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13 Ways to Use Your Talent to Earn (or Save) Money While You Travel

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Mandy Voisin
Written by Mandy Voisin

We all know that person who is always somewhere. You’ve eyed their Facebook and Instagram snaps with envy. You might have even commented on their photos, “Are you ever home?” And though you may be too polite to ask this one, raise your hand if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “How can they afford to do that?”

While it’s easy to assume that everyone else must have a trust fund, the truth is that most people don’t, and travel is actually well within your reach – if you want it enough. You just might need to supplement your bank account a little to make it happen. And by utilizing your talents (Yes, you! You have talents!), you may be able to make travel an ongoing part of your life — without having to save money for years to do it.

Here are 13 legitimate ways that you can make or save money while traveling (or even earn some extra cash to see the world before you leave), by using the talents you already have.

Teach English

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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 even in 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. The 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 writers or even just regular folks who are decent with words. And — bonus — 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

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Love kids? 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 an added 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 Upwork and Virtualassistants.com 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

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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.

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.

Start a Blog

If you don’t already have a blog, consider starting one. Many websites offer affiliate marketing programs that pay you for driving traffic to their site. And once your blog has a big enough following, you can get sponsorship from companies who pay you to mention or review their items.

User Testing

Websites like Usertesting.com and trymyUI 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 WiFi signal.

Sing Your Heart Out

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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 for 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!

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About the author

Mandy Voisin

Mandy Voisin

Hey I'm Mandy. Writer, traveler, wife, mother, author, woman, over-sharer. I like to talk about the grit of travel, the beautiful, and the people that I meet.

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