How To Get Paid To Travel Using Skills You Already Have

get paid to travel

When you’re on the road, no one knows who you are until they see what you have to offer. But there’s no need to give into the classic teaching English gig or work the night shift at a party hostel.

You can find plenty of ways to use your creative talents (and hone them in the process) to make some money as you travel or live abroad, as well as use travel hacks to save on costs. And you could even gain some international exposure and do some networking while you’re at it.

Check out Chris Guillebeau’s class for more travel hacks and strategies that’ll help you get paid to travel: Make Your Dream Trip a Reality.

Here are a few ways that photographers, writers, musicians, and other creative entrepreneurs can get paid to travel using the tools and talents they already possess:

How Photographers Can Get Paid to Travel:

— Souvenir portraits captured in touristy areas, cafes, hotels, all sell, and the overhead is pretty low if you get them printed locally. Just make sure you have the right permits to do business!
— Photo tours: Photographer Amelia McGoldrick relocated to Buenos Aires from Toronto in 2010 and soon established a photography skills tour, Day Clicker Photo Tours, teaching tourists how to best use their cameras (including iPhone cameras) while leading them through some of the most photogenic barrios of the Argentine capital.

“I’ve never really had a 9 to 5 job. I’m not that kind of person,” says Amelia. “You just have to make things happen in your life. You have to go for it and create it. I knew I wanted to live here in Buenos Aires, and at the time, I didn’t speak the language, so there wasn’t a choice aside from creating a job for myself.”

How Writers Can Get Paid to Travel:

— Create website content for a local business or entrepreneur
— Write and/or proofread menus
— Write articles for local English-language publications (even better if you know the local language!)
— Translate or interpret if you have strong foreign language skills
— Sell your spontaneous poems, a la Before Sunrise

How Musicians Can Get Paid to Travel:

— Sing in bars, hostels, hotels, expat/tourist spots
— Join a band that plays weddings, graduations and other profitable events
— Work as the entertainment on a cruise ship
— Busk on the streets (first check if you need a city permit) or down in the subway
— Work at a recording studio

How Visual Artists and Crafters Can Get Paid to Travel:

— Design websites for local businesses and entrepreneurs
— Caricatures at tourist attractions
— Create sidewalk art
— Paint murals at a hostel or cafe
— Sell handmade crafts at local festivals, artesenal markets or online (like on Etsy or your own website)
— Sell baked goods at local cafes and festivals
— Offer hair cuts and hair styling
— Offer personal shopping services

And last but definitely not least: TEACH!

Don’t forget that you can always teach any skills that you have by putting up ads online (InterNations, CouchSurfing, expat websites, etc) or leaving fliers in hostels, cultural centers, cafes, hotels, friendly local businesses and any other relevant spaces. Know how to surf or how to tango? Are you experienced in taking care of small children? Forget that stuffy resume!

Whatever you have to show for yourself, whatever it is that you create–now’s the time to let the world know.

The most important thing, no matter what you decide to do for some extra cash, is to carefully consider the specifics of your location and its culture. Allow these factors to help you bring out the best match of your skills and talents with the people around you, whether your target market is made up of locals, expats or tourists.

For even more ways to get paid to travel, join Make Your Dream Trip a Reality with Chris Guillebeau right here on CreativeLive.

Suchi Rudra

Suchi Rudra is a nomadic writer of articles, stories and songs, taking inspiration from her travels. Follow her wanderings at Tread Lightly, Travel Naturally.