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How to make money while traveling the world

How to make money while traveling the world, from becoming a digital nomad to teaching English. Earn while you explore with these top travel jobs.

10 min read

If you have an urge to explore beyond a standard beach holiday or weekend break, it’s worth finding out how to make money while traveling the world. Fortunately, opportunities to earn while on the road have never been better. From becoming a digital nomad to teaching English, here are the best travel jobs to fund your nomadic lifestyle.

How to make money while traveling by teaching a language

Teaching English abroad is one of the most popular ways to make money while traveling. There are opportunities all over the world for native English speakers to earn well and positively influence the lives of others. Typical roles require between 10-40 hours of teaching per week, providing flexibility to work and explore in equal measure.

What you’ll need to prepare to teach a language

A Teaching English as a Foreign Language certification (TEFL) is necessary for most respectable jobs as it provides the relevant skills to get you ready to teach in a classroom setting. Courses can be completed online at a pace which comfortably fits into your schedule. A personal tutor, with experience teaching abroad, will also provide feedback and support throughout the course.

Courses generally take between 120 and 140 hours to complete, with costs ranging from €340 to €400—but keep your eyes peeled for occasional reductions and special offers. If you have no prior teaching experience, consider volunteering alongside your study to boost your chances of landing your ideal placement.

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The countries with the best paid teaching jobs

Most travelers choose destinations based on the country’s culture and what it has to offer—this is why making lots of money while traveling isn’t always a priority for many. However, if you’re flexible on the destination and want to boost your income in a big way, the countries with the best paid teaching jobs according to GoOverseas are:

  • The U.A.E (€3,000-€5,000 per month)
  • Japan (€2,000-€5,000 per month)
  • Saudi Arabia (€2,500-€3,500 per month)
  • Kuwait (€2,300-€3,500 per month)
  • Oman (€1,800-€3,100 per month)
  • Taiwan (€1,800-€2,150 per month)
  • South Korea (€1,400-€1,800 per month)

If you’d like to stay closer to home, teaching English within Europe is a viable option, with Italy, Spain, and the Czech Republic popular destinations. However, salaries are lower and the cost of living is higher, so you’ll have to budget accordingly.

Become a digital nomad and work remotely

There’s never been a better time to earn money from anywhere in the world. To become a digital nomad, all you need is a laptop, a stable Wi-Fi connection, and a few select skills that can be monetized online.

Work remotely and teach online

If you are keen to teach but desire more flexibility than the classroom environment offers, trade face-to-face tutoring for Skype. The same requirements as above apply—you’ll need a TEFL certification and some experience.

Once you’re ready to go and you’ve chosen your location, it’s fairly straightforward to find regular work on websites that hire online teachers. Recommended sources, with salaries from GlassDoor, include:

  • VIP Kids rates vary between €12-€20 per hour.
  • EducationFirst pay up to €20 per hour as a starting rate.
  • Rosetta Stone’s starting rate is €15 per hour.
  • goFLUENT also pay €15 per hour for new teachers.

Become a freelance writer

Writing is a valuable skill in the age of online content. According to MarketingProfs, 2 million blog posts are published every day; with this much choice, content has to be well-written and entertaining to stand out.

The average salary for a freelance writer varies dependent on experience and expertise. According to ClearVoice, the majority of beginners (0-3 years experience) earn €18-€35 per hour, whereas professionals (7+ years experience) earn €70-€90 per hour on average. The main freelance writing professions are:

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) writers produce content tailored to rank well on search engines such as Google.
  • Copywriters produce copy for advertising or other forms of marketing.
  • Blog writers write shorter, easily-digestible content on a range of topics.
  • Journalists fit the traditional reporter mold, producing news coverage or writing in-depth features for online publications, newspapers and magazines.

Start your own blog

Instead of writing blog posts for someone else, why not launch your own blog? Granted, it takes time, persistence and hard work—and you’ll need a decent audience before monetizing is possible. Salaries for professional bloggers vary widely and many don’t make a single cent at first.

Bloggers who successfully build an audience earn online through affiliate marketing, advertising or producing digital content such as eBooks and online courses. According to GlassDoor, of the percentage who make money, annual income ranges between €17,000-€70,000.

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Launch an online coaching business

Life Coaching is lucrative; research by the ICF Global Coaching Study discovered the average annual income in Europe is €50,000. Not quite the same as mentoring or consulting, it is a process that addresses a clients' personal life, relationships and profession, helping them identify select goals and choose the appropriate course of action.

These days, many coaches provide services via Skype, traveling the world while serving others. However, it’s another venture which takes time to build credibility as an expert in the field. Most coaches find success through word of mouth or showcasing their skills by creating free online content such as social media videos or blog posts.

A certification from a professional body, such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF) is recommended. You can search for ICF accredited courses—including online training—on ICF’s website.

Use your language skills with online translation

Translation is much more than converting text from one language to another. The ability to translate and keep the original meaning is a desirable skill. Consequently, it’s a remote working opportunity that pays well, is always in demand, and offers the freedom of travel. Roles available online include translating blog posts, website pages, eBooks or advertising copy.

According to Statista, salaries vary across the world, and on average freelance translators earn €30,000 per year. If mountains, lakes, and quaint villages are for you, you’re in luck—the yearly average in Switzerland is way higher, at €80,000.

Become a digital graphic designer

If you’re more visual-minded than language-based, graphic design is a popular choice. An iPad and digital pencil are all you need to create digital illustrations for a host of clients, from anywhere in the world. The average annual salary is €30,000 and there are an abundance of opportunities for digital nomads; including illustration, animation, photography, or web design.

Make money while traveling with a working holiday visa

Do you want to know how to make money while traveling, but aren’t interested in teaching English or working remotely? Consider a working holiday visa. This form of residency permit is an easy way to supplement income while being immersed in a foreign country’s culture. Once approved, they’re valid between 6-24 months.

The requirements for a working holiday visa

Each nation has its own guidelines around who is eligible for the working holiday visa. General factors include:

  • Nationality: Your nationality will dictate certain conditions of your visa. For example, British and Candian citizens can work for up to 23 months in New Zealand, while other nationalities are limited to 12 months.
  • Age restrictions: Conditions depend on your nationality and the destination country. The typical range is 18-30.
  • Occupation: There are restrictions on how to make money while traveling, based on what work you’re allowed to perform during your stay. For example, in Germany the visa doesn’t cover full-time work but instead temporary placements, internships or summer jobs.
  • Health insurance: For most visa applications it is mandatory to have insurance for the duration of your stay, to cover the cost of any necessary medical treatment.
  • Savings: Certain countries will require proof of sufficient funds. This is needed to provide evidence you are able to support yourself—by covering rent and living costs—while searching for work.

Find jobs that require travel as part of the role

Jobs requiring travel are worthwhile if you want to know how to make money while traveling and your destination isn’t fixed. For example, working within the travel industry has big benefits, such as the chance to discover hidden gems or spend unlimited time roaming the world. You are essentially paid to travel… with a little work on the side.

Take to the sea and work on a cruise

Working aboard a cruise is a fantastic opportunity to visit indefinite locations and meet co-workers and passengers from all over the world. Cruise ship itineraries cover all corners of the globe, from snow-covered glaciers in Alaska to the sweltering heat of Carribbean beaches.

Starting salaries range from €1,000 to €1,300 per month. With experience, this can rise significantly. Plus, food and accommodation is inclusive, so you could even save money.

Work for an airline company

If aviation is your style, work as a flight attendant to see the world and get paid. Starting salaries with companies such as Eurowings are upwards of €23,000. A six-week training regime is also provided for new recruits. From a set base, such as Vienna or Palma de Mallorca, you’ll be employed on short and medium-haul flights all over Europe.

Find work at a ski resort or summer camp

If you prefer to remain in one place and want to know how to make money while traveling the world, ski resorts and summer camps are popular choices, for good reason:

  • Ski resorts: You’ll get to work during a five or six month “season” in a variety of roles, from chef, to rental assistant, to ski instructor. Whatever your occupation, you’ll have an abundance of time to enjoy the slopes.
  • Summer camps: One of the most rewarding ways to make money while traveling the world. Full summer camps last around six weeks. Roles include working with kids one-on-one as specialist counselors, to working as a lifeguard, football coach or chef. According to JobMonkey, in the US Camp Counselors earn around €210 per week, while Head Counselors earn around €300 per week.

Work in hospitality as you travel the world

It’s straightforward. It’s low commitment. It’s easy to find work in all corners of the globe. Hospitality isn’t the most exciting option, but it’s a safe bet if you’re considering how to make money while traveling. Although possible to job hunt online, the most effective method is inquiring in person once you’ve arrived.

Work at a hostel

Working at a hostel is a great way to make money while traveling. Hostels are a mecca for nomads and provide a conveyor belt of excitable, curious travelers from all over the world. Whether you’re working on the front desk, in the bar, or operating as a tour guide, work at a hostel is often an excellent option.

Become a bartender

In major cities, many bars are happy to offer shifts to travelers who are staying in one place for a while. Although the hours vary, it’s a great way to make friends and sample the party-scene. To make the job hunt quicker, ask at bars associated with hostels.

Work at a cafe or restaurant

Similarly, cafe or restaurant work is a reliable choice when looking at how to make money while traveling the world. It’s a suitable option if you tire as midnight approaches, with opportunities for shifts during daytime or early evening.

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