I'm an author, travel writer and digital nomad who's been on the road nonstop since 2013. I blog about solo travel at TheHappypassport.com, and specialze in helping solo travelers plan mind-expanding, soul-fulfilling, Eat, Pray, Love-type RTW trips.
I'm quick to skip tourist saturated destinations in favor of off-the-beaten path excursions and the kind of adventures only locals know about. If you're into group tours and seeing what everyone else has seen, I'm not your girl!
If however, you're looking to experience another culture in a way that will change you forever, let's chat.
About this post
5 Easy Ways to Make Money Traveling
If you make money traveling, it means that you can travel indefinitely.
You don’t have to stick to a strict budget because money is always flowing in, and you’re free to roam the planet at will without being stuck working abroad at a teaching job or other full-time gig.
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.
Elance.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 Elance 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. I tell everyone about the site and I’m amazed that more people don’t use it to make money traveling.
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.)
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?
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.
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:
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 Elance, especially if you are a native English speaker because you will crush the competition.
Questions about making money traveling? Post them below! (Unless you need Elance help – in that case, contact me here).