Cultivating A Successful Side Hustle As a Travel Blogger

Cultivating A Successful Side Hustle As a Travel Blogger Cultivating A Successful Side Hustle As a Travel Blogger

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Being a full-time entrepreneur is not for everyone, there are benefits to maintaining your full-time job while building your own business on the side.

Today’s guest is a brilliant example of someone who has created a super successful side hustle doing just that. Sara Marano of the popular blog and YouTube channel ‘The Average Tourist’, aims to help others working 9 to 5 to make the most of their travels. She understands the desires and pain points of her audience because she herself continues to work at her corporate job while also making time to travel and grow her blog.

I loved my conversation with Sara because she is a wonderful example of what is possible when you are passionate and consistently show up despite having limited time and resources. She also reminds us that you don’t have to want your side hustle to eventually become your full-time gig. You might be happy in your career and enjoy the work that you’re doing. Maybe you like the stability that it allows, but you also enjoy putting some creative entrepreneurial energy into a side business that’s just your own. If that’s the case, then embrace that.

Regardless of what your initial intention is with starting a side hustle, and whether it does eventually become your full-time job, the skills and discipline that you learn when running a side hustle alongside a full-time job are invaluable.

Sara is extremely relatable and down to earth. Her passion is magnetic and the insight she shares on how she manages to continually publish new blog posts, create new YouTube videos and grow her following on social media, is both inspiring and super helpful. So I hope you enjoy this episode!

A travel blog as a side hustle

Sara is originally from Ontario, Canada, and she fell in love with travel when she was 14 and got on a plane for the first time. Later on, once she got into her corporate career, she missed a creative element in her work and decided to pick up blogging. She started a vegetarian blog first, but then she realized that her real passion is travel. So in 2017, she started her travel blog for people who like to travel alongside their 9 to 5.

Some people don’t like seeing themselves as tourists, but Sara doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the word. If you are in a job that allows you only limited amounts of vacation, then it makes sense that you want to see as much as you can while you’re there. Sara doesn’t believe that travel has to be a certain way, it doesn’t have to be expensive, and you don’t have to quit your job to do it.

Alongside her blog, Sara started a YouTube channel as well. It took a while to get more comfortable with video, but now she’ll often start her content creation with a video script and use that to create a written blog post as well.  She shares that it’s “trying to appeal to two different audiences with as much of the same content as I can, but adding value in whichever format they prefer,” because “some people like to read, some people like to watch videos.”

How to balance a job and a side hustle

Sara has been working her 9 to 5 while running her side hustle for several years now, so she knows a thing or two about balancing it all. Her main piece of advice is to remember to be kind to yourself and not compare yourself to people who are doing this full-time. “I don’t want my passion to turn into something that I don’t like. Because I do this because I love it and I wanna continue to love it. So sometimes it’s nice to just take a break and just be gentle with yourself and you don’t have to do everything.”

Aside from that, Sara relies on routines and time boxing to get things done in her business. “Time boxing is a really great exercise to keep you on track and to just know that, okay, I’m gonna do 25 minutes of this task. Whatever I get done, I get done. But at 25 minutes, I’m gonna take a break.”

Of course, this requires self-discipline, which Sara admits can be harder than it sounds. She doesn’t always stick to her schedule exactly, but she tries to be consistent and remember that you can’t do it all.

More from this episode

  • What are the differences between content creation for a written blog versus Youtube videos?
  • Sara shares about her Pinterest and Instagram strategies, and we talk about authenticity and imposter syndrome on social media.
  • Find out why Sara prefers flexibility over batch content creation for Instagram.
  • Hear about her experience in monetizing the different elements of her business, what to expect from monetizing a blog or YouTube channel, and Sara’s advice on how to approach sponsored content.
  • Is it too late to start a travel blog in 2022?
  • What’s Sara’s vision for the near future of her business?

Learn more about Sara

As a corporate communicator by day, Sara spends her evenings and weekends focusing on her passion for travel through her online brand The Average Tourist. Through blog posts, photography, and videos, she shares her passion for seeing the world, and also provides regular travelers –  like her, who work a 9-5 and can’t spend months at a time traveling – inspiration and information to maximize their adventures. In 2020 she took the plunge and started her own independent travel planning business (The Average Tourist Travel) to help travelers make their vacation dreams a reality.


The Average Tourist on Instagram

Episode 13 with Louise Cottrell about Pinterest 

Jenna Kutcher

Episode 25 with Rachel Hill about micro-influencers 

The Average Tourist blog

The Average Tourist on Youtube 

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Kara Myers


I’m a former tourism professional turned web designer and podcaster. Tune in each week as I interview inspirational women crushing it in the travel industry. 

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