Over the years, I’ve done my fair share of side hustles. From personal assistant to English teacher, I’ve done so many part-time side hustles that it’s hard to keep count. There’s nothing wrong with working a side hustle. It allows you bring in some extra money and prepare for your next move or financial goal. In my case, I did side hustles to make money while my businesses (my vegan blog and English language teaching platform) were taking off and I was traveling Europe. I still do several side hustles a month to make extra dough. Check out these 8 side hustles you can do while you're traveling abroad.
1. Become an English Teacher
Have you ever considered being an English teacher? I have and I am really enjoying it. I currently run a freelance English language practice for Russian speakers. I started this side hustle after I went to Russia for the World Cup in 2018. After immersing myself into Russian culture for a week and a half in June 2018, I fell in love with the language and wanted to connect with other English-Russian speakers.
When I returned to the US, I realized there was a market for American English teachers in Russia. I wanted to teach English abroad but I didn't have the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate to teach at an accredited English school in Russia. So in August 2018, I decided to launch my own online English language teaching program for Russian speakers.
Currently, I teach private English lessons several times a week to students of various ages and skill levels. I teach individuals and I partner with language schools.
There are other options for native English speakers that do not have a TEFL certificate to teach English online. One website I know and use is cambly.com. They employ native English speakers and connect them with a wide array of English learners from around the world. You get paid $10.20/hour every week to converse with students. You can connect with people from Saudi Arabia, Brazil, China, Korea, Turkey and places around the world. All you need is a laptop, high-speed internet and somewhere quiet to work.
Your other option is to work with a private company and obtain a TEFL certificate. The perks of working with a private English school can be really attractive. Many private English schools offer several month long contracts and pay for your housing, flight and food expenses . This is the ideal situation for someone who wants to live in a place for a while and teach English in a more long-term and structured setting. If you want to get a TEFL certificate while you're traveling, I know a great online 160-hour TEFL certificate program for only $39 on Groupon.
2. Become a Bookkeeper or Accountant
Another travel-friendly side hustle is to do bookkeeping or accounting work. I do online bookkeeping work for a small golf business based out of Florida. Every week, I have a private call with the director of the company and we work out the financial goals for the month via Skype or Facebook Messenger. We then go through the company’s bank accounts and income platforms in order to input each month’s financial transactions. I crank out reports, we organize the budget and work to meet our financial goals. In a given month, I do about 8-12 hours of bookkeeping at a $25 per hour rate. This brings in about $200-300 a month in income.
It's important to note that I'm not a certified accountant. I got the job because the director and I became good friends and he trusted I could learn the basics of bookkeeping on the job. Since then, I have learned so much about the financial world while doing this side hustle. I began to understand what industry-specific terms like ‘balance sheet’, ‘cash flow’ and ‘profit and loss statements’ were. This is useful information for me as a small business owner. As my business grows, I can learn to manage my money responsibly and become more financially savvy.
3. Become a Online Course Creator
Now, this is a side hustle that I have never done personally but I hear can be very profitable if done properly. A course creator is someone who has a particular expertise on a topic and can build an online course for people to enroll in. I like the idea of being a course creator because it’s a source of passive income. This means that once you create your online course, you won’t have to create it again. It’s a package deal that interested clients can see, pay for, and participate in at their own leisure. Creating an online course has never been easier. There are several platforms that can host your course and do all of the back end work to help you market your course and get customers. Websites like teachable.com and skillshare.com are both really great options to host your course.
The greatest benefit of creating an online course is that once you put in the work, you can sit back and relax while your course makes money on autopilot. Take your next flight and rest assured that people are enjoying the course you created.
4. Become a Virtual Assistant
One of my favorite side hustles on this list is to become a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant (or VA) is an online job that requires you to assist an individual or company in their daily, weekly and monthly tasks.
VA’s can get paid very competitive rates ($15/hour or more) by doing basic clerical tasks like filling paperwork digitally, responding to emails on behalf of the company, and scheduling meetings.
I currently serve as a VA to a director of a wellness retreat in Costa Rica. I’m half VA and half regular assistant. Three days a week for four hours a day, I do clerical work for the director of the retreats. I answer emails from clients, assist in running the retreats, and help the director manage her daily tasks. This side hustle can pay a lot in a short amount of time. I get paid an hourly rate to do clerical work a few times a week but I also get paid a lump sum to help run the monthly retreats. This means I walk away with four digit paychecks every month. Talk about a great gig.
5. Write a Book or do Freelance Writing
In 2018, I was proud to publish my first book, My Mind’s Eye: Poetry & Visual Art on Social Justice, Philosophy and Identity. Writing a book is a great source of passive income. Once you write the book once, you don’t have to write it again. These days, I’m touring with my book and hosting book release parties in different parts of the world.
When I travel, I don't lug around my books. I chose to self-publish with Amazon and it was one of the best decisions I made. They print, ship and manage the inventory of my book without me having to worry. I order the perfect amount of author's copies from Amazon and sell them at my book release parties. That way I can sell my work and travel without bulky books taking up space in my luggage. When I sell my book, I can get anywhere between $6-15 in royalties. If done properly, my book can yield several hundred dollars a month in extra income.
Another option is to write articles for a blog, magazine or company. You can also make money by submitting samples of your work to various publications and offering to write for them. These companies can pay a significant amount of money per article (sometimes over $100). One of my favorite sites to look for freelance writing jobs is Upwork.com. If you are a natural writer or you are interested in writing as a source of income, this is a great side hustle. You can write for your own blog, produce your own book or contribute to someone else’s publication remotely.
6. Sell Your Artwork
If you are an artist, you can sell your artwork as a side hustle. Visual artists, jewelry makers, musicians, sculptures and so many others can create fantastic one-of-a-kind art and sell it online or during their travels.
There are a couple of ways you can sell your art while you travel. One way is to sell it online. I know people who sell their work on Etsy, Auction sites, Facebook Marketplace, Ebay and Amazon. There is a sizable market for handmade art and many people around the world would absolutely love to buy it for the ticket price you’re asking for. There’s a whole science to pricing your work so I recommend doing your own research on what price artistic items like yours sell for in the market. Once you pick the right price, you can put your artwork online, sit back and collect the checks.
Another way to sell your artwork is in-person while you’re traveling. While you’re abroad, you have a lot of access to potential clients and customers. You can negotiate a fair price for your work or even exchange your artwork for free accommodations and services. The best part is you can make a lot of money on pieces that only took you a few hours to make. This is a great side hustle for traveling artists and creative types.
7. Do Photography and Videography Work
A lot of people are making money by doing photography and videography work as a side hustle. Youtube stars, companies and Instagram businesses all use stunning photography and videography to sell their products. If you are particularly interested or talented in photography or videography, there’s a very profitable market out there.
One way you can do photography and videography work as a side hustle is to partner with brands and companies. Companies want amazing visual content but may not have the time or capacity to create their own. That’s where you come in. Companies, brands, and hotels want someone to capture the essence of their product and put it online so millions of people can view it.
This is how many bloggers fund their travels around the world. If a travel blogger has a sizable following on Instagram, Youtube and/or Facebook, they can reach out to brands and offer to take photos or videos of their product and advertise it to their followers. Brands love this because it puts a fresh and personable face to their product which can have a positive effect on the success of their sales. So brands are willing to give travel bloggers free products and accommodations in exchange for a few posts about their company on the travel blogger’s social media accounts. If done properly, not only will brands give you free stuff, they can even pay a nice chunk of change.
If working with brands and companies isn’t your style, you can also make some decent money doing photography and videography work for individuals. For example, the wedding photography industry is huge. People will pay big money for their special day to be documented and captured in the most favorable light. Many novice photographers make their start this way. They took photographs for a friend or family member and the word spread. Next thing you know, they're making hundreds of dollars per shoot and only doing a few hours of work.
8. Work at Hostel
If you’re already traveling and need some extra cash or some free accommodations, you can definitely work at a hostel. Depending on the hostel, country and your visa legalities, you can get free accommodations, money or other amenities in exchange for work. This can be helpful if you’re a digital nomad like me and reducing your travel expenses is at the top of your priorities.
One way you can get in contact with hostels and negotiate a temporary work agreement is by visiting Workaway.com. It’s one of many websites that link travelers with people and businesses that are willing to offer free housing and sometimes pay in exchange for work.
Hostels are very competitive on Workaway and offer great deals for their workers. But beware, some countries won’t allow companies to pay you unless you have a work visa. If you’re traveling frequently and jumping from country to country, chances are you don’t have a work visa. This means hostels cannot legally pay you. However, they may offer free accommodations, food and other amenities instead.
This is a great side hustle if you want to work abroad and don’t wish to be bothered with paying an arm and a leg for accommodations. Most hostels require you to work a few hours a day, a few days a week.
I hope you enjoyed this list of 10 side hustles you can do while you are traveling. If you have tried any of these side hustles or know someone who has, leave a comment below.
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