5 Ways to Make Money While You Travel

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5 Ways to Make Money While You Travel

As much as I’d love to report that money grows on trees here in South Africa and I am rolling in dough, I’m afraid I must give a (small) reality check….
Travel blogging and Digital Nomad living is not as easy as it looks.  There are many hidden (or just not photographed and shared) challenges and concerns that come along with being a Digital Nomad- first and foremost being, “How am I going to keep funding this lifestyle I’ve found myself in?  Or is it time to go back to the old 9-5?  PLEASE NO!”
Luckily, where there’s a will there’s a way, as they say.
While money does come in from blogging and social media-ing, it’s far from consistent.  Multiple streams are necessary to stay afloat.  It takes a lot of self-motivation and creativity to keep on going.
I have found that there are many ways to make money to travel WHILE you travel, and I intend to find them all!  But for now, here are five!

1.  Freelance Writing typewriter-801921_1920
Sometimes I write paid articles for my blog, and sometimes other publications.  It pays off big time to write daily and reach out to publications that feature content for which you are an expert.  Also, when your following is big enough, advertisers will start pitching you article ideas in hopes you will include a paid link for them.
2.  Volunteering
Sometimes this isn’t exactly a paid situation, but it can cover major expenses like food and accommodation.  I had a friend who spent an entire month in Vietnam for free by volunteering at a children’s school, teaching English.  They covered her meals and a private room to sleep in.  Not a bad gig if you ask me!
3.  Under The Table
This is a risky one, so take this advice with a grain of salt.  Working without a proper visa (if you’re caught) can get you into trouble, but depending on where you are, it may be completely common and unofficially accepted.  One of my best girlfriends got a job selling paddleboard rentals on the beach of Koh Tao, Thailand in order to support her travels, and guess what?  It paid enough to cover her meals and accommodation!  Plus, she basically just chilled on the beach all day.
4.  Selling Travel Photos SOLD.png
My favorite!!! If only I could do this daily.  Taking photos of my travels has been one of the best parts of the entire experience.  I love to try different angles and lighting, exercising my amateur photography skills.  Recently I sold a photo of the South African Namaqualand Daisies to the New York Times, making $200!
5.  Use Your Skillsbeach-1853902_1920.jpg
Staying at hostels around the world has given me the opportunity to meet so many different people with varied hobbies and skills.  When I was in Vienna a couple months ago, I met a musician who funded his travels by playing guitar and piano.  He entertained people at the hostel in exchange for accommodation, then went off and played gigs to make some cash. Incredible, right?
Another example was the yoga instructor I met in Thailand– traveling for years, doing what she loves…yoga on the beach, while making money.  Ever since then I’ve thought repeatedly, I reeeeally need to get yoga instructor certified ASAP…and then get back to Thailand.  

What do you guys think?  What are your favorite and most effective ways to set up multiple streams of income for your travels?
The beautiful thing about today’s day and age is the endless open doors online.  Let’s go knock on them all, shall we?

By |2017-01-23T09:26:53+00:00January 23rd, 2017|Digital Nomad Life, Expat Living, Solo Female Travel|17 Comments

About the Author:

On August 14th, 2015 I left my life in the United States behind with the intention to never look back. I had the "American Dream" and I woke up from it, to create a new reality for myself. I sought out beauty in a world that was increasingly dark for me at the time and ended up finding more than I bargained for. With only a backpack, I traveled across Europe, South East Asia and then on to Africa. With over 30 countries stamped in my passport, I've become an entirely new version of myself with a broader perspective on what it means to be a woman in today's world. My hope is that by sharing my stories and featuring women like me from around the world, we can inspire others to break down their own internal barriers and go cross a few international borders while they're at it. I truly believe travel can be healing to a troubled soul, empowering to the lost and rejuvenating for the exhausted. Perspective is everything, and I believe in the power of "going global," what about you? SheGoesGlobal.net is a site that started out with my stories and grew into a platform for women all around the world to tell their travel tales of trials and triumph. We all believe that the more you see of the world, the better you can be as a person who inhabits it. Women encouraging other women to grow, travel, evolve- that's what SGG is all about. ---> Read my very first blog post (see "Archives" for August 2015) to learn how this all began.


  1. John January 31, 2017 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Greta ideas. Leveraging the skills you already have is definitely the best way to make money while you travel! Congrats on selling a photo to the NYT!

  2. mytravelmoment January 31, 2017 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    Thank’s for sharing this!
    Would you have any tips for selling pictures? How did you do to be contacted by the NY Times 🙂

  3. Claire January 31, 2017 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Ah this is such an inspiring post and it absolutely is the dream to make money and travel together. Freelance writing is something I’m working on but I’d never considered selling pictures. I just read your other post and I can’t believe someone contacted you via instagram, that is amazing!!

  4. Rebecca Hall (@BeyondBex) January 31, 2017 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Some excellent suggestions here. Yes, it’s important to have multiple resources and revenue streams when you’re a digital nomad.
    Affiliate links on blog posts can add up to a nice tidy sum too.

  5. Stephanie Perry (@Vaycarious) January 31, 2017 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Congratulations on selling your photo! I met a few people making money by street performing, especially in Australia. And a couple of DJs in Bali.

  6. timeforanotheradventuresite January 31, 2017 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    I would LOVE to sell my photos – but no idea where to start!

  7. Sandy N Vyjay February 1, 2017 at 12:51 am - Reply

    Earning and at the same time indulging in your passion for traveling is definitely something which is very desirable. These are great pointers in that direction. I would love to try selling my photos, that is something i have not tried.

  8. BeccaJaneStClair March 25, 2017 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Everything is illegal and under the table unless you have a working visa. In some countries, it even includes writing blog posts you get paid for in your home currency AND volunteering because a tourist visa is supposed to be simply that – a visa for tourists. Obviously, it’s harder to get caught as a blogger or for selling photos while you’re abroad, but trust me, it can happen. I know people who have gotten in trouble with UKBA for even doing something simple like babysitting (for free!) their friend’s kids for a single night while they were here as a tourist. It earned them a 10 year ban from entering the UK when UKBA found this note in their calendar when they came for a future event. There’s also recently been a story about a band from Italy being denied entry to the US because they were going to be playing free gigs, and authors promoting their books being denied entry to some European countries. So my advice is to really think hard about working while travelling and if it’s really worth risking being caught (even countries that “turn a blind eye” don’t always!). And never tell an immigration advisor that you intend on writing, working, volunteering, whatever whilst in their country.

  9. MillennialWhoWantsItAll April 4, 2017 at 7:08 pm - Reply

    Definitely important to have multiple streams of revenue- especially while on the road!

  10. mylifestorymyway April 18, 2017 at 6:50 am - Reply

    Great tips 🙂
    I would like to start with freelance writing 🙂

  11. Tami June 22, 2017 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    My husband and I sing in a Christmas caroling group and all the money we make goes into our travel budget.

  12. Bistra | The Magic of Traveling June 22, 2017 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    Yes, writing is my thing. But I don’t find it quite easy to make enough money to support traveling…

  13. Kaila Yu June 23, 2017 at 10:39 am - Reply

    That’s incredible, I would love to sell a picture to the New York Times! Congrats!

  14. Rahul Khurana June 23, 2017 at 11:16 am - Reply

    These are some nice tips to make money while travelling. Having a skill is so important. It can open ample of opportunities. 🙂

  15. […] What happened after that was even more surprising to me than my ability to (for the first time in my adult life) stick to a budget- I began earning money off my blog and social media. […]

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