Secrets of Sponsored Travel: All you need to know to travel without spending

Suddenly, at 2 on a cold winter night! While a nocturnal dog howled in some distant land, I woke up to the idea of travelling from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, solo. If you are a full time traveller, either you are rich enough not to read this blog, or you are like me; trying to find ways to help bridge the difference between a desire to travel and creating livelihood. With the whole world waking up to wanderlust, somehow the office tie has become a hangman’s knot. Three years ago, seemingly a hundred now, I was working with the corporate guys. While they decided on the monthly targets, production rates and pee breaks; in my head I was hiking in the Himalayas.  The thought, became a calling and here I am, imparting gyaan on wanderlust and sponsored travel.


1. Quit your Job: DO NOT!

For one, you needn’t quit your job to travel. There are plenty a people, who plan their vacations wisely. They are the ones who diligently circle the long weekends in the calendar, book in advance and bag in great discounts. Let’s not underestimate the smile, when the phone beeps on the first of every month with a flashy bank message. But that’s not the point anyway. The point is, that you can travel much by planning your weekends and long weekends or whatever vacations.

2. Look for a job in the travel industry:

The sudden high tide of tourism has resulted in cute little travel start ups mushrooming all around us. So now we have the old players, the new players and the mushrooming players- all of these guys are competing to make it better. For people like us, this translates to more job opportunities. Let’s break this down to the following steps:

Step 1: Make a list of travel companies: Certainly, there are many. Bring in the old, new and mushrooming players. Make a boring excel sheet and list them down. Note that this is a patience testing task and mushrooming players don’t pay much. Still, be on it!

Step 2: Think of skills that these companies need and you can offer: You can’t pitch a mountaineering degree to a travel company that deals in cruise ships. However, you can pitch the mountaineering degree to an adventure travel company operating in the mountains. Point is, that you need to think about skills to offer. It could range from designing a website to managing the stock. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Travel Documentation: This includes, writing, creating itineraries, clicking professional photographs and shooting videos. The presumption that you live by, that you don’t know how to write, certainly has little to do with your writing skills. I decided to give it a try and started as a writer with an adventure tour operator. They needed someone with decent English and I wanted to travel. Fair trade off. This job did not make me Instagram famous, but introduced so many new concepts like, working in the travel industry, networking with travel enthusiasts and travel writing. So pick up a camera or a pen, because travel documentation is the mantra. Apart from documenting travel for work, I also started a personal blog to share experiences and anecdotes.


  • Sales and Marketing: Behind all the show buzz and jazz, there is sales! Everybody unabashedly wants more and more of it. More clients is equal to more profit, simple. If you are good with this, you are a winner already. For instance, once I wanted to trek to Kedarkantha. Instead of paying heaps for the trek, I offered 10 trekkers to the tour operator and in exchange my trek was sponsored.
  • Leading treks/trips for travel companies: Many of my folks do a great job as outdoor instructors, professional guides, trek or trip leaders.


  • Other smart jobs: This traveller friend, decides on locations that he wishes to explore every year. This is followed by a detailed list of jobs available in that place. For instance, last year he was managing a lodge in Nepal, this year he is teaching English in Manali, and who knows may be next year he will be a river rafting guide in Rishikesh and so on.

Step 3: Spam the travel companies with your CV and follow up, gently.

Step 4: While you are still at it, might as well get a blog/website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, everything that you possibly can, going to create a strong audience base. The more number of people who follow your travel updates the better. Once you establish yourself as a traveller on social media, finding sponsors, jobs, barter deals related to travel would be so much easier.

3. Networking: Building a strong audience base takes time and dedication, but is totally worth it. By the grace of Networking, I have managed to find hosts in all the states that I want to explore; from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. But we should talk at length about it in the next part of this series. My chai is cold now. While I am heating it, you go ahead play some music and make that long boring excel.




Still exploring. Kind of bipolar- for my equal love for home and the world. Essentially believe in what George Bernard Shaw said, "life isn't about finding yourself but creating yourself"


  • Tushar Bhattachary May 7, 2018 at 8:34 am Reply

    good guidelines…
    thnx for sharing ..

    • Ambika Bhardwaj May 7, 2018 at 8:38 am Reply

      Thank you for reading! 🙂 Would be glad if this helps.

  • The bong wanderer May 7, 2018 at 9:15 am Reply

    Thanks for the details 😍

    • Ambika Bhardwaj May 7, 2018 at 9:28 am Reply

      Most welcome! Thanks for visiting. Let me know how it goes. 🙂

  • Raj May 7, 2018 at 9:18 am Reply

    Well written.

  • Pranjal May 7, 2018 at 10:06 am Reply

    Wow you are such an inspiration, few people have the gut to make instant choices on there dreams. Thank you for the enlightenment wish you all the success there is in this world. 😊

    • Ambika Bhardwaj May 7, 2018 at 10:32 am Reply

      Sweet! Ahahaha thank you so much. More magic to you!

  • Hariom May 7, 2018 at 10:36 am Reply

    I hope this will help me in the near future. Thank you. 🙂

    • Ambika Bhardwaj May 7, 2018 at 8:42 pm Reply

      Of course it will. Let me know how it unfolds. Good luck! ❤

  • Chirantan Batabyal May 7, 2018 at 11:26 am Reply

    Brilliantly written! Excellent tips!!
    A must read for youngstar who wants to travel!

  • Md assad Ul alam May 7, 2018 at 4:11 pm Reply

    Thanks.. A lot.mam..I am a travel will help me a lot…

  • Md assad Ul alam May 7, 2018 at 4:14 pm Reply

    Thanks.. A lot.mam..I am a travel will help me a lot…I like ur writing…

  • Aquib May 7, 2018 at 5:11 pm Reply

    That’s a good read. Keep going.

    • Ambika Bhardwaj May 7, 2018 at 8:38 pm Reply

      So glad you read up!

      • Aquib May 8, 2018 at 1:22 pm Reply

        It’ll better if you share the kink to your post using swipe up feature in Instagram stories. Actually from your stories i manually entered the website. But most of the people won’t have patience to do this!

        • Aquib May 8, 2018 at 1:23 pm Reply


        • Ambika Bhardwaj May 8, 2018 at 5:55 pm Reply

          That’s a great suggestion. But I guess we need a business profile for that. Let me try to figure that out. Thank you so much. 🙂

  • Vikas May 8, 2018 at 12:43 am Reply

    Thank you so much mam

  • Purvi Kamaliya May 8, 2018 at 2:17 am Reply

    Indeed a great blog with sensible and practical points Ambika, keep it up..

  • Ramesh Tahlan May 8, 2018 at 9:05 am Reply

    Amazing. Keep going. The road ahead has no end. Gonna have to make you my Mentor. Part of my dreams will would be fulfilled through you.

  • sumit manwal May 9, 2018 at 11:27 am Reply

    i am glad that you wrote about sponsored traveling , been doing this for the last 6 months and it cut my expenses like half, i would love to read more of your blogs.

    • Ambika Bhardwaj May 10, 2018 at 2:31 pm Reply

      Glad to know that. How is it going for you?
      Guess you are working on your website, eager to read more.

  • Sumit manwal May 13, 2018 at 9:28 pm Reply

    Its been wonderful as if now,yes I am working on my own web but it really takes alot to write.but hopefully I will be able to do that in couple of years .D

    • Ambika Bhardwaj May 14, 2018 at 4:16 pm Reply

      I think you should start writing right now. May be start small. A small paragraph, say a 100 word, or something. See how it goes. ❤

  • Arjun May 14, 2018 at 12:23 am Reply

    This looks like a good idea. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ll try putting more effort to the points you listed.

    • Ambika Bhardwaj May 14, 2018 at 4:05 pm Reply

      Thank you, Arjun! So glad you read it. Let me know how it goes for you.

  • ACoupleOfTrippers May 17, 2018 at 12:30 pm Reply

    Finally something that can actually help the “mushrooming” travel bloggers! Great pointers! I can actually see more clearly than before.. Kudos for such a great job and life you have build for yourself!

    • Ambika Bhardwaj May 19, 2018 at 11:03 am Reply

      Thank you so much for reading! It’s so great that we all can relate to this stuff. Let me know how it goes for you.

  • Vinit Pawar May 25, 2018 at 3:58 am Reply

    Ambikaaaaaaa….. you just helped me cross many of those hurdles i was running through. Thank you so much🙌😍❤

  • Mayuri Patel June 8, 2018 at 1:18 pm Reply

    this is such helpful post for new be travellers and for bloggers too.I know how much work needed in free travel and as a blogger too there is no free bee everywhere.Mantra is work hard and travel harder

  • badhuz al rayhan June 10, 2018 at 12:28 am Reply


  • Tushar July 2, 2018 at 10:34 pm Reply

    This is really very helpful for me. I just have started with my blogging on my website. Can’t wait to implement your guides. Thank you

  • Jili.M.Daly July 11, 2018 at 5:23 pm Reply

    Fantastic pointers Ambika! I love the pictures too 🙂

  • Arjun Haridas August 27, 2018 at 11:09 pm Reply

    “My chai is cold now” … 😂😀 Wow surprised ending… I like your way of writing…and the precious informations are very much helpful… All the very best for your “Magical” journey…😇✌️

    • Ambika Bhardwaj August 28, 2018 at 3:32 pm Reply

      Thank you so much for reading. And yes, all you guys being a part of this journey is what makes it so magical! Big thanks ♥️

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