When you have been traveling around for a few years, there’s one question you will probably hear a lot: How can you afford your travel expenses? And as I always answer: traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. That means you don’t have to be rich to travel. Sure, before your travel adventures begin, saving as much as you can is key. But savings can’t keep you on the road forever! So, during our past years as nomads, we have discovered a few methods that allow us to earn money while traveling. Keep reading, because you are about to learn how to make money while traveling, too.
Let’s be clear on one thing right away: This article will not tell you how to become rich. You won’t find any advice like: become an influencer or open a travel blog, as if it were something you could do overnight. Of course, if you do become an influencer or find great success with a travel blog, you will probably have all the money you need to travel. But that’s not what this post is about.
I won’t tell you what profession you should study, either. So don’t expect to find a list of the best jobs to travel full time. Telling you you should become a flight attendant or a web developer won’t help you making money traveling right now. Sure, it’s a great idea to get a professional degree, but it’s not what this post is about either.
This is an article where you will find a few of the easiest and more realistic ways we discovered to earn money while traveling. These are proven methods we tried our selves. For some of them, you will need some previous experience or preparation. For others, you will only need willing. Either way, one thing is for sure: you will finish this reading ready to put at least one of these methods in practice.
So let’s get started!
Working as a freelance is one of the best ways to earn money while traveling. But I have to tell you, it is one of the most complex methods too. Becoming a freelancer requires a lot of preparation and dedication. It’s not for everyone, true. But it may be for you, and you just don’t know it yet. What do I mean?
This year, during the coronavirus issue, we decided to go down this path. I am a full stack developer, so it’s something I’m used to working with. But since the beginning of my journey, I had completely put aside my profession. I wanted to focus on other aspects of my personal growth and devote myself more to immersing myself in the culture of the countries that hosted me.
However, I realized as the circumstances didn’t allow me to continue using our classic earning methods, freelancing was the answer for me.
But Ashita never worked as a freelance before. Still, she is good with languages, and she always loved to write. So she put a lot of effort into learning a few new things. She began to study SEO basics, learned how to create synchronized subtitles, and started her freelance career along with me. And it worked!
So even if you don’t have a degree or are a professional, if you have skills and you are willing to work hard, freelancing might be a realistic option for you.
Currently, we both use Fiverr to work online, It’s a free platform that allows us to take advantage of our skills and make money while traveling. There are a lot of platforms for this on the internet, but we found Fiverr is the easiest one to use for beginners. Check it out below:
Yes, Fiverr is a great way to start earning money while traveling with your skills. Once you are registered, you will need to set up your profile and create gigs (simple chores that you can perfectly do). That’s it! You are ready to start making money. The platform will put you in touch with potential customers and you can start selling your gigs.
This platform is very similar to Fiverr, but in this case, you will have to register and upload a professional curriculum. Not everyone is allowed in Upwork. They choose mostly professional people with degrees and experience. Once your profile is approved, you will have access to a large number of job offers. You will then be able to respond to these requests by offering your services.
As you may have noticed, freelancing is not just a temporary job or something you can do now and then. It is a valid and proper career, in a very competitive field of work. So if you decide to take this path, keep it in mind that it takes a lot of time and dedication. And it also takes a good internet connection, which is often missing when traveling!
If you already have experience with this type of business, or you already have your loyal customers, then freelancing is going to be much easier. And you could start making money while traveling right now!
Whichever the case, make sure you examine your options, choose a good platform, and work hard to see some results.
Looking for seasonal jobs abroad is a great way to earn money while you enjoy your travel destinations. It’s remarkably good for longtime travelers like us.
Working during a season has many advantages. First, it allows you to know better the country that hosts you. Besides, you can improve your language skills, make friends, and enjoy wonderful destinations. While, at the same time, earning money and saving some more.
We normally volunteer at hostels a lot. But when the season comes, we put this saving method aside and dedicate full time to work for real money. Volunteering and working at the same time is doable, but it would be exhausting!
In order to find seasonal jobs, we normally try to find a small house to rent. If you are planning to do the same, make sure that the rental price doesn’t increase during the high season. Or, if it does, make sure you can still afford it. Also, try to arrive at your destination right before the season starts. That way, finding a house will be a lot easier.
Once you are set and ready to go, get in touch with locals to find out where to find the best job opportunities. And, of course, don’t forget to enjoy the place you are at!
We normally work in the hospitality industry. As we are talking about high seasons, you can easily find several positions in bars, restaurants, hotels, hostels, etc. But, of course, it will always depend on your skills, and what you want to do. And please, make sure you have your permissions to work abroad.
I listed down here a few of the most common seasonal jobs you can find to make money while traveling. Check them out!
Are you passionate about cooking and want to improve your gastronomic knowledge? Then finding a position in a restaurant, bar, or club kitchen is a great idea.
This type of work is very suitable if you have some cooking knowledge. And, if your level of the local language is not so great, it’s a perfect job to start. You will have to communicate only with the staff and not directly with the customers, so thumbs up!
Sadly, in South America, cooking is not among the best-paid jobs. But restaurants and similar are always looking for kitchen staff for high seasons. So, the good news? These jobs are really easy to find.
I love cooking, and I have lots of experience doing it. So, on several occasions, I have worked in kitchens during my trips. Recently, in Mexico and Ecuador, where I learned a lot about the gastronomic local culture and made great local friends.
Do you have a good level of the local language? Are you a “people person”? Then you should be looking for a job as a waiter. This is one of the most popular jobs for foreigners abroad. It’s easy to find, easy to do, and easy to keep.
Working as a waiter allows you to easily make money while traveling. In fact, not bad money at all. Besides your salary, you will probably earn tips. So, in the case of South and Central America, it is one of the best-paid jobs in the field. In those countries, it’s often associated with the “baiting” position. It means, besides serving tables, you will have to attract customers and convince them to choose your place over another.
Both Ashita and I worked as waiters while backpacking Brazil. And since it was one of the best-paid jobs, and we were working during the high season, we saved a lot of money.
It was also a great way to improve my Portuguese because it involved a lot of conversations with locals.
If you know how to make cocktails, love to have fun, and are more like a night owl, then you might consider a bartender position abroad.
It’s another great way of making money while traveling. Most times, you won’t even need a degree. A little experience, the right attitude, and a strong will to learn will be enough.
This is the personal favorite position of Ashita. And when she first started traveling, she had no experience at all! All it took was watching some tutorials and learning the bartender basics. After that, she found the right opportunity at a beach bar, and her career started to grow.
You can also make great tips while bartending. And it will allow you to interact with people from all over the world, so I highly recommend it!
I know, working abroad as a dishwasher doesn’t sound so glamorous. But this is a great easy position for those with a low level of the local language and little to no experience in the hospitality industry.
Since there is not much interaction with customers and other staff, it’s a good place to start, even if you don’t speak a word. But at the same time, it’s not a well-paid position. So, most times, you will be working a lot of hours for a minimum wage.
I’m sure it’s not your first option, but anyway, I recommend you to do it in countries where the income is higher, like Europe, the US, or Australia. I did it for a few months in London, and I managed to save some money.
Are you passionate about photography? Do you always travel with your camera? Then you should consider a photography position abroad.
You don’t need to be a professional to find a good opportunity. There are many tourist agencies around the world looking for amateur photographs during high seasons. They normally integrate the photography service to their tours, to give tourists a more complete experience.
The advantages are countless! You will be taking amazing tours for free, bonding with travelers, and making sure they have a great time. In exchange, you will be making money while enjoying your travel destinations.
And, on top of it, it’s a very well-paid job. So why not giving it a try?
Hotels, resorts, and even hostels often need to expand their staff during high season. Therefore, it’s not uncommon for you to find vacant positions for this kind of job.
Working abroad as a receptionist is a great opportunity for those who have a good knowledge of the local language and have a minimum notion about booking systems. And even if you don’t have experience with them, it’s not hard to be considered for this job.
So if you have good social skills, know a few languages, and know your way around a computer, you can do this. Usually, you will get paid a salary and the commissions on tour sales, transfers, club entrances, and so on.
This is a great job for bilingual or multilingual people abroad. So if that’s your case, get in touch with local tour agencies and try to find this position.
We both had the opportunity of doing this over our traveling years. And I highly recommend it! I did it in Guatemala, during a 2-days trek to the Acatenago volcano. And Ashita, during a 4-days trek to the lost city in Colombia.
On both occasions, the tour guides didn’t speak English, so they needed someone to translate to the group. In addition to doing the tour for free, (which is great per se!) and get paid, the group often leaves you good tips.
I did this for several years back in Italy. During the famous “Vendimia”, I had to harvest mature grapes. And I worked also collecting olives and hay.
It’s a hard physical job, but you will be working in close contact with nature. And, even when that was not my case, it’s a great job for those who have problems with the local language.
So if you find yourself abroad during the harvest season, it’s a great opportunity to easily make money while traveling. The payment is usually good, especially in places like Europe or New Zealand.
Many hotels and resorts are looking for children entertainers during the high seasons. It’s a great job for young people, it pays good and it’s kind of fun… If you like kids, of course.
If you have any experience taking care of children, have the right attitude, and are an outgoing person, this is the perfect job for you. You will be singing songs, organizing games, and watching Disney movies all day long. And making money while traveling, on top!
But, of course, with great power, comes great responsibility! You should be a responsible trust-worthy person to work with kids.
Many tourist destinations around the world offer this job opportunity during the high seasons. It’s the case of Ibiza, for example. You will be working for a club, a party company, or a bar, promoting the events and bringing people to the place.
In return, you will probably earn a commission for every entrance ticket you sell. Some places will even give you accommodation for free, or for very little money.
It’s a great job for young people who loves to party. There are not many requirements for this position, but you should definitely be outgoing, sociable, and friendly. And of course, languages are a plus.
If you have any sales experience, this might be the right job for you. When the high season comes, most stores and shops are looking to grow their staff.
You would have to work in a store, selling clothes, beach articles, souvenirs, etc. There are often commissions on sales in addition to your salary.
It’s an easy job to find if you have your documents in order. It’s not among the most fun jobs, but you will still have plenty of time to enjoy your destination and make money while traveling.
The high seasons can vary from destiny to destiny, so I strongly advise you to get properly informed. Think ahead and try to make your trip coincide with the summer or winter season if you are trying to make some good money.
Of course, there’s always the possibility of finding short term jobs abroad while traveling. But if you are counting on that money, take advantage of the high seasons.
You might think it’s not going to be easy that somebody hires you being a foreigner. Especially if you have little to no experience or a low domain of the language.
But if you follow these tips, you will see that it is not so hard to find a seasonal job abroad:
When you arrive in a new place, try to make friends with locals, or those who arrived before you. This is one of the reasons why I recommend you arrive before the start of the season.
There will be other people in the same situation than you, and, they will not hesitate to give you a hand. And, often, the best jobs are found by mouth to mouth advice.
There are also several ways to search for jobs abroad. Groups on Facebook and web pages are among them. This is great if you want to think ahead and start searching before your arrival.
In our experience, we have discovered that the most effective way to find seasonal jobs is to simply take a look while you are walking in your destination. There are normally signs posted outside the windows both for job offers and for rental houses.
It’s smart to prepare a good resume in multiple languages to send in different locations. Depending on the job position you are interested in, make sure you list relatable experience and skills.
If you have volunteered in hostels, do not hesitate to write it down too. Even if you didn’t get pay, you’ve earned the experience.
Besides contacting the companies on email, it’s a good idea to always carry a few copies of your resume with you. You never know when could it be a good opportunity to distribute them.
If you are looking for jobs in restaurants or similar, try to go at the more quiet hours. That way, you will have a better chance to speak directly with the manager.
And remember to have fun! Do not despair if you do not find employment immediately.
If you can’t find a seasonal job right away, try to enjoy your destination and the amazing experience you are living in.
Sometimes, you might find your opportunity in the middle of the season. Some staff leaves their jobs, and you could be there to replace them.
Whatever the case, keep in mind that you are looking for a job to help you with your expenses, but your traveling adventure is the real reason why you are there.
Sadly, I don’t consider myself a great artist. I do have a passion for music, but it doesn’t go too far beyond that.
But if you are an artist, or have any kind of artistic talent, you can easily use it to make money traveling. There are many backpackers that we both have met during our trips, that have shown us that it is possible to make money with art, anywhere in the world.
Obviously, this is not for everyone. You may think of it as a hippie life. But I want you to understand that, if you are creative and have some talent, you can use it to your advantage to continue traveling for as long as possible.
Here are some examples of how you can work with your art while traveling:
I know many travelers with passion and talent for music, who have managed to cover their expenses by performing in the streets, bars, or even public squares.
In my opinion, it is one of the freest ways to travel. If you can play an instrument or have a great voice, what could be better than expressing your self and making money at the same time?
Of course, you can’t be shy to make it work. It takes confidence and toughness, but it’s still doable. And if you don’t know where to start, it’s a good idea to find some musicians to work on something together.
If you know how to make handicrafts, you could sell them to cover your travel expenses. So what can you do? Bracelets, earrings, necklaces, even magnets!
There are many artisans markets in big cities. And many of the artisans exposing there are nomad travelers who simply have found a space where they can exhibit their creations.
If you don’t know where to start, get in touch with the craftsmen local community and ask some questions. In some countries, selling in the street is not allowed, in some, you might need permits. So make sure you get informed about the local situation to avoid problems.
You don’t have to be strictly a musician to make money while you are traveling.
On many occasions and places, we have met at kinds of artists performing in the streets. Jugglers, tightrope walkers, fire eaters, even clowns! And if you pay attention, you will find them too, mostly performing under the traffic lights.
Sure, you will need to practice your skills very well, and no one says it’s easy. But if you’ve been trying juggling, why not take it to the next level and making some profit of it?
This is very common in beach towns and cities. You have probably already seen a backpacker with a portable cooler, selling any type of food on the beach.
That’s because it is a great easy way to earn money while traveling. You could be selling fruits, sandwiches, sweets, or even cocktails.
In fact, we tried once in Ecuador because we couldn’t find a job when we have just arrived. So we went to the beach to sell “panzerotti”, typical Italian street food. Unfortunately, the day was gray and there was no one around. And they were so good, that we ended up eating them all!
There are many more ways to make money while you travel that you could use during your journeys. But, as said at the beginning, I wanted to bring you only our realistic proven methods.
And, of course, while it is possible making money on the go, it’s almost mandatory to have savings aside before embarking on a long term journey.
I hope this article has been useful to you. And if you have any more methods you would like to share with us, feel free to write it on the comments.
Have a great adventure!