7 Ways to Earn Money While Traveling the World

“If travel were free, you’d never see me again.” Travelers have surely seen this unattributed quote pasted in funky fonts over dreamy photographs and plastered across social media. Newsflash: travel ain’t free. Globetrotting can be costly, sometimes prohibitively so, but no need to give up on your wanderlust-ful dreams. Here are seven ways you can maintain a steady cash flow while seeing the world.

Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua

1. Work as a freelancer

One of the best strategies for keeping your wallet full while on the go is freelancing. Working as a freelancer will allow you to find your ideal work/travel balance by picking up as many hours of work as fits your travel schedule and budget. Freelance jobs range from quick, one-off tasks to ongoing assignments in a contract role.

If you have a background in digital marketing, graphic/web design, or programming, you’ll find plenty of jobs in your area. Not to worry if you don’t have much technical experience, though — you can find jobs in copy writing, proofreading, data entry, and lots more. Check out Upwork, 99designs, or Freelancer for jobs that fit your knowledge and interests.

San Blas Islands, Panama

San Blas Islands, Panama, just one of the many spectacular places I’ve visited while freelancing

2. Find a part-time or full-time remote job

Similar to freelancing but with more job security is securing a remote, long-term position with a company that is willing to let you work from home or on the road. These jobs may give you less flexibility, but the trade-off is a steady flow of cash without having to constantly search for new jobs. Naturally, some careers are easier to pursue remotely than others, but more and more companies are allowing employees to telecommute.

If you’re already employed, you may be able to speak to your current employer about continuing the same position while traveling. Otherwise, search job boards like Indeed or Linkedin with the keywords “remote,” “work from home,” or “home based” for a position with your skills and schedule requirements. Or to truly combine work with travel, you could even consider a flight attendant/cabin crew position.


Awe-inspiring Andorra

3. Work for accommodation

Cut down on your travel costs by working for accommodation as you go. Workaway will set travelers up with hostels, farms, and other hosts, who provide food and housing in exchange for a few hours of work per day. Or how about WWOOFing, working on an organic farm for room and board? These programs will also allow you to get to know your destinations in more depth while meeting locals and fellow travelers.

4. Do you feel lucky, punk?

Busy schedule? Consider yourself lucky? Try your hand at online lottery providers such as theLotter, which will allow you to participate in lotteries around the world. The fun part is you’ll also get to learn about international lottery traditions while you’re at it. Did you know that one of Spain’s most popular Christmas traditions is participating in and watching a broadcast of a lottery that has run annually since 1812, not even pausing for the Civil War?

Lotería de Navidad, Spain

Spain’s Lotería de Navidad in 1936

5. Go on a working holiday

A number of countries offer working holiday visas for young travelers who want to combine tourism with earning cash. Australia, for example (where I did my working holiday), offers visas that allow visitors to explore the country for a year or two while working for short-term employers. Many working holiday makers find work in restaurants or hospitality (which offer generous pay!), but if you have experience in a specific field, you can find relevant temporary or contract work.

Hop around from city to city finding jobs in each, or save up money in one job and then tour the country with your hard earned cash. If you’re up for it, a working holiday may even result in a long-term or permanent visa, as it did for me.

6. Live and work abroad as an expat

If familiarizing yourself thoroughly with one destination sounds more appealing than always being on the go as a backpacker, perhaps the expat life is calling your name. In addition to becoming a local in an exotic locale, when wanderlust strikes, you’ll have the funds and hopefully the time to explore your region in your time off.

Kangaroos, Australia

Scouting out kangaroos during my years of working in Australia

For those currently employed, your company may have offices overseas to which you can transfer. If you’re seeking work, keep an eye out on job boards like Linkedin or Indeed for positions abroad that are willing to sponsor candidates for a work visa, or search expat-specific sites like Jobbatical for the perfect position. Many countries are also eager to hire native English speakers as teachers — Spain, for one, has a great program that requires no certificate or experience, or a TEFL certificate can go a long way around the world.

7. Start a travel blog

Travel blogging is an excellent way to keep your friends and family back home updated and is also a fun creative outlet. Beyond that, however, you can also make some extra cash by blogging as you travel. Fair warning: blogging takes a lot of hard work before it pays off, but if you’re determined, you can turn your blog into a business. Most bloggers earn an income through some combination of affiliate marketing, display advertising, sponsored posts, product reviews, hosted and press trips.

Sydney blogging

Photographing Australia for my Ultimate Sydney Day Out blog feature

When there are so many ways to earn money while exploring the Earth, why let financial concerns stop you from pursuing your dreams? Yes, travel is expensive, but you really can see the world without draining your bank account. Wishing you wealth and wonder as you wander the world!

Disclaimer: this post was sponsored, but all opinions are entirely my own, as always.

8 Responses

  1. Great ideas and suggestions on how to make money. Another good way if you are a good photographer is to sell/license your work through stock agencies and print websites. This is something I do and has worked quite well to provide a steady flow of cash. It doesn’t work as a main source of income but definitely helps.

  2. David says:

    These are great tips for making money while on the move.

  3. samiuddin says:

    These are great tips for making money while on the move. Aawesome

  1. December 12, 2017

    […] Nicaragua is just one of many amazing destinations around the world for budget travel (photo credit) […]

  2. July 23, 2018

    […] If your main salary just isn’t cutting it, look for extra work on the side. If you’re a native English speaker living in a non-English speaking country, regardless of whether you have a work visa, private conversation classes are easy and pay well. Or check out these seven other ideas for earning money while traveling the world. […]

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