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17 ways to make money while travelling

There are many ways that you can actually earn money while on the road and get paid while pursing your dreams of a life of travel.

I want to debunk the common misconception that travel is expensive and only rich people can enjoy extensive, long term travel. Tour companies, luxury hotel chains and corporate media want you to believe that it is expensive and difficult to travel so that you buy into their all inclusive resorts and expensive guided tours.

It’s actually possible to travel more than you work and there are numerous ways to make money abroad with a little creativity.

Travel doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t actually need to earn as much money as you did at home to keep you comfortable in someone where like South East Asia, India and Central America where you can travel comfortably for as little as US$15 or $20 a day.

In fact, travelling can be cheaper than maintaining a life in the UK, US or Australia. In my first year of full time travel I explored 8 countries and actually spent less making memories to last a lifetime.

If you travel slow by working, volunteering or living abroad it’s likely that you will spend even less on a daily basis and get a deeper immersion into the local culture and make connections with local people leading to a more affordable and more meaningful experience!

1. Teach English

English is still the language of the world and so many people want and need to learn English. If you are native English speaker with a degree and a TEFL certificate you can make decent money especially in Asian countries where ESL teachers are in high demand but even if you don’t met these requirements you could still enjoy the rewards and challenges of teaching English.

2. Be a Tour Guide

If you’re an experienced traveler and have good people skills then you could be paid for leading a group of travelers around your favourite countries.

3. Work on a Cruise Ship

Working and living on the high seas on a cruise ship, making sure the guests are satisfied and exploring the exotic locations that the ship docks almost sounds too good to be true.

4. Get a Working Holiday Visa

Many countries have reciprocal programs where young people (usually 18 – 30) can travel and work in another country for 1 or 2 years giving you plenty of time to really explore whilst also topping up your travel funds. Eligibility depends on nationality but popular destinations are Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.

5. Pick Fruit

Fruit picking is perhaps the stereotypical backpacker job. From picking wine grapes in France or Italy to picking veggies in England, working on a farm in New Zealand or picking fruit in Australia, there are many options if you don’t mind repetitive work and getting your hands a little dirty.

6. Au Pair

If you love children then working as an au pair could be a really rewarding job. Spend time as part of a local family looking after the children, helping around the house and getting to know the local culture.

7. Bar or Hospitality Work

Hospitality jobs are available all over the world – people always need somewhere to sleep and someone to fed them. Work with tourists in holiday resorts in house keeping and slick city hotels or get to know the locals from behind the bar in a country pub. 

8. Digital Nomad

Grab your laptop and take your job on the road working freelance and remotely in web design, programming, graphic design. illustration, marketing, consulting or writing just to mention a few.

9. Travel Writer/ Photographer / Blogger

Often thought of as the dream jackpot travel job where you get paid to travel the world for just a few hours working from a tropical beach. The reality is alot harder work than it seems, you need to wear a lot of hats and put in a lot of work but it can be immensely rewarding if you can make it worthwhile.

10. Travel or Resort Rep

Live and work in a summer holiday resort making sure the guests have everything they need from front desk to entertainment, house keeping to customer service or restaurant and bar work. 

11. Work a Ski Season

If you love the white stuff and the fresh mountain air then working as a ski or snowboard instructor is an amazing chance to get paid to be out on the slopes all day, if you’re not an expert skier yet then work in a chalet – cooking, cleaning and looking after a group of guests is a popular ski season job.

12. Teach your Talent

If you have a talent then get creative – other people want to learn and you could earn money by teaching skills like yoga or massage, surfing or cookery, or dance and musical instruments. You could also try to sell your photographs online, paint or make crafts to sell online or at a market,  If you don’t have a talent there are plenty of courses where you can learn, often for a reasonable price abroad, from yoga in India to Thai massage to the Tango in Argentina or even the Aussie didgeridoo. 

13. Sell Online

If you’re always making your friends jealous of all those funky accessories, one off pieces of jewelry, crafts, clothes and trinkets that you buy at bargain prices in the markets of Asia then why not start selling unique items at local markets or online – start with ebay or gumtree and see how you go. Or even get creative and try making items yourself. 

14. Busking

Got musical talent? Take your guitar, pick a street corner and lay out your hat, if you can entertain the masses their loose change could really add up. Or ask restaurants or resorts if they need any entertainment staff.

15. Scuba Diving Instructor

Base yourself on a paradise island, get qualified as a PADI scuba instructor and spend your days swimming with the fishes under the seas and helping other travelers explore the wonders of the underwater world.

16. Ask for a Transfer

If you love your current industry then why not look to work for an international company and, once established, ask for a transfer to the Sydney, Hong Kong or Singapore branch..

17. Europe Calling

Don’t forget that if you’re a citizen of the European Union you don’t need to go through any complicated visa processes – you can work any job and live anywhere in Europe. The hardest part would be deciding where to go!


So now you’ve got some ideas of ways you can travel for free and how you can make money while traveling the world. So what’s holding you back now? Stop Dreaming, Start Living, Go Gallivanting!