Traveling abroad is one of the best things a person can do to grow as an individual. There is so much out there in the world to see and experience! However, it is not always easy financially. Not everyone can afford to sustain that kind of lifestyle. Don’t panic, budget travel is a very real and amazing thing. There is no limit to who can make money while traveling, whether you are already settled in a long-term job, you want to travel as a career, or you are fresh out of high school!
I moved abroad at eighteen years old, and I have been traveling ever since. I do not have a stable income yet, nor have I finished my college degree, therefore to keep pursuing my dream of traveling, I have had to figure out how to make money while traveling abroad!
After reading this article, I hope you feel inspired and confident that traveling does not have to be limited to how much savings is in your bank account.
1. Work in a hostel
Working in a hostel has so many benefits aside from the financial aspects! Rather than being paid cash upfront, hostels usually offer benefits instead. These include free accommodation, free meals, VIP access to events, parties, hostel amenities, and more, as well as the opportunity to become part of a fantastic community!
There are many different job positions available in hostels! It is not hard to score a job due to the ever-changing environment and turnover of staff members. Many people ask for a job right on the spot in person. However, if you are more comfortable with the security of having a job before arriving at the property, there are numerous websites at your fingertips. Worldpackers, and Hostel Jobs, are two of the best sites to find hostel positions all over the world. All you have to do is set up a profile and apply!
2. Teach English
English teachers are very sought after in different countries all over the world! There are always opportunities to offer your English skills, whether you want to work in a school, as a private tutor, or over video calls online. Many people obtain their TEFL certification before teaching English abroad. A TEFL certification allows you to access a wider range of jobs, although it’s not mandatory to be successful!
There are many sites like Fiverr, where you can work as an English tutor completely online. This means you can work right from your computer from anywhere in the world! Teaching English in person, in schools, or programs can be best found on Go Abroad. If you would like to work privately at a house, the app and site Yoopies connects people in over 20 countries! Online teaching is very convenient to travel goals, however, there are lots of benefits to seeing the children’s faces in person, and truly immersing yourself in their life.
3. Participate in a seasonal work exchange
Have you ever heard of a seasonal work exchange abroad? Well if not, there are thousands of options! There is a large variety of options to choose from! They could range from working at a big ski resort, a small homestay on a farm, a big cruise, a party boat, a children’s camp, teaching yoga on a remote island, and many more! Whatever it is you are seeking, there is likely an option for you! Seasonal work exchange is perfect for someone looking to visit a particular place for a good amount of time, and to get to really know the area and culture. They allow for time off and the opportunity to travel in between working.
Workaway and Go Abroad are great sites for finding seasonal work exchanges. On these sites, hosts post jobs in locations all over the world. Seasonal work is very flexible and can range from a few weeks up to a few years, depending on your preference.
4. Become an Au Pair
An “Au Pair” refers to a foreign person abroad, who offers childcare in exchange for free accommodation and pay. Au pairs are typically women but are never restricted to it. Au pairs either live in the house with the family or are given separate accommodation! Families are legally obligated to pay au pairs at least $80 a week, and the average pay is around $115. Au pairs get many other benefits such as free meals with the family, becoming culturally immersed, learning the language, lots of time off to explore the area or surrounding areas, and the option to come on family holidays!
To find a job as an au pair, many go through agencies, like AuPairButterfly, who guide you through the entire process. Many people go through agencies for their safety. On the other hand, sites like AuPairWorld have zero fees and family matches happen without a third party. It is important to have several video calls to make sure the match is safe and works well for the needs of both parties.
5. Work in an English-speaking establishment
One of the biggest problems people run into while working in a foreign country is the language barrier. However, there are many ways around this. English-speaking, pubs, bars, and cafes are the perfect place to jump in and start getting paid! Many popular cities like Rome, Paris, and Amsterdam attract lots of English-speaking tourists, Therefore, your English-speaking skills will be of great help to these establishments.
Bars, pubs, and cafes are usually in need of lots of help. Walking straight into an establishment with confidence, a resume, and any relevant work experience is a great way to get a job.
While I was living in Rome as a student, I walked into an Italian restaurant, with very little knowledge of Italian, and asked for a job. They needed side jobs such as cleaning tables and bringing out water, which didn’t require too much speaking to the customers. I was able to get a uniform and become part of the team! Not only was I making some extra cash, but I was also practicing my Italian as well.
6. Work as an online assistant
Working remotely is a perfect way to maintain an income while traveling! You get the flexibility of setting your hours, while never being tied down to one place! For people who are naturally very organized, good with communication, and great at planning, an online assistant job could be for you! People who travel abroad are usually forced to learn how to manage their time and plan wisely, therefore this is a great niche for those with travel experience.
The good thing is, to be hired as a virtual assistant, the only prerequisite is a high school diploma! To be successful, it’s important to do as much research as possible. Geoffrey Whiting wrote an article on UpWork all about becoming virtual assistance, the skills you need, and how to be hired.
7. Babysit or nanny
Parents love the idea of having a native English speaker babysit and nanny their children for the added benefit of teaching them English! Babysitting and nannying are great options due to their flexibility, you can look for jobs with specific hours that work for you and your travel plans. You are usually never tied down to any long-term contract, and the more experience babysitting in different countries you have, the more you will be hired upon entering the next place! Babysitters and nannies are usually paid very fairly, serving as a perfect way to get that extra cash abroad.
While I was living in Paris, my babysitting job paid for my entire month’s rent. It was an incredible experience to be able to practice the language with the kids while teaching them English as well! English babysitters are very sought after in France and I had no trouble finding a job!
Yoopies, Sitter City, and Great Au Pair are all fantastic sites to find babysitting and nanny jobs! Through these sites, you can create a profile and get connected to parents seeking help in the area.
Volunteering is not only a great way to save money while traveling, but also a fantastic way to give back to the community in another country. There are thousands of volunteer programs offered all around the world. Most often, volunteering has the benefit of free accommodation and a meal plan, all while being able to explore the area and travel in between. After a volunteer exchange, you will usually get a volunteer certificate which looks great on any job resume!
The most renowned website and app to find volunteer programs is WorldPackers. On World Packers, you can create a profile and apply to as many volunteer opportunities as you want! They offer work in Hostels, homestays, camping, guest houses, holistic centers, surf camps, schools, communities, eco villages, farms, and permaculture projects.
9. Work as a bartender or party promoter
Bartending jobs are one of the easiest on-site jobs to find while traveling. So many bars need the extra help, especially during peak seasons! These jobs often have associations with hostels or beach clubs with specific free lodging for their workers. There are many international tourists, so your English skills are much needed. Although these are very popular jobs among backpackers, it’s extremely important to stay safe, and make sure you use all the proper protocols, especially as a woman. It is crucial to have all of the travel essentials for women and make sure you are 100% safe during your work experience.
The only qualifications needed for these jobs are prior experience or a bit of training. Popular party destinations like Ayia Napa, Cyprus, Greece, or Ibiza, Spain, will hire temporary seasonal workers right on the spot! Many people walk around the town asking for jobs and they are usually successful in scoring at least one! While I was staying in a Hostel in Ios, Greece called Far Out Beach Club, I was offered a job by one of the staff members, without even asking or applying!
10. Animal sit, dog walk, and house sit.
If you want some income on the side, but are not looking for a serious job, become an animal sitter and dog walker! Animal sitting abroad is a perfect opportunity to get accommodation free as well. Not only do you get paid every night, but you also get a place to stay, which is great if you are not settled in one area, or you are figuring out your next move on the road. If you have been staying in hostels for a while, around lots of other people, house sitting is a nice way to get some alone time.
Many people who don’t have the time to walk their dogs, will post a listing on certain apps like Rover! Those who leave for the weekend and need someone to be at their house with their pets while they are gone use an online site to offer room and board, in exchange to keep watch over their pets and home! Many people have pools or other facilities that the house sitter also has access to while they’re there! Live for free while taking care of a cute fuzzy friend.
11. Become a travel blogger
You are traveling to some fantastic places, why not write about it? Travel blogging is a great way to make money online and a perfect excuse to keep traveling even more! How amazing would it be to have a career writing about all the great experiences you have abroad? Travel essentials, personal stories, advice, and tips are all great topics that you can start writing about. My travel blog has led me to lots of opportunities. Having a travel blog lets potential clients read the way I write, and see my sample writing!
Solo traveling to various beautiful islands around the world would make fantastic stories for your blog. Read some ideas on our recommendation for the best islands for solo female travel.
Many avid travelers create websites where they can post inspiring content for viewers who want to peruse the same things. If companies like your content, you could be hired to publish guest articles for them and make money from it! If your blog is successful, companies will pay you to put ads on your website. Upwork is also a great platform to get started in travel blogging, as many people are looking for the content you have to offer them!
- Create a website
- Publish original blogs and articles
- Build a portfolio and sample writings
- Sign up for a freelance site like UpWork Or Fiverr!
12. Work at a resort
It’s no surprise that resorts are filled with tourists, which makes for a great place for an English speaker to grab a job during peak season! Most of the time, resort work includes benefits outside of the pay, such as accommodation, meal plans, and use of the facilities. Resorts are also a great way to meet people! If you are solo traveling, working in a resort gives you the opportunity to meet the locals, and other international seasonal workers, and interact with the guests. Depending on the location, resort work is usually on the better ends of the pay scale. For example, if you are working in a restaurant, you can often make tips on top of your regular wages.
Walking into the establishment on the spot to find a job is a bit harder to do with a resort than in a hostel or bar. This is where indeed.com or jobs.com comes in handy! It is best to simply apply online, or get in contact with a manager, to find out whether they are hiring and what steps to take. Worldpackers also lists new opportunities and positions all the time, so it is a good idea to check if there are any resort work options to apply to!
13. Become a tutor
If you have a special niche that you are very good at, like math, science, or writing, odds are there are lots of students in need of a tutor like you! English is not the only thing you can teach abroad, especially if you are working remotely. Nowadays, it is very easy to become an online tutor, no matter where you are in the world. Tutoring lets you set your own schedule as well as chose your own wages. The more you tutor, the higher you can start to set your income, and create a business of your own with it!
14. Become an online travel agent
Travel agents plan, book, and do all of the nitty-gritty organization and side work to prepare people for their trips. Working as a travel agent is a perfect job while abroad, as it is completely virtual. Travel agents also get lots of benefits that are perfect for a travel lover! These include reduced flight fairs, cruise and theme park tickets, and much more. Another great reason you should consider travel agent work is the fact that the training can be done from anywhere in the world!
Anyone can become a travel agent, whether they are a well-seasoned traveler or just getting started! All that is required is a high school diploma. To become a good travel agent, it is recommended to go through proper training. Luckily, training is all virtual and can fit right into your travel plans! You can find out how to become a travel agent simply by watching course videos online and doing extensive research and reading.
15. Thrift and re-sell clothes online
Finding special pieces while traveling, in thrift shops, charity shops, or markets, that are unique to that place, can bring in lots of interested customers. If you can ship internationally, to an audience interested in buying pieces from all over the world, you could start a truly successful business! There are lots of very successful businesses that people have created, simply by pulling out pieces they believe their customers will love.
There are many apps like Depop, Poshmark, Vinted, or Thredup where you can start your own business selling clothes! If you are not interested in selling clothes, there is also the possibility to sell things at markets or even local shops! Maybe you are good at making jewelry, or you have an amazing homemade soup recipe. I have a friend who sold handmade bracelets at a street vendor in Portugal. She was very successful, people even came back to her shop for more!
16. Start a youtube channel or Tik Tok
In this day and age, social media is constantly growing, and thousands of people have made a name for themselves by sharing content online! Tik Tok, the most popular app in 2022, gives many people the opportunity to put their names out there, and share their passions through video creation. Many travelers, me included, have started creating videos showing all of their knowledge on the places they go. Some creators give advice and tips, others create aesthetically pleasing edits, and others create comedy content related to their travels.
Once a creator has enough followers, they can sign up for a Tik Tok creator fund, where Tik Tok will pay creators money based on their view count! The same goes for Youtube, just like Tik Tok, creators are paid if they are getting a significant amount of engagement such as likes, comments, and views.
17. Get a working holiday visa if you are a US citizen
Most countries have a time limit on how many days a visitor can stay in the country without a valid permit such as a visa, residency card, or dual citizenship. Four countries are offering a “Working Holiday Visa” to US citizens, including New Zealand, South Korea, Australia, Ireland, and Singapore. On this visa, young adults are permitted to work for around 12 months.
Working holiday visas are open to any US passport holder! The qualifications include either being enrolled or having graduated from an institution of higher education. This makes it the perfect travel route for a student. To get a visa, you need to make an appointment with your local US consulate or embassy, and fill out an application! After being approved for a working holiday visa, it is not hard to find work once you arrive in the country!
- Outdoor recreation
- Adventure tourism
- Teaching English
Image credit: all images belong to Ashley Pokorski