Today, people care less and less about material possessions and more about experiences. A lot of us choose to spend our savings to go see the world’s wonders instead of buying a house and settling down. But traveling can be prohibitively expensive. Wouldn’t it be great if you could earn money while you were out seeing the world?
With these nine jobs, you can! (Or, at the very least, get a few meals or nights of lodging for free.)
1. Teach English
Requirements: Native-level English proficiency.
First Step: Online research.
If you’re a native English speaker, the easiest way to make money abroad is to teach English. Positions can be easily found in Southeast Asia (especially in South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and Japan), but many other countries also need English teachers. In many cases you don’t even need to be certified — being a native speaker is enough to get hired.
2. Find a Local Job
Requirements: A social personality.
First Step: Find out who’s hiring.
Many hostels, bars, and resorts in places popular among tourists are always looking to hire new staff. All you have to do is find the right venue and approach the management.
Some places will only want a few hours of your work (usually front desk staffing or cleaning) in exchange for free accommodation. Others might offer you a salary. Don’t be surprised to receive money in cash — unless you go abroad on a working visa, in most countries they won’t be able to offer you an official contract.
3. Go Freelance
Requirements: Internet access.
First Step: Online research.
If your skills and interests lie in the field of design, programming, writing, marketing, consulting, or similar areas, you can try making money freelancing online. One of the popular websites to set yourself up is Upwork.com, a platform that matches freelancers with people and companies that need work done. There are plenty of other websites that will help you find a freelance contract. You just need to start looking.
Freelancing isn’t easy, but if you stick with it, you can do pretty well for yourself. The flexibility inherent in freelancing means you can work from anywhere, and you might not even need a laptop with you. Getting to the point where you’re making good money can take years, but many people find that it’s the key to their digital nomad lifestyle.
4. Edit Menus
Requirements: Local language knowledge and good English skills.
First Step: Find a restaurant or other venue.
Another way to take advantage of your language knowledge is to help local businesses abroad by editing their menus or offering to translate the menus into English. The trick is, again, to find the right place. There are often restaurants or bed and breakfasts further away from city centers that either have badly translated English menus or no English version at all.
All you have to do is offer your help in exchange for some free meals or a bed (depending on the difficulty and amount of work). Having the correct English-language menus and signs means attracting more English-speaking tourists. You’ll be supporting small local businesses while saving money on food and accommodation.
5. Deliver Goods
Requirements: Desire to travel, room in your luggage.
First Step: Sign up for Grabr.
Remember the movie EuroTrip? Scott and Cooper manage to get cheap tickets to London by going there as couriers. A nifty online service called Grabr offers a similar opportunity. If you know you’re going somewhere, you can offset the cost by getting paid to deliver a few things while you’re there.
Thousands of users are requesting items that cannot be found in their home country. Each delivery is rewarded, from a few bucks to hundreds of dollars. Once your destination is set, check the website for the “grabs” that are being requested there and make delivery offers. After that, the usual course of action is to get the item from Amazon, deliver it, and get paid.
6. Create Handmade Arts and Crafts
Requirements: DIY skills (or the desire to learn them).
First Step: Creating products.
Making money online is great, but what if you’re going somewhere without your computer? Or if your destination is notorious for having unstable internet access? You can always find a way to earn money by working with your hands. One of the finest examples is selling your own handmade art. Paintings and various accessories are most popular among tourists. You can even sell them on Amazon if you’re willing to ship.
The best thing about arts and crafts is that there’s no limit to where you can learn them. Want to become a self-taught handmade decorations master while you’re on the road? Starting with something simple, like learning how to make a dreamcatcher (a very hot trend in the world of handmade at the moment).
7. Sell Your Photography
Requirements: DSLR or smartphone with a good camera, photography skills.
First Step: Find your niche.
This is probably one of the toughest one on our list. You will require some major photography knowledge and ideally previous experience in photography business to successfully use it to make money abroad. At the same time, if you have what it takes, photography can be a great way to not only sustain yourself overseas but also aid your savings while on the road.
Some examples of the work you can do are wedding photography, portraits, theme photo shoots, selling your shots to travel websites, and selling stock photos. There are also apps that let you sell your smartphone photography to interested buyers. You’ll need to really stand out to succeed, but it can certainly be done.
8. Work on a Cruise
Requirements: Hardworking mindset, good physical shape.
First Step: Online research.
An excellent way to earn money while broadening your horizons and getting to know the world is by getting employed on a cruise ship. There are plenty of roles, from waiting tables to teaching English, but there’s also plenty of competition. You can make a lot of money if you get a higher-level position, but an entry-level one might be closer to minimum wage. On the other hand, your lodging, meals and transportation are paid for.
Cruise ship jobs can be very demanding with a strict schedule, so you’ll need to be prepared for that. You’ll also have to think about which positions you’re qualified for and willing to do. For example, a maitre d’ can earn a lot of money; but you’ll need hospitality experience. To get an idea of what’s out there, check out www.allcruisejobs.com.
9. Volunteer Abroad
Requirements: Desire to help.
First Step: Study the MakeUseOf travel volunteering guide.
While volunteering won’t get you paid, it can sometimes get you free meals or even a night or two of lodging. And in many cases, you’ll get the satisfaction of having helped out a great organization.
There are a few different websites out there which pair volunteers and hosts that provide free accommodation, food and sometimes a little money in exchange for the travelers’ help. To see where you might be able to get involved, check out Volunteer International.
You only need a destination to begin a journey.We live in the era of opportunities and these are only a few ways to make money overseas. Whether you end up fruit-picking in Australia, teaching scuba diving in Indonesia, or serving as an au pair in France, you’ll almost never run out of ways to make your ends meet. Now, are you ready to pack your bags?
Have you ever had to work while traveling? What kind of work did you do? Share your thoughts in the comments below.