The cost of being a travel blogger is kind of whatever you can afford it to be. 

In the beginning you can definitely set up a travel blog for free. In fact, I strongly advise not paying a penny until you have at least ten posts on your blog to play around with, and so you know you have the passion and dedication for it to be something you should invest in financially.

cost of being a travel blogger

I started this travel blog for nothing, on www.wordpress.vickyflipfloptravels.com. It was only when I started to make money from blogging that I invested to get rid of the ‘wordpress’ bit from the URL. 

Yes, a blog is cheap to set up, but with blogging, instead of money, you pay with time.

Ohhhh, so much time. 

How much it costs to be a travel blogger is infinite. I’m sure there are travel bloggers out there spunking an absolute fortune on plush hotels and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for the blog, while others just potter around their locale, delighting us with stories.

Just as an idea though, here’s what I spend on being a travel blogger every month.

The Cost of Being a Travel Blogger

costs of being a travel blogger

Hosting expenses 

I have a deal with a friend to host my site. I’ve used both Hostgator and Bluehost in the past, but as my traffic and requirements both grew I decided I needed something more.

He’s my go to guy and gives me help and advice when I need it. I trust him with my life, literally. 

Hosting expenses per month = $30 / £25

WordPress expenses

You need to pay to use WordPress if you want to get rid of the ‘wordpress’ from your blog name. It’s minimal though and totally worth it.

Paying to use WordPress means your URL goes from: 

www.wordpress.vickyflipfloptravels.com

to

www.vickyflipfloptravels.com

Much more profesh, don’t you think? 

Paying for Wordspress also gives you more freedom to play around with the theme on your blog, and get it looking how you want. 

WordPress expenses per month = $18 a year, so $1.50 per month / £14, so £1.16


how to be a travel blogger

Domain expenses

You have to pay for your domain every year / month. Your domain is the URL: so, vickyflipfloptravels.com. There are quite a few different companies to go with, but the most popular ones are 123-reg.comgodaddy.com and names.co.uk

My domain costs me £16 per year, which is paid every two years. 

Domain expenses per month = £16 per year, so £1.33 per month

Gadgets insurance 

I insure everything, I’m too much of a liability to not to. I have gadget insurance with Protect Your Bubble which covers my laptop, camera and another camera which I’ve just realised I don’t ever use. Must change that.  They have a £25 excess on everything and recently replaced my Olympus PEN EPL-8 when I dropped it and the battery cage lid flicked off.

They sent me the money to buy a new one super quickly – very impressed. 

Gadgets insurance per month = £9.88

I also paid insurance for my drone for a while. That bloody thing cost over £500, so I need to make sure it was protected. We don’t get on very well to be honest, but I’m working on him. I decided to stop this as I just wasn’t using it enough, and my Phantom 3 Standard is probably only worth about £200 now. I’ve paid more than that in insurance over the years, and with the excess, it’s not worth it. 

cost of being a travel blogger

Nationwide Flex Plus account / travel insurance

This is such a good bank account. I’ve written at length about how much I’ve wasted on bank fees over the years, well with the the Nationwide Flex Plus account I have free Worldwide Travel Insurance, phone insurance and free money abroad.

Unfortunately for me, I’ve had to claim two phones on this, thanks to them being stolen, so I can at least vouch for them being good. They also recently repaired my screen under the warranty.

This is the only travel insurance I use. When you’re looking at travel insurance make sure it covers all the activities you’ll be doing – skiing / cycling / scuba diving – and never, EVER, travel without it. 

Travel and mobile phone insurance per month = £10

Savings for the future

We have seen these last few weeks just how important it is to safeguard and save for your future, even if the ‘future’ in question is just next month. More than a few times over the past few weeks I’ve thanked past Vicky for being so sensible with money in the last year. 

In October 2017 I bought a house, and then I spent the next year going on multiple trips spending obscene amounts all over the place. Come October 2018 and my payback was minimal. I made myself commit to paying the inevitable debts from buying a house off, before any more big, huge adventures. 

The travel part of travel blogging can obviously add up, hugely. 

I’d advise any travel blogger to work in the cost of saving for the future and a personal pension plan into their monthly outgoings. It’s all the more important for freelancers, when travel blogging is your sole income and you don’t have the protection of an employer. 

I’d suggest choosing a percentage of whatever you earn that month, and investing it into the future. Minimum 10%. 

Investment for the future per month = £300+

travel blogger expenses

MusicBed Music 

I keep promising myself I’ll make more videos, and I was on a good run before the world went into meltdown and I realised no one cared about watching me prance around a fancy destination any more. My time will come back.

Anyway, the more you watch YouTube, the more you realise that everyone is using the same music for their videos. It mostly comes from YouTube royalty free, so, if you want to be different you need to sign up to a music site. I was with Epidemic Sound for a while, but again, it felt like everyone used them. 

Instead I use MusicBed, and love it. I can find tunes really easily, and the site is great to use. Definitely recommend. 

License free music per month = £10

See, this is how I use MusicBed on YouTube

Clothes for trips

Skiing in Finland, swimwear on catamaran boats in Antigua, safari in Malawi – all incredible trips, but all require very different clothing. Sometimes different expensive clothing.

As a travel blogger you have to have a lot of clothes to cover all circumstances, and, if you’re into fashion travelling, then you’re going to have to get some credit card action going on to cover the costs. Or just do what apparently a lot of bloggers do and order the stuff, photograph yourself in it, and send it back to get your moolah back again.

The cost of this can be astronomical for travel bloggers. If you care about that kinda thing. 

Clothes per month = £25 to £50, there’s normally something I need to buy clothes for

ready for the slopes bansko

Ad hoc expenses

For example, once I turned up to a press trip at 10pm, as instructed, and the hotel they’d booked wasn’t paid for. Cue me forking out £75 to be allowed upstairs. Actually this happened again in January. When you’ve arrived late at night and there’s no other option, you’ve just got to pay and hope you can get the money back later. 

Another press trip and despite numerous conversations, they’d booked the wrong flight time. So I had to pay almost £90 to change it.

And then another one, it was a £100 train journey to get there. They decided they didn’t want to pay me back until the work was done and in.

All three of these were within a week of each other, so I’m £300 down before I’ve started

Of course press trips look and sound and usually are amazing. But there’s always a cost. For me to get to Heathrow is almost £80 now, and then if I buy food at the airport it all adds up.

This is hard to work out per month, as it depends on trips, and what I’m doing, but I’ll average it out over the year. 

Ad hoc budget per month = £200+

My own trips

I mix up going on press trips and my own personal independent trips too. I find it easier to write about the trips I’ve personally planned and been on, as the planning stage makes you feel more connected to a destination, and you get a better idea of prices, logistics and geography. 

Independent trips per month = £200+

Samos in Greece

Phone

If I wasn’t a blogger I like to think that I’d turn my back on the world of phones and just get myself a little Philips Savvy. Being controlled by phones is exhausting isn’t it? Always checking it, checking in and checking out from social situations to just scroll through.

My current contract with Three is around £25 per month, which is actually pretty good. I bought my Google Pixel 3 outright from eBay. Definitely time for an upgrade soon though!

Phone contract per month = £25

Events and meetings

Often as a blogger you’ll be invited to go to events and meetings. And you’ll need to finance your way to them.

I’ve heard of bloggers getting paid almost a grand to even just go to an evening event, thats how much it’s changing, but still at the start of your blogging career, and middle, you will be out of pocket to get there.

It costs me around £40 to go to London every time so I need to make sure it’s going to be worth it.

Events and meetings per month = £40

Podcast hosting

Start a podcast they said, it’ll be fun they said. So I did, it’s called So She Travels. 

What I didn’t quite clock is that I’d be paying for the hosting of the podcast for ever more. Absolutely not a problem if you use it, and still promote it, but my podcast, So She Travels, has kinda ended. Maybe. 

It’s been almost a year since I put out an episode, but it still costs me $15 a month to keep it live. 

Podcast hosting per month = £12.14

Coffee offices 

Genuinely, if you’re a travel blogger then you need a coffee budget. As you travel you’ll want to work, and there’s no point being holed up in your hotel room when there are so many great coffee shops out there to enjoy their comfy chairs and tables, and tasty service. 

When I was travelling as a digital nomad for three years, I spent a lot of time in coffee shops getting my work done. These costs add up, but are necessary to get the job done. 

Now I have a nice home and office and lounge I don’t go out for coffee nearly as much. But when I was travelling… 

Coffee budget for travels per month = £4o


More travel blogger expenses to consider

Buying and doing courses

Sometimes I wonder if travel blogging is just built on travel bloggers telling other travel bloggers what to do. You can end up spending a lot of money in travel blogging on just learning how to do it. 

My opinion is that there’s no one way to be a travel blogger. 

If you want to read my advice and ‘course’, then check out this one I wrote for free a few years ago. Everything I know summed up in about 12 blog posts. 

I do think courses are important, but just make sure you do your research and pick the good ones, from people you can trust, with great reviews. 

Hiring virtual assistants 

I’ve dabbled, but the whole idea of virtual assistants has never quite worked out for me. Some people swear by it though. Obviously the more you have on a task, the more you get done, within reason. 

Going down the virtual assistant route costs of course, in time and in money. I’m not adding it in here because the prices are so random and dependent, but it is something else to think about for travel bloggers. 

Social media ads 

As you grow and develop you may want to do some ads on social media to get your work out there. I don’t actually do this, but I know a lot of bloggers do and it makes sense. You need to let people know you’re there. 

Me doing my podcast

A reliable computer to actually blog on

I actually have two computers. I know, greedy.

My MacBook Air broke and I had over £1000 of work to do urgently, so I just went out and bought one. I actually really like the change of having two computers as my laptop is obviously necessary for my travels, and then it’s nice to sit at a desktop at home and make my videos for YouTube. 

This also means I have a backup if ever there’s a problem with either. 

My laptop was £1200 in 2015.

My desktop was £1200 in 2018.

If you do need to buy expensive equipment like cameras and computers, then one of the best ways is a 0% credit card but make sure you stay on top of the repayments. Never, ever, use store cards. 

Camera equipment

I have quite a bit of equipment that I’ve bought, sold and refined over the years.

I now have a GoPro 4, a Canon M50, a Phantom 3 Standard and a G7X. And then all the attachments and battery packs that go with them.

You may also want to buy microphones and other accessories too. Make sure you do your research with this, as shopping for blogging equipment can become a very expensive habit. 

Cost of being a travel blogger

So how much does it cost to be a travel blogger?

Right, let’s put a figure on this. 

First, you need your computer, phone and any camera equipment you want. 

Hosting expenses per month = $30 / £25

WordPress expenses per month = $18 a year, so $1.50 per month / £14, so £1.16

Domain expenses per month = £16 per year, so £1.33 per month 

Gadgets insurance per month = £9.88

Travel and mobile phone insurance per month = £10

Investment for the future per month = £300+

License free music per month = £10

Clothes per month = £25 to £50, there’s normally something I need to buy clothes for

Ad hoc budget per month = £200+

Independent trips per month = £200+

Phone contract per month = £25

Events and meetings per month = £40

Podcast hosting per month = £12.14

Coffee budget for travels per month = £4o

= £899.51

Yikes, bit more than I thought now I’ve added it all up.

These three make up a large amount of that figure, £700 in fact. 

Investment for the future per month = £300+

Ad hoc budget per month = £200+

Independent trips per month = £200+

So, base price = £200 for all the jazz that comes with being a travel blogger.


Written by: Vicky (@VickyFlipFlop), a travel and festival blogger at vickyflipfloptravels.com. She loves a bit of adventure, will try anything once, and has a strong passion for the local food and drink, whatever it may be. She’s here to inspire her readers to travel to places a little out of their comfort zone, or at least to explore the usual destinations in a different way. Originally published at Vickyflipfloptravels.