How to get Free Hotel Stays ?

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Isn't it the dream of everyone to get free hotel stays around the world ? If you're a beginner travel blogger or influencer, and you're seeking to start collaborating with hotels you are reading the right article. Hotels collaborations are an important part of business so keep reading if you wanna start reaching out to hotels to combine work with leisure!

In some ways, traveling is your work – whether you are nailing the instagrammable picture, creating content for brands, writing blogs articles, working with hotels or taking drone footage.

Working with hotels is a simple exchange of service between two persons. The hotels offers free stays with extras, to in return receive content and visibility by the influencer. It's a gain / gain business. Of course, different type of collaborations exists but I'll talk more in details about it later on.

Let's get started!

Why hotels should work with you ? Which value can you give them ? What do you have to offer ?

Right before reaching out to an hotel, it's important to know the value you can give them if this collaboration conclude. Are you better in photography? Or maybe in videography? Do you want to create content for their website? Or help them building an instagram profile? Maybe you're a model and can offer modelling skills.

This is the first question you should ask yourself. Once you figured out this, you can jump to step 2.

Choose the right hotel for your audience.

Once you have considered why hotels should work with you, it will be easier to understand which hotels are potentially interested in cooperating with you.

You firstly need to know your audience, the gender and their age. If you are a budget backpacker, don't reach out to 5 stars resort and vice versa.

I personally like to reach out to hotels that have already collaborated with bloggers, so this way I know there's a greater chance for them to say yes.

Reach out to them : pitching

Once you figured out why an hotel should be working with you, and which hotels are right to be contacted, it's time to pitch to them.

Here, I'm not gonna give you a pitching template, but there are many to be found online, free of charge.

Write a short email, but be clear. Keep in mind that hotels are receiving tons of emails regarding partnership daily. You need to keep their attention!

  • Introduce yourself and your social medias
  • Say something particular about their hotel so they know you're not copying and pasting the same email to hundreds of hotels
  • What you can offer to them
  • Why you and your audience are a good fit

Show your media kit and a portfolio.

If you have, you can also include your media kit to show your stats, previous collabs, a portfolio, but that's totally up to you.

I personally prefer to write a sentence in the first email like “If that's something you would be interested in, I'd love to send you my media kit s so you can get a better idea of who we are, and what we have to offer.” and after if they answer yes, then I send it over.

How to find the right contact ?

Pitching is great, but pitching to the right contact is better. The first thing I suggest is looking for the hotel’s “Contact” page on their website.

The second thing is to go to their instagram page and check the “email” section.

If after all that you still haven't find an email, you can DM them on instagram and ask for the right contact email. Typically, this is a marketing/PR manager, press person, or media contact. If you can find this person, you’ll likely receive a quicker response, as your email won’t have to change hands.

Different types of hotel collaborations

In my opinion, there are three main types of hotel collaboration :

  • Free stays in exchange for Visibility
  • Free stays in exchange for Content creation
  • Getting paid to stay in a hotel

Some hotels will just be looking to receive visibility on your social media channels : instagram, blog post, tiktok videos etc..

Some others will be be looking to receive content creation for their channels. Hotels usually like this option because it's cheaper for them to welcome an influencer rather than to pay a photographer. In this case, you will just be creating photos and videos, whether you've agreed on, for them.

And others will offer you a free stay, but also a reward. At the end, photographer is a job like any other, and any job deserve a salary right? This kind of collaboration is hard to find, and if you find one it will most likely be because they are doing a campaign of something similar.

Don't be afraid to ask why you've been rejected.

In order to successfully work with a hotel, you need to consider all possible reasons for refusing to cooperate with you. If they haven't told you the reason why, there's nothing bad to ask for it. Just ask them if you did something wrong, if something isn't right in your proposal etc...

  • There're fully booked : try to reach out to them at least 2-3 weeks in advance in order to have a chance to collaborate.
  • They're not interested in your style of photography : every photographer has its own style and they simply don't like yours. There's nothing you can do about that.
  • It's not the right period : try off season.
  • Your audience doesn't fit with them : even if you spent time looking for the right hotel to pitch to, they might just work with influencer with 100k+. Once again, there's nothing you can do about this.
  • They don't work with influencer : they have another marketing strategy, they probably don't know about the power of social media

Keep in touch, say thank you, get in touch with sister's property, and overdo.

Even if you have been rejected, don't forget to say thank you for your time, and thanks for answering.

If the collaboration conclude to something, keep in touch! And maybe ask if they have another hotel somewhere else etc etc..

OVERDO. Hotel will love it! If you agreed on 2 posts and 5 stories, why not doing more if you have the content already?

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Lots of Love, Valerie & Alex

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We are Valerie & Alex, a couple with a passion for photography lifestyle, and traveling. Here, we are going to share our adventures, and hopefully inspire you to make your dream come true. You'll also find some tips and tricks about places we have explored, our travel gear, good deals and much more! instagram.com/valeriandalex

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