We’ve all wondered how to do it….how to break out of the job and the 9 – 5 and actually have time to travel. Who has time and money to travel? If you’re too broke to travel, earn money traveling.
In previous blogs, we’ve discussed two strategies for traveling:
- How to save more money...to afford to travel.
- How to travel without spending much money …to afford to travel.
- And now.. How to earn money while traveling…
Many travel strategies include working hard, saving money, then spending it on vacation. Your ability to travel runs out when your savings do. This seems very sad indeed, so how does one travel indefinitely?
Another strategy is figuring out how to have income streams while one is traveling. Here are a few ways to do that:
1. Pick a place and work there
Seems so simple, doesn’t it? But really, pick a place! Ready? Ok, now you have the place you’ve always wanted to go. What now? Here’s a few options:
WWOOF stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Typically, these positions don’t pay but do offer travel and accommodation in exchange for 10-20 hours of work. We have not tried this but family and friends have. Valerie’s sister and brother-in-law are currently “wwoofing” in Hawaii and have enjoyed their experience. Most people do this for 3-6 months but there are others that stay for years.
2. Camp Ground Management
When camping in the USA (and possibly elsewhere?) you can volunteer to be a camp host in exchange for a free campsite. And did we mention these campsites typically come fully connected with water, sewer, cable TV, WIFI and electricity? All of this is in exchange for a few hours of clerical work or selling firewood, not a bad gig! We have yet to try this option, but it’s something we are open to.
3. Teaching English
If you’re a native English speaker, many countries desperately need English teachers and are willing to pay for your travels. Valerie taught English in South Korea for two years and has friends that are still teaching there 10 years later. It’s a great gig that pays for your flight, provides free housing, pays decently well, and also gives 6+ weeks of paid vacation to travel to other places. Taiwan also has a similar program but have heard less great reviews about the experience.
Other English positions are offered throughout South America, Japan, and some countries in Europe. Because these countries are higher in demand they do not typically offer flight/housing but still worth checking out!
4. Doing your “current job” in a better location
If you’re in the trades, computer sciences, a brain surgeon, sports coach or a professional horseback rider there is probably more than one place to do this in the world. Companies abroad often sponsor workers or you can get a temporary job for 90 days (or however long the visa allows) and you can do your job from… lets say… Sweden, or Mongolia, or Canada, or Peru. Will these pay the same? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s all a matter of perspective. The question you should ask is “can this salary help me survive/thrive while I’m there?”
5. Do any job you can in your desired location!
In spring of 2016, we both got jobs in Alaska for the summer! They both paid a fraction of what we were earning in the San Francisco Bay Area…but it was an adventure! So we left our old life and said “Hello!” to the great unknown. Getting a job in an interesting location doesn’t have to be about a great career move…it can just be about getting there and covering the cost to travel.
2. Get a Job that can work remotely
A lot of people are “digital nomads” these days, Jessi being one of them. So what types of jobs do these magical unicorns do?
The most popular way to do this is internet tech:
- Web developers
- Web designers
- IT project managers
- Software engineers
- Social media managers
Want to work in tech but can’t figure out how to break into it? If your degree is in something completely opposite from tech, such as theatre, there’s still hope. There are a number of programs to help teach tech skills. Great “bootcamps” can cost between $3,000 – $10,000. The cost may seems pricey, but for a 1-3 month course that prepares you for an entry-level position in a new career, it’s not too bad when you think about how much college costs. For some skills, like industry-specific skills and latest programing languages, these short-term courses actually prepare people for new careers better than going back to traditional universities. General Assembly and Cooper are some very reputable ones. For very self-disciplined people, you can also learn many of these skills online using learning resources like Lynda.com (unlimited courses for $37/month) or Treehouse (Free).
This strategy may take a few years to put in motion, but it may create more sustainable earning potential over the long run. Starting a new career in tech may take moving to San Francisco and working your way up in start-ups or established tech companies for a few years before building enough skills and reputation to go our on your own. Or you may be able to kick off some freelance gigs right away from a far. In many job markets, there are not enough people with computers programing skills, so employers are often more eager to hire people from a distance.
One of Jessi’s best clients found her online and hired her from Chicago. They’ve worked really well together for a few years, and have never met in person. Most work with computers can be done remotely. Don’t be intimidated by not knowing skills like programing or design yet. Everybody who is good at anything had to start from zero at some point.
Other work from home or on the road jobs
- Freelance writing
- Virtual assistant
- Call center representative
- Book translator
We haven’t done any of these, so we can’t speak to them personally. But, it’s possible. We have a friend currently translating a book and have known a few freelance writers that are making a living. As we always say “if other people can do it, so can we.”
3. Figure out how to earn passive income.
Have a talent you honed while working remotely? You can use that skill set to start creating passive income streams. There are a ton of resources online on how to earn passive income but here are just a few examples:
- Create a great WordPress theme and sell it for $49 over and over again.
- Book review websites leading to an amazon affiliate link.
- Rent your house and live off the difference between the price of rent and the mortgage.
- Invest (wisely) in the stock market, money market, bonds, etc.
- Sell your beautiful stock photos
- Design a t-shirt or other crafts and sell them on Etsy
These are just some ideas to get rolling! We’ve tried many of these at one point or another but are still trying to figure out the rest. Have other ideas? We’d love to hear in the comments down below!