It almost doesn’t matter how much money you save up to go travelling with; at some point, you’re going to be running low. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep earning while you’re on the go, so you don’t have to cut your trip short.
There are plenty of sites out there where you can sell your services as a writer, social media manager, content creator, data entry specialist, virtual assistant – and many more besides.
As remote-working becomes more and more common, it’s easier than ever to find a job you can do from anywhere in the world, completely on your own schedule (as long as you have a laptop and a good internet connection).
While a few of these kinds of sites are fee-paying, many are free to join – all you have to do is get your profile of approved and you’ll be on your way. While it can take a bit of effort to get your first contract, once you’ve got the ball rolling freelancing online can be a solid source of income.
This is a great option, especially if you have experience working in hospitality in your home country (although this isn’t necessary, and it won’t hold you back if you don’t).
It’s also really easy to get a bartending job – just walking up to a taverna in Greece or a Sicilian beach bar and asking for work is not unlikely to get you a job on the spot. They’re often willing to hire travellers as their schedules are flexible, and they’re often great for communicating with tourists.
Bartending is a fun and easy way to make money abroad, and if you make an effort you can even make a little extra on the side through tips.
A great place to start hunting for bartending jobs is Gap 360.
3. English lessons
Being a fluent or native english speaker is easily convertible into a money-making skill. From business owners wanting to expand their market to immigrants wanting to learn the language of their new country, there is never a shortage of people who want to learn English.
Most employers will want some kind of TEFL qualification, however. Luckily, it’s possible to learn entirely online – just make sure you do a course with at least 120 hours and which offers a certificate of completion in order to be taken seriously. It often doesn’t actually take 120 hours to complete the course (since online ones are self-paced), but it is an indicator of a good quality course which employers look for. Taking an online TEFL course is a great idea if you want to get qualified while you’re still saving up to go travelling and have to fit it around your schedule, or if you want to be able to study while you’re on the move.
Alternatively, plenty of companies offer destination TEFL courses where you can become a qualified TEFL instructor within a few short weeks, whilst already enjoying being abroad and making new friends on the same path as you.
Once qualified, you’ll be able to find in-person jobs if you want to stay somewhere for a long time, or offer online sessions if you want to be earning while on the move.
4. Working in hostels
Many hostels employ travellers to work their reception, bar, as cleaners or even as events stewards, and these opportunities aren’t hard to come by.
Hostel working will be an especially strong option for you if you speak more than one language and/or have plenty of customer-facing experience. There are plenty of opportunities to get one of these jobs on the fly – if you plan to stay somewhere for a while, just politely ask the staff about possible vacancies when and sell yourself on the spot.
Alternatively, there are plenty of websites which advertise vacancies all year round, so you can have a job waiting for you before you arrive. However, this takes a really standout application and you probably have a better chance of securing a position in person.
The best approach is a blend – use those websites to find out which hostels are hiring in the city you’ve just arrived in, then head to one of them and ask about the vacancy as soon as you get there.
5. Seasonal work
Seasonal work is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a stable source of income for at least a few weeks. You could help local farms with fruit picking, be a ski instructor during the winter or a summer camp counsellor.
Many of these jobs also provide a place to stay and food, so you’re not only earning money but saving it as well. Since this is a pretty backpacker-friendly way of making money you’re likely to meet other people travelling just like you and make many new connections – either with people who already know the area and can show you around, or newbies like you who you can enjoy exploring with.
Although some of these jobs – such as being a ski instructor – require knowhow and qualifications, many more are entry level or offer training on the job.