I am constantly asked the following questions since I started my full-time traveller digital nomad lifestyle.
Can you actually get paid to travel?
How can you travel full time for a living?
For many of us, earning money travelling is the ultimate life goal. What could be better than being paid to explore new countries, cultures and cuisines? Although this might seem like a fantasy, it’s now easier than ever before to earn money while travelling, meaning that you can say goodbye to the 9-5 and make travel your way of life. Whether you want to teach English abroad, go WWOOFing, or volunteer for an international charity, there’s something for everyone.
There are many reasons why you might want to earn money while travelling. Perhaps you want to travel for a long period of time, and are worried about how to meet the costs? Maybe you need to earn a few extra pennies to afford those once-in-a-lifetime experiences on your gap year? Or perhaps you’re looking for a way to make travelling your job, for the long term.
The good news is that there are now more opportunities than ever to earn money while you’re on the road. Take a look at my handy guide for some ideas.
Ways on how to make money while on vacation – 5 Best Travel Jobs
1. Teach the English Language Abroad
If you’re a native English speaker, the chances are you’ll be able to find a job just about anywhere. With English as the global lingua franca, many non-native speakers are anxious to improve their command of the language. It’s possible to earn a considerable amount of money tutoring English in all kinds of places around the world.
Teaching English abroad is immensely rewarding, allowing you to build up connections with students and marvel as they progress. It’s also a great experience and can improve your confidence and allow you to develop new skills. You’ll need to think on your feet and be creative – it’s a great professional challenge.
Teaching jobs vary from country to country. The rate of pay can be low in some places, but in most cases, is more than enough to live on. It might even be possible to save money if you’re living in a country where your daily expenses are low. You may be able to command higher rates with a TEFL certification. This course will prepare you to teach English as a foreign language and is a great asset to anyone seeking to earn money as a teacher while travelling.
You may not even need to teach in the country you’re travelling in. Many agencies now organise online tutoring in a virtual classroom, which means that this is a job you can do from anywhere in the world. All you need is a laptop, a webcam and a good internet connection.
2. WWOOFing what?
WWOOFing stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It offers an ideal way to work your way around some of the most beautiful parts of the world without emptying your wallet. WWOOF publishes a list of organic farms and smallholdings that need manual workers. Hosts and workers agree on a deal that usually involves free food and board in return for a set number of days’ labour.
You might find yourself picking grapes in the north of New Zealand, learning to make cheese in Italy, herding cattle on a ranch in Patagonia, or working the fields in remote parts of India. WWOOFing experiences offer a way to learn skills, meet people from all walks of life, and immerse yourself in the culture of the country you are visiting. If you want to go further afield, but are worried about the costs, then WWOOFing offers a great way to see those far-flung destinations you’ve always wanted to visit.
3. The Work and Travel Program ( US/ New Zealand and Beyond)
For a slightly longer trip, with better financial prospects, Work and Travel Programs offer an excellent way to see the world and earn at the same time. These programs typically offer a 12-month working visa for young people to allow them to travel abroad to Europe, the USA, Canada, New Zealand or even Japan.
This can be a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, experience life in another country, and earn money at the same time. Under the Work and Travel Programs, a wide range of jobs are on offer, so you’re sure to find something that meets your skillset.
4. Interning/ Overseas Internship Programmes
If you’re a student or recent graduate and looking for work experience, then interning may be the option for you. There’s no need to confine your search for summer internships to gloomy offices in your home country. You’re much more likely to stand out from the crowd if you have experience working in a glamorous foreign location.
Many international companies offer internships specifically English speakers, so there’s no need to worry if your other language skills aren’t up to par. Interning abroad offers you much more than some good work experience to boost that CV. You will get to experience life living and working in a foreign country, discovering a new city and a different culture.
5. Volunteer or Social Work
While volunteering offers many non-tangible benefits, it’s not a great way to pay the bills. However, volunteering opportunities abroad often come with some perks, such as free lodging and food. As a result this is a wonderful way to travel someplace new, and help others at the same time.
In essence, this type of experience is similar to WWOOFing, but with a greater range of activities on offer. Teach English to refugees, assist with health care in some of the world’s poorest places, or work on clean-up operations with environmental charities. This way, you can live out the dream of working abroad whilst also giving something back.
Most Important – Play To Your Strengths and Never Stop Growing your Expertise
The world of work has changed radically over the past decade, and it’s becoming easier than ever to make your office portable. If you’ve got a flair for writing, start a travel blog! If you’re a photographer then get snapping and submit your images to stock agencies. If you know how to code, then start your own freelance business from your beach-hut.
Almost any job can now be done with little more than a laptop and an internet connection. Think about your own skills and how you could put them to use on the road, and that elusive dream of earning money travelling might become a reality sooner than you think.
As a favourite inspiring travel saying goes, “I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way”.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and see the world!