New Year’s Eve. Minus 20 degrees in the Russian far north. And my tour group was stranded above the Arctic Circle by a massive snowfall. As the founder of the tour operator organizing this trip, the group was my responsibility. I was in Paris at the time, and for me, holiday festivities came to an abrupt halt…
On the phone all night. No solution to be found. For a brief moment between phone calls, I couldn’t help but reflect on my life as a tour operator. The job has its perks, but there are endless challenges that can drive even the most determined of us to seek greener pastures. My tour group did return home safely that night, and only then did I allow my mind to ruminate… How can I organize and sell interesting trips with less risk, difficulty, and stress?
A new kind of travel agent
Reflecting on this question led me to conclude that most travel professionals do the same thing: they recommend trips and services to an audience. And what comprises a trip? Travel offerings that today are available on platforms across the internet (e.g., activities on Viator, restaurants on OpenTable, accommodation on Booking.com, and transportation on Skyscanner). This then begs the question: why can’t anyone be a travel agent? By promoting travel offerings and combining them to create itineraries, one could organize and sell interesting trips with no risk, difficulty, or stress.
With this in mind, My Odyssey was born… An online marketplace where anyone can earn money by sharing travel offers and trips with others. The goal of My Odyssey is not only to make it easier for professionals to sell travel offers online but to allow anyone — whether a frequent travel contributor or an everyday traveler — to monetarily benefit for the first time.
Here’s how it works… users (we call them “trip designers”) fill in a simple template with travel offers from our partner sites, add personal tips and reviews, and publish in the My Odyssey marketplace. Single travel offers can be created in just a few clicks of a button. Trips can include limitless travel offers ranging from experiences and restaurants to accommodation and transportation.
Furthermore, itineraries are not what you might be used to seeing. They are not ten pages of text, but are concise and designed so that travelers can easily scroll through and book offers directly from them at any time. Travelers can also drag and drop offers from different trips to create their own itinerary. Travelers will be offered an optimal mix of “completely prepared for you” convenience and “do-it-yourself” personalization.
Our vision and its application for all
Our vision at My Odyssey is for all trip designers to share travel experience, knowledge, culture, and personal stories with the world, and to earn money doing it. Who are potential trip designers? Bloggers and social media influencers who already write about travel. Millions of travel contributors who post reviews on platforms like Tripadvisor. And let’s not forget about those with travel experience who do not currently contribute in a formal sense, but whose desire to share their experience is palpable. We all have that neighbor down the street that can’t stop talking for weeks about his recent trip to Thailand (and perhaps more often than not, we have been that neighbor).
So you’re a(n)…
Earn money by sharing travel offers and itineraries with your followers and target audience, who are eager to travel like you. Share a single offer in just a few clicks and do it easily on your phone or computer.
Travel blogger or writer
Use your travel expertise to share offers and itineraries with a marketplace of travelers. Promote your My Odyssey travel offers on your blog and promote your blog in your My Odyssey offers.
Travel contributor (e.g., Tripadvisor reviewers)
Finally receive real remuneration for your advice and reviews. For those of you who do not need a monetary incentive to contribute, know that your contributions can help travelers to plan trips in one search versus multiple weeks of trip research.
Affiliate marketer or Dropshipper
Take on a new sales channel in travel, where there exists overwhelming pent-up demand. There is no need to build an e-commerce store or attract users on your own. We’ve already created sales templates for you and a marketplace to sell them in.
Travel agent or Tour operator
Generate another source of revenue and extend your market reach to a global marketplace of trip goers beyond your current local audience.
Neighbor down the street (that can’t stop talking about Thailand)
Now you can easily share your Thailand itinerary with friends, family, and a marketplace of trip goers, and earn money doing it.
How does My Odyssey differ from affiliate marketing networks?
Simply put, My Odyssey makes it easier to monetize travel, whereas affiliate marketing networks do not. When using an affiliate marketing network, it is difficult to earn money without a website, blog, or audience. Of course, blogs and social media can be used to promote offers and trips designed on My Odyssey, but they are not necessary. Eliminating these barriers will ensure that trip designers can focus on what they truly love to do: share travel experience or travel knowledge and create helpful and interesting content for others.
To create a travel offer or trip on My Odyssey, one just needs to fill in a simple template on the site. Trip designers can add their own content to the template thereby making offers as personalized as they desire. Other affiliate marketing sites require you to find your own way, but with My Odyssey, we’ve built a website, established partnerships with top travel sites, and are currently attracting a marketplace of travelers so that you don’t have to.
We recently launched the first phase of our site. Come check it out and start earning immediately when you share a single travel offer with others. Trip itineraries you create today will be monetizable by December when travelers will be able to search, plan, and book trips. There will be more to come in the months ahead on the benefits of trip planning using My Odyssey.
We’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org