Is it possible to make money while traveling?
The answer is never no!
Being limited by finances is never fun. Thus, making money while traveling may just be the key to initiating a more extensive, exciting trip. Of course, earnings are often nothing compared your average 40-hour job in a corporate office. But really, only so many enjoy the 9-5 cubical lifestyle 😉
After working at a desk for a summer, I realized that sitting on a chair from 9-5 doesn’t run well with my system. I loved the stability of the job itself. That bi-weekly check always came in at the right moment- straight towards my student loan. Yet, those days I’d go home exhausted from doing absolutely nothing.
I was keen to explore my career options while visiting picture perfect locations. While study abroad jobs are not easy to come by, they aren’t impossible to find. I took on several internships near and far. Since these works are generally unpaid, I sometimes kept random side hustles that helped support my travels abroad.
I will dive into my “how-tos” for making money while traveling. Hope this will help you as much as it did me!
1. Make money while traveling: Teaching & Tutoring
There are all sorts of teaching jobs abroad now. Apparently, Saudi wins the game with the highest payout for those qualified few. But in Asia, new grads are readily recruited to teach English. From my understanding, average monthly wage can range from $1500 upwards with accommodation and 1-2 round-trip flights. Although the TOEFL certificate is not explicitly required by some, most companies tend to gravitate towards those who are certified. Another thing to keep note of is your location when signing the contract-placements range from big cities to remote villages.
Study Abroad Jobs: Online Tutoring
With digitization, it’s not hard to get a skill-sharing job online. While in college, I landed a tutoring job through using Skype. These online jobs pay a decent wage, averaging US $15-25/ hour. However, positions can be competitive, and the demand isn’t too high. I taught 1-2 classes per week, just enough to cover my weekly grocery needs. Instead of trying to make a livable wage off of one site, diversify your income stream!
Study Abroad Jobs: Private Instructor
It might be playing guitar or doing yoga, organizing an event or taking photos. If you can market yourself, it will be fun to take on a few clients near and far. While licensing in the West is often needed, a lot of countries aren’t too strict on qualifications and certifications. When abroad, network with locals and see where the need is. I’ve encountered expats making a decent living teaching 1 or 2 kids. What I find helpful, is to have a personalized online portfolio. This can be a website or an active social media presence, which act as a great resume when abroad.
In Mexico, I met a friend who moved to Bacalar with her boyfriend. Originally a researcher, she has always had a love for cooking. With time, her weekly luncheons became popular in the area and she was invited to restaurants to conduct cooking lessons for locals. Her Chicken Rogan Josh is still one of the best I’ve had!
- Swimming Instructor
- Piano Teacher
- Language Teacher
- Scuba Diving Instructor
- Massage Therapist Instructor
- Dance Teacher
- Cooking Instructor
2. Make money while traveling: Consulting & Digital Nomad Jobs
Since most services can be accessed online nowadays, it is possible to take your desk job abroad. Offering consultation services to firms and individuals through an online platform is difficult. Motivational speakers and life coaches can easily set up appointments and deliver content via Skype.
Remoteyear is a program I’ve always thought about joining. It takes a group of remote-working professionals on a year-long venture around the world while providing the needed co-working space. Though they will assist in getting your employer on-board with a remote working arrangement, the fees are just too high for nomads like myself.
You may not have experience with consultation but run a popular Instagram account. Great! Apply to be a social media strategist and use your wizardry to help build brands and businesses. Many people who have successfully turned their social media platforms into a profit-making operation. From branding to content promotion, this may just be the job for you!
3. Make money while traveling: Event Hosting and Public Speaking
There are tons of event hosting jobs with an hourly wage ranging between $20-$30. In India, I was hired to host weddings and different functions. To be honest, you do have to be prepared for long days and rather strange roles, but it is a lot of fun to work with other foreigners while tending lavish events.
For one, I know a lot of clubs look for foreigners to spice up its nightlife or do relevant promotional work. This line of work definitely caters toward those who love the nightlife and some extra cash.
Public speaking gigs are harder to come by. This requires far more background qualifications as opposed to event hosting’s simplicities. However, if you have an engaging topic at hand, there are lots of opportunities to collaborate with schools and other institutions in providing you with a stage to facilitate discussion.
4. Make money while traveling: Online
Similar to that of a digital nomad, if you have a specialized, in-demand skill, there are many ways to earn money online. Not going to lie, these days, computer engineers and designers take the cake for flexible working locations. But for us liberal art students, there is light at the end of this tunnel 😉
From writing to programming, internet marketing to graphic design, being a freelancer can easily earn you enough while on the go. However, the world of freelancing can be incredibly competitive. As a freelancer, some possibilities include writing articles, brochures, newsletters, and blog posts. Web designing, packaging, logos, data entry, virtual assistance, web research, and website conversion optimization to name a few. Since the majority of these don’t require licensing, they can be a side job while studying abroad!
Some great sites to dabble in freelancing opportunities are:
Textbroker: Provides great gigs for writers, but the pay isn’t too appealing.
Envato Studio: For those skilled in design and web development, this is perfect you!
Fiverr: Everything on this site costs $5. It is definitely quite fun if you have a skill that can be mass produced online, e.g.: SEO, branding, etc.
PeoplePerHour: These tasks can be done within the hour at a predetermined rate.
Upwork: A great platform for freelancing projects with decent pay.
Sell Handmade Pieces, including Arts & Crafts
In recent years, eBay has become a popular household name. With numerous products on the site, there are many success stories that come with selling items online. However, eBay is not the only platform for online businesses.
Etsy: One of the most popular sites for DIY and handmade products.
Cafe Press: You can upload a design that will undergo approval. Once it’s accepted, it will be printed on shirts, posters and so on.
Art Fire: Another platform that will help get your work in front of thousands of buyers within minutes.
Folksy: Great place to sell handmade gifts and other arts and crafts.
Question & Answer
I’m one of the many that would hop onto a Q&A site when Google can’t do me right. There are many popular platforms that help personalize an answer for those in need. If you have expertise in a few areas, this might be a great way to earn a couple extra dollars while traveling! Some sites you can sign up to help those in need can be Web Answers, JustAnswer and LivePerson.
I became interested in paid surveys while attending high school. Without any school work or a real job and loads of free time on my hands, I signed up for a number of sites and completed surveys for fun. However, I soon found out that I was unqualified for most due to well, everything-education, property, vehicle and so on and so forth. For those at a different stage, paid surveys may be just a side-job to make some money fast. Some reliable sites to look into are Mysurvey, Tellwut, and MyView.
Disclaimer: These are four big categories with various little branches of opportunities to their own. I’ve only listed a few options, some of which contain affiliate links, but there is so much more to this fiesta. Travel blogger Aileen has a comprehensive list of other money-making tactics while on the road.
Need some motivation to get you off your feet? Read these traveler’s inspiring stories!