Certainly, you don’t have to be rich to travel the world. Anyone can do it as you can make money when travelling full-time. How? In today’s post, 7 independent travel bloggers are sharing their ways and tips on how they have been supporting financially their voyages across the globe. If they can do it, you can do it as well unless you’re rich or your savings allow you to travel the world for less than $25 a day for the rest of your life!
We shared our expertise on the subject in our latest ebook titled Travel Blogging: Build Audience, Improve Rankings and Earn Money. Click on the book cover on the right to read more or add to bag to purchase now.
Here are 6 ways to make money when on the road:
1. Teaching English.
Julio Moreno of World Heritage Sites.
One of the best and highest paying jobs you can do abroad is teaching English in the wonderful country of South Korea. Not only will this more than pay for your wanderlust addiction, but you can actually save quite a bit. Teaching English in Korea requires a 4-year college degree from an English speaking country (US, Canada, UK, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand) in an English speaking university (French Canadian schools are not accepted). It also requires that you pass a federal background check, which in the US takes about 3 months to do.
Personally, I love teaching, especially kindergarten. The children are mostly eager to learn and will impress you with their level (unless you teach at public schools I’m told) at such a young age. Getting paid $2000 – $3000 a month in a relatively cheap country with a tax rate of 3.3% is pretty nice too! I saved up over 50 thousand over the last 3 years alone! Koreans are quite friendly towards foreigners and you even get special discounts and services for being different. Looking for a job is easy and can be done online through Dave’s ESL Café.
Quite honestly, there are very few things I would say are drawbacks. Workers in non-established schools have been known to be given late pay or fired for no reason, but this is rare. Personally though, I would say the biggest thing you have to deal with is other foreigners. Many expats are just in it for the money and show absolutely no interest in the job, Korean people, and complain about every little thing. Given my passion for my job, the country, and a personal pet peeve against complainers, this is quite a challenge for me.
If you want to learn more about Korea, teaching abroad, funding your travels or World Heritage Sites, follow his blog.
Karisa of My Hot Pink Passport.
I’m a huge fan of slow travel and really getting to know a location well. The perfect fit for me is teaching English abroad! It’s a great way to connect with locals and also put aside a nice savings for traveling. I spent last year in Bangkok, Thailand. During that year I learned so much about Thai culture through my students and by exploring Bangkok. On the weekends I took road trips to nearby beaches and small towns. On my breaks I made it to seven other countries in Southeast Asia!
2. Doing web design, Internet marketing, writing, transcribing.
Samantha Wei and Yeison Kim of My Tan Feet.
Yeison and I have both worked while on the road. He used to work for a volunteer organization that traveled around Central America leading groups providing medical care. When I moved to Costa Rica, I’ve done various things like teach English and work at a hotel but now both of us work online full time. Yeison does web design, Internet marketing and consulting and I do writing, copywriting and transcribing and we both manage a couple other websites and blogs. This allows us to be location independent, we just need our computer and Wi-Fi so we can work whenever we’re traveling around Costa Rica. The income always depends and isn’t consistent, sometimes it’s very busy and a lot of work, sometimes it’s not as much but it has been anywhere from $500 to $2000 a month.
The advantages are that we get to set our own schedule, we get to pick the projects we want to do and we still have plenty of time to work on our blog. The disadvantage is that it’s not as reliable as a steady job. There’s no bi-weekly paycheck, we have to work weird hours since sometimes we get contacted about a project that needs to be finished asap and clients message us at all hours of the day. It’s hard work and sometimes it keeps us busier beyond 40 hours a week (some weeks it’s like 60) but we love the freedom and the fact that we are our own bosses.
3. Using Craigslist.com and Elance.com.
Sabrina of Just One Way Ticket.
Everytime I was looking to make money I checked Craigslist.com and looked on the local site for job offers. Depending where you are there might be some interesting short term jobs for you. In Istanbul I ended up teaching German to students, meeting them in cafés or at the park. It was good fun and I made some new friends. I was surprised how easy it was to make some extra cash. Just be creative and try!
Marek of Indie Traveller.
If you are travelling with a laptop and you have skills in areas such as writing, programming, graphic design or marketing, then working remotely on a freelance basis can be a viable option for financing (part of) your travels.
I have had some experience taking jobs through Elance.com (another popular site like this is Odesk). You create a profile specifying your available skills, and optionally take some interactive tests to demonstrate your proficiency in these areas. You can then be invited onto projects or you can submit proposals for open jobs in the hopes that they will be assigned to you.
To illustrate, I recently did four hours of writing and editing work which earned me $100. Taken as an hourly rate that’s not spectacular pay by Western standards, but money will go a lot further when you are backpacking.. For me, this writing gig covered 4 days of expenses in Bolivia. And I did the work from a hammock in a hostel garden.
I do occasional freelance work while I’m travelling, but admittedly a better way to make money is to take a break from your travels and just stay in one spot for a while. That’s because you can dial down your cost of living dramatically (even if based somewhere temporarily) and because having a consistent work environment and WiFi access lets you do more work more quickly.
I have a friend who is temporarily based in Thailand at the moment, and he’s there to top up his funds before travelling on. He teaches English during the day, and writes reviews for iPhone apps through Elance.com in the evening. His cost of living is about $400 a month, but his combined monthly income is a lot more than that. All the while he’s enjoying a good standard of living and gets to eat delicious Thai food every day.
Hunkering down and grinding through some work (before resuming your travels) is often a very efficient way of making money on the road. By using freelancing sites, you can take jobs from anywhere in the world and complete them from anywhere as well.
4. Freelance photography and social media services.
Casey Siemasko and Daniel Moore of A Cruising Couple.
Before setting out to travel full-time, we knew we were going to need an income on the road if we were to keep our travels sustainable. I love writing and Dan loves photography, so it made sense to pursue these hobbies. Additionally, we already had our blog, we just had to make the commitment to put in the time and dedication required to take it to the next level. So with a lot of hard work (and no monetary gain) we started to grow our travel blog. Now it provides us with a steady part-time income, primarily from advertising and social media campaigns. However, we also offer freelance writing, photography, and social media services. This isn’t writing or photography that goes on our blog, but we still utilize our blog to find potential clients interested in these services. Blogs are becoming a really powerful way to funnel clients to your freelancing business, whether that’s jewelry making or website design or whatever it is you’re interested in. With so many blogs out there it is getting more and more difficult to compete, but with a lot of work, time and commitment, it’s possible to succeed. You can’t predict your income from month to month, but the rewards of being able to work from anywhere in the world are worth it for some.
Jonny of Don’t Stop Living
Broccoli Farming in Tasmania.
5. Working on passive income.
Deia of Nomad Wallet.
Two words: passive income. My husband and I will never be able to travel full time on savings alone — seeing our bank account balance drop makes us too anxious. We did that anyway for 1 year; we relied on our savings and my freelance writing income. We already had some passive income then, but it wasn’t enough to fully cover all our expenses. We’re now working on a plan. Within the next 2 years, we’ll have enough passive income to travel full time without working. I’ll still continue to write and we’ll probably build a few side businesses, though!
6. Cruise Jobs: International Hostess.
Noelia of Noelimits.
I worked as International Hostess in a 5 stars cruise line for 2 years. This position duties include to translate documents between 5 languages, and organize events, dinner and parties for guest that don’t speak English (usually Spanish, French, Italians, Portuguese, Germans or Dutch). Usually we work in contracts of 6 months, 7 days a week with 10 hours shift. Every port day, we have around 4-6 hours off to go ashore and enjoy. We are allowed to join some of the shore excursions for free or reduced rate. Most of the cruise ships sail around the world! The most common destinations when cruising are: Caribbean, Alaska or Mediterranean Sea.
Salaries vary from position, but expect to win around 2000US$ for a staff or two-stripe officer. Salary is tax free (as it is earn in International Water, you are not require to pay taxes to any country). After 6 months of contract, you can come home with around 12000$ to invest in further traveling!!
For me, working is a cruise ship is something that everyone should do once in their lifetime! You will make lifetime friends, get to know destinations (and even countries!) you had no idea they existed before.
As an inconvenient, if you are a familiar person, it could be hard to be away from friends or family for 6 months or more. Some cruises departments have severe discipline. Accommodation is usually shared cabin and they are quite small. Some positions will not allow you as much as free time or you will have to work when the ship is in port, so no time to go out. Depending of the positions you got different privileges and it can be a little bit discriminatory sometimes.