5 Easy Ways to Make Money Traveling

Forget saving for a year or teaching English abroad - become a digital nomad and make money traveling instead

Quick+Dirty!

If you make money traveling, it means that you can travel indefinitely.

Making money while you travel means you don’t have to stick to a strict budget because money is always flowing in.

It also means you’re free to roam the planet at will without being stuck working abroad at a teaching job or other full-time gig.

So how can you make money traveling without signing a teaching contract, becoming an au pair, or searching for one of those elusive private yacht jobs?

By becoming a digital nomad, that’s how.

If you have a laptop and basic computer skills, you can easily make the world your office and travel abroad forever.

Here are 5 websites to help you make money traveling without committing to a “regular” job.

1. Upwork.com

Upwork.com is a website for freelancers.

Companies and small businesses post jobs for everything from copywriting to web design to tutoring services. Freelancers then compete for said jobs by creating and submitting job proposals.

But don’t worry if you’re not a brilliant web programmer and can’t write your way out of a paper bag. There are zillions of jobs posted on Upwork every day, and I know you’ll find something that’s a good fit for your skill set.

When I first started doing online marketing, I got 95% of my clients via Elance (now Upwork). I tell everyone about the site and I’m amazed that more people don’t use it to make money traveling.

2. Fiverr.com

On Fiverr.com, people will pay you $5 to do just about anything.

That could be something that requires technical skills, like web design or social media, OR it could be something completely ridiculous like paying you $5 to break up with their girlfriend.

Check out the site and see who the high rollers are, look at who’s making the most money and how.

Figure out how you can incorporate travel into what you’re offering. For example, can you send people postcards from anywhere in the world for $5? What about writing their wife’s name on a sign and taking a picture with it in front of the Eiffel Tower?

Remember that you’re traveling and people wish they could be you. Work that to your advantage on Fiverr, and don’t forget to offer “upsells” – the postcard is $5, but for $10 they can get rush delivery, and for $25 you’ll send 5 postcards.

Also, don’t forget that if you’re traveling in low-cost countries, $5 goes a lot further than it does back home. (Like, a lot further. Like hotel room-further.)

3. TakeLessons.com

TakeLessons is a site for teachers and students. I use those terms loosely. If you have something to teach, you can connect with someone who wants to learn it.

Teachers teach lessons to students via Skype, Google Hangouts, or in person. Since you’ll be traveling, you’ll probably want to shoot for online lessons, though it could be cool to set up some in-person lessons in the cities you’re visiting abroad.

Popular categories are things like singing lessons, French lessons, WordPress lessons and acting lessons, but don’t let those categories deter you. If you are passionate about World of Warcraft or Flamenco, chances are other people too.

Create a free account, set your hourly rate, and make sure you specify your time zone. Students will sign up for a time slot and you’ll get paid via Paypal.

Voila! Who’da thunk you could make money traveling so easily?

4. Clarity.fm

This site is sort of like Fiverr meets TakeLessons. It’s more business-focused, so if you have a background in online marketing, design, or technology, this is totally your bag.

The way it works is simple: set up a free account, fill out your profile, specify your areas of expertise, and set your “call rate.”

You call rate is the amount of money people pay you per minute to speak with you on the phone (or via Skype) and pick your brain about whatever topic you’re an expert in.

“But I’m not an expert in anything!” I hear you cry.

Oh no? Well, you can read this sentence, can’t you? Which means that a) your English skills are better than billions of other people on the planet, and b) your computer skills, which allowed you to open a web browser and navigate to this page, are equally as impressive.

Clarity also has an “other” section for non-business related skill sets, so now you really have no excuse not to make money traveling.

5. Skype

I will never understand why people moan and groan about the cost of travel when Skype exists.

Using Skype, you can make money traveling anytime and anyplace, as long as you have an Internet connection. You don’t even need a laptop because you can use the Skype app on your smartphone.

Here are just a few of the ways I’ve seen people make money traveling while using Skype:

  • As an online therapist
  • As a life coach
  • As an intuitive healer
  • As an academic tutor
  • As a singing teacher
  • As a business consultant

The benefit of using Skype instead of the above-mentioned websites is that Skype won’t charge a fee when you book a client (the other sites take small to medium cuts of any business you get through them).

On the other hand, if you choose to use Skype you’ll have to do all of the legwork to find and book clients. The other sites make it easy to find prospects and score more business.

The other day I celebrated my 6th full month of long-term travel. Hey, it’s not much compared to rock stars like Wandering Earl who’ve been traveling since 1999, but for me, it’s a huge accomplishment.

And I never could have done it if I’d had to save up a bunch of money first (I suck at saving money), or gotten a job teaching English abroad.

For me, working full time for someone else in a different country is just as constricting as working full time for someone else at home.

I want to be free to travel where I want, when I want, and the only way I can do that is by being a digital nomad.

It’s not all roses and milk tea, though. You have to work hard, and you have to, well, work.

That in and of itself can be challenging when everyone else around you is on holiday and you’re cooped up in your hotel room strapped to your laptop.

But you know what? On days I’m stuck instead working for 8 or 10 or 14 hours, I still get to take a break, have lunch, and walk outside and see this:

make-money-traveling

And I still get to marvel at thoughts like “holy CRAP I’m in [insert crazy destination here] right now!” And thoughts like that make the long hours more than worth it.

If I were you and I wanted to see the world, but I didn’t know how I could afford it, I’d look into any of these websites.

If I had to choose one, it’d be Odesk, especially if you are a native English speaker because you will crush the competition.

Quick+Dirty Takeaway

1. Elance.com

2. Fiverr.com

3. TakeLessons.com

4. Clarity.fm

5. Skype!

Want to dig deeper? Go for it!

36 comments on “5 Easy Ways to Make Money Traveling

  1. Tam Gamble

    I love the tips on how to make extra money using digital skills rather than being tidied by a teaching contract or something similar. I have seen a couple of people mention Elance before and some have commented negatively on it which has put me off exploring more – think I will need to do some more digging. 🙂
    Tam Gamble recently posted…Under A Croatian Sun by Anthony StancombMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Rebekah Voss Post author

      Hi Tam, I’ve seen so much anti-Elance online too, and I think it’s because you actually have to make a tiny little bit of effort to succeed. You can’t simply apply to one job and voila! Instant money flowing into your bank account forever! When I started, I would write articles for $2. You do a good job, then you build up solid reviews and ratings, then you charge more. It doesn’t take long, I had some momentum built within a few weeks, and within 2-3 months I was working full time. But it’s like anything else, you have to be reliable and do good work. Thanks for your comment!!

      Reply
  2. Jay

    Awesome article. Just when I thought I have hit the dead end early in my travel blogging adventures, this article just put some of my worries into perspective. There are so many ways to make money while traveling and I will definitely put these ideas into work. Thank you so much.

    Reply
    1. Rebekah Voss Post author

      Hi Jay, thanks for your comment and it’s so true!! I couldn’t do the teaching thing (GOD BLESS TEACHERS YOU ARE ALL SAINTS) and I don’t like being stuck in one place. Working online has been the answer, and I really believe anyone can do it.

      Reply
    1. Rebekah Voss Post author

      Hi Anna! Hooray, so glad you could find some new ideas. I’m telling you, ELANCE IS THE ANSWER!! I rarely even use the site anymore because I was able to find regular clients there, and now we’ve been working together for 1-2 years. Start small, submit lowball offers, and do a great job. You’ll grow quickly!!

      Reply
  3. Sarah

    Thank you for sharing these tips! I’ll definitely check out the websites you’ve mentioned and get something started to further my travel dreams! Awesome.

    Reply
    1. Rebekah Voss Post author

      Thanks Sarah! Yes, please check them out – there’s no reason for anyone to have to save money or find a job to travel. Laptop (or even tablet) plus WiFi and you’re good to go!

      Reply
    1. Rebekah Voss Post author

      Thanks Elaine! Wow, 5th move sounds very exciting, and I know what you mean about not wanting to teach. God bless teachers, they are angels and in my next lifetime I hope I have that much patience!

      p.s. I’m Rebekah, but close enough – for some reason when people get my name wrong they ALWAYS choose Sarah – always!! Maybe my parents made a mistake on the birth certificate. (:

      Reply
  4. Katie

    Wow this post is exactly what I’ve been looking for!!! I want to set off travelling in January and desperately been trying to find ways to work whilst I travel but not be tied to any particular country. I’m signing up to all of these, and hopefully by June next year I would have achieved 6 months of travel like you 🙂 Is it okay with you if I share this on my FB, would love to connect with you and keep in touch about your travels xx

    Reply
    1. Rebekah Voss Post author

      Thank you Katie!! I’m so glad it’s what you’re looking for, and of course feel free to share on your Facebook. I’m working on a course right now that will help travelers work on the road (so they won’t be tied down anywhere, like you said!). I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s ready, it’s going to be packed with tips and websites like these to help you make money as a digital nomad. (: Super excited for your upcoming trip!

      Reply
  5. Jasmine

    Thank you. I’m currently learning code and using different tools to create mobile and web based websites. Getting my portfolio together to start freelancing. I plan to teach but do not intend to do it forever

    Reply
  6. Selma

    Being a digital nomad is the wave of the future … so many ways to conduct business in your own way. The only downside: dealing with snooty travelers who poo poo you “working” all the time on vacation … if only they had the discipline to make a life like this work, then they might be able to break the travel > job > travel > job cycle! 😛

    Reply
  7. Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Rebekah,

    Awesomeness. This is why I started Blogging from Paradise.

    I’d like travel bloggers – and any other bloggers who want this – to be able to make money while traveling. Solid list here and a good reminder; if you’re willing to be all over opportunities, and add value, and connect with leaders, and keep on honing your skills, your online efforts will fund your trip.

    No need to return home, to make money, or to simply save up while you work a job…..if you don’t want to. Prosper online.

    Thanks so much Rebekah.

    Tweeting through Triberr.

    Ryan

    Reply
    1. Rebekah Voss Post author

      Ryan, thanks for your awesome comment and positive attitude. It’s totally possible for anyone who wants to do it – there is no reason anyone has to limit themselves or their travels!!

      Reply
  8. Dawn

    This is so awesome! I knew of Fiverr but the other sites were all new for me. I’m looking forward to checking them out. Thanks so much for the tips!

    Reply
    1. Rebekah Voss Post author

      Thanks Dawn, so glad you found this post! Fiverr is great for a lot of people but I’ve personally done better with the other 4, hopefully you will too!

      Reply
  9. Veronika

    Thanks for the great resources, Rebekah..! There’s so much out there and if one works really hard, it’s possible to patch together some nice income, huh..?
    I’m on the way.. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
    1. Rebekah Voss Post author

      Veronika, thanks for your comment!! Hard work is the easy part – then the next step becomes working smarter, not harder so you actually have time to enjoy your travels. That’s my next goal – another great resource is “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss. AWESOME ideas about making passive income that frees you to travel full time!

      Reply
  10. JP

    Great advise! I’ve been lucky enough to have writing jobs come to me so far so I haven’t tried elance yet. When I’m on the road for extended amounts of time I get jobs at the campground I stay at, usually I get free rent, or a decent discount. The jobs are simple, usually cutting the grass or manning the front desk checking people in.

    Good luck on your travels!

    Reply
    1. Rebekah Voss Post author

      Thanks JP, how awesome that you have writing jobs coming your way! Love to hear how you get free accomodation by working at campgrounds too. Right now I’m staying for free in Hanoi in exchange for doing online marketing for the owner. Not a bad gig!

      Reply
  11. The Guy

    Nice tips Rebekah,

    Whilst I’m familiar with some of these I’d never heard of 3 and 4. Now if someone remotely can give me singing lessons then good luck to them, I think I’m a lost cause in that department.

    I like your suggestions for Skype, very creative and too true about Skype saving a lot of money. I often find dropped calls with it now though and that is from a range of worldwide destinations.

    Reply
    1. Rebekah Voss Post author

      LOL never give up on your singing dreams!! I’ve had some trouble with Skype, but not to the point where I wouldn’t use it. Usually if the WiFi is solid Skype has been fine. Glad you found some new sites to check out!

      Reply
  12. Tim Findlay

    Hi Rebekah

    Great post! I would also recommend http://www.odesk.com. I am just about to move over to Sweden permanently with my Swedish partner. I have been working at a digital agency for the last 2 years and am now dedicating my work solely to freelance. It is a little scary not relying on the steady pay check but I feel like i am ready to do something for myself and dive into the unknown!

    Reply
  13. Nora Miller

    You know what, you can also do a post-travel blog post featuring all the spots and experiences you’ve had with them. Maybe even make reviews of all the places you’ve been through. Who knows, those establishments might drop you a mail and give you great deals or freebies.

    It happened to us once when I we went to Thailand, and we were given a free room for a day on our next return. Pretty great deal indeed.

    Reply
  14. Pato Garcia

    I just don’t agree with the “freelance” option, I’ve tried and it’s really complicated, it is too competitive, and it would be something that would need of our time (a lot of it) in order to generate income, when one travels want to know places, in conclusion: Or you go outside and know places or stay at the hotel “freelancing” until you have enough money to move to your next destination.

    Reply

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