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5 simple ways to earn money while travelling


Need to make money on the move?

Here are five of the best ways for travellers to earn cash on the side.
If a gap year (or gap month) is on the cards, you’ll want to pack these travel-friendly money makers. Working as you go is a valuable source of income – and you can even create your own jobs and flexible shifts en route.

1. Go freelance

Remote work is a great way to earn money on the move. Here are some ways to wing it:

  • If you already have a job that involves a computer or the phone, there’s a chance you could do it remotely – ask your boss!
  • Got experience in social media, marketing, coding or other desk-based roles? Keep in touch with colleagues and employers, connect with brands you’d like to work with, and let everyone know you’re available
  • If you’re struggling to find clients, check freelancer marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr and Fivesquid.
  • Want cash, not a commitment? Paid surveys won’t get you on the rich list, but side hustles don’t get easier than answering a few questions.

Digital is definitely the way to go for jobs that move with you. If you can’t (or don’t want to) work online, ask around for bar or catering shifts, fruit picking or teaching English, or see the tips below.

2. Try promotional work

Promotional work involves helping businesses get noticed. The obvious example is when clubs pay people to hand out flyers, sell tickets, or generally create a buzz around events.
If you ask around, you should also find bars, restaurants, shops and tourist sites that would welcome a helping hand – especially if you’re outgoing, self-motivated and find it easy to chat to other tourists and visitors.

3. Sell your photos

Advertisers, app designers, bloggers, news sites and book publishers all pay for photos (and videos). Travelling is a great time to have a go, as colourful images of exotic food and drink, local life, experiences, weather and lush landscapes are all good sellers.
The easy way in is to upload your content to a ‘stock library’. The library acts as a middleman, hosting your images, finding buyers, and passing on any sales revenue. EyeEm is good for beginners: they accept phone and camera photos, give you 50% of any sales and pay up monthly.

4. Be a tour guide

If you’re heading somewhere you know well – or you’re planning to stick around for a while – consider stepping up from tourist to tour guide. The one thing you absolutely will need is local knowledge: history, culture and, ideally, tips, hacks and unexplored routes. It also helps if you speak the language and have connections with bars, shops, transport, events, museums etc. Showaround.com connects travellers with tour guides (and say they don’t take a slice of your earnings). Alternatively, ask if local hotels and venues will recommend you, or get advertising in local newspapers or online forums.

5. Teach what you know

It’s as easy to run classes around the world as in your neighbourhood. With a decent internet connection you could teach someone in Crete from a rooftop in Cairo. Some inspiration:

  • Dance, music, yoga, mindfulness, painting and anything else you love to do
  • Professional mentoring, computing or office skills
  • Tutor your degree subject, or even how to apply to university back home

If you have qualifications (e.g., diving, personal training), you may also be able to pick up shifts from resorts or events organisers – it’s worth asking.

Remember that there may be local rules about employment or freelancing, so check it out for yourself. You may also need to pay tax on the money you earn, either to the government over there or at home – see or speak to HMRC if you’re not sure.