How To Get Paid To Travel The World – Insider Tips & Tricks
How to get paid to travel the world and be your own boss. These are my insider tips on how I’m able to travel the world for a living!
The million dollar question: “How do I get paid to travel?” It seems like a foreign idea to most people. It seems like an unattainable dream to travel the world for a living.
Dozens of travel bloggers have written about this subject, but I hope to bring a different perspective because we live in one of the most expensive cities in the world (well, a beach town near the city); we have rent to pay, monthly utility bills, and no plans to sell everything to become permanent nomads.
I did have plans to leave everything behind in my twenties, but as I’ve grown older and planted roots in our beloved beach town, that desire has diminished. I see the value in balance and have found this lifestyle currently makes me happy. Things may change in the future, but for now, I’m learning to be location independent and work for myself, but with a home base.
How To Get Paid To Travel The World
So how do I make enough money to be my own boss and get paid to travel the world? It’s a combination of things and often a juggling act that comes with some anxiety about where my next dollar will come from.
So far this year, I’ve brought in more income than I did in the previous year. That doesn’t mean I get to keep all of that money. There are expenses involved with running a successful blog, which include CPA fees, hiring freelancers, equipment insurance, Travel Insurance (we use Visitors Coverage), new equipment, web hosting, and, of course, taxes. Not to mention the $400 per month I now get to pay for medical insurance.
Still, it’s more than I made working for someone else and I’m able to work from anywhere in the world, doing what I love!
How to Prepare for Self-Employment
Getting started on your path to self-employment can be daunting. I spent years studying everything I could get my hands on. I’ve had to work extremely hard and sacrifice other things in my life in order to get to where I am today.
There are a few courses that really helped me take the leap and trust in my own ability to leave my traditional job. Learning the fundamentals of working for yourself is imperative before embarking on this journey.
Working for yourself usually means your income will come from many different sources. Here are a few of mine.
Most people are not going to get rich from selling their photos, but it’s a welcome surprise when someone likes your images enough to purchase a canvas or print. I’m forever behind on adding current photos to our fine art portfolio, so it’s always a work in progress.
We don’t actively seek out photography jobs, but we have been hired by a few hotels and San Diego restaurants to provide photographs for their marketing materials. Also, if a destination likes a particular photo or set of photos, they will occasionally offer to purchase them. In the past, we’ve photographed new construction homes and remodels for contractors, but our current photography portfolio includes mostly hotels, restaurants and travel destinations.
Social Media Consulting
I work with several online and local companies as a social media consultant. This isn’t always related to travel, so I’m able to learn about how different industries use social media. These projects range from short two-week gigs to several months.
We write sponsored posts and place the occasional banner ad on our blog. This income varies greatly from month to month because we are extremely picky about who we work with.
I’ve written for a few sites over the years. This portion of my income has grown tremendously in the past couple of months as editors and website owners find our website through Google search.
Real Estate & Stock Investments
I invest in real estate with family and have been involved in flipping one or two houses every year. I bought my first house at the age of 21 and have learned a great deal about real estate and stock investing from my father. Since I was a little girl, he’s always worked for himself and made smart investment decisions. This has also taught me that you win some and you lose some, but don’t ever invest more than you can handle losing.
Partnerships with Brands
There have been a few brands over the years who have reached out to us to become brand ambassadors. These are usually long-term partnerships with companies who offer products or services which we already use or that we feel our readers would benefit from hearing about.
Read more: 10 Best Work Abroad Experiences Around The World
Social Media Campaigns
We’re often invited to participate in paid social media campaigns. These are usually tourism boards, brands, or hotels who are looking for top bloggers and social influencers to help promote their destination.
Thinking About Starting a Travel Blog?
As you can see, living the life of a professional travel blogger can be overwhelming at times. You need to learn how to juggle a million things, stay on top of writing posts, share often on social media and be able to produce several different income streams.
When I’m not traveling, I’m usually tethered to my laptop, trying hard to fight the urge to spend all day at the beach (which is only a five-minute walk from our house). Multiple deadlines in one week can get overwhelming and it often feels like I’m never caught up on work.
If you are interested in starting a travel blog and you are not sure where to start, this course will give you a jumpstart. For a more in-depth look at travel blogging, read: how to start a successful travel blog and if you’re looking for help building a website, we run our own digital marketing agency, helping people take their blog or business to the next level.
While I love my job and wouldn’t change it for the world, becoming self-employed was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. We both worked eighty plus hours per week for at least two years after launching our blog. Even when I started seeing an income after one year, I kept my part-time job because the money is never steady.
In the beginning, I couldn’t count on the income. Some months I made $500 and some months I made over $10,000. I was a basket case the first few months of full-time travel blogging, so I’ve had to train myself to trust that things will work out when those slow months inevitably occur.
Self-employment is definitely not for everyone. Luckily, there are plenty of jobs that can be done remotely these days. Here are the ten best jobs for people who love to travel.
My 65 Best Travel Tips After 15 Years of Traveling the World
Tips For Working From Home Efficiently (& How To Stay Sane!)
How to Choose the Best Travel Camera
20 Best Travel Hacks That Will Save You Money
How to Start a Travel Blog – A Step-By-Step Guide
Pin for later!
This was a great article! I’m actually only 13 years old and am having a tough time choosing a career. I’ve always loved to travel and think this might be a good option for me. And by the way, how much money do you typically make a year?
I cannot thank you enough! Your blog is priceless. I love what you guys are doing.
Great post guys… I think the most important thing we tell people is to travel with a purpose, Do not just wander around the world aimlessly. (Like ours is to experience and document the Top 100 Travel Adventures) So many travel blogs do not really have a purpose or a niche. Niche is key and many miss out on that because they want to cover and do it all.
Great post. It always fascinates me how many different roles / projects are involved in location-independent work. No time to get bored! 🙂
Wow very encouraging and motivating .. Thank you .. Perfect page
Very interesting, thanks for sharing this with us.
I’m so glad the post was helpful!
Thanks for sharing. I’m always looking for income building tips.
Great post really i like this post nice tips to travel bloggers.
I envy you for being able to travel around the world. I wish I can go to different places starting next year. Though I have troubles with jet lag. I heard JetlagFX as a great jet lag cure, may I know your tips how to prevent or cure it?
Great article and thanks for sharing Christy! We’ve talk to a lot of our clients who work while they are on the road and we’ve seen a trend of many people working remotely doing sales, IT services, Social Media, and of course photography. In rare cases some people convince their employer for other types of jobs to allow them to work remotely. Pretty cool!
wow, you have great ideas. I will study your style and I will apply it to my blogs and photos. Thank you for the great ideas.
Wow! what an amazing article. Just came over from checking out your instagram, I love it! Oh thank you for the likes,Experience best arbain desert safari in dubai from RFK holidays.
I dream of someday traveling full-time. This was the most practical post I’ve ever seen on this topic. Thanks so much for sharing. I am inspired to not just dream, but to work hard!
I’m so glad the post was helpful!
Wow! what an amazing article. Just came over from checking out your instagram, I love it! Oh thank you for the likes, haha. You have a new subscriber. Thank you.
That’s so nice of you to say. I’m glad you found our page and thanks for following!
Great Article! Wanted to let you know the Travel Blog Success link is no longer working.
Hi Lisa. Thanks so much for letting us know! It’s fixed now. So glad you enjoyed the article.
That top photo is still one of my favorite all-time shots of you. So pretty! The bottom one is super cute, too =)
This is a fascinating look into the world of full-time travelling. I have taken a very photo-centric point of view on my blog, IntrepidTomato.com, but I am only starting out and finding my feet at present.
Would you say that focusing on selling photographs is too narrow for it to be worthwhile?
Selling photos can be a tough business. I would focus on offering a service related to photography — like wedding, portraits, photo walks, etc. I wouldn’t want to count on photo sales alone.
Good to hear you are making it work. You are an inspiration to others. I have wanted to do this too, but I have not been able to make it work. I think it is because I have a full time job, and I don’t have the time to do the things necessary to make it work. I just need to cut the chord, but it is a difficult decision.
Cutting the cord is really tough. It took me 4 years to finally make that decision and in the end, someone else made the decision for me. So I completely understand!
Great advice! I also think it’s important to find balance, and that’s why we live overseas and travel.
Balance is very important!
Definitely takes a lot of work to travel and make a living. I’m currently traveling while having a full-time telecommuting job. Makes sightseeing more difficult, but still enjoyable. I’ve considered doing paid posts on my blog, but the people who contact me stop responding after I start asking questions (oh well).
I’m sure that’s tough! I get very little work done while I’m on trips because I just hate wasting my time inside on a computer. Hence why I always feel like I’m playing catch up at home.
Very interesting, thanks for sharing this with us. I make almost no money with my blog, but I’m just now starting to work on a few ways to bring in a little income.
Also, I never would’ve guessed you flip houses!
I forget what you do for work, Ali. Honestly, I feel like more opportunities came around once I made the decision to do this full time. I think it had something to do with me giving this business my full attention. Regarding flipping houses: I don’t have anything to do with the construction luckily (it can be a full-time job just looking over those projects) but I’ve always been interested in real estate. I did lose a huge chunk of money on the second house I owned, so I’m a little more cautious these days. 🙂
I haven’t had a traditional job in over 3 years. When I married Andy and moved to Germany, I had to take an intense German class (4 hours a day, 5 days a week for 8 months) that left me exhausted every day. Though that was after taking 5 months to travel. I’ve been bouncing around with different ideas over the past year, and it’s a struggle because I don’t want to do press trip type stuff. I have an ebook about how to pack light, and I’m working on another ebook. I’ve done some freelance writing and little bits of advertising on my sites, but none of it brings in a lot. I’m sure my biggest hurdle is confidence. I often feel like I can’t compete with what other people are doing, so I shouldn’t even bother. But I know that’s not the right attitude at all, so I’m working on it 🙂
I still struggle with the confidence part of it as well. It’s tough to constantly have to sell yourself, but I think we all have different strengths and there’s always more opportunities on the horizon. I’m focusing more on doing things other travel bloggers are not doing yet and so far that’s been working out pretty well. You’ll figure it out. I completely understand though!
Lots of good points here. I think it’s important for anyone who wants to do this kind of work to understand that the work you produce always has to be high quality and that the income varies from month to month as clients change directions or certain types of income (e.g. sponsored posts) become less frequent.
Agreed. It’s definitely not a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket.