If you are a travel blogger, then applying for some of the best travel affiliate programs should be one of your priorities. You can easily travel the world while making money on the go, which is both fun and fulfilling.
But how can you identify the best travel affiliate programs to join? Some of the things to look out for include;
It’s ideal to go for affiliate programs that offer the best commission packages, either higher commissions or a higher fixed amount. You will be able to make way more money even with less traffic if you focus on the best paying travel affiliate programs.
b). Cookie Duration
This is the duration within which you’re eligible to earn a commission after a user clicks on your affiliate link. Most affiliate programs have a 30-day cookie duration, which means if some clicks on your affiliate link and completes the desired action (say purchase or subscription) within 30 days, then you’ll earn the commission.
It is advisable to choose an affiliate program that has a long cookie duration unless the program is one of the highly converting ones. Amazon Associates, for example, has a cookie duration of 24 hours, which is okay because millions of customers shop on Amazon every single day, so you’ll still be able to convert.
c). Minimum Payment Threshold
This is the amount you need to earn before you can get paid. Most affiliate programs set their minimum payment threshold at $100, while some have theirs at $50 or even less.
Choose an affiliate program with an achievable minimum payment threshold or you will be stuck for months trying to hit your minimum target. An alternative would be to opt for an affiliate network, which will be easier to reach the payout threshold.
d). Traffic Approval Rate
Not all affiliate programs approve the traffic you generate. For this reason, you should aim for affiliate programs with the highest traffic approval rates. This way you can be sure your conversions will count and your commissions will be high.
e). Affiliate Support
Another key element that separates the mediocre from the best is the quality of the affiliate support. Imagine getting stuck midway while trying to find your affiliate links or you have an inquiry about some of the products or services they offer but you have to wait for a week to get help?
That’s not what you deserve as an affiliate. Most affiliate programs often respond within 3 business days or even less, and that’s what you should be looking for.
In case you have more affiliate questions, then be sure to check our previous post: What is Affiliate Marketing – 17 Questions Answered
Best Travel Affiliate Programs for 2021
Having said that, let’s now look at some of the best travel affiliate programs that pay well and offer enough cookie duration and support.
1. Airbnb – (Up to $72)
Airbnb affiliate program is arguably one of the best travel affiliate programs, and it offers affiliates two ways to earn commissions – the Host and Guest affiliate programs.
The host affiliate program enables travel affiliates to showcase Airbnb hosting opportunities on their blogs and earn a commission whenever someone signs up as a host.
The guest affiliate program enables affiliates to use Airbnb listings on their blog and get paid commissions when anyone makes a booking through their blogs.
You can earn as high as $72 for every successful referral and up to $5000 travel credits per account.
2. Booking.com – (Up to 40%)
With over 29 million bookable rooms in its database, Booking.com presents a great opportunity for travel affiliates to earn money by recommending travelers to book for accommodations through Booking.com.
Their affiliate program, which is open to all affiliate marketers, is managed through Travelpayouts affiliate network. The percentage of commissions depend on the number of stayed bookings per month.
- 0 – 50 stayed booking – 25% commission
- 51 – 150 stayed bookings – 30% commission
- 151 – 500 stayed bookings – 35% commission
- 501 or more stayed bookings – 40% commission
The minimum payout for the Travelpayouts network is €100 and is paid through PayPal.
3. TripAdvisor – (50%)
TripAdvisor is a famous platform among travel enthusiasts where they find cheap hotels, tickets, tours, and other important travel-related deals.
Their affiliate program is managed through CJ Affiliate and offers affiliates a 50% commission for every conversion.
4. Skyscanner – (50%)
Skyscanner provides travelers with comparisons for flights, hotels, and car hire. As an affiliate, you earn 50% commission for any referral, which includes flights, car rentals, and hotel deals.
Skyscanner is managed through affiliate networks, one of them being CJ Affiliate.
5. EconomyBookings – (60%)
EconomyBookings is a cheap car rental platform where users compare and find affordable rental car services. It operates in over 150 countries and has more than 175,000 cars.
Affiliates earn a commission of 60% from every booking they generate, with their cookie duration lasting for 30 days. Their affiliate program is managed through Travelpayouts.
6. Discover Cars – (30% /70%)
This is a car booking service that acts as an aggregator of car rental companies such as Avis, Alama, Hertz, Dollar, Sixt, Thrifty, Budget, and many other companies.
It operates in over 150+ countries and customers can choose from over 2 million rental cars available. In terms of commission, you get 70% per car rental booking profit and 30% per car rental’s Full Coverage revenue.
7. Agoda – (5% – 60%)
Agoda is a site that provides different forms of accommodations to travelers, including villas, bungalows, apartments, and hostels in different cities across the globe.
Although their commissions start as low as 5%, you can earn up to 60% if you generate more than 1,000 referrals.
8. Homestay – (30%)
Homestay, which operates in more than 150 countries, offers one of the best paying travel affiliate programs, with their generous commissions starting at 30%.
Additionally, they have a tiered structure based on booking volume and performance, which simply means the better your conversion and the more your referral volume, the better commission rates you enjoy.
9. Park Sleep Hotels – (20%)
They offer parking and hotel deals for travelers by helping them find affordable accommodation near airports along with convenient parking packages.
Their deals are cheaper than most airport parking. Affiliates have to sign up through CJ Affiliate and earn a commission of 20%.
10. STA Travel – (20%)
STA Travel is mainly dedicated to providing travel information to students and youths aged below 35 years.
They focus on tours, travel buses, hotels and hostels, travel insurance, travel guides, and other travel deals.
STA Travel is also through CJ Affiliate and as an affiliate, you can earn up to 20% for every referral.
11. Airport Parking Reservations – (20%)
Airport Parking Reservations is an online platform that enables travelers to find and reserve parking slots in all the major airports across the US and Canada.
It offers a commission of 20%.
12. Lonely Planet – (15%)
Lonely Planet is one of the largest platforms to find travel guidebooks and ebooks. They manage to sell millions of copies every year and reward their affiliates with a 15% commission for every sale they generate.
Their program is managed through CJ Affiliate and Awin (which includes ShareASale).
13. Zipcar – ($30)
Zipcar is a car-sharing/booking network that enables one to book and use a car near them.
One signs up with a valid driver’s license, book a trip, and then get to use the car for a set period of time.
Once done, they can then park the car where they picked it. They offer affiliate commissions of up to $30 per booking.
14. Sightseeing Pass – (10%)
If you live in cities such as New York and San Francisco, then you might have spotted Sightseeing Pass bus tours and cruises.
They offer tours in major cities in the United States, and as an affiliate, you earn 10% for every amount your referral spends.
They also have a 45-day cookie, which increases your chances of earning commissions.
15. TourScanner – (10%)
TourScanner is another top search engine for tours and travel activities, acting as an aggregator for all the top travel and tour offers from different websites. Affiliates get 10% for every referral they generate.
16. CitySightseeing New York – (10%)
This is a company that does sightseeing tours in New York City, including Brooklyn, Manhattan, and other major attraction sites.
They offer affiliates a 10%-15% commission with a cookie duration of 45 days.
You can sign up for their affiliate program through the CJ Affiliate.
17. Cruise Direct – (3%)
Although their commission might just be 3% of the gross sale, Cruise Direct is ranked among the most lucrative travel affiliate programs.
They offer cruise services and their affiliate program has a cookie duration of 45 days. With their packages going for as high as $1,500, getting 3% means you will earn about $45 per referral.
In conclusion, these aren’t the only travel affiliate programs you can sign up with. There are more than a hundred of them.
However, we have chosen the ones above because they offer some of the highest commissions. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy better commission rates after working that hard?