Many times people are put off by traveling because of the expected cost of the trip. I can’t tell you how many times I dreamed of a far off land but felt restricted by my own finances. To be honest, I spend less money on the road per month than I did living in America! If you feel as though you’re stuck in the rut of living paycheck to paycheck at home, why not try working in another country for a change? While some countries may be difficult to work in due to visa stipulations, there are a handful where you can legally work. For the ones you can’t, there are plenty of ways to earn some extra cash with nothing but an internet connection.
Working Holiday Visas
For those who are between the ages of 18-30, a handful of countries offer year long visas that double as a working visa (although you aren’t allowed to work for the same employer for more than 6 months). Often the easiest jobs to get are within the hospitality, farming or fundraising industries, although you may get lucky and find a job within your own field. New Zealand and Australia are the easiest ones to get, although if you are a current university student or have graduated within the past year you can also get the visa in South Korea, Ireland or Singapore.
This only applies to people with American visas, so if you’re from another country you may have more options! It’s worth looking into what countries offer this visa.
The beauty of the internet is that you can now work anytime, from anywhere, doing almost anything.
I started out years ago on a website called Elance (now known as Upwork), and I worked full time as a freelance writer for a little over a year before getting work at a local environmental nonprofit. Even though I’m no longer freelancing full time, I still get a bit of extra cash here and there writing articles for various websites. If you have any skill that you could do via the internet, there’s a way to do it. Upwork is a great place to get started and build a portfolio, although they do charge a fee per dollar earned so it’s worth branching out from there when you feel ready to start sending pitches to prospective clients.
The only problem I find with Upwork is that there are a lot of people looking to pay very little money for articles. There are also unfortunately freelancers who are willing to write articles for very little money. Don’t sell yourself short – if you take the time to really look through the jobs, you’ll be able to find clients who value good work and are willing to pay for it.
If you’re not a writer, there are plenty of other freelancing opportunities available! Upwork has jobs ranging from photo editing to app development to translation, so if you have a particular skill it’s worth seeing if you can get paid for it.
Sell All the Things!
If you’re planning on traveling long-term, you don’t need all of that stuff anyway, right?? I’ll let you in on one of my guilty pleasures: thrift shopping. I actually have a problem. I don’t think I have ever once walked into a thrift store without leaving with something. And usually that something was an article of clothing that I definitely didn’t need but the $3 price tag was too good to pass up.
So what did I end up with? Way too many clothes, but a lot of them were super cool vintage pieces that I got for almost nothing. I opened up a shop on Etsy, sold them for way more money than I bought them for, and made a surprising amount of money on clothes that would have been packed into boxes for years otherwise. If you have a vintage obsession like me or you’ve been hoarding something else over the years, it’s worth seeing if you can make a bit of extra cash selling it.
If you’re strolling through markets and antique stores where you’re traveling, it may be worth picking up a unique item or two that you think could be resold. As long as you have a post office nearby, you can always keep an online shop open for those trinkets you find along the way.
I haven’t yet delved into this world, but plenty of friends of mine have saved thousands of dollars teaching English throughout Asia. With a good salary plus a low cost of living (depending on the country you choose), you can save a lot of money working over a short period of time. In many countries you need to be TEFL certified in order to be able to teach, so look into the particular qualifications before you go.
If you have certification and experience, there are also opportunities to teach English via Skype. I know people who teach for 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, and make enough money to fund their lifestyle.
Do you enjoy snowboarding? What about picking fruit? There is a wide variety of seasonal work offered all over the world, from being a ski instructor to planting trees to harvesting fruits and vegetables. If you’re headed to Canada in the winter, see if the local ski resort is hiring. If you’re headed to Australia or New Zealand in the summer, there’s heaps of farm work to come by. It’s always worth asking locals if they know of any short-term work. Many times you can even find employers that will pay you directly in cash.