This is a guest post from our friends over at GAFFL, the site that connects solo travelers with similar itineraries to explore destinations together.
Traveling full-time might seem like a daunting proposition, but it really doesn’t have to be. All you need to do is find a remote job or an online career (or a few) that let you better balance work and travel.
In this post, we explore freelance writing, teaching English as a second language, and applying for a working holiday visa as three flexible ways of making money while you travel the world. We hope that after you’re done reading this you have more confidence to start traveling the world without a full-time job.
There’s nothing more flexible than freelance writing. For instance, as an Upwork writer, you can easily set your available hours to balance the time you work with the time you need for vacations and getaways. These jobs generate a balance between travel and work that is entirely decided by you.
To succeed as a freelance writer, your grammar needs to be on point. If you aren’t confident in your grammar, you can invest in grammar enhancement tools like Grammarly.
Training is also a huge requirement for freelance writing. If you aren’t a strong writer, you can attend some writing classes or seminars. Remember, practice makes perfect, so if doing classes isn’t your thing, keep on persistently writing. In the beginning, maybe lower your fee to build a strong portfolio. You can start increasing your price once you have a good collection of well-written pieces.
Availability matters a lot in freelance writing, and you need to study your market or niche carefully. For instance, nowadays, the niche that’s becoming competitive is technical writing. It seems easy, but coming up with enticing content takes more than just typing; you need to research first and clearly understand your market niche.
Developing a great cover letter and profile on your writing account is essential for your success. Clients check out writers’ profiles before considering their applications. You need to be able to craft a good cover letter, and your profile has to stand out. Make sure to incorporate a few paragraphs talking about your credentials, work experience, and area of specialty.
With freelance writing, you need to be able to handle rejection. Not every client that comes your way is friendly, so you may end up feeling disappointed. You have to remember that even professional writers have their articles rejected once in a while. We are all prone to errors. With this being said, if you are persistently getting rejected, it could mean that you are writing in the wrong niche.
Teaching English as a Second Language
Teaching English as a second language (ESL) is something any native English speaker can do.
As an English teacher, you decide where you want to go to teach, and by extension travel. For instance, if you teach English in China, between semesters, or during holidays, you can travel through China or neighboring Asian countries.
Alternatively, you can teach English online and work remotely, giving you the flexibility to travel while you work.
Getting certified isn’t complicated. All you need is a TEFL or TESOL certificate to be eligible to teach and there are several accredited companies that you can get your certification through.
I personally enrolled in an in-person course through an accredited TESOL company called Oxford Seminars. When successfully completed the course, I was given the certification exam, passed it, and was then eligible to teach. Oxford was then able to find me a job through their many connections with schools abroad.
You don’t need to do the course however, you have the option to simply pay less to do the exam and get the certification, but you’ll have to find a job on your own.
The course I took was around $800 USD, but I’ve seen some exam-only certifications out there for about $150.
Rachel and Sasha both got their TEFL certificates online with BridgeTEFL and highly recommend them. Click the button below to learn more about BridgeTEFL!
Working Holiday Visa
A working holiday visa is the best way to travel within a country for a year or longer. In addition to letting you travel, this residence permit will also allow you to work in the issuing country as a way of funding your travels.
This visa targets younger travelers, usually between 18-30, and in some cases 18-35. In most scenarios, 12 months is the maximum duration that you can stay in the country, however, there are a few countries that let you stay longer under certain circumstances. For example, if you are backpacking Australia on a WHV, you can do regional farm work to help extend your visa for a second and third year.
There are several different countries that offer a working holiday visa. Most of these countries have a reciprocal agreement with each other to encourage travel and cultural exchange between their citizens. Some of the most popular destinations that offer a working holiday visa include:
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
The type of jobs that you can have while on a working holiday visa are limited due to your obvious time constraints. The most common types of employment for working holidaymakers are in hospitality, retail, food services, agriculture, and child/home care.
Check out this guide if you need more information about working holiday visa basics.
Freelance writing, teaching English as a second language, and going on working holidays are all viable ways to make money while you travel the world. You can get started on all of these paths very easily.
For freelancing, just open an account on Fiver or Upwork and start building your portfolio.
If you want to teach English as a second language, enroll in a certified TEFL or TESOL course, or if you’re confident in your language skills, just do the exam and get certified to start teaching right away.
Finally, if you’re dreaming about a working holiday, and you meet all the requirements, simply apply for the working holiday visa in the country that you want to travel to.
It isn’t super complicated to travel the world without a full-time job. So go ahead and get started.
The world is waiting!
Many thanks to our friends at GAFFL for this post!