This blog post was updated on January 5, 2021.

We all know that person who is always somewhere interesting, whether IRL or on social media. You might have commented on their photos, “Are you ever home?” or ask yourself “How can they afford that?”

While it’s easy to assume that everyone else must have a trust fund, the truth is that most people don’t, and travel is actually well within your reach – if you want it enough. You may just need to supplement your bank account a little to make it happen. And by utilizing your talents (Yes, you! You have talents!), you may be able to make travel an ongoing part of your life — without having to save money for years to do it. With enough drive, you can make money while you travel or at least get some free room and board to reduce the strain on your budget.

Here are 13 legitimate ways that you can make or save money while traveling (or even earn some extra cash to see the world before you leave), by using the talents you already have.

Become a House Sitter

woman house sitting while traveling

If travel feels outside your budget and you have a knack for being clean and not burning down the place you’re staying in, check out Nomador. The site connects you with people seeking house and pet sitters for various lengths of time. While not every job pays, you do get to stay in the home free of charge. That means that once you book cheap round trip flights to your destination of choice, your trip is pretty much all set since you won’t need to worry about paying for a hotel or hostel stay.

Teach English

Woman teaching English abroad

Teaching English may just be your ticket to travel. There are dozens of companies online that will match fluent English speakers with host families eager for an English tutor or schools that could use your services. The International TEFL Academy, Teach Away, and many others are a good place to start. And if you’re a university student, most schools provide opportunities for students to teach English abroad.

Sell Your Photos

ravel photographer taking pictures of the mountains

Sites like iStock buy photos from people with a good eye, and travel photography often does well. You’re usually paid per download, which makes it a good way to earn some regular money — even if it’s not much. And the more photos you have on their site, the more likely you are to get regular downloads.

Work at a Resort

Woman working at a resort abroad

While working at a resort, you may be staying in one place for a while, but there are many options when it comes to being a resort employee. Resorts around the world usually hire frequently for entertainment, desk staff, and housekeeping. But if you’re not one who wishes to stay in a specific place, maybe working on a cruise ship rather than a hotel resort is a better option for you.  Either way, you’ll get the best of both worlds: making money and staying in paradise!

Get Into Writing

Woman travel writing

The Internet provides ample opportunities for writers or even just regular folks who are decent with words. And — bonus — you can write from pretty much anywhere. All you need is a laptop and an Internet connection. The Penny Hoarder gives a great breakdown of websites that pay writers per piece. You could also try contacting local businesses, newspapers, and magazines to see if they’d be interested in a blog or an occasional guest writer (especially one in a distant part of the world). You can also bid for extra projects on sites like Upwork.

Bartend or Wait Tables

Waiter working abroad

People skills are (usually) all you need to be successful as a restaurant worker. You can work in the evenings after you tour all day, make new friends, live like a local, and you might even save some money on food if your restaurant provides perks like free meals. A lot of people get lucky just asking for a job at a bar, but Work Abroad has a board that can offer some help for those who want to find something before they go.

Related: 10 Foolproof Ways to Make Money While Traveling

Be an Au Pair

Woman working as an aur pair while traveling

Love kids? Consider signing up to be an au pair. (Au Pair World and Au Pair Care are both good places to start looking). You can find families in the countries you’re hoping to visit and set your expectations ahead of time, including the age and number of children you’d like to watch. Most of the time, your room and board are covered and you get paid.

Sell on Etsy

Woman making jewelery to save money for travel

Can you make jewelry? Design invitations and logos? Crochet or knit? No matter your skills, there’s a place for you on Etsy. And, as an added bonus, by creating something with your hands, you’ll have plenty to do on long flights or train rides.

Be a Virtual Assistant

Are you a skilled office worker, assistant, or bookkeeper? Can you do someone’s taxes? If so, you definitely have the skills to earn some extra income as a virtual assistant. Websites like Upwork and Virtualassistants.com can help you find business owners looking for some extra help. And fortunately, you can do the job from anywhere!

Work on a Farm

Travelers working on a farm abroad

Maybe you’re more skilled at working hard and helping out. If so, WWOOF connects you with organic farmers around the world who could use a hand. Room and board are typically covered and you have the opportunity to learn and teach with like-minded people. While it’s definitely work, it can be enjoyable for the right person.

Start a Blog

Man working on a travel blog

If you don’t already have a blog, consider starting one. Many websites offer affiliate marketing programs that pay you for driving traffic to their site. And once your blog has a big enough following, you can get sponsorship from companies who pay you to mention or review their items.

User Testing

Websites like Usertesting.com and trymyUI pay you to try out apps and websites. Just provide your honest feedback as you perform a series of tasks and you’ll usually get paid between $10 to $15 per test. While it isn’t consistent income, as you can only take tests you qualify for, it’s a great way to earn some extra cash on the side, and you can do it wherever you get a WiFi signal.

Be a Travel Guide

Woman working as a tour guide

Do you know a certain area really well? Speak multiple languages? Opening a freelance travel agency may be easier than you think. By setting up a tour for an area you know well, you may be able to pay your own way through a place you love and make money (and friends) along the way.  

Do you supplement your travel budget while exploring the world? Let us know how in the comments section below!

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About The Author

Hey I'm Mandy. Writer, traveler, wife, mother, author, woman, over-sharer. I like to talk about the grit of travel, the beautiful, and the people that I meet. Oh yeah - and traveling with kids.