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Best Travel Affiliate Programs & How to Pick The Right One

There are many ways of monetizing a blog, but if you are in the travel niche, you should probably look for the best travel affiliate programs so that you can generate some income as you write your articles.

Before we move on to our travel affiliate program reviews, we’d like to note that the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can recommend. As you will see, you can suggest to your readers anything from airlines to accommodation services, but you should keep an open mind and consider a broader range of offers, such as travel insurance. 

What is the best affiliate program for travel niche blogs?

In today’s article, we’re going to be showcasing a variety of affiliate programs specifically geared toward travel websites and bloggers. But choosing the right one largely depends on your specific needs, expectations, and sub-niche. 

At the end of the post, we’re going to talk about some of the most important details you should mull over when picking a travel affiliate program. Make sure to check out that section, too. 

Travelpayouts

Travelpayouts is not an affiliate program per se. In fact, it is an affiliate network that you can use to manage some of your affiliate links and banners. The best thing about it is its flexibility.

You are allowed to share your affiliate links pretty much anywhere, even on Facebook, if you want. They work with a variety of travel service providers, which range from car rentals and insurance to transfers, flights, and hotels. 

Best of all, the revenue share that you get for each sale can go up to 80%. The downside is that the cookie length is just 30 days, which is slightly less than what you’d get with other affiliate programs. 

Payments are processed through a variety of means, from Paypal to Webmoney and Yandex.money. We’d say that becoming a Travelpayouts affiliate is worth a try. 

Airbnb

If you have ever traveled to another town or country, you’ve probably used Airbnb before. Granted, the platform does have its share of pros and cons and in some cases, it’s way more expensive compared to Booking.com (whose affiliate program we will refer to below). 

But if you had a great experience with a host, why not recommend them on your blog? You will get a commission every time somebody books a place to stay at — not necessarily the one you have recommended. 

In fact, Airbnb has two types of affiliate programs, one for hosts and a referral one. With the latter, you can get as much as $72 per booking referred, as well as a lot of travel credit. The Host affiliate program is a little different in that you will have to convince people to join Airbnb as hosts. 

Booking.com

As one of the biggest and also best-known websites in the travel and accommodation industry, Booking.com also has an affiliate program. We’ve written a detailed review of it, and we suggest you read it. 

The only downside to joining their program is that the commission system is a little difficult to understand. But if you are patient enough to go through their policy, you’ll quickly get up to speed. 

Another aspect that we have to note here is that payments are always processed through Paypal (so if you do not have an account or have a problem with your Paypal account, you effectively can’t use the Booking.com affiliate program), and the minimum payout is 100 euros.

FlipKey

This one is a part of TripAdvisor Rentals and it has over eight hundred thousand properties in over eighty countries. There really is not a lot to say about this affiliate program in that you will have to join through CJ Affiliate if you’re interested in it.

A drawback of recommending these properties would be that the cookie length is just seven days which might not be enough for some people to finalize their bookings. The standard commission is 4%. 

Agoda 

Similarly to some of the other affiliate programs we’ve showcased before, Agoda is an accommodation platform where travelers can find approximately one million places to stay at. 

The commission rates depend on your blog type and how you are approved into the program, but also on the number of referrals you make. 

Hotels.com

Another giant in the travel and accommodation industry, although these days it might actually be less known compared to Booking.com, Hotels.com has an affiliate program that can be joined through CJ Affiliates. 

The commission isn’t really worth writing home about as it’s at about 4.92%. But as you know, the money you make also depends on the price of the stays, so be sure to recommend slightly expensive accommodation. 

Priceline

This booking site also comes with a more or less decent affiliate program. The commission, in this case, is even lower, at 3%, but you can recommend a lot of services, from actual flights and car rentals to vacation packages and hotels.

The good part is that Priceline does offer excellent customer service for affiliates, and it also has dedicated account managers that can explain to you what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. 

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor’s affiliate program is rather unique in that it both stimulates travel bloggers by offering them a commission of up to 50%, but it also has a number of incentive programs aimed at increasing the website’s traffic. 

Therefore, even if you are just starting out and you don’t have the means to convert your visitors too well, you will still be able to make a bit of money. 

Air travel

Skyscanner

Skyscanner is one of the best websites to go to when you want cheap flights to any destination, and the best thing about it is that it’s become pretty well-known over the years. So people trust the brand, which is why you aren’t going to have a lot of trouble converting your visitors.

Best of all, the commission is 50% on all flights. But wait, there’s more — since the platform also sells packages with flights and hotels, as well as car rentals, you are going to get the same commission on all of those. 

Based on the info we have found about this, it seems that the cookie duration is 30 days. 

ClaimCompass

One reason why the ClaimCompass affiliate program stands out from the crowd is that it basically makes it possible for people who have had their flights canceled to file a claim and not only get their money back but also receive up to 600 euros as compensation. 

So it does business differently off the bat, but even its affiliate program is different in that for each referral, you will be paid up to $17 instead of a fixed percentage of the sale. Another reason to consider joining is that the cookie length is 90 days. 

Tours

Get Your Guide

This company specializes in personalized tours no matter the location that tourists are interested in visiting. So, if someone you recommend Get Your Guide to goes to France, they’re going to be able to purchase a tour and get you a commission, but the same will happen if they want to go to Mexico, instead. 

In terms of the tools that you have at your disposal, Get Your Guide makes a number of text or banner links available for you on their platform. 

They even have a WordPress app with the assistance of which you’ll be able to quickly and conveniently install a variety of widgets in your sidebar or articles. 

Viator

Viator is another tour company that we can note in our selection. They have a variety of offers available, and the most popular one seems to be their day trips. We couldn’t find any information about the affiliate program’s commissions or cookie length at this time.

However, since joining is completely free, you might as well give it a shot. You do have to be the owner of a site or blog that gets enough traffic. From what we’ve gathered from their website, they seem to pay their affiliates using bank transfers only, so that’s a factor worth keeping in mind. 

G Adventures

This travel tour site is pretty popular with travel bloggers as on the one hand, it has lots of itineraries, and on the other, its cookie duration is worth writing home about — it lasts 90 days. 

Moreover, the commission is 6%, which isn’t all that bad after all, and the payments are processed through cheques, direct deposit, or Payoneer. The affiliate program has a number of tools available from tracking to reporting apps. 

Insurance

SafetyWing 

Medical insurance is important when traveling, and you should use that bit of information to your advantage. SafetyWing has a travel affiliate program whose commissions are up to 10%.

Best of all, the cookie length is practically a year (364 days) so if someone travels three times in a year and purchases medical insurance each time, you will get three commissions. That is, if they haven’t clicked on another blogger’s SafetyWing affiliate link, of course. 

Allianz

Allianz is one of the largest insurance companies in the world. It is a leader in this industry and it offers high-quality travel insurance. But Allianz Global Assistance actually has an affiliate program. 

Its structure might seem a bit complicated especially since you will not get a fixed percentage of every sale. Instead, you will receive an estimate of $12 to $25. 

The cookie length is 45 days, which is a pretty decent duration. What’s worth noting about this one is that you will have to use CJ Affiliates in order to link to their insurance offers. 

Travelex

This is another travel affiliate program in the insurance industry that you might have to consider, especially since they have a generous number of services. For example, they can recover a traveler’s lost luggage or offer reimbursement when this happens or when flights or cruises are canceled.

Affiliates can make a commission of up to $17 per each sale. Like Allianz, the Travelex affiliate program has a cookie duration of 45 days. 

Travelinsurance.com

As its name suggests, this website is used for travel insurance, be it medical emergencies or lost luggage. The site is extremely popular and has been recommended by Internet giants such as Fox News or the New York Times.

In other words, travelers tend to trust it. What we liked about this affiliate program is that once you are approved, you gain access to a variety of tools, which range from real-time tracking to heaps and heaps of text links and banners. 

World Nomads

This one is another great affiliate program for travel insurance. Based on the information that we came across about it, it seems to have great support. The insurance is also available in 140 countries, and that’s another thing to consider if your audience is global. 

Joining the program doesn’t cost a thing, so you might as well give it a go. We’d like to note that travel bloggers are preferred and are going to be accepted in the program a lot easier and faster than those in other niches. 

Moreover, if you are approved, there’s going to be a partner manager that’s going to assist you in finding the right tools and affiliate methods for your blog. 

Luxury travel affiliate programs

Boatbookings

If you’re looking for luxury travel affiliate programs, Boatbookings is the best place to start. It’s specifically geared toward people who want a water experience, meaning those that want to rent catamarans or yachts, or even bigger boats. 

In terms of commissions, you get 20% of all of the brokerage fees that the site gets itself. The cookie duration is just 30 days, which is definitely not a lot, especially when compared to the cookie length of other programs. 

On the upside, though, you do get 10% in commissions for returning customers. 

Sandals Resorts

This affiliate program addresses bloggers who want to promote locations, tours, and activities in the Caribbean. It can also be considered a luxury travel affiliate program since most of the resorts are 5-star ones and are located in amazing areas such as Jamaica, Antigua, Barbados, or the Bahamas. 

The cookie length is 60 days, so it’s not bad, but the commissions are just 4%. However, you do have to keep in mind that the cost of the experiences is usually very high, which is why even 4% means a pretty decent amount. 

Payments are processed through cheques, direct deposits or Payoneer. 

Choosing the right travel affiliate program

The travel niche is extremely generous when it comes to monetization options as unlike other niches, you are not going to be limited to recommending one type of products or services. 

But how can you make sure that you pick the right travel affiliate program for you? Well, the more you try, the better. The saying goes ‘don’t put your eggs in one basket’ and we couldn’t agree more. 

However, your blog or website is valuable and if you appreciate your work, you should never go for an affiliate program with either too low commissions or with unrealistically short cookie lengths. But more on that, below. 

Commissions

Naturally, the bigger the commission, the better. But there’s one thing to consider in this case. If you recommend luxury products and services in the travel niche, even a 5% commission might bring you more money than a 10 or even 20% commission on a $5 product. 

So try to calculate an average of how much you might be able to make.

Support

As you might have noticed, there’s a lot of competition in the travel niche, which means that there is no point whatsoever in you choosing an affiliate program that doesn’t offer any support or that’s just really complicated to use. 

If everything is automated and you get your links and banners without having to interact with a person, that’s perfect, but if you have to talk to someone to get approved into the program and then be able to use the tools, that person needs to reply to you as fast as possible. 

So, customer service is another factor to take into account. 

Cookie length

We all wish that all cookies would last for a year, but the reality is that few actually do. Try to pick a travel affiliate program whose cookie length is around 90 days — that is, unless you get dozens of thousands of visitors per day and you don’t mind a 30-day cookie length for this reason. 

Minimum payment

Some programs can pay you once you’ve made $50 in commissions but others are going to wait until the $100 threshold. If you need money fast, pick one from the first category. 

Payment methods

How does the chosen affiliate program pay you? Most can pay through direct deposit, cheque, or Paypal, but if you aren’t eligible for any of those (like you don’t live in the United States), you might have to look for an alternative such as Payoneer

There is no point in you recommending services without being able to get the commissions you’ve made, right? If you find that joining all of those affiliate programs individually is complicated, look for a network such as Travelpayouts or CJ Affiliate — these can pay you through a number of methods.

Approval rate

How easy is it for you to join the program? Ask yourself this question and look for several reviews online before making your final call. Some programs might not approve blogs with low traffic, for example. 

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