The first step to budgeting while you’re abroad starts with budgeting while you’re at home. As someone who is always on the road, residual income is one of my best friends, and it should be yours as well. I do often work while I travel, but usually not as much or as diligently as I do at home. So while I earn a little bit of money, I try to make sure that my existing money also earns a little extra money.
Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive, but let’s face it, even the best budget travelers sometimes have trouble with keeping costs down. I’ve gotten it down to a science where if I truly dedicate myself, I can spend less than $100 a week and still have a good time. These are five methods that I use to give my wallet (I’ve actually upgraded strictly to a fanny pack now) an extra boost.
I’m sure you’ve heard of this app, but if not, click this link and sign up. It will be, without a doubt, one of the best financial decisions you’ve ever made. I didn’t know too much about investing, so I chose Acorns to manage my money and I haven’t regretted it. What Acorns does is take any transaction made from your bank account and round it up, investing the change into your Acorns fund. Basically, if you pay $5.25 for something, Acorns will round it up to $6 and invest the extra 75 cents for you. It is so small that you will barely notice a dent in your bank account, but your investments will grow over time.
It is free to use and you can take out money from your investments account whenever you want. Acorns came up huge when my bank account was hacked during my South East Asia trip and I thankfully had several thousand dollars invested into Acorns to serve as a cushion if I ever needed it. It’s like having money you forgot you had.
Like Acorns, Robinhood is another easy to use investment app, but it gives you more freedom and more control over your investment choices. You choose which stocks to invest in and just sit back and watch as your money grows. While traveling, I don’t have too much time to keep up with stocks and market trends, but it is a good alternative to Acorns if you prefer having more control over your money.
If you sign up using my link, you get a chance to win a free stock just for signing up. Ford, Sprint, or Apple are just some of the free stocks you can win for signing up. Trading at $154 right now on Robinhood, a free Apple stock doesn’t sound so bad just for signing up!
Affiliate marketing is an easy way to make money online for people with any sort of online presences. Whether you’re a blogger, Instagram-famous, Youtube-famous, or just have a lot of followers on any other platform, you can earn income just from promoting products or services.
One of the biggest affiliate programs that anyone can use is Amazon. The way it usually works with affiliate marketing is as follows. You sign up, get a unique affiliate link, and for every person that makes a purchase through that link, you will get a small percentage of their purchase. It doesn’t even have to be the exact product that you were promoting. If you were promoting bed sheets and someone clicked that link and found themselves buying a karaoke machine twenty minutes later, you still get credit for that purchase.
For travel bloggers, you can definitely inquire with a number of travel companies or tour agencies about testing out affiliate marketing for yourself. I’ve been approached by various companies, ranging from travel insurance to clothing to productivity platforms to European party tour operators. Seriously, there is probably something in your niche. Accommodation is also a massive source of income for affiliate marketers. Sites like Booking.com, Airbnb, and my personal go-to, Hostelworld, all offer affiliate programs.
This is kind of similar to the one above, but it is more one-on-one and hands on than simply throwing up a link and hoping someone buys something through it. It helps if you have a significant audience on social media or on your blog, but anyone with a real talent or niche skill could find a willing customer. I have millions of followers across all social media platforms, but my friend who runs a hookah page with just over 1,000 Instagram followers actually gets around the same amount of business proposals as me, so it’s not all about the followers. If you have a targeted audience or something concrete to offer, then you should have no problem capitalizing on it.
A good way to capitalize on being an influencer is to try to get complimentary stays, products, or tours. It can save a lot of money when you’re actually traveling or can even earn you quite a bit of money if businesses offer to pay you for your work or skills. I’ve met quite a few people who would exchange their skills in order for complimentary stays or other freebies, so like I said, it’s not all about the followers. In Mexico, I met an artist who would get free stays for painting the walls of a hostel. In Nicaragua, I met a fire dancer who got a free stay for putting on a show every night. I’ve met a traveling singer in Peru and a traveling DJ in South Africa. If you’ve got a talent and know how to market yourself, then you can really take advantage of travel.
This is a method that I don’t actually use, but have heard amazing things about. You do require some experience with teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) to sign up, but for those who qualify, it can pay up to $22 an hour just for teaching English online. This can be done from anywhere in the world, so whether you are traveling or just trying to earn some extra money at home, this is a method that can’t be beat. You have the opportunity to teach children and share your knowledge while earning a very respectable wage for doing something that most teachers are passionate about anyway. If you think you qualify, you can sign up through this link and start the application process!
Hopefully, this article gave you a little idea of how I make a little extra money while I’m traveling. While I still haven’t fully disclosed what it actually is that I do for a living, I think it is important to know that most of us frequent travelers are just really good budgeters and aren’t brats who were born into wealth and pass the time by burning money in the fireplaces of our private jets.
Thanks for the read! Make sure to follow me on Instagram so you can see where smart budgeting and a passion for adventure take me.
If this post helped you out, show some love and support for the blog and help keep my adventures going by buying me a beer! My adventures are entirely self-funded, so any show of support is greatly appreciated, and allows me to keep writing helpful travel guides and creating travel content to help you all travel the world on a budget.