Many couples want to travel, and plenty would love to get paid to do it. But the road from paying for exotic travel to getting paid to do it is paved with broken bank accounts, so it takes hard work and a lot of luck to end up being the exception to the rule.
But Kara and Nate Buchanan pulled it off. As of 2024, Kara and Nate have an estimated net worth of $2 million. Their journey has been fascinating so let’s take a look at how they managed to see the world and become wealthy.
Main Income Sources
1. YouTube – their YouTube channel attracts 15 million monthly views and 500,000 views per day. Based on a CPM of $4, the couple could earn up to $2,000 per day from YouTube ads.
2. Affiliate marketing – they earn around $10,000 to $20,000 per month promoting products on Amazon and recommending credit cards to their audience.
3. Daily Drop – they launched a travel newsletter called Daily Drop, teaching fans “how to travel hack your way around the world.”
4. Course Sales – Kara and Nate sell two courses through their website: “30 Days to Becoming a Travel Hacker” and “How to Edit a Vlog”. The courses sell for $180.81 and $119.31 respectively. They bring in an estimated $5,000 to $10,000 per month.
In many ways, Kara and Nate Buchanan were like many couples when they first tied the knot. After meeting in Tennessee, they were honeymooning in Belize and talking about their urge to travel.
While some couples have an interest in seeing all 50 states, the Buchanans quickly set a goal of seeing 100 countries together. To do it, they were willing to devote their entire lives to the cause. This involved a serious commitment to travel hacking as they dove deep into finding cheap ways to travel while making money doing it.
The key to monetizing their experience is their YouTube channel, which they started in 2015. Their vehicle for travel was their Sprinter van, where they lived a minimalist lifestyle in order to travel inexpensively.
The pandemic stopped them in their tracks for a brief period, but that setback was temporary. They now travel in that same van, which is now a modified RV that allows the two of them to live and work together out on the open road.
The Travel Adventure Gig
The titles of some of their most popular videos are a direct reflection of their adventures. “We Slept on the Side of a Mountain,” for instance, happened at the Peru Sky Lodge, which sits 1300 feet above the ground and is accessible only through climbing. When their special night was over, they zip-lined to complete this unique travel experience.
In Thailand, their travel experience took a completely different turn. Another popular video, “Thailand Capsule Hotel,” is also the title of the place where they slept during a layover in Bangkok when they found a hotel located in the basement of the airport.
Finally, there’s “Maldives Most Luxurious Resort,” which describes the villa where they took a break and enjoyed a night of luxury. The hotel had see-through floors that allowed them to view the water, along with a private water slide and a retractable roof.
Nate and Kara Buchanan are also committed to documenting their cultural experiences. They describe the towns they see and the foods they try, and the result is an addictive viewing experience that helps explain how their channel has built up over 3 million subscribers.
The editing is first-rate, and the viewing experience is the equivalent of watching a legitimate travel channel, albeit with a very intimate and personal point of view. Kara and Nate already know they won’t be on the road forever. Sooner or later real life will come calling when they want to have a family, but when they do they’ll have a lifetime’s worth of stories to tell their kids.