Feb 2, 2021

How to Make Money While Traveling: 31 Ideas for Beginners


f there’s one takeaway I have from 2020, it is that working remotely is by no means a ridiculous idea. In fact, I think it will soon become the norm for white-collar professions. In 2020, we saw a giant shift towards working from home. A Stanford Economist stated in June 2020 that approximately 43% of the US workforce was working at home full-time. So, if we are moving towards a world where this is the norm, then what exactly is stopping us from working while traveling? In my opinion - absolutely nothing. The main thing keeping people working from home instead of on the road is a lack of creativity. In order to help stimulate your imagination, we have written this article to help you discover how to make money while traveling. 

It’s important to note that this article is meant to serve as a starting point, not as a destination. Since we do not know about your individual circumstances or skills, you should always do your own research before getting involved with any type of employment or opportunity. That being said, our research indicates that the opportunities listed in this article are viable methods of earning money while traveling.

We have divided the list into the following four different categories. 

  1. Entrepreneurial Methods (Working for yourself)
  2. Remote Working Jobs (Working for 'home')
  3. Jobs That Require Travel (Travelling with work)
  4. Expat Jobs (Working at your destination)

Before we cover the ideas for each category, we will give you an overview of the category itself to provide maximum clarity. 

How to Make Money While Traveling

Entrepreneurship (Working For Yourself):

The ideas in this category can typically be done with minimal equipment from anywhere in the world. However, these ideas take some entrepreneurial spirit. You will get paid for results, not for showing up. But, if you execute them correctly, they will be some of the highest-paying options on this list. These options are my favorite if you are wondering how to make money while traveling.

#1 - Dropshipping

If you're interested in dropshipping, then make sure to check out DropCommerce!

Dropshipping can be a highly profitable way to make money while traveling. In fact, it is what our business, DropCommerce, focuses on. Dropshipping entails marketing a product online, and when a customer places an order, the dropshipper (you) sources the products from suppliers. Rather than holding any inventory, the dropshipper has the supplier send it directly to the customer. For more information, check out our article What Is Dropshipping? The Ultimate Overview.

#2 - Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a business model where you use your source of traffic (website, youtube channel, podcast, etc.) to send interested traffic to a product or service. If the people you referred purchase something, the product/service owner gives you a cut of the revenue. We talk more about affiliate marketing in our former blog article "Monetize Your Website: 4 Effective Methods".

#3 - Print-on-Demand

Want to know how to make money while traveling? Three words: print on demand.

Print-on-demand is a business model where you create designs for products such as t-shirts, mugs, jewelry, or anything else. You then market those designs to interested customers (e.g. selling a dog t-shirt to dog lovers), and once a design is purchased, it is then printed on the product and shipped to the customer. This way, you don't have to purchase any inventory. There are a few methods to do this, and you don't necessarily have to do the marketing or own your own online store. For more information, see this article.

#4 - Podcasting

Podcasting can be a great way to make money while traveling. If you have a subject that you want to talk about, and you can build an audience, then you can make a great living through podcasting. All you really need is a microphone, a computer, and a quiet environment. You can monetize it through licensing (i.e. hosting it on Spotify/Apple), affiliate marketing (sending listeners to certain products/services), or sponsorships (e.g. "this episode is brought to you by..").

#5 - Online Course Creation

Online course creation is a great way to make money while traveling because it is largely passive.

If you have a skill that you are pretty good at, then this might be a good option for you. People want to learn, and they are often willing to pay money for it. If you can create an online course that teaches them something valuable, then you can host it on platforms like Udemy. You don't necessarily need to be the best in the world either, since you can target your classes towards beginners.

#6 - Writing

If you're a good writer, then writing a book or ebook is always a viable option. While this be a large commitment (depending on the length of the book) it can also provide you with a great, mostly-passive income. Your writings will live on forever, and if you are selling ebooks, you don't have to print or ship anything. Best of all, it is completely location-independent. You might not even need an internet connection.

#7 - Blogging

Blogging can be a good way to build an audience, and it can be done from anywhere.

Blogging is a bit different than writing, but it is still a viable source of income. As a blogger you can start a website centered around your writing, and monetize it the same way you would monetize a podcast or youtube video - affiliate marketing and sponsorships. You can embed ads, you can direct traffic to affiliate marketing links, or you can take money for sponsored articles.

#8 - Youtube Content Creation

If you are an entertaining person, then Youtube might be where you belong. Youtube is democratizing media. Anyone can start their own channel. You can seek to educate, problem-solve, or just entertain. All three are viable options and can provide you with a significant income if executed properly. It's also a great way to create an audience that you can use to drive traffic to your other businesses (websites, blogs, etc.).

#9 - Photography Licensing

If you're a photographer, or thinking about becoming one, then this might be a good option for you. Your pictures can be valuable!

Okay, let's say you would prefer to be behind the camera instead of being in front of it. In that case, you can license your photography and videos. Content creators often rely on third-party material to fill in their pieces, and they turn to marketplaces such as 500px or Alamy to find material. If they choose your photo, then you'll receive a % of the cut. And, once your photos are out there, you can sit back and collect the royalties without putting in any more work.

Digital Nomad Jobs (Working Remotely):

It's perfectly normal to wonder how to make money while traveling. But, not everybody wants to travel forever, and some people would rather know how to make money while having the option of traveling. The ideas in this category involve skills that can be applied to projects of all kinds. You can either work for a company as an employee, or you can keep your options open by working as a freelancer.

#10 - Web Design

Web design involves designing and re-vamping websites. This can either be for a project with a deadline, or an ongoing process of keeping the website up-to-date. The barriers to entry in this field have been lowered with the emergence of content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and Shopify. Nowadays, you can get away with having minimal knowledge of code, and you can take web development gigs from all across the world.

#11 - Graphic Design

Want to know how to make money while traveling? Graphic design work is always available, and often for ongoing relationships

Almost every business needs design work. I'm talking about logos, merchandise, infographics, social media content, and even products. Some business owners don't want to learn how to use Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. It's too much of a hassle for them, and they would rather pay someone to do it for them. That someone can be you!

#12 - Virtual Assistance

A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a freelancer that assists a business or entrepreneur with various administrative tasks. They can be related to customer service, sales, account management, data entry, or anything else they might need a hand with. These jobs can be done from anywhere, so long as you have the equipment you need with you.

#13 - Programming

While not every business will feel comfortable having their programmers on the road, some will. This is perfect for freelancing.

Programming is another job that is perfect for taking on the road. It is relatively easy to find jobs or freelance opportunities that will allow you to work remotely. The languages are fairly universal, and the skills are highly in demand.

#14 - Consulting

If you are a knowledgeable professional, then you might be able to score a freelancing job as a consultant. Businesses with problems are often willing to pay outsiders to help solve them, and once again, this can likely be done from anywhere with a computer and internet connection.

#15 - Video Editing

Do you know how to edit together videos to make them more entertaining and captivating? If so, why not get paid to do it?

Video editing is another industry that is on the rise. There are millions of people creating video content for Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, and their own websites. Making a nice, polished video can be tough if you lack the experience necessary. This leaves the door open for video editors to make a nice living by helping out.

#16 - Digital Marketing

Digital marketing encompasses nearly any kind of marketing that is done online. If you have experience with search engine marketing, cost-per-click marketing, or copywriting, then this might be a great gig for you. You can do it from anywhere, and there is no shortage of companies to work with.

#17 - Content Marketing

Wondering how to make money while traveling? Content marketing is a great option for those with a marketing or communications background.

Content marketing is similar to digital marketing, but it focuses on creating content that will be used to increase traffic and sales for a business. This refers to the creation and marketing of things like blogs, newsletters, webinars, and ebooks. This content is then used in the sales process of a company, and should help them increase their revenues.

Jobs That Require Travel:

If you are wondering how to make money while traveling, then one of the safest options will be to find a job that encourages travel. The ideas in this category don't support travel - they require it. These are options that keep you on the road by definition.

#18 - Pilot

Obviously, pilots need to travel. And, while this might not be the best time to get into it, becoming a pilot can be provide you with a steady income while you travel the world.

#19 - Flight Attendant

Becoming a flight attendant might be difficult in the post-COVID economy, but it's one of the most basic ways to make money while traveling.

Wherever pilots go, flight attendants usually go with them. If you want to travel just as much as a pilot does, without any of the pressure of piloting a large passenger aircraft, then becoming a flight attendant is a solid option. However, you might want to wait a few years for the airline industry to bounce back before you get involved.

#20 - Boat Crew Member

This isn't a great option for those who get sea-sickness, but if you have your sea legs then it might be a good option for you. You can get paid to be a crew member on a small passenger ship. To learn more about this, check out FindACrew, YaCrew, or Bluewater Yachting.

#21 - Cruise Ship Worker

Want to know how to make money while traveling? Cruise ships are a great option, and by all accounts, they can be a lot of fun too!

If you enjoyed the idea of working on a ship, but would rather take your chances on something a bit bigger, then you can consider working on a cruise ship. Each cruise ship has hundreds of employees, so there are a ton of different positions that might interest you. Just note that the cruise industry was hit hard in 2020, and it might require a year or two of recovery before they start hiring again.

Expat Jobs (Live & Travel Abroad):

The ideas in this category are for people who are looking to work when they've arrived at their destination. These options generally don't allow for a change of location once the employment has been established. Also, all of these options will generally designate you as a contracted freelancer rather than an employee.

#22 - Working in a Hostel

If you've ever been to a hostel, you'll know that a majority of the people working at hostels are travelers themselves. This is because many hostels are willing to provide accommodation, food, and often a small wage to travelers that are willing to work. If you're looking to get started, then check out Hostel Jobs, Help Stay, or World Packers.

#23 - Au Pair

If you enjoy working with children, then you might also be interested in becoming an Au Pair. An Au Pair is essentially a foreign babysitter that busy parents hire to take care of their children. This is especially desirable if you are bilingual because well-established families want you to help their children learn another language. You can get started by browsing AuPair, Go Overseas, or Au Pair World for recent openings.

#24 - Tour Guide

Tourists need tour guides who speak their language, which makes it a great gig for people who are travelling. You can either sign on with a local tour company, or just start working as a freelancer. It doesn't require any special skills or credentials, but you might want to make sure you know what you are talking about before you start hosting tours.

#25 - Teaching English

Teaching is a good option for those with a strong academic background. Especially if you enjoy working with kids!

Teaching English is another option that is available if you are wondering how to make money while traveling. You might be required to have a TEFL certificate (Teach English as a Foreign Language) certificate, but it varies by platform. This can be done either online or in-person. If you're looking to get started with teaching English online, then check out VIPKid or Skooli. If you're looking to teach English in person, then check out Dave's ESL Café. There are hundreds of jobs available in China, South Korea, and the rest of Asia.

#26 - Bartending

Bartending is a fairly simple option available for travelers. Once you arrive in a new city, you can ask around at the local bars and hostels to see if they know of any positions available for foreigners. Some bars and hostels like to hire foreign bartenders because they speak another language, satisfy a gap in service, or simply add some diversity to the staff.

#27 - Surfing Instructor

Want to know how to make money while traveling? Become a surf instructor, and you can work with other tourists!

If you're a skilled surfboarder, then you can likely find work at local surf shops as a surfing instructor. Surf shops often hire travelers as freelancers, and use them to teach classes and help out around the shop.

#28 - Scuba Diving Instructor

If you are a qualified scuba diving expert then you might be able to find work as a scuba diving instructor. Scuba shops will be willing to hire foreigners because they want instructors who speak the same language(s) as the tourists they serve. Just make sure that you are qualified to teach. Once ready, you can search for jobs on Dive Zone and Go Overseas.

#29 - Skiing Instructor

Skiing is a great time, and if you can get paid to spend time on the slops that's even better.

By now, you should be starting to see a recurring theme. If you are a skilled skier and are willing to get the relevant certifications, then you can teach others to ski and travel while doing it. Every year, hundreds of Australians come to Canada to work in our various ski resorts. If you want the atmosphere but don't want to be an instructor, then there are usually opportunities available to operate the chair lift, help out with the snow conditions, or work in the hotels.

#30 - Yoga Instructor

Are you an advanced yoga practitioner? Or maybe you're already a certified instructor? If so, then there are tons of opportunities to teach classes while traveling. You can work with local yoga studios, hotels, gyms, or even Airbnb Experiences. Check out Yoga Finder or Yoga Travel Jobs when you are ready to start searching.

#31 - Working On An Organic Farm

While you're unlikely to make a lot of money, working on an organic farm will give you a way to travel and sustain yourself while doing it.

If the rest of the ideas on this list aren't for you, then you might just be looking for some good old-fashioned manual labour. Fortunately, there is no shortage of these opportunities either. A great place to start is through WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). WWOOF has partner farms in over 40 countries around the world, so there are plenty of adventures available. They don't tend to pay much, but they will provide you with accommodations, food, and a small stipend.

If you want to continue learning how to make money while traveling, then check out:

What is Dropshipping? The Ultimate Overview

Monetize Your website: 4 Effective Methods

2021 Side Hustle Ideas: Proven Ways To Earn From Home

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