A working vacation (or workation, for those hip types among us) is rapidly becoming a very popular way to travel. Ever wanted to go on a holiday without outlaying a ton of cash? Well, this is how!
You can work your way through a vacation and still have plenty of time to enjoy yourself. There’s something to be said for knocking out a few hours of work every morning on a tropical beach and then sitting back to relax and enjoy yourself.
We’ve spoken with some professional digital nomads and done a lot of research, and here are the top 10 ways to make money while travelling.
The thing about street performing is that you don’t really have to be good, you just have to be there. That said, it certainly helps to actually have some kind of skill in order to attract a bit more generosity in donations.
If you can dance, sing, juggle, or crack a joke you can get some decent cash for street performing. If you’re really good at doing absolutely nothing, and staying perfectly still, you can paint yourself in silver and make some money as a human statue.
This can be especially lucrative if you’re travelling to a nation that doesn’t primarily speak your language. There is huge demand for cheap English tutors in many nations around the world. Some people who are already reasonably skilled will pay for nothing more than a conversation just to keep their language skills sharp.
Even if you’re in a country that speaks your language, you can still make money tutoring school children in maths, science, language and other disciplines. This can be done in-person or online, and can pay very well depending on the subject and the client.
Got a handy skill? There are huge opportunities for writers, programmers, digital marketers and designers in the freelancing sphere. Get your name out there, let potential customers know exactly what you can do, and watch the money roll in.
Consider services like Freelancer, Fiverr or Odesk. If you list yourself on there with a quick, well-written description of your skills, you can earn some decent side cash. The key is to sell yourself – don’t be humble!
Whether you’re a guest lecturer, or simply a presenter on your preferred subject, public speaking gigs can pay very well. Sure, you might not be on Hillary Clinton’s level and earn a quarter of a million dollars for a half-hour presentation, but you might still be able to scrape a living out of it. Guest lecturing can pay very well, depending on your industry and the availability of local lecturers. At the very least, it gets your name out there as an expert in your chosen area and may lead to more work in the future.
Work from home.
If your chosen profession allows you to work remotely, this can be an awesome way to secure a full-time income while travelling. If you’re not required to come into the office regularly, you could take a holiday to a far-off destination and leave your boss none the wiser. Securing a work-from-home job is tough, but if you can do it, it makes your life so much more flexible. You can work from anywhere with a viable internet connection, and make serious coin while doing it.
Seasonal work is very popular for backpackers. It can involve fruit picking, vegetable picking or flower arrangement. In even the most advanced agricultural nations, a large amount of human labour is still required when it comes to bringing in the crop.
Sure, pulling potatoes out of dirt and plucking apples from trees can be tough work, but it can also be very satisfying. Not many people come back from a holiday fitter than when they left – that could be you.
Skiing instructors can make some serious coin in places like New Zealand or Canada. It doesn’t take much to be a low-level instructor, especially in busy seasons when they are desperate for more help. Additionally, many beach resorts need loads of busboys, waiters and more to serve their thousands of guests.
On top of that are opportunities to work with children on summer camps and similar ventures. If you’re young and active, and fairly sociable, then there is a good chance that you’re a perfect fit for one of these positions.
Sales is the old go-to for people who are unsure where they want to end up in life. In sales, however, you also find some professional guns who are in it because there’s no real limit on income. If you’ve got a bit of a go-getter attitude about you, you can make some decent cash in sales while travelling. There are plenty of opportunities for a well-dressed and well-spoken person to sell goods and services.
This is an age-old strategy for backpackers and young travellers. There is always bar work to be had somewhere, and quite often you’ll be paid in cash. The best part about bar work is that it doesn’t change much between different bars. Once you’ve worked in a couple and understand the ropes, you’re very employable as a bar worker.
This is the kind of work you can get even without an employer. If you’ve got some basic language skills, you can hang around transport hubs and offer cheap tours to incoming tourists. Sometimes, you can even do it for free and rely on tips, which can be quite generous. If you’re staying in a foreign area for a while, you can strike up relationships with local bus drivers and small business owners, and receive kickbacks for bringing them some business.
The key to making money while travelling is commitment and persistence. You’ve got to be decent at the service you’re offering, and you’ve got to be prepared to accept a couple of disappointments on the way to making some serious cash. There are certainly some risks, especially that of non-payment, but in the long run it can really add to your holiday experience.
The main thing is to be careful, stay safe, and offer genuine value to whoever you work with.