A Few Ideas to Earn a Living While Traveling
Where you are in the world will directly affect how much money you can make. If you are in a country that is very inexpensive to live in, such as Indonesia, it’s probably best to sell to tourists.
Making jewelry and trying to sell it in China for a profit is like selling ice to Eskimos. It’s a hard sell. You really need to know your location, what sells, and what kind of skills you may have, that others in the region either don’t have or they are in demand.
Below are some ideas that may help you work before, during or after your travels. Since everyone has different desires, skills, and ambitions, these are just a few ideas you may be able to use, so you can earn money while traveling.
If you make money on the road, you may still be responsible for income taxes in the state where you reside or elsewhere. Always check the state income tax laws regarding your responsibilities.
Camping to Save Money
You may not make the big bucks here, but you will definitely save some money and live in some amazing locations. Try sites like SnagAJob, Workamper News, NPS Volunteers in Parks, KOA Campgrounds Work Kamper Program, Workers On Wheels, CoolWorks Seasonal Jobs, Camp Host Jobs, and National Forests Job Opportunities
A good friend of mine, Brent Broza started taking surf photos and is now traveling the world taking photos and earning a living. Brent is very successful because he uses social media to network with his fans and he actually has giveaways whenever he can. He shows one of his pictures in a local area and the first person that gets to that location, gets the photo. He also takes photographs for bands like Jack Johnson, Blink182, Pennywise, and many more.
Do you have a flair to capture the moment with words? If you haven’t published anything yet, start writing articles on subjects you feel passionate about. Find your niche. As you progress, you can submit your articles to a variety of sources and you may get published. If you’re an ex-pat, write expatriate-type articles for EscapeArtist.com or search the internet for other types of online magazines who publish similar material. Typically, this isn’t a big moneymaker, until you have a following, but you gotta start somewhere.
Astronomer for the Tourists
Tell people about the night sky – charge a small fee. It is relatively easy to learn the local night sky with apps. Tourists love to engage in educational fun and will tip well if you have provided an enjoyable evening.
If you have a talent and can carve, this may be something you can do worldwide. All you need are a few tools. Network with local farmers or find somewhere where you can get your wood for free and your skill can lead to some good profits since your overhead will be so low.
If you have a laptop and can find a skill that will allow you to freelance, you can travel anywhere in the world as long as you have internet. You really need to check into the local WiFi market to ensure it is cost beneficial, as some countries gouge you on internet connection. Some of the best freelance companies are Upwork, Fiverr, Crowdsite, Freelancer, and more.
My brother went to construction school when he was in his early 20’s and that has served him well over his entire career. He is an amazing craftsman and he can travel anywhere and create killer tile art and build homes. He eventually was offered a job building Hollywood movie sets.
Marine surveyors are skilled at looking and identifying boat problems.
They can travel with an unusual skill that is in high demand. Visit this website to learn more. www.marinesurvey.org
Solo or Band Musician With a Work Visa
One of my good friends lives in La Paz, Mexico (on a boat), and uses his amazing talent as a guitarist to provide for his lifestyle. He has obtained a work visa and book gigs as a solo guitarist or working with bands. This is also a great way to integrate into the local community since most people love music in one form or another.
Voice Over Artist
This is a great option for anyone who wants to get paid while on the road. You can literally start with a good iPhone and a quiet place, like a closet. During our travels, Melissa created all her voice-overs for our videos in a small closet. You can also convert a small space in an RV or boat. Here is a link to a great voice acting coach who got started while traveling in her RV. She knew nothing about this field but is now making over $10,000 a month as a very successful voice actor, after only a few years. Voice Acting Coach. Melissa now has her own location independent voice-over company, where she can work on the road from any location.
If you can speak English well enough, you can teach English. There are many job opportunities around the world. Some require you to be certified, while others don’t. It really helps if you can pick up the local language easily too. You can sometimes get a special work visa if you have a skill in teaching English or as a nurse. Get the Book and try eslcafe.com
I’ve owned a timeshare for over 18 years now and guess what? Someone sold it to me. I’m sure they had some sales savvy and new all the great statistics behind owning a timeshare (something you can learn on the job) but all the salesperson needed to know, was how to speak English, have some sales background, and the ability to walk around the grounds and show me the awesome amenities and rooms. Most timeshares will be in the hot spots of Mexico, Thailand, Europe, and all across the United States. Try Marriott Vacation Club to see if you can land a job.
Work at a Resort
If you speak the native language and your own language or more, you may land a job as a front desk attendant or work in the beach shack or somewhere else that can earn your tips. Each time I’ve lived in Hawaii, I could land a job in a day or two, easily. Research the location where you want to work and start networking before you depart.
Work in a Hostel
Live and work at the same place. Hostels are usually looking for someone to clean, work the front desk, or just assist the management in doing some of the easier tasks around the hostel. Sometimes you get paid and most often you get a free place to stay as well. Another plus, is you get to meet a lot of great people who are traveling, just like you.
Become an Actor Overseas
While I personally haven’t done this, I hear it is pretty easy to get a gig in acting while in a foreign area like India or even the USA. Background actors (extras) can get up to $115 a day. There is a lot of sitting around and waiting, but it may be worth it and you can get on the big screen. Make a quick headshot and save it online with all your stats, so you can download it from anywhere in the world. You never know when a casting agent will come calling. Beware of scams though, they are everywhere in this industry. Try Backstage or Google “extra casting”. Our friend Gary, hired on with Discovery Channel and traveled to Brazil and Africa on Naked and Afraid to carry his message, “Consume as Little as Possible”.
Working the ranch can be hard but rewarding. There are a variety of things you can do, such as picking fruit, build fences, load hay, and other tasks that the rancher may want you to do. If you’re good, they may even have a place for you to sleep, so they can keep you on for a while. Ranch Work is a great place to start.
There are a lot of ways to make money doing this, but you will need to start a long time before you begin your travels and get a great base of readers. It’s a simple Google Search to find out the best ways to make money. You don’t have to blog about travel, but definitely blog what you’re passionate about since you’ll be writing quite often to keep things fresh and updated.
I have a couple of websites that cost me a little bit of money upfront to begin, and over the years, they have made me a nice bit of extra income. It may take a little bit of time to get the revenue stream going, but once it is, you sit back and cash the checks. Two affiliate sites I use are: Rakuten Marketing and Commission Junction
Stock Market Day Trader
I’m going to caution you upfront since this is an eBook on making money, Day Trading may not be for everyone and you actually risk losing more money than making. The benefit though is, if you’re good at it, you can do it from anywhere on the planet, or 35,000 feet up, thanks to Wi-Fi on the airlines.
Here’s an Introduction to Day Trading.
House Sitter and/or Dog Sitter
Imagine traveling the world and never having to pay rent or a mortgage. Now you can, with great sites like trustedhousesitters, housecarers and luxuryhousesitting among others. You will have to register and it really helps to have a few trusted references. If you want to volunteer in exchange for a place to stay, try Help Exchange.
Find a place where vagabonds or long term travelers hang out and offer to cut their hair for a reasonable price.
Of course, you need to have the skills and tools to do this and pretty soon, you’ll have, “word of mouth” advertising bring tons of customers. Melissa has been cutting my hair for over two years now and we’ve saved hundreds of dollars. In the US, you will need a license.
Go to places where people are stressed, have been on a long tour or have been on the road too long. Ensure you have all the tools necessary like oil, towels, music, and a relaxing area to do a massage. Be careful of laws and licenses, since in some areas you need to have a license to massage.
You can take skills with you to most places in the world. You should really know how to make all the basic drinks and look to learn some of the local drinks as well. Make great tips and enjoy, since the majority of tips are in the form of cash. If you’re not skilled but you are dynamic and outgoing, many bars will hire you as a bar-back first, so you can learn the ropes and eventually move up to a bartender, where you rake in the cash!
Restaurant Server, Bus Staff or Host(ess)
The best thing about working in restaurants is usually getting one meal for every shift you work. I always knew I could count on a good quality meal whenever I worked at a restaurant. If you work hard, you will reap the rewards with good cash tips. Working in restaurants for me was the best since I got to play all day, work the night shift with people that became my friends, and have a few drinks after work. Good times.
Think everyone already has a website? You’d be amazed that a lot of small companies overseas still don’t have a website or if they do, it’s so outdated or just plain bad. This is easily a job you can do if you have a laptop or use their computer. Once you have one or two happy customers, ask them for referrals and you could be making some good quick money.
Au Pair and Caregiving
With this job you usually get room and board and a weekly paycheck in exchange for watching your employer’s children. There are great websites such as AuPairInt and Care.com. You can also find traveling Au Pair jobs where the parents travel and need someone to watch the kids while they do their business meetings.
I have been surfing for over 30 some years, so I would feel confident teaching others to surf and you could too. I recently met a young woman in Alaska, who didn’t know how to surf, but landed a surfing instructor job in Costa Rica, just because she, herself, learned the basics and her outgoing attitude landed her the job.
My friend Matthew encouraged me to become a Surf Instructor volunteer for Urban Surf 4 Kids, and I love it.
Scuba Diving Instructor/Divemaster
You have to be certified and carry insurance to be either, but the benefits are, that you can land a job in almost any dive destination in the world. See the story in this book about how being a PADI Divemaster allowed me to live in paradise, get airfare there and back, and get paid to do it. Check out PADI.com, SSI or NAUI for more information. Other scuba related jobs could be: freeing anchors, scrubbing boat bottoms, retrieving lost valuables, etc.
Don’t let all of those lessons playing guitar or drums go to waste. People the world over are street performers. In the United States, it’s most likely that you will need a local permit from the government to do this without any hassle, so check into what you may need to do overseas before you start your performance. Your performance is only limited to your imagination. I have seen a full-blown cat circus in Key West, dressed up characters such as Batman in Hollywood, and even a guy that hides behind a bush and scares people in San Francisco. You can sing, do magic, tell jokes, take pictures with tourists, dance, or anything else you think people may offer money to see. Beware though, some other performers are territorial and some authorities may not see your value.
Volunteer with the Locals
I was walking down the beach with some friends in Fiji and saw a group of Fijians making a long palm frond net. We didn’t know what it was, so we went down and started talking with them. They told us the whole village was coming down to the beach to begin their annual fish harvest. We volunteered to help and the village chief told us where to hold the net. I really didn’t know what I was getting into, since it took over a few hours in the direct sun to finish the job. As the tide dropped, we slowly closed in the circle and pushed all the fish towards a center point. When we all were within about thirty feet of each other, the fish were in a tight ball. The elders dropped some kava in the water to confuse and slow the fish. The villagers simply started spearing the fish and throwing them into bags. The elders said they could get up to a ton of fish in one day and sell it at the market. The money they made, would go to the village. The elders asked us to stay with them in the village and eat heartily. We were just happy to help, but if we wanted, we would have been set up.
When I was a kid, I had a few friends that were models. They were average looking kids, but they got paid to fly all around the world modeling clothes and much more. Beware of phony modeling agencies, since they are a dime a dozen. However, if you market yourself correctly, you can land a modeling job or two. Of course, there are a variety of modeling jobs: Promotional model, spokes-model, trade show model, and so on. Start here to learn more – Backstage.
If something you’re doing is newsworthy, send out a press release or contact the local media. When doing press releases, we usually use 24-7 PressRelease or eReleases. They have some great options and it is really easy to submit. Ensure you tell a really good story and the story is something that people or the press will get some value from. Use Grammarly to ensure you are formatting your sentences correctly. Melissa is amazing at networking with the local media and she has been on the news numerous times. She uses her background as a news anchor and reporter and knows what questions to ask and answer. This is really when you have to market yourself and get your info out to the masses!
Drive RV's and See America
Have you ever driven by an RV dealership and saw the ocean of RV’s sitting in the lot? Did you ever think, how did they all get there? Well, someone just like you drove them there. If they could, so can you. Check out these sites to see how you can see the country and possibly get paid good money to do so. RV Transport and other sites can help you to get started. WikiHow has a good overview too.
Other Work Ideas
Tattoo or Permanent Makeup Artist
Teach Yoga, Tai Chi, Martial Arts, or similar physical classes
Ski, Snowboard, Climbing Instructor
Boat maintenance, detailing, cleaning, varnishing, waxing
Teaching medical skills
Teaching yoga or karate
Computer setup, software, or repair
Selling handmade fishing lures
Selling fresh baked goods
The list is endless. It is all based on your creativity and drive.