How to make money while traveling - The Best Travel Jobs - Journal of Nomads

How to Make Money while Traveling the World including the Best Travel Jobs

 

How to make money while traveling the world? Is it easy to find travel jobs? 

We’ve been traveling the world for more than 8 years and have always been able to financially support ourselves while traveling. Keep on reading as I’ll share with you several ways to make money while traveling long-term and how we’ve done it so far. 

 

How to make money while traveling the world - The Best Travel Jobs - Journal of Nomads

 

Niko and I have been traveling the world for more than 8 years. If we’d receive a dollar every time someone has asked us how we financially support ourselves or how we make money while traveling, we’d be rich by now!

 

So how do we make money and travel?

 

Finding ways to earn money while traveling has been a journey on its own!

 

We never had people financially supporting us, we didn’t inherit money and we didn’t have a big savings account when we first hit the road. We’ve always searched for work in the countries we visited or created our own job (more about that later).

 

Sometimes the jobs almost literally fell into our laps, other times we had to roll up our sleeves and get out there to find work.

 

Trust me, when the need for money is high and the number on your bank account is equally low – especially when you’re living on your last few dollars – you’ll find a way to get a job!

 

Working on a sheep farm during lamb season (New Zealand, 2011)

 

How we make money while traveling the world

 

Let’s give you a little overview of all the travel jobs we’ve done in the past years.

 

Cynthia

When I started my travels in 2011, I applied for a working holiday visa for Australia.

This visa allowed me to travel and work legally in Australia for the duration of 12 months. While I was there, I did many jobs, especially in the hospitality sector. 

 

I worked in multiple restaurants and cafes as a waitress and barista. I also worked in a couple of hostels, a bakery (without having baking skills!!), as a gardener and as a life model for artists.

 

I also applied for a working holiday visa in New Zealand where I worked on a sheep farm during lambing season and as a special needs teacher in a little village school.

 

When I returned to Europe in 2013, I found work as an all-rounder in a hotel in the French Alps, worked again on a sheep farm in England, picked grapes in France, cut bog myrtles in the Irish swamps and waited tables in a stunning hotel in Ireland.

 

Whenever I had the opportunity, I gave private language classes and did occasionally a few cash-in-hand jobs as a painter, landscaper or cleaning lady.

I often combined this work with free accommodation or volunteering work so I could save the money and spend it on my next travels.

 

Farm work in Ireland - Travel and Make Money - Travel Jobs - Journal of Nomads

Cutting bog myrtle in Ireland (2015)

 

Niko

Niko’s first job when he started traveling in 2007 was cherry-picking on the west coast of Canada.

 

Then he volunteered in an orphanage in Guatemala and worked for years as a language teacher in four different schools and busked as a street performer in Mexico.

 

A few years later he went to France where he picked grapes and when he traveled to Morocco, he got offered a job as a restaurant manager in one of the top restaurants of Tangier.

 

He picked grapes for the second time in France and that’s where we met.

 

We later moved together to Ireland where Niko combined a few jobs such as landscaping, construction work, and gardening.

 

How to earn money while traveling - the ultimate guide to find a job abroad - Journal of Nomads

Managing a restaurant in Morocco (2014)

 

Doing all these different travel jobs required staying for months in one place.

 

We didn’t mind this as we love slow travel and learned a lot about daily life in the countries we visited.  We also often combined our work with free accommodation so we’d save a lot of money! 

 

In 2016, we started finding ways to make money online. We became online language teachers and taught English online for almost 3 years while hitchhiking from Turkey to Kyrgyzstan

 

The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English Online - How to become an online teacher - Journal of Nomads

One of the ways to make money online – Become an online English teacher!

 

2018 was financially a big year for us and brought many positive changes.

 

While Niko and I were still teaching online, I became a Panasonic Lumix Ambassador and my stories and photos got published in several travel magazines. This gave me the push to become a freelance travel writer and photographer

 

We also started a partnership with Kyrgyz Nomad, a small travel company, and organized our first adventure tours in Kyrgyzstan.

 

We loved this so much that we decided to continue taking adventurous travelers on budget tours through Kyrgyzstan and Morocco. From that moment on, we added “tour leader” to our – already lengthy – travel jobs resume. 

 

And last but not least, after dedicating a lot of time and energy for many years, we finally started making enough money with this blog that we could quit our online teaching job and become full-time travel bloggers.

 

In case you’re wondering how to make money from (travel) blogging, writing a genuine post about our travel blogging journey is on my to-do list.  

 

Making money traveling - tour leader

Being a tour leader is one of our favorite travel jobs!!

 

As you could read, we’ve done tons of different jobs that allowed us to continue our travels around the world! Finding ways to make money while traveling was already a journey on its own!

 

 

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Now comes the part about how you can do the same! 

 

How to make money while traveling

 

There are so many ways to make money while you’re traveling! 

 

I compiled a list with several possibilities and divided them into location-dependent jobs, location independent jobs (online work) and other ways to make some extra cash on the road. 

 

I’m sure you’ll find at least one job possibility that will appeal to you!

 

The 12 Best Travel Jobs on Location

 

There are a lot of jobs you can do while you’re traveling.

 

Some will be more fun than others, some will be better paid than others and some might even teach you new skills and change your direction in life. 

 

There are travel jobs that require a special formation and education but there are also many jobs for which you don’t need any specific skill or degree.

 

Yes, there are jobs that pay you to travel the world but these travel jobs usually require specific training (f.eg. flight attendant) and a lot of patience (f.eg. travel blogging) before you make some proper money. 

 

The jobs that I’m sharing below are the most common and easiest ones to find. 

 

They’re usually seasonal or temporary jobs that don’t require any or much previous experience and you usually don’t need a specific degree. You just have to show your employer the willingness to roll up your sleeves and the eagerness to learn new skills while you’re working.

 

Here are the most common and easiest jobs to find while traveling the world:

 

1. Farm Work and Fruit-Picking Jobs

 Working on a farm or fruit-picking is physically demanding but these jobs are usually very easy to find as they don’t require a specific skill set.

 

This type of work is ideal for travelers and backpackers as it’s usually seasonal work, and it pays quite well.

 

One of my favorite jobs was working on a sheep farm in New Zealand and England during lambing season. It was a physically demanding job and I had to work long hours, but the pay was good and I loved being outside in the fields and the close contact with the animals. 

 

How to make money while traveling - Travel Jobs - Farm work- - Journal of Nomads

Nursing lambs and getting paid for it (November 2011, New Zealand)

 

Niko did some cherry-picking in Canada and we both picked grapes in France. These fruit-picking jobs aren’t to be underestimated but they’re so much fun if you’re working with a group of like-minded travelers. 

 

Another advantage is that these jobs are seasonal so you work for a couple of weeks until the harvesting or farm work is done.  You then move on to the next farm or fruit-picking job or continue your travels with extra money in your pockets. 

 

I’ve met people who traveled around Europe by car while following the harvest trail. They researched where and when the fruit-picking in each country started and drove for a few months from farm to farm. 

 

Farm work and fruit-picking jobs are paid by the hour or by the amount of fruits and vegetables you pick. 

 

If you’re a fast worker, you’ll earn more money by picking fruit by the amount. If it’s the first time you do a fruit-picking job, it might be better to get paid by the hour or per day. Some farms will also offer free food and accommodation.

 

When we were grape-picking in France, the farmer gave us food, a bed in a dorm room, and a daily wage of 60 euros in exchange for 9 hours of work.

 

Fruit picking in France - Grape Picking in France - Travel Jobs - Journal of Nomads

Grape-picking in France (September 2014)

 

How to find farm and fruit-picking jobs?

You can search locally, go from farm to farm and ask the owners if they need an extra hand or ask the locals in the area for any fruit-picking opportunities. Someone will always know someone who knows someone…

 

There are also online resources to find farm and harvest work around the world. Just type “fruit picking jobs in [country]” or “farm work in [country]” in your search engine and you might find a bunch of local websites. 

 

Here are some farm jobs and fruit-picking specific websites:

 

2. Bars, cafes and restaurants

The majority of the jobs I’ve done while traveling was working in a bar, cafe or restaurant as a waitress or a barista (someone who prepares and serves different types of coffee). 

 

My first waitressing job was in Australia and while I didn’t have much previous experience, I quickly learned the trade. I also had no previous experiences when I applied for a job in a cafe as a barista.

 

I quickly learned that making a good coffee isn’t as easy as it sounds… I learned a lot during that time and up until today, I’m still pretty proud of my coffee-making skills!

 

It’s generally quite easy to find a job as a waiter/waitress, bartender, kitchen assistant or dishwasher – especially during high season. The more tourists there are, the easier it is to find bars, restaurants, and cafes who need an extra hand.

 

You don’t necessarily need to have previous experience either but you’ll have to be able to speak the local language– except for when you’re washing dishes.

 

Speaking the local language and English or French will definitely play in your favor with hospitality jobs!

 

This is how Niko became the manager of a restaurant in Tanger (Morocco). He speaks English and French and on top of that learned how to speak Moroccan Arabic.

 

The hourly rate of this type of work depends on the local salary. If you’re in a country with a high economy, you’ll earn more than in a country with a low economy. 

 

How to earn money while traveling - the ultimate guide to find a job abroad - Journal of Nomads

Working as a waitress in Ireland (March, 2015)

 

How to find a job in a bar, restaurant or cafe?

You can search the local newspapers, noticeboard and job sites but the best way to get a job in this sector is by going directly to the places where you’d like to work and present yourself.

 

When I was looking for a job as a waitress, I used to print out a lot of resumes and walked into the restaurants, cafes and bars that appealed to me. I asked to speak with the manager, presented myself and gave him/her my CV. I usually had a job within one week!

 

Even if you don’t have much previous experience, point out your strengths (like the languages you speak) and show enthusiasm!

 

3. Hostels/Hotels/ Camping Sites

Another hospitality sector where it’s generally easy to find a (temporary) job are hostels, hotels and camping sites, especially during high season.

 

Most hostels, hotels and camping sites are looking for extra temporary workers to help out with housekeeping and cleaning. 

 

Just as with working in a bar or restaurant, the hourly rate depends on the local salary. This type of work is great if you want to get paid under the table and earn some quick cash.

 

A lot of hostels also offer free lodging in exchange for a few hours of work. You might not make money but you’ll definitely save some if you don’t have to pay for your accommodation, especially in countries where accommodation is expensive!

 

I’ve worked in hostels and on camping sites while I was traveling in Australia and I got a job in a hotel while traveling in Ireland and in France. 

 

I never got paid for working in hostels but they offered me free lodging in exchange for three hours of work per day. I combined this with a paid waitressing job so I was able to save a lot of money! 

 

My work in hostels, hotels and on the camping sites consisted of taking care of the reception and cleaning. You don’t need to speak the local language if you’re after a cleaning job but if you prefer to work at the front desk, then it will play to your advantage! 

 

Hostel work / Campsite work - Travel jobs - make money while traveling - Journal of Nomads

 

 

How to find a job in a hostel, hotel or camping site?

I usually found my jobs the same way as when I applied for a job in a restaurant or cafe – by going there myself, asking to speak to the manager, and inquiring if they needed extra help.

 

There are also online resources to find hostel and camping site work around the world. Just type “hostel job in [country]” or “campsite jobe in [country]” in your search engine and you might find a bunch of local websites. 

 

Here are some online resources that can help you find a job in hostels, hotels and camping sites:

 

4. Construction Work

Construction workers are often in need of help and willing to hire you short-term. 

 

Even if you don’t have previous experience, there will always be a task for you to do and you’ll get to learn some tricks of the trade. 

 

This is a great job if you need some quick cash and you’ll usually get paid under the table if it’s short term work. Just be aware that this is a physically demanding job and it’s not very likely they’ll hire women…

 

On the other hand, if you have previous experience in construction work and have a working permit/ working holiday visa (see below), you’ll quickly find a well-paid (temporary) job in western countries. 

 

Travel jobs - Construction work - Make money while traveling - Journal of Nomads

Niko doing some construction work in Ireland (2014)

 

How to find a job in construction work

If you’re looking for a cash-in-hand job in construction, go directly to a building site and ask if they need some extra help. The more fit you look, the more likely they will hire you. 

 

You can also ask locals if they know a construction company or construction workers who could use an extra pair of hands. 

 

If you want a proper temporary job in construction, type “construction jobs in [country]” in your search engine and you’ll get a list of local websites with job opportunities. 

 

5. Gardener/landscaper

Getting a job as a gardener or landscaper is very similar to getting a job in construction. It’s also usually short-term work that gets paid under the table. The only difference is that gardeners will hire women as well.

 

I worked for a month as a gardener in Australia. I had no previous experience but my employer urgently needed extra help and I was more than willing to work.

 

I love being outdoors so even if I had to weed, mow lawns and clean up leaves all day long, my employer didn’t hear me complaining once! I was very grateful for the work and really enjoyed it as well. On top of that, the pay was pretty good as well!

 

Landscaping and gardening - working abroad - make money while traveling - Journal of Nomads

Niko and I working as landscapers in Ireland (2015)

 

How to find a job as a gardener or landscaper

Ask locals if they know a gardener or landscaper who could use some extra help. 

 

If you’re staying in a hostel, you could ask the hostel manager if he or she knows someone (that’s how I landed my gardening job). 

 

You could also walk around suburbs, or go to hotels and other establishments that have a garden and see if there’s a gardener at work that you can approach. 

 

You could also research the internet by typing “gardening jobs in [country/city/region]” in the search engine and see what pops up.

 

6. Teaching

Let me start here by saying that you don’t need to be a trained teacher to get a teaching job. Yes, you’re reading this correctly!

 

There are many options to land a paid teaching job without having a degree or certificate in education or teaching. Working as a teacher doesn’t necessarily mean working in a school…

 

If you’ve mastered a particular skill that locals would love to learn – a specific language, photography, web design, graphic design, playing a musical instrument, yoga, an art, … – you could offer your services as a private teacher. 

 

You set your own hourly rate and people can pay you cash-in-hand. You’ll be surprised about the demand and the amount of money you can make as a private teacher!

 

If you’re fluent in a world language like English, French, or Spanish, you can also work as a language teacher in local schools.

 

The demand for language teachers is very high and not all schools require you to have a certificate or degree in teaching. 

 

Take Niko for example. He isn’t a trained teacher, yet he worked for a couple of years as a French and English teacher in several schools in Mexico. He was also a private language teacher in Morocco. 

 

I’m a trained teacher and I worked in schools in Senegal and in New Zealand. We both worked as English teachers on a summer camp in Turkey. 

 

Finding work abroad as a (language) teacher is very easy and in most cases very well paid! You can work temporarily as a teacher for a few months or even a whole school year if you like. 

 

If you consider becoming an English teacher but you don’t have a degree or certificate in teaching, I highly recommend following a TEFL course. TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. 

 

A TEFL course gives you proper training on how to be an English teacher and you’ll receive an internationally recognized teaching certificate.

 

You can choose between a 40, 60, 80 and 120-hour course and the price depends on the type of course you choose.

 

I honestly think that the courses are affordable and are a great investment in your future if you’re serious about becoming a teacher. You could even become a location-independent teacher and teach English online while you’re traveling (more about that in the section “Working Online”). 

 

Learn more about the different TEFL courses you can follow!

 

Leave the Grind Behind

 

However… as I highly value honesty and genuineness, I didn’t always enjoy teaching in schools. You can read about my experiences in Things no one will tell you about teaching abroad.

 

teachingEnglish abroad - journal of nomads

With my students during the English summer camp in Turkey (2016)

 

How to find a job as a teacher?

If you want to work as a private teacher, you’ll have to spread the word.

 

Tell your local friends and acquaintances about the skill or language you want to teach and ask them if they know anyone who would be interested.

 

Create business cards about your services and hand them out in local shops, cafes, restaurants,… Local supermarkets often have noticeboards on which you can hang a small ad. You could even look into making a classified ad and get it printed in a few local newspapers. 

 

Niko used to create ads on classified ads websites in Mexico to promote his services as a language teacher. This resulted in a few jobs as a private English and French teacher and he got even approached by headmasters who offered him a job in the local schools. 

 

If you’re looking for a teaching job in a school, you can visit the local schools and give your application to the headmaster.

 

There are also a lot of websites that will help you finding teaching jobs around the world. Type “Teach abroad in [country] and your search engine will overload you with possibilities!

 

Here are some websites I recommend to find a teaching job abroad:

 

Send in your applications to schools in South Korea, Japan, Thailand, or dozens of other locations around the world and you’ll be surprised at how many interviews you get!

 

7. Sports Instructor

You might have some ass-kicking skills in surfing, skiing, scuba diving, yoga, dancing,… Then why not earn money from something you’re passionate about?

 

You could, for example, become a ski instructor in Japan or Canada, a surf instructor in Morocco or Tahiti, a yoga instructor in Thailand or Mexico, a scuba diving instructor in Australia or Egypt,…

 

There are tons of possibilities and these instructor jobs usually come with a good paycheck and extra perks!

 

The only requirement is that you’re a qualified instructor, meaning you’ll need a certification. There are many teacher trainings – usually on location but in some cases also online – that will give you the certification you need.

 

how much does it cost to ski in Kyrgyzstan?

 

How to find a job as a sports instructor?

I’m starting to repeat myself but the best way to land a job as an instructor is to present yourself in person in a ski/surf/scuba diving/dance school in your location.

 

If you want to find a job as an instructor in advance, you can search the internet by typing “[sport] instructor in [country]” in the search engine.

 

8. Au-pair

If you like taking care of kids and being part of a family abroad, then becoming an au-pair might be something you’ll enjoy. You’ll get food, accommodation, and a monthly allowance.  

 

Most families look for an au-pair who can stay with them for 10 to 12 months. This might be a bit long if you’re planning on traveling around the country.

 

However, there are also families looking for a short-term au-pair (3 to 4 months), which could be ideal if you need a break from the road. During your free time, you can explore the surroundings. 

 

This type of work isn’t open to any traveler as there’s an age limit (usually between 18 and 26 years old) and the majority of families prefer to have a female au-pair. And of course, you have to love kids…

 

How to find a job as an au-pair?

Here are some websites where you can register to become an au-pair and/or search for families around the world:

 

9. Tour guide

Many international tour operators that offer tours around the world hire tour guides to accompany groups.

 

The pay isn’t always great but your travel expenses, lodging and food are covered so you get to explore parts of the world without spending any money. 

 

Just realize that you’ll be responsible for the wellbeing of your group, a task that you shouldn’t take lightly!

 

Another option is offering your services as a tour guide to local tour operators. You could become a city guide in Spain, a rafting guide in New Zealand, an adventure travel guide in Kyrgyzstan (like we’re doing),… 

 

With one of our groups during our adventure tours in Kyrgyzstan

 

How to find a job as a tour guide?

If you want to work for an international tour operator, you should contact them directly on their website. 

 

You could also type “tour guide job in [country]” in your search engine and you’ll find multiple options.

 

Here are some international tour operators that often hire new tour leaders:

 

10. Work on a Yacht/ Sailboat/ Cruise Ship

Why not explore the world by boat?

 

You could become a crew member on a sailing boat or yacht, gain a lot of experiences (maybe one day you might get your own sailing boat) and see the world in a very unique way!

 

Having previous experience is an advantage but you could also work as a cook or housekeeper on the boat and learn the tricks while you’re out at sea. 

 

Another possibility is to work on a cruise ship. There are many different positions available on these ships – bartending, waitressing, massage therapist, housekeeper, photographer,…

 

Once your contract is finished, you’ll have seen a nice part of the world and continue your travels with some extra money on the bank.  

 

How to find a job on a yacht, sailboat or cruise ship?

Here are some websites where you’ll find volunteering and paid positions as a crew member on a sailing boat or yacht:

 

Do you prefer to work on a cruise ship instead? These websites are the place to search for job offerings:

 

11. Street Performer/ busker

If you’re a musician, singer, dancer, juggler, artist or magician and you love performing in public, you can make some money on your travels with street performing.

 

Niko used to be a street performer during his travels around the USA, Mexico and Morocco. He entertained people as a magician and juggler and often made enough to pay for his meals at the end of the day.

 

You won’t get very rich as a street performer (unless you can do something extremely special) and your earnings depend on the public and the location but you could make enough to get by and buy some food.

 

Just one thing you should be aware of: you’re not everywhere allowed to busk and perform and certain places require you have a special permit. If you don’t want to get in trouble with the police, do some research in advance. 

 

How to earn money while traveling - the ultimate guide to find a job abroad - Journal of Nomads

Niko performing on the streets in Mexico (2012)

 

12. Offering your services as a hairdresser or massage therapist in hostels

If you have a handy skill like cutting hair, giving great massages,etc, you could offer your services to fellow travelers you meet in hostels and hotels.

 

If you sell your services at a reasonable price, you could earn some nice extra cash! You would be surprised how many travelers would enjoy having their hair cut or getting a good massage after long weeks of traveling (me included!!).  

 

13. Life Modeling

It might seem odd that I’ve also added life modeling to the list but I used to work as a life model in Belgium and Australia and I made some very good money with it!

 

Being a life model often requires being naked in front of people. I know how this sounds like and you might feel a bit uncomfortable in the beginning. 

 

However, remember that there’s nothing sexual to this job and you’re posing for artists who’ll look at your body in an esthetic way. 

 

It also requires sitting still for a few hours in a row but I didn’t mind this as I often meditated on the job. You basically get paid for doing nothing…

 

If you’re brave enough and/or you don’t have problems with nudity, I could definitely recommend working as a life model as you’ll make some very good money with it!

 

How to find a job as a life model?

You can search online by typing “life model jobs in [country]” in the search engine or search art academies and schools nearby.

 

When I was in Belgium, I went to several art academies and inquired if there weren’t any positions available. I did the same in Australia and also added some ads to noticeboards in art supply shops. That’s how I ended up working as a life model for art academies and as a private life model for several artists. 

 

 

There are a lot more job possibilities to make money while traveling, the ones I’ve listed above being the most common and easiest ones to find. 

 

Dare to be creative, go out of your comfort zone but also don’t set your expectations too high. Finding a job in a foreign country can be challenging but you’d be surprised what (job) opportunities you might find!

 

How to find a job abroad - Journal of Nomads

Sometimes you have to do shitty jobs, some jobs literally involve shit… (working on a horse farm in Australia, 2012)

 

That’s why I also dedicated a small section below with more resources and possibilities for finding work while traveling.

 

 

10 Great Websites to Find a Job Abroad

Here are 10 useful websites that will give you ideas and opportunities to make money while traveling around the world:

The title of this website says it all: find any job in hospitality, education, maintenance, entertainment, farm work and fruit-picking,… anywhere in the world.

 

This website offers you even more jobs! Here are a few categories to give you an idea: administrative work, camp jobs, environmental jobs, guide jobs, guest services, beach work, jobs on the water, jobs with horses or with fish, outdoor adventures, ski resort, ranches,… 

 

Seasonworkers lists job adverts for summer jobs, ski jobs, childcare, hospitality work, sports instructor,… in the UK and around the world. 

 

This website will help you find a job anywhere in the world. Most popular jobs on this website are that of a language teacher but you can also find employment in resorts, as an au pair or even as a destination photographer!

 

Working Traveller is the LinkedIn for travelers. It enables you to work and travel while you’re abroad and gaining good work references for a job if you ever plan to settle down. On this website, you can find a job in exchange for food and accommodation and they even have a section to find paid work.

 

Signing up is free and you have to mention your skills in your profile. The hosts are looking for people who have skills in IT, art, agriculture, education, festivals,… Even bloggers are welcome!

 

Transitions Abroad offers a wide variety of job opportunities in several categories: teaching, farm work, working as an au-pair, hospitality and tourism work,…

 

Greenheart Travel offers a variety of volunteer and work abroad programs such as environmental conservation in Peru, teaching English in China, a marketing internship in Thailand, adventure guide in New Zealand,…

 

BUNAC stands for British Universities North America Club and is specialized in volunteer opportunities and overseas work. They help you with finding work in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

 

Easy Expat has international classified advertisements and job listings for travelers all over the world. This resource also can also help you with finding an apartment, a roommate, a car, …

 

During my time in Australia and the United Kingdom, I often searched for work on Gumtree. This is a classified ads website, so you can also create your own ad. If you click on the link, you’ll land on the Gumtree website of the United Kingdom but there is also a Gumtree for Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Ireland,…

 

 

Realistic Ways to Make Money Online while Traveling

While I really enjoyed the experiences I gained while doing several jobs on location, working online is honestly the best way to make money while traveling.

 

If you work online, you’re location independent. This means that you don’t have to stay for 3 months in one place until your job is finished. You can just take your work wherever you want to go!

 

You can also easily combine your online work with free lodging like house-sitting and save tons of money! 

 

But… (and there’s always a but), finding an online job that works for you isn’t as straightforward as it might seem.

 

I cringe when I read articles like “Become an influencer/ blogger/travel photographer today and make tons of money” or ” Become a Digital Nomad and experience the Ultimate Freedom”. 

 

It takes a LOT of time, energy, and dedication before you make a decent amount of money when you’re just starting out as a freelancer/ blogger/ influencer/ online entrepreneur. 

 

In all honesty, it took Niko and me 4 years of dedicated work (and a lot of trial and error) before we started making enough money from this blog to sustain our travels.

 

We combined blogging with other jobs like online teaching, freelance photography, freelance writing, designing websites, selling images, …as a means to an end before we got to the point where we could solely focus on our own business. 

 

I’m grateful for all the extra jobs I did as I didn’t only make some good extra money but I also learned so many new skills!

 

The Ultimate Guide to Online Teaching

Working online in Turkey (2016)

 

Here’s an overview of realistic ways to make money online. I’m sure that you’ll find a few options that could work for you!

 

1. Start your own online business or brand

Starting your own online business and being your own boss would be an ideal scenario. You’d be your own boss and you could work and make money from anywhere in the world. 

 

While this might sound like a dream, it could become your reality if you put in the time, energy, dedication and hard work it requires. 

 

Starting an online business has its pros and cons and it won’t become successful overnight. It is a very long process – you could compare it with running a marathon.

 

If you keep working on materializing this dream in a patient and dedicated way, it will give you results! 

 

Another golden tip is to invest money and time in courses covering the field you want to work in and learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and online marketing as this is the way that people will find you on the internet. 

 

Here are some ideas for an online business that could generate a good income:

 

  • Create your own Blog/ Vlog/ Podcast

Choose a topic or a niche that you’re very passionate about and start writing articles/ make videos/ record podcasts.

It isn’t as easy as it sounds to become successful as a blogger/ vlogger/ podcaster as there’s a lot of competition out there. There’s also a whole business strategy behind “making it” in this industry but don’t let this stop you from doing it.

Learn from the people who became successful, follow courses to find out what works and put yourself out there!

 

You can make money from your blog, vlog or podcast with affiliate marketingadvertisingpromoting services and products, 

 

If you want to start your own blog, I highly recommend the website and courses by Sharon Gourlay (Digital Nomad Wannabe).  As soon as I “discovered” her teachings and applying her tips and tricks, this blog started making an income!

 

On the website of Vloggingpro, you’ll learn all the do’s and don’ts about vlogging and if you’re interested in starting a podcast, check out The Podcast Host

 

–> By the way, we also have a vlogging series, you can check it out on our YouTube Channel

 

  • Selling your products online

You might have created a product you like to sell or you could sell products from others and earn a commission on every sale you make (like dropshipping).

 

There are various ways to sell products online and there’s again a whole strategy behind it.

 

As I don’t have any experience with this, I can’t personally tell you what does and doesn’t work. There are a lot of specialized websites that will teach you all the tricks of the trade. 

 

If you’re a photographer and you want to sell your images online, you could set up your own online gallery and sell them as prints on Etsy or Shopify.

 

You could also sell your images on various stock photography websites but unless you have photos that are highly in demand, don’t expect to make tons of money with it. 

 

  • Selling your services online

There are nowadays a lot of professions that can be practiced online. I’m thinking of virtual assistant, social media manager, website developer, graphic designer, writer, life coach, online teacher,…

 

If you’re trained in one of these fields – or planning on following courses – you could set up a website and sell your services online. 

 

The competition will be fierce so it’s very important that you learn about SEO and marketing to promote your services to potential clients. 

 

How to start a blog/vlog - Online Work - Digital Nomads -Journal of Nomads

Vlogging in Georgia (2017)

 

Like I’ve mentioned before, it probably will take time before your online business will make you some money. So while you’re working on setting up your own business, you could do freelance work on the side to diversify your income:

 

2. Freelancing

There are many freelance jobs you can do online, such as writing, becoming a virtual assistant, a website developer, graphic designer, SEO specialist, translator, …

 

You can contact businesses and clients directly or you can create a profile on freelance services websites.

 

Here’s a list of 13 websites that will help you with finding online work (and potential clients for your own business):

1. Upwork: for freelancers in web and software development, IT, writing, translating, design, finance, engineering,…

2. Fiverr: for freelancers in graphic & design, digital marketing, writing & translation, video & animation, music, programming,…

3. Outsourcely: for freelancers in design & multimedia, web development, writing & content, administrative support, customer service, sales & marketing,…   

4. Gurufor freelancers in web & software development, IT, design, art, multimedia, writing, translation, engineering,…

5. Freelancermap.comIT jobs & projects for freelancers, contractors and independent consultants

6. Freelancer: for freelancers with skills in website, logo and graphic design, photoshop, copywriting, WordPress, SEO, …

7. PeoplePerHour: freelance jobs in web, logo and graphic design, website development, copywriting, multimedia,…

8. Freelance Writing Gigs: writing jobs, blogging jobs, online content jobs

9. Freelance Writingjournalism, content, copywriting and blogging gigs

10. iFreelancejobs in consulting, finance, administration, education, photography, videography, writing, programming,…

11. Working Nomads: Remote jobs in development, management, marketing, sales, design, finance, consulting,…

12. We Work Remotelyfor freelance and remote jobs in programming, customer support, design, marketing, copywriting,…

13. Remote.co: find remote work in education, healthcare, design, customer service, marketing, HR, transcription, writing,…

14. Toptalfor freelance developers, designers and finance experts

 

3. Online Teaching 

We worked for 3 years as online teachers while traveling overland from Europe to Central Asia.

 

It was challenging at times as we worked on a schedule and had to find a quiet space with a fast and reliable internet connection to be able to teach – which isn’t always easy in certain countries and regions.

 

We always found a solution though – like renting an affordable flat or room on Airbnb – and we made enough money to financially support our travels. 

 

I wrote a very comprehensive guide on how to become an online teacher, including a list of more than 30 online schools and platforms where you can apply

 

 

How to Teach English Online - Online Teaching Sites - Journal of Nomads

Teaching English Online

 

Now that you know the various ways of how to make money while traveling, let’s get to some practicalities. 

 

Do you need a work visa to work abroad? 

 

You will or won’t need a visa, depending on your nationality and the type of work you do.

 

When you work in a foreign country, you’ll need a working visa in most cases. When you work online, which is considered remote work, you most likely won’t need a working visa. 

 

When do you need a work permit?

In most cases, you need a work permit to work in a foreign country unless your country has a reciprocal agreement with the country you want to work in.

 

Here are a few examples.

If you’re a passport holder of a country that is part of the European Union, you can work in any country of the European Union without having to apply for a work permit.

If you’re an Australian citizen, you don’t need a work visa to work in New Zealand and vice versa. 

 

Before you plan on working in a foreign country, you should check the visa regulations for this specific country to know if you need to apply for a work permit in advance.

 

There are 2 types of work visas for travelers:

 

1. Working Holiday Visa

A working holiday visa allows travelers to work in a country during their visit.

 

This visa usually gives you the chance to stay in a foreign country for a longer amount of time than a tourist visa and allows you to work there.

 

This is a great way to earn money while traveling!

 

I traveled to Australia on a working holiday visa and it allowed me to stay for one year in the country. I also applied for a second working holiday visa for Australia, giving me an extra year in the country! I also had a working holiday visa for New Zealand. 

 

These visas gave me the opportunity to travel for 3 full years while financially supporting myself by doing several jobs on the spot! 

 

Working holiday visas have some limitations though.

 

Firstly, only travelers between the ages of 18 and 30 can apply. Some countries offer working holiday visas to travelers until they’re 35-years-old

 

You don’t need to have a job offer or a job lined up before arriving in the country. You can take the time to search for a job once you arrived at your destination. You can also decide to first travel around the country for a while before getting a job. 

 

However, some of the working holiday visas place limits on the type of work you can do and/or the amount of time you can stay employed.

 

The most common jobs you can get on this type of visa are in the tourism and hospitality (restaurants, bars, hotels,…), industrial (farms, fruit picking,..) and retail sectors. I’ll give more examples in the section below. 

 

You also can’t apply for a working holiday visa for just any country in the world. Most working holiday visa schemes are under reciprocal agreements between two countries and the requirements for each scheme vary from country to country. 

 

There are about 53 countries that offer working holiday visas to foreign travelers.

 

To find out if you’re eligible to apply for a working holiday visa in a specific country, go to the website of Working Holiday Visa Finder. This website will give you all the up-to-date info you need and how you can apply!

 

Do you need a visa to work remotely - Journal of Nomads

 

2. Temporary Work Permit

A Temporary Work Permit allows you to stay and work in a country for a fixed amount of time.

 

It’s usually given for positions that have a labor shortage and are unfilled by the citizens of the country.

 

Before you can apply for a temporary work permit, you already need an offer of employment. Research your destination’s website of Foreign Affairs to find out the exact requirements to get a temporary work permit.

 

3.  What if I can’t get a work visa/permit?

What if you’re in a country without a working visa, are you still allowed to work?

 

Legally, the answer is no. However… it’s always possible to find a daily or weekly job that pays cash-in-hand, such as painting, gardening, cleaning, washing dishes, picking fruits, working on farms, …

 

It might not be your ‘dream’ job and it’s not always fun or pleasant – I still remember the days where I was on my knees scrubbing bathroom floors – but at least it will pay for your food and lodging. 

 

You could also do volunteering work in exchange for food and accommodation. You usually don’t need a working visa to volunteer, although there might be a few countries that will still perceive this as work and will require you to apply for a work permit. Research the country’s visa regulations in advance! 

 

Check out the section with resources about volunteering work in the Ultimate Guide to Free Accommodation!

 

Volunteering work - Work visa - Journal of Nomads

Painting a caravan on the English countryside in exchange for food and accommodation (England, 2013)

 

Do you need a visa to work remotely?

As a digital nomad, you’re working online as your own boss or remotely as an employee for a company. So when you’re in a foreign country where your business or the company you work for isn’t registered, you’re technically not making an income from this country, meaning that you don’t need a work visa to be there.

 

Are you still following? I know it sounds a bit complicated and since the digital nomad lifestyle is still relatively new, there are a lot of grey areas when it comes to working visas.  

 

So as long as you don’t need to be physically present in the company you’re working for or taking away work from locals, you don’t need a working visa.

 

Let me give you a specific example.

 

While Niko and I were traveling and living in Georgia, we were working as online teachers for a Chinese company. We were basically employed in China so even though we were performing our work in Georgia, our income was coming from another country. This meant that we didn’t need a work visa to work in Georgia and could stay in the country on a tourist visa. 

 

If we’d have worked as teachers in a physical school building in Georgia, we’d have needed a work visa. 

 

But what if we were teaching online for a Georgian company in Georgia?

Technically speaking, we’d be employed in Georgia so even though we’d be performing our work online, we’d still need a working visa. 

 

In short: as long as you’re not working – whether physically or online – in the country where you’re employed, you don’t need a working visa.

Just keep in mind that they’re always exceptions so in case of doubt, check the official website of the country’s Foreign Affairs. 

 

 

And now, to finish this already very lengthy post, I want to cover more question that people often ask us as well:

 

How to pay taxes as a digital nomad or when working abroad?

 

Now this is a very complicated question as there isn’t one straightforward answer. I’m not an accountant so I won’t be able to tell you exactly how and what to do.

 

It all depends on your country of citizenship, where and if you still have a registered address and if you’re physically working in a country or remotely. As this is different for everyone, I can’t tell you if and where you have to pay taxes. You should contact an accountant from your home country who is specialized in international taxes.

 

I can only tell you what I know from experience and give you a few examples.

 

 

If you’re physically working in a foreign country and you still have a registered address in your home country, you automatically have to pay taxes in the country where you’re working. You might also have to pay taxes on your world income in your home country unless your country has a double tax treaty with the country you’re working in.

 

Let’s give you an example. When I was working as a waitress in Australia, my income was automatically taxed in Australia. As I was still a registered citizen in my home country Belgium and my country’s taxation system taxes residents on their world income,  I was supposed to pay taxes on my Australian income.

Luckily for me, Belgium has a double tax treaty with Australia, meaning that I didn’t have to pay taxes twice on my Australian income as long as I could prove that I had paid my taxes in Australia. 

 

Some countries will tax you on your world income, some countries won’t and some will only tax you on your world income if you’re physically residing for a certain amount of time in your home country. 

 

As you can see, I can’t tell YOU what you should do as it all depends on the tax laws of your home country.

 

Now let’s have a look at the situation of a digital nomad.

Basically, if you’re working as a remote employee for a company, you should pay taxes in the country where this company is registered and/or in your home country.

 

If you’re self-employed, you’ll have to pay taxes in the country where you registered your business. You might also still have to taxes in your home country (if it differs from the country where you have your business), depending on its tax laws. Again, every situation is different and it all depends on the country where you’re registered as a resident.

 

But what if I’m a non-resident and I don’t have a registered address, do I still have to pay taxes

Again, this will also depend on your country of citizenship. Even if you don’t have an address and you’re not officially living anywhere, you’re still considered a citizen of your home country (otherwise you wouldn’t be able to have a passport…).

 

Some countries won’t tax their non-residing citizens, other countries – like the USA – will still tax their citizens on their world income, even if they’re residing elsewhere.

 

Like you could read, the tax system – especially for digital nomads –  is a very complex one and it’s just impossible for me to give you the answers you seek. You should really contact a specialized accountant in your home country!

 

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that it gave you inspiration and ideas for when you want to travel and make some money along the way. 

 

Definitely check out our other posts about Nomadic Living

 

How to make money while traveling - The Best Travel Jobs - Journal of Nomads

 

Are you planning to travel for a while and are you looking for ways to make money on your trip? Do you have any questions left about this topic?

Are you currently working abroad or as a digital nomad? Do you have more valuable tips for aspiring nomads? 

Contact us or leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you! 

 

 

* Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through one of these links, we’ll receive a small commission at no extra costs for you. Thank you!

 

 

Follow Cynthia - Journal of Nomads:

Writer, travel photographer, Panasonic Lumix Ambassador and co-founder of Journal of Nomads

I have Belgian roots but the world has been my home for the past 8 years.I'm an artist at heart and often get lost in my thoughts. I like to create some-thing out of no-thing and once I feel inspired, I'm unstoppable.I love telling stories and taking photos, showing the beauty and extraordinary of the world around me.Oh, and I love making the impossible elegantly probable.Once you realize that you're a creator and the world is your playfield, there's no limit to what can be done!

23 Responses

  1. Oklahoma City spa
    | Reply

    Thank you for your article, let me know so much

  2. Card Games
    | Reply

    Thank you for your work on the blog! You’re doing a good job!
    Game Lover

  3. Miguel
    | Reply

    And in central asian countries did you the same process for finding a job?

    • Cynthia
      | Reply

      Hi Miguel, we didn’t search for a job in Central Asia as we’re both teaching and working online. However, there are many English teaching jobs available in big cities like Almaty and Bishkek.

      • Miguel
        | Reply

        Ok. Thanks! 🙂

  4. Deedee
    | Reply

    Thanks for the list!

    So others know, Working Traveller sucks! In addition to the poor English there’s not much useful info. Geezus H.

  5. Arava Glam
    | Reply

    Great article
    I tried all kinds of websites to make extra money online.
    What works best for me it Koocam.
    I teach my hobbies, sells my knowledge in any field.
    It’s great !

    • Cynthia Bil
      | Reply

      Thank you! I just had a look at Koocam and will add it to the list, thanks for the great recommendation!

  6. Great resource!! I pinned this to reference when I’m ready to cut the umbilical cord from corporate lol

    • Journal of Nomads
      | Reply

      Thank you!! Haha, well, I hope it will be useful for you one day 🙂 But you’re proving that you don’t always have to quit your job to travel!!

  7. Vyjay Rao
    | Reply

    This is inspiring and shows how hard you work to do what you are passionate about

  8. africanagirl
    | Reply

    So cool you’re getting around the world this way! It gives people hope to do the same!!

    • Cynthia
      | Reply

      Hi Africanagirl, thanks for your reply. Yes, it’s a great way of traveling the world, it makes it possible to keep going. Not always easy but that’s the way you learn the most 🙂 We want to show with our blog how the things that seem impossible are possible 😉 Je blog is trouwens heel tof, net een kijkje genomen 🙂

  9. Elizabeth W
    | Reply

    Great post, thank you! Gives a realistic perspective on how to keep travelling for long periods of time.

    • Cynthia
      | Reply

      Thanks Elizabeth, that’s what we’re aiming for: to give people a sense of how it is to travel long term, to share what we’ve learned along the way and the reality of long term traveling. It’s not always sunshine and roses, but it is worth it 🙂

  10. Amanda
    | Reply

    Awesome post!!! I worked on cruise ships for 10 years and got paid to travel the world 😄 Now I help others to do the same. Way to go for being so determined and creative while on the road 👍

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