Earning Income on the Road—On-the-Ground Jobs

07.08.2017 |

Episode #6 of the course How to travel long term/full time by Nora Dunn


Good morning!

Now that we’ve introduced the concept of financially sustainable travel, let’s look at the first component, which is generating an income.

Today, you’ll learn about some jobs you can work “on the ground” in various spots around the world.


Teaching English

This is one of the most common ways people of all ages earn money while living and traveling abroad. Most jobs provide accommodation, sometimes flights, and a stipend to allow you to live comfortably and bank money to travel (for months, if you wish) between contracts. Asia is where teaching English is most popular, but jobs are also available in Latin America and Eastern Europe. You’ll need a certification like TESOL, TEFL, or CELTA, which you can take online or in class.


Working on Boats

Not only can you get free accommodation on boats, but you can also earn a living on them. From making a few extra bucks assisting captains with small sailing charters to being a deckhand/engineer/cook/host/etc. on mega yachts to a massive range of jobs on cruise ships, you can live and work on the water.

The type of boat and job/lifestyle you seek will dictate how you search for jobs. When it comes to mega yachts and cruise ships, you have a chance to save a lot of money (since your expenses are covered), but it’s a lifestyle unto itself, where you’re basically “owned” by the boat. Also, don’t expect much privacy, but this is a simple fact of life when you live on boats—not a bad thing if you know what to expect.


Working Holiday Visas

Depending on your citizenship and age (you generally need to be under 30), you can get a variety of one-year working visas in a selection of countries. This allows you to work at whatever job you can land. Fruit-picking in Australia and New Zealand is common, as is working in the service industry. People usually work for a few months, then travel for a few months, then repeat.

But you’re not limited to seasonal/service jobs; if you’re qualified to do something specific, why not apply to do it abroad with a working holiday visa? Check here to see where you qualify to go.


Working Odd Jobs

Many travelers subsidize their travels by working odd jobs along the way with transferrable skills such as bartending, massage, construction, and hospitality. Remember, if you don’t have working rights in the country, it may not be legal, and work can also be hard to come by. But depending on your networking skills and being in the right time/place, you could support yourself with odd jobs and even get a working visa sponsored by your new employer.

Lastly, if you work for an international company, perhaps they can transfer you to work abroad. You won’t necessarily be fully embracing the “long-term travel” concept, but it will give you a chance to live somewhere else in the world and be immersed in a new culture and way of life.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at many more ways to earn an income on the road!

Happy job hunting,



Recommended book

Teaching English as a Foreign Language For Dummies by Michelle Maxom


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