10 Best Ways to Make Money While Traveling

If you dream of living life as a digital nomad and traveling the world for an indefinite amount of time, you need to start with money.


Photo courtesy of Flickr.com, by [Tom Coates]. Photo © Unsplash/Eduardo Sanchez

While you can travel the world on a budget, living off dried noodles, at some point that money will run out if nothing is coming in. Of course you can work hard at home and save up money, spend it all on a whirlwind trip around the world, then come back with nothing and save it all up again.

But what if you could find a way to make a living on the road, so you didn’t have to do that?

There’s a new breed of nomad out there: the money-savvy traveler who isn’t afraid to use a bit of ingenuity and make a living out of traveling the world.

1. Writing for the web

If you have a way with words, there are plenty of online travel magazines like Matador that will pay for your writing. You can also make money as a copywriter writing articles, press releases, and web content. Freelance websites like People Per Hour or Freelancer.com are a good place to start looking. 

2. Start a travel blog

Travel blogging is one option to make money online, but it’s hard work and you won’t make money overnight. Buy yourself a domain name, set up Wordpress, choose a nice theme, then begin publishing quality articles that people want to read. Market your blog through social media sites and network with other travel bloggers out there.

Of course there’s no exact recipe for success, but once you’ve built traffic you can make money through google ads, affiliate programs, and private advertisers. You may be surprised to hear that World Nomads has it's own affiliate program where we pay a referral fee for any sales you refer to us from your own custom affiliate link. It's easy to join.

There are plenty of ebooks and websites out there telling you how to make money blogging, but to start, check out this Nerdwallet article.

3. Photography

One of the best things about travel is that it offers so many photo opportunities: landmarks, wildlife, people, food, and scenery.

If you’re a budding photographer and have the ability to capture stunning photos, then you can make money by selling your photos to publications or by selling images on stock photography websites like iStock or Shutterstock.

4. Web design and graphic design

The brilliant thing about having a job that’s centered around the internet is that you can do the work from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a laptop and Wi-Fi connection. Everybody needs a website these days. You can make money by offering to make websites or logos for bars, restaurants, villa rentals, surf camps... wherever you go you’ll meet people in need of a designer. Travel with business cards in your pocket and network with people in the place you’re staying. Look at job boards on freelance websites and check out sites like craigslist

5. Bar or restaurant jobs

This is probably the easiest option, because you can get working holiday visas for countries like Australia, the UK, Canada, and New Zealand and do some bar tending or serving. The best way to find work is by walking into a bar and handing in your CV, or chatting to the bar manager. Of course, while I’m not encouraging this, there are plenty of bars and restaurants that will pay in cash for handing out flyers and bar tending.

I know many people who travel around the world doing seasonal work in hotels and resorts. They follow the snow and do a ski season in the Alps or Canada, then spend the summer working in the Greek Islands. With bar and serving jobs in some countries you can make more money in tips than from your actual wage.

6. Teaching English as a second language

This is still one of the most popular ways to make money abroad, particularly if you want to travel to Asian countries like Japan, China, Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea. It can be beneficial to have a university degree and a TEFL or TESOL certificate, but not always compulsory. The best site to visit is Dave’s ESL Cafe to get you started.

7. WWOOFING and fruit picking

Fruit picking isn’t for the faint-hearted (believe me, I tried it and didn’t last very long) but there are plenty of fruit picking and packing opportunities, particularly in Australia and New Zealand. You can find work through an agency that will contact you to tell you of the work they have available, through websites like Anywork Anywhere and Picking Jobs, or by looking locally in hostels and pubs in fruit picking areas. WWOOFING involves volunteering on organic farms in exchange for accommodation and food and you can search for opportunities on the WWOOF website.

8. Hostel work

If you’re looking for some free accommodation, there are plenty of live-in jobs you can do, including hostel work. Talk to the hostel owner where you are staying and ask if you can do some work in exchange for free accommodation. You’ll probably have to do things like sitting on reception, showing people to their rooms, night shifts, and making beds.

9. Crew jobs

You can find crew jobs on boats, luxury yachts, and cruise ships by looking at crew sites or paying a visit to the nearest harbor to ask about any jobs. You could be a deck hand, a steward or stewardess, an engineer, or a chef and you get to sail to some exotic destinations.

10. Ebooks/Themes/Apps

With the internet there are lots of opportunities to create and sell products like Wordpress Themes, Apps and ebooks. While you may have to put in quite a bit of effort to make it, once it’s done you get consistent passive income from it.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg and there are plenty of job opportunities out there. You could get a diving instructor’s licence, work in a trade, temp in an office, or become a tour guide for the summer. Think about the skills you possess and how you could use them. Some people fall into a job by accident because they were in the right place at the right time, while others land a job by enquiring in advance.

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  • Jack Ma said

    Great post! #6 is pretty cool. There are a lot of my friends they did that. Most of them are working in VietNam now and most of them love it. Because they could earn high salary and everything is cheap there. But i still prefer make money online when i traveling, actually when i travel i don't want to hear any fucking boss call me or something like that. And i found this awesome free ebook. Check this out https://goo.gl/JyD4i4

  • eitan said

    Great article
      I tried all kinds of ways to make money online.
    What works best for me it Koocam.
    I teach my hobbies, and recognized, my knowledge, in any field, that I'm good at
    everyone can
    It's great

  • Jack Ponting said

    <a href="http://www.good.com">Good</a> Post.

  • Collin Yan said

    Great article! Sorry quick thing I noticed you have 2 #2 haha just a very small detail. I love the comment about being a partner affiliate with world nomad and also the links you provide for writers and photographers! Thank you!

  • Samantha Sara Quintero said

    You have two number '2's. Photography should be listed as number '3' and not '2'.

  • Amelia@WorldNomads said

    Hey everyone,
    Thanks for flagging all the number 2s (no pun intended...)
    I have fixed up the numbers in the article.

  • Willliam Law said

    Making money is very thrilling but once you stuck in repeated process, it can become a boring process. One way to make money online is using adsense from google. That means you have to make a website or a blog. In my case, I created a blog about fraction. Adsense is a sure-way to earn income online but you need a lot of visitors to earn a lot. You can also earn through admob if you have a mobile app. Admob is also from google and if you have an adsense account, you have a great chance to be approved for admob account. I have a fraction calculator app which I tried to earn from admob. The key is through numbers. The more users you have the bigger the chances to make an income.

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