7 Ways to Get Paid to Travel: Digital Nomads to Volunteering

Last Updated on January 10, 2022 by Christine Kaaloa

location independent, how to be location independent, how to make money traveling, how to make money living abroad
How to Make Money Traveling & Living Abroad: Being Location Independent (Part II)


If your dream is to travel and/or live abroad, then you’ve probably wondered how you can make money traveling. How can you get paid to travel?

Travel is not a traditionally-painted road of right and wrong resumes. In this second part of my series on How to make money traveling, we’ll  be looking at more travel jobs from digital nomads to volunteering.

7 Ways to Get Paid to Travel & Live Abroad

1.  Volunteer work exchange programs

Work exchange programs are a great way for travelers to work on farms, bed and breakfasts, lodges, sailboats, or house sit  … in exchange for room and board. You won’t get paid but you get to live and work abroad for as long as your contract.

Some hosts might contract two hours of work a day; others, longer. Some travelers choose to stretch out their traveling by getting jobs working at hostels or bed and breakfasts. When you’re on the road, accommodations soak up a large part of your budget. 

Volunteer Work Exchange Resources:

  •  WWOOF your way around the world by volunteering to work on farms in exchange for room and board. Compare top work exchange websites including WWoof.

If you haven’t watched my video yet, do it now!

2. Be a Digital Nomad (aka Location Independent)

Many digital nomads have successfully learned how to get paid to travel, creating a freedom-based lifestyle doing work they enjoy anywhere there is an internet connection. Living a digital nomad lifestyle is to be a traveling freelancer, whose online office can exist in whichever country you rest your luggage in.  Many nomads prefer to live in inexpensive third world countries such as Mexico, Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, India, where rent and the cost of living is sustainable during dry months. But depending upon how much in demand your skills are, some will live in first world countries as well,  Jobs range from anything which can be done online. Top jobs for digital nomads range, as well.

Learn about digital nomad health insurance.

9 Top Jobs for Digital Nomads:

    • Programming & IN
    • Web design
    • Graphic design
    • Writing
    • Translation Services
    • Virtual Assistant
    • Social Media manager
    • Entrepreneur
    • Travel Blogger/ Content Creator/ Travel Vlogger

Where digital nomads find work

    • Elance
    • 99designs
    • Upwork
    • Fiverr
    • Check out travel sites seeking contributing writers for hire and which offer jobs boards.
    • Research virtual assistant staffing sites like virtualassistantjobs.com
    • Haro aka Helpareporter.com – Helps journalists find expertise so they can include it in their articles.
    • Want a steady paycheck? Work with companies back home, who are willing to hire you freelance and can pay industry standard rates. Communication will be in your language, resulting in less misunderstanding and your money can be deposited directly into your bank. However, whether you make money at home or abroad, you still have to pay taxes in your country!

Recommended Read: 

travel is breathing quote, travel inspiration
How to Make Money Traveling & Living Abroad (part II)

3.  Be an Entrepreneur

Part location independence – part freelancer, you’re thinking outside-the-box about what people need and what you can deliver. Gone are the old days when you needed to either, rent a shop or have a commercial store sell your product. If you’re traveling or living abroad, money needs to be made from resources you can manage on your own.

4. Be an Expat working the side hustle

Okay so technically, you’re not supposed to work in another country (other than your home) without a work visa. If you are given said work visa, you can only apply it to the job you are sponsored through. That said, many expats still work side hustle jobs to earn extra money. Teaching English or tutoring outside your job is illegal and risky because someone can always tattle on you. But expats do this anyway.  Providing services to your expat community is also a slightly safer way, because you’re offering it to your friend community and doing it as a sorta favor;  and in return you get paid cold, hard cash.

When I was an expat living in Korea, I knew expat friends who started their own business~ creating tours for tourists, subletting their apartment during travels, starting an expat magazine (and getting local businesses to advertise). One group of expats started a moving company to help expats; basically helping friends move their belongs and furniture for a little extra cash. Brilliant.

5. E-marketing & Online Stores

If you can think of a product people need and an innovative way to sell it, build an online store.

Before you needed to afford rent to open a store or get a vendor’s license. Now, you just need online access, a Paypal account, a laptop and an idea.  Some nomadic travelers write and sell e-books online, photographers and designers can sell their photos, designs and/or services by opening their own online store.

Amazon/Kindle and e-junkie –  Sell e-books

SmugMug-  Sell your photographs

iStockPhoto.com – Sell photos to stock photos

Etsy.com- Sell your fashion

Zazzle.com  – Sell your artwork designs on clothing

6. Crowd funding

These days, crowdfunding isn’t only for the poor or struggling artist or those who want to fund their films. It’s for anyone who’s likability can attract a following.  Actor Zack Braff got his second film funded by asking his fans to donate to the production of his film. He made his film then sold it to the studios for an even larger sum! Eat your Kimchi, a cute and off-beat expat couple vlogger-blogger team turned YouTube stars got their studio in Korea funded by their fans.

Top two crowdfunding sites:


 kickstarter.com .

Read  10 Crowdfunding Sites To Fuel Your Dream Project


7.  Be a travel blogger or travel vlogger

Like any other business, starting an online blog or vlog is like starting up a company. Many folks think blogging makes money overnight and this simply isn’t the case without a good amount of work put in and like many companies, it can lead burnout.  The hours I don’t spend traveling, I spend in my bat cave on my blog and vlog, diligently writing posts, editing photos and videos.   I’m spending hours researching tools and learning about the business of blogging .

I read Matt Knepes’ ebook, How to Make Money Blogging and highly recommend it. Yes, there are dark sides to the blogging business.

Check out my eguide on How to Make Money with Youtube & Blogging and learn to open your income opportunities to affiliate links, selling travel products and services,  tours, workshops, consulting, etc…

Starting a blog?:

  •  Open a WordPress (I prefer WordPress to Blogger, because it’s more intuitive, time-efficient to navigate, offers more professional-looking free templates and what a lot of professionals use).
  • Get a self-hosted site (My site is currently on Hostgator).
  • Clarify your niche and target audience and how you can help solve their problems. See my Branding Influence course to create your delicious brand today!
  • Researching SEO and ways to get your blog posts discovered by Google for passive traffic.
  • Learn the variety of ways to grow an income from blogging.

For videos:


Know of ways to get paid to travel as a digital nomad or remote worker? Share them below.

Note: This post contains affiliate links to sites I support, use and recommend. I receive a small percentage from your purchase at no expense to you. By purchasing through the link, you will be helping support the maintenance of my site and I will be very grateful.

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