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50 Profitable Side Jobs You Can Do While You Travel

If you're looking to work while you travel and make money to pay travel expenses or to build up your savings, any one of these 50 jobs is perfect for you.

A side hustle is one of the best ways to fill your bank account—especially when you’re traveling and the expenses add up. Fortunately, you can fund your adventures while you’re on the road.

Traveler-friendly work opportunities are everywhere. Some of these jobs can provide a full-time income. Others are more useful as supplementary side gigs. Some offer lodging, while others let you work wherever you happen to land. Some require specialized skills, others just need willing participants.

Regardless of your travel plans, there’s something on this list for everyone. And many of these gigs are terrific experiences in and of themselves. Bring home a story to tell!

1. Construction worker

There’s always a need for builders. Countries like Australia and New Zealand offer well-paid construction work.

Depending on the gig, you may get free housing out of it. If you have plumbing or electrical experience you’ll get even more opportunities.

2. Surfing instructor

Get paid to do a favorite warm-weather vacation activity. This job doesn’t typically require certification, only skill and enthusiasm. As a bonus, you can travel wherever you’re needed.

3. Skiing instructor

Love the slopes (and the snow)? Take courses and become an accredited ski instructor at a popular location.

4. Internet affiliate marketer

The idea behind affiliate marketing is simple. You promote a product through your online platform (usually a blog, vlog or social media account). Whenever someone buys the product through your recommendation, you receive a commission. Sign up through a site like CJ or ShareASale as an affiliate partner.

Making money can be a challenge at first. It’s easiest if you can find a certain niche your followers will be interested in. But once you get going, affiliate marketing can generate a lot of passive income.

5. Day trader

Buy, sell, and trade stocks and financial securities online. This is a high-stakes job, best performed by those with experience—but it’s highly mobile, and if you know what you’re doing, you can make a lot of money.

6. Dropshipping

Dropshipping involves buying and selling products online from one country to another. You’re not making the purchases yourself—you’re a middleman who partners with a company.

The best dropshippers know the market, the profit margins, and the best opportunities for promotion. A little investment can pay off in a lot of cash.

7. Import/export business

For entrepreneurs, importing and exporting are good ways to earn cash on the side. You purchase a product in one country, then sell the product for a profit in another country. For instance, you can market international one-of-a-kind pieces to U.S. buyers.

This is an independent gig—you’ll come up with the product and market on your own, and negotiate customs regulations—but the cash can add up quickly.

8. Freelance travel writing

Plenty of publications are in the market for first-hand stories about travel. It’s a competitive field, but if you find a unique angle or cover a lesser known destination, you can make some cash.

9. Travel guide writing

Ever wonder who writes the guides intrepid travelers carry around? Create intriguing content for series like Fodor’s and Lonely Planet.

Be warned: There’s grunt work involved. You’ll be working long hours, making maps and entering data. And pay isn’t as high as other jobs on this list. Still, this can be a great way to get to know a country and get paid for it.

10. Travel blogging

Write, photograph, and share about your journeys for the world to see. You’ll need to build an influential following and probably some ad partnerships before you see cash coming in.

This can take a while, so be patient. If your travel blog takes off, it can generate a good deal of passive income.

11. Destination wedding photography

This gig’s best for skilled photographers. If you’re willing to invest in equipment, you can make a lot of money in the long run.

Couples throwing destination weddings often plan to spend major cash for the event of their dreams—including the pictures.

12. Video editing

Putting together quality video footage is an art. If you can make great travel videos, why not monetize your skills for people who need video editors?

13. Travel photography

Freelance travel documenting can be an intrepid photographer’s dream come true. Tourism and travel industries need photographers. In this massively competitive field, you should start with a professional website and portfolio. You can also sell photos to websites like 500px and Creative Market.

14. Vlogger/YouTuber

If you have recording equipment and the energy to churn out creative content—whether it’s tutorials or summaries of your adventures—you can build a following with a video blog. Like written blogs, these channels take a while to make money; cash comes from ad partnerships and subscriber donations.

15. Making/selling jewelry

For artisans, jewelry equipment can be easier to pick up and carry than other art supplies. You can sell your wares online or on the street in busy cities (check the local ordinances first). This is an ideal side gig for backpackers on the move.

16. Making/selling art

Painters, sculptors, designers, and other artists have the Internet at their disposal to sell their creations. Besides the standby site Etsy, there are hundreds of sites to choose from. You’ll need space to create and possibly cash to cover shipping costs.

17. Graphic designer

For another job that’s not location-bound, travel with your laptop and design from the road. Clients can come from anywhere. Traveling might even give you great ideas for visuals!

18. Campsite worker

Well-maintained campsites need staff to keep them that way. These jobs are most common in countries with plenty of campgrounds like the U.S. and Canada.

Bring your own RV or take advantage of national parks’ and private campgrounds’ seasonal housing for staff.

19. Fruit picker

Love the outdoors? You can find seasonal, well-paid work picking fruit or vegetable crops around the world. Hours will vary with the harvest season.

20. Farm worker/WWOOFer

For anyone who doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty, World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) makes traveling easy.

Volunteers work on farms for 20-30 hours a week in exchange for free room and board. Technically this is a volunteer gig, so it’s best with a little startup savings. But you can cover the globe and you don’t need farming experience.

21. ESL teacher

Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) is a time-honored way to make a living in a new country. Countries in East Asia—Japan, China, and South Korea—offer some of the best pay, but ESL instructors can find opportunities around the world working with students of all ages. Some jobs may even offer free accommodations.

22. Online tutor

Virtual classrooms let you tutor from anywhere in the world. Tutors who want to teach ESL or another topic of their choice can market their services on their own or through sites like VIPKID—an online platform that connects North American teachers and tutors with students around the world for one-on-one English lessons.

23. Online course instructor

Whether you’re an expert in a cool niche topic or interested in a popular subject, you can create an online course through platforms like Udemy. You’ll need to get the equipment and put in the work before the passive income starts rolling in.

24. Tour director

This is an in-demand job, but it’s a tough one. You’re in charge of tour groups traveling to big-ticket destinations. If you don’t shy away from event planning and crisis solutions, tour directing is a fun line of work with lots of travel involved.

25. Tour guide

While tour directors travel with a group from place to place, tour guides give shorter walking or bus tours of cities. It’s a bonus if you know the city well, including plenty of trivia and destinations off the beaten path. Countries in the European Union (EU) are great spots to find tour guide jobs.

26. Translator/interpreter

If you know two or more languages, translators are always needed. Translation tools online can’t replace the nuance and fluency of a human being.

Popular languages include Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and French, but there are jobs for multiple languages around the world.

27. Cruise ship worker

Cruise ships need bartenders, waiters, hair stylists, receptionists, casino staffers…the list is endless. Staff members work hard and play hard. If you enjoy meeting new people from all over the world, this might be the job for you. As a bonus, you can save every cent you make: room and board are included.

28. Camp counselor

Camp isn’t just a rite of passage for kids in the United States. Countries all around the world have camps, and they need enthusiastic staff members for seasonal or year-round positions.

29. Real estate agent

If you’re sticking to a specific area and willing to become an expert, real estate agent work can be a big moneymaker. Many agents sell to other “expats” or people living away from their home countries.

30. International resort worker

Especially in the busy season, international resorts need staff in many areas—cooks, activities coordinators, wait staff, drivers, and more.

31. Flight attendant

This job comes with some famous perks—decent pay and discounted flights to anywhere in the world. You might not get to pick your destinations or shifts at first, and you’ll be working hard. But this is one of the best ways to get paid to travel.

32. Bartender

Hostel bars are often hiring. Cities that get a lot of seasonal traffic may need bartenders in stand-alone bars as well. A high tourist presence means a high volume of tips. Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to get a bartending job abroad—just ask around.

33. Deckhand on a cargo ship

Cargo or container ships need crew members. You’ll perform maintenance like painting, handling containers, and everything necessary to get goods from place to place. You can see the world while earning your keep. Although you can attend labor union schools, the job doesn’t usually require formal training.

34. Scuba instructor

Travel to the bottom of the ocean! You’ll need a scuba certification or accreditation to teach. Locations like Mexico, Thailand, and the Philippines are ideal.

35. Yacht crew

Boat owners need crew members to help them sail around the world. You can explore remote destinations and have an experience to remember. Be aware, though, gigs may or may not pay outside of offering housing.

36. Travel nurse

Are you a nurse or on your way to becoming one? Nurses with some experience can get well-paid, in-demand gigs as travel nurses. Jobs may only last for a few months, but they’re full-time with visas and housing provided. This is one of the most economically stable jobs on our list.

37. Hair stylist

People around the world pay professionals to update their hairstyles. Keep your equipment with you and advertise locally, especially in busy places like hostels, to make some cash on the side.

38. House sitter

House and pet sitting come with built-in free accommodations, and caretaking (which comes with a little more responsibility), often provides a stipend.

39. Au Pair

This is a go-to job for international travelers who like working with children. An au pair or nanny stays with and works for the host family. Contracts last at least six months, so be prepared to stay in one place for a while.

40. Chef

Though formal training helps, you don’t need to be a trained chef to find cooking work abroad. Some kitchen experience may be enough.

Restaurant chefs often come and go, so these jobs are in demand—particularly at popular travel destinations like hotels, resorts, and cruise ships when tourist season comes around. Check out Season Workers to find open chef jobs.

41. Transporter of cars/RVs

Do you have a driver’s license and a clean record? Car rental companies and dealerships often need drivers to get a car from Point A to Point B. Usually they rely on full-time drivers, but you can occasionally get a one-time gig.

42. Travel agent

Link up with a travel agency and work from anywhere in the world. To make the most money as a travel agent, it’s a good idea to specialize in a certain area of the world or type of travel.

43. Yoga instructor

Yoga is having a major cultural moment. There’s demand for courses around the world, especially at resorts and yoga retreats (Bali is a popular destination). Certification helps but isn’t always required.

44. Massage therapist

Spas and resorts often need massage therapists on staff. Or you can work on a freelance basis while you’re traveling. You can get a massage certificate while traveling, though formal accreditation helps.

45. Technical writing/editing

This specialty field requires a working knowledge of software, hardware, website text, or other technical topics. If you’re intrigued, get a certificate in technical writing and hit the road. Most of this work can be done remotely, and pay increases with experience.

46. Busking/Street performing

Are you a musician, juggler, dancer, or someone who otherwise enjoys performance? You can make plenty of cash by busking in busy urban areas. Check local laws first, though.

47. Hostel work exchange

Hostels may give you light housekeeping work in exchange for free accommodation. You can work during a short stay or fill longer-term staff positions, like reception and transportation. Some hostels pay in cash while others only offer free food and lodging.

48. Waiter

If you’re legally able to work in the country, you can wait tables wherever you land. Restaurants and bars in busy cities are most likely to need staff when the tourist population is high.

49. Transcriptionist

This job only requires a laptop, a work ethic, and a decent typing speed. You’ll be transcribing audio files into written documents for clients.

50. Home swapper

Own a home or apartment? Rent it out while you travel. In some cases you can “swap” your house for free accommodations at your destination.

Want more options? The sites HelpX and Workaway list destinations around the world—from farms to campsites to sailboats—offering free food and accommodation in exchange for work.


If you’re looking to work while you travel, any one of these 50 jobs is perfect for you. They can help you find room and board for free, or help you earn a little extra cash to cover your travel expenses.

And for any remaining expenses, our list of the best travel credit cards has you covered.

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