Bag-packing around and seeing the entire world is everyone’s dream but is not feasible, owing to the money constraints, lack of leaves from office, and such. But there are quite a lot of ways in which you could earn money despite practically living on an airplane. In order to make money and travel simultaneously, your source of income really only needs to meet one of the 4 following qualifications:
- Involve significant vacation time
- Require traveling to different locations
- Being hired in another country
- Be location independent
If you’re making money in a way that meets one or all of these requirements, you have yourself a job that lets you travel. Here are some examples-
- Teacher: You work 9 months out of the year and have 3 months vacation (more if you include winter breaks). A great option for people who don’t need to be on the road all the time, but would like an opportunity to travel on an extended basis at least once a year. Bonus points if you can get hired abroad to teach English—then you’re “traveling” 100% of the time! Avg Salary: $25,000–60,000
- Wedding photographer/videographer: People will pay a lot of money to have their weddings documented. If you’re handy with a camera, you can make $1000–10,000 per event depending on your experience and skills. That means only 1–4 working days a month in order to have a sizeable income for the entire year! And depending on the location of the wedding, your work days could even count as travel, too. Avg Salary: $50,000–200,000
- Travel photographer: Although this may seem similar to the above, your strategy is very different here. You’ll be making less and likely be working more days out of the year, but your work will revolve around your travels and you’ll definitely get to see cool places “while on the job.” You can sell your photos to stock websites for a bit of passive income, as well as partner with brands and magazines/blogs that need images. Avg Salary: $15,000–60,000
- Freelance designer: Build website layouts, design logos for brands, etc. As you get better you’ll be able to charge more while working less. The best part is that you can do this all from your laptop—you’ll be entirely location independent if you choose so. If you don’t like working on the road and you’re efficient with your time, you could easily smash out a year’s worth of work in just 6 months, then take the rest of the time to freely travel. Check out Upwork for an easy foot in the door. Avg Salary: $25,000–200,000 (depending on specialization)
- Freelance writer: Knack for words? Contrary to popular belief, writing is not dead, and there will always be a huge demand for people who know how to work a sentence. There are lots of ways you could go about this. If you’re interested in tying travel directly into your work, there’s the option of travel writing (guest posting to big travel sites). You could create and sell ebooks if you have marketing chops, or sell copywriting services. Avg Salary: $40,000–100,000
- Drop-shipping: Made famous by Tim Ferris in The Four Hour Workweek. You can use a site like Amazon (FBA) or create your own platform on Shopify, Squarespace, etc. This takes a bit of legwork to get up and running (as well as marketing/SEO skills if you really want to make a lot). You’re basically just buying items off of one site, selling them at a markup, and shipping them directly from the original seller to your customer. It’s 100% online and therefore you have 100% location independence. Avg Salary: Sky’s the limit
- Au Pair: If you like kids, want easy/low-skill work, and don’t mind making very little hard cash. You don’t really earn a traditional “salary” in this case. Families will almost always fulfill your basic living requirements on their own dime (housing, food, toiletries, etc.) and then give you a bit of pocket money for enjoying yourself when you’re off-duty. Avg Salary: $5,000–20,000
- House-Sitting: You make money and get free accommodation! You might need to sit for friends or local homes to build up a trusted portfolio of gigs, but once you get started, you’ll get hired more easily. Sites like Trusted Housesitters are a great resource. Avg Salary: $2,000-$25,000
- Start a blog: This is more of a long-term strategy, if you’re willing to put in a lot (like years) of initial work. Once you do, however, you have a LOT of options in terms of how you’ll make money, and how much. If you master SEO + affiliate marketing or come up with your own digital product (e-courses, e-books, etc.), you can make a pretty substantial amount of passive income. Direct income can come from sponsorships/partnerships with brands. Avg Salary $20,000-Millions for serious bloggers
- Youtube: Similar to blogging, this is a very long-term approach, but it can be a fun ride if you’re into video. You’ll make money in similar ways (selling your own products, sponsorships, etc.), in addition to Youtube paying you directly for views. Income varies wildly depending on audience size. You can either make videos about something non-travel related and travel in your spare time, or make the focus about the places you’re visiting. Avg Salary: $10,000-Millions for serious Youtubers
- Work-holiday visas: If you’re younger (20s-30s), you might be eligible for a work-holiday visa, depending on your citizenship. Americans, for example, have the option of working in places like Australia, Ireland, and South Korea for 6–12 months at a time. This visa gives you the legal right to work at a company while you’re there (similar to a work sponsorship, which is much harder to get).
- Under-the-table jobs: Bars, restaurants, and cafés are often open to hiring travelers without a sponsorship or proper work visa. Exercise this option at your own risk.
- Airbnb: This is more of an option for slow travelers. If you plan on staying in a city for 6–12 months and can get on a lease, look into renting an empty room out to visitors. You can also offer tour (“experiences) services through their site if you’ve gotten to know the local scene fairly well. Or, alternatively, you could rent out your apartment back home and use that extra income to travel wherever you like (assuming you can make more than your rent).