If you’re thinking how awesome it would be to get paid to travel the world, but are unsure if it’s a reality or where to start, this post is for you.
It’s not a myth or a get-rich-quick scheme some multi-level marketing company is selling. You can get paid to travel, love what you do, and make a massive difference in the world all at the same time!
I have been traveling, with my husband and daughter, for the last 11+ years and we have funded our travels exclusively by generating an income on the road.
Personally, we have preferred to generate our income via building an online lifestyle business which I touch on below, but there are a multitude of ways to get paid to travel both directly and indirectly.
Here are 16 different ways to make it happen!
As I’m writing this post, I have adverts across upwork.com looking for freelance writers to help with some of the more technical posts on my website. There are many blogs just like mine looking for writers who can write about a variety of niches.
If you’re traveling around the world why not promote your services as a freelance writer to travel blogs and magazines and share your experiences?
You can expect to earn anywhere from $0.04 cents a word up to $0.15 (or more) a word travel writing depending on your skillset.
To get started simply create a profile on a site like upwork.com and start bidding for freelance writing full time jobs as they come in.
You can also sign up as a writer for sites such as writersaccess.com, fiverr.com, or look out for advertised jobs on the prologger.com jobs board.
In fact, there are many places to sign up as a freelance travel writer and start earning immediately.
As quickly as possible build up a portfolio of clients and gather lots of five-star reviews to keep the contracts coming in.
Image source: writersaccess.com
Do you love making and editing videos?
If so, becoming a travel videographer might be the career for you.
You can get paid to travel as a videographer in one of two ways;
- Make videos for your own social media channels, build an audience and become a travel influencer as discussed in point four.
- Showcase your excellent travel videos online and get paid by hotels and travel companies to make promotional videos.
If you happen to be handy with drone videography even better as that’s all the rage these days.
To get started, create and edit lots of high-quality videos as you’re traveling around.
Post those videos on your social media accounts or website and then use them to start to engage and grow an audience or send links to your social media accounts to hotels or travel companies pitching for any available paid work.
You could also offer to record a promotional video in exchange for a discounted or free stay or trip.
In this way, you’re not directly getting paid to travel however if you can travel by swapping your services for flights and accommodation it’s much the same.
Image source: https://www.instagram.com/lostleblanc/
As with travel videography, becoming a travel photographer is a great way to get paid to travel around the world.
Once again you can either use your photography skills to build an audience and become a travel influencer, or you can sell your services to hotels and travel companies.
However, there are a few more ways you can earn money with travel photography.
- Starting a travel blog not just about the different cities you visit but also about travel photography itself.
- Creating and selling courses teaching others how to make amazing travel pictures
- Selling your services to other influencers, bloggers, media outlets or tour companies
- Uploading and selling your images to photo stock sites such as istock.com, depositphotos.com, and shutterstock.com
- Using your images to start and grow a print on demand ecommerce store.
Whether you’re a photographer or a videographer this is a fabulous, creative, and fun way to get paid to travel around the world.
Image source: https://www.instagram.com/jordhammond/
I’ve mentioned becoming a travel influencer a couple of times now, and that’s because this can be an extremely lucrative way to get paid to travel the world.
Even with mediocre videography and photography skills, just by telling stories and sharing incredible experiences from places around the world, you can grow and build a huge audience who love to follow your travel journey.
To get started, choose the social media platform you’d like to grow and start posting pictures, videos and stories.
Post frequently and consistently and engage with your audience as they grow.
You can either choose to grow only using social media or, I would recommend, you give away a freebie or create fun travel quizzes to start building your own email list of subscribers.
With a list of subscribers, you can send out affiliated travel offers, promote any products or services you may launch, or even promote other channels as you grow covering your travel costs effortlessly.
As an influencer, you can get paid to travel via sponsorship or advertising deals, brand partnerships or by launching your own brand of products or services.
Image source: https://www.instagram.com/izkiz/
Another route to get paid to travel, becoming a travel influencer, a freelance writer, a brand partner or even launching your own travel related company, is to start a travel blog.
You can do this alongside growing your social media channel if you wish, or vice versa.
To start your travel blog, choose your name, purchase a domain and hosting and launch a simple WordPress website.
The most important element of travel blogging is to post valuable content frequently and regularly, by researching the most popular travel phrases searched for on google.
Use free tools such as the google keyword planner, answerthepublic.com or the free ahrefs keyword generator to find popular keywords you can create posts around. Also, look at what other travel bloggers are writing about to give you some ideas of what’s popular.
As you grow your travel blogging audience, you can monetize via affiliate marketing (promoting other people’s products), adverts, writing and selling guide books, creating video courses, and more!
While it does take both time and effort to grow your own travel blog, it’s a fantastic way to journal your travels, showcase your photography skills and build a huge community online.
Image source: https://www.dreambigtravelfarblog.com/
If you love to write about the places you visit and the experiences you have, why not package them into guide books for a particular destination?
These days anyone can publish a book using the Amazon KDP program or you can even create your own print on demand books using a platform such as luluexpress.com and sell your guide books on your own website.
To get started, use Amazon as a great research tool to tell you what kind of guide books are currently selling well.
Then plan your next trip around creating your book and visit, review, and write about all the places you want to share.
Put your book together, get a great cover designed and either upload it as a book on one of the book platforms or simply save it as a PDF for buyers to download after purchase.
Image source: nomadicmatt.com
Years ago on a trip to Paris, we went on a free walking tour around the city which was so good I think we gave the chap around 50 euros for his time.
There were at least 20 of us on the tour, so if everyone was as generous as us, he would have done well for a 3-hour tour.
If you love to learn about the places you visit and share your learnings with other visitors, why not consider becoming a walking tour guide?
If you know a lot about the place you’re visiting, simply plan a route, advertise your tour either online, with some of the bigger tour operators, or with local tourist information offices and create a link for people to book.
You can either charge upfront or as the fella did for our tour in Paris, be so good your audience can’t help but cross your palm with gold!
Image source: timeout.com
This is a tough but fun way to get paid to travel the world.
You can work on a superyacht as a deckhand, a steward, a chef, nanny, teacher, or whatever the trippers require!
On the other hand, to work on a cruise shipor a superyacht, you’ll need an ENG1 medical certificate and some basic safety qualifications such as the STCW which is required for anyone wanting to work on a commercial vessel over 24 meters long. (The type of qualification depends on the role you’re applying for on the yacht).
I have several friends who work on superyachts and although it can be a glamorous lifestyle rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous and heading to some of the most exotic destinations across the globe, it’s hard work.
If you get a position as a flight attendant or on a yacht with a great crew and Captain, it can be the best job in the world. If you happen to have terrible guests and you don’t get on with your crewmates on a cruise ship or superyacht, it can quickly turn sour.
Be sure to do your own due diligence and make sure you’re prepared for all eventualities before pursuing this line of work.
This is easier to achieve if you already have an audience on social media or a popular travel podcast or travel blog.
The way it works is that you become a public face and voice for a company that wants more exposure for its brand.
For example, let’s say you’re an excellent videographer, you could become a brand partner with DJI or GoPro and get paid to record drone footage or adventurous videos from all around the world.
If you’ve already built an audience via your travel adventures and believe you can offer lots of value to a brand that resonates with your audience, then reach out to see if they’re looking for partnerships.
They might pay you simply to showcase their brand to your audience, suggest a brand collaboration and produce a product specifically for your audience, or offer you a link to use whenever you highlight their products on your travels which earns you a commission every time someone buys.
Image source: GoPro
Another route to get paid to travel is quite simply to work your way around the world.
Earlier I mentioned superyachts, but you could also get a full time job on a cruise ship, pick fruit, work in bars, restaurants, help out at hostels, become an au pair, and loads more.
If you’d like to stay somewhere for a while it might be worth getting a full time job for a few months in the foreign country you’re in, to help save up enough money for further travels. If this is the case, look out for seasonal opportunities like becoming a ski instructor for a ski season or a summer reception host for a resort.
Along the lines of working your way around the world, but a category in its own right is to earn money by teaching English to foreign students.
You can either teach English online and have the freedom to continue traveling and work from anywhere as long as you have a good internet connection, or you can apply for an English teaching position at a school in a country of your choice.
I met with a chap not long ago who’s working as an English teacher at a school here in the North of Thailand.
His accommodation is paid for, he gets paid good money and he can explore Thailand and the surrounding areas during the many school holidays! He absolutely loves it and plans to work his way around the world teaching English in schools.
To get started sign up to a tefl.com course to get the right qualifications and then start applying to schools around the world or if you prefer the idea of teaching English online, use a site like preply or cambly to become an online tutor.
With volunteering you’re not getting paid to travel directly, but by receiving free accommodation and meals, etc, it can make traveling a much cheaper and doable option.
There are many volunteering opportunities worldwide from managing a hostel’s social media to farming, cleaning, teaching, working with animals, serving at restaurants or cafes and house sitting, and in return, you get meals and accommodation depending on where you volunteer.
Sites such as worldpackers.com are a great place to start to search hundreds of countries for volunteering opportunities.
Also Wwoof.net, which stands for ‘worldwide opportunities on organic farms’ is worth exploring for the more ‘outdoorsy’ type.
Plus you could travel by simply house sitting for people’s pets. For the most part, you’ll receive free accommodation, but some pet owners will pay you for taking care of their beloved animals! Check out housesitter.com to get started. Here you can find tons of house sitting opportunities
An extension to freelance writing, starting a travel blog or becoming a social media influencer is becoming a food critic or hotel reviewer.
Get started by choosing your platforms, such as Youtube, a blog, or even a podcast, and reviewing the restaurants, cafes, and hotels in your local area.
You can begin to branch out into your neighboring areas, all while building your audience via your entertaining and informative reviews.
Encourage restaurants and hotels to give you coupons or discounts to offer to your audience to help build your community faster and then start to let them know you’re coming specifically to review for your growing audience.
Over time, you’ll be offered free or discounted meals and accommodation, although you will need to declare as such when you share your experiences.
As your audience grows you’ll be able to expand your reach and start reviewing restaurants, hotels, and resorts across the world.
What a life!
Image source: willflyforfood.net
As I said in the intro, I have been traveling for over 11 years with my family and we’ve funded our travels purely via our online businesses.
I started as a social media influencer and video course provider. Over time I created a membership site that generated my first six figures in a seven-day launch.
As my audience grew, I created more video courses and affiliated with other product and course creators. I added coaching to the mix, live-streamed courses, and sold some ebooks before my husband and I delved into the world of ecommerce.
Inside of 12 months, we generated 7 figures selling on Amazon FBA, grew, and sold that business just before the pandemic hit.
Your online business could be your travel blog, your social media influencing career, or even your published books.
However, you could also become a course creator, an affiliate marketer, start an Etsy business or ecommerce business selling print-on-demand products, or even sell on Amazon.
There are more opportunities now than ever before and I highly recommend you read through some of the categories within the business section of this blog to familiarize yourself with all the business models on offer today.
To get started check out my step by step how to start a life-changing online lifestyle business and also how to start an ecommerce business posts.
Growing your own online lifestyle business is one of the most fulfilling ways to get paid to travel as you’re likely pursuing a niche you love while adding value to those around you.
As you’re traveling around the world, especially if you visit developing countries, you’ll most definitely come across communities in need.
Visiting Cambodia will remain in my memories as one of the most eye-opening and mind-broadening trips I have ever taken.
You’ll notice that many of these communities use raw materials to make bags, shawls, jewelry, and more, in the hope of selling to tourists and making enough to feed the family that day.
If along the way you’ve built up a following on a social network, why not buy a bunch of handmade items and sell to your online community via Facebook or Instagram?
Any extra money you do make can go towards your expenses of finding these small villages and communities and also any marketing costs you outlay to display and promote the items.
Your ultimate goal would be to attract sponsorship to cover your costs so 100% can go to the creator.
What a fulfilling and valuable way to travel the world!
Image source: thelittlemarket.com
Another way to indirectly get paid to travel is to rent out your house and pay for your travels via your assets making money for you.
Depending on the size of your property, you could rent out the whole thing or split it into rooms to rent.
From my own experience of looking for an apartment to stay in the UK this summer, you can charge premium rates on Airbnb!
If you own your car, why not rent that out also! Use a site like Turo.com and list your car for free! Ask a friend to look after the keys or use a private coded mailbox and away you go.
Lastly, if you live in or near a city, a music arena, sports arena, or conference center, perhaps you could even rent out your driveway or garage. Use sites such as spacer.com to see if your parking spot is worth anything.
I’ve tried to keep the ideas on this page very applicable to the travel niche so you are quite literally getting paid to travel, however, you don’t need to stick to the travel niche.
With an online lifestyle business, you can start to generate a passive income in any niche you’re passionate about!
Sure you might love to hike mountains and scuba in crystal clear waters, but prefer to write or start a business around women’s soccer. The online world is your oyster!
If online doesn’t float your boat, then seek out jobs within the travel industry. Working on a cruise ships, in restaurants and cafes, as a tour guide, or even as a flight attendant are great ways to get paid to travel.
The most important thing is to get paid to travel doing something you love to do. The whole point of traveling the world is to live a different life and put your lifestyle first. That means doing something you enjoy and that adds to your traveling experience.
Hopefully, the suggestions in this article have given you some ideas on how to get paid to travel the world.
Pick a route, pack your bag and make it happen!
Get Paid to Travel FAQ’s
If you feel more comfortable starting your travels with some money in the bank, you can do what we did and sell everything you own to drum up some cash for travel expenses.
We sold our furniture, books, toys, games, TVs, stereo, even our 4-year-old daughter’s bike, pretty much from under her (I know bad parent, fear not we made it up to her).
If you’re willing to wait a little longer, get strict and start to save money each month, rent out a spare room if you have it, cycle or train to work and sell the car, get a second job, cook at home and make it your mission to save as much money as you can by a specific travel deadline.
You can even start travel blogging before you leave to travel abroad, which will help to grow your audience, and you may even start making money before your trip which will go towards funding your initial travel expenses.
For most casual and seasonal work you won’t need any experience unless you want to become a ski instructor of course!
Even if you like the idea of teaching English abroad, you don’t need to have experience, however, you will need to get the necessary qualifications before applying.
If you choose to start blogging or become an influencer you’ll gain the necessary experience to grow your audience as you go.
The best way to get paid to travel on Instagram is to hone your photography, videography, and storytelling skills.
The better your photos, videos, and travel stories, the faster your audience will grow. As your audience grows you can monetize via sponsorship, advertising, affiliate marketing, selling your own products, or even selling your services to tour operators and resorts.
How feasible is it to start my own tours as a means to earn money while traveling?
Starting your own tours is entirely feasible but requires thorough knowledge of the travel industry, strong organizational skills, and a network of local contacts. You’ll also need to comply with any necessary legal regulations and licensing.
How can travel bloggers create income streams while exploring the world?
Travel bloggers can monetize their blogs through various means like affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, selling digital products like e-books or travel guides, and offering paid membership for exclusive content.
Can becoming a brand ambassador help me get free trips and travel more?
Yes, brands often sponsor trips for their ambassadors to promote their products or services.
This not only includes free travel but also other perks like accommodation, meals, and experiences.
What are some strategies used by successful travel bloggers to generate consistent income?
Successful travel bloggers often diversify their income streams. They might combine income from ads, sponsored content, affiliate marketing, digital product sales, freelance writing, and even offering services like coaching or consulting to other aspiring bloggers.
How do I start traveling solo?
Starting to travel solo begins with careful planning. Choose a destination that interests you and feels safe. Research the location, prepare an itinerary, and ensure you have accommodations, transportation, and other necessities sorted.
Finally, always let someone know your travel plans for safety.