The number of people working from home at least half of the time increased by 115% between 2005 and 2015, according to the 2017 State of Telecommuting report by FlexJobs.
But for some people, working remotely part time isn’t enough. Digital nomads take telecommuting to the next level, traveling almost constantly while still making a living.
If digital nomadism is a dream of yours, it’s possible to make it a reality with these five ways to make money as you travel the globe.
“The majority of work I see digital nomads doing is freelance work,” said Chris Burdick, who’s been constantly traveling for more than six years. “It allows the worker the flexibility to work when they want and not be tied down to a schedule.”
Some of the types of freelance jobs especially suited for digital nomads include:
- Graphic design
- Web development
- Virtual assistant
- Social media consulting
Burdick pointed out that the main challenge with freelance work is having the self-discipline to get things done.
“It’s so easy to get distracted and excited about meeting new people and exploring at each new place you go,” he said. “It’s crucial to remember you do actually have to work or you won’t have the money to keep supporting your travel-based lifestyle.”
2. Start a business
Burdick’s businesses don’t require him to keep inventory in stock. Instead, product shipments are handled by third parties, giving him more freedom. Affiliate models, where you make money by referring customers to websites and receiving commissions, also work well for digital nomads.
Being able to set a business on automatic at least some of the time is a necessity when you’re traveling to remote locations, according to Burdick.
“Sometimes I’d go a week or two without internet in rural Southeast Asia,” Burdick said. “Having my businesses set up to run without me constantly being connected is a big help.”
Depending on your business, though, there might be times when you need to talk to someone on the phone or respond quickly — and that can result in working abroad at 3 a.m. as you Skype someone in the United States.
Rather than worry about housing costs while she travels full time, Kelly Hayes-Raitt prefers to housesit.
Hayes-Raitt has been housesitting professionally for more than 10 years and shares her tips and tricks on her blog, HouseSitDiva.com. She has a small storage unit for items of sentimental value and does her best to avoid accumulating things.
While she freelances as a writer and editor to earn money for food and entertainment, Hayes-Raitt asks only for a free place to stay when she housesits, largely because of the visa situation.
“In some countries, if you’re paid to housesit, you have to go through the trouble of getting a work visa,” Hayes-Raitt said. “This way, I can say I’m not being paid for the housesitting, and one of the biggest expenses you pay when you travel — lodging — is something I don’t have to worry about.”
Not having to worry about housing costs also gives Hayes-Raitt a little more flexibility with her work and the ability to work less if she wants because she won’t have a rent payment due at the beginning of the week or month.
Hayes-Raitt suggested signing up for free at HouseSitSearch to start out. But she warned that you might not get the best opportunities on a free site. Instead, if you can afford it, she recommended choosing a pay site such as Housesit Match or Nomador for higher-quality leads.
4. Work for a remote company
You don’t have to freelance or start a business to work remotely. It’s possible to earn money by working for a remote company. Believe it or not, some companies don’t actually expect you to come into the office and don’t care where you live — as long as you get your work done.
Hayes-Raitt thinks combining work for a remote company with housesitting can be a winning strategy for digital nomads. You can live for free and pull down a regular paycheck.
For remote workers, though, Burdick warned that working all night can be a reality. “In Thailand, it was common for remote workers to come to the coworking space at 11 p.m. and work most of the night to match their companies’ U.S.-based daytime schedules,” he said.
Websites such as FlexJobs, Indeed, and Remote.co offer job listings for companies willing to let you work remotely. If you need help convincing your boss that you can work and be a digital nomad, programs such as Remote Year can help you craft an argument.
5. Rent out property
If you own a home or other rental property, you can still be a digital nomad. I actually looked into this option for myself at one point.
During my research, I talked to people who use Airbnb to earn money from vacationers. I also spoke with those who wanted a steadier stream of income and opted for a more traditional rental arrangement.
To make this work, I discovered, you might need to hire a property manager or work with a management company. It can be hard to take care of repairs and collect rent when you’re halfway around the world.
You’ll have to pay a percentage of your income to the property manager, but it might be worth it if it frees you up to see the world without worrying about all the headaches of being a landlord.
Is the digital nomad lifestyle right for you?
If you want to travel now and you don’t have a huge nest egg saved up, Hayes-Raitt thinks that being a digital nomad can be a good choice — as long as you prepare ahead of time to earn money and account for some of the inconveniences associated with times zones and sometimes spotty internet.
“I’m always traveling and seeing new places and meeting interesting people,” Hayes-Raitt said. “If you have a natural curiosity and you want to experience the world today, this can be a great opportunity for you, whether you travel for a year or make it your permanent lifestyle.”
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.54% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 0318/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
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3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.5% effective February 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.54% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.54% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.67% – 8.96%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.23% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.69% – 7.43%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.98% – 9.72%6||Undergrad & Graduate|