Posts
  • Affiliate Partners
  • Social Media Promotions
  • Trip Planning
  • Travel Consulting

Featured on

  • The New York Times
  • TIME
  • Forbes
  • BBC News
  • The Telegraph
  • Yahoo Lifestyle
  • Rappler
  • Popsugar
  • Mail Online
  • Manila Bulletin
  • News.com.au
  • GMA News Online
  • HuffPost
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Aljazeera
  • CNN
  • Business Insider

Instagram @2monkeystravel 67.6k followers

15. Jeremy from Living The Dream

Jeremy, the founder of the blog “Living the Dream,” is a full-time travel blogger based in Pittsburgh. On his decade-long travel adventure, he has visited over 70 countries. In his travel blog, he and his wife, Angie, document tips and advice, adventure activities, and food from all around the globe. Since 2018, he has achieved financial independence by blogging and now aspires to help others do the same.

How It All Started?

About 12 years ago, in order to live the life of this dream, Jeremy started traveling. Since then, he has trekked to Everest Base Camp, went to Seychelles, visited mountain gorillas of Uganda, did scuba diving in the Galapagos, and been indulged in several other adventures.

He started his blog while traveling to share his experience, and in 2018, it turned into a full-time job. He now shares what he did to be able to live his dream life in his blog and also provides frequent tips and tricks time and again.

Monthly Income – USD 6,500 to 12,000 (according to Travel Blog Income Report)

The COVID 19 pandemic has affected his blog like any other travel business. His income has declined heavily in comparison to last year. As of now, Jeremy is focusing more on domestic travel content.

Source of Income

  • Display Ads
  • Affiliate Links

Awards

USA Today – 10 Best Couple Travel Blogger 2014

Instagram @livingthedreamrtw 14.6k followers

Conclusion

As we come to the bottom of the list, you might have already considered packing your backpack right away. Hold on. As dreamy as it looks, being on the roads for months with limited expenses and far from loved ones is not for everyone.

The blogging career takes some time to start earning you a good sum of money. Until then, you might need to work in a foreign land on minimum wage to keep you moving. But if you’re passionate enough, no hurdles are going to stop you. Who knows, you might be the one on the above list a few years from now? 

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