What if inside your backpack, you could pack also your working place, transforming it into a traveling job? Getting paid to travel or to travel the world for free is the dream of every backpacker, but the reality is that there are no easy ways to make money, and unless you decide to take up the challenge to travel without funds, you'll need to save some cash to be able to leave. Following the previous guides, you were given some precious tips to decrease consistently the expenses, but if funds are lacking, a few more ideas to make money are very welcome. There are many ways to raise money for traveling: ordinary jobs, fundraising events, on-line businesses. We are still working our way to find the
combination that best fits our needs, but we hope to give you at least some good inspiration and nice ideas to raise money!
1) Sell your stuff
The first easy trick, that doesn't even require to be employed, is to sell everything that you don't need anymore. The clock that you received for your graduation, your old camera, the Christmas present that you never liked, these are easy ways to raise money. If you are going to travel for very long time, let's say months or even years, it makes sense also to sell things that you usually use when you are at home, but won't be able to use while traveling. As an example, if I'm traveling hitchhiking for one year, I won't be able to use my bicycle, so it makes sense to sell it if I need money.
The idea is that if you sell something, if you'll need it again in the future, you'll be able to buy it second hand with the same money. If not, you'll have some extra cash to travel.
Not to talk about car: if you have one, it's a good source of money to start traveling and it will eliminate also more fixed expenses!
2) Do you own an apartment? Rent it out!
Well if you own an apartment, you don't even need more ideas to make money, you already won the jackpot! If you are able to rent it out, you could have enough income to travel forever.
3) Ordinary Jobs
An ordinary job is still the easiest of the ways to make money for your trips: just work for some months in your country, try to save as much as you can, give up on going out, drinking, smoking and accumulating useless objects, and then you'll be ready to raise enough funds to leave. Not a very inspiring option, but the most effective of the ideas to make money.
If you still don't feel confident enough to leave everything and go, you can try to mix traveling and work. There are plenty of jobs that require travel, here just a few inspirational ideas to make money while still traveling:
4) Work on a Cruise ship
Working on a cruise ship can be hard, with long working hours and no free days. But it's a good way to get paid to travel, and you'll be able to travel the world for free and save all of your salary, since food and accommodation are given. There are a wide range of jobs required on cruise ships: waiters, cleaners, guides, photographers, masseurs, mechanics... just choose what best fits you and you'll get paid to travel.
5) Are you a street artist? Busking is your way!
This is probably the most carefree and appealing of all of the ideas to make money. If you have any skill like dancing, acting, singing, juggling, entertaining people, the roadwill be your office. You don't have a working schedule and there is no boss, you just decide when and where to go. It's one of the best location indipendent, traveling jobs, even if it's working well only in western countries; it can not be a good source of money if you're planning to travel in poor countries or isolated places. Usually there are laws regulating busking, so if you want to be legal, you better read it.
6) Be creative: make arts and crafts and sell it on the road
If you are a creative person, this can be your way to earn money with one of our selected traveling jobs. What to create is up to your imagination: aren't you the creative person? :) Some common items sold on the road are earrings and jewelry, paintings, portraits, origami and colored fans. The disadvantage is that you'll have to carry the products in your backpack and the tools and materials to make it. If you are a light backpacker, then you better keep reading below more ideas to make money.
7) Teach English in Asia
If you want to travel to Asia, there are plenty of opportunities to teach English, in particular in China and South Korea. Salaries are very good compared to local standards, and often also accommodation is provided. Best is if you are English mother tongue, or at least if you have a TEFL diploma, but sometimes it can be enough to have a western aspect and to be fluent in English! If you like to stop long time in the same location, then this might be your favourite of our traveling jobs!
8) If you excel in something, give private lessons
If you have any particular skill that people can be interested in, then you can teach it! Either you are a martial art freak, or an English mother tongue, or a professional dancer, or an expert Photoshop user, then this can be your way to raise funds, you don't need any more ideas to make money! Just create an announcement in one of the local websites like gumtree, or paste it around in the streets, university boards and libraries, and wait to be called! Clearly to be able to use this tip, you'll need to stay long enough in the same place.
9) Tourist guide
It's only one of the many ideas to make money, but it's becoming more and more common in touristic cities. If you think you know enough of the place you are visiting, and you don't mind speaking to people, then create your own walking tour and get paid to travel! Usually they are sponsored by hostels and hotels, they are free to join and the guide gets paid by voluntary donation at the end of the tour.
If you don't want to mix work and travel, then a seasonal job might be what you are looking for. Below some ideas to make money around the world:
10) Picking fruits
This is one of the most popular traveling jobs among backpackers, because there is always need of manual labor, and it's not a job that a lot of people are craving for. In fact it's very hard and tiring physically, in particular for the back, but in the evening you can relax and socialize with the other travellers. Usually the payment is by kilos of fruits collected, so the faster you work the more you earn. Accommodation and food can be included, but it's not a general rule. Common fruit picking jobs are grapes in France, strawberries in Denmark, wild berries in Scandinavia, olives in Italy and kiwis in New Zealand.
11) Waiter and bartender
If you know the local language, then it's always an option to search for a job as a waiter or a bartender: in summer, request is increasing exponentially, and apart from the salary it's possible to earn good money with tips.
12) Summer Camps with kids
This job is more common in countries with an outdoor culture, like USA, Canada, Switzerland and Scandinavia. You need to be patient and to be able to smile even after 14 hours of work. Working days are long, from the morning when kids are waking up, till the evening when they are going to sleep, and usually there is no space for free time. If you can't cope with kids, then you better follow one of our other ways to raise money for traveling.
13) Counselor in touristic resorts
If you are a funny person and don't mind long working schedule, then it might be a good idea to apply for a position in a touristic resort! The same apply for free time and stress, so if you are not into sacrifice and you are looking for an easy way to make money, you better look somewhere else.
14) Sport instructor
If you are specialized in a sport activity, then you have good chances to be able to find a job in the field, and get paid to travel the world for free. Well paid sport activities are skiing and scuba diving.
To be able to succeed through fundraising, you need to have a strong network of friends and acquaintances, good marketing strategies and a touching cause.
It's possible to create a series of fundraising event in different locations while traveling, or even to do it online.
15) On-line crowd funding campaign
If you prefer to be flexible and mind your own schedule, then forget all the previous ideas to make money and become an online freelancer. There are plenty of opportunities, but competition is high.
16) Websites for outsourcing work
There are plenty of websites working as platforms to connect freelancers and employers. Basically there are databases of jobs pertinent to every kind of field, from coding to photography to personal assistant to translations. The employer is writing a description of the job, and the freelancers have to apply making a bid about price, duration and quality. Each user has a profile with job history and feedback.
I've been working for some time with these websites and I was able to raise a few hundred bucks, but I can't still manage to have a constant flux of money. There are a lot of freelancers from India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Philippines: competition is extremely high, and a lot of the employers are looking for low paid work, sometimes as low as 1$ per hour. So even to find a fairly paid job to apply requires time and constant application, in particular at the beginning to build a reputation through feedback.
17) Become a translator
If you are fluent in more than one language, then you have the possibility to become a translator. There are people doing it as a profession, so you'll have to compete with them. The good news is that it's one of the location indipendent, traveling jobs, so you just need internet and your laptop to work! It's possible to find translation jobs through agencies and specialized websites.
18) Freelance writing
The field of freelance writing is quite wide and highly competitive. You can write your own book, e-book or work and try to find somebody willing to publish it, or work for somebody else as a ghost writer: several jobs on the field are available through the outsourcing agencies seen above.
19) Microstock photography
Selling royalty free images online, in great number but at very low price, can be a great source of income for some, but nowadays the market is saturated, and the quality of photos is extremely high. That's why I wouldn't suggest this option to people without strong photographic and creative skills. You better look for another of the many ways to raise money we listed.
If you are still interested in this option, you should know that with each photo sold you earn only a few cents, so to reach a fair income your pictures need to be downloaded thousands of time. A beautiful travel photo won't sell much, people are looking mainly for corporation photos to use in advertising, companies websites and articles.
20) Play poker online
Gambling is not my peace of cake, but I met several travellers that were able to finance their trip completely by playing poker online. According to them the trick is to play constantly and for little money.
21) Write for travel magazines
This is my favourite one, among all the traveling jobs we listed, but it's very hard. The job itself is not difficult, but it's very hard to find a magazine willing to publish your work.
To be able to find an assignment, you have to write a pitch and send it to the editorial office of the magazine you want to be published on. If it's a travel article you want to write, it's a must to include outstanding pictures, otherwise the chances to be considered are quite low. If you have the luck to be chosen, the payment is very good compared to the amount of work required. If I would be able to write 8 articles per year, I could be able to cover completely my low financial necessities of hitchhiker, and I wouldn't need to work anymore.
22) Make your own website
If all of the other ways to raise money are not appealing to you, then it's time to work at your own website! It doesn't have to be about travel if you don't want to, it can be about any other passion of yours. Also this is not a quick way to make money, and it requires a lot or work.
I can give you some insider tips from the experience we accumulated with nomadtravellers.com. First of all we did it all by ourselves, we didn't hire anybody to help us. This means that I had to learn how to make a website from scratch and then also to design it. Only this initial process took me something like 3-4 months of daily work. Then you have to learn about SEO optimization and online marketing, and it's not all, because then you have to create the content and keep it constantly updated: this can be challenging while you are traveling. Plus you have to pay yearly fees for the domain name and the hosting service. We decided not to use advertisements so far, and to try with spontaneous donation: the result isn't encouraging, and this choice revealed to be really unsuccessful: we collected a total of 20€ (BTW: donated by a friend of mine) in over 2 years of activity. We can't even pay the fixed expenses with that, not to talk about the thousands of hours of unpaid work we dedicated to it. But at the same time there are successful travelers that are able to raise as much as 9000$ per month with their website, and they just get paid to travel!
So if you are planning to make your own website, you should know that you have a long and difficult way in front of you, and you need a lot of perseverance to succeed. Don't give up!
So, now just pick your favourite one from our list of traveling jobs and start exploring the world!
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You can read the other guides to become a professional gypsy traveller in the travel tips section.