If you’re looking for ways to make money while traveling and want to learn how getting paid to travel works, you’re in good hands today.
I’m going to share with you the most popular ways to make money traveling.
How you make money and travel and the same time is split into two main categories:
- Having your own travel asset (more on this)
- Having a travel job
A “travel asset” is something you own and control. You build it and then use it to make money as you travel. I’ll get into specific details about the types of travel assets you can create later. On the flip side, a travel job is a job that requires you to travel to new places as part of the job. You’ll make money being an employee and find yourself in many new destinations during the job.
5 Ways To Get Paid To Travel By Creating Your Own Travel Asset
A travel asset is really your own “business” or “brand”. It is something you create and build, and brand yourself around – and then make money from as you travel the world.
It really is a “self employment” way of traveling the world. You have much more control over everything compared to a travel job. You pretty much call all the shots and run your business/brand as you like.
In my opinion, if you truly want to get paid to travel for long periods of time, creating an asset that makes money while you travel is unquestionably the way to go.
So what types of things can you build to make money from as you travel? Below I will list the MOST popular ones that make the most sense for someone who wants to be paid to travel.
Create a travel blog
A travel blog is without question the best asset you can own if you want to make money while traveling full time. A blog is simply a website with a “personal tone” to it, where the blogger is usually front and center as the main voice and personality – however you can run a blog faceless and it will still work.
A blog is best for making money because everything about the blog is 100% under your control. You can publish whatever content you want, when you want, work with whatever brands you want, and make money however you want. 100% of it is under your control – and that’s really important, because the rest of the items on this list is NOT fully in your control (that is, you don’t fully own it).
How does a travel blog make money? In a nutshell, a travel blogger writes content about travel and publishes it to their blog. For example, you could write about your recent trip to Sorrento, talking about the things you did, what hotel you stayed at, tours you recommend, and the travel insurance you used. People interested in your Sorrento blog post will read it and these visitors can make you money by buying things you recommend (you’ll earn a commission).
Here are some popular ways travel bloggers make money:
- Affiliate marketing – recommending hotels, car rental companies, flight booking sites, travel gear, travel guides, etc (you earn a commission when people purchase through your site)
- Advertisements – Many blogs have ads on them and they get clicked by visitors. Every click can earn you $0.50 or so (this rate can fluctuate!)
- Sponsorships – Brands and tourism boards want to work with travel bloggers! One popular sponsorship partnership is to write a blog post about a company – which can often make you hundreds of dollars for one post
- Create your own products – A lot of travel bloggers create their own products to sell on their websites, like travel guides for a certain city, or a course on how to become a travel blogger
Note that you don’t specifically need a travel blog to make money traveling. You can have a blog on ANY topic and still be able to travel the world while working on your blog from a laptop/cafe. For example, this blog talks about personal finance, blogging, and travel.
Travel influence on Instagram
After a blog, the second best way to make money traveling is using Instagram! We all know Instagram and how it works, but how does being a “travel influencer” work?
To be honest, it’s really really simple! To be an “influencer” you just need to have followers who tune in to what you have to say. They like your photos, comment, watch your stories, and share your IG posts. If you have an audience that does this, you have INFLUENCE.
Once you have enough influence, you can begin making money though Instagram. You need around 5000 engaged followers to begin working with brands (rough estimate).
How do you make money on Instagram? The most popular way is to partner with brands that are relevant to your audience. For example, if you are a “outdoor lifestyle traveler”, you can partner with camping gear companies, car brands, and tourism boards in the area you are exploring.
They will give you a free car to drive, free camping gear, or fly you around in a helicopter. You get to show off and document your adventures, feature the company, and make money doing it too.
You can also post a post talking about a brand/business, showing off their gear, and be paid for that too (and likely get all the swag for free). The larger and more engaged your IG audience is, the more money you can command.
Though being a travel influencer is the best way to travel and be paid, you can be practically any type of influencer. For example, the Ritz Carlton can host a beauty Instagram influencer for a free stay in Paris if they feature their hotel. And these types of partnerships can be paid ones too (along with the free luxurious stay).
To see a list of travel Instagrammers who Influence, see this list.
Create a Youtube channel related to travel
Since the beginning of Youtube, people have documented and shared their travel adventures on Youtube. Unknowingly, they were building “influence” on a social media platform.
Today, being a creating a Youtube channel on a travel topic requires skill, story telling, interesting subject matter, and good visuals. If these types of things rock your boat, and you like being in front of a camera, then Youtube is a great platform to build your travel business on.
On Youtube, you create videos people want to watch. They can be informational videos or entertaining videos (or both!) as long as people want to consume your content. When you earn subscribers and more views, you have more influence and have more money making potential.
The most popular ways to make money on Youtube is through Youtube ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsorships (partnering with brands/companies to promote their products). And like Instagram, or your blog, it comes down to creating content people want to consume, sharing it, and building an audience over time. With your new influence, you can begin making money off your Youtube channel.
One of my favorite Travel Youtuber is Canadian Lost Leblanc, who really knows how to run a travel focused Youtube channel.
Become a digital nomad
A digital nomad is a loose term for anyone who works from their laptop while being anywhere in the world. The allure of becoming one is that you live a “laptop lifestyle” where you run a business online which lets you earn money remotely while you travel.
There are many avenues to make money as a digital nomad. Running your own blog or being a travel influencer are two ways. But there are also companies that hire employees who never need to go into “the office”. These digital nomads work for companies completely remotely, anywhere there is an internet connection, while traveling the world. You can learn more about becoming a digital nomad here.
Become a travel photographer
If you love to take photos and love to travel, well I’m sure you already are a travel photographer. Being a travel photographer is something I personally do and it is one of the most rewarding things about traveling and making money.
How do you become a travel photographer? At first you’ll need to spend your own money to travel around. you will need to build a portfolio of travel photos that you can feature on your website or on Instagram. From there, people will learn about you, and you can then start making money.
Here are a few common ways travel photographers make money:
- Sell prints – You can sell your photos to stock photo websites, on your own website, and advertise photos for sale on your Instagram or Youtube channel
- Create a travel photography course – Many experienced travel photographers create their own courses to show others how to take better travel photos. I’ve seen many advertisements on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube
- Take photos for brands like hotels & vacation spots – Many companies will give you a free stay or a free vacation with them if you will create photos for their brand, social media accounts, and website. Sometimes you can be paid as well as getting free things
- Partnerships with travel related companies – Tourism boards and any company in the travel industry needs fresh photos to promote their business. You can be a photographer for them while experiencing their tour, vacation stay, etc. You’ll need to show your stuff first, so I recommend a travel Instagram account or travel photography website
- Blog about travel photography – You can create your own website about travel photography, sharing your knowledge, tips, and your photos of your travels. Once you build an audience, you will begin to make money which will help fund more travels and photo gear
What type of business should you create?
You will likely have several assets that all contribute to your overall online travel presence. For example, virtually all travelers have their own website no matter what their main travel asset is. Many people have a travel blog along with a main social media account, like Instagram or Youtube (the two most prominent social media accounts for travel).
20 Jobs That Involve Travel (jobs that pay you to travel)
Below are jobs that require travel as part of the job description!
This means you’ll find yourself in new city/country to explore during your days off and free time. It’s a super cool way to get to see the world while making money. I’ve listed the best jobs that pay to travel that actually make sense to do below.
Teach English (or any language) abroad
We’ve probably all heard of someone who has gone abroad to teach English and explore the world. Asia is one of the most popular places to teach English abroad because they are always looking for English teachers. Teaching jobs won’t make you rich but it should be enough to pay your every day expenses and give you enough left over to spend some leisurely time in your new city. Spending half a year or a year in a new city teaching English could be a great way to earn consistent income abroad.
Teach English online
Did you know you can teach English online as well? You can actually be anywhere in the world doing this because all you need is an internet connection. Work is usually contractual (like a 6 month term). You’ll want to find a website like this one to apply for jobs.
Work on a cruise ship
I’ve been on many cruises and always get chatty with the people who work on them. I always ask why they chose to work on a cruise, and the answer is always “to travel and make money.”
I think working on a cruise ship would be absolutely fun. I’m sure all cruise companies don’t run the same, but from the chats I’ve had, it seems like you can work 6-12 month contracts and you get time off to visit ports and when the ship docks for new arrivals. You work many jobs and work long hours while you work (which I think is good because you might as well make as much money as you can while on the ship!)
Go find cruise companies that go to places you want to visit and connect with your style of cruising and check their careers section for an opportunity to staff a cruise ship. There are so many different jobs required to handle a ship, it’s really a moving hotel if you think about it.
Work as a flight attendant
Perhaps one of the first jobs that springs to mind when you’re looking for jobs that pay you to travel is a flight attendant. If you don’t mind being in planes and being in the service industry, this is an excellent way to get to many different countries while completely eliminating the cost of expensive flights.
Become a travel guide/tour guide for a travel company
One of the best jobs to travel the world is definitely being a tour guide. You get paid to lead a group of people and show them around a city or across several cities. For example, the popular 18-35’s tour company Contiki requires a tour guide for each bus. They go all around places like Europe and Asia, party with the travelers on the bus, and do it again the next day. You’ll be exploring cities and eating foods with your group and get free time to do your own things. This is one style of being a tour guide. There are also tour guides who offer local tours within just one city, like Positano Italy for example. Regardless of the type of tour guide you are, you get paid to travel. Find tour companies and check their “careers” page to land a job.
Another job related to tourism is becoming a tour agent. Though you’ll be working from your desk and not traveling, it’s a job you can have just about anywhere in the world where you can get employment. It would be a work abroad type of job. You would sell and promote travels, tours, and other things like travel insurance such as IEC insurance.
Be a tour bus driver
If driving a bus full of people through a country or around several countries is something you can see yourself doing, then do it! I’ve done several group tours where we had a drive and tour guide take us all around Europe. The driver was responsible for getting us around and maintaining the bus, but after those duties were done, they got to hang with us and see and do fun things. Plus if you drive a bus through a cool place like Europe, you see so many beautiful things as you drive around. Tour bus drivers can make decent money based on experience too. I think the Contiki drivers make $60,000 to $80,000 (rough estimate from the conversations I’ve had).
Freelance travel writing
This one falls more into the self employment area since you are typically paid by piece work, but you can definitely land contractual style jobs where you are guaranteed income for delivering work. A freelance writer is someone who writes travel related articles for business in the travel industry. For example, you could write article for a website that offers tours around Europe. You’ll definitely want to be a passionate traveler and writer, and can deliver good quality articles to make this work. Check out this article for more.
What’s WWOOF? It’s when you work on an organic farm (you can choose your destination in the world) for free in exchange for housing and to support the organic movement. It’s a great way to travel to a new place and learn more about farming in a particular area. You do have to pay for your travel however food and housing is free. You can work for a few weeks and up to 6 months sometimes depending on what you negotiate with your host. I think it’s something you can do short term as you travel the world.
Work at a hostel
I’ve spent a lot of time in hostels over my years of traveling and I can really say this! It is more likely than not that the hostel workers are foreigners in the country. They find work in a hostel (and get free bedding by the way) as a way to make money while being in a new country. If you go to Banff Canada, everyone that works in the city itself is Australian it seems. In Budapest, the hostels I stayed in had everyone but Hungarians working there.
Work in the food and drink industry
If you had to simply pack your bags and leave for somewhere without any way to make money when you arrived to your new destination, the first thing I would do is look for a job in the food and drink industry. I’m talking bars, hotels, and restaurant type places. These places have incredibly high turn over rates and are always looking for good people. It’s your best best to make money in a new location (and it can be great money too). You can work for a few months at this city, go to the next city and do the same thing… and just roam around and make money as you see the world.