When travelling long term, all sorts of unexpected expenses can arise. Whether you camp out or opt to stay in hostels and hotels, hitchhike or fly, earning some currency you can save, for visa expenses, unexpected bus tickets, or even to spend on police bribes, will always be helpful for future travels.
Volunteer to lower expenses
There are a few options to help you to travel further. One such option is Volunteering in exchange for meals and accommodation. These aids travel by relieving your wallet of accommodation and food expenses for a few weeks to a few months depending on your individual arrangement.
You can read my volunteering posts (short and informal or more formal long term volunteer positions) to give you a bit of an idea and some websites and programs that are available to you.
Another option that is very popular with the long term and slow traveller is living and working abroad as a teacher. Maybe you can teach French, Spanish or English abroad, as well as experience a culture you also gain valuable skills and experience.
Teaching positions usually have 6, 12, or 24-month contracts depending on the country and the school, and some teachers may find their contract includes other benefits such as their own apartment, flights or end of contract bonuses.
My post on teaching English abroad outlines popular countries for English teachers, as well as links to jobs boards, TESOL certificate courses as well as recruitment agencies that I have had contact with, and have also been referred to by other teachers.
Casual backpackers jobs
Apart from volunteering and teaching, there are many ways that travellers can learn some extra travelling funds along their journey.
Jobs in hospitality, cleaning, tour guides, sailing, farms, fruit picking, busking, freelance IT projects, translating, outdoor activities and tourism assistants, as well as caretaker, nanny or working as an au pair are just some of the work that travelling souls can find when abroad.
Listed below are just a few websites and job boards where travellers can simply contact the employer directly.
Employers usually ask for a resume or photo, and want to know that you are nearby or have pre-arranged transport to the area (as all too often travellers can be late to arrive, have their plans change and no longer be visiting the country so employers find it best if potential employees are nearby already).
Seasonal Farm and Fruit Picking
Fruit picking jobs is a great website, posting picking jobs from all around the world. The downside of picking jobs is that they are seasonal jobs, meaning that depending on the country and the area there might be a lot of work available where you are or none at all.
These types of jobs often are filled quite fast by travellers and backpackers already in the area, so if you have your heart set on a picking job, it’s best to research the types of crops, countries and harvest times and plan ahead.
In some cases, accommodation is available for free, while at other farms you will need to pay for accommodation expenses.
Picking jobs are similar to fruit picking jobs and list other seasonal types of farm work on the website as well.
This is a hostel jobs board for EU passport holders, that posts hostels looking for staff. Shifts are normally 3 or 6-month contracts with accommodation at the hostel and often meals included as well.
Hostel jobs is another great online website to help travellers find work in a hostel. These types of positions often include accommodation, and the position often includes reception work, cleaning, cooking, bar work, hosting pub crawls and other nighttime functions for guests.
Any work anywhere is a great resource that includes information on working in different countries in a paid live-in position.
Work Stay is an Australian based website aimed at those looking for work in Australia.
This website lists short term international and adventure jobs for travellers and students during their holiday break.
Au pair world is a website where families all around the world list information about their family, the type of au pair they are looking for, duties, location as well as the ages and needs of the children. Au Pairs can create a profile and contact families.
Au Pair positions usually include accommodation, meals, as well as travel and holiday trips taken with the family. Au Pairs can also expect a small salary, referred to as ‘pocket money in the au pairing world.
oDesk is an online website where people post projects or small jobs they need to employ someone to do. Jobs listed on the site are IT-based, with web design, business marketing and editing being the most-posted positions.
elance is similar to oDesk, with the website where businesses find freelance workers to complete projects, programming, and web-based work.
Blogging – Writing – Photography
Making money online is a very popular thing to do – especially among those who love to travel. Maybe you already run your own blog or have a keen interest in a particular subject matter that you wish to write about.
Sometimes travel gives the perfect environment to write, or inspire those with a creative streak to find their inner author, blogger, or photographer.
Some people write about their travels, others about their hobbies or special interests, others about nature, while some travellers are known to take their photography business abroad.
When it comes to having your own business, sometimes the hardest part is getting your idea off the ground. A lot of time and work goes into getting your ideas into motion, but at the end of the day, you could be making money doing what you love.
It does not have to be on travel, you can use my steps outlined to start a blog in any field, photography, plants, flowers, your personal travel stories, culture, food or even fashion. It’s really up to you.
Make use of your degree, skills and experience
Maybe you have a trade in plumbing, did an apprenticeship in painting, is a masseuse, or are hairdressers in your home country. These skills that you have previously gained in your home country are still of great use on the road. If you stay in a hostel and offer to do some odd jobs relating to your trade, maybe you can re-paint some areas of the hostel in exchange for a free stay.
If you were a hairdresser, masseuse, or cocktail specialist in your home country, you could ask other travellers staying at your hostel if they need a haircut, would like a massage or even offer some of the bars in the city your services. Thinking outside the box and being confident will help.
To be successful in earning extra travel funds on the road, it’s important to be confident and prepared. There is no point offering a fellow traveller a great haircut if you have no scissors, or promising to re-paint the hostel you’re staying in if you spend your days hungover and your nights partying.
So be prepared, whether it be small odd jobs or bigger projects, make sure you are able, comfortable and confident about the arrangement.