I had always wanted to visit Fraser Island in Queensland, Australia. It’s a beautiful tropical island with miles of stunning shoreline, gorgeous green lakes surrounded by white-sand beaches, rainforest areas, natural rock pool formations, and even a shipwreck.
Since I was living in Melbourne, a three-hour plane ride away, I contacted several tour and resort companies to see if I could shoot travel videos for them and make the trip worthwhile. I calculated the cost of the plane ride into my quotes. To my great surprise, I managed to get hired by four different companies, and they in turn got me another three contracts with their suppliers.
The first company I shot for was a backpacking operator that conducts adventure tours across the island. “Work” involved driving around in four-wheel-drive vehicles and stopping over at the most iconic destinations, including Lake McKenzie, with its supreme white-sand shoreline and deep-blue waters, and also Lake Wabby, with its emerald-green waters surrounded by yellow sand dunes.
The tours I took, which would normally cost $1,000 in total, also included meals and accommodation for four days. Now, I call the money I save by not having to pay for things like this “experience money.” But I was also paid $1,500 in cash for the videos I produced.
And that was only the beginning. A rental car company hired me to shoot videos of its four-wheel-drive cars—earning me another $1,000 in cash and $800 in experience.
Next, I joined the Fraser Island Adventure Tours for three days of exploration and luxury accommodation—worth about $2,000 in payment and $1,500 in amazing experiences.
Finally, I took accommodation in the luxury eco-resort known as Kingfisher Bay Resort. This was by far the most expensive and luxurious resort on the island—the rooms were beautifully decorated, with views of the ocean and the surrounding rainforest. Two private guides accompanied me to the secret spots on the island, and I filmed with them for four days. I also got to fly over the island for 45 minutes to get aerial footage.
All of this was worth over $10,000 in experiences, and I was paid another $7,500 for all of the videos I produced, which were used to build an interactive map of the island featuring its most impressive locations and the local wildlife and birdlife. I also filmed their version of a bus tour across the island.
But the best was yet to come… I was also hired by a helicopter operator and got to sit in a helicopter with 180-degree views, hovering over lakes, rock pools, the shipwreck, and finally a private sand island. That trip was worth $2,000, and I earned another $1,500 for the video I produced.
In total, this means I earned about $28,000—$16,000 worth of experiences + $12,000 cash in my pocket. Not bad for a trip down under.
You, too, can look forward to racking up both “real” and experience money with videos. The best way to start is by querying local companies and exploring the business opportunities right on your doorstep.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Five Fun Ways To Get Paid To Travel: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]