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Earning Money While Travelling

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
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Travelling abroad can be an expensive proposition. Apart from your fare you need to allow for accommodation, meals and all the other things you’re likely to buy, which means the bills can soar very quickly, especially if you’re going for any length of time.

How do you balance the books? The answer is by working whilst you’re abroad. That way you can earn money while travelling alone, pay your way, and maybe, if you’re very frugal, even come back with a tiny nest egg. But it’s a way to make the most of your travelling time, have plenty of new experiences and meet new people – as well as pay for your trip.

Your Travelling Itinerary

If you’re going to be working abroad, then you can’t be flitting from place to place – a few days here, a few there and moving on again. You’ll need to be settled in one place for a length of time. But when travelling alone you have the flexibility to do just that.

In fact, staying in one place for a month, or even two or more at a time, can have its advantages. You can probably find somewhere to stay at a lower rate than a hotel or hostel, a place where you can cook your own food, for instance, which cuts down on other bills. You’ll become familiar with the city or country, and make friends, which are a boon when travelling – you’ll feel less of an outsider and tourist, and more part of the community.

How To Work Abroad

Depending on where you’re going to be travelling, one thing that’s always needed is people who can teach English. Generally you don’t need to be a qualified teacher, although a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate will stand you in better stead.

Having some familiarity with the local language is a definite plus, as well as some understanding of the principles of teaching. Most good agencies will give you a grounding in that, however. Plenty of agencies hire people – simply research online.

There’s also the possibility of being an au pair. That will mean plenty of work, but your accommodation and food will be part of the arrangement, and you’ll earn a little money and familiarise yourself with the country. When your commitment is done, you’ll still be able to enjoy travelling in the country.

You won’t get rich teaching English abroad or being an au pair, but it will allow you to be self-supporting whilst travelling. Similarly, there are often jobs with volunteer and NGO agencies. These will require a definite commitment of time, a minimum of at least six months on a project, so it might not be ideal for someone wanting to do a lot of travelling. But it can be a great way to experience a foreign country, do something worthwhile, and make lifelong friends. For those planning on travelling alone it can be a rewarding solution.

Of course, if you’re travelling outside Europe, there’s the small issue of visas and work permits. If you want to be working abroad as you’re travelling, how do you jump those hurdles?

The Problems With Working Abroad Whilst Travelling

If you’re planning on travelling to say, the US, and spending three months travelling there, there are ways to legally earn money there. If you’ve just graduated with your degree, for example, there is a visa programme that allows you to live and work there for six months – although you’ll still have to find yourself a job. Other countries offer similar programmes – you need to do you research. Once you have the visa, you might well be able to line up a job before leaving.

Although it can’t be recommended, many people travelling have financed their trips by being part of the underground economy and working illegally. This leaves you at the mercy of the employer, you’ll earn lower wages, and if discovered by the authorities you’ll be deported and not allowed to return to that country.

Of course, in Europe you don’t need either a visa for work permit for travelling or working – all you need to do is find a job where you’re going.

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