Table of Contents
18 Great Ways of Making Money While Travelling The World Full Time (or part time) with Tips to Get Started as a Digital Nomad Through Tried and Tested Methods
The term “digital nomad” didn’t even exist a few years ago and yet it has now has become an increasingly used term as more people find ways to travel while earning an income.
Pandemics and lockdowns aside, technology and the growth of the internet has opened up possibilities of making money while travelling and it is easier than it ever has been.
As well as taking advantage of ways to make money online there are also more traditional ways of working while traveling within your own country or overseas. So there are more options now than ever before.
It’s important to realise that guidelines for travel due to global health pandemic, economic and political reasons are subject to ongoing change so it’s important to research your destination before you go and only travel if safe to do so.
The focus of this article is on looking at the options available for making money while travelling, some traditional options you may have heard of and some alternative methods may be new to you.
If you feel the travel bug and want to get out and explore the world then read on to see how many options there are for earning some extra moolah to fund your travels.
Whether you’re single and planning your next solo trip, planning ways of travelling the world full time or a parent looking for flexible ways to earn extra income and fund your family adventure, there are people out there right now who are doing it so there’s no reason why you can’t too!
1. Teach English
Teaching English as a foreign language is often one of the popular options when looking at making money while travelling as there is always demand. Teaching or tutoring English can be a valuable source of income, can be done both off-line and on-line and can be quite well paid.
Native English or at least a fluent command of English is essential. A teaching degree is not necessary but a university degree plus a teaching qualification such as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreing Language) or TESOL (Teach English to Speakers of Other Languages), while not always absolutely necessary, is generally a requirement when applying for most positions.
Teaching on location (in-person)
There is usually high demand for English teaching positions and tutors in college and university towns both for long term and short term work. This can range anywhere from a few weeks to longer term contracts of a year or more.
Private schools, universities and private tutoring for families can all be common and sought after positions in many countries and locations from cities to more rural areas.
Some longer term contracts may even include accommodation or subsidies for rent so can be a great way of making money while travelling and really getting the opportunity to explore a country and maybe even save a little before you begin traveling again.
Local employment laws and regulations will vary from country to country so will need to be checked individually. It’s a good idea to take a TEFL/TESOL course such as the link below will give you the foundation, knowledge and confidence to teach overseas and apply for jobs showing employers you have a genuine interest.
Teaching English Online
An increasingly common option for many people is to earn money to travel by teaching English online. Having a degree is generally well regarded plus obtaining a TEFL/TESOL qualification will open doors when applying for teaching positions online.
There are a number of well established companies such as [Let’s Tefl] and [TeachAway] that can help with certifications and placement/job hunting.
Teaching English online can also be fairly lucrative and an excellent way of making good money. Rates can range from around $13 to $25 an hour (approx. £12-25 UK, 10-20€ Eurozone countries). A good friend of the mine has been funding his travels for a few years by teaching English to Chinese students online while pursuing his passion for travel photography, check his amazing portfolio out here [Joao Sousa].
If you want to have the most job prospects and interested in earning a certification then [Let’s Tefl] program is consistently regarded among the best options on the market.
2. Online Tutoring/Coaching
If you’re not happy teaching English that doesn’t mean that online teaching is completely out. There can be many other in-demand subjects that can be taught online.
Providing there is demand for the skill, this could range from teaching other languages such as Spanish, French, Italian, maths, science, nutrition, life coaching or another niche skill.
Think about what skills you may have and have a google search to see if there is demand for online teaching. If there is demand for the subject you could be teaching or consulting from your armchair in your living room or a cafe in Cambodia.
As long as you have a decent internet connection and able to install video software on a laptop you’re set.
3. Freelance Writing
If you enjoy writing, freelance writing or copywriting as it is often referred to professionally is a skill that is always in demand. Many digital nomads earn a living as freelance writers as well as being an invaluable skill for blogging while they go.
From writing ad content, transcribing, writing articles to content repurposing, it is something that can be started as a side hustle, working for small businesses from sites such as Upwork, work for content mills or turn into steady income with repeat clients.
Copywriting is something that is often outsourced by many businesses so ideal for earning an income while traveling. Businesses are used to hiring freelancers for writing projects so once you get your name out can be a source of repeat business.
While writing for a content mill may not be so appealing as a full time option due to the lower rates of pay, earnings are relative so it may be a good part-time option or stop-gap while traveling in countries with lower cost of living.
On the other side of the spectrum specialised niche writing can be highly lucrative but will often require considerable experience and/or expertise. This could range from well researched niche writing, book writing, or science writing. The flexibility and payouts could well be worth it.
If you have an aptitude for one or more languages then translating could be an option for you. By combining freelance writing with a language you can earn good money by being a freelance translator.
Translators are needed by many businesses and in many industries so there are lots of options once you get a little experience and your foot in the door. It can range from translating transcripts or articles to official documents. A high fluency in at least two languages is a mus.
Combined with domain specific industry knowledge this area can be very lucrative indeed.
5. Digital and Remote Work (Freelancing)
There are lots of business skills that can be done as a freelancer (contractor) working remotely and traveling.
Digital skills are in high demand of course with software programming, video editing, graphic design, web design, business and social media marketing being sought after skills.
The great thing is that many of these skills can be done from anywhere with a decent internet connection, whether that’s working from home or visiting new places, which makes it a great way of making money while travelling around the world and can be flexible enough to work around family responsibilities and routines.
If you don’t feel you have the necessary skills to be a digital nomad (or digital nomad family) right away don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to upskill and train up by following free or paid courses for almost every digital skill imaginable.
Take inspiration from a number of self-taught copywriters, YouTubers, photographers and web developers.
A lot of information is readily available for free if you search for it but a good paid course can reduce the time needed to learn the skills. Just do your research before parting with any cash as some are better than others.
Spending time to learn some of these skills can put you in a good position to travel the world by yourself, as a couple or as a family while earning.
6. Travel Writing & Blogging
Blogging can seem like a natural choice when travelling the world and you enjoy travel writing. However there are both pros and cons to travel blogging. There are lots of ways to make money through travel blogging but the road is not always easy to follow and often harder than it seems to run a successful blog.
Due to the competition, even successful adventure travel writers find that most travel blogs require multiple monetization methods in order to pull in enough revenue to fund their travels.
Having said that, a blog doesn’t have to be travel related at all. You can start a blog or niche site on any topic so it’s relatively easy to get started with what you know. If you need hosting to get started we recommend Siteground or GreenGeeks.
There are multiple methods to monetize a blog such as an affiliate YouTube channel, affiliate marketing, old fashioned SEO, courses but if you can create an interesting niche or new angle for your travel blog then that can be particularly powerful.
If you have experience from traveling to remote and unusual destinations then there are tons of people who would be interested in reading well written and researched guides and articles with local knowledge. People will often visit typical travel destinations but also want to know about places off the beaten path.
You will also be more likely to rank highly in search engines with articles about more unusual and unique destinations that are not so often written about.
Starting and running a high traffic travel blog is hard work and you won’t get minted overnight. It isn’t as straightforward as some other methods on this list but you will build valuable online skills and combined with multiple monetization methods such as affiliate marketing can create a steady monthly income.
7. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate income creates a solid source of revenue for many online marketers but much like blogging, it takes time and effort to build the traffic necessary to direct towards affiliate offers.
While it can start as a trickle of income, a successful affiliate blog, YouTube channel or social media influencer can eventually make considerable income reaching into thousands of dollars per month for top affiliate marketers.
Once up and running affiliate marketing can create a steady and long-term source of income whether you’re working or traveling. However the challenge is figuring out how to put together the right solution for your visitors and emulating the top affiliates.
If you’ve already thought about affiliate marketing, want to get started quickly and ready to take a course then the options below are among the top systems that will get you ahead fast.
The [Income School system] by the guys at Project 24 has a 60 step approach to a profitable niche affiliate site and private community to help you succeed.
The [Authority Site System] from Authority Hacker is another program that can help you get from newbie to profitable site in no time.
Another great resource is Wealthy Affiliate. They offer courses, hosting and thriving online community with tons of useful information tools to help you on your affiliate journey. You can join for free and get access to limited features or go premium for just $19 a month using this link and get access to all the courses, WordPress hosting and tools.
Running your own ecommerce business can take various shapes and sizes and if set up in the right way can give you plenty of freedom to travel and explore on your own terms. You can set up your own store building a site from scratch, using WordPress, Shopify or you can sell online via platforms such as Amazon and Ebay.
There are many people who do this successfully and running your own ecommerce businesses can be very lucrative even for sole proprietors. You will need to source your products and handle customer service but you don’t necessarily have to have your own warehouse to do this. In fact many people start out small handling products themselves initially while they grow the business.
Alternatively you can use fulfillment services like Amazon FBA who will receive shipment, handle the order and send it to the customer without you having to physically do it yourself. Super handy if you’re travelling. Tip: fulfillment services like Amazon FBA can be used even if you don’t sell on Amazon.
However don’t kid yourself, this is a business like any other and whether you use one of the platforms mentioned above or create your own branded store, in order to be successful you need to treat it like a real business.
Similarly to a regular ecommerce store dropshipping can be a good way to build an online business that allows you earn an income and travel around the world. Once the necessary systems are set up, a dropshipping business can be low maintenance to maintain. However, like any business it still requires work.
In order to have a successful dropshipping ecommerce store you need sought after products and traffic. The idea of quickly setting up and selling cheap products sourced from Alibaba is competitive to the point where margins are no longer what they used to be.
However it’s still possible to set up a profitable dropshipping store in a niche with quality products and there are still many ways to do that. Of course traffic is just as important and can be done through organic SEO, social media and paid advertising.
When done right, the margins for dropshipping can be higher than some affiliate marketing and you have a lot of flexibility and control over your ecommerce store. By sourcing a product and selling directly to the customer you effectively become the middleman and that can result in a larger cut of the final sale price. When scaled this can result in significant monthly profits.
[Get started with Shopify, the leading platform for dropshipping ecommerce stores]
10. Property Rental
While this won’t be an option for everyone, if you’re a homeowner, then renting out your flat or house can be a fantastic way to earn an income while travelling to other destinations and seeing the world. If you’re in the fortunate position of owning a property then renting it out can pay for your travels instead of leaving it empty while you’re away.
If you’re planning to be gone for a while you could look at a long-term let otherwise you could rent it out on a short-term basis either through a management company, through a trusted friend or via AirBnB.
11. Travel Photography
You’re already traveling and taking tons of photos so why not earn money for something you’re doing anyway? Travel photography can be a way of earning some additional income but it’s important to keep your expectations realistic.
Professional photography is highly competitive so chances are you will not get rich overnight or sell your pics to National Geographic.
However if you have some photos that you think are really worth sharing you can pitch them to online, print magazines, newspapers or earn some money from stock photo sites.
Big name stock websites such as Adobe and Shutterstock are always looking for new photos and rely on freelancers to provide them.
In order to ensure you are taking quality photos look at the sorts of photos that get the most attention and hone your skills accordingly whether it be scenery, nature, people, etc.
Good photos are always in demand and maybe another source of income whether this is your passion or simply a way of making a little bit of extra money from the hundreds of photos you’ve taken.
Sell your photos on [Adobe Cloud] or [Shutterstock].
YouTube content creation can be an interesting way of making some additional income while traveling. There are some amazing success stories such as Lost LeBlanc or Sailing La Vagabonde with over a million subscribers however this won’t happen overnight.
However if you enjoy making videos and like the idea of vlogging your travels there’s no reason you can’t start this as a side gig to share your content and start building a following that could one day turn into something bigger.
In order to benefit from YouTube’s direct advertising you will need to have a minimum of 1000 subscribers and at least 4,000 hours of watched content per year.
While there’s a lot of competition for popular travel destinations it’s far from saturated and there are a lot of gaps for more videos. There are a lot of travel vloggers who make a comfortable sideline income and even fund their travels this way. We’d recommend combining this with other social media, blogging or writing as you build it up.
Niche locations that are Interesting to viewers can have little competition. There are some strong searches for some lesser known places and even a small channel can easily get ranked for particular search terms.
There are a lot of channels out there with forgotten videos or poorly optimized videos that are still getting thousands of views sometimes just because of a particular location name in the title of the video.
With a little SEO knowledge and reasonable video editing skills (which you can learn) you could quickly rank highly for some of these niche locations and terms. Additionally while advertising for outdoor and travel terms can have a high CPM which generally means it’s more competitive for advertisers, the benefit to you as a video creator is that you need lower views to get payouts from advertisers.
Of course like many other social media strategies, YouTube is no exception, it’s a numbers game and whether you have a few videos with thousands (or millions of views) or have a lot of videos with a lower view count, it can still add up and start earning decent money.
The great thing about YouTube is how easily accessible it is and you don’t need to be an expert with state of the art equipment and video editing software to get started. In fact a lot of travel vloggers make decent sideline income from uploading their videos with just a laptop and a GoPro, smartphone or standard camera.
13. Social Media Influencer
There are a number of people who make money from their social media presence as influencers with huge numbers of followers on platforms such as twitter, facebook, pinterest, Instagram. Some have websites and YouTube accounts as well but many survive solely via their main social media platform with a strong niche focus. This can be a great advantage to someone who is interested in travelling.
There are various ways to monetize (monetise – UK) a large social media following and as has been done with celebrities and sports people there are companies and brands that are interested in promoting their products through influencer marketing.
The bigger the following the more brands are likely to pay for you to promote their product on your channel. Rates will vary depending on the requirements, whether video, photo or just text based posts so often need to be worked out individually and terms agreed. Alternatively brand advertising and shoutouts can be purchased and sold on influencer marketing marketplaces.
However you don’t necessarily need millions of followers as brands are equally interested in smaller niche accounts with engaged followers. Sponsored posts can create a tidy side income for many travellers who will likely be using their accounts to share their travels anyway.
14. Local Seasonal Work
Seasonal work at the location in which your travelling is a time tested way of funding your long-term travels. Seasonal work can take many forms depending on the country and the season of course. Some short-term work lasting days or a few weeks can be paid cash in hand which is handy but take care to follow local regulations in order to remain above board. Other longer term paid work may require a visa or background checks when involving a contract of employment to legally work internationally.
The many options that exist in terms of seasonal work are huge and varied and depend largely on the location and industries catering to the local community. There are many countries that offer summer jobs fruit picking in rural areas, helping on farms and often hire international travellers during the harvest season due to the seasonal nature of the work.
This can be labour intensive but is often well paid so can be a great way to save up for further travel while enjoying picturesque countryside and helping the local economy. Picking Jobs is a great website to start looking for this sort of work.
Besides fruit picking jobs there are lots of other options in more urban or tourist areas. These can range from hotel, housekeeping, reception, chalet host, kitchen work, to local amenities or activities instructor (more on this below) and can include both summer (think mountains or beach watersports) or winter (think ski season) resorts.
In addition to the traditional fruit picking jobs mentioned above a great way to travel cheaply is through WWOOFing. The WWOOF organisation stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms and provides a fantastic way to live and learn while volunteering on sustainable organic farms in exchange for food and lodging.
While you won’t be earning money while doing this, it can be a great way to keep overheads low while getting to know local areas and people. The WWOOF organisation operates in many countries and you can check them out at WWOOF International.
15. Outdoor Sports, Skills and Guiding
As mentioned above activities can form the basis for paid work. Hobbies, sports and adventure skills can make for a good way to earn a sideline or full-time income. If you have a passion such as yoga, martial arts, hiking, backpacking, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, kitesurfing, kayaking, sailing, personal training or fitness coaching you could be well on your way to earning money while having a great time doing so.
These skills can be highly sought after and there are many adventurous ways to put them to good use while travelling. Types of work can range from watersports instructor, ski/snowboard instructor, outdoor tour guide, hiking guide, rafting guide and other activities instructors.
These can present great ways to use your experience and passions to earn income while teaching adults or kids new things.
16. Sailing the Seven Seas (Yachts)
While we touched upon watersports and sailing instructor jobs above another way of making money while travelling is by working on a yacht or cruise ship. You will literally be paid while travelling the world full time!
Yachts come in all shapes and sizes ranging from freight carriers to fairly basic cruisers, traditional & tall ships, racing boats to luxury high end yachts. Working on a yacht can vary and some positions such as skipper (captain) or engineer require specialist skills and experience however it is possible to start as a deckhand or housekeeping without much experience.
Working on a cruise ship can be another option with many land-based equivalent opportunities such as activities instructor, music & theatre, deckhands, restaurant servers and shop assistants.
Working conditions, size of boat and hours can vary depending on the yacht as many are privately owned and with some requiring you to be on call 24/7.
In exchange compensation is often very good with salaries generally being quite generous and many presenting tax free earnings with little to no overheads. While it’s not always as glamorous as it sounds, yacht work can give you the opportunity to live a life many people only dream of.
If you’re a serious sailor and dream of setting off on your own boat someday, this can be an excellent way to gain experience.
Additionally there are ways of documenting your sailing adventures while earning an income when combined with some of the other methods on this list (e.g. blogging or starting your own YouTube channel) and there are many keen sailors and sailing families who do just that!
17. Bartending and Restaurants
Bartending has always been a popular option while travelling since bar jobs can be found wherever bars are, and bars can be found virtually everywhere people are!
Bars and restaurants often hire due to staff turnover in seasonal areas or simply need extra staff to cover busy periods. If you can serve drinks or wait tables with a smile on your face then it’s a good way to earn while you enjoy a local scene. If you can speak the local language that will help in getting your foot in the door too.
Similarly to seasonal jobs bartending and restaurant work has been a common way for years for travellers to earn money while living and exploring a new place.
Something to be aware of is that tips can vary massively depending on country and location and culture.
In North America tips can often range from 15-25% and form a substantial chunk of your pay while in Europe tips are more modest, generally around 5-10% in restaurants but it is not always customary to tip at bars.
Other countries have their own customs depending on location but can still add up on top of your base pay.
18. International Career Move
While this may not sound as glamorous as some of the other options on this list, making an international career move is one of the most common and potentially lucrative career moves you can make.
Many people discover a new country through applying to work for an overseas company. This way of travelling slowly can take almost limitless forms and there are so many industries where you can forge an international career.
While you will typically need to work normal office hours you could apply to local companies or large corporations often hire internationally.
Many people have experienced living and working for a new company abroad and for sought after candidates these positions can provide ex-pat benefits as well such as additional perks such as accommodation, flights, tax breaks, etc.
Of course you will need to make sure you have the necessary working permits and visa’s in place before starting work but this can nevertheless be an excellent way of living and experiencing a new country.
There are always going to be hurdles to overcome but there are plenty of opportunities to earn an income while travelling. I hope this post gives you some ideas and shows you the variety of options for earning while travelling.
Some of these ways of earning will be better suited to single travellers while other options will appeal to couples or families with kids and bigger responsibilities.
For those of us who love travelling, don’t let the fear stop you, use this list for inspiration, apply your creativity and never stop dreaming!
There are an increasing number of digital nomads and families who chart their travels through blogs, YouTube and social media for the world to see in their camper van, RV or sailboat.
There are many traditional options for working and travelling and the internet provides even more opportunities of making money while travelling as a digital nomad.
While there will always be some hurdles to overcome, with the right attitude and some creative thinking anyone can do it.
Want some more inspiration…
If you fancy something a little alternative check out these Star Wars destinations you can actually travel to in real-life.