Wherever you travel, you will need money. In places like Asia and South America you will need less money, but your expenses never drop quite as low as you’d like.
One way to earn your travel dollars is to save up while working a job at home. Within a few months you can earn enough for plane tickets, cheap hotel rooms, and fun activities. If you’re feeling more spontaneous, however, you can hop on that plane to Brazil much sooner if you’re able to earn money on the road.
Think putting dough in your pocket while traveling is impossible or impractical? Here are three ways almost anyone can earn money while enjoying the benefits of world travel.
1. Become a Freelancer
Do you have a flare for writing? Are you a graphic designer? If you have any skill that involves little more than a computer, you can easily use it to make money on the road.
If you’re just starting out you’ll need to work hard to get the first few jobs under your belt, but over time you’ll be able to make great money if you have the right skillset.
I went into freelancing when I was living in Boston. I worked my butt off for one 12-hour day sending out free work examples and applying to gigs. The next week I earned over $600! My employers didn’t care where I worked from so long as the quality of my work was high.
2. Become an English Teacher
One of the most popular ways young people make money on the road is by becoming English teachers. You need to get a certification for this, but classes take just a few weeks on Saturday and Sunday.
This method of making money while traveling definitely works best in Asia where the need for teachers is large. It is also popular in South America, but less so in Europe or more developed countries. If you’re planning on traveling through North America, of course, teaching English is not a feasible way to make money.
3. Work at a Hostel
Perhaps one of the most common ways to earn money on the road is by working as staff at one of the hostels you visit on the road. The job is usually simple (sit behind a desk and help travelers find local activities) and it’s usually easy enough to find a job of this kind.
By far one of the greatest benefits of working at a hostel is the people you will meet. Everyone who shows up goes through you, and you’ll make more friends and memories in one month than you probably would in a typical year. You’ll most likely go out with a new group every night and have so many Facebook friends you won’t be able to keep track of them.
Be warned, there are a few major downsides to taking on a position like this.
The first is that the pay is usually quite low and on par with the local wages in your area. This is offset a little because you’ll get free housing, but don’t expect to save a lot with this kind of job.
The second downside is that you can fall into the ‘hostel lifestyle’ and never escape. With a new friend every day, your room conveniently paid for, and just enough money coming in to cover your necessities, it’s all too easy realize you’ve let six months slip by without even noticing! I’ve seen this type of person in about half of the hostels I’ve stayed in and even though it’s a fun day-to-day lifestyle, the lack of any long-term plan always unnerves me.