How to make money when travelling – my personal advice

As a travel blogger, I receive a few emails per week, asking about money – how I make it and how I finance a lifestyle of travelling.

It’s definitely a topic that lots of people want to know about and whilst I have my own tried and tested ways (which I’ll mention below) there are lots of other ways I know have worked for other bloggers and other travellers too. The truth is – everyone will fund their travels a different way. It depends on the kind of travelling you want to do, the budget you have, and the places you want to go.

I’m no longer a wandering traveller – as I have a permanent job and base in London, but a couple of years ago I was travelling the world with my boyfriend, and both of us were making money on the go. So I hope I can give some good advice!

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Here are the money-making methods that have worked for me…

Writing and blogging

The great thing about writing is – you can do it any place – so long as you have a computer (and WiFi). Obviously, this makes it a fantastic money-making-method for travellers. When I travelled with my boyfriend Pad for a year, this was my main way of making money – and I loved it.

Believe it or not – brands are always looking for people to write and blog for them – because blogging and content are becoming very powerful tools for marketing. If writing is something you’re skilled at – I’d suggest learning a little about content marketing (what the industry is, what brands are looking for…) and then contacting brands speculatively asking if they require anyone like you. Never be afraid to confront them about work. Being cheeky often works – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

I’ll often look for brands I admire, that perhaps aren’t playing to their strengths in terms of blogging or content. If I know I could do an awesome job – I’ll email them and tell them just that. You’d be surprised how often it works.

Our 'hotel-room-office' when travelling in Oz. MESSY!

Our ‘hotel-room-office’ when travelling in Oz. MESSY!

Social media management

As someone who has spent their entire career in social media, it’s something I’ve gotten pretty good at along the way – and is now a skill I can sell. I manage the social media pages for small brands and big brands on a freelance basis (and permanent basis) – and even though I’m permanently based in London now – that wasn’t always the case.

When I was travelling a couple of years ago – social media management was a brilliant way of making money on the move. As with writing – it’s something you can do anywhere – so long as you’ve got a computer and a half decent internet connection. Don’t take this kind of work lightly though as it comes with a lot of hard work, round the clock monitoring – and responsibility. After all, once you start managing someone’s social pages, you’ve become the public voice of the brand. Where there is no room for muck-ups.

If it’s something you want to pursue, then you’ll need to get experience first. If your friends own any small businesses, maybe you could help them manage their pages? Or better still, set up your own social accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are all good places to start) and start reading industry blogs too – because all that will help you become knowledgable. Social media changes almost weekly – and you’ll need be on top of this to be taken seriously in any professional context. It’s a lot of work.

What has worked for other people?

Hospitality work in bars, restaurants and cafes

This is one of the obvious choices – as it can be as casual as you’d like it to be, a bar job might last2 weeks or 2 months. Depends how long you want to stay in one place!

It’s fantastic for travellers too – because it’s the perfect way to meet new people and get to know the area. My one piece of advice here though – is to get-smart about job hunting. Randomly handing out CVs doesn’t quite cut it in many tourist-spots, and might just be wasted effort. There are job sites out there which specifically cater (haha pun intended!) to hospitality jobs only (Leisure jobs is one example to check out) and if you’re applying for jobs through sites like this, at least you know the place is actually hiring – and the right person is receiving your CV.

I remember when I was working in bars and restaurants, if someone came in with a CV, we’d just toss it in a drawer and it would never even get looked at by the manager. Applying online means you can ensure it gets seen.

House-sitting

I’ve never actually done this, but it seems like an awesome way to make money and sort out accommodation. basically, when people with big houses go away – they often need someone to look after the house, the gardens and sometimes the animals. You can actually get paid for this… I know, amazing right?

If you’re interested in this route of travelling and money-making, then I’d recommend checking out The Globe Trotter Girls, who are two bloggers based in the US, and also self proclaimed experts on house-sitting. Their blog has a load more information on it than I could ever fit in here, so just go take a look. There are so many useful bits of advice on there.

Here are some other websites with info about house-sitting too:

Housecarers.com

Mindmyhouse.com 

Trustedhousesitters.com

San Francisco tourist photos

You never know what kind of house you might find…

Photography

If you’re a dab hand with a camera, you can sell photos no matter where in the world you happen to be. And the best thing is, there are quite a few options you could take.

Flytographer hire freelancers in specific cities all over the world for one-off projects – so that’s pretty cool. But if you like to keep things simple – you can always go down the tried and tested route of selling stock images. I’ve been wanting to do more of this, as there’s a lot of money in it potentially. I wrote a post on my blog the other day about the best places to sell images online – so take a read of that for some ideas, there are so many sites you can choose from, each having varying levels of profit, etc.

As you’d probably guess, travel photography is always in demand, so it’s well worth a look at. You could be sitting on a gold-mine!

Stock photo websites love shots like this one I took in the USA.

Stock photo websites love shots like this one I took in the USA.

Web Design and technical stuff

This is similar to writing and social media – in that you can do it anywhere – so long as you have a good computer and a half decent internet connection. People will always need web designers (until web designing robots are invented, anyway)  so if this is something you can do – then you might want to look into doing it freelance. Even training people to create their own WordPress sites, could earn you big bucks on the go. You could do the training over Skype too – so no need to worry about being in the same country or timezone.

A few other ideas: 

– You could be an Au Pair for a family and get room and board (plus weekly spending)

-You could make money translating foreign menus into English

– You could do a summer camp program and then travel afterwards with the money you earned

– Good at cutting hair? You could do haircuts in hostels!

– In Australia? Fruit picking is always an option!

– Teach English in a school! You’ll need the right qualification, but if you have then or can get them – this is great, rewarding work

 

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