Travel and Blogging Resources
Thanks for stopping by my V.I.P. travel and blogging resource page! I update this page once a month with new details, tips, and resources, and post a lot of answers to reader inquiries (before even making a blog post!) ... bookmark this page, come back often, and let me know what you want added!
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Last updated: April 2018
JOB + FINANCIAL RESOURCES
Saving (and Making) Money for Travel
- Use a goal planner (Check out The Sow Collective's clubhouse for goal planner printables)
- Minimize spending
- Participate in a sleep study
- Get refunds on your purchases
- Do surveys for rewards points
- Open a bank account (many banks give $100-$300 bonus dollars just to open a checking account)
- Sign up for credit cards that offer good benefits (like Chase Sapphire)
- Pick up a side job like driving for Uber
- Start selling your stuff (I've tried many apps but Craigslist is still a winner for me)
- Rent out your bedroom / home
- Use apps like Ibotta (I love that app) where you can essentialy get paid for shopping. Just scan your receipt.
- Join Task Rabbit and start running errands for extra cash
- Become a fake juror (how does this even exist?)
Jobs That Allow You to Travel
- Airline jobs / flight attendant / pilot
- Customer service rep - "work from home"
- Truck drivers
- Event planners
- Software training
- Travel writer
Trainings and credentials good for travel-friendly jobs
- Graphic design
- Yoga teacher training
- Continuing education classes for certifications in your field (good for consulting)
- TOEFL certification for teaching abroad
How to quit your job - The Quitter's Blueprint (see Chapter 9, "Call Me Quitter")
- Step 1: Skillful investments
- Step 2: Budget clean up
- Step 3: Portfolio upgrade
Read Call Me Quitter for the full breakdown
Blogging + Influencer Resources
How to Start a Blog
It is totally possible to create your own blog, it just is time consuming and stressful. If you are ready to take it on, here's a checklist of what you need:
- Content management system - approx. $30 per month (I use Squarespace but Wordpress is the most preferred for Bloggers)
- Domain - approx $20 per year
- Professional email address - $5 per month, per address (usually comes free with domain but you should get a Gmail-style interface for better usability)
- A "blog", "about me", and "contact page" on your website is the bare minimum
If you don't have the time to take this on, or are feeling stuck, you could hire someone to do it for you. The best deals include a logo, domain, email address, and graphic design elements--in addition to transferring your content. It can cost $700-$5,000 to get started, depending on your needs. Check out The Sow Collective's budget-friendly website packages if you are shopping around.
How to Make Money Blogging
NOTE: "Call Me Quitter" cas created in 2016 and my income figures reflect where I was at that point. I am now making double or more of what I made when I wrote the e-book.
- Sponsored posts on the blog and social media
- Advertisements on your website
- Affiliate links
- Create a product
- Freelance writing / coaching
Influencer Agencies / Apps That Can Make You Money
Nowadays I get called directly from brands to work together, but here are companies I've worked with. I will only list agencies that proved successful for me. As of 2018, I try not to accept sponsorships under $500. This commentary is from before I reached that dollar point.
- Popular pays is an iPhone app for sponsored Instagram posts. Their interface is annoying but I've gotten good sponsorships with them.
- Social Fabric is my absolute favorite influencer platform. I get most of my wellness sponsored work from them and they pay decently for an influencer site ($150-$400)
- HypeMarket helped me as a small influencer. I secured one campaign with them when I first started for product and compensation. It is a bidding format. (I no longer use this service)
- Social Native is okay. The payout isn't great ($10-$50) but you'll work with good brands and get reposted if your photo is nice enough.
- SheSpeaks recruited me so I don't know what their application process is, but I worked with a great brand, got paid $250 quickly, and they even sponsored a giveaway. The only thing is I've just worked with them once so don't know how consistent that work is. Update: I've since worked with them 2 more times and liked it.
- Cooperatize is a travel partnership site in BETA. They seem to have potential but I haven't secured a gig yet, though I've heard good things. Update: I still haven't scored a gig.
How to Become a Leading Influencer
- Join sites like Quora, Medium, or Reddit and answer questions related to your niche; get upvotes
- Write genuine content with real opinions, consistently
- Do your research!
- Grow your social media following
- Become a speaker at small events, gratis and then eventually get paid to speak at events
- Respond to press inquiries on HARO (free)
- Collaborate with other (bigger) expert influencers on a topic within your niche
- Accept interviews on blogs and podcasts
- Read more tips on The Sow Collective (how to become a thought leader)
Grow your network on and offline
- The NYC Business Networking Group (MeetUp)
- LinkedIn Events
- Travel Massive
- flyertalk forum
- Network After Work
- Free Events (EventBrite, NiftyNYC)
- Blogger Babes: Find Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle Bloggers and More!
Learning a new language
Duolingo is my favorite free app for Android and iPhone
Flight deals and tips
- skyscanner.com is a great search engine that includes smaller airlines
- skiplagged.com finds layover loops for cheaper flights
- fly.com is my favorite webiste for searching for the best daily deals
- flights.google.com is similar to Skyscanner
- sleepinginairports.net is used to double check whether there is wifi, hotel options, and no-sleeping rules in airports
- seatguru.com shows you the best seats on planes
- Deltaairbnb.com lets you book an airbnb while collecting points.
- How to travel light
- Tips on traveling for the first time
- How to prepare for a morning flight
- How to avoid getting your stuff stolen while traveling
- What you need to know before going to South America
Transportation and Road Trips
- Flavortown USA - great source for food stops seen on TV
- Gasbuddy app - Find cheap gas near your area
- Uber and Lyft - good taxi alternatives
- Roadtripamerica - a great site for US road trip info
- Rome2rio.com - my favorite site for planning transportation
- Roadtrippers - I use this site and app when looking for off the beaten path destinations along a road trip (and driving costs)
- Roadtrip USA - provides road trip routes
Hotels and Hostels
- booking.com* is my favorite place to search for hostels and hotels
- tripadvisor.com is great for checking out reviews for hotels, but also for restaurants and activities
- hostelworld.com is a great source for nailing down affordable hostels around the world (mostly dorm style)
- HotelTonight is a great app for deep discounts on last minute bookings. The best discounts are on luxury and high-end hotels. Use my code OPEREZ38 for $25 your booking of $135 or more.
Camping and Outdoor Housing
- iOverlander.com is a great website for finding campsites throughout most of the world and is a great tool for international travel (like camping in Patagonia, for instance)
- freecampsites.net is another places to search for campsites
- allstays.com another resource best for housing, truck stops, and campsites
- hipcamp.com information on camping via private and public land
- trustedhousesitters.com* is great for people interested in housesitting around the world
- mindmyhouse.com is similar to trusted house sitters
- couchsurfing.org let's you crash at a local’s home
- stay4free.com allows you to home swap
- airbnb.com (discount link - $35 off) helps you find great homes to stay in that are sometimes cheaper than hotels (get $35 off your first booking)