Bella Sirena is a secluded oasis on a strip of land that joins the peninsula of Baja California with the rest of Mexico.
It’s right where the sand meets crystal blue waters and the beach goes on for miles. The 20-foot tidal changes uncover delicate creatures like starfish, tiny crabs, and other sea urchins that hide in all the nooks and crannies.
Beyond the gates of this upscale resort, lush tropical foliage surrounds the infinity pools and you step into Old-World architecture inspired by Mexican and Tuscan villas.
Upon first arriving, my husband, Jeff, and I planned to taste humungous clams prepared with cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic and visit colonies of sea lions as they frolicked around us in the waters.
But before we made ourselves at home, I recorded video footage of the house in its pristine state. You see, in exchange for shooting some video our stay was absolutely free.
I didn’t need any fancy lighting. And right after shooting some video of the interior we were outside dipping our toes in the water. We saw how the shadows and reflections affected the palm trees, infinity pool, and fountains at the entrance.
It’s that simple. When I discovered the potential of travel video I knew I couldn’t pass it up. I have been traveling for vacation for 20 years and last year I finally gave up a stressful job as a cardiac lab specialist to become my own boss and travel more frequently, funding myself through photography, writing, and—now—video.
Video is the new way to travel in style and get paid for it. Any travel business with a website is a potential client for video. And there are more and more.
Bella Sirena was the first place I wanted to film—and visit. So I approached the owner of a vacation rental property…asked him if he ever thought of using video to promote his vacation destination…and then explained to him how he’d benefit.
He jumped on the opportunity in a heartbeat offering a complimentary stay that would have otherwise have cost me $450.
When I got the footage for the property and surrounding area, we went into town and captured videos of Old Port, landmarks, beaches where the locals swim, and people in authentic Mexican restaurants eating enormous fresh clams.
I experienced Puerto Penasco in a new way. I looked at things differently when I walked along the beach and tasted authentic meals with that Mexican flair.
My video was featured in Vacation Rental Travels magazine and VRBO, a vacation rentals website. I am also working out a deal with the Mexican Tourism Board for $1,000 for the additional video footage I gathered during my visit.
The owner of the property informed me recently that he had four additional bookings thanks to my efforts. On top of that, he says I can stay at his place anytime and it’s free. He normally charges $150 per night.
Now that’s a bonus.
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