Last update on July 24, 2019
Sophie Pettit Written by Sophie Pettit

Many of us only dream about ditching our nine-to-five job to travel the world, but in reality there are many ways to fund a travel lifestyle.

This doesn’t have to involve winning the lottery either, or blowing all your hard-earned savings on extravagant adventures abroad. On the contrary, there are several realistic ways to incorporate more travel into your lives, while actually making money in the process – and it’s more accessible than you might think. If you’re keen to tick more countries off your list while earning a living, here are five ways to fund a travel lifestyle.

1. Work remotely 

In today’s digitally connected world, the traditional nine-to-five working culture is becoming less prevalent around the globe. Advancements in technology, such as video conferencing, group messaging, and project management tools, mean there is no longer an essential need to be physically present at work. Startups often have fundamentally different approaches to business, and this carries over to how they organize their teams, too. This not only opens the door to more flexibility in our daily working lives, but also the opportunity to travel and work abroad.

Working remotely

Granted, not everyone is able to work remotely. This lifestyle, of course, depends on the nature of your job and the industry you work in. However, over the past decade, a rising number of young professionals have leveraged the use of technology to work remotely. Many employers are now recognizing the positive impact working remotely has on productivity, employee engagement, and financial overheads. In fact, a 2019 study conducted by video conferencing hardware company Owl Labs revealed that 16% of global companies are now fully remote; a staggering 52% of employees around the world now work from home at least one day a week.

If you are lucky enough to work for a fully-remote company, then you have the freedom to work anywhere in the world. The only thing you’ll need is a good Internet connection, that is. Those who are keen to know more can check out Forbes’ list of the top 23 companies that consistently offer remote job opportunities across several industries worldwide.

2. Become a digital nomad

Another way to fund a travel lifestyle is to take the concept of remote working one step further by setting up your own business. Today’s remote workers call themselves digital nomads. This is a hugely popular trend and provides the ideal solution for those seeking financial independence, the freedom to work anywhere, and potentially a lower cost of living than at home. In fact, a study by MBO Partners in 2018 showed that as many as 4.8 million Americans described themselves as digital nomads; another 17 million more aspire to become one.

Be a digital nomad

Jobs such as blogging, web design, photography, and vlogging enable people to earn money and acquire clients while traveling around the world. While fields such as, say, travel blogging are very competitive, those businesses which do succeed are often the ones that generate income through a combination of advertising revenue, purchases, and subscriptions. A robust business plan is therefore key to sustaining a long-term travel lifestyle.

This nomadic way of working suits self-starting entrepreneurs with wanderlust and the courage to overcome the associated risks. After all, their income might not always be consistent. That said, digital nomads work their own hours on their own terms; for many, this is the definition of living the dream. Check out these eight ways to make money as a digital nomad.

3. Teach English as a foreign language

Teaching English as a foreign language is an excellent way to fund living abroad while learning a new language. With approximately 1 billion people learning English worldwide, there is a continual demand for native English-speaking teachers across the globe.

Teach English as a foreign language

The good news is that virtually any fluent English speaker can teach English abroad; that’s the case even for those without a background in education. Of course, hiring standards vary from country to country; generally speaking, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in any subject and an English as a second language teaching qualification, such as TEFL.

The first step is to find out what qualifications you require to teach in your chosen destination and then search reputable job sites, such as the TEFL job board, to find positions in that location. Many vacancies only require a basic TEFL certification, and there are various online courses which you can complete at home in your own time. Once you’re living and working abroad, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to explore your new country and surrounding destinations; this is especially the case if you have flexible hours and a generous holiday allowance. You might even learn a new language along the way, too. Discover the 8 steps to getting TEFL certified.

4. Work in the travel and tourism industry 

One sure-fire way to fund a travel lifestyle is by working within the travel and tourism industry, which, according to research by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), contributed a record US$8.8 trillion and 319 million jobs to the world economy in 2018. In fact, this industry now accounts for one in five of all new jobs created worldwide; it is forecasted to contribute 100 million new jobs globally over the next ten years. This is good news if you are looking to incorporate more travel into your life.

Working in the travel industry

There are numerous jobs that enable you to travel frequently, including working as a flight attendant, cruise ship worker, tourism board officer, tour guide, and so on. Of course, the qualifications required for these jobs varies greatly, and some are more accessible than others. For example, most flight attendants require a small amount of formal education and substantial training. Generally speaking, many tour guides only need strong people skills and a deep knowledge of a particular place. For cabin crew, the perks of being paid to travel and spend time abroad are second to none; it’s even better that accommodation is provided by the airline and they benefit from low-cost standby travel.

The tourism industry in Europe is also a lucrative option for those seeking the opportunity to travel. In fact, tourism has the greatest potential to create new jobs and growth in the European Union. The sector currently provides 25 million people with jobs, both directly and indirectly. This figure is expected to increase significantly within the next 10 years; now is a good time to jump onboard that train or airplane.

5. Join a paid work abroad program for adults

Believe it or not, it isn’t just gap year students who get to have all the fun working abroad – there are plenty of work programs for adults too, many of which offer paid work. Whether you fancy being a hotel kitchen assistant in the Swiss alps, a ranch hand in the Australian outback, or an au pair in Italy, there are many ways to satiate your wanderlust and fund your travels along the way.

Join a work abroad program

Many job agencies offer support from when you first show interest in the role to your return home. This can mean assisting you with everything from your visa application to helping you set up an international bank account, driver’s license, health insurance, and so on. Their aim is to make your transition abroad as smooth as possible; that’s very reassuring if this is your first time working overseas.

While your income depends on your role, your experience, and the job’s location, working abroad is an excellent opportunity. It develops your skills, strengthens your resume, and paves the way for your next career move. It’s also a great way of funding your travels once you have finished your contract. Check out some of the exciting paid work placements around the world.