Traveling the world and seeing new sights and cultures is one of the most alluring and rewarding activities for many people.
It doesn’t matter if you want to take a few weeks to bum out on a beach in Bali, backpack through Europe, or explore a part of the world you would normally never see: travel is just awesome.
However, travel is also expensive. In fact, many people go in to debt to afford a vacation or extended leave from work.
While this may seem worth it to some for the sake of fulfilling wanderlust, there are also viable ways to make money while traveling that can help mitigate debt and simultaneously extend travel plans.
So, if you’ve ever wondered how to make money while traveling, this is the post for you!
Online Ideas to Earn Income While Traveling
Since making money online is generally my preferred method, I’m going to outline several jobs and side hustles you can turn to in order to make money during your travels.
I’m going to make an effort to include jobs that are easy to adjust to, have flexible hours, and are higher paying.
1. Negotiate For Remote Work
Remote jobs are becoming more common as technology improves and employers get used to the idea of a telecommuting workforce.
However, if you’re aiming to make money while traveling the world, you’ll probably need to pitch the idea to your employer and make some justification…it won’t just mysteriously happen overnight.
In my opinion, the easiest way to successfully negotiate for a remote position is to make yourself incredibly valuable for the company you work for.
I’ve worked for a digital marketing company for the past 3 years (2 as a remote contract and 1 as a full-time employee). Recently, I was able to go fully remote, and have now been able to get some traveling done and spend more time with family.
You may need to earn your stripes before making this sort of change. However, employers who value their workers and want to promote a flexible work-life balance are generally accommodating, especially if you produce results.
2. Freelance While Traveling
If you can build up a modest freelance portfolio and client base before traveling, you will be able to sustain yourself and earn a steady income while abroad.
There are plenty of remote job boards where you can begin to look for online work that fits your skill set.
I also recommend using your own network or joining niche Facebook groups related to your area of expertise to pitch clients there (blogging groups are a great way to find writing, graphic design, or VA work).
I’ve always turned to freelance writing or digital marketing/SEO related gigs to make extra income, but there are plenty of industries where freelancing is common. From working as a virtual assistant to coding, there are plenty of opportunities out there.
Just be sure to have a polished portfolio and some work lined up before departing if you want to ensure that you make money during your travels.
3. Tutor English Online
If you are a native English speaker, you can make upwards of $20-$25/hour by tutoring online students in English.
Websites like VIPKid, Cambly, or GoGoKid are constantly looking for qualified tutors to join their platforms. While some tutoring companies require tutors to hold an undergraduate degree, others don’t, so there is plenty of opportunity out there.
The interview process for companies can be quite tough, so properly preparing for your interview and watching YouTube videos on how to effectively teach ESL online is critical.
Additionally, you should note that the students you teach will mostly live in China/surrounding countries, so you will need to adjust to their timezone.
However, this is a decent way to make money while traveling since it can be done early in the morning and you just need a well-lit room, basic teaching prompts/materials, and a solid internet connection/laptop.
While this idea takes several months or even years of prep before it can sustain your travel dreams, a money making blog is an amazing asset to have in your back pocket when traveling.
Your blog doesn’t have to generate thousands of dollars a month. Even an couple hundred dollars can be enough to sustain yourself in many countries in this world, and you can also use the money to cut into travel expenses at the very least and mitigate debt.
You also don’t need to be a travel blogger in order to make money during your travels, or even blog that frequently while on the road.
This Online World currently earns $500+ USD a month between ads and affiliate revenue, which is enough to cover housing costs and some groceries in many countries around the world.
Scheduling your content and social media postings before you leave can help alleviate most of the manual work you’d normally have to do. Plus, you can always bust out a blog post while flying/traveling between destinations!
5. Microtask Work
If you’re looking to subsidize your income while traveling rather than fully replacing your at-home salary, micro jobs might be the perfect solution.
There are plenty of companies hiring part-time workers for these sorts of gigs, and outside of having a stable internet requirement, there’s really no other barrier to entry.
It will be hard to fill a 40 hour work week with microtask work, but that’s why this is a viable solution for padding your pockets with some extra grocery money and not suggested for replacing your previous income entirely.
Offline Ideas to Make Money While Traveling
If you haven’t developed an online income stream or negotiated for remote work, that is absolutely okay.
There are still plenty of ways to earn money while traveling if you know how to market yourself and are willing to put in some work!
6. Gig Economy Jobs
If you’re traveling through or staying in a major city (primarily in North America or Europe), you can probably make some fast side cash by turning to gig economy jobs.
There are always people out there willing to pay for a service. It doesn’t matter if you find work assembling furniture, deliver food for cash, walk dogs, or complete random odd jobs posted on online forums…there’s money to be made if you hustle.
Having experience with some popular gig apps before starting your travel will help since some apps require a background check/take time to get off the ground.
7. Bartending & Restaraunt Work
If there’s one thing that you’re guaranteed to find in almost any country on earth, it’s people who drink (unless religious values of the region prohibit it).
Working as a traveling bartender is perhaps one of the most common methods of earning income during travel that I’ve heard.
Several of my friends and people I have met during my own travels have used their skills behind the bar to make side cash during extended trips. They typically stay in a city for a few months at a time and pick up some bar shifts to subsidize their income.
Similarly, if you’re traveling to a major city, you can generally find work in restaurants as a server (if you speak the local language) or as a dishwasher/prep helper if you aren’t too fluent.
Getting a travel visa before you depart will naturally help, but there’s also the ‘please pay me cash under the table’ route can work as well.
8. Pick A Work-Visa Friendly Country
Of all my colleagues who decided to travel after graduating from college, most headed to Australia or New Zealand.
Certain countries have an easier application process for work visas than others. Securing even a 6-12 month visa to work in a foreign country will open the range of jobs you can apply for when abroad.
Countries with more lenient visa rules include:
- Ireland (offers a working holiday program).
- Costa Rica
- Cambodia (you basically just need a business visa, which can be renewed indefinitely)
- Germany (offers an artist visa that allows freelancers and journalists to work in Berlin).
9. Tourism Gigs
When I was younger, my family and I used to travel to the Dominican Republic whenever we could. Since then, I’ve also traveled to other countries in the Caribbean and Europe.
Regardless of where I’ve traveled, I have always met someone in the city who found a temporary job in the tourism industry because they speak English and are also willing to learn the local language.
In the Dominican, it was the scuba diving instructors at the hotel. In France, all the tour guides working at the D-Day Beach museum and memorial center were students or recent history graduates from around the world.
The point is, businesses operating in the tourism industry want qualified guides and workers who are bilingual. If you know the local dialect and a popular language like English, you can probably find temporary work in whatever city you’re traveling to.
Get Paid to Travel – Top Job Ideas:
If you don’t want to jeopardize your entire income while going abroad, online work or completing side jobs may understandably be too volatile for you.
However, there are still plenty of careers out there that pay you to travel, or at least heavily incorporate travel into job responsibilities.
10. Flight Attendant
Here’s the reality about being a flight attendant: it can be pretty brutal when starting out and having zero seniority.
However, if you’re a fan of flying and want the chance to travel to new countries, working as a flight attendant is one way to see more of the world than your average job.
You might have to spend the first few years mainly working domestic flights, and you certainly won’t be sipping cocktails in Dubai every Friday night. Regardless, if you’re looking for steady pay and to escape a normal office job, working with a major airline might be a decent option.
11. Sales & Trade Shows
The coolest internship I had during college was to work as a marketing and sales assistant for a company that specializes in satellite communication technology for marine vessels.
I spent roughly 75% of my time in-office working on marketing material, trade show prep, social media management, and product testing.
However, the other 25% of my time was spent working a booth at major marine trade shows throughout the Eastern and Southern United States.
Any on-the-road sales job you can get will open to travel the world and get paid, especially if your clients are international.
12. Cruise Ships
Working aboard a cruise ship, as with being a flight attendant, is certainly tough work.
Cruise ships have gotten a pretty bad reputation over the past few years regarding the working/living conditions staff have to go through, and this line of work is not a free pass to travel the world on a non-stop vacation.
Crew members can expect long shifts, cramped living quarters, and short amounts of time at dock/off work to actually see the destinations the cruise line is stopping at.
However, if you want to get paid to travel, these cons may be worth it. I mean, there is zero chance a normal office job will have a 12 hour stop off the Amalfi Coast.
13. Crew Member
You don’t have to work for a cruise line to get paid while traveling the world.
Both commercial and recreational vessels are often in need of extra hands to help out during a voyage. If you have some experience with boating or working aboard a merchant vessel, this can be a simple way to find work and free transportation/board.
Two of the most popular websites to find work as a crew member include:
14. Au Pair
An Au Pair is someone who helps with household tasks in exchange for room and board (and sometimes a modest salary).
Working as an Au Pair is immensely popular for young, single travelers looking to visit new countries without having to worry about living costs.
Typically, Au Pairs are responsible for cooking/cleaning tasks, childcare duties, and helping out busy families with whatever else they need. The majority of Au Pairs are also female, so keep this in mind.
Working as an Au Pair is not a free ticket to travel, and you will most likely have to reside in the same city as your host family for several months. However, this still presents a cheaper way to see a new country and to cut down on travel costs.
Websites for finding Au Pair jobs include:
15. Woofing Farms
If you want to earn free room and board while working abroad, finding work on a WWOOF farm might be the easiest solution.
WWOOF stands for ‘Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms,’ and connects eager travelers with organic farmers around the world who are in need of extra help.
The goal of WWOOF is to link “volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange, thereby helping to build a sustainable, global community.”
Farm work is tough, but if you’re strapped for cash, this is a great opportunity to visit a new country and secure a living arrangement while you get your feet under you.
Figuring out how to make money while traveling is not something that can be done overnight. In reality, I suggest taking several months or even years to prep ahead of your travel plans to ensure you have a stable income (or enough savings) to actually enjoy your time abroad.
However, if you put in the work ahead of time and do your research, you can certainly sustain yourself for extended periods of time while traveling.
Start a side hustle or online income stream now and learn the ropes. By the time you want to escape the traditional 9-5, you’ll have a solid foundation in place to rely on.
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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