One beautiful thing about life in 2016? Traveling the world and sharing gorgeous photos on Instagram is now a career path for some people. The five travelers featured below have become travel bloggers, influencers and experts in globe-trotting. Whether it's showcasing a tourist destination or providing sponsored content for brands, these adventurers often have a professional purpose for journeying to faraway paradises.
Brands flock to these social-media savvy travelers as their reach on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even Tumblr grows to five or six figures. In addition to sharing breathtaking photos, they dish out travel tips that can help save money, time or even lives—Kate McCulley shared a cautionary tale of a boat trip in Indonesia without proper life jackets or lifeboats that ended in a shipwreck.
Kate McCulley, Travel Blogger and Influencer
Kate McCulley has traversed the globe for almost six years, picking up 76,000 followers on Instagram along the way. An inspiration to independent and adventurous women, she focuses on solo female travel. During her journeys, she often promotes products, but she said in a blog post on her site that she tries to travel on her own dime and her own terms in order to avoid being tied down by sponsors. By choosing the products and destinations she wants to promote, McCulley sets a standard for her brand.
McCulley has expanded her travel shots to Snapchat (same username as Instagram), where she posts videos and photos for her followers to check out.
Tausha Cowan, Travel Writer
From the heat of India to the highlands of Scotland, Tausha Cowan shares photos and travel tips from across the world. Despite working a full-time job, Cowan still finds time to jet set around the globe. Her site explains how to make the most of your vacation days with tips on how to find the best deals on flights and valuable travel resources.
Vivienne Gucwa, New York Photographer
Vivienne Gucwa reaches over 400,000 followers with her photos of New York and her international travels. Her photography earned her a spot as an Artisan of Imagery for Sony, which means she serves as a brand ambassador for Sony's Alpha camera. During Gucwa's travels, she's worked with Coach as well as tourism departments in Great Britain and France.
Clint Johnston, Travel Hacker
Clint Johnston's budget travels have connected him with nearly every sector of the industry—he's worked with brands, tourism boards and airlines. Often, Johnston uses his Instagram account to promote products with discount codes and runs contests for his 50,000-plus followers.
The Rayen Citadel dates back 2,200 years in Southeastern Iran. It's been rebuilt over the years but it's a must-visit if you're visiting Kerman, which is about 110km from the citadel. Now that I'm back from the desert and have WiFi again I'll share some favorites from the past couple of days. @uppersia
Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil, Adventure Couple
Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil set a great example for couples travelling abroad with their Instagram account and website dedicated to globe-trotting. With a section of their site focused on traveling as a couple, Bouskill and Corbeil set themselves apart from most solo travel bloggers.
Bouskill and Corbeil work with brands like TravelSmith, Tripit and numerous tourism boards to provide content and act as social influencers and ambassadors.
Read more about the tactics and trends reshaping the tourism industry in Adweek's Travel Marketing Report.