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Recent years have seen the rise of the Digital Nomad; those lucky few self-employed thrill-seekers who travel the world with a laptop in their backpack, and think that working 9-5 is for suckers.

I’m sure you’ve heard all about them and you’re probably wishing you could do likewise. Being able to go where you please, when you please, and call nobody boss is a fantastic lifestyle in theory, but how does it work in practice?

We’ve looked at many different ways to earn money while you travel, including blogging, freelancing, and other ideas for jobs you can pick up on the road, though today we’re going to focus on setting up a business, and specifically, how you can build a thriving online travel marketplace.

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Why Set Up an Online Marketplace?

Blogging and freelancing can bring in the cash, but then who wants to live in paradise if all you do is work indoors on a laptop all day?

Blogging can be very time consuming and freelancing can be very stressful. Not only do you need to stay connected to ensure your work is completed on time, you also have to spend a lot of time managing your clients, not to mention making sure you get paid in a timely fashion.

entrepreneur computer laptop

For this reason, one of the best business models is putting the effort into a niche site, or online travel marketplace, where you can target affiliate marketing and third party sales.

After putting in hard work at the beginning and building your brand, once you start to gain momentum with your business you can set it and forget it, and enjoy your travels out in the fresh air! As the marketplace owner you earn a set fee for every order your sellers receive.

How to Set up a Travel Marketplace

First things first, you’re going to need to decide what you’re going to sell. Will you build a marketplace for accommodation, car rentals, tickets and events, tour bookings? Perhaps you’re thinking about a platform dedicated to photography tours and workshops.

After you’ve decided on your niche, you’ll need travel marketplace software like Travelshift to set everything up.

Recommended Travel Marketplace Software

Currently, Travelshift is the only marketplace software solution catering to the travel industry. It’s effortlessly easy to use, and offers great marketplace features which include unparalleled flexibility, and full control over your own products, sales and services. You receive a customisable store front inside your marketplace, and it is optimised for testimonials and reviews too.

The software also includes a built-in blogging platform that allows you to manage a native community of writers to populate your site with relevant, shareable articles. This all adds up to a vibrant, creative marketplace where sellers will struggle to do anything but succeed.

After you have your platform up and running, you can use Travelshift to recruit brands and start selling! Building a local marketplace or focusing on specific experiences worldwide with unique product lines is a brilliant way to make money while traveling the world.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.


  1. Oh man! I feel like an online travel marketplace is waaaaay more tedious than blogging but I think thats because I treat blogging more like a hobby and less like work. I didn’t even know you could up and start a company simple as that? But if ever I find myself in a financial rut, I might look at this option. Thanks for putting it on the table!

    • One of those things though that requires the hard slog in the beginning and then gets way easier as it gains momentum :) Glad we could introduce you to the idea!

  2. It certainly sounds intriguing, I hadn’t heard of it upto now

    • Glad we could introduce you to the idea Suze! Something else to consider if trying to brainstorm further platforms for online monetization :)

  3. Oh you are so right about blogging being hard work and freelancing tedious – where does it leave us? lol

    I never knew about travelshift, seems like I need to check it out. Online travel marketplace with affiliates and all that jazz,eh?

    • Online travel marketplace with affiliates! Just another one to add into the hat of ideas for branching out and diversifying your income stream :)

  4. Hmm this is quite interesting. Yes blogging can get tedious sometimes and having a marketplace seems like more of a passive way to grow a business. I have some stuff on Etsy that gets bought here and there so I’ll have to look into this.

    • Hope we’ve hit on something big for you :) X

  5. There’s some great info here.. thanks from a fellow blogger. ^^ 9-5 is for suckers.. but 1-5 isn’t haha. There’s ways to travel and work at the same time without travel blogging per se. That’s a good tip too.

    • Absolutely Hallie – blogging is a great way to earn an income online while traveling, but there are definitely many other ways to bring in an income and diversify your income streams :)

  6. I’m definitely going to look into this! I’m applying for PR in Thailand and once that is done, hopefully, I can quit mY job and travel more. I’ll need to set up this to make money cuz like your said freelance KS constant work but also there’s not always work out there.

    • Fantastic to hear Shayan! All the best for Thailand :)

  7. Is there an example anywhere? The one on their website doesn’t seem to be an example?

  8. Have you tried this Meg?

    • Hi Martin :) The blog itself is keeping us busy so we haven’t gone live with a marketplace yet. The guys at Guide to Iceland are a great example of how to do this well though, their URL:

      Let me know if you have any other questions I can help with :)

  9. Hi..Megan
    How many countries hv you been visit?

    • Hi Hafid, around 60 countries :)

  10. What an article. I just explored all things about the online marketplace. But I wanna say to your audience that you can try RentALL script for building any kind of online marketplace like travel, hotel, car sharing, etc. Thanks for the post.

    • Thanks for the tip Fernandez, and glad you enjoyed the post :)

  11. Hi Megan,

    Well said! While there is a COVID sized bump in the road at the moment at Tashi, we’re also very optimistic about the future for new niche travel marketplaces. Especially as there may be more digital nomads now due to the rise of remote work because of covid!

    We launched our Saas no code multi-vendor travel marketplace platform this year and we’re already powering 5+ communities, despite COVID.

    While I can see that you’re recommending a good platform here I’d love to hear what you about ours.

    Check us out and let me know what you think ?. Maybe there’s potential for collaboration?

    • Hi Macartan, thanks for reaching out and sharing about Tashi, keeping our fingers crossed for the whole industry that we make it over the COVID bump as soon as possible! You’re right though that the new work from home culture should have ushered in a new flood of digital nomads, so perhaps the industry will return even stronger than it was before! (one can hope!)

      I would be happy to chat about a collaboration – feel free to email us at with the partnership proposal you have in mind and we can discuss from there.


    • Hi Meg, yes, you have to keep the hope!

      And sounds great. I’ll email you some information shortly.


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