Work and travel

Young woman working on a laptop with coffee and young coconut. Koh Phangan island, Thailand


One great way to make your travel cheaper, or to even fully finance it, is to work as you go. There are a myriad of options for the traveller who wants to work his or her way through the world, and there is a wide range of different types of jobs out there.

Finding work as you go

Many travellers choose to work at hostels, guesthouses or bars that they stop at along their travels. Quite often this doesn’t pay all that well, but you might be given free room and board, and often also some free drinks, if that strikes your fancy. This kind of work can be found all over the world, and quite often you can find an opening just by asking around where you’re staying. Some bigger companies, such as those that organize bar crawls and the like, might even take you on in advance.

There are also volunteer options that provide you with room and board, but with the upsurge of voluntourism options, where you pay large amounts to “work” for sometimes sketchy companies, these can be difficult to assess. To find real volunteer openings you need to do your research beforehand. Use online communities, talk to travellers and be specific in terms of what you are looking for. Sometimes you might get lucky and find something on your travels, just by chance. Often it pays to engage in conversation with strangers and befriend the locals.

Get qualified

American money jar with Adventure Fund label and defocused globe

Some job opportunities abroad will require you to provide some sort of certification before you can be hired, and this is true, for example, when it comes to teaching English in South East Asia, as many companies there require some form of teaching certificate. By doing your research online before you go, you can figure out what is required of you, and then easily compare training courses online to find the best fit for you. There are countless options for getting the qualifications you need; some can be done online and some can even be done as part of your travels.

There are also other ways to make money while travelling, such as travel blogs, doing freelance work such as transcription or translations or going all out and looking for jobs in your current field in other countries.

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