Backpacking around the world is a rite of passage for many young people and working to sustain your travels is often front of mind. The types of jobs available for backpackers tend to involve hard work and low pay – think fruit picking, bar work and other laborious tasks – and it can be difficult to fulfil your travel goals while committed to an employer and particular rostered hours.

With the rise of mobile technology allowing us to be more connected than ever before – even in some really remote places – many backpackers are now turning towards non-location-based income streams to fund their travels and still allow time and flexibility for them to have the adventures and experiences they want in each location. Below you’ll find three ways you might not have thought of to earn money while you’re on the road.


1. Freelance Design and Copywriting

If you have skills in marketing and communications or graphic and web design, you can utilise platforms like Elance and Guru to connect you with clients to work with on a regular or project basis. You’ll need to have a solid portfolio of previous work to get started and while you’ll have the flexibility to set your own work hours, you’ll need to keep in mind that some of these tasks can be quite time consuming. Make sure you have somewhere quiet and comfortable to work from and set aside enough time to dedicate to the job at hand.

2. Start a Multimedia or Telecommunications Company

Think that starting your own IT or telecommunications business is going to involve a lot of time, money and red tape? Think again. Budding entrepreneurs are taking advantage of services like Telcoinabox to make the startup process easier so they can start making money sooner. Running your own business gives you the ultimate levels of freedom and flexibility to live the life you want. Other people have success creating and selling templates for popular web platforms like WordPress.


3. Use Your Trade

While trade positions like electricians and hairdressing may ordinarily be associated with regular working hours, you may be able to get yourself flexibility by advertising casual availability of your services on noticeboards and in classifieds while you’re travelling. Just consider how to manage carting and storing your tools, particularly if you’re staying in hostels, and make sure you check the regulations of the region you’re visiting before you get started.

While backpacking is usually done on a lower budget than some trips, it doesn’t mean that you have to spend your time in a city working long hours in a low-paying job. Time for travel and the funds to be able to have adventures your way is the dream of many people, whether they’re already on the road or still planning their bucket list escape.

How did you make money while you were backpacking? What advice do you have for people looking for a job that combines freedom and financial security for travellers? Share your stories or advice in the comments section below.

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