This blog post was updated on August 8, 2022.
We all know people who always seem to traveling somewhere. You’ve eyed their Facebook and Instagram snaps with envy. You checked and double checked for last-minute flight deals to those fabulous destinations. You might have even commented on their photos (“Are you ever home?”). Come on, raise your hand if you’ve ever thought to yourself: “How can they afford to do that?” Yeah, that’s what we thought.
Truth is, travel is actually within your reach…if you want it enough and put the proper skills to good use, of course. By using your talents wisely, you may be able to make travel an ongoing part of your life…without having to save money for years to make it happen! Here are 13 legitimate (i.e. legal) ways to save money traveling the world!
Teaching English may just be your ticket to travel! There are dozens of companies online that will match fluent English speakers with host families eager for an English tutor or schools that could use your services. The International TEFL Academy, Teach Away, and many others are a good place to start, and you’ll find that opportunities open up in great locations like South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Europe.
Become a House Sitter
If travel feels outside your budget and you have a knack for being clean and not burning down the place you’re staying in, check out Nomador. This site connects you with people seeking house and pet sitters for various lengths of time. While not every job pays, you do get to stay in the home free of charge, eliminating the need to pay for a hotel or hostel.
Get Into Writing
The Internet provides ample opportunities for both writers or regular folks who are good with words. And you can write from pretty much anywhere! All you need is a laptop and an Internet connection. The Penny Hoarder gives a great breakdown of websites that pay writers per piece. Also, try contacting local businesses, newspapers, and magazines to see if they’d be interested in a blog or an occasional guest writer—especially one in a distant part of the world. You can also bid for extra projects on sites like Upwork.
Be an Au Pair
Love kids? Then consider signing up to be an au pair. Au Pair World and Au Pair Care are both good places to start looking. You can find families in the countries you’re hoping to visit and set your expectations ahead of time, including the age and number of children you’d like to watch. Most often your room and board are covered and you get paid!
Sell on Etsy
Can you make jewelry? Design invitations and logos? Crochet or knit? No matter your skills, there’s a place for you on Etsy. And, as a bonus, by creating something with your hands, you’ll have plenty to do on long flights or train rides.
Sell Your Photos
Sites like iStock buy photos from people with a good eye, and travel photography often does well. Most often, you’re paid per download, which makes it a good way to earn some regular money — even if it’s not much. And the more photos you have on their site, the more likely you are to get regular downloads.
Be a Virtual Assistant
Are you a skilled office worker, assistant, or bookkeeper? Can you do someone’s taxes? If so, you definitely have the skills to earn some extra income as a virtual assistant. Websites like Virtualassistants can help you find business owners looking for some extra help, and the good part is, you can do the job from anywhere!
Bartend or Wait Tables
People skills are usually all you need to be successful as a restaurant worker. You can work in the evenings after you tour all day, make new friends, live like a local, and you might even save some money on food if your restaurant provides perks like free meals. A lot of people get lucky just asking for a job at a bar, but Work Abroad can offer some help for those who want to find something before they go.
You may also like: 7 Budget-Friendly Destinations for Travelers in Their 20s
Work on a Farm
Maybe you’re more skilled at working hard, helping out, and like being outdoors. If so, WWOOF connects you with organic farmers around the world who could use a hand. Room and board is typically covered and you have the opportunity to learn from and share knowledge with like-minded people. While it’s definitely physical work, it can be enjoyable for the right person.
Websites like Usertesting pay you to try out apps and websites. Just provide your honest feedback as you perform a series of tasks and you’ll usually get paid between $10 to $15 a test. While it isn’t consistent income, as you can only take tests you qualify for, it’s a great way to earn some extra cash on the side, and you can do it wherever you get a Wi-Fi signal.
Sing Your Heart Out
If you have the talent—and the guts—consider playing a few evenings a week on the street for tips, or even at the neighborhood bar. You can sing, or play guitar, violin, accordion, or any other instrument. It’s not consistent income or guaranteed, but every little bit helps!
Be a Travel Guide
Do you know a certain area really well? Speak multiple languages? Opening a freelance travel agency may be easier than you think. By setting up a tour and helping other people with their vacations in an area you know well, you may be able to pay your own way through a place you love and make money — and friends — along the way!
Do you supplement your travel budget while exploring the world? Let us know how in the comments section below!