Many people scrimp and save to go on one or two vacations a year, working around time off and the daily costs of living to travel. This arrangement may be fine for some, but if you have a passion for travel, it might not be enough.
If you’re wondering how you could spend more time traveling instead of sitting in an office cubicle, earning money while you travel can help you do just that. Whether you become a digital nomad or work as a tour guide, making money while traveling may allow you to go anywhere and see anything.
With the right job or type of work, you can make the money you need to fund your world travels as you go. We spoke with two travel experts who have worked their way around the globe to get their tips and find out how you can do the same.
4 options to earn money while traveling
Here are your four best options to work from anywhere in the world and pay for travel as you go.
1. Freelance or work for yourself
One of the best ways to earn money while traveling is by becoming a freelancer. Freelancing gives you control over where, when, and how much you work. This flexibility means you can travel and see the world while working to maintain an income stream to pay for your travels.
Robert Kanaat is the founder of Wanderlust Worker, a blog about working while traveling. He recommended considering what skills or experience you have that could qualify you for freelance jobs or other gigs that would be easy to do from anywhere. Some of the best options are technical or digital skills such as graphic design, web development, writing, social media management, or online marketing.
Once you’ve identified your expertise, start looking for freelance work and building out your clientele. Sites such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer can help you find your first clients.
2. Find a remote job
One way to earn money while traveling is to get a remote job you can do from anywhere. You can try to find a remote job, or you can try talking your current employer into a remote work arrangement.
“Usually, if [your job] can be done from a computer, it can be done from the road,” said Matt Kepnes, founder of travel site Nomadic Matt. “Don’t hesitate to float the idea of occasionally working from home past your boss. It never hurts to ask.”
But if you opt for this route, be prepared to have less flexibility and control over your schedule than you might have with other options.
“Working remotely or being a digital nomad while working for someone else is incredibly difficult,” Kanaat said. “You don’t generally have the freedom to roam halfway across the world because of the constraints of time zones and communicating with anyone else in the ‘real world’ in any effective manner.”
3. Get a travel-centered or overseas job
Besides remote work, Kepnes suggested looking into jobs that pay you to travel or live abroad. Overseas work such as teaching English in foreign countries or giving tours can be smart options. You could also pick up a job on a cruise ship or as a flight attendant.
Plus, these jobs can be used to create a home base, Kepnes said. This would be a foreign city where you work and live and from which you can travel to nearby destinations. This can provide some stability as you travel as well as the opportunity to explore one area in-depth and establish friendships and relationships with locals or other globe-trotters.
4. Generate passive income
The final option is to focus on creating passive income, or money that you earn without active and ongoing work.
There are several ways to generate passive income, such as writing a book by which you earn sales income, building out a monetized site or blog, or selling your photographs for royalties.
This is the route that helped Kanaat make a living while traveling the world. He wrote dozens of books and expanded into creating websites and courses. The passive income generated by these enterprises funded Kanaat’s international travels for just under two years.
How to prepare for long-term travel
Once you have an idea of how you can make money while traveling, you’ll want to build out a plan to get you there. If you want to travel long term and pay your way as you go, you should start preparing for this lifestyle change several months in advance.
“If you try to just fly by the seat of your pants, you could get caught in the middle of a vast ocean without a sail to keep you moving forward,” Kanaat said.
Here are some tips you can follow as you work toward traveling while earning money.
Start building your travel income and skills now. “You’ll need to have the skills under your belt before you hit the road,” Kepnes said. Research certification programs you can take that can qualify you for more or higher-paying work once you’re on the road. If you plan to freelance, start picking up projects to build out your client base.
Save a decent travel fund. “You’ll want at least three months’ worth, just to keep you afloat while you build your new lifestyle,” Kepnes advised. This buffer will act as your emergency fund to protect you should anything go wrong while you travel.
Close the door on your former lifestyle. “Eliminate every single expense that you have back ‘home’ so you don’t need to worry about it anymore,” Kanaat said. He suggested waiting until a rental lease is up before hitting the road. Sell your car, home, furniture, or other belongings you won’t be using while traveling abroad.
Choose low-cost destinations. Kanaat said inexpensive travel destinations such as Chiang Mai in Thailand or Budapest in Hungary can help stretch your earnings further.
Balance work and travel time. “It’s far too easy to either work too much or not enough,” Kepnes said. “Obviously, you’ll need to hustle, but you don’t want to burn out.” Decide how much you want to travel versus how much you want to work, and set guidelines you can follow to maintain that balance. For example, you might decide to spend two days a week working or three hours first thing in the morning every weekday.
Building and maintaining a source of income while traveling isn’t easy, and it takes time and dedication. But for those willing to put in the work, it can open up a world of possibilities.
Interested in a personal loan?Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2019!
|Lender||APR Range||Loan Amount|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Opploans.
Direct Deposit required for payroll.
Opploans currently operates in these states: . *Approval may take longer if additional verification documents are requested. Not all loan requests are approved. Approval and loan terms vary based on credit determination and state law. Applications processed and approved before 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday are typically funded the next business day.
3 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.
4 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.
5 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
6 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.
7 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.
All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.
†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com
**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.
8 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
9 Important Disclosures for Avant.
*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.
**Example: A $5,900 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,619.75, repayable in 36 monthly installments, with an APR of 29.95% would have monthly payments of $250.30.
Based on the responses from 11,574 customers in a survey of 210,584 newly funded customers, conducted from 1 Feb 2018 – 1 Aug 2019 95.05% of customers stated that they were either extremely satisfied or satisfied with Avant. 4/5 Customers would recommend us. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.
Upgrade Bank Disclosures
* Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.98%-35.89%. All personal loans have a 1.5% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Personal loans issued by WebBank, Member FDIC.
** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.
|5.99% – 20.01%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|6.14% – 35.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|6.98% – 35.89%*||$1,000 - $50,000|
|99.00% – 199.00%2||$500 - $4,000|
|5.99% – 24.99%3||$5,000 - $35,000|
|5.99% – 29.99%4||$7,500 - $40,000|
|6.79% – 20.89%5||$5,000 - $50,000|
|15.49% – 35.99%6||$2,000 - $25,000|
|6.95% – 35.89%7||$1,000 - $40,000|
|5.99% – 17.24%8||$5,000 - $75,000|
|9.95% – 35.99%9||$2,000 - $35,000|