HOW TO EARN MONEY WHILE TRAVELING?

Now when you learned how to save a lot of money on costs of transportation and accommodation, here is an article about how to make money on the road.

If your travels last for a longer period of time, its not a bad idea to find a base and try to enhance your budget so your travels can last even longer. Because of that reason travelers decide to stay put for a while, to chill out and take a break from constant moving, and to save up for future endavours.

So, what are the main ways to do that?

1. VOLUNTEERING (best in developing and under-developed countries)

Even though the same word implies that you won’t be earning money, volunteering is working, just your paycheck is food and accommodation, costs for which you would usually have to pay if you were earning money.

Ways to find volunteering opportunities are many, but I will write about two, with which I have some experience.

FIRST – on the spot.

You come to a place, and you decide to stay for a while. There are plenty of reasons for that – you are tired, your budget is going low, you are enchanted by the beauty of the place (or with a boy/girl you saw on the street), and who knows what else. First thing to have on your mind is – patience. If you start right away going from door to door, asking for a volunteering opportunity, it is possible you will find something, eventually make friendships, and at the end profit from the entire experience.

But I think the procedure should be the opposite – first you should find people you like, make few friends, get to know the place a bit better, convince yourself this is the place you want to stay in, and then ask those people do they (or people they know) have some job for you. If you are in developing countries, there is a big chance nobody will be able to offer you a paycheck, so make sure you let them know you will be satisfied with food and accommodation.

I did that in couple of countries – Turkey, India, Malawi…

01 volunteering in India

SECOND – online

There are a lot of web pages that allow you to find volunteering opportunities, and the most famous ones (at least for me) are WWOOF, HelpX and WorkAway. You do have to pay few dollars a year for registration, and even though I was pretty skeptical when it came to that (why would I need to PAY to volunteer?), I convinced myself that it is definitely worth of investment. For example, I spent six out of nine months in Peru in Ecuador – volunteering.

02 volunteering in Peru

2. WORKING ON THE STREETS (best in developing countries – people have some money, and there are not too many rules/laws preventing you to work on the street)

The concept is pretty simple – find a hobby or a talent, go on the street, and try to cash it.

The only experience I have with that is busking (playing the guitar/ukulele), but I met a lot of travelers that juggle, make bracelets, paint, etc. The most important with these kind of things is to give something in return, not to beg.

Here are couple of advices I would give to people that are thinking about a career of a street performer:

BE FEARLESS – you don’t ahve to be extremely talented to sit/stand on the street and start with your performance. Of course, basic knowledge is necessary, but all above is just a plus.

HAVE A STORY – people will like to donate their money to a story, so its up to you to introduce them to yours. Even before they ask «Why would I give this guy my money», give them an answer. I use piece of carton on which I write down my story (on a local language – ask for help), and what will I use the money for. I do my best for it to be interesting and funny, because uniqueness and houmor always work.

ELIMINATE YOUR EXPECTATIONS – you won’t get rich by performing on the street. Ideally you will earn some money that you need for everyday expenses, so lower your expectation, or kill them completely. Expectations lead to disappoitments.

GIVE YOUR BEST – a lot of times I was playing some song with my eyes closed, not caring about the world around me, using a language unknown to passers-by, and realize that the people stayed and listened attentively. Just beacause they felt that I was playing and singing with my whole heart.

BREAK THE RULES – play, observe, make your own rules. What works for one, doesn’t for the other. What works on one spot, doesn’t on another.

ENJOY – the most important thing. Be happy while playing for others. If you don’t feel amazing when someone stops for a moment to listen to your song, makes eye contact and quietly listens to the entire song – maybe you should find something else to do.

03 busking in Andalucia

3. GET A PAID JOB (best in developed countries – the standard is good so you can make good money for short period of time)

Only country I worked in was – Australia. I didn’t have a work visa, but I came there on a tourist visa, and tried my luck. It wasn’t easy. I armed myself with a lot of patience and positive toughts, and started with my search.

As with volunteering, you can look up for jobs by asking people, or online. My opinion is that its best to make friends first, allow them to get to know you (if you’re cool, if not – don’t talk too much), and then ask them for a job. Understand that it’s a huge risk for them to give you work (If you don’t have necessary papers), so behave acording to that. Like with a lot of things in life – put yourself in their position.

04 working in Australia

4. WRITE A BOOK, AND GIVE LECTURES ABOUT YOUR TRAVELS

This is how I did that – 1000 DAYS OF SPRING.

05 1000 days of spring




  • MarkoBGD

    Koliko te placaju za ta gostovanja posto si napisao knjigu? 😀

    • tomislavperko

      ovisi gdje držim predavanja – u pravilu honorare isplaćuju samo knjižnice, i možeš bez problema dobiti parsto kuna za sat i pol brbljanja 😉

  • Alba Marie

    I’d like to add a few things:
    – be an au pair (this is how I moved to France) though MUCH easier for women than men — will get food/accommodation and pocket money ;
    – be an English teacher (did this is Spain)
    -or even a preschool teacher (did this is Poland, as well as giving evening English classes).
    – For short time stuff, you can be a seasonal fruit picker (did this is France as a grape picker; hard work but still super fun! Got paid AND had food/accommodation) ;
    – unofficial translator if you speak the language (did this at a conference for a week, made decent money!) ;
    – be a freelance journalist (already done 2 interviews/articles and have a 3rd lined up)
    – work at a bar, restaurant, hotel or hostel (never done this, but have many friends who have…)

    Happy travelling!!

    • tomislavperko

      GREAT suggestions – thank you! 🙂

    • Mustafa Juventino

      You did all these things with a tourist visa ?

    • Jessica

      Hi Alba, next summer Im thinking of being an au pair in australia, and i was just wondering what agency/website you did your au pair in France with? x Im British so it would be easier for me to go to France rather than Australia

  • Daniel Scharf

    Hey. First of all, you inspired me! Thank you for that! I have one question about earning money on the street. Where did you get your guitar from? Greets Daniel

    • tomislavperko

      Hi Daniel,

      well, this guitar in the article is just from some guy in that village, but when I used to travel with a guitar it was a Taylor Baby, or with an ukulele 😉

  • Mustafa Juventino

    Who hired you in Australia ? I mean it must be a huge company, isn’t that risky ?

    • tomislavperko

      yup, it was all on tourist visa – first time it was one random guy that picked me up, and another time it was just a restaurant, they liked me and decided to take a risk.

  • You could also teach English. You usually need a degree, occasionally a TEFL certificate, but depends on the school and country. I did that for 6 years in Asia.
    http://www.eslinsider.com/teaching-english-in-asia-guide

    Where did you give lectures?

  • Ngoc

    It’s much easier with western people.
    How about asean people like us? that is hard to be an English teacher or get visas 🙁
    But your website is hilarious 😡 Thanks a lot.
    I’m on my way to chase my dream even I’m just a small Vietnamese girl.
    Thanks again!

    • tomislavperko

      Sure it’s easier, just like it’s easier for you than to some African people 🙂

      You just have to find your ways, no matter the obstacles! Good lucK!

      • Mustafa Djellouli

        Thank you Tom that’s so motivating
        PS: i’m from north africa lol

  • Arava Glam

    good points!
    I tried all kinds of ways to make money online.
    What works best for me it Koocam.
    I teach my hobbies, and recognized, my knowledge, in any field, that I’m good at
    everyone can
    It’s great

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