Deals, bargains, offers. Travellers are always looking for opportunities to save money, create income on their way or even get sponsorships. The common denominator is to find the perfect source of income that will allow you to travel for as long as possible as well as save your passive income. Plus, if you can get some gadgets for free, why not?
Find deals and great bargains is easy and absolutely feasible. Seasonality, competition and simply the supply and demand function that always works, allow travellers who are getting prepared to find value for money stuff and get themselves outfitted and equipped for the great adventure.
However, apply and get a sponsored product or maybe funding for your trip is not the easiest thing in the world for a lot of reasons. First, there is too much competition. Yes! You are not the only one who wants a free Canon EOS to have with and lots of seasonal or long time travellers apply for free stuff in exchange of exposure of the company and its product lines.
Second, you must have great social impact. For instance, our social media exposure is close to zero. If we ever decided to apply for a sponsorship, the first thing that the person who is responsible for approvals (and rejections) would check, is our Klout score. If you are against social media (like us), then you have zero chances to be sponsored. But, if you can sell your trip & have 10K followers on Instagram, immediately you can consider yourself eligible for a discounted (or free of charge) 3 seasons Marmot tent.
Third, you need talent & skills to get the job! Not everybody can get really nice photos, not everybody has talent in writing and of course not everybody can convince the company to give him products for free.
Fourth, you must be prepared to work hard after the deal. Assuming that you managed to get the much-wanted spring set for your car or your motorbike or the waterproof set of side bags for your bicycle, you must be capable to deliver in time with nice stuff. According to the experts, only few people, eventually, deliver what has been agreed and even fewer are able to offer extremely professional content that can be used for commercial purposes just because they have never done this before or never had the talent.
To give you a real-life example, Akis Temperidis & Vula Netou, the first Greek overlanders who circumnavigated the world (and gave us so much inspiration as well), worked their asses every single month in order to deliver articles, photos and travel stories in the magazine that was mainly funding a big part of their RTW trip. Having a look in their content, can give you a good idea of what professional content means. By the way, the guys travelled in the pre-Facebook/ Instagram era and their work-in-exchange-for-sponsorship has double value since they did not have the chance to employ these -great for exposure/ promotion/ sharing- tools for their adventures around the world.
Fifth, you must be very cautious to balance the exposure of sponsored products in your social media channels along with the actual trip. People who sit in their couch and are so jealous of your adventures, do not like ads and commercialized stuff but real life stories for recreation only. The moment you cross the line and start engage in your off road experience, the new helmet or set of tires that you got for free, it is the same moment that you make your followers feel uneasy and your content sort of off-putting. Here is why you need talent to incorporate as authentically as possible a sponsored product into your epic trip.
Finally, having a proven record with some decent portfolio to show up, is not mandatory but certainly will give you a great push. You would do probably the same if you were in the position of a company which receives tons of applications from ambitious travellers and needs to create a shortlist with several criteria.
After all, life is full of surprises. Yesterday, we came across a company which looks to sponsor travellers and for this reason, puts up an advertisement in one of the biggest travellers forums. We were surprised to find this out and travellers in North America (preferably USA) have a great chance to score and get a roof top tent FOR FREE!
Check this out here: http://forum.expeditionportal.com/forums/18-Central-and-South-America. And why not, spread the word & share this story as well as this great offer!
Have an awesome summer 😉