Everyone wants to make money. Some people want to travel. And all of the people who want to travel long-term want to know how to make money abroad so that they can extend their travels. Over the past 4 years, we’ve learned many ways to make money on the road and stay travelling forever. We currently sustain ourselves completely while being location independent most of the time. So how do we do it? We’ll share our secrets here, as well as plenty of other ways we’ve heard of and tried while on the road.
These aren’t methods that are going to cost you money. You don’t have to study, become certified or have 5 years experience to get into these jobs. These are 10 methods FOR ANYONE who wants to make money abroad.
“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.”
1. Au pair: This idea is a relatively new one to us but our friend, Yara, over at www.heartofavagabond.com is a master at it. An au pair is basically a nanny and there are plenty of jobs available all over the globe. Everyone could use a little help around the house and being an au pair is a great way to sustain your travels. Jobs can pay very well and while you’re working, all of your accommodation and food is usually covered. Perfect for big savings!
2. Working In Hostels: This method is becoming more and more popular amongst backpackers the world over. In most cases, travellers show up at a hostel and instead of just checking in, they offer their services and skills around the place in exchange for free accommodation and often food and wages as well! Not only is this a great way to fund your adventures, but it’s also a great way to meet new people and learn about cool new travel destinations.
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”
3. Bartending: An oldie but a goodie. There are a ton of jobs bartending around the world. It’s handy to have some bartending experience but it isn’t always obligatory. If you’d like to go the official route, check out sites like http://www.bartendingonline.com/ and start studying for your bartending certificate. If you’re just looking to make a few quick bucks, head into your favourite bar on the road and ask for a job. Be personable, social and enthusiastic and you should have no problem. Everyone can pour a cocktail. This is the perfect job for people who love hanging out at the bar every night anyway and it usually comes with good wages, decent tips and cheap booze! It’s no wonder this has always been a traveller’s favourite.
4. WWOOFing: Working on organic farms can be a very fruitful way of adding to your travel piggy-bank while on the road. WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms) is a great organization that originally started in England in 1971, but can now be found from Kenya to Kazakhstan, Australia to America and everywhere in between. Check out their website and learn how you can get started WOOFing around the world. Typically these jobs are in exchange for food and accommodation only, but they offer travellers an extremely valuable skill. Learning agriculture and organic farming can help you to disconnect from the relentless drone of the societal machine and teach you to not only sustain your travels, but to sustain yourself from the land.
“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution
5. Harvesting & Planting: Get ready to get dirty and sweaty to earn a buck at these jobs. Easily found in Australia, New Zealand, North America and parts of Europe, harvesting and planting jobs can pay a pretty penny if you work hard enough. We’ve talked to people who have left home with no money, picked fruit in Australia and funded months of travels from their efforts. In Canada, you can make a great wage planting trees, but you better get your rhythm down because you have to plant quickly to make big bucks in the forest. If you want to make money abroad, don’t overlook this type of work!
6. Freelance Writing: For people like us, who absolutely love writing and sharing our thoughts, stories and opinions with readers, freelance writing can be a great way to live a location independent lifestyle with some money in your pocket. It helps to already have a blog, which acts like your portfolio, but you don’t necessarily need one to start freelancing. Apply at places like BloggingPro Job Board and Freelance Writing Gigs where you can get paid to write online to hundreds of thousands of readers. Once you start to build up a reputation, jobs will start popping up all over the place.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou
7. Working On A Cruise Ship: This is one of the most lucrative jobs you’ll find while travelling. If you have a degree and some experience in hospitality, you should have no problem finding a job aboard one of these sea-bound giants. Degrees and experience aren’t always obligatory, but they definitely help. Cruise ships are an excellent option for those who love money and the open seas. Just ask Wandering Earl who’s funded most of his travels from the insane earnings he’s made on cruise ships. It’s no walk in the park and you will definitely have to be prepared to live at sea for a few weeks at a time, but when you’ve finished a stint at sea, you can sail away with a pocket full of cash to travel the world with.
8. Selling Photos Online: “What??! You mean all of these awesome sunset photos I’ve been taking can actually make me money?!” Well, if you have an eye for photography, a good camera and a few images to get started, you could very well subsidize your travels with income earned from selling photos. Check out sites like Shutter Stock and Smug Mug to get started, post up a bunch of unique photos and see how it goes. I once met a guy who had made enough to support a backpacking trip through Southeast Asia solely on earnings from his photos. His major tip was to be original and have a wide selection in your online portfolio. For sure you’ll be taking photos while travelling anyway, so why not try’n sell a few?
9. Translation / Editorial Jobs: Are you bilingual or at least good at correcting mistakes in your native language? Check local newspapers around the world and you’ll almost always find job postings for translation and editing. Although most jobs are looking for native English speakers, there are plenty of places that will hire you so long as you have a good grasp on written English and English grammar. These jobs aren’t just for English speakers though, there are multilingual newspapers & magazines in almost every country and they often look for proof-readers and editors as well.
10. Teach Teach Teach: Do you know how to speak a language? Teach it. But, that’s not the only thing you can teach abroad. Do you know how to dance? Teach it. Do you know how to play an instrument? Teach it. Do you know how to take photos? Teach it. Literally any skill can be taught. Arrive in a country, lay down some roots for a few days and post up flyers explaining your area of expertise, your cost, availability and why you’re the best person to teach that particular skill. Add a local phone number and a translation in the local language (hire the guy who went with method #9) and wait for the calls to start coming in. You’d be surprised how many people are keen to learn a new skill, no matter where you are in the world.
“Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.”
So there you have it. 10 things that ANYONE can do to make money abroad. You don’t need to have a PHD, MBA or TEFL to make money abroad. The world is becoming more and more facilitating for those who want to travel and work location independent. If you’re dreaming of travel but always use the excuse “I just don’t have the money” then you should already be packing your bags and booking your ticket after reading this article.
There’s nothing stopping you from travelling the world, you just have to be creative and take the leap into the unknown. The world is always there to provide if you’re following a path that makes you happy. These 10 methods should be enough to get you started, after that… who knows where the road will take you.
Surely these aren’t the only ways to make money abroad… How do you sustain a life of travel? Please share with us below!