It seems like more and more often, people are ditching their 9 to 5’s to follow their wanderlust instinct. Every year we hear more stories of people who decide to quit their jobs back home explore the world, and end up prolonging their trip and making a lifestyle out of it. But if they don’t go back to their jobs, how do they make money while travelling? Here are some ways to make money while traveling.
Many of you may wonder how these travellers can afford to leave everything behind, hit the road, and never look back. Are their parents wealthy? Are they doing something illegal to stay afloat? How can they possibly support their existence? It does require some creative thinking and skills to come implement a plan that supports this nomadic lifestyle.
Yet, as it turns out, there are many legal and lucrative ways to make money while travelling. Although you may have surely heard of some of them, we hope reveal a few new tricks to get you started on your great adventure:
1. Freelance writing, blogging, copy writing, translating
If you consider yourself a decent writer, then freelance blogging and writing is a great way to supplement your income. There are multiple websites that connect clients with their potential employees, and you can search for and apply for one-time or ongoing gigs. Check out well-established sites such as Freelancer, Upwork, Problogger, and Craigslist for USA or Gumtree for UK (under “gigs” section).
Depending on your niche, there are quite a few opportunities available. Travel blogging and anything relating to the business field (IT, finance, etc.) are popular. Other blogging topics range from health, fitness, food, animals, lifestyle, marketing, technology, how-to articles and more.
If you speak two or more languages fluently, you’ll also find opportunities to translate documents (usually to or from English).
There’s even opportunity for some copy writing, editing, proofreading and website developing under these categories. If you find the right fit, you have the chance for a long-term relationship with your client(s).
2. Online marketing services
Already have your own blog with a good number of followers? Sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program and earn money from marketing products on your website.
If writing is not your forte, you can still work remotely using Upwork, Fiverr or Elance. Here you will find companies and individuals looking for a broad spectrum of services, not just related to online marketing. Nevertheless, the most popular are still website design and development, SEO and social media management, advertising and exposure.
3. Teach English
As a native English speaker, teaching jobs are very easy to come by, especially in regions like Southeast Asia, Central and South America. Many agencies may require you to have a four-year college degree (not necessarily in education/or teaching), but some may not.
It’s a good idea to enroll in a classroom based or online TEFL course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). You will be more attractive to teaching agencies if you can show you’re motivated and educated in the field.
A widely used and legitimate website for teaching positions is Dave’s ESL Café, and Ajarn is also a reliable site for jobs only in Thailand.
You can also set up your own English language “agency” by conducting private or one-on-one tutoring sessions. Advertise your services in the city of your choice around local schools/after-school programs, international/private schools, local libraries, and English language agencies (if they allow).
4. Become an online tutor
There is a huge market in China and Korea for online teachers. Technology allows virtual classrooms to be conveniently brought right into the student’s home. Check out companies like Englishhunt, Education First, Westgate or VIP Kids.
So if you are not completely fluent in English, do not panic! This new online learning trend means you can teach your native language via Skype, from anywhere in the world and from the comfort of your own home. You can also use any other skills you may have, like playing an instrument or life coaching. Remote teaching is a fantastic way to make money while travelling.
5. Start your own import/export business
See something cool and unique that you know people at home would go crazy for? Define yourself as the liaison between the consumer and supplier, go shopping, and make a little cash!
The idea is simple, however putting an international business plan into action takes a little more work. But with a little patience and money on the front end, it is completely doable.
Decide on something that is one of a kind (for example, teak furniture or hand-dyed shawls) and native to a particular area. Research to see if this is a product already being heavily marketed (if it is, maybe you should find something more exclusive). Buy and photograph a few “test” products. Set up a small online shop via eBay, Etsy or create your own website. Market your product through social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pin). Email all your friends and family and ask them to do the same with theirs. Get the word out!
You should research the process of shipping items overseas and Customs regulations, but you’ll find once you’ve got the system down, it will flow smoothly.
6. Sell photography or hand-made crafts
If the above suggestion sounds like too much of a commitment or financial risk, take the lesser approach of selling your own personal creations. If you’re a gifted photographer, check out platforms like Shutterstock, Getty Images or AdobeStock and sell your snaps online.
If you’re artsy and can create your own crafts, such as jewelry, clothing, postcards, or knickknacks you can try to sell them on the streets or markets of where ever you happen to be. Find out what it takes to set up and open a small stall in the local markets. Or simply spread your items on a blanket in a busy section that gets a lot of tourist foot traffic. People will stop and shop if your crafts are eye catching, unusual and relative to the place you’re in!
7. Create a residual income
Basically, what this entails is making a small investment up front (usually buying the product itself) and then reaping the financial benefits from selling it for hopefully a long time. This is usually achieved through multilevel marketing by becoming a sales representative of a well established company. There are many companies that sell nutrition supplements, vitamins, essential oils, skin care products, etc, where you can register instantly and for free. It’s like operating your own mini business, and you turn a profit based on how well you can sell the products and how many more representatives you can enroll. If you’re a good salesperson, there is potential to make good money with plans like these.
8. Create a product and sell it
Do you have a special skill or unique interest? Is it something you think other people could be interested in? If you answered yes to these questions, then consider turning a profit from your exceptional knowledge or experience.
Maybe you are great at how to skills, you are talented at cooking, dating, photography, playing sports, or simply have some important life experiences that others would benefit to learn from? Write an eBook sharing your knowledge and sell it on Amazon. Do you have some beauty tips, fitness, weight loss tricks or career advice? Create a video course on how to achieve a particular result and sell it online – there are now many platforms that cater for this, such as Udemy. The possibilities are endless!
9. House Sitting
House sitting gigs are great for people who are budget traveling and looking for free accommodation. How does it work? First, local residents planning a holiday will often feel more comfortable if they have someone to check on their homes and/or pets. It is a mutually beneficial exchange; the home owner finds someone to keep an eye on their house, while the “house sitter” receives a free stay in return. In some cases, you may even be paid.
Joining the public Facebook groups of the country you’re traveling through (i.e, Bangkok Locals, Bali Backpacker Community) will provide the best opportunity to find these types of gigs. Introduce yourself, advertise yourself as a “house sitter”, ask the others in the group for advice, and monitor the posts daily.
10. Work as an au pair
If you enjoy working with children, this could be an interesting experience to live abroad, immersing yourself in a new culture or language. Host families will offer you full board plus a salary to live at home and look after their children. In some countries like USA, Russia and UK, you can actually find affluent families who are willing to pay very generous salaries. The disadvantage of this is you may be subject to a lack of time and space for yourself if the family turns out to be very demanding. Make sure you negotiate your conditions well in advance.
11. Teach diving, yoga, surfing
Have a passion for scuba diving, yoga, or surfing? Even if you’re a beginner, with the right training and a little money you can complete courses that will certify you as a professional.
Becoming a Divemaster takes mere weeks if you are already a certified diver. Even if you’re not, in a few months it’s possible to complete all your necessary certifications, including the Divemaster Trainee course (referred to commonly as DMT). You can even take it one step further by enrolling in another three-week program to become a Scuba Instructor.
Once you are certified as a professional, you will able to find work all around the world in the scuba diving industry. If you speak an additional language to English, your chances for employment are even greater.
Yoga teacher training courses are easy to find as well. Many countries offer them and make it simple for students to complete the training. Same thing applies for surfing.
One of the great benefits of these jobs is they are (usually) in beautiful beach, island, or mountain settings. None of which are unpleasant places to set up shop for a little while!
12. Work in a hostel, guesthouse, bar or restaurant
Youth hostels and budget guesthouses regularly employ travellers for short-term work. The pay tends to be low, but it’s a way to earn your keep if you want to settle in that particular place for a few weeks or months.
Some places will provide room and board in exchange for cleaning, cooking, food/bar prep and the like. In others, you may find they pay a small salary for services rendered. Its always a good idea to find out when the high season starts in that particular place and get there just before.
Popular bars, restaurants, and cafes also like to hire foreign staff and English speakers are well-sought after. Don’t be shy about trying your luck at some of the spots frequented by fellow backpackers. You’ll likely find something to hold you over for a little while.
13. Club, bar, tour promoter jobs
Many backpacker destinations have a lively nightlife. The locals love to capitalize on the fact that young travellers like to go out and have a good time. There’s a lot of competition out there for local bar and club owners, so many operators hire people to hit the streets and promote their establishment.
This usually comes in the form of handing out flyers or holding signs on the street corners. Remuneration may be minimal to none, but there is always some form of compensation involved. Sometimes that means free meals, drinks, or a free stay if the bar offers accommodation.
Go around to some of the local backpacker and traveller friendly bars and offer your advertising services. It’s possible you may even be able to work out a deal that earns you commission for every person you refer.
14. Working Holiday Visa
The working holiday visa is a great option for those who want to move to a new country for several months or more. Once approved, the visa will grant you entrance into the country, as well as allowing you to legally seek and secure employment. The working holiday visa is especially popular in places like Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
This is a great opportunity for travellers to experience a new place by living and working in the country. The pay in these countries tend to be quite high, so you’ll be able to save some money before moving on to the next destination!
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The more you travel, the more you will start to notice ways of sustaining the ultimate lifestyle. Therefore, if you are willing to do whatever it takes, you will succeed! Where there’s a will there’s a way – and if you are clever, determined, and friendly – you will always find means to a profitable end.