How to Get Paid to Travel

Last summer, I had the opportunity to travel to 27 states across America with my husband, and it was by far the best experience of my life. The idea of extended travel is pipe dream for some, but with planning, sacrifice, and the willingness to be flexible, it can become a reality. Even if you know how to save on your vacations and already have the free travel apps that can save you money, traveling for an extended period can still be financially challenging. As a travel writer, I’m always coming across blogs and articles of travel enthusiasts who have made traveling not just something they look forward to all year, but they have made it their life.

How to get paid to travelPhoto Courtesy: Kristen

Get Paid to Travel

If you’re like me, the first question you think of is, how can you afford to travel the world for six months, a year, or even more? Many travelers aren’t what you think – retirees, trust fund kids, or traveling with their wealthy parents. When I found out that these people are actually working on the road and getting paid to travel, it made sense, and I immediately started doing my homework to see how I can do it next. Here are some of the jobs you can do to travel, but also earn you money while traveling:

  • Tour Guide
    Whether you are at home or traveling to a new area, you can make money by becoming a tour guide. If you are giving tours of a certain area, you’ll have to know the area well of course. But if you’re traveling to a region, and going to be staying there for a while, you can learn and then give tours. On the other hand, you can give tours about a certain topic that you are an expert it. Regardless of how familiar you are with the area, if you know something about wine, food, beer, architecture, history, or art, chances are there is a tour that you would be a good fit for.
  • Nanny in the Clouds
    If you have any child care experience and you’re planning on traveling somewhere by plane, check out the website, Nanny in the Clouds. If a parent is traveling and needs an extra hand at the airport and on the plane, they look to see if their flight has someone that is willing to help. All you do is type in your flight and see if there is a family or parent who needs help. You help them check in, board the plane, sit with them on the plane, and then assist with getting their luggage after the plane lands.
  • Cruise Ship
    There are a wide variety of positions on cruise ships. For the service industry, there are positions for waitresses and waiters, bartenders, concierge and guest service positions, cleaning services, and maintenance. But you can also find positions in the medical field for doctors and nurses, engineering positions, and translators. You can also find specialty positions like a chef, event coordinator, lifeguard, and photographer.
  • Teach English
    I was shocked to learn that you don’t need to know another language to teach English in another country. Many programs provide you with the essential training you need to teach to young children, especially throughout Asia. Different programs offer different compensation rates. Some simply pay for living expenses like your apartment and food. Others pay for that and will also provide you with a salary. Like with any position, be sure to thoroughly understand what you’re getting involved in before setting out across the world. Before you go, check out how to save money on purchases while traveling abroad.
  • Travel Writer
    As a travel writer, I can tell you that writing about the sights I’ve seen, the foods I’ve eaten, and the interesting, unique experiences I’ve had is a rewarding job. In most cases, it doesn’t pay too much as it is highly competitive, but it’s a great venture to pursue if you love to write and travel and want to share your passions. You can pitch story ideas to various magazines, newspapers, and online publications. Some publications may want to be contacted before your trip and some after. Starting a blog is a nice idea as well. Even though it takes a lot of time and doesn’t always happen, there is a chance to make money with the blog through advertisements. But for nothing else, starting a blog is a great way to get your work out and share your travel experiences.
  • Peace Corps
    Peace Corps is a government sponsored program that pays for you to travel to another country to volunteer. Each position you take is a unique case, and you should be sure you fully understand what you’re enrolling in before signing anything or heading out to volunteer. Many times you are entitled to a monthly living and housing allowance, medical and dental coverage, a portion of your student loans can be taken care of, and travel accommodations and transportation to the country. You also may receive a $7,425 readjustment allowance once you complete your volunteer work. You volunteer for a designated amount of time that can include up to several years.
  • House Sit
    House sitting is a great way to get an authentic feel for a place since you’re living amongst local residents. Search websites like House Sitters America to find people looking for a house sitters. You can find opportunities to house sit for one weekend or even an entire year. Sometimes people have to travel for an extended period for work or have a seasonal home. While you’re there, you may have to do simple things like water plants, regulate the heating, cooling, and water systems, and at times, people just feel better having someone at their home. Other times they may ask you do more detailed chores or take care of their pets. Many times house sitting comes with use of a car or bike. You can be paid a small amount, but more common, it is just an option for an entirely free place to stay. This also gives you access to a working kitchen and laundry room which saves you a significant amount of money.

How have you earned money while traveling?

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