Have you ever wondered, “How to make money while traveling?” or “How to survive and generate income to finance your travel?” or maybe “How to start traveling with very little money to your name?”.
It is common for thoughts such as these to cross our minds as we desire the freedom that comes from living life freely rather than just surviving day to day. However, the answers to these questions are often hard to find in amongst all the ‘Get Rich Quick Schemes’ and misinformation on the internet. Thus, most of us err on the cautious side and never take that leap into living life fully and travelling the world.
I believe there are ways to travel the world and earn money doing so with little to no startup capital. Many people I know do exactly that and so do I. With that in mind, I have created a list of ways to finance the travelling lifestyle.
Are you ready to try something new and change your life? Here is my list which is possibly only a fraction of what is available out there:
If you just want to start somewhere safe with a job that pays a salary, but where you can be in a great location then maybe a resort job is the option for you. This can allow you to build a career if that is what you need, but also experience some great locations and potentially meet lots of interesting people. Many resort jobs can be seasonal and come with free accommodation for the season if you want flexibility. There are several good places to search for such resort jobs such as on coolworks.com.
Work in a Hostel
Hostels often require staff for a limited number of hours per day to help with cleaning, administration and helping at reception and are often willing to exchange a free place to sleep for these services. Many hostel jobs are also fully paid and therefore great for the risk averse person. A great source of hostel jobs is a site like worldpackers.com.
Working Holiday Visas
If you are between 18 and 30 years of age, a working holiday visa may be a great way to travel and immerse yourself in another culture. There are a myriad of countries offering such visa programs such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and South Korea where you can speak English. Alternatively, you could look to countries such as Austria, Germany, France, Argentina and Italy where you would be more challenged to learn a new language. Although, these visas usually allow you to stay up to a year and earn money which is more short term, this could still be a great starting point for you if you are young and unsure what you want to do next in life.
If you want to explore Australia, why not do some fruit picking to fund your exploration. Many backpackers go this route getting paid and often receiving free accommodation and meals too. Check out this map of opportunities.
Tree planting, like fruit picking is for the fit active fresh air loving traveler. This is often a good option for someone wanting to see a bit of Canada in the summer. You may not see lots of the country other than the forest regions, but you will meet many interesting people doing this.
For those who would like to see Alaska, getting a temporary job in the fishing industry may be a good option. However, it must be cautioned that the work is not always fun. At least you would earn some money and get to see the beautiful sights of unspoilt Alaska.
For helping take care of someone’s child or children, you will get accommodation, food and some pay. Furthermore, you will be able to explore the country you do this in when you have free time. So, if you are patient and good with children, why not?
If you have a little balance and have ever surfed, you could land a job teaching beginners to surf. You do not have to be good at surfing, just capable of standing up on the board. This can be a very flexible job and can be lots of fun. Plus, this opportunity is often available in some great beach locations worldwide.
Scuba Diving Instructor
An easy way to get around some of the best diving locations in the world is to become a certified PADI diver and work in locations such as Australia, Egypt, Mexico, Thailand or Hawaii just like a guy by the name of Talon has done very successfully.
Many tour operations and theme parks etc. hire tour escorts to greet and accompany tour groups. Pay can be low, but it is possible to spend time in great locations and explore these locations without forking out money.
Tour operators or guides are usually persons who speak the language of the tourists and greet the tourists and lead them together through a tour. A slightly more involved role than the role of a tour escort. Many such operations are found where cruise ships stop, and the pay can be decent whilst getting to live and explore in a tropical location. You could even do this long term like friends of mine Sonia and her husband Peter do in South Africa with their company East Coast Safaris (https://www.ecsafaris.co.za/contact/)
If you know how to sail and are certified as a crewman or you have done a course from one of the many sailing schools such as this one from sailingeurope. You could get paid to sail with others and explore the oceans and many wonderful locations. Hop over to crewseekers.net and check out the latest opportunities.
If you are a natural salesperson, then you should look towards Greece, Thailand, the Caribbean or any major resort area and you will find work selling timeshares. Generally, the resorts want a salesperson that the tourists can relate to, and that speaks the potential customers language. The earning potential can be quite large for closing these types of deals.
Online Freelance Work
This is a growing way for people worldwide to generate income virtually. There are many platforms where you can offer your services if you are good at practically anything that can be offered online. Look at Fiverr to get an idea of what is offered and what you can earn money with. There are many other sites such as Elance.com and Odesk.com where you can find potential work. This is a great way to get flexible and earn money whilst doing practically anything and is especially well suited to travelers.
Job opportunities are abundant around the world and online for teaching English and not every opportunity needs you to be certified. You just need to be a native speaker. One of many good resources for getting into teaching English is eslcafe.com, with many connection possibilities in Asia.
Remember English is not the only language people are hoping to learn, so if you are good at another language, search for opportunities to teach that language.
If you willing to put in the effort and share your adventures with others, then this can be a great source of income. Spend time on YouTube and with other bloggers and then hop over to Bluehost.com and get your domain free with your hosting subscription, build your website with WordPress and keep us updated on your adventures regularly.
Making money via affiliate marketing is possible, although the market can be cutthroat. Spend some time sifting through YouTube and researching your niche. A good place to start with is Affilorama.com, which offers a good series of free lessons to help you on your way
Selling Goods Online
From Dropshipping to Ebay, Amazon and Etsy, the online marketplace is busier and bigger than ever before. There are many ways to get into the market, but a good resource to get started with tons of free resources is dodropshipping.com. A lot of what you can learn for free there will be applicable to many other online opportunities too.
This is also hard work and not as simple as many would have you believe. However, there are success stories out there of persons who do this for money whilst travelling full time. One person living this lifestyle is Marcello from WanderingTrader.com.
For those who seek the security of a job while traveling, working remotely may be the answer. Talk to your boss, if you can work remotely a month or two over winter while you travel. Otherwise, if need be, actively seek a remote job. When the COVID pandemic hit a colleague of my husband left the office for Ireland. Now more than two years later he has only been back once to pick up a new computer and his wife and him are still loving and exploring Ireland.
This can be a way to get some temporary income while travelling, especially when things have gotten more expensive than budgeted. Get permission at a hostel or two, advertise and do haircuts at a reasonable price. We have heard of people making about $50 per day on average for a month doing just haircuts.
This can follow the same business model as haircuts, or you could make a deal with a hotel to offer such a service at their hotel. Especially a good idea around Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. I have a friend who does this in the Maldives for income quite successfully.
There are many online courses in bartending that can help you know your stuff before venturing out to try this. Many bars will pay cash, in order to circumvent taxes etc. for a traveler to help out for a while. Furthermore, there are certain locations like Tenerife where bartenders are almost always in short supply. Bars connected to hostels are generally your best chance for success though if looking informally.
Restaurants almost always need staff. If the location is busy and the clients tip well, this can be a great source of additional income. Just go ask at the restaurants and you will often find something quickly.
This is a great easy way to make money, particularly if you have a little bit of experience playing around with WordPress. If the client needs help setting a website from scratch, then just head off to Bluehost.com get a hosting plan with a free domain and start designing with WordPress and Elementor.
Teach Musical Instruments
Guitar, piano, drums or just about any other instrument may have many people who want to learn, and you could set up online music lessons to sell through skillshare or through Udemy or you can arrange to give lessons face to face. Great target audiences include college students as well as younger children.
Teach Dance Classes
This one may surprise you, but it is incredible how many people are willing to pay for dance classes. I have a sister who did this for thirty years. Teaching line dancing, classic ballroom dancing and modern dancing to various groups. It is a wonderful alternative way to make money if you really enjoy dancing.
You could do the exact same thing as teaching dancing but for yoga, or kinesthetics or any other similar thing you are skilled in. some of these can be paired with other sources of income such as for example a YouTube channel.
If you are handy or have a little construction experience, or have watched enough YouTube to fake having it, the construction industry is often great for short-term work and potential cash payments with limited to no tax. This is often a decent income source for the traveler who needs a bit of cash for the next part of their adventure.
Sell Your Art & Crafts at Local Markets
I have done this often and will continue to do this in the future because it works well for me. There are various markets in different countries where you can sell arts and crafts or clothing and even stuff like nougat or chocolate, although food items often have stricter regulation. But I know people who do this as a full-time job and earn good money from doing so, bouncing between several countries in Europe whilst exploring these countries.
I love photography, just need to learn to edit a bit. There are many sites where you can sell your photos these days but the competition is also extremely stiff in this market so I would consider this as an extra that can bring in money but does not have to necessarily be the main income source for funding your adventures.
This is a great option for all you are great at expressing and capturing moments in words. Lots of websites are looking for content creators and are willing to pay per article. There is also the option of advertising your services on Fiverr as a writer and content creator. This is a very competitive environment but can still be very rewarding.
Cruise Ship Employment
Cruise ship employment is perhaps one of the most obvious ways to make money while travelling. Not only will you have some reasonable job security, but you could be seeing great parts of the world, meeting tons of new people and building your career at the same time. It’s not all roses and sunshine though as you will still have to work hard and might not see everything the tourists see, but it is a great starting place.
Cruise Ship Comedian
If you are truly funny and have a little bit of stand-up comedian experience, then why not audition for a job on a cruise ship as a comedian. This can be lots of fun and also gives you the opportunity to travel the world for often really good pay and usually involves fewer physical hours than many other cruise ship jobs, giving you more flexibility to tour places where the cruise ship docks.
In the Tourism Industry, there are many types of jobs available from gardening to hotel management. You could always look towards a steady job with a bit of financial security in a great location or a job where you must travel as part of the job. No need to bootstrap backpack to get around if the company is paying.
This is a great way to make some extra cash if you are not shy. I left my son with his father at a café in Berlin once because they did not want to do a tour with me, too much walking apparently. When I returned an hour later my son, with just a hat and a few dance moves had earned himself a little over fifty euros. WOW, that surprised me. Just be sure to check the laws in the area you want to do something like this in.
There is a lot of volunteer work available these days that does not necessarily pay you but covers costs of travel food and accommodation. This work can result in amazing experiences and often you can make a true impact on a community, the environment etc. I used to do a trip once a year for about seven years through Southern and Central Africa with an organization where they paid for all the expenses. It was an amazing experience with lots of awesome memories and friendships created in the process.
Great places to find opportunities for work exchange are worldpackers.com, helpx.net and wwoof.org. If you are willing to work a bit for accommodation, meals and sometimes a little extra cash then there is a whole world waiting for you on these websites. Plus, you will learn some new skills and get to meet great people along the way.
Become an API Inspector
I am sure this opportunity is not out there on the web yet. If you are technically minded, why not get an API 936 certification, pick up a little refractory experience and travel the world doing just inspections. I have a friend doing this now for almost twenty years. He has been in over fifty countries, and he has earned good money doing this. The good news is that the refractory industry is always looking for new people. This opportunity can also be applied to other certifications and inspection roles in other industries too.
Some people want the corporate job with its paycheck but still want to experience other parts of the world. No problem, just look for a job in the area you wish to experience. I got a friend who worked in South Africa, Dubai and now transferred to Singapore and the best part is that he is still with the original corporation he started with. China, the Middle East, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and even parts of Europe are experiencing shortages on the job market making it more likely that companies will consider you and help you relocate.
Whatever path you choose, never feel you are limited to ideas such as these found in a list because there are very many income options out there. I know a guy who travels six months of the year through a warmer part of South Africa repairing sewing machines for various clients. In doing this he escapes the cold winters where he lives and repairs sewing machines in the summer months in his actual home town.
So that wraps up my list, but if there are great opportunities I have missed, please let me know so that I can add them. The more opportunities, the more free-spirited people like you and me exploring this wonderful planet, its people, cultures and locations, the way it really should be.