Top 10 Best ways to Work and Travel

Top 10 Best ways to Work and Travel

While it’s always useful to have a fair amount of cash saved up before you set out travelling, finding work on the road is often vital for any backpacker looking to travel for a long period. There are lots of weird and wonderful ways to make some dosh as you roam the earth. Few are particularly well paying, but it’s not hard to find jobs that at the very least offer you free accommodation and food, not to mention the chance to really experience day-to-day life in a foreign land.

Here are 10 of the best ways to make some money while travelling to new places:

english grammar textbook1. Teach English

If you are a native English speaker you are already 90% of the way to becoming an English teacher. In some countries you can easily get work teaching English without any formal qualifications or experience. Teaching English in places like Korea or Singapore offer you the chance to save up quite a large amount of money each month which can be used to fund your travels. See for a bit of inspiration as to the sort of jobs that are out there. Private lessons pay better and Skype lessons are also growing in popularity.

Also check out our guide to teaching English abroad.


WWOOF is a network offering volunteering opportunities on organic farms all over the world. In return for your help you get accommodation and food, as well the chance to learn about organic farming. You won’t make any money doing it but it is possible to travel to lots of different countries and just work on different farms in each. This way you will still see lots and for the most part your accommodation and food will be paid for.

hostel3. Work in Hostels

Most hostels employ passing travellers to help out with general hostel duties. If you’ve stayed in many hostels you’ll almost certainly know what sort of stuff this entails. It’s always worth asking if there’s any work going and occasionally you will get paid although more often you’ll be rewarded with a bed, meals and possibly the odd free drink at the bar. Easy way to meet lots of travellers and is generally quite good fun.

4. Bar Work

Another fairly standard way for travellers to earn a bit of cash. In most countries you don’t need to be particularly highly qualified to get bar work but you’re unlikely to earn much more than a wage that will cover your living expenses. Worth it if you end up somewhere you like a lot and want to stick around. Also often pays cash in hand which helps avoid work visa issues.

5. Volunteer work for Charities

There are loads of volunteer opportunities around the world. Avoid the ones you have to pay for that are advertised all over the web as these are only really taking advantage of your good nature. It’s probably best to wait until you arrive in a country and then look for volunteering projects to get involved with. In poorer countries that attract backpackers, such opportunities are plentiful and will allow you to really interact with the locals. Many projects offer food/beds to volunteers.

street performer headless man6. Street Performing

Obviously for this it helps if you have some sort of talent but backpackers lacking any amazing skills should not despair. All you really need is some sort of original idea that will get you noticed and you have every chance to earn money while travelling. People pretending to be statues seem quite popular in touristy spots around the world so why not join the club. Advantages include that you can do this job pretty much anywhere there’s people. You can also keep travelling as much as you please and just perform wherever you happen to be.

7, Run your own website

This has the potential to bring in anything from virtually zero to enough cash to cover your travel expenses forever. It takes time to build up but in this day and age with a little bit of effort and know-how virtually anyone can set up a website. Don’t expect instant results but if your content is unique and interesting you have a chance. Internet cafes and wifi connections are easy to find even in the more remote parts of the world so it’s fairly easy to keep your site up-to date on the road.

8. Travel Writing/Photography

Almost every single backpacker out there takes photos or writes diaries as they travel. Turning these into cold hard cash is the considerably trickier part but by no means impossible. If you have a good camera and take cool snaps you have a chance provided you get your photos out there into the worldwide web for potential buyers to see. Getting a break is often the hardest part in both cases even if you consider yourself to be incredibly naturally talented. At myfunkytravel we give amateur travel writers/photographers a platform for their work but sadly for you don’t pay. If you’re interested then contact us.

9. Video Blogging your travels

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a natural in front of a camera and have interesting stuff to talk about which is generally pretty easy when you’re travelling in distant lands then why not start posting videos on sites like youtube. If 5 or 10 people like your videos, it’s not entirely unrealistic to think that in a few months that number could be 500,000 or 1 million. There are countless examples of young people whose lives have changed as a result of becoming an internet video hit.

10. Fruit Picking

Another common job people take to earn a bit of cash while backpacking. Anywhere that fruit is grown, there are people that get paid to spend all day picking it. Work is obviously only during harvest but there’s always somewhere in the world that’ll have fruit picking jobs going. It is pretty hard work but can sometimes pay quite well.


This article was published in September 2011.