Booking Affiliate Alternatives: 3 Travel Affiliate Programs to try in 2019

Alex Lafreniere
Feb 1 · 6 min read

If you’ve ever tried running a travel blog, then you know how hard it is. Finding time and inspiration to produce high-quality content while being on the road isn’t exactly easy. But what’s even harder is monetizing it.

One way of generating some revenue out of your travel blog is by joining an affiliate program. Here, among the most popular choices is the Booking Affiliate Program. It offers a free and simple sign-up process, comes with various features, such as a search box, deep linking, banners, etc. Most of all, it seems to offer a decent commission structure:

Naturally, the money that you’ll make depends greatly on the types of traffic that you have. Different sources cite an average of 7 EUR (8 USD) commission per booking, which is quite competitive when compared with some of the other affiliate programs out there. That being said, if you take into account the industry conversion rates, then you’d need to drive a considerable amount of traffic in order to generate some serious revenue.

Hence, while the Booking Affiliate Program is a great choice for a travel blog, you should also look into some of its alternatives to make the most of it.

3 Alternatives to the Booking Affiliate Program

1. ClaimCompass Affiliate Program

If you’re serious about running a valuable and profitable travel blog, then you may want to build your affiliate strategy in such a way that it covers the entire journey.

ClaimCompass takes care of the post-trip experience. The company helps travelers claim and receive between 250 and 600 EUR (286–688 USD) in cases of flight disruptions via their web app. Travelers can file claims for flights which took place up to 3 years back.

Sign-up & Dashboard
The sign-up is free and very straight forward. ClaimCompass has created their own affiliate software, which is easy to navigate and grants partners access to some basic metrics, such as impressions, conversions, number of claims, etc.

Commission & Payouts
Perhaps one of the best features of the program is that instead of offering a percentage-based commission split, ClaimCompass offers a flat 15 EUR (17 USD) for each successful claim. The payouts happen monthly and can be done via Transferwise, PayPal or bank wire.

ClaimCompass White Label
Other than getting a referral link, ClaimCompass also offers a mobile-responsive widget as an HTML iFrame, which means that it can be easily embedded on any page by simply copy-pasting the code. That’s great as it allows readers to use the service without leaving your blog.

Cookies
The ClaimCompass cookies last 90 days, so if users come back within 3 months of their first visit, the conversion is still attributed back to the partner. In comparison, Booking’s cookie expires as soon as the user closes the browser; Travelpayouts’s cookie lasts for 30 days.

In a nutshell, the ClaimCompass Affiliate program is a great choice if you’re looking to capture some of that post-trip audience.

2. TravelPayouts Affiliate Program

TravelPayouts is actually the affiliate program of three metasearch engines:

  • hotellook.com — searches for hotels
  • jetradar.com — searches for flights
  • aviasales.ru — searches for flights, but with a particular focus on Eastern Europe.

Similar to the ClaimCompass and Booking Affiliate programs, TravelPayouts doesn’t charge a fee and lets anyone sign up.

The choice of affiliate tools is great: aside from a simple referral link, the affiliate can also choose a White Label, Widget, API and a Mobile App/SDK. These allow for many various ways of integration into a more sophisticated affiliate strategy, for those who want to compete with December’s TravelPayouts top earner with $65,892.

Commissions
The revenue share appears generous reaching as much as 70% for each sale. The averages listed on the TravelPayouts website quote 1.6% for a flight booking and 6% for hotel rooms. So you can expect to make about 8 EUR (10 USD) on a flight, which costs $530.

The commission percentage is determined by the revenue that the affiliate has generated for TravelPayouts:

  • 60% if the TravelPayouts revenue generated based on the affiliate traffic is less than 2,600 EUR (3,000 USD).
  • 70% if the TravelPayouts revenue generated based on the affiliate traffic is more than 2,600 EUR (3,000 USD).

The affiliate can choose to be paid via a bank transfer to a foreign currency account (EUR or USD), PayPal or ePayments. There are minimums, however.

Cookies
When compared with the Booking Affiliate program and that of ClaimCompass, TravelPayouts sits somewhere in the middle with a 30 day lasting cookie, which as I previously mentioned is more or less the industry standard.

Other
Generally speaking, the TravelPayouts program is good if you’re looking for something more advanced and sophisticated. If you have a technical background, you can certainly take advantage of the API and build your own custom solution, although the company invests heavily into their products to continuously increase conversions and bring a better user experience.

You can check out the TravelPayouts Affiliate programs here:

3. GetYourGuide

Building on the idea of covering the entire travel journey, you may also want to consider including experiences during the trip. GetYourGuide allows you to book tours and attractions at tens of thousands of destinations. The Berlin-based company has been growing rapidly and has racked up over $175M in funding over the past couple of years.

Similar to the previous two programs, GetYourGuide offers bloggers a choice or a combination of a referral link and a widget, which displays tours and attractions. It’s fairly simple to integrate and does not require much technical knowledge.

Sign-up
GetYourGuide reviews all requests and approves them, which comes with a bit of waiting time. Much like the other programs we’ve discussed thus far, joining their affiliate is free of charge and there aren’t any membership or other fees.

Commissions
The expected commission that one can earn from the affiliate program is 8% per booking. It is worth noting that booking tours and attractions online is still far from being mainstream when compared with flights and hotels. So its only natural to expect lower returns than the previous two.

Cookies
GetYourGuide’s cookies last for 31 days

You can learn more about the GetYourGuide Affiliate Program here:

Conclusion

So here you have three affiliate programs to supplement your strategy in 2019. There are tons of different ways of making money on a well-read and visited blog, but keep in mind that it’s your readers that count the most. Consider the experience that you’re delivering. One way of staying conscious and making sure your affiliate strategy contributes positively to that experience, rather than vice-versa, is keeping in mind the different stages in the travel journey: from dreaming, through planning, booking, experiencing and sharing.

The information in this article is as of January 2019. Do get in touch if I need to update something.

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