Finding profitable travel affiliate programs can be brutal.
With the global travel industry worth more than $7 trillion, competition in this niche is fierce.
There are so many travel affiliate programs that it is nearly impossible to figure out which ones are worth your time. Some programs pay commissions as high as 80%, while others pay next to nothing.
There are even some platforms that claim to have the best conversion rates. But they’re full of it.
In this post, I am going to reveal the truth about some of these programs.
I’ve taken the best travel affiliate programs and put them under the microscope. I’ll be looking at crucial factors like:
- Commission rates
- Cookie duration
- Perks and tools available to affiliates
- Payment reliability
A list of the 14 best travel affiliate programs – so you can send your earnings skyrocketing. I’ve also included some guidance on how to market your links and select the best travel affiliate program.
Let’s get started.
14 Top Travel Affiliate Programs
Making up a 7.6 percent share of the total global GDP, there’s no doubt that the global tourism industry is booming. And, affiliate programs are a great way to get your piece of the pie. However, sifting through and evaluating the many travel-related programs can be time-consuming and exhausting.
Don’t worry. I’ve got you.
Below I’ve laid out and broken down 14 of the best programs – from luxury travel affiliate programs to car rental services – to help you choose the best one.
- Expedia Group
- G Adventures
- Discover Cars
- World Nomads
1. Expedia Group Affiliate Program
- Niche: General travel, including accommodation, activities, car rentals, flights and cruise lines
- Commission rate: Up to 6%
- Cookie duration: 7 days
- URL to join: Expedia Group Affiliate Program
- Perks: Tools to help affiliates
- Cons: Doesn’t pay on canceled bookings; Only pays out when customer’s trip is complete
Even if you’re not in the travel niche, you’ve probably heard of Expedia. It is one of the biggest travel brands in the world. Expedia has access to over 3 million properties, 500 airlines, 1000s of car rentals, and more than 220k activities.
It’s also one of my favorite programs because of the high conversion rates thanks to the popularity of the brand name.
And you can be a part of it.
I found the signup process very easy. All you have to do is sign up for the program to get access to the affiliate platform as well as helpful tools to market your links. These include:
- The Creator Toolbox
- Trackable links
- Search widgets
- Data to track your performance
By driving traffic to Expedia Group’s site from your own website or social media platforms, you can earn commissions on every qualifying booking made through your links.
It might not be the best commission rate on offer, but Expedia is a reliable name and a trusted brand.
2. Booking.com Affiliate Program
- Niche: General travel, including accommodation, flights, car rentals, and attractions
- Commission rate: 25 – 40% of Booking.com’s commission
- Cookie duration: Session-based
- URL to join: Booking.com Affiliate Partner Centre
- Perks: A trusted brand name and promotional tools
- Cons: Payouts only after $109
Booking.com is most people’s one-stop shop for all things travel. It is commonly used for accommodation, but it also offers flights, attractions, car rentals, and airport taxi options.
With more than 28 million accommodation listings in 60,000 locations, it’s safe to say Booking.com is popular.
It’s no surprise that Booking.com also runs one of the most popular travel affiliate programs.
Their affiliate program is mainly aimed at bloggers and travel influencers. But, anyone with a website can use their affiliate links to earn some extra income.
Booking.com offers up to 40% commission for all confirmed stays, depending on how many bookings you refer per month.
This commission structure can be a bit confusing. Here’s a breakdown:
|Stayed bookings per month
|Your payment from total Booking.com commission
|501 or more
So, you’re not earning 25% of the booking fee. Instead, you’re earning 25% of Booking.com’s commission on the booking fee.
Let’s say someone booked a hotel room costing $200 via your Booking.com link. Booking.com usually takes a 20% commission, meaning they earn $40 from the booking. You’ll then get 25% of that $40 – a solid $10.
That’s not bad if you can get a couple of bookings each month.
And I am not just grabbing these figures out of the air – this is exactly what happened to me, which is why I rate this affiliate program so highly.
Affiliate marketers also get access to some handy promotional tools, including:
- Search box
- Deals finder
3. Tripadvisor Affiliate Program
- Niche: General travel, including accommodation and activities
- Commission rate: 50% of Tripadvisor’s commission
- Cookie duration: 14 days
- URL to join: Tripadvisor Affiliate Program
- Perks: Links, including text links, logos, buttons, banners, badges and widgets
- Cons: Only commissions on hotel bookings
Sure, Tripadvisor is mainly the place you go to to read reviews. With over a billion reviews on the site, there’s a good reason why.
But, you can also use the portal to make activity or hotel bookings.
Accommodation is the main focus of the Tripadvisor affiliate program. When someone visits a hotel’s website through your affiliate link, you get 50% of Tripadvisor’s commission (similar to how the Booking.com affiliate program works).
However, Tripadvisor doesn’t pay any commission on restaurants, activities, or flights.
But, if you happen to get clicks during incentive campaigns (when Tripadvisor pushes certain products), your commission can be as high as 80%!
What makes Tripadvisor one of the best affiliate programs is that no actual booking is required. Yep. As soon as a user is sent from your site to Tripadvisor, and clicks to a booking partner, you’ll earn money.
You can join the Tripadvisor affiliate program through the Commission Junction Affiliate Network – just sign up and search for Tripadvisor. Easy!
4. Viator Affiliate Program
- Niche: Activities
- Commission rate: 8% on completed experiences
- Cookie duration: 30 days
- URL to join: Viator Travel Affiliate Program
- Perks: Weekly payouts (PayPal); Useful affiliate tools, including links, widgets, and banners
- Cons: For bank transfers, there’s a minimum $50 threshold
Viator’s affiliate program is aimed at anyone who loves traveling. Whether you’re a travel blog owner, provide travel services, or just enjoy exploring the world – this program is for you.
With this travel affiliate program, you’ll earn an 8% commission on any experience booked within 30 days after clicking on your link.
And there’s no shortage of experiences to promote.
With 300,000 experiences in 2,500 locations – including sightseeing tours, day trips, and multi-day excursions – your opportunities are endless.
Viator has a brilliant selection of activities in North America, so if that’s your focus, then Viator is your best bet. But, the program also has tours across the globe, catering to a global audience, so you can really branch out.
5. G Adventures Affiliate Program
- Niche: Adventure travel
- Commission rate: 6% on confirmed sales
- Cookie duration: 90 days
- URL to join: G Adventures Affiliate Program
- Perks: G Adventures provides display adds, XML feed, and additional copy
- Cons: Small niche, so can be difficult to break through the noise and market your links
G Adventures caters to adventure travelers. This is a small niche, sure, but very lucrative (and my favorite adventure travel program, simply because of the incredible tours on offer).
When you realize that G Adventures’ average order value is about $2,600, that 6% commission starts to look really good!
In fact, the adventure travel niche is estimated to be worth more than $1 trillion by 2026! So, why not tap into this market now?
Most people take their time to consider purchasing an adventure tour. They may click on your link, ruminate a bit, and then decide to book the tour. G Adventures understands its niche, which is why it offers a 90-day cookie duration.
You can sign up for the G Adventures affiliate program on two affiliate networks: Commission Junction or AWIN.
6. Agoda Affiliate Program
- Niche: Accommodation
- Commission rate: Up to 5%, depending on the number of bookings
- Cookie duration: 30 days
- URL to join: Agoda Partners
- Perks: The more bookings, the higher the commission plus free tools to increase traffic
- Cons: Only open to website owners (no social media platforms)
Agoda is almost a household name when it comes to finding places to stay. They offer a range of accommodation options, from massive family-friendly resorts to romantic hidden gems.
And as an affiliate marketer, you get to enjoy the benefits of working with a trusted brand while earning an income.
This travel affiliate program is only open to those with websites – no social media posting – making it a bit tougher to qualify for. But, you can earn up to 5% on completed bookings if you get more than 299 bookings per month, which means it can be quite lucrative if you know how to market.
You’ll also be able to install free tools that have been proven to increase traffic and conversions. These tools include:
- Text links
- Search box
- Hotel data file
Agoda is available in 38 languages, so you can speak to your audiences no matter where they’re from.
7. GetYourGuide Affiliate Program
- Niche: Travel experiences
- Commission rate: 8%
- Cookie duration: 31 days
- URL to join: GetYourGuide Partner
- Perks: Free training through workshops and networking events
- Cons: Bank transfers have a minimum $50 threshold
GetYourGuide offers curated excursions and activities for users across the world. By joining their partner program, you get to offer your audience amazing experiences and earn money with every booking and completed activity.
And GetYourGuide offers A LOT of activities. The tour categories include:
- Day trips
- Walking tours
- Hop on/hop off tours
- City cruises
- Multi-day trips
- City sightseeing cards
If any of your site visitors make a booking for these activities through your link, you’ll earn an 8% commission!
Not only do affiliate marketers get free training, but GetYourGuide also offers a variety of tools, including widgets, links, and guidance on how to integrate their links onto your platforms.
8. Discover Cars Affiliate Program
- Niche: Car rental
- Commission rate: 70% of rental profit; 30% of full coverage revenue
- Cookie duration: 365 days
- URL to join: Car Rental Affiliate Program
- Perks: Tools (banners, text links, widget, landing page generator, XML API integration) and a dedicated account manager
- Cons: Minimum payment threshold of $200
Transportation affiliate programs don’t get much better than this.
I consider Discover Cars to be one of the best affiliate marketing programs for car rentals. The reason? It offers “double” commission since you’ll earn commission through the car rental profit as well as Full Coverage service.
Plus, the long cookie lifetime means this partnership is REALLY beneficial. You’ll still earn commissions after a year since a user visited your site!
Discover Cars is serious about its affiliate program. They assign their affiliate marketers a dedicated account manager who guides you on how to maximize profits and provide feedback on your links.
You can sign up to Discover Cars’ affiliate program through any of these affiliate networks:
I have to note that the commission rates through these affiliate networks may differ from the 70% offered directly through Discover Cars.
9. Klook Affiliate Program
- Niche: Experiences and tours
- Commission rate: Up to 5%
- Cookie duration: 30 days
- URL to join: Klook Affiliate
- Perks: Tools to aid with integration
- Cons: Must own a website or blog (no social media posts)
Klook is a convenient platform for people looking to book tickets to tourist attractions and events.
By signing up for the Klook Affiliate Program, you can earn commissions on attractions, shows, tours, transport, and dining experiences.
Klook is Hong Kong-based, which means a lot of its activities are based in Asian countries. However, a few years ago, it also doubled down on North American and European markets. And with more than 100,000 in-destination activities and excursions, you’re sure to find some that appeal to your audience.
There is also a separate influencer program, called the Klook Kreator Program, where social media influencers can earn passive income through commissions and unique promo codes.
10. Hostelworld Affiliate Program
- Niche: Affordable accommodation; backpackers; hostels
- Commission rate: Calculated as % of deposit
- Cookie duration: 30 days
- URL to join: Hostelworld Affiliate Program
- Perks: Dedicated support team and integration tools
- Cons: Does not report commission rate on their site
Hostelworld is a massive accommodation and travel booking platform. But, where other sites like Booking.com and Expedia offer more luxury travel affiliate programs, Hostelworld is firmly focused on affordable hostel experiences.
Users of Hostelworld can access more than 13 million reviews and bookings of backpackers and hostels in 179 countries.
And you get to cash in on that. Nice!
If your audience is into budget-friendly stays, then this is one of the best travel affiliate programs for you.
It’s been quite a few years since I stayed in a hostel myself, but while researching, I found dozens of links to Hostelworld on many of the top-ranking travel blogs. This just confirms how appealing, and successful, this market is.
11. Skyscanner Affiliate Program
- Niche: Airline tickets, hotels and car rental
- Commission rate: Up to 20% on bookings
- Cookie duration: 30 days
- URL to join: Skyscanner Partners
- Perks: Tools for integration (widgets, banners, links)
- Cons: Strict affiliate marketer requirements
More than 100 million users visit Skyscanner each month to plan their next trip. Skyscanner is a trusted global brand that offers a competitive commission each time someone books through your link.
They have access to more than 1,200 supply partners in 180 countries, which means you’ll definitely find an offering that appeals to your audience.
But, not just anyone can sign up for Skyscanner’s Affiliate Program. You need a working website with an HTTPS status. You also need to have more than 5,000 unique visitors each month and offer up-to-date content and good UX.
If you tick all the boxes, Skyscanner can be a reliable affiliate program choice, offering you up to 20% commission on booking through your referral links.
12. Travelpayouts Affiliate Program
- Niche: Travel partnership platform
- Commission rate: Depends on brand
- Cookie duration: Ranges from single session to 365 days
- URL to join: Travelpayouts Partnership Platform
- Perks: Support team, free education, integration tools, and access to 100+ brands
- Cons: Bank transfer $400 minimum threshold
Travelpayouts is slightly different from all the other travel affiliate programs on this list.
Instead of running a single affiliate program, Travelpayouts offers multiple affiliate programs within the travel industry.
This platform offers access to more than 90 different travel affiliate programs, with some being exclusive to their affiliate network. It’s considered a cost-per-action travel partnership platform where some of the best travel affiliate programs are found under one roof. This includes a couple of the programs already mentioned on this list.
So, if you don’t want to sign up for all the different programs on my list, you can simply check out Travelpayouts to see who they’re working with.
There’s more good news: There are no minimum traffic requirements to become a Travelpayouts affiliate marketer. That means even if you’re a complete beginner, you can get started with this program.
13. KAYAK Affiliate Program
- Niche: General travel
- Commission rate: Up to 50%
- Cookie duration: 30 days
- URL to join: KAYAK Affiliate Program
- Perks: Access to several brands and integration tools
- Cons: Minimum payment threshold of $500
KAYAK is not exactly an affiliate network, although at first glance it does look like one. This is because KAYAK actually owns several travel brands – including Momondo, Cheapflights, and HotelsCombined. So when you sign up to KAYAK’s affiliate program, you get access to these brands too!
Travelers commonly turn to KAYAK for flights, car rentals, hotel stays, and activities. This metasearch engine is huge in the US, with more than 6 million annual searches. Wild.
Commissions vary, but you can expect to earn up to 50% on bookings, clicks, and ad revenue across their travel offerings.
14. World Nomads Affiliate Program
- Niche: Travel insurance
- Commission rate: 10% on sales
- Cookie duration: 60 days
- URL to join: World Nomads Affiliate Program
- Perks: Integration tools, ongoing support, and a platform that is recommended by big brands like Lonely Planet and Contiki
- Cons: Insurance-related content is difficult to rank for
World Nomads is the only travel insurance site on my list because it, arguably, offers the best affiliate program for this niche.
According to World Nomads, they “aim to be a part of every adventurous traveler’s journey by providing travelers a range of travel insurance and safety services“.
And I admit – travel insurance is not the sexiest affiliate program. But once you consider that World Nomads is sold in over 100 countries and you can earn up to 10% commission, it does become a lot more attractive.
Becoming a Travel Affiliate
Now you know which are the best travel affiliate programs. But, how can YOU become a travel affiliate?
Here’s a quick breakdown:
Building Your Site/Audience
If you don’t already have a travel website or blog, it is time to get started. A couple of the travel affiliate programs on the list above do not invest in social media influencers, so it’s best to get a website with steady traffic going now.
You also need to build rapport with your audience. No one will trust a spammy website littered with links. Instead, you should offer personalized experiences and up-to-date content.
Share your travel stories, give tips on where to go and stay, and aim to inspire your audience to take your advice.
Promoting Travel Offers
No one likes a tourist trap – not in real life and certainly not online.
You need to promote your content (and unique referral links) in such a way that your readers want to check out your recommendations without feeling like you’re shoving it in their faces.
It’s not always possible to collaborate directly with brands to get the best travel deals, so working with an affiliate program to find the best offers and promote them on your site is a good alternative.
The best way to do this is to stay on trend!
For example, before 2020 almost everyone had a travel bucket list that they wanted to tick off. From visiting the Eiffel Tower to walking the Great Wall of China. Luxury travel was definitely on the rise.
The post-2020 era saw an increase in digital nomads and sustainable travel.
These trends are sure to change again, and you’ll have to craft content that competes.
Here are some post ideas for your travel site:
- Listicles: You can create lists of your top destinations, activities, or stays.
- Personal itineraries: Share your own travel experiences.
- Destination deep-dives: Focus on a single destination, offering tips on stays, excursions, and how to get there.
But, you’ll also notice, everyone is writing these kinds of travel posts. According to Nina Clapperton of She Knows SEO, the trick to travel affiliate marketing is to “turn your entire site into a sales funnel.” Don’t start at conversion – start at the beginning and direct them through internal links to the affiliate link. You’ll build trust by focusing on informational posts and the pain points of your audience.
You need to find the right balance between programs that offer high commissions and those that are likely to convert.
There’s no point in signing up for an affiliate program that offers 50% commission if no one in your audience is interested in their offering.
You should be in this for the long haul. So choose a program that is guaranteed to appeal to your audience and make them want to convert.
Also, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Affiliate programs close (like Airbnb, which ended its program in 2021), so it is good to diversify and sign up for more than one program to maximize earnings.
Or, you can sign up for an affiliate network, like Travelpayouts or ShareASale, where you can find dozens of travel affiliate marketing programs.
How To Choose The Right Travel Affiliate Program
Still not quite sure which travel affiliate programs to sign up for? I’ve got you covered.
Here are some tips for choosing the right program:
- Align your niche: You want to pick an affiliate program that aligns with your website’s niche, content, and your audience’s interest. A generic travel affiliate program might not convert as well as a niche-specific one. For example, if you have a travel site about backpacking the world, then luxury travel affiliate programs will be a bad fit.
- Evaluate commission and conversion rates: Programs vary widely in their commission and payment structures. Some offer high commissions of up to 50%, but the conversion rates might be low. Look for programs with good commission rates and track conversion rates to ensure it’s profitable.
- Check the cookie duration: The longer you will get credit for a referral after users click on your link, the higher the chance of conversions materializing. The most common cookie duration ranges from 30 to 90 days, but some programs offer up to 365 days!
- Compare tools and resources: All the programs I included above offer some kind of integration tool package. You’ll want to choose a program with reliable lead-generation tools as well as a dedicated support team to help you with any issues.
- Investigate payment reliability: You can review affiliate forums to see how reliably a specific program pays its affiliate marketers. Reputable affiliate programs or networks will pay on schedule.
Did I Miss Any Travel Affiliate Programs?
Travel affiliate programs can be lucrative side gigs if you sign up for the right ones. The travel industry is booming, and it’s time you cash in.
But, enough from me.
I’d love to hear from YOU.
Which affiliate programs are you signing up with?
Which ones have you had success with?
Do you prefer a travel affiliate network over a single program?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.