How to Find Travel Sponsorship and Creating a Proposal

Written By: The Planet D

Finding a travel sponsor for your event, travel blog, or adventures is an important part of achieving success in your field. This comprehensive guide will show you how to get sponsorship for an event or for your travels.

We have found the working on partnerships and developing relationships with our travel sponsors has been of great value not only from our past adventures but for all of our future travels.

How to Create a Travel Sponsorship Proposal

We learned a great deal about how to find sponsors for our event, the Mongol Rally. 

In this Sponsorship Guide you’ll learn:

  1. How to Approach Travel Sponsors
  2. How to Define your Goals
  3. How to Create an Attractive Package to Get the Sponsors Attention
  4. How to Find Sponsorship for Travel
  5. What you do After you Have Secured Sponsors
  6. What Exposure to Offer
  7. When to Start
  8. How to Approach Travel Companies
  9. How to Fulfill Your Commitments

on how to approach sponsors and we now feel confident when seeking sponsorship that we do indeed have something valuable to offer them.

1. Define your Goals.

Having a hook will help immensely when seeking sponsorship for your travels.

A company may not be interested in sponsoring a blog that is simply going out to backpack around the world. You must find some way to stand out from the crowd. The Mongol Rally gave us and our teammates Rick Griffin and Sherry Ott a unique adventure to attract new readers and sponsors. Driving 1/3 of the way around the world definitely helps to make you stand out from the sea of travel bloggers and companies feel confident when there is not only the built in audience from the rally, but also the value of combining the audience of three blogs into one event for triple the exposure.

Mongol Rally Sponsors 

how to get sponsorship for your event

Other travel bloggers that have had great success in finding sponsorship are The Professional Hobo, Go See Write and Nomadic Chick for the Ultimate Train Challenge, As We Travel for their European Train circumnavigation and GlobeTrooper for their hike across the Gobi Desert. Each of these trips was unique, epic and attractive to sponsors.

2. Have an Attractive Package.

Your sponsorship package is the most important aspect of finding sponsorship.

Be clear as to what you can give your sponsor in return for their product or monetary contribution. The first thing we did when putting together our proposal for the Mongol Rally was work on our package. We compiled our numbers and statistics together and input them all into a pdf file explaining what our venture was, what we will offer and how their product will be displayed.

We offered 3 levels of sponsorship.

how to find sponsors for an event

Give value to the companies that contribute more. Offering 3 levels of sponsorship will give smaller companies the opportunity to get on board, but will nudge larger companies in the direction of offering more. If they give a monetary value along with product sponsorship, they will be more prominently displayed, mentioned more in posts and if you have a car, T-shirt or backpack that will be displaying your sponsors, you they will receive the primo spot on the item.

3. Be Clear on Exposure

1. We clearly defined how many posts we would give each sponsor, how many tweets they would get and how many Facebook shares we would offer.

2. Tell the company what you expect from them.

Outline exactly what you require from the company you are seeking sponsorship from. People prefer to be told what you want rather than having to think about what to offer. Don’t leave it up to them. Tell them how much product you require, how much money you require and why you are approaching them.

How to Find Travel Sponsors

5. Approach companies in your niche

We are travel bloggers so we approached travel companies or companies that have something to do with adventure. However, the Mongol Rally gave us the opportunity to seek sponsorship outside of the travel business.

how to find a sponsor

We could approach cell phone and satellite companies, we found GPS and Audio Sponsors and of course we found the most important sponsor for our car in AllWAysRentals. A Rental company base in Christchurch New Zealand that offers campervans and cars for hire.

6. Involve a Charity

It is fulfilling to give back when traveling through communities so involving at any time during your travels is a great idea. When you decide to take on an epic adventure and are seeking specific sponsorship having a charity on board helps.

how to get a sponsor

Many companies are already involved with a charity, so it may be worthwhile to approach your premium sponsors first and offer to raise money for their specific charity in return for the largest premium spot.

Intrepid Travel also donated our carbon offsets for the fuel that we used driving from England to Mongolia.

7. Start Early

Companies plan their year in advance and the sooner you can seek sponsorship the better.

We waited far too long for the Mongol Rally to attract a Gold Sponsor. We originally wanted 1 main sponsor. They would be an exclusive sponsor that would receive all of the publicity throughout the Mongol Rally.

how to find sponsorship for an event start early

We wanted to ask for a large monetary value that would cover all costs in return for exclusive sponsorship. This is something that you should start seeking at least a year in advance. By the time we got around to approaching companies in January, although they were interested, they already had their advertising budgets allotted for the year.

8. Just Ask

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from Andy Hayes when trying to figure out how to get something. His reply was “Have you Ever Thought to Ask? Great advice!

Our biggest fear was sending that first email. We didn’t know what people would say and how they would respond. Once we got over the fear of rejection, we started approaching companies that we would never have had the nerve to speak to before. Companies will say no that is a fact.

find a sponsor for an event

But you will be amazed at how many people will respond with a polite letter explaining why they can’t sponsor you at this time. Thank them for their time and keep them in your database for future reference. As your statistics grow and if the right opportunity comes along for partnership, you can try them again.

Once you receive that first acceptance letter, you will be filled with confidence and ready to approach more people.

9. Fulfill Your Commitments

Don’t offer what you can’t follow through on. We found it difficult to tweet and facebook from the desert in Kazakhstan and Mongolia but we found ways to fulfill our commitments to our sponsors.

sponsorship guide social media

We hired Social Media Atlantic Canada who were able to take care of our social media commitments when we couldn’t be online. We also scheduled our important tweets in advance to make sure that the word was getting out about our sponsors.

If there was one thing that we did when we pulled into a small town with slow internet, was to get online and make sure that our duties to our sponsors were fulfilled.

10. Follow Up

It is important to keep documentation of the exposure that you are giving your sponsors. We took snapshots of our hashtag #mongolsms and for 3 little bloggers working on their own, we reached over 1.2 million impressions in just 97 tweets.

find a sponsor and follow up

Once you are finished, send your sponsors the posts that you wrote about them during the event and the analytics on how it was received. A great follow will help you continue your relationship beyond just one event. Building relationships is the key. Companies want to work with people they can trust and if you are professional with them during your first business venture, you have a good chance of working with them again.

Read Next:

Travel Planning Resources

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Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

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Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

49 thoughts on “How to Find Travel Sponsorship and Creating a Proposal”

  1. Hi! This was really so helpful because my twin sister and I are studying in college in India at present and we’re planning this eurorail trip next summer. We are going to start a blog soon and we were thinking about what companies would like to sponsor us. We don’t really know how to go about this but we’re really excited about this trip and are willing to work really hard to make it happen! It would be great to hear from you ! Thanks

    Reply
    • Best of luck Mallika. The best advice we can give you is to really sell what you have to offer. You need to make the companies see that you are an asset to them. Just going on an adventure won’t get you sponsorship, you need to show something in return and show them that you are worth the money/product that they will be giving you. Best of luck!

      Reply
  2. This is really useful, thanks for being so honest. It’s gone into my bookmarks for future reference ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  3. This was great – thanks so much! My sister and I are going to Dubai in March so I think I’ll start with a baby step and see if we can get one sponsored thing to do while we’re there. It’s so nice of you to share this information with those of us who are new.

    I”m trying to think of our angle – two middle-aged sisters, one who is a smart ass and one who is well behaved…..maybe I need to think a little longer!

    Thanks again!

    Kay

    Reply
    • Good for you Kay. That is exactly how we started out, baby steps. I remember sending that first email and I was so nervous. I like your idea. I’d read about that for sure! Even two sister’s traveling together period is an interesting dynamic and I know you’ll be able to find something there.

      Reply
  4. thank you for your tip; i m going to knock at doors to . you never know. leaving next february for my europe tour on inline skate. excited and nervous but this cool me down a bit. thanks again.

    Reply
  5. Great advice, we are not looking for sponsors for a trip but instead companies to sponsor a single page on our site for that particular destination.

    We are thinking about offering each page for a year but not too sure how much to charge? What are your thoughts?

    Reply
  6. Great tips here!

    I’ve been looking for sponsors for the upcoming event on my blog and will apply some of your tips here. It’s just I’m really new in finding some sponsors on my blog.

    Thanks again!

    Cheers!
    Gay Aida

    Reply
  7. Superb post Deb n Dave. I love the way your names sound together – sorry, I digress. You demystify the holy grail of surviving on the road nicely. Now we have the lowdown, no one has the excuse not to succeed – a bit scary I think! Thought the guys and gals over at twitter would appreciate your words of wisdom so tweeted it is ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  8. Great advice! I have always been wondering how people get sponsorship! It’s good to know you have to start well in advance! I don’t think James and I are at the level to attract lots of money like that, but maybe in a few years.

    Reply
  9. Thanks so much for being generous to have shared your ideas and experience of sponsorships. There isn’t much blogging on this topic and as travel bloggers it should all be a part of our tool belt. Instead, I just thought it was something only certain bloggers were getting propositioned to do. Thanks so much for decoding the magic veil and hope y’all get more sponsorship in the future!

    Reply
    • Glad we could help Christine. While, companies will approach bloggers that are higher profile and receive higher traffic, it is still important to have a package to present to people when you are seeking it yourself. Things just don’t magically happen all the time and when you work at it, you will eventually reach your goals.

      Reply
  10. You guys have helped so many travel bloggers. You always have so much advice to share and a lot of people are learning from you on a daily basis (myself included). Keep it up and cheers.

    Reply
    • Thanks Cole. We feel that anything you want to find out about can be found on the internet. Why not make it easy for our readers so that they can find it here:)

      Reply
  11. I really can’t thank you guys enough for this post! We’re currently working on getting sponsorship for a couple of different things, most notably, our next women’s travel guidebook to Argentina. This was so clear and so informative! One question though: what program were you using to monitor the reach of your tweets?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  12. Lots of good advice there, mate. I think I’ll stick to my traditional google adsense, though. Our completely different style makes for short visits, and quick answers. Simple google adsense clicks seems more profitable in such a speedy environment.

    Reply
  13. Great post you guys! This is fantastic information for that day in the future when I’m going after sponsorships. Hopefully soon ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • Glad we could help Kit. Good luck with your future sponsorship and you must let us know how it goes. It will help inspire others to know that they can do it too!

      Reply
  14. Hey guys,
    Thanks for the post. I got into blogging into a way of extending my travels. I had in mind something related to sponsorship but I wasn’t sure how to proceed. Now, I have a clear idea on what to do. Perfect!!!

    Reply
  15. Thanks for this — really appreciate your transparency AND generosity. And the timing is good too, as I am just now beginning to seek sponsors for a big trip I am planning next year.

    And I completely agree about the “just ask” philosophy!

    Reply
  16. Great transparent post guys! Thanks for that. I’ve just done well selling local sponsorships for my Meet Plan Go event…I should figure out some packages now for LLworldtour! You are right…having a ‘hook’ or special ‘thing/trip/event’ helps it be more packageable/sellable. Now, more importantly, WHEN am I going to get to meet you cool people?! ๐Ÿ™‚ Lisa

    Reply
    • Hi Lisa, we are so glad that you had success for Meet Plan Go. It is these types of events that help you to learn and get started. Once you have landed some sponsorship, it is easier the next time out. I know that you will have great luck with LL World Tour! And yes, I hope we meet soon:)

      Reply
  17. Great advice guys! Thanks for sharing such valuable info. We are working on some sponsorship stuff now. It is exciting and definitely the way in which blogging is heading.
    As you said it is scary, but you just have to jump in there.
    We always say, If you don’t ask then the answer is always no.
    EAch no is one step closer to a yes and we can learn from each no to help get us to that yes.

    Reply
    • Hi Caz, you and Craig have already done so well and I agree, Sponsorship is the way that blogging is heading. As travel bloggers we have such a great industry and the possibilities are endless. I love your quote, If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. As scary as it is to ask, it is always better to get a no than to not ask at all.

      Reply
  18. Thanks so much for sharing the details of your sponsorship package. We are getting very close to launching our product and this is going to be very helpful if we decide to approach sponsors.

    Reply
    • Hi Christy, I can’t wait to hear what your new product is. Good luck with approaching sponsors, I am sure that you wil have great success!

      Reply
  19. Thanks for the tips and advice guys! It is generous of you to share how to manage such a large piece of the business side of blogging. This will come in handy in the next couple of weeks as I take my first small steps into the world of sponsorship and trying to partner with companies large and small. Thank you!!

    Reply
    • Hi Gillian, good luck with seeking your sponsorship. It can be a daunting task shifting to the business side of travel blogging. We are all writers and photographers, but learning how to run a business is a whole new ballgame.

      Reply
  20. Thanks so much for writing this! I have an idea for something just like this and might want to approach Honda and/or Amtrak. Now I know what I’d need to do. Your information is great. Very smart, by the way, to have someone handling social media when you couldn’t.

    Reply
    • Good luck with your sponsorship. You have such an amazing product, I know that you can do it. You must let us know how it goes.

      Reply