In this article, I’m going to give you over 10 ways to earn money while travelling that you can start right away.
In fact, I’ve been self-employed for nearly 10 years and this article is the result of my experience and countless hours of research.
I’ll be discussing my in-depth research on how to make money while travelling by working, online or by starting your own business.
But that’s not all…
I’ll be providing links to numerous resources and sources as well as giving my thoughts on what I think the best ideas are right now.
Using this guide you will be able to evaluate all your options to make money while travelling and plan the ultimate trip abroad.
Affiliate Disclosure: Thank you for supporting The Road Trip Expert. When you purchase through links on this site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Please see our advertising disclosure for more details.
Make Money While Travelling
Usually to earn money while travelling you will either leverage a skill set of some kind, start a business or work a job.
What I have learnt from the last several years is that there are very few ways out there to make quick, easy money.
Speculative investments, gambling and on-trend niche websites are some of the examples of success stories I have seen in this area.
Generally speaking, creating income will come from hard work and perseverance.
Quick note – Our blog is an example of a niche website. You can read about how we got started on this about us page.
Step 1 – Evaluate The Ideas In This Article
Try to decide which of the following interests or applies to you the strongest.
Here is a breakdown of the 3 categories I would identify as income sources to earn money while travelling.
Income sources to make money while travelling
- Working online either on a business or as an employee.
- Working in a job in person in an overseas location(s).
- Asking to work remotely for your current employer.
You can click the above links to jump to that section if you wish.
Advantages of each option
- Flexibility on hours and incorporate travel into your routine.
- Live in a low-cost location but potentially earn a great income
- Opportunity to grow and expand a business that earns passive income
- Choose a business around your interests! (hint: we love to travel)
Option 2 :
- Meet new friends and colleagues from all over the world.
- Gain access to local discounts and workers’ benefits in a fun location
- Be part of the community and contribute to the local economy
- Work in an awesome location often doing a fun job that provides a new experience (scuba diving, skiing… you name it!)
- Work in a social environment instead of in front of a computer. (beach bars beat an office job every time…right?)
Option 3 :
- Have the option to return home to your current employer
- No need to learn a new skill or discipline as it’s your current employer
- Build on your current experience to improve your CV
Next, you can read the relevant section and think about the different ideas and options discussed.
Step 2 -Research The Shortlist
Make a shortlist of the ideas that interest you and then research them thoroughly.
All of the topics discussed in this article will have been covered in numerous blog posts, books and online video content.
I’ve tried to link to as many resources as I can on how to earn money while travelling!
Try to understand existing examples of successful people and then learn from or improve their behaviour.
Before starting this blog I spent many hours browsing and understanding the content of other successful blogs.
Immerse yourself in the topic and learn everything you can. Execution of an idea is key to success in my view.
Having a great idea is easy, execution is hard.
I have tried to link to as many resources as I can on how to earn money while travelling.
If you have an idea, why not let me know in the comments and I can provide feedback!
Step 3 – Save Money and Execute the Plan
Let’s be honest, without savings it’s going to put more pressure on you to create an income early in your trip.
It takes time to develop a method to earn money while travelling
Having savings buys you time to create income.
That’s why If you’re planning to start a business I’d recommend having several months of expenses saved.
Many businesses do not create income for some time as there is an initial outlay of work required.
Have a few month’s expenses if you plan to look for a job
If you decide to look for a job in an overseas spot then having a few months’ expenses will make things much easier.
If you are an established professional freelancing online then you have more flexibility as your ability to create income straight away is a huge benefit.
Plan your trip whilst saving up money
Here is an article on how to save for travelling that may be of use to you.
Consume free online content
Whatever your chosen route to income is you can bet there will be a huge amount of online content providing advice and guidance.
My suggestion is to make a list of as many online resources as you can.
Next, for your chosen discipline, read, watch and listen to as much as possible whilst preparing for your trip.
I’m talking blogs, podcasts, YouTube and everything you can find.
Buy a decent travel laptop
Whilst you are away you will need a laptop to work on. Here is a great budget travel laptop you can use as a digital nomad abroad. The great thing about this 2-in-1 laptop is you can fold the screen backwards and use it as a touchscreen tablet.
It’s also affordable on a budget so you won’t have to worry about carrying around an expensive piece of kit if you’re doing a lot of travelling.
Step 4 – Find a Cheap Flight and Set Off
Once you have decided on which idea you will focus on and plan your trip, my advice is to specialise in it.
Learn everything you can and then begin to execute the idea prior to setting off.
This may involve applying for jobs, starting your website/business or beginning freelancing/remote working.
Often it just involves extensive research then taking a risk and jumping on a flight!
When you are ready to book a flight, we’ve written an article on how to find the cheapest ticket.
Share with us in the comments where you are setting off and what you plan to do!
Online Ideas to Earn Money While Travelling
OK, enough about the preparation.
Now it’s time to get your boost your brain with some ideas to mull over.
Here is the rundown of the best online ways to make money while travelling.
The ideas and options in this section refer to option 1.
That is, ways to earn money by starting an online business or working for someone else on your computer.
Start a Blog
Starting a blog, or niche website involves creating a website on which you publish articles, guides and/or online resources on a particular topic, subject or interest.
This could be anything from DIY tips to car tuning to your travel experiences.
I think this is one of the most accessible income streams that you can start easily. If you can establish a flow of traffic to your website you can monetise it in many different ways to create an income.
The Road Trip Expert
A good target income is $1000 per 20,000 page views a month.
This website The Road Trip Expert is an example of a niche website centred around road trips, travel tips, and how to earn money while travelling!
How It Makes Money
If you generate enough traffic you can join an ad agency that manages advertising on your site and pays you monthly.
Niche websites also often generate income through affiliate links, selling online courses or sponsored posts and content.
Top travel blogs for example can earn $10-$ 50k per month for their owners.
I also learnt a lot from the Income School YouTube channel.
If you intend on using WordPress (highly recommended) then you can check out Wpbeginner!
Create a YouTube channel
Creating a successful YouTube channel is a big challenge, but the payoff can be huge.
But that’s not all…
This space is only going to become more lucrative in my opinion given the trend towards video content consumption.
I have researched this extensively and in my view to be successful in the space you need to learn great editing, have awesome ideas and build a community around your channel.
Websites such as Skillshare are excellent for learning the skills required to start a YouTube channel.
You could even consider a YouTube channel about your adventures and create vlogs to earn money while travelling.
Let me know in the comments any ideas you have for YouTube and I’d be happy to provide feedback.
An online freelance worker is a person hired to complete a task, project or service.
It can be a one-off job or ongoing work but the person is classified as self-employed and can move between different tasks or work streams.
You can sign up for and browse the platforms discussed below.
For each example, I have linked to an article on how to learn the skills required to freelance in that area.
- Graphic design
- Web development
- Mobile development
- Admin support and customer service
Upwork is a platform that connects freelancers with jobs and projects. You can browse and apply for the tasks. You can view all of the categories here
Fiverr is the world’s largest freelance services marketplace.
Clarity is a platform that connects startups with world-class experts who can provide advice and guidance.
If you do not already have the skills required to be a freelancer then clearly this is a long-term commitment.
You would need to create a strategy to learn the skill that you plan to offer to the market. I recommend using as many online resources as possible to learn and research your intended freelancing option.
Sell Online Courses or Tutoring
Information products have become increasingly popular in recent years and for good reason.
If you have a skill that you can convert into a digital course then with good marketing you can generate sales from all over the world.
In fact, you can earn up to $ 50k per month by selling online courses.
Excellent online platforms can allow you to reach many customers and earn money while travelling.
Examples could be courses on investing, graphic design or coding.
My experience selling courses
I created and sold online courses/tutoring through my website iainsalterpoker.com.
It took me several months to build my brand in the community first before I launched any products.
I released free content first via YouTube and Twitch before I created any premium products.
Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes. You can create a course and receive income from Skillshare users if it is popular.
Teachable is another online platform that allows you to create and sell beautiful online courses.
TakeLessons is a platform for tutoring whereby you can schedule online or in-person lessons. It connects students with teachers and is perfect for languages, music, and other interests.
The platform also manages payments, scheduling and progress tracking.
Udemy is another platform on which you can create and sell an online course.
Credibility takes time
If you plan on making and selling online courses you will need to be skilled in something first. I would recommend making this one of your interests or passions.
Generally, it’s a lot of work to build a personal brand and level of credibility that will enable you to generate sales.
Therefore, it’s important that you enjoy what you are teaching as otherwise, you are unlikely to stay committed long enough.
For me, it was easy with poker. I love the game and will continue to play it as long as that is the case.
My background is in online poker so I have a lot of relevant experience on this topic.
Whilst the environment is getting more competitive each year, many online poker players still choose to be digital nomads and earn their living playing in locations around the world.
As with YouTube, a long-term commitment is required for this path but the monetary and lifestyle rewards can be huge.
Run It Once Poker Training
Run It Once is the world’s leading poker strategy community. If you want to give it a try then using my link will give me a small commission, thanks!
At the time of writing, they are also offering a few videos for free for new users signing up (it’s free to register).
Dropshipping is a business model in which you create an online store selling products which are then fulfilled by a distributor.
It’s received criticism in recent years as the argument is it’s a saturated market.
This article performs an in-depth review of the current state of drop shipping.
How dropshipping works
Example: You create an online store and sell a T-shirt for $50. A supplier ships the T-shirt to the customer at a cost of $40. You keep the $10 profit.
The challenge is to find products from suppliers and drive traffic to your online store through a marketing campaign.
It’s common for marketers to use Facebook and Instagram for paid traffic to generate sales. The trick is to do this profitably in a very competitive market.
Recommended Drop shipping Platforms
The key point here with drop shipping is that you do not own any inventory. Your role is to generate sales via an online store which are then fulfilled by a third party.
In simple terms, Amazon FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) means that you sell it and Amazon takes care of the shipping.
It differs from drop shipping, with Amazon FBA you source and own your inventory and then ship it all to Amazon
Amazon takes care of distribution to customers for you.
You send your items to Amazon and they handle the distribution so you can focus on making sales
Amazon FBA Example
An example would be that you source a large shipment of T-shirts with your branding on them.
These items are then sent to Amazon which handles the fulfilment of any T-shirt orders you can generate via an online store or direct from Amazon.com.
The profit margins can be larger since you are bulk buying inventory in advance.
However, the risk is that you are unable to sell the products!
Amazon FBA Resources
It takes a long time to learn everything you need to know to set up an Amazon FBA business.
Amazon also has a guide on their website which you can browse to gain a better understanding of the process.
Remote Working Opportunities
A remote worker is someone who works outside of a traditional office.
If you are aiming to earn money while travelling then securing a remote job means you can work on your computer from any location in the world.
The difference from freelancing is that remote working is generally a contracted ongoing employee relationship for a longer time period.
Examples of Remote Working
- Recruitment Consultant
- Video and Media Editing
- Graphic Designer or Web Developer
- Android or iOS Application Developer
- Customer Service or Admin Roles
- Email Marketer
Key Tip: As always, becoming an expert in one field often yields higher income!
How To Find Remote Working Opportunities
The best way to find remote working opportunities will be to browse job boards that advertise this type of employment.
I spent over a year in Mexico as a digital nomad. One of the top spots for digital nomads is Puerto Vallarta. Check out this guide on how to be a digital nomad in Puerto Vallarta!
Trading Financial Markets
I would not suggest day trading.
However, for the purpose of completeness, I have included it in this article.
Certain talented individuals are able to make money trading in the financial markets on a daily basis.
If perfected, this can be done from anywhere in the world and the lifestyle as a digital nomad can be fantastic.
To find out more about this as an income stream I would recommend Trading View.
Make Money Travelling by Working
There are great benefits to getting a job abroad such as making new friends, enjoying local workers’ discounts and contributing to the local community.
It’s one of the most enjoyable ways to earn money while travelling. If you can also travel on a budget, then you’re on to a winner!
Getting a job is a great way to settle in after deciding to live abroad.
It can be daunting to arrive in a new place and look for work.
Jack, who created this blog with me, has done so in Australia and Canada.
I spoke to him and he provided some tips…
When looking to find a job in a foreign country here are the three main methods
- Facebook groups
- Ask around locally with your CV
- online job posting sites
If it’s an area such as Whistler in Canada in which seasonality plays a big part then Facebook groups can be an excellent way to find work.
Search for them and introduce yourself. Perhaps attend a local meetup and see if you can network with some other workers from the area.
Get Out and About
Many of the local businesses will also be looking to meet people prior to hiring them, so taking your CV out and walking around is a great strategy.
Having an understanding of the local area is important to employers. Especially if you are required to interact with customers.
Get out there and introduce yourself the old-fashioned way!
Online Job Boards
Online job posting sites are less important in a place like Whistler, BC.
However, in a big city like Melbourne, Australia, it’s important to use these online resources to search for work.
Put some effort into your CV and include a cover letter where possible. Tell the potential employer about yourself.
Include some personalised comments to show that you have researched the job properly and aren’t just firing out hundreds of CVs!
Teaching English Abroad (TEFL)
Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is a great way to earn money while travelling. It’s popular in Asia and Latin America but you can also provide tutoring online.
The great thing about TEFL is that it is in high demand and there is a relatively short training process of around 4 weeks!
You will need to get an accredited TEFL certificate from a provider so that you know what you’re doing.
It’s possible to do this online or in a foreign training environment.
I had a good read of this article as it was something I was considering myself for a while.
Teaching Dance Classes, Yoga or Music
Perhaps you have skills as a dance or yoga teacher?
If you are planning to spend time in a specific location you can research in advance on the internet and try to connect with local businesses
You might find that you can arrange work ahead of arrival.
If this fails then try to get involved in the activities personally and then network with the current team, this can create opportunities for you.
Work in a Hostel Abroad
Many hostels have working opportunities in return for free accommodation.
This can be a great way to join an exciting community and explore the location without the same pressure on your budget.
It can also give you time to build on another income idea whilst keeping costs down.
My Time in Mexico
Whilst I stayed in Mexico I spent some time living in an apartment that was within a large sociable hostel.
There were multiple travellers there working in return for accommodation and food.
When to Apply
If you are able to get a job ahead of time this is great but from my experience finding a hostel with a great community is potluck.
Sometimes you just stumble across a great group of people and don’t want to leave!
My advice is to head out on your adventure and then apply to work in a hostel because you have stayed there and love the community/want to explore the town for a while.
Don’t commit to working a long time somewhere without seeing it first!
Different countries around the world can have a big demand for construction workers in times when there are large projects that need completing.
New Zealand and Australia are great locations for this.
Experience in construction is not always necessary and this can be a fun job to get stuck in with some physical work.
A close friend of mine The Travelling Tom loves to tell us about laying pipe in New Zealand!
Becoming a professional photographer takes time and dedication. You will need to learn the art of photography and source your own equipment.
The general path to paying clients involves first creating your own brand and portfolio to showcase your work.
you can do this through your own website, social media accounts and posting free-to-use images online.
Eventually, you can make a great income from stock image libraries, paying clients, paid blog posts and travel/lifestyle magazines.
You can read this guide on how to become a travel photographer.
Be a Tour Guide
Are you fun, outgoing and enjoy working with people? Perhaps you could be perfect in the role of a tour guide.
Speaking multiple languages helps as you may often be working with tourists from many different locations.
If you land a role with a travel company, often you can be based in different locations for one season at a time
This allows you to explore that country before moving on to the next destination!
Perhaps you’ll be involved in taking guests on day trips or maybe with the general operations of the travel company.
You can apply to work for a local travel company in the place you would like to stay for a while or alternatively, a larger company that will move you around each season.
Read more about becoming a tour guide at the Institute of Tourist Guiding.
Work on a Cruise Ship
Working on a cruise ship is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Imagine port time off in one exotic location after another and an overnight stay on a beautiful island.
That being said, it’s still a job.
You will need to prepare yourself for lots of split shifts and very hard work (sometimes 7 days a week).
However, as your room and board are provided, your living expenses are near zero.
You can save money during your contract and then travel the world in between.
There is a huge selection of jobs ranging from housekeeping and hospitality to management and engineering roles. check out this article for more information.
- The travel opportunities
- The ability to earn good money and save up
- Starting salary is often $1000-$1500 per month
- Zero expenses!
- The awesome community of crew members
Work on a Super Yacht
This line of work can be unique, exciting and potentially lucrative.
The work hours are long and during the season, days off can be few and far between.
As with a cruise ship, there are a variety of roles regarding maintenance, hospitality and management of the ship and its crew.
There are a variety of roles involving providing the best possible experience for the guests of the ship as well as ensuring its safe operation
Here are a few job examples with expected salaries.
- Captain – $7-30k per month
- Deckhand $3-3.5k per month
- Head Chef $6-12k per month
- Explore beautiful ports during days off
- Access the yacht’s luxury facilities when there are no guests
- Enjoy food prepared by the yacht chef
- Expense-free living earning a good wage
- Travel the world
- Meet friends for life and have an adventure
Work on a Summer Camp
A fun and popular idea to earn money while travelling is to go abroad and work on a summer camp.
In the United States, for example, it’s popular for kids to go away for 2-4 weeks each year to a summer camp where they take part in activities
You can work abroad on one of these camps and earn a salary for doing so, whilst helping out and teaching a skill such as archery, photography or sailing.
Generally speaking, there are three types of jobs:
Camp Counsellor – Working directly with campers
Specialist/Advanced Skill – Teaching a specific area like soccer or music
Support Staff – Behind-the-scenes work like office or maintenance.
How to Find a Job
You need to apply in advance to work on a summer camp. Recruitment takes place from January onwards ahead of the camps in the summer.
My sister has been working in this industry for several years and she’s had a great experience!
- Free food and accommodation whilst at camp
- Earn a salary and save money for future travels
- Travel around America after working at the camp
- Meet friends for life
- Teach a skill you enjoy
Work as an instructor at a ski, surf or diving centre
Working as an instructor on a resort will first involve getting the relevant qualifications and then applying for a job.
Working as an instructor you can earn a good living, benefit from local workers’ discounts and be part of a vibrant community.
Step by step
- Check the visa requirements for the country you plan on working
- Identify what qualifications you need to be an instructor
- Save up some money to cover expenses
- Acquire the relevant qualifications
- Apply for the job and get started
How to find a job as an instructor
Jobs as an instructor will be seasonal and as such there are a few tips
- Send out messages online in advance to local businesses’ inquiring about jobs
- Get to the location before the start of the season to secure a job
- Ensure you have all the relevant visas and qualifications in advance
- Try to get relevant experience or transferable skills in advance.
Work in Hospitality – Bartending, Cafe/Restaurant work
Working in hospitality is a great social job that will make you feel part of the local community.
As long as you are able to sort out your working Visa ( if required) ahead of time then there should be no issue getting this type of work.
Perhaps you are looking to improve on a foreign language?
Hospitality is great for interacting with customers/colleagues to improve your skills as well as earning money while travelling.
If you plan on working in a tourist resort, aim to get there before the start of the season.
Work in sales – timeshares, property etc
If you have a talent for sales then working abroad can be very lucrative.
Whilst I was living in Mexico some of my friends worked in holiday apartment sales and it was an excellent job opportunity.
You will need to ensure you have a working visa if required then apply for jobs while you’re in your chosen destination.
Business owners will often want to meet you first prior to offering you a job.
Sometimes the best approach is to turn up where you want to work and see what happens!
Fruit picking is an easily accessible, seasonal job, with no prior experience required.
In Australia completing fruit picking even allows you to extend your visa in the country.
Check out Picking Jobs to look for opportunities.
House sitting is an interesting concept that is mostly derived from the need for pet owners to have peace of mind for the well-being of their pets whilst they travel.
They look after a property (and often animals) for free whilst the owner can travel with peace of mind.
Many do not wish to leave their pets in kennels and so websites such as TrustedHouseSitters were created in order to connect house sitters with owners looking to travel.
You can apply to be a house sitter and take a break from your travels.
Receive free accommodation and potentially earn money while travelling by working on your online business or remote job.
Boost Your Travel Bankroll
The saving on hotel costs can help boost your bankroll before you continue on your trip!
For example, if you were travelling to Australia you could do some house-sitting and work online whilst staying there.
Speaking from experience, accommodation is one of the most costly parts of travelling!
Haircuts and Massages
If you are staying in a location such as a large hostel you can advertise your skills as a masseuse or barber if you are trained as such.
You could advertise within hostels or even approach the hostel owner and offer a commission in return for referring travellers.
There is such a large footfall in hostels that they are great for this type of business and you could pair it with working in a hostel for free accommodation.
Consider marketing on noticeboards or through word of mouth.
Extra Ideas – Busking
Busking or street performing is when you perform an act on the street and people can give you money if they find it entertaining.
Performances may be musical, dance-orientated or even magic.
Use your imagination!
This can be very lucrative if you are a good performer.
I found this article on Top 10 Busking Tips For Street Performers.
You will need to research the rules regarding busking in whatever location you are planning on doing it as the rules vary from place to place.
Here are some options regarding volunteer work or work in exchange for accommodation which has become increasingly popular.
Although this isn’t a way to earn money while travelling you can still consider it!
Work for accommodation
It’s possible to travel and have unique experiences whilst helping with local projects in return for accommodation and sometimes food/other benefits.
Many of the projects that you can volunteer on will be environmentally friendly or involve working outdoors.
Jack has written an entire article on Eco-Friendly Travel on The Road Trip Expert.
Worldpackers is a platform on which you can exchange your skills and time for free accommodation whilst having a unique experience abroad.
The hosts can be hostels, homestays, NGOs and ECO projects, among others.
Simply make an account and browse the opportunities.
I really enjoyed writing this article about how to earn money while travelling.
That’s because I believe that having flexibility in your working schedule is a massive contributor to quality of life.
Not just because of the ability to travel.
It provides control of your everyday life, whether that’s a trip to the gym or a spontaneous few days off.
Find the option that’s right for you
Ultimately, you will have to take a leap of faith and give something a try to find out if you enjoy it.
Committing to it for a period of time is what will determine your success.
Links will take you to the relevant part of this article!
Are you a big personality? Then consider a YouTube channel or sociable job abroad.
Are you creative? Then consider design, photography or marketing.
Love interacting with people? Why not train to be a ski, diving or surf instructor?
Perhaps you dig the technical stuff. Accounting and web/mobile development might be for you.
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