Swapping travel videos for free stays in Mexico
When I saw Great Escape Publishing offering a program to create travel videos that sell the feeling of being on vacation, I couldn’t pass it up. I envisioned combining this skill with my existing business (promoting wellness travel at exotic destinations) and using it to supplement my photography and travel writing. It was the perfect fit.
Before I finished the program, I already had my first place in mind where I wanted to film… where the ocean waves lapped up on the beaches of a beautiful resort…
I approached a vacation rental owner of a place where I had previously stayed who was marketing his property at an upscale resort in Mexico. I used the exact words and benefits featured in the program to sell video services. “Have you ever thought of using video to promote your vacation destination?” Then I followed with all the stats that emphasize why video works.
He jumped on the opportunity in a heartbeat in exchange for a complimentary stay.
Next stop, three nights at Bella Sirena and the beautiful Sea of Cortez.
To prepare for filming my first travel video, my husband Jeff and I rehearsed what we would do the minute we arrived. We followed the checklist from author Tom Reissmann’s Travel Videos for Profit program:
1. Leave all belongings outside the room
2. Setup your tripod, check lighting and remove unnecessary objects from the rooms
3. Focus on close shots, medium shots and pan in different directions
4. Take more footage than you think you’ll need.
When we finished filming the room, we ran outside to check out the property and dip our toes in the water. We saw how the shadows and reflections affected the palm trees, infinity pool, and fountains at the entrance. I created a plan with the time of day to acquire footage for the property and surrounding area.
We learned that you want to capture as much footage as soon as possible. Of course take the whole experience in, but tropical storms don’t care about your schedule.
I had a plethora of footage…more than necessary, as Tom said to gather. I reviewed the program and put together my best clips with music showcasing a mini-vacation that would entice travelers.
You can take a look at my complete video here.
Not only did I create a short clip for the condo owner to place on VRBO and YouTube, but I’ve also submitted an article with photos (and another short video) for publication in the December issue of Vacation Rental Travels online magazine. Plus, I plan to approach the Mexican Tourism Board to sell a short clip promoting Puerto Peñasco.
The nightly rent at the condo was $150—my husband and I stayed free for all three nights, which came to $450 comped! Not bad for my first gig… and let’s hope I get a sale from the Tourism Board.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel. Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]