Wouldn’t it be fantastic to get paid to travel?
Imagine the places you can see…
the culture you’d experience…
the food you’d taste…
the friends you’d meet…
and the beauty of beaches and other natural or handmade destinations around the world you’d be able to keep in your memories.
If you’ve been stalking travel bloggers forever and wondering how these seemingly ordinary people can travel around the world, this post will answer all your burning questions about this “industry.”
Sure there are various ways you can travel for free, but wouldn’t it be even better to make money while you travel?
Here’s how to get started:
19 Ways to Get Paid to Travel
You’ll be faced with two kinds of jobs:
- Jobs with travel and accommodation included – You apply to these jobs abroad because it gives you the opportunity to travel without spending a lot upfront. Jobs like ski instructing and cruise ship gigs are perfect examples of these jobs.
- Odd jobs in the city you plan to travel – Those who find seasonal jobs wherever their feet take them rely on real-world skills to get by. Bartender gigs or teaching how to speak another language fall under these types of jobs.
1. Get Paid to Teach
Not a lot of people can do this, but teaching is a noble profession.
The demand of teachers is always high, regardless of the topic you plan to teach.
Most travelers opt to teach English abroad as it involves a skill they already possess.
a. Teaching Skiing and other Specialty Sports
Depending on your travel goals, teaching people to ski can get you a job and a place to stay at popular ski resorts in New Zealand, California, Colorado, and other places.
Other similar instructor jobs involve scuba diving, yoga, fitness, surfing, rock climbing and a whole lot more.
You have to get certification to land these jobs, but it is worth it.
Brandon & Anne of TheYogaNomads.com, for example, make money teaching yoga while traveling.
b. Teaching English and other languages
Many travelers choose this job because they come from an English-speaking country. It comes naturally to them.
The requirements are easy to meet too!
In most cases, you’d only have to be a native speaker to get the job. Some companies require a college degree and a teaching certification (that you can easily obtain online).
Legit companies will pay teachers their airfare and housing on top of a monthly salary with benefits.
There are plenty of resources about teaching languages either online or office-based, but you can start with Dave’s ESL Cafe if you’re serious about taking this route.
2. Get Paid Housesitting & Petsitting
Taking care of other people’s houses and pets when they’re away is a real job.
Some people have been housesitting professionally around the world for years. Of course, accommodation is free and you have the freedom to tour locally for extended times.
3. Apply to Cruise Ship Jobs
For people who want a bit of security as they roam around the world, cruise ship jobs are the perfect gateway to living the nomad life.
The best thing about landing a cruise ship job is you get to travel without spending a cent.
The jobs vary too, from entertaining (singers, dancers, hosting, tour guides, etc.) to day-to-day cruise ship work like housekeeping, cooking, waitressing, bartending, and more.
Work hours are long in cruise ships, but every dayoff from work includes a stunning view of the world and a chance to explore different cities at a time.
Plus, there’s a special crew-only areas like the gym and their own deck.
4. Explore Hospitality Jobs
You can get paid to travel as a chef awardee and brought to another country’s restaurant.
It happens all the time.
But if you’re not someone famous, you can still take advantage of the local hospitality industry and get jobs in hotels, resorts, bars, backpacker hostels, restaurants, and other touristy establishments.
Those who love people and are not picky with odd jobs can easily land a position as a front desk attendant, bartender, waitress, and so on.
This is one of the easiest ways to meet locals and actually experience their culture. However, this route can be hard because it involves back-breaking, labor-intensive work.
But they can be fulfilling for the right kind of traveler. If you find the travels and food trips of the late Anthony Bourdain and his “Parts Unknown” show, this route may just be the kind of thing you’d enjoy.
5. Alternative Travel Jobs
If you’ve never been comfortable with 8-to-5 jobs, alternative jobs would probably work better for you.
These jobs are often under-the-table, so don’t expect overtime salaries, benefits, and all that jazz.
But you’ll be able to get paid to travel and support your adventures day in, day out by:
- joining a group of fire dancers,
- drawing/painting people’s portraits,
- becoming a camp counselor,
- singing or playing music for the quirky bar,
- helping local farmers,
- …or doing other cool jobs.
There’s not much security in these kinds of jobs, but it gives the most freedom to earn from various tasks each day.
6. Get Paid to Travel while Doing your Old Job
There’s a term for a growing number of people who sold everything they owned, packed up and traveled to Bali or somewhere exotic.
The only thing they kept from their old life is their jobs.
Called “digital nomads,” these groups of people work from their computers. Their location is irrelevant, as long as there is access to the internet.
If you’re lucky and your current company offers to turn your office job into a remote position, then you can adapt to the digital nomad lifestyle easily.
For those who can’t continue doing their old jobs, there are a wide range of jobs available for you to do.
Blogging, travel photography, freelance writing, app development, social media and all the jobs I’m going to discuss below are for the digital nomads.
7. Earn from Travel Photography
If you have an eye for travel photography, you can sell your images to the right people.
Matthew Karsten of ExpertVagabond.com sells images from his travels to National Geographic, tourism departments of various countries, magazines, tour companies, book publishers, and more. He even teaches fellow “vagabonds” how to earn money with travel photography.
8. Get Paid to Travel with Freelance Writing
Those who have a flair for words can earn money while traveling through freelance writing. Magazines like The Travel Channel often hire third-party writers to share their stories with their readers.
Since traveling could be your forte by now, travel writing often comes out naturally.
However, you don’t necessarily have to write about travel. You can earn as a freelance writer even if you talk about finance, IT, or even product reviews.
Freelance writers earn somewhere between 1 cent to $1 per word, depending on their skills, experience, popularity and the company they’re working for.
Interested? Here are 153 other writing jobs you can check out.
How to Earn Money from a Travel Blog
I’m now going to talk about how travel bloggers earn money that could sustain their adventures.
Before we begin, you have to understand that it took a lot of hard work, no-income months and budget-traveling for travel bloggers to be able to live their dream life you see now.
Some bloggers even use up their entire life savings, or sold everything they owned, to be able to travel the first several months from their own pockets.
Simply put, the success of travel bloggers didn’t happen overnight.
And they all got their start by following quality Internet Marketing training.
9. Google Adsense and other premium ad networks
Anyone can join Google’s advertising platform, as long as the website has been live for at least six months and meet other requirements.
Once you join AdSense, you can start placing special code on your blog, which then displays ads that are relevant to the content of your site.
You earn cents per view. It doesn’t sound much, but if your blog is visited by thousands of people every day, those cents can add up pretty quickly.
When your audience grows bigger, you can apply to other ad networks that have better rates. MediaVine or AdThrive, for example, are known to pay higher rates than AdSense, but require your blog to have a minimum number of visits monthly.
10. Affiliate Marketing
With affiliate marketing, you mention products and services on your blog, add a link going to a third-party store like Amazon and WorldNomads.com that sells these products, and receive a commission from a sale if someone clicks on your link and buys anything from that store.
The more affiliate links you post on your blog, the higher chances of receiving bigger commissions.
Be wary of doing it too much (especially if the products are no longer relevant to your brand). Too much advertising is generally frowned upon by readers/viewers.
Instead, only recommend products that you actually use. For example, a new camera or phone that you use for recording your videos, travel gear given to you by a friend, books you just read, and so on.
Aside from third-party stores, you can also check out dedicated affiliate networks like Commission Junction that organizes affiliates from multiple brands.
Popular travel blogs with over 500,000 monthly page views earn $10 to $15k per month.
11. Link Building
Building links by exchanging deals may be against Google guidelines, but many bloggers still make money doing this.
How this works:
- A company pays you to write about them or their product in a post, which will include a backlink to their website
- Some companies do this to bring the blogger’s audience to their website and hopefully buy their products or services
- Others just want to increase search engine results (since the more backlinks your site has, the better Google bots see your site)
Link exchanges like these cost somewhere between $50 and $500 per link.
12. Brand Partnerships
Many bloggers say you’ve made it big when companies begin noticing you, your blog or social media accounts, and the network of audience you’ve built.
Their goal is to establish a partnership with you.
These companies will pay to advertise on your platform. This could mean a blog post, Tweet, mention on newsletters, Instagram feature, and so on.
The cool thing about sponsorships is that the income potential is endless.
From several hundreds of dollars for a post on Facebook to over $15,000 for an ad package or long-form post, the deals depend largely on the company you’re talking to and your bragging rights (how popular is your blog, how much audience do you have, etc).
A note about sponsorships/partnerships: Make sure to include a disclaimer whenever you post a sponsored video, article, photo, and so on. This way, you remain honest with your audience and maintain their loyalties.
13. Long-term Ambassadorships
If you get paid to travel as a brand ambassador, you’re living the dream many bloggers achieve.
When you become a brand ambassador, you’ll be featured in that brand’s commercials, social media marketing, and other activities of the brand.
Think how successful athletes become icons for Nike, or famous actress becomes a spokesperson for CoverGirl, and so on.
Brand ambassadorships are longer than the typical sponsorship and include more than one promotion.
What’s great about these deals is that more often than not, the brand pays more or less $10,000 per project. And the more reach you have, the higher rate you can ask.
14. Tourism Marketing
The tourism departments of most countries are catching up to online advertising. The viral-potential of blog posts or videos are unquestionable.
If you’re in the rockstar levels of travel blogging, you’ll be invited to visit a country (usually with flights, accommodation and tours paid) on top of a project fee. This fee can go as high as $20,000, depending on the type of promotion included in the campaign.
15. Get Paid to Travel with Social Media
Even if you don’t maintain a travel photography website or travel blog, you can still get paid to travel with social media. You have several options, including:
Facebook – Nas Daily, a traveler who tries to inspire people with 1-minute video snippets of his travel around the world, uses Facebook indirectly to make money traveling.
Nas has 7.5 million followers on FB, which helps him earn from t-shirts and land video editing jobs, consulting gigs, speaking engagements, or other opportunities.
Instagram – Travel bloggers on Instagram produce some of the best-looking travel photography today. Just a quick look at the best Instagram travel bloggers gives you an idea how talented they are.
These Instagram stars earn money through sponsorships (mostly in the travel industry) and brand placement.
16. Become a Farm Hand
Farm work is often hard work, with long days.
That doesn’t mean it’s not a viable option.
As a general farm laborer you will need to be strong and have plenty of stamina. Having some experience with things like woodwork, mechanics etc will always stand you in good stead but even if you’re just handy with a hammer it helps.
If you’re looking for something which gives you time to explore, why not check out WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)?
They offer opportunities to go work on organic farms throughout the world. You work for a set number of hours a day (about 4-6) and in exchange you get room and board. That leaves you plenty of time to go exploring.
17. Be an Au Pair
One way to get started abroad and get paid for it is to become an au pair (a nanny).
The benefits of this sort of work are triple: you get paid, get accommodation and get to live in a foreign country!
There are horror stories behind jobs like this, so it’s usually a good idea to use a trusted agency like GoAuPair.com
18. Work on a Yacht
Working on a yacht is much different from working on a cruise ship. You’ll need to wear many more hats to begin with and be a team player as well.
Finding yachts to work on is made much easier by using The Crew Network, a site designed to match up crew and boat owners.
While you will get to work in and visit many new and exciting places, be aware that you won’t be in control of your destinations.
19. Become a Local Tour Guide
Being a local tour guide isn’t as hard as you think.
Sure there are plenty of agencies, but there are usually no set laws surrounding this job.
Of course you need to have a solid knowledge of the tour area, plenty of stories and a good sense of humor.
How to Make Money Traveling
Getting paid to travel is the dream really.
Just know, it’s a combination of a ton of hard work and just a little bit of luck.
Your best bet is to find jobs that take you around the world, and then create a blog about your adventures.
Once you have a big enough following, that’s when the magic starts to happen.
In the meantime, browse my list of work at home jobs. They are jobs you can do anywhere in the world.