Ever wonder how people travel for weeks, months or even years on end?
Some of them are just flat out rich and others save up ridiculous amounts of money to fund their journeys. But what happens if the money runs low but you’re not ready to go home yet? What if you don’t have a lot of money but still want to travel? You shouldn’t let a silly (evil) thing like money get in the way. After all, the world belongs to all of us. We should all be able to experience it, right?
Simple problems have simple solutions. You can work while you travel. It’s much easier than you think. I’ve done some of these jobs and I’m considering a few more. My goal with this blog is to make traveling for long periods of time, frequently and meaningfully to anywhere in the world, easy for you.
I’ve put together a short list of jobs that almost anyone can do while traveling to keep their adventures going. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should point you in the right direction. Here we go!
Coffee houses and restaurants are everywhere, especially in backpacker friendly areas. Pick up a local newspaper, walk right into an establishment or ask locals if they know of any places that are hiring. You’ll be surprised by the results. Not to mention free coffee and food!
Be A Bartender
You’d be hard pressed to travel to a destination and not find a few local bars. If you have any experience serving drinks, you can get paid in cash to be a bartender, even if you’re not very good. The tradeoff is that you’ll probably have to stay in a given location for a while. Still, it’s a great way to fund your travels and meet new people (even if they may be too drunk to remember you the next day).
Tip: Start your search at hostel bars or in backpacker areas.
Let me start by saying from experience, blogging is not easy. It’s way more than writing your thoughts on a subject and posting it online. It requires hours of research, writing, social media time and active networking to scratch the surface. But if you’re dedicated, strategic and don’t mind working your ass off, there’s some money to be made via sponsors, partnerships, ads and the like. This applies to all types bloggers, no matter the niche.
Correct Menus & Signage
Do you ever wonder how and why so many establishments have grammar mistakes and typos on their websites, menus, pamphlets and even buildings? Well, you can help them out by editing the mistakes, for a fee of course. Draw up a quick price chart, find all the businesses with lousy English skills and cash in.
This is no walk in the park, especially if you know nothing about company shares and stock markets. But if you do, you can travel indefinitely if you make the right moves with your money. There are even apps that make the trading part really easy. If you’re intimidated, pick up a book on trading before you get your feet wet.
Do Construction Work
If you’ve perfected your catcalling (kidding, don’t be a douche) and you have any sort of experience in construction work or maybe you just don’t mind gruelling physical labor, this may be ideal for you. Admittedly, places that pay under the table can be dodgy at times, but it’s still worth a try.
Hostels are not only great for saving on accommodations and meeting likeminded people; they’re great for working while you travel too. You can clean, work the reception or maybe the kitchen. I once knew a girl who landed 2 free weeks in a hostel by taking pictures (with the hostel’s camera) of the hostel for their website. Some hostels will let you work in exchange for a bed for the night (food may or may not be included) and some will pay you for services rendered. Here’s a great website for finding hostel jobs.
Online Freelance Work
If you have any skills that can be performed online, you can be a freelancer. Here are a few popular options: graphic design, writing, editing, marketing, web design, translation, social media management, virtual assistant and more. Sites like Upwork are a good starting point if you want to be noticed by companies in need of your work.
Tip: If your job/employer allows for remote work, you can travel the world without quitting your day job, best of both worlds.
Millennials have taken everything to the digital world, shopping is no exception. If you have an eye for what’s trendy or you’re great at spotting online deals, you can make good coin by buying cheap and reselling high(er) online. Sites like eBay, Etsy and Big Cartel make opening an online store easy. You can also go completely independent and open your e-commerce store from scratch. If you can appeal to the right consumers, there’s no telling how much money you can make from your laptop.
Now I’m told this is pretty hard work. I’ve also been told that it’s some of the best money a person can make in a short amount of time (legally). If you’re strong and in good shape, you can make thousands of dollars in just a few short months of tree planting in western Canada (British Columbia). Make friends, make money, help the environment. I’m considering doing it myself.
Teach English As A Second Language Abroad
There are thousands of English teaching gigs in just about any country you can think of. After all, English is the third most widely spoken language in the world. Sure, having a certification to teach English will likely get you better contract perks (free apartment and airfare) and a higher salary, but a lot of employers just want someone who has a good command of the English language.
If English isn’t the national language in a given country, you have a good chance of landing a job. Not sure where to start? Read my Ultimate Guide To Teaching in China.
It’s a simple enough concept, you get room, board and maybe a bit of spending (or saving) money and in return you do a couple of (or a handful of) hours of work. The type of work can easily vary, but it won’t be building rocket ships or anything (I mean, unless you can do that type of thing). Find out if the positions are paid first! If not, you can always volunteer.
Working Holiday Visas
If you’re between 18-30, a working holiday visa is a great way to make some much needed cash and see the world. You’ll generally be able to stay in a country for 12 to 18 months (sometimes longer with extensions). If it seems too good to be true, it’s not. Countries like Canada, Australia, Ireland, France and a handful of others are flexible in terms of who they allow to work in their country. They also don’t place restrictions on the type of work they let you do while visiting their country on a working holiday visa. Take advantage of it. I know a few people that have done it and loved it.
Work In The Corporate World
So you love traveling but the whole broke backpacker hostel vibe doesn’t work for you. If you’re qualified, you can easily land a fancy job in another country. A lot of expats make good money in foreign countries for their particular skill set. Companies with large international markets like China and Singapore are the best places to start your search, but destinations like Australia, Canada and England are also fair game.
Work On A Cruise Ship
I’ve heard mostly good things (aside from low salaries) about cruise ship work. Travel from country to country on a decked out ship, meet people and make money? Sign me up! I mean, this type of job pretty much sells itself, that is, unless you get seasick.
Work On A Resort
Ever been on an all-inclusive resort vacation? There are tons of resorts world wide who’ll gladly hire you to fill their employee roster. If you’re cool with working at the front desk, restaurant/bar or as an animator, you’re good to go. What could be better than working near or on a beach?
There are loads of other ways to travel and sleep for free in exchange for work, but they don’t necessarily pay top dollar (or at all). As far as traveling and making a few dollars on the road, this list should be able to get your foot in the door. Lots of options and lots of every day people, just like you and I, traveling and working because that’s what it takes for them to live out their dreams of seeing the world.
If I’ve left out any other easy and common ways to make money on the road, mention them in the comment section below and I’ll update the post eventually.