As most world travelers quickly realize, making money to supplement travel funds is almost always necessary. Since a lot of travelers don’t stay put in any one place for very long, finding quick and easy ways to make/stretch their money is the only option available. This guide will show you some of the quickest, easiest, and most practical ways to make money while keeping your inner nomad happy.
There are essentially two types of travel income: Earned Income and Saved Income.
The most common source of income. Simply put, it is compensation from employment.
Online Freelancing - This is a great way to make some serious cash, but it’s not always easy and it’s not always quick. The beauty of online freelance work is that it’s totally mobile, meaning you can take work with you, no matter where you are in the world. If you’ve got a skill (not just with writing), you can monetize that skill through freelancing. Rich Tip: Start small and work your way into bigger and better paying jobs. Competition for the good gigs can be fierce, so it may take some time to build up your freelancing resume.
Pick Fruit - Pickers are usually paid by the kilogram, and employers are typically flexible enough to let you work on a short-term or day-to-day basis. Not only can you make some quick cash, but you can also work on getting that farmer’s tan that you’ve always dreamed of. Rich Tip: Wear sunscreen. Seriously.
Write an Ebook - Do you have knowledge that you think other people would be willing to pay for? If so, than you have got yourself a good reason to write an e-book. It can be tediously hard work at the beginning, but do it right, and you will have yourself a perpetual source of income. Rich Tip: Earn extra money by selling monthly or annual updates to your e-book. Also, it’s a good idea to incentive people to buy your book, via discounts and promotions.
Take Pictures For Hostels - If you’ve got a good SLR camera and a knack for making a sales pitch, this could be the perfect opportunity for you. There are a ton of hostels that have really crappy photos (especially in S.E. Asia and S. America) showing on the listing sites (Hostelworld, WeHostels, etc.). If you can convince these hostels that you can help them reduce their vacancies, you could very well earn some quick cash for very little work. Rich Tip: Build up a portfolio and a pricing structure that you can email to various hostels in the city you are heading to.
Get Creative - There are literally thousands and thousands of different ways you can earn money. So take a page out of Tuner Barr’s page and give em’ all a shot. Rich Tip: Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
This income is derived from investments into various financial instruments. This includes capital gains, interest payments, and dividends. When people say “it takes money to make money”…this is usually the type of money they are talking about…so you will need some previously held assets in order to generate this type of income.
Profits from the sale of stocks and bonds from your portfolio – Just remember, it’s not “Earned Income” until you actually sell the stock for a profit. Rich Tip: Buy Low/Sell High.
Dividends from the stock in your portfolio - Well, it actually is “Earned Income” if the stock you own receives a dividend payment. Rich Tip: Don’t expect too much money from dividend payments, especially if you don’t own a ton of stock in the company…but every little bit helps.
Interest payments from your savings account - Any and all money in the bank needs to be earning an interest rate. The trick is to find the savings vehicle that offers you the highest possible return on your money, while maintaining the flexibility and liquidity you’re needing with those specific funds. Rich Tip: Don’t keep all your savings in a savings account…typically, they don’t offer a great return. Instead, consider diversifying into less liquid/higher risk investments that offer a higher rate of return.
This is simply income from activities in which you do not actively participate in. This type of income requires far less effort than its “Active Income” counterpart.
Rental income from leasing your house - If you own a home, but are planning a long-term adventure, renting your home out while you are traveling can be a great source of supplemental income. Rich Tip: Hire a full-service property management company. They will oversee every aspect of being a landlord, which you obviously won’t be able to do while traveling the world.
Advertising income from your blog - If you run a blog and are willing to put those eyesore ads on your site, than you can make some decent income from that…especially if your blog is established and has a good following. Rich Tip: Reach out to specific companies that are in the same industry that your blog represents, and make a pitch to earn their advertising dollars.
Profits from affiliate programs on your website - If your website has a strong following, then earning income through affiliate marketing could be a very real possibility. Rich Tip: Figure out your website’s niche and then find a product/company that matches up perfectly with your niche. This will help your affiliate program work much better.
Sell Your Photos Online - It doesn’t matter if you’re an amateur photographer (like me) or someone who will wait all day just to get the perfect shot with the right lighting, there are plenty of great stock photo websites that are willing to help you sell your photos. Rich Tip: If you’ve got some relevant photos that you feel would positively represent a specific company, then contact that company directly, asking if they have any interest in purchasing your photos. You might be surprised at how many times that actually works.
Couch Surfing - The world traveler’s favorite way to save money. It’s a pretty awesome way to make new friends too. Rich Tip: Cook your host a meal or two as a sign of appreciation.
House Sitting - Another great way to save on accommodations. Typically there is a little bit of work involved (water plants, feed pets, mow grass, etc.), but having a house all to yourself while in a foreign country…for free. Does it get any better than that? Rich Tip: Be as descriptive as possible on your profile. People need to know you are trustworthy.
Work for Hostels - Oftentimes, Hostels are looking for people who are willing to work a few hours a day cleaning and/or working at the front desk. In exchange for your work, they give you free bed. Not a bad deal if you ask me. Rich Tip: Wake up early in the morning and knock out the work before everyone else is up.
Sponsored Review - If you’ve got a popular travel blog, you can parlay that into free nights at hostels and hotels. In exchange for posting a in-depth review on your site, you receive a few nights stay. Rich Tip: Give an honest review. The last thing you want to do is lose your reader’s trust by giving them bad information.
Locals don’t eat out 100% of the time…why should you? It’s extremely important to avoid having the “I’m on vacation” mindset. Rich Tip: Experience the true culture by shopping at local markets. Cook the authentic meals that the locals cook.
This can all be summed up in our Flight Ninja post. Saving money on flights is the bee’s knees. Rich Tip: When it comes to buying your plane ticket, timing is everything.
City Tourists Cards - If you’re planning on visiting several museums and/or doing a lot of sight-seeing, it is worth purchasing a city tourist card. They give you heavy discounts to major attractions, and often times include free admission into museums, art exhibits, local theaters, as well as tons of other perks. Rich Tip: Ask questions at the Visitor’s Center.
Youth Discount Cards - If you’re a student, a teacher, or under the age of 26, you should consider purchasing the STA Discount Card. It has countless discounts for cities throughout the world. Rich Tip: Don’t you wish you were young again?
When you are traveling the world, you can’t get caught up in doing all the pricey touristy things. Always remember that doing things that are free, like going to the park, or swimming in the lake, or walking around downtown, can be just as rewarding.
And above all else, always remember that money does not make you rich.