Make money booking hotels for family and friends
If you like traveling this is a pretty sweet way to make some money as it involves doing a bit of research on various destinations a looking at plenty of hotels.
The promise here is that you can make money becoming the hotel booking manager for anyone you know, it can be that uncle who travels all the time for work, your grandparents next holydays or even the next trip you are planning for yourself (although in the later case you will be “saving” money instead of “making” money).
The way to earn money booking hotels for family and friends is through an affiliate program. There are hundreds of affiliate programs out there in virtually any niche you can think of. The basics of an affiliate program are easy, on one side there are companies out there competing to sell similar products or services, on the other hand there is a pool of customers browsing, researching and comparing purchasing options. Well if you can persuade one of these customers to take their business to a particular company that company will be willing to pay you a fee for your efforts. Cool right?
Now, you might not be a tip influencer with thousands of followers, but you definitely can influence the decisions of the people close to you, your family and friends, who in most cases will be happy to help you make some extra cash.
Imagine if next time you are at a family dinner and your grandparents say “we are thinking of visiting the south of Italy” this summer you said “cool, which cities do you want to visit? Let me find you some nice hotels to stay there”, I bet they will be so happy to have their nice help them plan their trip!
Or what if you went to that uncle or family friend who travels for work constantly and offered to manage his/her hotel bookings? You will be taking off a responsibility from their shoulders for free, they’ll probably listen to your proposition 😉
How much money can you make booking hotels for family and friends?
For the sake of this article we are going to talk about booking.com’s affiliate program, as it’s one of the most established hotel booking sites worldwide.
With booking.com you can make 3.75% to 5% of the total amount of each reservation. To be precise you’ll be making 25% of booking.com’s fee. Remember booking.com doesn’t own the hotels, they list hotels from many different chains and they take a cut from each reservation the hotels get through them, and that cut they’ll split with you if you helped them secure that reservation. Booking has different deals with different hotels, and they take a 10% to 20% cut. So at the end of the day, if you do the math, you’ll be making 3.75% to 5% of the total reservation price, depending on which deal booking.com has with that particular hotel.
To continue with the examples mentioned earlier, imagine your grandparents are looking to spend 12 days in Italy, and although they don’t like to overspend they are not backpackers any more, so they will want to stay in nice places. At an average of $180 per night they will spend a total of $2160 in accommodation, which means you’ll make anywhere between $81 and $108.
Now what about traveling for business? If you know someone who travels for business often you might have just found yourself a small golden eggs goose. When someone travels for business they usually stay in higher-end hotels and they won’t be looking at the price all that carefully since their company will be reimbursing them for the expense. Business trips are usually short though, usually 1-3 days, but they happen often. A 2 days business trip at an average of $240 per night (if trips are to places like New York, Chicago, London, Paris, etc. this number can actually be a lot higher) means each stay will sum up to $480, which means you’ll make $10.5 to $14 per trip. If this person makes two trips per month that is $252 to $336 per year.
How to get started with hotel reservations affiliate programs?
Getting started with booking’s affiliate program is fairly simple. Remember they will only be paying you if they make a sale, so there is literally no down side for them, if you deliver they pay, if you don’t deliver they don’t spend a dollar. What this basically means is the signup process is easy and you don’t have to do much to get approved.
Once you’ve been approved you’ll be provided with a series of tools to help you promote their brand. These include search boxes to embed in websites, banner ads, and the most important, links to promote on social media or send by email.
All you need to do is access booking.com through one of those links you’ll be provided with every time you want to make a reservation and voila! Booking will know the reservation came from one of your links and will add the corresponding credit to your account. You can complete the reservation with your own credit/debit card and then have the person you are booking for reimburse you or you can use their credit card directly, that’s up to you (and them).
You can also create links to specific hotels (not just booking.com’s homepage) that contain your affiliate ID, so if you don’t feel confident going through with the reservation you can always e-mail a few links with several options you’ve selected and let them pick which one they prefer and complete the reservation. As long as they do so using the links you sent them you’ll get your cut.
Things to consider
Booking will deposit all the money you make with them directly into your bank account, however they will only do so once per month and if your valance has reached $100. If you haven’t reached that amount your balance will move on to the next month until you reach it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that people cancel reservations all the time, so booking will only add the commission to your balance once the person has stayed at the hotel, so if you are booking for a trip that will happen in 4 months you wont see that money in your bank account until after the trip happens, and only if you’ve reached the $100 threshold at the end of that moth.
Other than that you have nothing to worry about as booking.com is a very reputable company which pays their affiliates diligently.