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Home » Travel Money, Travel Tips

How To Make Money while you Travel

Submitted by on 14/09/2012 – 8:00 amNo Comment
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stacks of dollar bills
Making money while traveling around the world has never been more accessible, there are so many different ways available depending on how involved you want to get. If your backpacking or traveling on a budget it can be a really useful way to keep traveling for longer and it doesn’t always take a lot to get into.

Trust me on this – If your traveling with a purpose then your experience will be so much more!
Here are a few suggestions that I’ve seen working:



Nowadays it seems like every backpacker is also a travel blogger, but that’s not to say that you cant be one too… The web’s a very big place! Seeing as I’ve been doing it for a while now I suppose I’m pretty well qualified to hand out a bit of advice on the matter. So ill start by telling you this…Its not that hard. The hard bit is doing it well enough to generate an income!

It took me a year and a half to get this site to where I wanted, but only two months to do the same with Before You Backpack. That’s because I’d already made plenty of mistakes and opened my eyes to the wealth of resources available online.

I wont get into the blueprint of how to be a travel blogger right now (that’s another article all together) but I will point you in the right direction.

  • If You’re a Complete Beginner:

    Seriously get yourself a copy of Nomadic Matt’s eBook – It’s not by any means a short-cut to internet fame but it is certainly A LOT of web jargon explained in easy to digest chunks delivered with insightful experience.
    He outlines what’s important to consider from the outset (which a beginner would miss… I know I did), how to start with nothing and end up with a perfectly formed travel blog ready and waiting for some great travel content. Basically it tells you the how and where to focus your efforts and where not to waste your time.
    – Other handy resources: WPbeginner | Almost Fearless – Quit your job. Travel the world | ProBlogger’s guide to your first week of blogging

  • If You’ve Already Got a Blog Up and Running, But Only Your Mum Reads It:

    This is something I cant recommend enough, I use it at least once every 3 months just to keep things focused. 31 Days to Build a Better Blog eBook. by Daren Rowse – ProBlogger.

    This is basically a step by step guide showing you how to go from travel blogger zero to hero. This book breaks down into 31 tasks, one for each day of the month. It provides you with inspiration, ideas and resources that will fire up your creative juices and make you a much better blogger with a real idea of how to create a sustainable and valuable blog that people will keep coming back to.

    Seriously this eBook is a must for any aspiring blogger and it comes with a money back guarantee… Which I actually believe NOBODY has ever called in.
    – Other handy resources: Almost Fearless – A practical guide to going digital

  • If You’re Blogging Is Fine But You’ve Never Made a Penny:

    And now we get into the nitty gritty – money, money that travels! A rare and elusive beast that takes many forms. Read Pat Flynn, Pro Blogger, or buy old blogs that have been left behind and pepper them with ads…

    What I did was to work my ass off getting this site and Before You Backpack to do well and then purchase two other sites which feed off of it, basically with all the content that doesn’t make the grade, these sites are of course peppered with ads and affiliate links.
    – Other handy resources:

Further reading:

Canada’s Adventure Couple – So You Want To Be a Pro Blogger in the Travel Business?
FoxNomad – Common Misconceptions And Several Truths About Travel Blogging Digital Nomads


Bluehost – One click WordPress web hosting
Theme Forest
– WordPress themes by the bucket load


Other Online Ways to Make Money:

Besides blogging and writing there are plenty of options for the skint traveler or smart backpacker… I try to regularly seek out new income streams ESPECIALLY ones that can be done from anywhere in the world. While I’ve found plenty, they’re not always worth the time so I’ve kept (and will keep) this list to only ones I’ve made a few $$$’s out of.


Online Presence Management

After a little research online I found that around 50% of local businesses had no real online or social media presence at all!

Here’s how I turned that knowledge into $320 a week!

I went to local businesses and guesthouses and offered my services in the form of an “online and social media package” Facebook page, listing on Google maps, register on Foursquare add to Hostel World/Trip Advisor… For $40…

There’s a bunch of people out there who just don’t have the time or patience to do these things themselves but they do realise the value in it.

What I use for the job.


    • Google Map Maker registering on Google maps I use Google Map Maker. This isn’t quite a business listing but it’s as far as I could go without having too much access, making them a whole new Gmail account etc… And it’s 100x better than not being listed at all! (also turns up in search results and mobile map searches just as well as a Google Places for business listing).The process is pretty straight forward. Click “ADD NEW” and follow the instructions from there. I don’t go as far as drawing outlines or anything like that, just fill in as much info as possible and in about 48hrs Google with send you an email telling you if it’s been approved or not.


    • Foursquare Foursquare, I just pop into the guesthouse/business and set it up from there. It requires the use of their phone and email address.Go to Foursquare’s website and search for the venue (if it’s not there then check in and create it). At the bottom of the page on the right you’ll see a link – “Do you manage this venue? Claim Here“.Click that and simply follow the on screen instructions. **Beware of international calling charges though**


    • Hostel World Hostel World you’ll need access to their email address and some info and pictures about the business (obviously only works with hostels but Trip Advisorwould work for restaurants).Head to and follow the instructions. It’s a fairly simple process and the back-end is pretty easy to use, so anyone you’re doing it for shouldn’t have many problems. Make sure to add plenty of details and good pictures… Then just wait for the approval.


  • Facebook
    The way I did it was to create it myself and then add the owner as an admin, once I had received payment, added them as an admin and had them delete me. It’s simple enough to do and you can re-use a lot of the info and pics as with the other services. I simply followed this guide

And so… $320 in one week!

That is all… Only a couple of hours for about 3 days while everything was registered etc and I received $40. I managed 8 in one week while still having time to eat out each night, have a few drinks AND lay on the beach… $320 HELLO!

What I found made a BIG difference was taking good photo’s and a couple of videos! When they saw what I could make their places look like with not much effort and just an iPhone they were sold!

If you’re interested in learning how to turn out professional quality photos on an iPhone then I strongly suggest you check out the Digital Photography School guide to iPhone Photography. It’s awesome, digital download book packed with great tutorials, the best apps and how to edit pictures like a pro.



Sites like Elance and 99Designs are a great place to pick up work if you have almost ANY computer or writing skills. Graphic design, web development, copywriting… The list is endless, seriously pop over and check them out.

  • Pro Blogger Jobs Board
    Over at they have a jobs board for bloggers and content writers. What’s great about this for travelers is that you can use your knowledge on almost any topic to earn money. Say you used to be a beauty therapist… You’re going to know a fair bit about beauty, and there are plenty of beauty blogs and websites that need content and articles writing. Many of the jobs posted at Pro Blogger are also regular contracts. To me this has to be the most accessible of all the money making ideas I’ve compiled here.


Teaching English:

If English is your native language then there are plenty of good opportunities to make a bit of cash, not always heaps but enough to get by, and for some, you don’t even need a teaching degree! However, if you are TEFL accredited then the better paid placements will open up, usually they’re more for the long term (6 months) but this can be a great way to get to the heart of a place.

A damn good resource to get started is this eBook – How to teach English overseas. A digital download put together to give you the best start in finding the right TEFL qualifications and placements. It’s written by travel blogger and extended travel expert – Nomadic Matt and it basically cuts all the crap out and gives you a direct route to the courses you need to take, the places to look for placements and what you need to know before becoming an English teacher.

Getting TEFL accredited is pretty simple, they offer a Free trial of their – Online TEFL course which can be tailored to suit anyone they also have a wealth of experience helping travelers find jobs in faraway places.

Further Reading:

Around the World “L” – ESL Student Life Stories


Writing Short articles for Travel communities:

If you like the idea of writing and being paid for it but you don’t want to deal with the admin of keeping your own Blog then writing short articles for sites like Matador can be a good option.

Matador is a massive on-line community of travelers doing just that, traveling – writing – getting paid – traveling some more. The MatadorU Travel Writing Course is for people who are serious about making travel writing their career and want a helping hand to get started. The community support is awesome and for bit of inspiration they offer a Free download guide of 15 Paying Travel Magazines that want YOUR travel writing.

These sites don’t always pay a fortune but if you’re in a place already then why not get paid to write about it!? Plus exploring a place with an angle other than sightseeing means you’ll most definitely enrich your experience and see things you would have normally missed.


Using your Current Skills:

I’ve seen this make backpackers money time and time again, they leave home with a skill set that they never really appreciated but it turns out is extremely useful while on the road.

The best money maker I’ve seen so far is Hair Cutting, backpackers set up little signs on their beach huts advertising the fact they can cut hair and charge $5 a pop for a trim… If your staying in busy hostels this can lead to a line of people all waiting for a trim.

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Blanche has written 758 articles. +Aaron Bradford is the leader, mentor and chief geek of HappyTimeblog. He put together the crack team of writers known by codename “The Firm“. He's a permanent traveller and a lifestyle hacker. Wanna know more? Check out my Bucket List or my About page... I'm here to show you how to live a Life Less Ordinary

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