After college, I remember thinking that I’d do just about anything to avoid joining the cliché working environment. Although I had a degree, I just wasn’t cut out for the regular 9-5. Since the day I turned 16 and could legally work, I’ve been drawn to the more unconventional jobs, and those jobs were merely a road that would lead me to my next adventure. During this time, I would get an odd job (tour guide, ice-cream scooper, Uber driver, etc…) save up, put my two weeks in, and be on the next plane out of there. If you’re anything like me and continuously hopping from one odd job to another, just to save up money for your next trip, this is going to be extremely helpful. If you want to work and travel at the same time, I got you!
Funding Your Trip
Whether you choose to work in the country you’re visiting, or work remotely, funding your adventure is easier than you may think. It is 100% possible to work and travel simultaneously. This is a list that I have constructed based on personal experience and the experience of those I know.
Be forewarned: you may need a specific visa to be hired in the country you are visiting.
In Country Employment
Working Holiday Visa
This is first on the list because it is the most structured and safe option for working abroad. A Working Holiday visa, in short, is an agreement between a handful of countries that allows foreigners to work overseas for up to a year legally. If you are an American citizen, you can obtain this type of visa for Singapore, Ireland, New Zealand, South Korea, and Australia. This route includes employers that individually work with people on a working holiday so finding housing and other necessities is usually rather painless. For more information visit Go Overseas.
This, again, can be found on Facebook. Finding a job off the beaten path is all about networking. Hostels are known to offer free room and board to employees. This isn’t a guarantee for all hostels, but it’s worth putting yourself out there and asking around. Typically you are working part-time, which leaves loads of time to explore with the people you met through work. Be aware that you may not be making money and solely having most expenses covered. If you don’t have money saved up to spend out and about, it may be wise to look for another part-time gig. Bar money is a must, am I right?
A good friend of mine just landed a dope gig working overnights at a bar in Korea and, although her sleep schedule is out of whack, she absolutely loves it. She comes home with the best stories and has met a lot of great people through the experience, not to mention that she’s picked up on a lot of helpful Korean phrases along the way. Again, it’s all about networking. Ask around. Someone is always looking for a helping hand
If you’re into the party scene and can stay up at all hours of the night, you may want to consider this gig. Promoters, as you may have already assumed, promote local nightlife. Bars and clubs in most cities survive on the continuous traffic of tourists and being the middleman in that equation has its perks. This is a great way to make friends and form beneficial connections throughout your travels. Although fun, this may be a bit difficult to snag. A good first step is Facebook. Numerous promotion teams are already in that area that you can reach out to. Just today I saw an ad for a promoter in South Korea. The pay wasn’t anything to write home about, but I personally know the group of folks that run it, and they are a blast. You may not walk away rich, but you’ll have some wild stories to share!
Obviously, I’m biased, but this is a great way to have stability and freedom in a foreign country while making good money. In short, your housing is typically paid for, and you can make upwards of $2,300 a month depending on where you live. For more information check out 7 Reasons Why You Should Teach In South Korea and Teaching Abroad 101.
Online ESL Teacher
There are a handful of reputable companies that allow you to work remotely regardless of your location. The two companies that I’ve found to be the most reliable are VIPKID and 51Talk. Both are based out of China so the time difference can be an issue depending on where you are. During the week, prime teaching hours are between 5 pm -9 pm, which doesn’t seem to be an issue unless you’re on the west side of the States. If the time difference isn’t a concern, this is a great way to make easy money. Both companies offer an hourly wage of $16-$22 depending on your experience and interview. If this is something you’re interested in, I worked for VIPKID while in Korea and would happy to answer any questions you may have.
Do you have the skills it takes to become a good photographer? If so, branch out and work it! Advertise your talent in Facebook groups specific to the area you’re in and do a little legwork. Be sure to have great samples to show potential clients and boldly market yourself. Research the going rate for the type of work you do and base your price off of that. In a world controlled by selfies and Instagram, you will be sure to land more than enough clients looking for adorable travel pictures to post to social media.
If you’re mildly interested in writing, this can be a great way to make a few bucks. Getting started will require a bit of footwork, but once you’re up and running, you’ll be able to work at your own pace and make some extra spending money. These are a few favorite sites for freelance writers that I have used: Freelancer, Blogmutt, Problogger, Upwork Don’t misunderstand when I say, this will take a bit of hard work to get started, but if you commit to getting started, the reward can be great.
If you have digital skills like graphic design, animation, digital marketing, etc… this is an excellent option for you. Fiverr is an online marketplace for digital services that allow you to set your own price point for your services. This is a great way to work at your own pace and essentially be your own boss. If you’re interested in joining the Fiverr community click here to get started.
This is an obvious one (that I wish I were able to do). If you speak more than one language, use it to your advantage! Numerous websites hire translators, and if you’re really serious about it, you can become certified. The more credentials you have, the more money you’ll make!
If you’re traveling in a country and know the language, finding a job as a translator can be very easy if you don’t mind putting yourself out there. Start by offering your services in Facebook groups specific to that area, and don’t be afraid to talk to the locals. If you’re more interested in working on quick projects from the comfort of your home/hostel, create an account with Freelancer. There are countless ads looking for people to remote translators.
This is a really neat and unique way to work from “home.” Udemy is an online learning platform aimed at career-minded adults interested in boosting a specific skillset. If you are skilled in a certain area, Udemy allows you to create an educational course via video, audio, PDF, Word, or PowerPoint and sell it to interested “students” for the price of your choice. With a little time and effort in making a well-thought-out course, you can virtually sit back and reap the benefits of your course sales as you sip mojitos on the beach.
Love it? Pin it!