If you’ve travelled for any length of time, then this question has probably crossed your mind: “How can I make money while travelling to extend my trip?”. Luckily the world is as abundant in overseas jobs as it is in travel experiences. These days, you don’t need to have a finite date at the end of your trip. You can make money on the road and keep on travelling for as long as your wanderlusting heart desires. Don’t believe us? We’ve been on the road for 5 years and for the past 3 years we’ve funded our travels completely with money we’ve made along the way. If you’re considering a long trip, think about picking up a job along the way to fund your future travels. Here are 18 unique occupations that can earn you money abroad!
Note: Most countries will require you to obtain a valid working permit or visa before earning income from local companies. Make sure you look into the legality of working abroad to ensure that you won’t be breaking any foreign employment laws in the countries you visit.
1. Au Pair
Our good friend Yara at A Heart Of A Vagabond is a professional au pair and she frequently picks up jobs all over Europe and around the world. She explains the position as:
“An au pair is usually a young female (although sometimes families are open to host male au pairs) who wants to travel, learn a new language, explore a new culture and enjoy herself in a new country. She will be hosted by a local family and will be considered and treated as part of the family, in exchange of a few hours of childcare and light household duties.”
Jobs can pay as much as $800 / month, but while you’re working as an au pair, you generally don’t have to pay for food, utilities or accommodation, making it the perfect saving strategy for travellers. Have a look at sites like Au Pair World or Au Pair.com to find jobs. Click Here for more about becoming an Au Pair.
2. House Sitter / Pet Sitter
Right of the bat we should mention that these jobs typically don’t pay. Basically a house sitter / pet sitter is a person who is willing to take care of a home and pet while the owners are away on vacation. Sign up to sites like TrustedHouseSitters.com and browse hundreds of potential jobs around the world. Some home / pet owners are willing to pay for your services, but your chances of getting paid will be greatly increased if you have some sort of home care, landscaping or animal medicine background. Living like a local while being able to enjoy the company of a furry friend is great, and being able to receive free accommodation is a huge perk. Click here to find out how we saved $24,000 in accommodation costs!
3. Hotel Manager
You’d be surprised at how many hotels, hostels, resorts and guest houses are looking for a foreign face to run their establishment. There are a surprising amount of these jobs posted on Craigslist and WorkAway.info. Some of the house sitting jobs on TrustedHouseSitters.com also request management for a variety of businesses (typically hotels & vineyards). Just be sure that if you take one of these jobs, you are adequately compensated for your services.
4. Business Owner
Our friend over at Mocha Spoke in Grenada is a brilliant overseas entrepreneur who really opened our eyes to the possibility of running a business abroad. He took two things that he loves, cycling and coffee, and turned them into a successful business in Grenada.
“There are three things that I’m passionate about, my Family, Coffee and Bicycles. I’ve created a life that let’s me to maximize my enjoyment of these things each and every day.”
Of course, to start your own business in a foreign country, you’ll need to research property and business ownership laws for foreigners and likely have a local partner to help you along the way, but if you have something that you’re passionate about and you think it can make you money abroad, there’s no stopping you!
Travellers are opening coffee shops, restaurants and tour agencies in their dream destinations every day and there’s no reason why you can’t do it too.
Check out this Inspirational Interview With Darryl Kotyk for more about opening a business in a foreign country.
5. Thai Yoga Masseuse
This may be an occupation that you never saw yourself doing, but you’d be surprised how many massage parlors and yoga retreats are popping up all over the world. Thai Yoga massage combines the two and it is becoming increasingly popular for travellers, expats and locals alike. Our friend Rachel, over at HippieInHeels.com, is a Thai Masseuse expert and she absolutely loves her job:
“I have hours of work that I choose and people can either come to me, or I can go to them and get beautiful views while I massage.”
There are Thai Yoga Schools all over the world where you can pay as little as $85 and a week of your time to get certified. Click here for more about this amazing overseas occupation!
6. Travel Writer / Blogger
This is our current, location-independent occupation and we absolutely love it. You don’t have to have a blog to be a travel writer, and you don’t have to be a travel writer to have a blog, but the two go hand-in-hand and they work very well together. If you don’t have a blog, you can simply pitch travel magazines, newspapers and online publications with your best work. Once you get accepted and paid, you can consider yourself a travel writer!
Travel blogging can take a lot more time before you start seeing any profits. Most people keep a record of their trip in some way or another anyways, so it is a pretty natural excercise in travel. After a year or more, when your blog starts to see some traffic, there are many ways you can make money, including affiliate marketing, link exchange, YouTube ads, banner ads and more.
If you marry the two together and become a travel blogger and a freelance writer, you’ll see just how great the two go together. Get paid to write on other websites while linking back to your own. Each article you write not only puts money in your pocket, but it brings more readers and potential customers to your own website. It’s really a win-win and it can be very lucrative. By employing these two money-making strategies, coupled with house sitting and teaching English, we’ve been able to fully finance our travels for the past 3 years!
7. Dive Instructor
It’s not easy becoming a dive instructor and it’s going to take a considerable investment of both time and money, but what an amazing occupation to have! Imagine spending your life hopping from one beach paradise to another, teaching others how to dive along the way. Dive masters can make upwards of $100 / open water student and they can sometimes have 5 students in one class… Oh, and did I mention that they get free diving for life?!
8. Yoga Teacher
As stated earlier in this article, Yoga studios are a growing craze around the world. It’s never been easier to find a job as a yoga instructor and it’s never been easier to become certified. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very difficult process to become a teacher, but there are many places to take the course and once you’re certified, you can teach virtually anywhere in the world. Depending on the number of students, a yoga teacher can pull in around $50 / class and a class is typically between 1 – 1.5 hours.
9. Retreat Leader
Travellers are becoming more and more in touch with their spiritual / meditative side and people have started leading interesting retreats and self-help classes to earn money overseas. We met a woman here in Mexico who was trained by a Guatemalan Shaman to offer chocolate ceremonies and they’re becoming quite popular. That’s right, a group of people get together, eat chocolate and meditate… that’s my kind of retreat! Other retreats range from yoga, meditation, and self-improvement. The fee is generally per student, so the more students, the more money the retreat leader can make.
This is definitely an odd job to take while on the road, but this article is all about unique occupations and becoming a mid-wife can be a lucrative, location-independent job to add to your travel-work portfolio. We met a woman in Mexico who has found work as a mid-wife from Bali to Belize and many places in between. Typically you would be hired by foreign expats who will be giving birth in a foreign country. Large cities and towns with a large expat community will be the best place to find work and the job can pay very well.
There are numerous ways in which you can make money, save money and extend your travels. This list could go on and on, and in fact… it will. Stay tuned for part #2 where we share more unique occupations that will make you money abroad.