There are heaps of articles on the internet about how to save money whilst you’re away on your travels, but what if you could actually make money instead? Yes, you could be sunning yourself on an exotic beach, cocktail in hand, planning the day’s activities, and at the same time your bank balance could be going up, rather than down.
For those of us who like to travel for extended periods of time, it’s important that it doesn’t just turn into a one-way spending spree. Sustaining that location-fluid lifestyle is super important, especially if you don’t want to return home completely broke.
We’ve spent the last few years experimenting with some inventive ways of making money while we’re away from home. Simply because we like the idea of saving rather than spending, and being able to treat ourselves on the road instead of having to scrimp. After all, what’s the point of exploring other countries if you can’t fully enjoy the experience when you’re there!
Here are our top picks when it comes to making money when you’re away from home.
Rent out your home
This one is a real winner when it comes to swelling those coffers with minimal effort. The earning potential of renting out your house on a short-term basis is huge, particularly if you’re away for a long time. You can have guests come to stay for a few days, or a few weeks. Either way the money will soon come rolling in, to keep your piña coladas topped up on the other side of the world.
Lots of us have dabbled with renting out spare rooms and sometimes entire properties on airbnb in the past. While the pennies are always welcome, it can be a bit stressful co-ordinating bookings, responding to emails, cleaning the place between visitors, and keeping abreast of all the mindboggling legal stuff. Which is why the best way of renting out your home is by using a specialist company that offers airbnb management services. This will give you peace of mind when you are thousands of miles away, and takes all the hassle out of the process. Once you’ve signed up as a host, you can just sit back and enjoy the rewards – everything will be done for you.
You’ll have professional photos taken to show your home in the best light, and creative description listings to help spark interest amongst potential customers who are browsing the website. You don’t need to worry about pricing either as this is optimised to maximise your profits and occupancy. Check-in and key exchanges are all taken care of, in accordance with your instructions, and high quality linen and toiletries are provided so you don’t have to worry about the loo roll running out for your guests!
Some companies also offer concierge services to guests who are renting the property, to help them make the most of their stay (and hopefully leave a glowing review!). It works just the same as if they were staying in a swanky hotel. During their vacation, your guests will also have access to support from the management company should any issues arise, keeping everyone happy.
Many property management establishments even have their own direct booking platform for customers, which means your home will be listed not only on airbnb, but also on a second site giving extra exposure. There are often accommodation options listed for destinations all across the world, so it works just like a hotel chain booking website!
A bonus benefit of using a management company rather than going down the DIY route is that your home will be looked after when you’re away. There will be no more worrying about pipes freezing over in winter because you’ll have people staying to keep the water running. Basic property maintenance is covered too, so guests will never need to ask how many people it takes to change a lightbulb!
Professional cleaning and laundry services are also included, so you know your pad will be spick and span for each and every customer that steps through those doors. Including you when you finally return home!
Pick up ad hoc work
For travellers who are away from home for months, or even longer, it makes sense to try and earn a bit of money rather than just living out of the savings pot. In recent years, many people have become digital nomads, which means they can work remotely from wherever they happen to be. So long as you have access to internet, and a portable laptop, the world really is your oyster.
Some people might already have a job that lends itself well to the concept of distance working. Digital nomad job examples include web designers, virtual assistants, copywriters, programmers, digital marketers, and customer support advisors. Employers are becoming more and more open to the idea of remote working, so if you think this is something you could do, have a chat with your boss and see what you can figure out together. You might just be surprised!
Yet if you don’t already have a job that can be done from the beach or the jungle, don’t worry. There are plenty of other options out there for you. One of the most popular ways to make money whilst travelling is by teaching English (or any language!) online. You will have to do a bit of training first – usually an online course – but the beauty of it is that you don’t need to be a qualified teacher to begin with. Once the training is out of the way, you could be chatting to students all over the world, helping them learn and earning at the same time. You can choose your own hours too, so if you only want to work one day a week, that’s totally up to you.
If you don’t have specialist experience in a field that translates well into remote working, you could investigate things like getting paid to take online surveys, doing data entry and testing websites. Of course, you can always try to pick up work on the ground in restaurants and bars or even as a tour guide if you prefer a more hands-on approach. This is a good option if you’re staying for an extended period in an area that is popular with tourists.
Start a travel blog
One of the most rewarding ways to make money during your travels is to start a blog. The cash won’t come rolling in overnight, but do it right, and you could soon be earning passive income that will keep funding your adventures for years to come.
It does take time to get a blog properly established, so it’s a good idea to get the ball rolling well in advance of your trip if you’re planning ahead. If you’re new to the concept of blogging, take an online course so you can get on board quicker, and learn how to approach it like a business rather than just a digital travel journal.
The best way to earn money from a blog is through affiliate income. This means that you will receive commission from things like hotel and activity bookings, when a reader purchases a stay or experience through one of your web links. The beauty of this approach is that once it’s set up, you can just watch as the money rolls in, without having to do too much work to keep it going. To reap these rewards, you will need to write targeted posts where the reader has an intent to buy. For example, this could be along the lines of “Top 10 boutique hotels in Cairo” – you know that if someone is clicking on that page, they could well be in a purchasing mindset.
Another way to make money from travel blogging is through ads. Sure, they do detract a bit from the visual appeal of the site, but since nearly everyone has them these days, most readers probably won’t even notice. To make money through ads, you do need a decent amount of web traffic, but don’t worry – this can be achieved through a handful of killer posts that receive lots of views, rather than the whole site needing to be on point. Once again, when the ads are set up, you can just relax and watch the pennies trickle in.
Once your blog is well established, you could also consider paid marketing campaigns with tourist boards, hotels, and PR companies. If your content, reach, and engagement is strong enough, some brands will pay you to promote their services and products which is a huge win on several levels. Campaigns like these usually include accommodation and activities as well as payment, so not only will you not have to pay for the experience, you’ll also be earning money from it. Of course, you will have to put the work in too! This option is definitely one for the longer-term bloggers who can demonstrate that the brands will receive return on their investment.
Sell stock photos
If you’re a budding photographer, or indeed even a bit of a professional, you can make easy money by selling your prized images through an online photo stock site. These pictures are used on websites and in marketing materials across the world when companies do not have their own images and need to source them from elsewhere.
Once you’ve joined a third-party stock site, your photos will be licensed commercially, and you’ll receive payment each time one of your uploads is purchased. Some of the most well-known stock sites include Getty Images, Shutterstock, and iStock.
Stock photography probably won’t make you rich overnight but having just a few stand-out pictures could bring in a decent amount of pocket money. And again, once you’ve added the photographs to the stock site, you don’t need to do anything else!
Try and capture some of the more unusual destinations and poses, rather than submitting generic scenes and famous places that feature thousands of times on every single stock site. That way you’ll have less competition and people searching for the subject that dominates in your photos will be more likely to make a purchase. If you’re feeling photogenic and don’t mind your image being used online, you could even shoot sequences of character shots that could be used by marketing companies and businesses.
It’s a good idea to spend time on some of the popular stock sites to see what sort of images are doing the rounds, and to give you some creative ideas for your own pictures.
Do you travel long term? Share your ideas for making money whilst on the road in the comments.