There's this misconception that you need a ton of money to be able to travel. Truth is, you don't. Although working and travelling requires some effort and courage to start, the world has never been so full of opportunities and flexibility - it's time we make use of this! Almost anyone is able to travel and work at the same time, living a "location independent" life.
I know how hard it can be, sitting at home or at work, browsing through social media seeing so many others living their best lives travelling across the globe. It seems like you could never live this life as, after all, you have bills to pay!
Well, some of these people do have lots of money. But for most of them, it is possible because they learned to earn money in their own ways. Today I'm going to tell you how to work and travel and make you realise this is possible for you.
How to travel and work at the same time?
A lot of us are already pretty used to working from home by now, and working abroad wouldn't be much different. Working whilst travelling allows you to learn new skills, languages, improve confidence and of course, immerse yourself in a new culture.
There are so many benefits to it, and it's also great to have on your resume.
It can be scary to leave a job you're comfortable in, in a home town you know, going into the unexpected. There can be a lot of uncertainty and it can be stressful, but it can also be one of the best things you can do in life!
So what opportunities are out there? Here are 9 alternative ways to travel and work. The first ones are focused on jobs that you need to do in person, but later on I'll also talk about alternatives for those who want to work online from anywhere in the world.
How to travel and work in person?
1. You can be a volunteer and exchange skills for accommodation
It goes without saying that volunteering is one of the easier ways to travel and work at the same time. At platforms such as Worldpackers there's a huge variety of volunteer opportunities, so you can choose what type of work is right for you.
Perhaps it's helping out at an eco lodge, learning about sustainability and nature. Maybe it's learning how to farm or helping to cook. It could even be helping a hostel boost their social media presence by showing off your digital skillset. Whatever it is you're good at, there's something out there for you.
What's great about volunteering is that you can improve the skills you already have, but you can also learn something new. A lot of hosts are willing to teach volunteers, so they can go on to spread the knowledge elsewhere.
One of the downsides to volunteering is that you obviously don't get paid, hence the name. This doesn't mean that you get nothing in return though. If you volunteer through Worldpackers, which is based on work exchangges, you just get paid in other ways.
This may include a place to sleep, meals, free washing and certain places will offer free trips, classes or experiences. It all comes down to where you volunteer, so make sure to do your research! It's very easy to see the benefits offered and tasks required by each host at the Worldpackers website.
And if you have a job that you can do remotely (read more about that below), you'll realise that in many work exchange opportunities there's the possibility to do your own tasks once you're done with the volunteering hours.
That way you save money on accommodation, meet people and live amazing experiences while maintaining an income source of your own. And since you won't be spending on rent and maybe even food, you'll get to set money aside for travelling even more.
2. You can share your passion for tourism by working as a tour guide
This is a super fun and interactive way to get to know others. Tour guiding is for those who have charm, charisma, and love to get out and about, sharing their passion for the place they live in.
What's better is that you can make it completely your own. It could be walking tours, bike tours, scooter tours, running tours - you name it. You can also make the tours themed - perhaps a general day tour, a nightlife tour, a food & drink tour - the possibilities are endless.
This type of job would mean living in a place long enough to know it well, but with every tour, you'll soak up even more knowledge than before, ready to wow your next group of tourists. You'll get to meet new people every day and discover things about your home that you never knew existed.
The best way to get into this industry is to firstly get to know the place you'll be guiding - walk it, cycle it, get the bus, meet the locals... Just make sure you're familiar with your surroundings and whatever it is your theme is (do your research!).
Secondly, seek out a local tour operator or hostel/hotel who are looking for tour guides. From there, you could potentially branch off on your own and start a business - but that's quite a big step, so keep it simple to start with.
3. You can share your fitness passion working while travelling
The fitness industry can be a tough gig - there are constant changes, pressures and can be time-consuming, but it can be so rewarding and also, really fun. If you're already a qualified fitness instructor, whether it be personal training, Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, or anything else, it can be quite easy to travel and work.
As long as you have the right qualifications, you can acquire a job in a local gym or fitness centre, or even start your own business.
You could create your own fitness videos for YouTube or another online platform. Online fitness is becoming more and more popular, allowing people to save money and work out from the comfort of their own homes.
It's also easy enough to keep a track of clients when working online, as long as you have good communication.
4. You can work with translation during your trips
Can you speak multiple languages? Then being a translator could be the ideal job for you to travel and work at the same time.
Translators help to communicate a message to an audience by deciphering between different languages, whether that be spoken or signed.
A job like this would be very fulfilling as you'd be helping people to connect, and there's no better feeling than that. This could mean working in a school, business or perhaps on TV if you're skilled enough!
How to travel and work as a digital nomad?
Digital nomadism has become very popular in more recent years, and it's only going to keep growing. A digital nomad is someone who travels whilst working remotely. This could be from a hotel, a café, library or anywhere else where they can get good Wi-Fi.
This lifestyle allows people the freedom of travelling around without the attachment of having a physical workplace to go to.
So how can you become a digital nomad? Jobs such as marketing and social media are some of the easiest ways to start. You can also travel and work as a designer, web developer, teacher, consultant... You might even be able to turn your current job into a remote one.
If you're starting a new career or freelancing for the first time, it will take some work, but the rewards will follow.
5. You can work and travel as a influencer or social media
If you love using social media, consider traveling while working as a digital influencer. You can be a YouTuber, an Instagrammer, a TikToker, or whatever new thing that comes up.
To start out in those fields, you'll first need to put in a lot of effort into creating quality content that's either helpful or entertaining (or both!). Once you've got an engaged audience, even if it's not huge, you might be able to make money from it.
There are many ways to monetize your online content production. If you're interested in that, do some research on affiliate marketing and consider approaching companies for advertisement.
These days, many companies want real, genuine people to use their product or service and give a review on it. If you can create a good and trusting relationship with the brand, then you could become a brand ambassador and get paid to create content!
6. You can become a freelancer and make your own schedules
If you have skills you can share such as editing or photography, you can easily work remotely and promote yourself online. A lot of people have taken this route, and though it can be a difficult one, it's very rewarding.
Websites like Fiverr and Dribble are a great way to kick off your freelance business and allow you to connect with other like-minded people in the community. There are many people choosing to travel and work like this.
However, freelancing isn't just for creatives, it's for everyone - it just means you offer your services to others, on your own terms allowing you so much more freedom and control over your work.
7. You can be inspired by your trips and become a travel writer
Love travelling and sharing your experiences? Then being a travel writer could be the perfect job for you. There's a lot of people who will pay you to write articles for their websites or that could make advertisement in a blog of your own.
All you need to do is have a passion for writing, proactively write about your travels to build a portfolio, and learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
8. You can work as a teacher from anywhere in the globe
Are you good at communicating and love helping others to learn? Why not become a teacher and share your passion? Teaching whilst travelling can come in many different forms - perhaps it's teaching English online to children, helping out at schools, tutoring...
9. You can be a nomad photographer or videomaker
Photographers and videographers are in more demand than ever, creating more job opportunities across the globe. Whether it's weddings, parties, couples shoots, family portraits, or landscapes, there's a market out there.
This does require expertise but hey, if you're new to it you can still give it a bash! You'll need a camera, some editing software, and a way to market yourself. This could mean creating a social media presence to promote your work or maybe a website. Once you start getting customers, make sure to show your work (if given consent) to show others what you have to offer.
So if you didn't know how to travel and work, now you have a start - and these are just some possibilities. There are endless other ways to make money while travelling, whether online or not.
You just have to decide what's best for you and then go out and make it happen.
Some other articles about travel and work that you might like to read:
Hey I’m Lauren! I’m from a small town in sunny (I wish) Scotland and took on my first solo travelling trip after graduating in 2019 My experience was way better than I could’ve imagined – meeting wonderful people, seeing amazing things, great experiences and even teaching weekly yoga! I couldn’t have done all this without Worldpackers, I’m so grateful I came across the website. I think everyone should get to experience travelling at some point in their lives – wherever and whatever it may be! My advice if you’re thinking about it is – don’t think too much! Just do, you won’t regret it.