There are so many ways to make money as you travel. It can be as simple as getting passive income by renting your parking space while you're away on a road trip or actually getting a job on a long term trip.
You can often delve deeper into your destination and recoup at least some of the cost of the trip.
Below you'll first find ideas for short-term travelers. All of these can be added to the list below that has ideas more appropriate for long-term travelers. I hope these tips help everyone travel longer, farther, and more often.
Make Money As You Travel Short-term
- Rent your place while you're gone. Renting your apartment or house on Airbnb while you're away could earn you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. VRBO, one of my favorite sites for booking accommodation for travel, also offers this opportunity. NOTES:
- There will be a lot of demand this year so it could be a great time to get into it.
- Make sure you have a reliable friend or family member ready to receive your guests, answer their questions, and deal with any issues in your absence.
- Be sure to stay up-to-date on policy changes made by these companies.
- Rent your car while you're out of town. Turo is a car sharing site in the way that Airbnb and VRBO are home sharing sites. Unless you're on a road trip, your car will be sitting idle while you're gone. The Turo site says that “hosts can cover their [car lease] payments by sharing their cars just nine days per month”. Also, “As a host, you’re covered by our CA$2 million insurance policy and we’ll be here to guide you every step of the way. Or bring your own commercial rental insurance and take a bigger piece of the pie.”
- Rent your parking space while you're on a road trip. Neighbor works on the same principle as Airbnb. Use this platform to rent your parking space while you're gone or your extra storage space at any time. At this point it is active in the United States only.
- Get paid to drive to your destination. Cars and trucks are moved around North America by independent contractors, people like you and me, all the time. In some cases, your costs are covered; in others you actually make money. It's luck of the draw as to whether the destination of the car is of interest to you but it is a great way to save on travel and possibly make some money as well. In Canada, see Canada Driveaway. In the United States, see Auto Driveaway.
- Get paid for your road trip. This is cool and if it was in Canada I would definitely do it. With Roadie you can be a courier for packages from one part of the US to another. There are local gigs (that's what they call a trip) and long-distance ones. Most local gigs pay from $8 to $20 and long-distance gigs with over-sized items can pay up to $400. If I were to do it I'd let the delivery gigs plan my trip. There are various security checks involved for both drivers and clients.
- Busk. In a safe public square show off your musical talent or perform an exquisite poem by heart. You don't need a large repertoire as people move along all the time. In a good location, it's possible to make some decent money to cover travel expenses and also meet some pretty interesting people. Just be sure to find out any local regulations that apply. You don't want a ticket eating into your profits.
- Sell cool stuff you find on your travels. Are you a shopper? Are you good at marketing things you love? Find products on your travels that are totally unique and/or inexpensive that you can bring home and sell. The money comes to you after your trip but it's still money earned from your trip!
Make Money On the Road Long-term
Everyone has different skills and talents so not every option will be of interest to everyone. However, have a look. There are a variety of ways to earn money as you travel long-term.
- Work at a hostel. Hostels are often staffed by travelers. Consequently, they are often looking for staff. The pay won't be tops but you will get a room as well.
- Sell your talent online. Fiverr.com and Fiver.co.uk are sites where you can sell your services for $5 (or more). It's amazing what people will sell. If you can edit video or do web design you'll do well. But even if you have only one talent–impersonating one celebrity, for instance–you'll likely get gigs recording a phone message in that voice. Or if, like one guy I've seen, you have a puppet, you could produce a video message with your puppet. The options are endless.
- Freelance from the road. Upwork helps you find freelance work – all kinds of freelance work. There's everything from acting as a virtual assistant to doing bookkeeping, customer support, web design, and writing. These are freelance jobs you can pick up along the way.
- Tutor or teach English as a second language. Tutoring can be a relatively short-term gig while teaching ESL tends to be more of a commitment. ESL Cafe is a great resource for prospective teachers. Also check out Teacher Traveler, an excellent blog for teachers who want to travel.
- Get a part-time or short-term job. Working retail or in a restaurant may be an option for you to make money as you travel. Make sure you know whether it's legal and what visa you require to do so. Google “travel and work in _____” to find reliable information. Working on a farm during harvest season may be another option. Check out Picking Jobs, a site that gives you basic information as well as a listing of picking jobs in 18 countries. If you're in Israel you may want to work on a kibbutz. You won't get paid but you will get room and board.
- Become an au pair. Are you good with children? Settle into a community and take care of a family's children for a year or more. Go Au Pair has been matching families with au pairs for 28 years. They have listings in 8 countries including the United States.
- Work remotely. With so many jobs being performed from home during the pandemic, some people have decided to move their home to a more exciting location. Here are 17 destinations that welcome remote workers long term.
And why not earn money for a good cause as you walk the world?
Make Money for a Charity as You Travel
As you travel, you can make money for a favorite charity just by walking around. Charity Miles is an app that taps into an activity monitor on your phone. Before you head out for the day (whether at home or traveling), use the app to choose your charity, indicate whether you’ll be walking, running, or cycling, and then just go. The money Charity Miles collects from their sponsors is distributed to charities based on their app users’ activity and charity choices.
- Save Money on Travel: 32+ Tips
- How to Save Money for Travel: Top Tips to Help You Save
- Cheap Solo Travel: Your Guide to Money-Saving Advice
- 25 Travel Money Mistakes to Avoid
Are there other strategies you have used to make money as you travel? Please share them in the comments section below.