15 Ways to Make Money While You Travel
Exploring the world can cost a pretty penny, but you can lower the cost of travel — and deepen your experience at each location — by doing side jobs along the way. Here are 15 ways to earn money while abroad. (See also: Best Travel Reward Credit Cards)
1. Write About It
Travel writing may not pay much to start, but if you're traveling in countries with a lower cost of living, it may be enough. I made a pretty good side income while living in China by writing about my travels on travel blogs and websites. At first, I was making $10 an article, but after I accumulated more experience, several websites offered me more. The best thing about travel writing is that you can do it from anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection, so you're not tied down to one place for long. (See also: How to Be a Travel Writer)
2. Use Your Editing Skills
Proofread translations of signs, menus, and newsletters. Create English-language marketing materials. Edit the local English-language magazine targeted to expats. Put yourself out there and offer your services. You might be surprised how many people will take you up on your offer.
One of the easiest ways to get paid while working and living abroad is teaching English. If you're thinking long-term, a job with a year-round school or university is the most stable and, with over two months of holidays, you'll have plenty of time to travel. Schools will often also pay your roundtrip airfare. In the short term, language schools often hire teachers for a few weeks or months. Try teaching at a summer camp for a few weeks and taking the rest of the summer to travel (that's how I funded my first two month trip abroad). Check out Dave's ESL Cafe to start.
Tutoring English or another language, music, and other skills can be a great way to supplement your income on a flexible schedule, even if you're only staying in the area for a few months. Try putting up flyers at the local school or on community bulletin boards.
5. Work in Hospitality
English speakers are needed to greet tourists at hotels and resorts around the world, so if you're interested in the hospitality industry, that might be a good place to find a job. In the short term, you might be able to get free room and board at a local hostel in exchange for a few weeks of work at the front desk. (See also: Jobs With Free Room and Board)
6. Sell Stuff Online
The country in which you're traveling might have lots of adorable knick-knacks that folks back home would love. For a little extra income, selling local goods on eBay might be a good way to make a buck or two.
7. Au Pair or Nanny
A friend of mine spent a year as a live-in nanny, or au pair, in Paris. If you love kids, this might be the perfect opportunity for you to live with a local family and learn local customs, while being able to travel on weekends. Au Pair International is one of many organizations that trains au pairs and matches them with families abroad.
8. Administer Exams
Internationally recognized English exams such as TOEFL or IELTS are always hiring native English speakers to administer the exams for students abroad. Often, this means working long hours on the weekends, but the pay is decent, your hotel stay at the exam location is paid for, and you have most of the week free for traveling.
9. Get a Stipend as a Student
Many universities around the world offer scholarships for Masters' or PhD programs for English speakers, along with a small stipend and sometimes student housing. Although this stipend isn't usually enough to let you live in style, you can always supplement your income by tutoring other students.
10. Teach Fitness Classes
If you're qualified to teach Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, or another kind of fitness activity, you may be in demand as an instructor around the world. You might want to look into opening a studio in your home or offering classes at the local beach (especially in popular tourist locations where people are looking for the "Eat, Pray, Love" experience). The great thing about offering classes on your own is that you can work on your own schedule and you're not tied to a contract, allowing you to take off and travel whenever you want.
11. Teach Scuba
I know several expats who are making good money as scuba instructors in Latin America, leading more advanced dives into underwater caves as well as basic scuba classes associated with resorts. If you love scuba diving, it can take as little as six months of diving experience to attain the level needed to start professional training with PADI, so if you plan ahead, you can have plenty of opportunities opening up by the time you start traveling.
12. Adventure Sports Instructor
Along the same lines as teaching scuba, you can teach almost any sport at a basic level if you're an experienced practitioner. You might consider teaching surfing or kite surfing, leading mountain biking rides, or teaching basic rock climbing. If you choose to teach an adventure sport, it might be best to go through a company or resort to minimize your liability. Make sure you have good insurance as well.
13. Tour Guide
Working with a tour company allows you to explore the local sights while being paid. If you're more active, leading bike tours might be a fun way to earn money while being a tourist. (See also: How to Become a Tour Guide in Your Hometown)
14. Food Industry
Foreigners living in countries around the world are willing to pay a premium for familiar food and drink. I know a few people who have made a living as chefs and bartenders around the world, or as restaurant managers. Another friend of mine worked as a wine expert at various vineyards in New Zealand for several months. If working in a restaurant sounds too stressful, a more flexible option would be to offer cooking classes to either expats or locals.
15. Dog Walker
I literally JUST saw an ad for a live-in dog walker in London, UK. The position entailed 25 flexible hours a week, and included room and board as well as $100 a week! It's the perfect situation for exploring a new city, especially one where accommodations are expensive.
There are a wide range of options for earning money while traveling abroad. Some jobs require you to stay in the area for a while, such as teaching jobs, whereas others are more flexible. Think about what skills you have to offer — many of them are likely to be as in demand abroad as they are at home (or even more so).
Have you figured out how to earn some money while traveling or living abroad? What did you do?