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How to Make Money While Travelling.

Updated on January 30, 2016

The Costs of Travelling

One of the biggest concerns for prospective travellers is funding. No one wants to take out a loan they'll be paying off for the next 30 years, but how is someone supposed to fund transport, insurance, accommodation and food and entertainment without saving up for months prior and trust me, these things all add up. In Laos (a relatively cheap country) I was spending (not including transport) around $35 US a day. $7 went to accommodation, 7-14 on entertainment , and around 14 on food. I could've saved money by going out to cheaper places and not buying drinks in any establishments. With this approach I could've squeezed it under 30. The biggest expense, however, will be transport. Plain tickets to nearby countries will set you back around $200 if not booked well in advanced. Visas will be, on average, $40 per country (depending on your country of residence), and you should keep around $400 on hand for incidentals. If you plan on a 6 month tour of 6 different, nearby countries, that means in total you're going to need around $7000 to spare, and that's while being frugal.


A popular option for travellers is transcription work. Now, this can be hit and miss. The company I have had the most success with, and pays well, is They can pay up to $1.10 per audio minute but be warned, many of the files are extremely hard to hear and once accepted your ratings will go down if you fail to transcribe it correctly. At the moment (as of 29/01/2016) they are still looking for audio transcribers and the application process, while tedious, should be easily passed if one has skills in grammar and a fast typing speed. They pay weekly, through Paypal and I've never had a problem with them not coming through. 3 or 4 hours a day will more than cover any travellers budget while still leaving plenty of time to enjoy everything your country has to offer.


To transcribe it is highly recommended one learns how to touch type. As payment is by the audio minute the hourly rate is dependant on how fast one can type. The skill of touch typing will greatly increase the amount earned.


I am wary of freelancing as I recently got scammed $1000 for an article writing job. I made the naïve mistake of accepting a job from a new user on and although she was verified due to a clever loophole by her she ensured payment would never come through. If you do use this site, which I do not recommend, if the employer offers out of site payment refuse. By accepting this can then refuse to remunerate you if you get scammed as is what happened with me. If you do go down this path, however, I'd stay away from and where new users will be underbidding each other in desperate attempts to get jobs up to the point where some are getting paid ridiculous rates of $4 an hour. If you go down this avenue, choose a reputable site, demand identification and a form of payment that will be guaranteed (such as escrow, which many sites offer). Do not make the mistake I did and waste 40 hours writing articles merely to end up with nothing. Freelancing can be an excellent option if done correctly and especially if one has references, experience or coding and website development skills. However, one must be very wary not to make the same mistakes as I did and end up with nothing.

Home Stays

In many Asian countries such as China there is a high demand for English teachers. Families typically look for young backpackers who will exchange time teaching English to the adults and children (or just the children) in exchange for free accommodation, food and a small monthly payment (around 200 US). The thing with this option is you don't need a degree or even a qualification for teaching English. I recently have signed up, and been accepted to a program in china called homestay for 3 months (They also have 6 and 12 month programs). I will be teaching English for 25 hours a week in exchange for the above benefits plus two hours of Mandarin lessons a day at the local university. I can stay in China, truly integrate into the culture and be part of the home stay community. They even pay 500 US at the end for flight reimbursement. The only cost of this program is a refundable 500 US dollar deposit to ensure completion (it is returned at the end). There are numerous programs similar to this across the web and to me this is one of the best ways to travel cheap and truly get to know another culture.

Do you Make Money While Travelling?

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So What Are You Waiting For?

I signed up for my home stay program a month ago, got accepted through a Skype interview a week later and set my start date for March. It is extremely simple to travel while not breaking the bank. The ways listed above can help you see the world while working at the same time. If you make sure your work options are legitimate, there is little that can go wrong while working abroad.


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