Money is like the life points of every traveler, no matter you are on long term travel, short term or just on a conventional vacation, without money everything will be ruined.
Imagine that you are on a vacation and your money got stolen or being scam, what will your reaction be?
Maybe you can still draw a few hundred dollars out from the ATM and support your travel, but if you are on long term traveling and your money keeps depreciating, it means you will soon “Game Over”.
If you are really broke, you can go to the local embassy and get help for a ticket back home, but…
Most of the time, long term traveler will not let this happen, our brain is very magical and it can always come up with ideas that work like miracle.
Something like I read on Wondering Earl can give you a good example of it. Every little thing that you see or think of can become a way to earn life points. You just need some situation to lend you a push /: )
Most of us are not born with skills that allow us to earn money during our travel, for me, I learn most of my skills on the road and thinking back, I wont even dream that I will be doing those things wahahaha.
Memories are wonderful.
In this article I have complied 10 physical ways I thought of, did it or seen it happen on somebody, which can help you earn and save some life points to keep traveling.
This is the most common starting point for long term travelers to work and travel if you are below 31 years old, some countries do accept applicant till 35 years old.
Many countries in the world offer such visa to allow foreigner within the age limit to experience and work in their country for a period or 1-2 years. I am lucky that I manage to apply for my New Zealand working holiday visa and spent almost a year there and I managed to save a good amount when I leave.
Especially popular in Australia if you are heading towards the cash portion and there are also a lot of backpackers on working holiday visa there where you can mingle and befriend with.
Australia has many horticulture farms and they have a high demand in fruit pickers and reasonable demand on the packers, most likely girls are easier to get a packing position than guys.
Although New Zealand has such job vacancies in demand but they are very strict on the appropriate visa.
Try to stick around job listing boards in hostel, some do provide you with phone numbers but some doesn't, as they only provide jobs to people staying in the hostel. There are also listing on job boards like Gumtree and Backpackers Taiwan, the 2 that are most commonly used by backpackers.
Hostels are always looking for extra pairs of working hand to help in positions like housekeeping, reception and sometimes kitchen and bar if they have.
This is especially true when it comes to festive seasons like Christmas and New Years where the permanent staff goes for holiday, therefore plan which country you like to spend those holidays and send a request to the local hostels.
Most of the time the hostel will not be able to pay you but in return they will offer you free food and accommodation, not bad too since you do not need to spend a penny and sometime gets to enjoy staff benefits as well, my all time favorite.
If you are really desperately low in life points, try approaching hostels that has night porter position, that's the clue I can give /:)
There are always a high turnover in such places therefore it is a benefit if you have previous experiences, you will easily be presented with a few shifts during the week.
Holiday seasons are the best to find a part time position.
Sometimes you get to work double shift or emergency stand in when someone is sick. To get a placing in the restaurant, go for those that are close to your origin, example if you are a Chinese go try a Chinese restaurant, an Italian will always be preferred in an Italian restaurant and so on.
Evenings are always shorthanded so make sure that you are able to cover evening shifts, my suggestion is that you can get a Food and Accommodation Exchange program in a hostel working in housekeeping so that your evenings are free to earn some cash while having your meals and stay covered.
I have seen many skillful backpackers advertising their skills online, in the hostel, on a lamppost etc.
Useful if you have skills in areas like hairdressing, massage, dance, yoga, playing an instrument, singing, web design, gardening, beauty, carpenter and even lawn mowing!
Pretty much everything is possible, just be creative.
There are actually more to add to the list, you can check out websites like Gumtree and Craigslist in different countries and see more examples from there, of course you can also advertise there for free.
Good Skills To Pickup Before Traveling
Popular skills where you can attract a crowd while staying in hostels are hairdressing, massage and beauty stuff like facials or makeups. Carpenter or renovation skills are also in demand everywhere and teaching yoga too, so you know what to put on your to learn list so that you can earn some life points while traveling.
Many stay home mums or working parents require a helping hand to look after they precious one. If you love children and don't mind playing with them, teaching them, singing to them and rocking them to sleep then this job suits you
During nap time you will sometimes be required to do housekeeping or cook some meals, therefore if you have experience on those it will increase your chance of being welcome to the family.
Usually food and accommodation are cover with some pocket money to spend.
Or else you can sign up with some membership platforms that specialize in linking au pair with potential customers, for example Aupair.com.
If you are a native speaker from USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, congrats as this is a very profitable and a great way to work and travel, especially if you want to travel to Asia that has a great demand.
There are a lot of platforms providing such opportunities and most of them are able to get you the required work visa, insurance and even a free TEFL certification, check out eslcafe.com where they have different job boards in various countries.
Other Choices Of TEFL Courses
Sorry to counterparts that are similar to me, a native English speaker but don’t belongs to the above countries, we are just not in demand wahahaha.
Don't be sad, you can still be like me teaching English under some Food and Accommodation Exchange programs in many countries for example France. There are also vacancies for other Native languages like Mandarin, French, Italian, Spanish and others.
If you know a city well enough to provide a free walking day tour, it is worth a try, mostly these tour works on tips bases so you need to be active and informative. This is very common in Europe.
You can work with hostels, traveler’s café or other shops that advertise your walking tour; also you can post on travel forums or your own blog.
When you are more experienced and confident with handling people issue, try to brunch out into doing for example 8 days small tours for 5 or 10 person covering various cities.
It is an advantage if you speak other languages like Mandarin, French, Spanish or others as you can create exclusive tour targeting the specific language.
You can also work with local tour companies and operators to sell their trips and other activities package to travelers in the hostels or cafes and earn a decent commission from it.
There might be more offers and deals if you can clinch with the tour companies so visit or write in to them and offer your ideas.
Almost every city has a flea market, weekend market, handicraft market, farmers market or any other local market. Many of these market allows traveler to rent a stall and sell their stuff like handicraft, artworks, tropical clothes, 2nd hand items or food.
The tourist and local always visit such markets.
Therefore if you have a range of items that are special and unique then you will have a higher chance to make a good profit out of it.
Mobile markets are popular in some countries where they hop around different cities or districts all year round like what we have in Singapore, called the Pasa Malam.
If you have a talent to show off, go for it, even if you have no talent at all you can also earn some cash everyday by wearing some fancy costumes and attracting tourist to have a picture with you.
Singing, drumming, acting or painting are some common things busker do, if you want to make a living out of it you need to make a difference and be unique to yourself.
Check with the local authority on the area that buskers are allowed to busk and whether do you need to apply for a license to do so as I know you need that if you want to busk in Australia.
Also check that whether you are able to receive tips and donation by the public, the props you use if any, are allowed and is there a time limit to busk on the same spot.
Working physically with monetary returns in any country usually requires you to hold a working visa or any other similar visa that permits you to work locally.
In every country there sure will be small companies that offer short/long term cash jobs to travelers, the decision is on the traveler whether is it worth to take such risk?
Some jobs listed above can easily be available as cash jobs and some are able to help you apply a short-term visa that allows you to work for them.
In any case if you do not want to take the risk, you can still work physically in the country with Food and Accommodation Exchange programs, which can cover most of your traveling cost, less spending means more saving.
Having said that, there are countries that are strict on this too, example Netherlands does not allow any form of work with or without monetary returns if you are on tourist visa. Else the safest way is to generate your life points from any forms of online income.
If you have similar experience and want to share it, feel free to comment.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small amount of affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to you as my readers.