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Jobs That Allow You to Work on the Road: Earn Money While Traveling

digital nomad jobs - how to work while traveling

Most of us will quit our jobs before going traveling for six months to a year. To earn that reward of long-term travel, we’ll save up money for as long as possible in advance.

But what if you could work while you travel? What if your trip length wasn’t tied solely to the money you save before a trip?

How to Work While Traveling

There are a number of options for travelers who want to have a job on the road, namely through work visa programs. The working holiday program in Australia and New Zealand are two of the most popular, as are English teaching abroad visas. But you can also find work in other ways.

A Word of Warning: If you aren’t taking the visa route, check your country’s requirements before accepting a job or agreeing to cash under the table. You’d hate to end up with that big deportation stamp on your passport!

Keep in mind that each job might require different visas or certifications in different countries. Bring a copy of your resume already printed out to hand out to prospective employers.

And most importantly, we are not experts in consular affairs, so be sure to do your own research.

Digital Nomad

jobs that allow you to work on the road
Being a digital nomad allows you to work remotely from almost anywhere in the world

We have a feeling that if you’ve found this article, you are most likely searching for the digital nomad options. And why wouldn’t you? The idea of being solely responsible for not only WHEN you work, but also WHERE, is pretty darn enticing!

What are digital nomad jobs?

Let us first say that Digital Nomad isn’t a job title but an entire type of job that you can do from anywhere that has an Internet connection. Digital nomad jobs might be freelance writing, web design, virtual assistant work, social media consulting, or even day trading. You might start a blog that sells affiliate ads.

The hard work comes on the front end in finding this type of career or switching from a traditional office format to working remotely. You might ask your employer if they would be open to working from home a few days a week to prove that you are capable.

Remote work can also be found on websites like Upwork and FlexJobs.

  • The upside: flexibility.
  • The downside: being tied down to places with quality Internet, which can be difficult in certain parts of the world, and having to work while everyone else is enjoying themselves traveling.

The Best Digital Nomad Job Ideas

Graphic Designer

If the only equipment you need for doing graphic design work is your laptop, why not take your career on the road? Set up an online portfolio, network to advertize your skill, and look for opportunities in online job markets and you’re all set.

Web/App Developer

Tech jobs are in demand everywhere, and if the only requirement to be able to fulfill your duties is to have your laptop and a stable internet connection, maybe this is something that you can do while traveling if you have the skill.

Blogger/Vlogger

Do you love sharing stories and your experiences while traveling? This is one good option for you, whether you love to write, or document your travels by taking videos.

Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant provides a variety of functions to anybody requiring help for their business. They can assist in managing your schedule and email, provide customer support, and other administrative jobs that can be done online.

Freelance Writer/Translator/Transcriber

Do you have a way with words or are you proficient in other languages? You can find freelance writing, translating, and transcribing jobs in many online job marketplaces.

Photographer/Videographer

If you have the eye for photography and the skill in video editing, you can use your skills for getting project-based work, or selling stock photos and footages.

Consultant

Unless your consultancy work requires you to be physically present, this is a job that you can take anywhere in the world.

Virtual English/Music/Tech Teacher

If you have a skill that can be taught via video chat, this is one job you can consider doing while traveling. 

Life/Health/Business/Travel Coach

Coaching can come in many forms but for the most part, it can be done remotely via video chat or email. Plus points is that you can also attend international coaching summits where you can improve your skill and network with other coaches.

Dropshipping Shop Owner

Dropshipping is basically an online retailer that does not keep inventory. Once you receive an order, it is directed to the supplier, which fulfills the order in your company’s name at wholesale prices. Your main task is to ensure that the online storefront is working flawlessly and providing customer support as needed.

Social Media Manager

Digital marketing has been on the rise for several years now, and it’s continuing to be the norm for many industries. If you love using Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, or other social networks, this may be the best fit for you.

Remote Work Your Normal Job

If you’ve got a job that you already love, why not consider taking it with you on the road? 

Read about what it’s like to be a digital nomad:

Bartender/Server

jobs that allow you to work on the road
Bartending can be an easy job to do in other countries

One of the easiest jobs to find overseas is as a bartender or server. Most countries require you to have a visa for this type of hospitality work, like Australia and New Zealand’s working holiday schemes. But it’s not impossible to find this work without one.

Ask around at a hostel, which might be willing to hire you to cover room and board. Others will pay you cash and let you work short term, but only you can decide if this is worth the risk.

Some establishments will require bartending experience, but most training can be done on the job. In Australia, for example, the alcohol laws are so strict that glasses have lines on them to show you where to pour.

Expect to get paid hourly plus tips when possible.

  • The upside: the ease of the work and decent money that can be found, as well as the discounts or free meals you can get during your shift.
  • The downside: the hours, which usually run late and on weekends, making it difficult to have a social life.

Read about how to get a bartending job overseas:

Nanny/Au Pair

If you’ve ever worked as a babysitter or cared for siblings, being a nanny overseas might be a good job for you. Nearly every part of the world needs nannies and this type of work requires few prerequisites apart from experience with children.

Certifications like first aid can also be a plus. Websites like Care.com and Au Pair World as well as agencies make it easy to find work.

Expect to set up a Skype call or interview with a prospective family before you arrive in the country. This will allow you to ask important questions about hours, pay, and living arrangements, if applicable.

  • The upside: steady and reliable work for a set amount of time.
  • The downside: the hours. If you stay with the family, you’re rarely “off duty.” You’re also staying in someone’s home, so don’t expect to throw parties or bring home dates.

Read about what it’s like to be an au pair:

Seasonal Work

jobs that allow you to work on the road
Working in a seasonal job can be a good way to work while traveling

Some countries offer visas for seasonal work like working in resorts or farming. Few prior skills are required but hours can be long.

In the United States, young people from overseas get visas to work as camp counselors, while in Canada, visas are extended to employees of ski resorts. You might also be picking fruit or some other harvesting job or working as a river rafting guide.

Backdoor Jobs has the best listings of these short term opportunities.

  • The upside: the limited time frame of work.
  • The downside: the same. You might not have time to travel much while working before your visa expires.

Read about getting a camp counselor job:

English Teacher

teaching english abroad

One of the best jobs for recent graduates is English teaching overseas. You can do it almost anywhere, but South Korea tends to be a popular spot for its benefits and cost of living.

Some places require a specific degree, while others only need you to have a college diploma and a strong grasp of the English language. These jobs are easily found online through websites and recruiters.

  • The upside: reasonable pay, flexible schedules, and the possibility of living expenses covered.
  • The downside: you’re tethered to an area for a set amount of time. However, this is something to consider when choosing where you teach English.

Know more about what’s it’s like to teach English in Korea:

Film Extra

While not regular work, it’s easy to work as a film or television extra. Some pay cash that day while others require you to have a legal work visa. Much of the job is waiting around for many hours until your brief scene, up to 10 hours of sitting for 2 hours of work.

Depending on where you will be filming, it can pay you fairly for your day or you can be paid peanuts. One thing is certain: it will give you a great story to tell when you talk about your travels.

The difficulty of this work is finding it abroad. You might see a flyer or post online, but the best way is through Facebook. Look up “casting + your city” and follow the agencies in your destination to see what types of extras they’re looking for.

Read about what it’s like to be a film extra overseas:

Instructor

Do you have a mastery of certain skills? Are you perhaps an experienced SCUBA diver and want to do more if it, instead of just doing it whenever you have free time? Or maybe you love doing yoga, and are thinking of taking it to the next level and be the one to lead the group?

Being an instructor is one thing that you can do while traveling the world. This is especially suited to people who prefer to stay long in one place while traveling.

Working as a SCUBA or surfing instructor can take you to tropical locales, though it can be a seasonal job. 

Working as a yoga or fitness instructor can be more flexible when it comes to location and climate, but finding opportunities might be harder to come by, depending on where you are.

Read more about being a traveling instructor:

Odd Jobs

What about the work that doesn’t fit into any other category? This might be cleaning your hostel for a free bed and meals or handing out flyers for cash. If you’re especially enterprising, it might be using your skills as a busker.

Or if you make your own jewelry or can cut hair, peddle these to your fellow travelers.

Know more about odd jobs you can do while traveling:

Have you found any other jobs that allow you to travel? Leave them in the comments!

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Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Organization

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Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

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Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. 33 says

    In many countries, teaching English requires certificates and under local outfits. You have to be hired by a legitimate school/academy to get a work visa (Japan, Korea, Taiwan for example). Other than the jobs that are not country specified, I would check with the country’s law when it comes to local jobs and work visa status. You don’t want to violate any immigration law to be deported or barred from re-entry.

    I have an ex who’s a nomad in his whole 20s. He was teaching English in Asian countries and traveled all over the region. When he turned 30, he said he could not see himself teaching English in a Japanese country town forever. He came back, got a master’s degree, and found long term employment. It’s been 15 years. Now he can only travel about 4 weeks a year until he can retire from full time working. He wants to roam but he’s also practical about finance and retirement. It’s a good thing that he’s single, no children, and no debt of any kind. It makes retiring from working full time easier. My coworkers who had to work till mid to late 60’s all have children going to college or grad school.

  2. Cindy Edwards says

    Where can I find a job while traveling with my husband who does underground construction all over? We can be in a place couple of days or weeks depending on the job. I want to work at places where there are people sick of being stuck in hotels alone all day.. I want to be around people not on a computer alone. Is there any job that exist for a person like me??? Traveling bored wife wants to be around people and work.

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