Last Updated on January 12, 2023 by Maggie McKneely
Here’s a list of easy (and sometimes free!) ways that you can support travel businesses even when you’re not traveling.
How to Support Small Travel Businesses During the Pandemic
Every time I see a coronavirus article these days, I internally groan and say “not ANOTHER one! I want to read about something, ANYTHING else!”
Part of that is because there’s so much we can’t control. It’s not up to us when the authorities say we can return to normal and leave our houses again. We can’t determine how bad the pandemic really will or won’t be; all we can do is #stayhome and that’s frustrating, especially for travel-addicts. Personally, I find it easier to tune it all out and focus on other things in the meantime.
But one thing we can control is how we treat each other during this time. Helping those who can’t help themselves, showing solidarity, and supporting small businesses – and those small businesses need us now more than ever before. The economic fallout has been felt by almost every industry. Unless the name of your company is “Zoom” or “Purell,” things aren’t looking particularly rosy at the moment.
While everyone is feeling it, it’s no secret that the first industry hit by the pandemic was the travel industry. Countless companies and business owners stake their livelihoods on peoples’ ability to explore the world. But since no one is doing that right now, these companies, many of which are small, family or individually owned, are struggling.
I’m not highlighting the travel industry because I believe that it’s more important than any other sector. But as a travel blogger myself, it’s the industry I myself am a part of and rely on for my sanity (how can I escape the Swamp otherwise?!). So I want to use the little platform I have to support that community.
And since I’m not traveling, and you’re not traveling, I brought together some fellow bloggers and travelers to share how we can all help support travel businesses during this time. The great news is that some of these ways are completely free, and all of them are easy!
Simply Read Travel Articles
Submitted by: Alexa Meisler from 52 Perfect Days
In times of low or no travel, when people aren’t interested in booking a hotel or tour, it’s important to know that many websites generate income just from readers visiting their website because of ad networks that simply display ads as you scroll through the pages of the website.
Simply getting more eyeballs on our travel websites right now is huge because many travel writers, bloggers, and podcasters have severely reduced income at the moment. One way to support your favorite travel website is to open emails they are sending and clicking through to the articles they are sharing with you. If you aren’t on their email list, you could also visit any of their social media accounts and click through to articles they have posted or to simply like, comment or share some of their social media posts.
Even these small gestures can be a big help to each and every travel blogger who depends on their websites for income to support themselves and their families.
Don’t Forget: Turn off Your Ad Blocker
Submitted by: Wendy Werneth from The Nomadic Vegan
There’s an easy way that you can support travel bloggers and vloggers financially without spending a dime. Many bloggers depend on display ad revenue, so by turning off your ad blocker while browsing their websites, so are helping them to stay afloat.
Reading travel blogs can be a fun way of discovering new places even while you’re stuck at home. And of course, it’s never too early to start planning the first trip you’ll take once the pandemic is over. The same also applies to travel vloggers who upload their videos to YouTube. By disabling your ad blocker and letting an ad run for just a few seconds before watching their videos, you are supporting their work during this difficult time.
Buy Activity Vouchers
Submitted by: Kathi Kamleitner from Watch Me See
Many of the best activity providers around the world are small local travel businesses. They are typically run by a small team of passionate guides who provide unforgettable experiences out in nature. Needless to say, these small businesses have been hit particularly hard.
An easy way to support them right now is by buying activity vouchers. This guarantees them some income despite numerous cancellations and gives you something to look forward to. Because we know that before we know it, this crisis will be over and we can explore again. Start by supporting companies in your community and make a list of local experiences you’ve always wanted to try.
Activity vouchers also make excellent presents for loved ones in your life. I made some of my favorite outdoor experiences in Scotland (where I live) thanks to activity vouchers I received as gifts.
And if you want to visit Scotland in the future, here are some amazing businesses who offer service and activity vouchers.
Take Online Courses
Submitted by: Jenny Kotlyar from Campsite Vibes
Participating in online courses is a great way to not only support the travel industry, but it also gives you something to do and a way to learn a new skill set quickly while you’re at home.
I have two online courses. The first is a 6-month workout program designed specifically for hikers called Training for the Peaks. The second program, The Limitless Hiker, is a step-by-step program designed to empower you with the skills needed to get outdoors safely and confidently. It covers how to plan trips, the ins and outs of gear, packing lists, safety, navigation, and how to let go of fears and finally go on the adventures you’ve been dreaming of.
Other great online courses:
Buy Travel Guides
Submitted by: Laura Otero from Laura No Está
A travel blogger’s main purpose is to help other people to travel, to learn more about the world, to inspire you to discover new places. An amazing job that in these last few weeks has suffered a lot. If you have ever read a blog, or found inspiration through a social media travel influencer or enjoyed a YouTube video created by a travel vlogger, you should know that these people are gonna have a tough year.
A good thing you can do, not only as a way of helping them but also as a way to find joy during these days, is to buy a book from them! A lot of travel bloggers are selling travel guides and books to support themselves. A few good books that can be an example of this are InstaTravel by Aggie Lal, DameTraveller by Nastasia Yakoub or How Not To Travel The World by Lauren Juliff. Support your local travel blogger!
Other great travel guides:
- Uncommon Adventures by Jessica Lippe
Purchase Travel Gear
Submitted by: Jen Ambrose and Ryan Victor from Passions and Places
It’s not just the hotels and tour companies who are hurting right now. Companies that make travel gear – from suitcases to airplane accessories to travel-sized anything – are also really struggling. With everyone canceling trips for the foreseeable future and fearing their paychecks will dry up, buying travel gear can easily take a backseat.
But if it’s still in your budget, making these purchases now will go a long way toward supporting companies that are losing business. Better yet, instead of buying from the mainstream corporations, try to look for travel gear from small businesses. A few options to check out include tote bags from Trek Light, packing cubes from Pika Products, or camp towels from Bramble Outdoor. And remember, this pandemic won’t last forever – you’ll have a use for that gear sooner or later, and your purchase will help a small business stay afloat in the meantime.
Make Purchases Through Affiliate Links
Submitted by: Erin Tracy from Traveling Thru History
With travel being restricted and no clear idea of when those restrictions will be lifted, travel bloggers are unable to do the biggest thing that sustains their businesses: travel. To help support the travel bloggers you know and love, look for the affiliate links on their websites (link on all those posts about virtual tours!).
Many travel bloggers have affiliate links or Amazon links where they receive commissions for each purchase made through the link. Your prices don’t change, the blogger just receives a small commission based on your purchase price. Since we’re all stuck at home right now, making your Amazon purchases through your favorite blogger’s Amazon link or purchasing an item they promote on their blog will go a long way towards helping them continue to provide the content you love.
*Note: this blog, Pink Caddy Travelogue, is NOT monetized aside from a handful of affiliate links. This post is purely for the benefit of others in my community who do this job fulltime. So please share, click-thru to their articles, and use these tips to find ways to support your favorite travel businesses!
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What a great idea! I didn’t realize that there was so many ways to support!
I love the idea of buying vouchers. A lot of local businesses in my area offering this and I love the idea!
I also loved the reminder to not have an ad blocker on; I never even thought how that could affect someone’s income!
This is such an important topic to post about! I love your ideas — there are some I haven’t thought about before.
It’s amazing how such small things can impact people and help them out right now. I’ve been ordering takeout a bit more and the local businesses are so grateful for the support. But it’s good to remind people about online businesses too. Anyone else wish they had shares in Zoom? Lol
Awesome post and great ideas we can do to support each other, especially the small business to keep alive during challenging times. Thanks for sharing it!
I love this! I also live in DC and my family is getting the local first responders healthy meals by supporting our favorite local restaurants. We’ve just teamed up with feedthefight.org Locals supporting local restaurants supporting our local first responders. A lovely loop of generosity! Thank you for all the ideas!
I think that this is such an important post! It’s one of those little things that we should be doing to support one another during this time, and I will for sure bear some of these in mind. Great post!
Small gestures can help a lot! Indeed everything you said will help bloggers but also tourism companies!
Thanks for sharing. I know I haven’t sold a single copy of my travel guide, Uncommon Advetures, since the pandemic hit. But now is the best time to do some travel planning! Don’t forget that with the crazy shipping times right now, you can get travel ebooks immediately!
Here is Uncommon Adventures in case you’re interested: https://www.amazon.com/dp/107952178X?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860
LOVE. THIS. Super relevant and timely. Great ideas!
These tips are really helpful! We all need to come together and help each other out at this time and it’s nice to know that even visiting a website or listening to a podcast is helping a small business even if it feels insignificant to us.
Your point about taking online courses is spot-on. I bought one last week and have been using a few hours in the morning before my kids wake up to work on it. Thanks for putting these ideas together. We travel businesses are really struggling right now.
Lots of great ideas here. I’ve actually simply contacted a few B&B owners just to check in on them. As someone who also plans travel, I’ve taken a major hit with the pandemic and have considered offering some sort of vouchers for future use. Just not sure the time is right…
Read those blogs! Travel Bloggers may be the most inspirational people right now!
It looks like this link is broken on your site: https://www.pinkcaddytravelogue.com/contact-us/
I thought you would like to know :). Silly mistakes can ruin your site’s credibility. I’ve used a tool called linkSniff.com in the past to keep mistakes off of my website.