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Truth Bomb Thursday: How Do I Pay for Travel?

While my Instagram feed may be filled with beautiful images of iconic destinations, one may think that I’m a full-time Travel Writer living the life of luxury. However, while I do travel about 16 weeks a year, I also work full time, PLUS, I’m often juggling many balls in the air trying to balance it all. One of the questions I often get asked is “How do you pay for travel and get to travel so much?” So I’ve broken it down for you in this article:

How Did I Get Here?

Before I dig into HOW all of this happens, let’s pause and answer the question – “how did you become a family Travel Writer?” I dig into it in this article, but basically, I had the opportunity to determine what my dream life would be: a portable business that allowed me to travel and go on lots of adventures with my kids. I then reverse engineered it and in 2014 launched Adventure Awaits – A Digital Agency and Family Travel Company! In 2019 we incorporated and the company keeps growing!

Behind The Scenes

jami-savage-headshot-workingI work…A LOT.

At this very moment, it’s 5 am and I had to set my alarm for 3:45 am so I could be at my desk for a 4 am start. That’s right, you often see the picture-perfect adventure photos, but this is the reality of the work that goes into making it all happen behind the scenes. I run a Digital Media Agency where I help clients grow their businesses with everything from new websites to SEO, Google Business Pages and Social Media Management.  Being in Digital Media allows me to work from anywhere, but with both my Travel Writing and Digital Services taking off I have the best problem, too much work!

I work… every day.

Whether it’s a long weekend or a holiday I need to check in on my clients’ accounts every day. Now, this may be from a campfire or curled up in bed before I start my day, but I work at least an hour a day, every day to keep the business running.

I have a team.

Did you know I have a team of 11 contractors that work with me? From writers to photographers, videographers to content creators… to admin assistants and accountants… I couldn’t do what I do without everyone on my team!

I get sponsored travel.

woman-walking-in-nunavut

Photo Credit: Jason Nugent

As a Family Travel Writer, you’ll see that we get to explore a lot of amazing destinations, and I wanted to break this down on how it works. Basically, DMO’s (Destination Marketing Organizations, such as Destination BC) will invite me to explore their region in exchange for showcasing it back to my followers. Most of the time I am not compensated financially for this work, but rather do it in exchange for the opportunity to take the kids to a new region. When I travel often my flights, accommodations, food, and adventures are all covered, however, it still does cost us money since we’re often a family of four travelling (for example sometimes car rentals aren’t covered which is expensive).

What I Won’t Do

boy-and-girl-walking-to-beach-with-surf-boardsI won’t fill your feed with ads.

I quickly realized at the beginning that one of the ways for blogs to make money was to monetize. They could do this through sponsored posts, ads integrated into their stories or paid promotions. You’ll notice on my site that I do VERY LITTLE of this. It’s not because I don’t have the opportunity to do so, as I turn down about 9 out of 10 offers I get, it’s because I want YOUR experience on my blog to be a good one. I don’t want to be pushing products at you. It also goes against the whole philosophy of the blog, which is to provide families with transformative travel opportunities specializing in eco-tourism. Therefore if I commercialized my blog and started pushing products that would be contrary to our core messaging which is “Collect moments, not things” while protecting the environment.

I won’t show my kids.

My success could be ten-fold if I showed you pictures of my kid’s faces when we were out on adventures. I literally could have exploded on the scene and monetized beyond anything even imaginable if I showcased their smiles in my business. But I won’t. I can’t. I don’t feel comfortable putting their names and their photos online. While they are an integral part of our journey, I don’t feel right about sharing those images with the world. They are my babies and it’s how I want to protect them. And if they at some point ever want to share them, they will have thousands of images to share. But that’s their story for them to decide, on how and when to share it. Not mine.

I won’t pretend it’s easy.

Running a business that has two very different departments is challenging. There’s SO MUCH WORK that goes on behind the scenes. There are huge learning curves. There are hard clients. Technical glitches. Accounting (snore!). Team management. Early mornings. Late nights. Being an entrepreneur is HARD!

I won’t pretend I can do it alone.

I have a fierce village of family and friends who support me on this crazy adventure called life. From watching my kids when I need to travel to making me dinner when I’m burnt to a crisp, to liking, commenting and sharing on social… I know 100% that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my amazing village supporting me every step of the way.

So overall I feel like I’m very similar to most moms out there… trying hard to balance it all and provide their kids with the best life possible, all while teaching them the ins and outs of running a business and being self-employed.

It’s been an incredible journey and I couldn’t be more excited about where we’ve come and where we’re going.

Spoiler alert… big announcement coming on Saturday!!!

Want to learn more about me? Here’s some of my other Truth Bomb Thursday articles!

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Jami

I’m a Family Travel Writer based out of beautiful Vancouver, BC. Our family adventures take take us all over BC, Alberta and the Pacific Northwest. You'll regularly see us hiking, biking, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and camping our way around the province. Our passion is recreation and our mission is to explore and protect this beautiful earth of ours.

JamiTruth Bomb Thursday: How Do I Pay for Travel?

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