Travel is a great way to get away from it all and relax. So many countries around the world benefit from regular tourism, in terms of their economy, keeping history alive, and sharing traditions with newcomers. There are many unique ways to explore the world, that there is a huge market for travel business.
There are plenty of ways to start a travel business. For example, you can open a bed and breakfast or rent out a room in your home. Or you can become a tour guide or cruise line captain. There are also opportunities to earn extra income through affiliate marketing.
Because the travel industry encompasses a lot of different areas, there are so many ways that you can set up a business which fits in with your skill set and experience. Travel businesses include hotels, tours, cruises, airlines, car rentals, and complete vacation packages.
The great thing about setting up your own business is that you can tap into your own background knowledge and stick to areas of interest for you. This could be entertainment, accommodation, or even social media representation.
If you’re thinking about starting a travel business, here are 20 travel business ideas to inspire you as well as show you how many business opportunities there really are. If you want to start a travel business, you’ll need to consider several things before launching your venture. That is why this guide aims to encompass all the small details as well as bigger picture opportunities for your travel business.
The Travel Industry
Firstly, it is worth noting that the travel industry is arguably the largest industry in the world. This is because there are new trends or changes in tourist behavior which shake things up, and keep businesses on their toes. There are so many types of vacations, that it’s no wonder why the travel industry are kept on their toes every year. Tourists want something new and exciting, which is why this industry continues to blossom.
The Six Segments of the Travel Industry
Because there is so much variation within the industry, there are six main segments which business have been known to base their concept off. It could be worth using these for inspiration to see how you can take your existing experience and apply it to a travel business.
The travel industry can be divided into tourist boards, travel services, accommodation, conferences and events, attractions and tourism services. Depending on the type of lifestyle you lead and how much travel you want to do yourself, it could be worth taking a closer look into the types of travel businesses within these segments, that you could set up.
Some of the most popular areas that travel businesses function in are providing a particular service to tourists and travelers like hotels or entertainment. On the other hand, you could set up a global enterprise, which allows you to spend more time traveling.
These businesses typically take a little more work to set up and begin making profits, but it can be highly rewarding to work towards this lifestyle. Not only that, but it will be easier to reach a higher number of people who are interested in what your business has to offer.
20 Best Travel Business ideas
1. Travel Blogger
One of the most popular businesses involved becoming a travel blogger. Because this is a slightly less traditional path to take, the steps are a little less clear-cut when it comes to generating a profit and setting up a business as a travel blogger.
However, it is recommended that you begin by exploring your local area and places that you have always wanted to travel to, and recording your experience online. Most people enjoy writing their own blogs about how they found a certain destination or experience, and it can be a great way to share your thoughts with like-minded people.
Most people set up travel blogs online where they can use it like a journal when they are visiting somewhere new, whereas others will make small notes and write up their experience once they return home. It could be a great way to spend more time traveling if that is a goal of yours.
2. Occasion/Travel Photographer
Wedding photographers earn a great deal of money for a single day, but it is hard work. If you have experience capturing weddings or taking portraits for someone, you could set up a business for travel photography or international weddings.
This could go a long way for a travel business, especially if you are offering occasion package deals such as a reduced price for multiple days consecutively. One of the most important things that is definitely worth investing in is high quality cameras and the right equipment.
Make sure you have some basic skills and experience before setting up this type of business, because there is a reason why wedding photography is such an expensive industry. You could use travel photographs that you have taken to accompany your blog posts, submit them online, or build your own social media presence. This can help you build a professional profile for yourself as a respected travel photography business.
For those who are more experienced with a particular language or multiple different languages, it could be worth setting up a business as a translator. Depending on your level of expertise and the versatility of the languages that you are able to translate, you can make a business that works for you.
You could advertise yourself on an international scale, or focus on a particular area where you think your skills would be best used. Translators are always in high demand, and it is worth setting up a business for yourself if this is something that you are passionate about.
Of course, the main drawback is that you will need to be able to speak at least two languages sufficiently in order to earn an income as a translator. This can be a little challenging if you are less familiar with new languages, so it isn’t always the best option for everyone.
It may seem a little unusual considering the downfall of many large travel companies, but there will always be a market for travel agencies. For this reason, it could be exciting to start your own enterprise and begin offering clients and tourists a series of vacation packages.
It could be worth comparing some best rated deals and other companies from the area to figure out estimated prices and different types of accommodations, as well as flights. Consider what kind of target audience you want to reach, and design package deals that you think are the most suitable.
For example, if you want to offer child-friendly vacations to families, or more affordable options with a little more flexibility. Other options include creating more local eco-friendly travel options. This is a great travel business idea for those who are more experienced with organizing large events and co-ordinating different services at the same time.
You could set up a small office space or storefront where people can stop by and ask for advice. Alternatively, you could benefit from the online world and work remotely from wherever you are in the world.
5. Travel Vlogger
While most people document their traveling experiences using written blogs, video-based media is becoming more popular. Some people prefer to film themselves using small cameras when they are traveling. This can create a more immersive experience for followers and their audience. The concept of video-based blogs is becoming more popular, and it can allow people to make a living in this way if it is taken seriously.
Becoming a travel vlogger typically goes hand-in-hand with social media. This is because it is usually the best way to reach your target audience, and the type of individuals that will watch your videos. It is a great way to build your online presence and boost your business as a travel vlogger.
6. Vacation Planner
Another travel business idea that could work with your skill set is to become a vacation planner. This is ideal for someone who wants to share their knowledge about a particular area and encourage people to explore unique destinations.
This can be a little challenging to start up if you have less experience traveling to certain areas, but it is nothing that the internet can’t help with. Consider setting up your own business as a vacation planner if you are a highly organized individual who likes to fill someone’s schedule.
Remember that there are many things that need to be considered when planning somebody else’s vacation. This includes whether they want to be more active or spend more time relaxing, and what type of food or hobbies they enjoy the most.
It is worth making sure that you have a great system in place for organizing certain activities, events, and scheduling appointments. This is highly needed when it comes to working as a vacation planner, as somebody else’s enjoyment is your responsibility.
7. Bike Tour Services
If you have more experience with bikes and renting or riding bikes on different terrains, then you could set up a bike tour service in a particular area where tourists spend more time. It could be beneficial to rent a storefront or a stand for people to visit and see what type of tours you are providing.
Take a closer look at the local attractions and begin creating bike routes which are suitable for beginners. You could then create slightly longer or shorter routes, with more challenging options. It could also be useful to set up a rental service for your bikes, if people want to explore an area at their own pace.
Because of this, it is useful that you have at least five bicycles which are good for beginners on hand at any time. They should be stable and comfortable, in order to encourage people to get the most out of their experience. You will also need to think about the price range that is realistic for bike tour services, and consider offering group package deals for a particular day or size of group.
It is also worth finding a reliable weather prediction app so that you can cancel or avoid booking certain days when heavy rainfall is expected. In addition, you should try to provide child seats which can be attached to the back of a bike when needed. Alternatively, customers can be shown to a daycare center or local childcare service if necessary.
8. Travel Consultant
This is slightly different to a vacation planner and a travel agent, as travel consultants are usually in charge of more complex issues. They need to figure out solutions to unique situations and make sure that everything goes according to plan.
You could become a travel consultant if you want to make sure that people have the best experience possible when they are travelling or on vacation. Complex issues that are normally handled by a travel consultant include ironing out logistical concerns with business trips, or new parents who are traveling to a foreign country for adoption purposes.
Because the role of a travel consultant is naturally varied and relatively complex, you will be more immersed in the culture and local environment than other businesses, which would require you to cater for tourists a little more. Working as a travel consultant could be an ideal way to see the world and travel to more unique places.
Because the work is largely international, you could set up your own business specializing in complex situations and more challenging situations to put yourself and your services as a travel consultant on the map for potential clients.
9. Open Your Own Bed And Breakfast
This is a growing market, and there are more people who are turning their homes, spare buildings on their property, or other locations into bed and breakfasts. It can provide a home away from home for tourists, and does not need a great deal of work on your part.
There are many services which can help you get set up and on the market for visitors, and it is worth considering this as a travel business idea. Even if you are less familiar with this concept, there are plenty of help guides with information about opening your own bed and breakfast.
You can use this as a way to generate more income on a regular basis, or to save up for your next vacation. If travel is your passion, and you want to spend more time exploring new places, you could rent out your home while you are away.
Make sure that your pets, plants, and other necessities are accounted for, and that your personal possessions are safely locked away. If you are thinking about opening your own bed and breakfast, it is important that you are offering regular rates for rooms.
Make sure that guests will have adequate access to bathrooms, and that the breakfast services are also of a high standard. Bed and breakfasts are a lot more personal than hotels, so guests often want this type of service and interaction.
10. Create A Travel App
If your area of expertise lies with developing apps, coding, and programming software, then you could set up a travel business by creating an app. You can create an app to connect travelers with others in the area, or provide useful suggestions for activities and popular places of interest.
Other travel app ideas include translation software, suggestions for common phrases in the native language of a country you are visiting, or showing places to eat or stay overnight that are not fully booked.
The great thing about travel apps is that you do not have to be in a particular country or location to do this. This means that you can create your own travel app from the comfort of your own home, as long as you have a stable internet connection and access to the necessary databases.
You could also connect with other companies when you are setting up your travel app, like websites that find the best deal for hotels, or airline companies. This allows you to generate more popularity and increase the general market for your business.
11. Rent Out Your Property For Vacations
If you have empty rooms in your home, or even entire buildings that aren’t used as frequently, then you could rent out your property for vacations. If you schedule it right, you could host somebody while you are out of town. This can get you a little more money while making sure that your home is occupied at all times.
Not only can this deter unwanted guests, but it allows you to share the joys and peace that your home provides with others. Like the bed and breakfast business, it is important that you lock all of your valuable and personal belongings away somewhere safe, or remove them beforehand.
Of course, you will need to consider pets and plants, which should be moved elsewhere if possible before you leave for your vacation. However, this can be a great way to earn extra cash when you are on vacation.
12. Language Speaker
Being able to speak a country’s language well is a highly valuable skill. Many people make the most out of this by creating their own business offering lessons to children, translation services, and representing someone who does not speak the language.
This is a great way of traveling more while earning a living, because you can act as a guide for people and negotiate certain contracts with local vendors if you are able to generate tourism. Set your travel business around your particular language skills, and consider learning more about the particular uses as well as local colloquialisms which are used in certain areas.
Improving your knowledge of the language and subtle differences that exist between certain regions could also help you to teach tourists about the cultures. This can be a useful way to prevent people from disrespecting certain traditions and avoiding any potential preconceived notions.
13. Glamping Service
This is something that is usually done on a plot of land that you own or rent, and it is much easier to do this locally to you. You can attract tourists to your state by setting up a glamping business. Glamping is known as “glamorous camping”, because it provides a little more luxury than what is typically offered by regular camping.
The accommodation can be as simplistic as a weatherproof hut, a large tent, or even a tree-house. Full beds are normally provided, and guests are typically left to their own devices once they are settled. Glamping sites are normally seen as more high-end camping grounds, with more facilities than you would expect.
Another way that you could start a travel business is to promote pet sitting services. You could offer to take care of people’s pets while they are traveling, or set up a kennel business. This can be a safe place for dogs, cats, and other beloved household pets to stay and play with other animals while their owners are traveling.
While this does not directly involve traveling, you could always use a pet sitting business to save up for trips and build a reputation as a respected business for potential investors in the future.
15. Create An Adventure Club
This is a great option for more adventurous individuals who want to share their enthusiasm and stay active. Because it is a little more focused, it is important to do some market research ahead of time to see if there would be a demand for it. You could choose to focus on climbing walls, long hikes, kayaking, or other high energy sports.
Most adventure clubs are suitable for kids and adults, and it is worth being flexible to suit a range of potential customers. This could make your business a great tourist destination, or allow you to travel around and offer this experience internationally.
If you know someone or a group of people who consider themselves more physically active and enthusiastic about outdoor adventure, you could hire them to work for your business. This allows you to spend more time promoting your brand and expanding your team where necessary.
You can help people have more peace of mind by taking care of their pets, homes, and plants. Keep things moving while they are traveling and make sure that everything is being taken care of in their homes. This is an ideal solution for people who live in areas of high crime rates, or who are planning a long trip away.
You could keep on top of the laundry, vacuum, offer pet walking, or just keep someone’s home occupied while they are away. Setting up a business as a house sitter is surprisingly easy. The first step is to build your reputation and gain a customer base in the area that you live.
Once you have a reputation, it is worth taking a closer look at the different ways of advertising your business. Think about the type of people you are trying to attract, and how they will be able to reach you when needed. This can be done using social media, email, or over the phone.
It is important that you have a reliable method of scheduling your time before booking people in for house sitting services. This can prevent any possible overlap that can occur when you are setting up a business that has a lot of moving parts at once.
17. Boutique Hotel
Some people are willing to pay extra for a luxurious experience, and it is worth using this to your advantage. Interestingly, boutique hotels are actually considered some of the most profitable in the tourism industry. This is because there is a great deal of work which is needed to ensure that guests receive the best possible experience.
From chefs using only the highest quality ingredients, to sleeping on the most luxurious material, boutique hotels could be great investment opportunities for travel businesses if you have the initial funds necessary.
For those who have more knowledge about a particular area, region, or country, you could start a business as a tour guide. Showing people around places and teaching them about certain traditions or ceremonies that took place there is a highly rewarding experience.
Not only that, but it allows people to appreciate the culture of a country without disrespecting anything unknowingly. You do not need to speak the language in order to be a tour guide, but it helps if you learn some basic phrases ahead of time.
Additionally, you could focus your tours on less well-known areas and attractions that are often overlooked by tourists. Take the time to think about how you can offer a unique experience, and learn about the less popular history of a place. Off-the-beaten-path tours are interesting because they tell stories of populations that are long forgotten, and bring these traditions to life.
19. Traveling Event Organizer
Weddings, parties, work events, and other ceremonies are enjoyed around the world. You could set up a business as a traveling event organizer if you are confident managing multiple teams of workers at the same time.
It is a juggling act to keep everything running smoothly and organized, which is why there is such a high demand for traveling event organizers globally. Working as a traveling event organizer is just as easy to do within the local area as it is internationally, which is why you could easily earn a living while traveling.
Think about what type of experience you want to provide clients with, and the type of potential target audience you are targeting. This could be larger scale events with hundreds of guests or more intimate gatherings, organizing business retreats, or weddings specifically.
So many people are becoming more concerned about their carbon footprint, and the impact their actions have on the environment. Because of this, there are considerably more travel businesses that focus on ecotourism coming into the light.
These services show how we can give back to the natural world, and can even teach us ways of protecting the environment. Because the emphasis is on protecting the natural environment, most ecotourism businesses will show you how to explore your local area with a fresh perspective.
Alternative methods of transportation which are kinder to the planet are also encouraged for those who want to travel a little further. These include trains, public transport, and vehicle sharing services. Teaching people about local wildlife and the importance of giving back to the natural world is incredibly rewarding.
Many ecotourism business owners enjoy showing people how our actions have consequences for the natural environment. It is a great way to encourage people to create more sustainable habits and make more responsible choices in the future.
Like we’ve mentioned before, there are so many areas that you can choose to specialize in when it comes to creating your own travel business. This is because the travel industry is an umbrella term which refers to tourist boards, accommodation, transportation, local attractions, and many more aspects.
Because there is such a wide variety of routes you can decide to go down, it is worth finding a specific market that allows you to use your background knowledge and existing skills. For example, if you are fluent in a particular language, then you could offer your services as a translator or local tourist guide.
People who are more physically active and enthusiastic about spending time outdoors could create a business based on an adventure club, which would be ideal for children and adults. Alternatively, you could set up a business through the form of a travel app, which can make the entire experience much more seamless.
The great thing about the travel industry, encompassing so many areas of interest and skill, is that there are so many opportunities to create your own business that helps people who are frequent travelers. Make sure you are finding something that you are passionate about before finding a way to turn it into a service or product that other businesses or tourists can pay for when they are traveling.