Greetings, travel lovers!
I hope I’m finding you lying on a sunbed in a garden or on the beach with a nice drink beside you. And not closed in a small and stuffy office behind the gleaming computer screen.
What a contrast, you think.
Let’s try a small experiment. Picture a yellow hammock. A river and some palm trees in the background. A small wooden table beside the hammock.
What would the most suitable caption to this image be? The most surprising caption?
The best one?
This is the caption I would envy the most!
Have you ever wondered: ‘How do I find the money to travel long term or travel around the world?’ Or perhaps: ‘How can I travel the world and make money?’
A new era has come.
The era of the digital nomad. The age of virtual and location independent jobs. The day of the Internet when you can travel while earning money. Or maybe, earn money while travelling, if you like.
What follows is only some of the jobs that you can do while experiencing the world. Depending on your skill set and your preferences, you can work remotely, freelance or online. And you can still make good money! So read on, take your pick and hit the road!
From broadening your horizons to boosting up your confidence, the benefits to travelling are numerous.
You probably think travelling takes a lot of research, planning and money, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated!
Traveller Tomislav Perko passes on a very strong message in his TEDx talk:
- You don’t have to be brave to travel the world.
Yes, you’ll have to go out of your comfort zone. You’ll have to leave the security of your home and full-time job behind. Your family, your friends, your routine.
But you’ll trade them for the intensity of travelling: new places, new people, adventure!
And if you’re thinking that the world is a dangerous place, he says, this is only a media myth. There are friendly and hospitable people all over the world.
You only need courage to take the first step.
Hundreds of people trade their corporate jobs for a new lifestyle. They live adventurous minimalistic lives on the road, while leaving a smaller environmental footprint.
- You don’t have to be rich to travel the world.
Actually, travelling the world as a backpacker may even cost you less than living in your own country.
Cycling is a very cheap way to travel. Or you can try hitch-hiking and meet amazing people, hear unbelievable stories and make unforgettable memories.
Accommodation? Why not try Couchsurfing.
If you’re not a fan of backpacking, you can try the minimalist option. Pack a suitcase, get a camper and hit the road! Don’t forget your laptop, your camera and video equipment. They may help you make some money while living the dream!
1. Teach English
Today English is not considered a special ability but a life skill or an employability skill. Globally, people learn English as an essential skill for work.
And if you are reading this, you probably have it. So the world is your oyster. You can now teach English all over the globe.
If you think you need to be a native speaker, you are greatly mistaken. You need to be a Native-level speaker. That’s all.
Finding a job as an English tutor is a wonderful opportunity to make money while exploring distant parts of the world. Japan, Thailand and South Korea are among the top ten destinations for English teachers in Asia. This is also an amazing way to travel around Central America.
You need: Some countries require TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), TESOL, or CELTA certification. Courses range between 4 and 12 weeks in length and can even be taken online.
You may or may not need prior teaching experience, depending on the specifics of the position.
2. Teach a language online
Online teaching has been steadily gaining in popularity (another effect of the Internet). In recent years there were even some speculations that online courses will make universities redundant (they’re still here for the time being).
So, if you love languages and teaching, many platforms offer a wonderful opportunity for a location independent job. The most prominent of these include iTalki, Thinkific, Verbling, etc.
You need: a laptop, Skype (or another video chat program), good connection and headphones/mike. And your teaching skills, of course!
3. Work as a freelance translator
If you prefer to use your language skills as a translator (or need some extra income while teaching), you can do this online. Freelance translators can work from anywhere (remember the hammock) as long as they have a wi-fi connection. Translation jobs vary widely - from websites, to product manuals, books, or even documentation.
You need: your laptop and an internet connection.
Popular websites for freelance jobs (not only in translation) include: Upwork, Fiverr, CLoudPeep, and many others.
4. Become a diplomat
Multilingual people who work in Foreign service also enjoy the opportunity of working while traveling. If you find being part of the political, economic, and social relations with another country exciting, this job is for you. Diplomats are usually highly educated people, you also need to be tactful and skillful in dealing with delicate situations.
You need: Most diplomats have degrees (bachelor's, master's) or even doctorates and they also take special tests. You can find some Foreign Service Officer Tests (FSOT) online and give them a try, even if just out of curiosity.
05. Work on a cruise ship
This is among my personal favourites.
I have a lot of friends who are musicians and have done this for a while (some still do). Working on a cruise ship seems like a dream come true. You do what you love (play music or sing or dance), people have fun and appreciate your performance. And you get paid.
On top of it all, your food, accommodation, transport and even insurance is covered. So you can actually save quite a lot of money.
You need: Your skills depending on the job. My favourite category is performers - people who work in ship entertainment, like musicians, dancers, could be yoga or sports instructors. In addition, a cruise ship also needs engineers, chefs, waiters, etc.
06. Become a flight attendant
Another dream job for many girls! Flight attendants are always beautiful, kind and well-dressed. They also get 90% off on plane ticket prices, as well as hotel discounts. And the best of it all is that they get to explore the world as part of their job!
You need: Flight attendants go through tough training. What you see onboard of your flight (all the gesturing and pointing) is only the tip of the iceberg. Flight attendants have to prepare for very tough emergency situations yet luckily these happen quite rarely. They also often work long hours.
07. Try Busking
Another wonderful job for musicians and performers in general. There are many types of buskers: musicians, dancers, jugglers, puppeteers, singers. You can also do mime, clowning, comedy, magic or be a living statue.
You need: Your skills and possible some audio equipment/ costumes.
08. Become a tour guide
If you have an outgoing personality, this is the job for you! You can work as a tour guide on day trips, walking city tours, or even adventure activities. This is an amazing opportunity to tour religious and historical sites, museums, and interesting venues.
You need: Tour guides need to provide information to visitors, so you will need to brush up on your history. You also need to know the city/ place well. A guide needs to have good communication skills, be friendly and quite fit (sometimes there’s a lot of walking involved).
09. Work in a Hotel/ Bar/ Restaurant
Working in the catering or hospitality industry is what usually young people do to spend the whole summer at the seaside or abroad.
If you are a bartender you can work in any country. You may need a few weeks to pick up some of the local language but you will have the dream lifestyle. Spend the day on the beach and the night earning money. Then sleep late and repeat.
Meanwhile, you can meet a lot of interesting people and explore a new country.
10. Become a scuba diving instructor
To qualify as a scuba diving instructor you will have to take a course. But once you are certified, a whole new world will be open to you (and your students). You will be able to live close to the ocean, do what you love and make money. Sounds like a great lifestyle, doesn’t it!
Do you prefer the beach or the mountains? Many people balance between winter and summer sports to get the best of both worlds. If you become a ski/snowboard and surfing instructor, you can spend part of the year in a mountain resort, and the rest - at the seaside!
11. Freelance Yoga/mindfulness instructor
Many resorts hire also yoga and mindfulness instructors for the tourist season. As part of the personal growth quest, these courses are constantly gaining in popularity.
Other options include, pilates classes, zumba or dance. If you are a massage therapist, you can also be a very valuable asset at a resort. After all, most clients are there to relax and recharge so your skills in reducing stress and pain and muscle tension will be appreciated!
12. Write a blog
If you are a professional travel blogger, you don’t really need to save money in order to travel. You can get paid to do so.
So ask yourself: Do you love travelling, taking photos of the great locations you’ve visited, exotic food you’ve tried? Do you like telling stories to your friends about your adventures and the people you’ve met? Then why not build on this and turn it into a carrier?
If you love travelling and writing, travel blogging is the right job for you!
What is more travel writing is not limited to blogs. You can also write travel guides about the places you have visited and sell these online.
Many travel blog professionals also make their own podcasts and YouTube videos.
You need: a professional camera and a laptop. You will probably have to carry these around along with your basic travel necessities. And find wi-fi to upload your blog post.
You get: the freedom to explore and experience the world. Plus a career opportunity.
Most successful bloggers or vloggers have so many followers that they can influence opinions and help marketers connect to this audience.
Alternatives: travel blogging is not the only job that is location independent. All blogging or vlogging can be done from any Internet connected corner of the world. Other popular options are food blogs, mommy blogs, lifestyle blogs, fashion blogs… The list is vast.
13. Explore online marketing
Become an Influencer
What is an influencer?
An influencer is a person who has the power to affect the purchase decisions of others. This usually happens as a result of their authority, their knowledge about a certain subject or their relationship with their audience. Influencers are also called Opinion leaders.
You need: Opinion leaders must have an established audience that trusts them and a platform to share their opinions. Usually, they have their own blogs, vlogs or they use social media. There are some platforms you’ll need to learn how to use. For example, Upfluence, FlameBit, Webfluential, etc.
You get: An income opportunity. Influencer marketing works through sponsored blog posts, instagram features, YouTube videos and social posts. So if you have your own channel or blog, and would like to make some money, simply search for ‘Influencer marketing’. The net is full of How-to guides, examples of successful campaigns and recent news.
Alternatives: You can also be a Brand ambassador and help businesses use your positive image to market their products.
Note: Most blog writers include disclaimers in their posts and carefully choose trusted companies that would interest their audience. So it would be a good idea to do some research first.
Try Affiliate marketing
Another marketing option for professional bloggers.
You have probably read blog posts where bloggers share tips featuring their favourite travel gear, photography equipment, etc. These usually contain links that refer readers to a website where they can buy the product that has been reviewed. Once a reader has made the purchase, the blogger gets a commission.
You need: a relatively large audience, your blog/vlog and you will need to sign up for an affiliate program.
You get: Most affiliate programs pay out between 4-12%. So your income will depend on the products, the conditions of the program, but mostly on the size of your audience.
Try Display ads
Display advertising is probably the oldest form of web marketing. This is advertising on websites or apps or social media. Is usually uses banners or other ad formats made of text, images, flash, video, and audio.
Display ads are everywhere: on weather or news websites, social media and even blogs. Vloggers integrate ads in their YouTube videos.
You need: Google AdSense is a program that allows bloggers and website owners to make money by displaying Google ads. Similar to affiliate marketing, bloggers get a small percentage. AdSense is free and you get paid per click.
14. Work remotely
Working from home or telecommuting is another wonderful location independent job option. Some companies will let you work from anywhere depending on the specifics of your job. But if you work in IT, you can probably telecommute. Which actually means that you can work while travelling.
Typical remote jobs include design, programming and marketing. So, ask your employer or google ‘remote work’.
You can also google ‘Virtual jobs’. Some of the listings involve IT (Web developer/ programmer) but others don’t. The top virtual jobs seem to be virtual assistant, medical transcriptionist and Interpreter/translator.
There are special virtual jobs boards. A curious fact: among the job listings featured on one of these, I found: Fingerprint operator! If you are wondering what this is, obviously the job is related to the 2020 US Census. (Job location says: American Samoa)
15. Website & Graphic Design
Graphic designers work on advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports. To do this job, you typically need a degree in graphic design or other art and design-based subject. You also need to know how to use programs like Illustrator, InDesign or Photoshop.
If you have good technical skills and creativity, you can also be a website designer.
Both of these can typically be done on the road. And as travelling boosts your creativity, the experience will probably even make you a better designer.
16. Computer programmer
If you love writing code for apps and operating systems, you are in luck. You can work virtually from anywhere in the world. There are special sites that list job offers that you can bid for.
You can also launch your own app company!
18. Working Holiday Visa
If you are between 18 and 30 and you want to travel around New Zealand, Australia, Canada or France, this is a great opportunity. The working holiday visa allows you to find employment in the country so that you can supplement your travel funds.
So if you can only afford the plane ticket and travel expenses for the first few weeks, once you get a job there, you can stay longer!
19. Au Pair (Live-in babysitter)
An Au-Pair is by definition a foreign person so you will have to leave your country to do this. The job involves childcare and housework.
You need: To love children, be kind, reliable and have good communication skills.
You get: To live in a foreign country. Food and accommodation are covered. And you also get paid and get a free day to spend the money and explore!
20. Farm worker
Seasonal farm work has many benefits beyond the opportunity to travel. If you love living close to nature, if freedom, health and building strong bonds are important to you, try farming. It could be hard work but you get to see the sunrise every morning!
This may also be a great option with your working holiday visa!
List your place on AirBnB to make money while travelling. You can automate the process so you don’t have to be there in person.
You need: Internet to communicate with your prospective lodgers. You will also have to learn how self check-in works.
Most hosts use lockbox or key safes. These are simple storage devices (small boxes) that can be attached to a door handle or a fence. You place the key into the container and you lock it.Then, once your guests arrive, they open the lockbox with a code you have provided.
Other useful options that travel lovers can explore and benefit from are the now popular Couchsurfing and House sitting.
Maybe you are wondering how to make some money to start travelling in the first place. Here are some helpful tips.
Choose a destination
You will probably need to give up on some things to save money, so prints out a huge colourful picture of your desired destination to keep you motivated!
Make a monthly budget spreadsheet
My sister does this. If you want to save money, first you need to know where and how you are spending your monthly income. Then you can figure out how to cut expenses.
Get a lunchbox
The Japanese have turned this into an art form! But you can actually save money by changing your eating habits. Cook at home and you can save on those lunches!
Get a bike
Transportation is a major cost you can cut. If your office is currently too far away to walk, get a bike. You can both keep fit and save some money (remember the colourful photo!)
Invite friends over
If your partying budget is colossal, you won’t be able to afford travelling. So, why don’t you get some beers at the supermarket, light some candles, find those board games and invite friends over! Time for the fun to start!