Updated: Sep 18, 2019
Vacation time give us so much to look forward to: "peace & quiet", a break from the day to day and if we're lucky -- some excitement! R&R is necessary, don't get me wrong, but I try to use my travel as an opportunity to expand my horizons BEYOND the spa.
The one thing I always try to get ahead on... travel partnerships!!! Being that I'm a sucker for a good adventure, I'm always looking for hiking destinations and adventure parks where I can zip line, ATV, go horseback riding or experience something new! Like so many people, I don't really spend enough time enjoying nature in my day to day life so whenever I can hit ::pause:: on real life, I try to make sure it reconnects me with the Earth on some level! My advice is simple, research all of the adventure parks/excursions available in the area you're traveling to and ask for their Marketing Director. Once you get them on the line, ask for their email first and offer to create a storytelling experience that they can use in their digital & traditional marketing materials. I would prepare an example of the work you will do for them in advance and format your message as a proposal, following up on your discussion. This is a very simple example of how to come across unconventional opportunities and make some extra money. Usually these local contacts will be happy to give you tips about other excursions and lesser known experiences (which makes for great content).
Planning an itinerary weeks in advance, even if I'm going to pack at the last second, allows me the freedom to incorporate certain media tours and excursion promotions into my schedule (+plan my OOTD), while keeping specific time windows open for personal time. I've found it's easiest to ask for specific sponsorships directly from the hosting regions Visitors Bureau or the corresponding tourism partner. When connecting with these organizations, offering a media opportunity that highlights the uniqueness of what the travel partners have to offer and how that sets them apart from other destinations is vital in adding value to those campaigns. I choose to leverage those visits on mostly Content Creation, avoiding Reviews or Comparisons unless specifically stipulated in the written offer from a host.
Here are 5 questions to ponder when researching such a partnership:
1. What are you asking for?
Regardless of if you are asking for hotel accommodations, a meal, spa package or merchandise to feature in your posts: be specific with your ask! Explain in detail how you will promote their marketing goals in order to help your travel partners visualize how their product(s) comes into the forefront of the storyline. Whenever possible, provide an EXAMPLE to your potential partners of how their product(s) will be used in your posts.
Example: Comped or Media Rate Rooms, Spa Services or On-Site Amenities Highlighted Through a "Behind The Scenes" Video Series titled as THE BEST xyzDESTINATION HAS TO OFFER highlighting your Travel Partners unique offerings.
2. What will you provide of IMMEDIATE value?
Maybe your expertise is photography or you have an eloquent writing style... How can your talents be used to promote your travel partners while you are on-site? What Marketing VALUE do you bring to the partnering organization?
Example: 5 Posts in Real-Time: 2 1-Minute Videos, 2 Story Highlights (between 3-5 frames) and a Digital Ad Campaign on Social Media that is tied to a Blog Series OR 1 YouTube Video & 3 Individual Social Media Spotlights (on multiple platforms) Highlighting Services or Tours with a Link in Bio for Bookings in exchange for a Personally Guided EcoTourism Day visiting multiple attractions, including meals...
3. What is the community partner left with after the collaboration?
Make a deliverables checklist including Photos, Videos, Blog Posts, Graphics, Media Partnerships, and Collateral which your hosts can use in future marketing, advertisements and promotions...
Example: 3 Short Videos, each Detailing the Specifics of the Most Sought After Excursions in exchange for a Guided Tour of said destinations at an optimal hour for filming (think: golden hour summits, etc.).
4. What amenities/services specifically can you showcase?
Highlight something that sets your travel partner apart from the competition.
Example: Maybe the Spa Experience beats the competition, or they have the best tour guides for Volcano Hikes, maybe you can map out a day chasing Waterfalls, Art Attractions, or attending Sporting Events, seeing Historical Sites, & partaking in Cultural Experiences, etc... Comparing those to offerings with local competitors or comparable offers elsewhere.
5. Is there an opportunity for Affiliate Marketing or Brand Ambassadorships?
Is there a merchandising aspect or other monetary conversion that can be utilized through a shoppable post on Social Media, Link in Bio promotion or Affiliate Marketing program to generate income from posts?
Example: Room Bookings, Merchandising Opportunities, Restaurant Links based on Reviews, OOTD Attire & Accessory Shoppable Posts, Luggage Links with packing tips, Spa Packages, Jewelry Promotion, Hiking Gear Reviews, etc...
Vacations like these can feel like work -- that's because they are lol -- so make sure to book a day away from technology (by scheduling out your posts beforehand if you're working remotely, like me) so you'll have an opportunity to relax and keep the benefits of living in the moment! Let me know in the comments section what YOUR favorite way is to get the most out of your Vacation Planning!
Do you have a destination you'd like to highlight? Let me know how I can help!!!