11 ways to make money while traveling

Gabriela Peratello

Having the money to travel for as long as you like may seem like a dream — but for many people it’s a reality.

Even without a huge bank balance, you can travel and earn money in a multitude of ways. From getting a location independent job, backpacking and picking up casual work, to building a travel industry career, there are options out there.

Read on for our top ways to make money while traveling.

📑 Table of Contents

We’ll also introduce the Wise Account — the smartest way to manage your money for less whilst on the road.

Read more about Wise

What are your options to make money while traveling?

Before we get into the details, let’s look at some key options available to anyone looking to travel and earn at the same time.

Explore what you already have

Chances are you’ve accumulated a bunch of stuff which you can’t fit into your backpack for your trip. Why not have it make you money while you’re on the road?

The sharing economy has grown enormously over the past few years, so there are now websites and apps to allow you to rent out everything from your car or home, to your designer dresses, your power tools and your bike. Check out these options — and have a local search wherever you are to find more.

Earning a passive income from stuff you’d not use anyway — while you get on with living the travel dream.

Get creative: make money on the road

Plenty of people earn through casual and temporary jobs while they move around. Some of the opportunities here aren’t strictly legal everywhere you might choose to visit — and you might need a different visa or permit to earn in some places. Check out the details for your destination — and consider:

  • Seasonal fruit picking or farming
  • Street performances or busking
  • Ski instructor or chalet guide for a season
  • Tour guide
  • Casual bar or hostel work

Stay in one place for a while, earn some cash — and you’re good to move on.

Try working remotely online

If you have skills in a field that can be neatly pivoted to remote working, you’re onto a good thing. But even if you don’t, the broad range of marketplace sites for freelance gigs may turn up something you can do without specific qualifications or experience. Check out sites like Fiverr and Upwork for gigs like:

  • Virtual assistant positions
  • Voice overs
  • Proofreading
  • Researching and creating presentations

List out all the services you can offer, through your specific professional background or your personal skills and interests. If there’s not a perfect, full time remote job out there to suit you, there’s probably some temporary options if you look hard enough.

Travel as part of your job

A final option is to get a job which will automatically involve travel in one shape or another. Consider these:

  • Flight attendant or pilot
  • Cruise ship or yacht crew
  • Tour guide
  • International school teacher

Learn more about getting a travel job with this handy guide.

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11 ways to make money while traveling

Let’s look at some specific options which could be useful for anyone looking to earn enough to keep up the travel lifestyle.

1. Teach English

Teaching English could mean anything from a full time, permanent career, to a remote job teaching kids online as you travel, to picking up some temporary cover shifts to earn some spending money.

Being a high level or native English speaker is enough for this in some parts of the world — but having an appropriate TEFL qualification will get you further and give you the skills you need to feel comfortable teaching.

You’ll be able to choose to teach in a range of formats and age groups — from kindergarteners to business professionals and everything in between.

Learn more about teaching English abroad

2. Freelance remotely

Depending on your skills and interests you may be able to get freelance work from your own client base, or dip in and out of jobs through a marketplace platform. Freelance remote working lends itself to a broad range of skills, from design, web and mobile development, content and copywriting, and even accountancy.

Being a freelancer means you can control your own working hours and schedule — but it does also mean you’ll be responsible for making sure you’re legally entitled to work wherever you are, and sorting out your own taxes.

Think about how your skills and experience might work in an online context, and how you could market yourself to clients. If you’re not sure, have a look at the projects and freelancer profiles listed on popular marketplace platforms like Fiverr or Upwork to get some ideas.

3. Earn from a blog

Travel blogging may be the obvious choice here, but you can build and monetize a blog on any topic that interests you. It’s not easy, and it’s not quick — but it can be a credible source of income once you have a decent following. Think about revenue routes like:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Creating and selling online courses
  • Selling linked ebooks
  • Offering premium subscriptions
  • Become an influencer and sell sponsored posts

And while blogging may have been the original place to earn in this way, vlogging, or using other social sites can be equally successful if you know your market.

💱 Getting paid in another currency?
  • Get receiving accounts for 9 major world currencies, to get paid like a local wherever you are

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4. Sell your photos

If you have an eye for a photo there’s money to be made — even if you’re not traveling with your best camera.

Choices include selling your photos to stock agencies for royalty fees — this can be a neat way to earn a small passive income as you travel. Or, turn your travel photos into postcards or books and sell physical products in person or through an online store.

Finally, if you’re skilled at portrait pictures, you can sell portrait packages whenever you’re in a place for a while — from family photos to professional headshots, there’s a worldwide demand for talented photographers.

5. Earn passive income online

Earning passive online income is a very smart way to pay for your travels — sadly it’s not an easy quick fix.

To be able to earn passive income you’ll usually have to invest quite a bit of time setting up arrangements so you’re able to step away and have your business — more or less — manage itself while you move. However, with time and effort, it can work.

Consider drop shipping businesses, or if you’re a creator you could sell physical products through sites like Redbubble, or digital products through a platform like Etsy, with little to no ongoing effort.

6. Create events while you travel

This option would work best for people who intend to settle in one place for a few weeks or months at a time — although with some creativity it could also work online.

If you’re the type to bring people together, and enjoy socialising, why not create events which serve the people around you — sell tickets in the community you’re staying in, and have fun at the same time.

Think speed dating, networking, supper clubs, beer or wine tasting or even niche interest tours. Depending on your preferences you could go it alone here, and set up and market your products independently, or use a provider like Airbnb experiences to help get you in front of prospective buyers.

7. Translate

If you can speak a second language, there will be opportunities to find translation work to fit in with your travel lifestyle. If you’re constantly on the move you could consider developing a translation business idea or working through freelance platforms.

By taking on translations of documents or written works you’ll often be able to work to your own schedule, without needing to worry about time zone differences. If you’ll be in the same place for a while, you’ll also be able to hunt out live translation gigs which are often better paid.

If you’re able to niche down in a specific area — medical translation, technical documents, or live court translations, you’ll be able to increase your earning potential exponentially.

8. Make to sell

Creative types: you don’t need to stop because you’re on the move. Get your fix making art, jewellery, clothing or whatever you’re good at, and sell items to fund your travel.

This route works best when you’re able to set down some roots for a few weeks or months, to give you the time to make items and find outlets to sell in. However, it can be a smart and relatively easy way to earn enough cash to move on to your next destination if you’re good enough.

You’ll find craft fairs or seasonal markets all around the world, and you can also consider connecting with local independent stores to see if they’ll sell your items.

9. Teach a skill you have

Teaching English isn’t the only option — both in person and online skills classes can also work well, while tying into a travel lifestyle. In person classes may include things like swimming, surfing or diving — or you could look for online and in person options teaching yoga, writing, music, foreign languages, business skills, internet marketing, meditation or even a craft you’re good at.

If you’re staying in one place for a while you may be able to set up your classes in person yourself, or look for cover opportunities if you teach a skill that’s popular in the area. Teaching yoga is a great example of an in demand choice that can see people with the right qualifications teach their way around the world.

10. Model

Modeling is another option which can be a supremely portable way of making money. Whether you’re life modeling for an art class, posing for stock photos or helping promote a local brand, there are often short term gigs for people with modeling experience and credentials.

Tap into local social networks and look online for opportunities. If you’re traveling in a region where you have a unique look compared to the majority of the local population, you may be in even bigger demand.

11. Monetize your experience with consulting

Depending on your experience and background you may be able to earn an even higher than average income by launching a consulting career. This could be short or long term, and either online or in person. In any case you’d need to be able to describe and sell your niche skills, and connect with clients.

However, your niche could be anything from helping prospective uni students write an application or prepare for an entrance interview, to teaching bars how best to upsell to premium drinks, to helping startups write pitches or charities prepare funding bids.

There’s really a lot of space in this field if you have skills other people value and will pay big bucks for.

Has this got you thinking about turning your dream of traveling full time into a reality? It’s not an easy journey, but many people have proved it can be done. You’ll find no end of inspiring stories online, and active communities for full time travelers you can connect with to learn more.

Use this guide as a starting point as you launch your new chapter — and don’t forget to get the Wise Account ahead of time, to manage your money, and save on fees, as you travel.

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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