Can’t shake your wanderlust but also don’t want to dip into your savings? No problem! A world of opportunity is on the other side of your first step into the unknown—not just for you, but for your wallet, too.
The World Is Your Oyster. Take It From Someone Who Knows!
It can be scary to step outside your comfort zone and into regions with completely different cultures than your own—especially if you don’t know when dollars will be rolling in. The truth is, though, the world is now set up in such a way that you can not only make enough money to survive while traveling but thrive.
With no more than $600 and a backpack full of travel gear to my name at first, I set foot into countless states and countries. I not only always found ways to feed myself but also endless exciting opportunities to…
- fund my adventures
- gain valuable skills
- grow as a person
- create lasting connections
…and save up money at the same time!
This was before the digital age was in full swing, and I didn’t have a soul to guide me. Eight years later, I am still going strong and strongly encourage anyone who wants to do something similar to take the dive. It is now easier than ever to spread your nomadic wings, so…
Don’t Wait Too Long, & Don’t Let Disbelievers Discourage You!
While it is often wise to listen to advice, it is wiser still to listen to your heart. Don’t let what anyone says discourage you, especially those who haven’t done it themselves. As you roll down the runway and get ready for your travel dreams to take off, keep these resources by your side.
I created this guide to give you stable ground to glide from so you don’t have to go through the trouble of finding your first gigs. Once you’re up in the air, the rest will be globe-trotting history!
Get Paid to Fly as a Pilot
The pilot expatriates I met in Vietnam lived some of the most exciting lives I have ever witnessed while getting paid exponentially more than the cost of living there.
An exciting yet stable career path that pays exceptionally well, becoming a commercial pilot is one of the best ways to get paid while traveling the world.
- Advice From a Traveler: FLT Academy offers an incredible course that takes you from zero to hero in no time, and their job placement program guarantees an interview with SkyWest upon completion. That sounds like a pretty sweet deal if you ask me!
Work Seasonally at Ski Resorts
To be frank, I am not as fond of the cold as some of you ski bums! Despite that, working at a ski resort was one of the most rewarding slopes of my journey around the world—and it put a large sum of money in my pocket.
From serving and bartending to becoming a liftie or ski or snowboard instructor, there is something for everyone at a winter sports resort. Want to be a tour guide? No problem! Sports photographer? Shaka. Customer service? You are set.
- Advice From a Traveler: Look for online job postings on Cool Works or get in touch with the hiring department at your desired resort ahead of time. They’ll likely give you a free lift pass and a place to live for the season too! If you miss the deadline for a room or your family comes to take advantage of their discount, check out Ski Colorado for some downright amazing rentals.
Find Your Niche in the Digital World
As an online content writer, copywriter, and choreographer, I make a good living while making waves in the industries I care about—all while wandering the world! What could be better?
I am what is called a digital nomad. Chances are, you can go digital too—as long as you develop a monetizable skill. After that, all you need is a computer, an internet connection, and a little motivation!
- Advice From a Traveler: Don’t know where to start? A great way to go about it is to study SEO and other online marketing practices and join an agency like Gravitate One. That way, you can grow on the job and work with like-minded people who are also passionate professionals.
Cruise the Seven Seas as a Crew Member
Although I never actually worked on a cruise ship, I spent several seasons in a port in Alaska and met many of their enthusiastic employees. From what I could tell, it was a profound way to travel, get paid, and earn some great perks along the way!
Whether you have a knack for customer service or dream of becoming a deckhand or onboard dancer, there’s a spot for you on board. Since food and accommodation will be free, you’ll be able to spend your wages during your free time in some of the most beautiful places on the planet!
- Advice From a Traveler: Cruise Job Finder is a great place to start your search for the perfect pirate job. Get ye resume and references together and get ready to sail the seas, matey!
Fine Tune Your Skills at a Paid Work Trade
What in the world is a work trade? Step one: You supply a service. Step two: You receive room, board, skills, cool experiences, local connections, and often a small salary in return! My work trade journey led me to try my hand at farming, meet famous figures, and live off-grid in the mountains of California. In the end, I was equipped with a better head on my shoulders and a lot more skills under my belt.
Work trades are great for recent graduates or anyone who wants to really dig in and develop themselves while traveling instead of simply being a tourist. There are work trade opportunities all over the world in a wide array of industries, from hospitality and farming to construction and childcare.
- Advice From a Traveler: Workaway is my go-to for work trade opportunities! Their intuitive platform makes it easy to match with hosts that will be a good fit. As far as travelers go, it can also help you get in touch with those who share a similar itinerary and are on the same wavelength.
Teach English Courses in a Foreign Country
As long as you are a native speaker, teaching English abroad is a breeze—and a lot of fun, too! Despite not having a college degree, my way with words and commitment to getting the top certifications landed me a great gig as an ESL (English as a Second Language) Teacher in Asia.
Speaking English is one of the most sought-after skills in the world, making this one of the most widespread ways to work while traveling! Although you don’t need a degree or teaching certification to get started, a certification or two will give you an edge while seeking employment.
- Advice From a Traveler: TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) programs certify you to teach English abroad and provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to be successful.
Make Money Making Murals or Music
This one is for all my musician and artist friends out there! There are many ways to make a living as an artist, and one of them is by getting paid to paint murals or play music as you wander the world. If you have a passion for any of the arts, consider turning it into a way to fund your restless feet.
I have a few friends who have been paid to paint murals all over Asia, and others who played music on a nightly basis at cafes, bars, banquets, and hostels—many of which were on the beach! Not only did they get to travel but also share their art with a wide audience and make money while they were at it.
- Advice From a Traveler: This one takes a little creativity—which you surely have already if you are artsy! Have confidence, make connections, and soon you’ll meet others who are doing the same. Ask around for tips on how to find clients in the area and you’ll probably acquire a few friendships and a muse or two in the process.
Lack of Dough? Don’t Let That Destroy Your Travel Dreams!
These are just a few of the many ways to work and travel the world at the same time! Living a nomadic lifestyle while keeping your livelihood intact has never been easier.
All you need to do to start getting paid to wayfare is dare to dream and then take that first step. I hope you find the perfect fit to fund and fulfill your wanderlust. Bon Voyage, fellow adventurer!