It’s never been easier to achieve geographical freedom.
And missing the opportunity in a time where online/remote work is more acknowledged and accepted than ever before is a bitter thought for anyone dreaming about it.
Especially since most people can earn a living online if they invest enough time and energy.
And for many, this is the quickest way to start traveling full-time.
There are many ways to achieve this, and I’ll share everything I know based on my first-hand experience as a digital nomad for many years.
Let’s not waste any time and get started.
📖 Table of Contents
- Most Popular Jobs for Travelers
- Working & Volunteering
- Go Remote With Your Current Job or Profession
- Starting Your Own Business & Passive Income
- How to Create a Work-Friendly Routine While Traveling
- 1. Stay at the Same Places for Longer Periods of Time
- 2. Create Habits by Hacking Your Brain With Daily Triggers
- 3. Make It Easy to Exercise Regularly
- Where to Work and Find Like-Minded Communities
- Popular Destinations for Digital Nomads
- Digital Nomad Gear for Increased Productivity
- If You Dream About Traveling the World
Most Popular Jobs for Travelers
One of the two most popular ways to make a living while traveling is doing work where you’re either paid hourly or for the X amount of work you do.
Many people choose this option in the beginning since it’s the easiest way to get started.
The other options are more long-term. For example, building a website that over time has enough visitors to be monetized with advertisement.
And obtaining a “passive” income will not only give you geographical freedom. But also full control of the 24 hours you’re given each day leading to ultimate freedom.
Freelancing is one of the most attractive ways of making money while traveling.
And if you manage to build a personal brand and reputable profile, you’ll increase the chances of a stable recurrence of gigs and attractive pay.
Being your own boss and working with clients often means you have great flexibility too. Perfectly suited for the dynamics of life on the road.
Though the more general skill a job requires, the more competition you’ll have. Especially in the English market. Which can result in very low pay.
If your skill requires education, or you’re in a niche, you often have an advantage there.
Examples of Freelancing Jobs:
- Customer Service
- Graphic Design
- Instructing & Coaching
- Social media managing
- Therapy & Counseling
- Video Creating
- Virtual Assistance
Popular Websites To Find Freelance Jobs:
Working & Volunteering
Taking on work while traveling is a big win-win.
We as travelers often get an experience for life while making a difference. Along with the bonus of extending our travels with the same budget.
Though do notice that many volunteering jobs offer accommodation and sometimes food as pay when taking on a part-time job.
The same goes for regular work with a salary on the side.
Australia is a popular destination for travelers to find work abroad. And for a very good reason. They offer the world’s highest minimum wage of $21.38 AUD while only taxing travelers 15% taxes up to their first $45.000 AUD earned.
Many use this opportunity of having a break from traveling while saving up some money on the road.
Keep in mind that Australia is also an expensive country. If your main goal is to save up money, you should try to land a job with accommodation and food included. Often found among hospitality jobs.
If you’re interested in finding a job in Australia, you can read more about how to obtain a working holiday visa here.
Important Reminder: Do Your Research!
I’ve once heard second-hand stories about volunteers getting fed rotten fruit and vegetables on a farm.
And orphanages that are only set up to scam volunteers and donors.
I believe that most places are legit and driven by people with good intentions. But it’s important to do proper research to avoid ending up biting a rotten apple (literally speaking).
One of the most reliable sources is reviews from previous recent employees or volunteers.
Go with your gut feeling on this. And be brave enough to skip what otherwise seems to be a great opportunity if something feels off.
This doesn’t matter if it’s before reaching out to a place during research, or once you’ve already arrived.
Examples of Industries To Find Jobs In:
- Animal care
- Bars & Restaurants
- Boats & Cruises
- Hotels & Hostels
- Manual labor
- Seasonal jobs (ski resorts, etc.)
Popular Websites for Finding Jobs Abroad:
- Backpacker Job Board (Australia)
- Findacrew.net (Boats)
- TEFL (Teaching + Certificate)
- Trustedhousesitters (Housesitting)
- WWOOF (Farming)
📌 TIP: You're not limited to finding a job online. Asking the local business wherever you go is another option. For example, many hostels are partly run by volunteers working a few hours a day on average in exchange for a bed or room.
Go Remote With Your Current Job or Profession
If you already have working from home friendly job, consider looking at the options for going remote full-time.
The thought might scare you, but if you have a good record at your current job, don’t underestimate your value.
A good working place understands how important it is to keep their employees happy and adapt to their needs as well. And that if they say no to you, they might eventually lose you.
Just be sure to emphasize how your job can benefit from it.
For example, increased productivity is the byproduct of making a positive change in your life. Or simply less in-house expenses.
If this isn’t an option with your current job, consider searching for a new and dedicated remote job.
Just remember to consider if your job requires you to work within specific hours. Depending on the timezone of your travels, this can be challenging.
📌 TIP: I suggest considering a part-time job if you have the option and it suits your budget. Whether it's your current job or a new one. Working 8 hours a day remotely can be tough combined with traveling. Though still often better than doing it at home.
Starting Your Own Business & Passive Income
Let’s round the working part of traveling up with what’s most attractive to many.
Starting your own business with the potential of earning passive income over time.
Dividing hours and income is the only way to gain complete freedom over your time on top of your geographical freedom. Leading to the ultimate freedom.
It’s natural to start by earning money in exchange for your time to make means. But you always have the option of investing time and sometimes money on a more long-term side project.
I’ve been doing online business of many sorts since 2010. And let me tell you one thing:
There’s no magic pill or secret to earning sustainable passive income online. It requires passion, motivation, and persistence over time.
A lot of people are making a living telling you otherwise. Because that’s what people want to hear. It’s easier to sell.
But despite the work it requires, the reward is more than worth it in my opinion.
Start with what you’re passionate about and then take it from there.
And remember it’s often not a question of whether you’re certified in something.
But whether you know more than the people you engage with, and your knowledge can help them further.
Popular business ideas for travelers:
- Affiliate marketing
- Rent out real estate
- Selling a digital product
- Selling an online course
How to Create a Work-Friendly Routine While Traveling
It’s hard to stay productive without a routine.
But there are things we can do to make it easier even while facing the dynamics of living a nomadic lifestyle.
1. Stay at the Same Places for Longer Periods of Time
If you’re traveling full-time chances are you’re not in a hurry.
This is the key to flexibility and therefore options.
I like to spend 1-3 months at places I like. This is often enough time to get into a proper routine.
Another advantage of this is also more affordable accommodation due to a longer commitment. And lower expenses because of the extra time it gives to locate the best options.
Without forgetting the joy of having enough time to immerse yourself in the places you visit.
📌 TIP: Exploring new places, meeting people, and trying new things is often the reason we travel in the first place. But the constant change of environment can also become a job on its own. And make it extremely challenging to stick to a routine and stay productive.
2. Create Habits by Hacking Your Brain With Daily Triggers
The foundation of our routines is habits.
And to create these we need triggers. This can be done by reminding ourselves with a calendar or time-set reminders.
But this isn’t always enough. Nor the most effective way to do so. Especially when traveling full-time.
So in addition consider doing certain things right after each other each time, rather than at the same time of the day.
For example, this could be by exercising right after you brush your teeth in the morning. Or meditate as soon as you get out of the shower.
This will give you a more flexible schedule suited for the dynamics of life on the road.
3. Make It Easy to Exercise Regularly
Besides what we just covered.
Prioritizing exercise as a part of your routine is one of the best ways to increase productivity and avoid travel burnout.
While most of us are already aware of this. The challenging part is doing it and staying consistent.
The key to doing so is to make training fun and manageable. Don’t overdo it.
Traveling with a skipping rope and a strength training program you can use anywhere is one way. Running is also a good option but not always possible depending on where you are.
📌 TIP: Besides the option of going to a gym. I recommend finding a place where you can train with others. This is a good way to socialize outside your working hours and meet new people.
Where to Work and Find Like-Minded Communities
After the recent pandemic, many of us have tried working from home. And enough to become familiar with the pros and cons of it.
But only doing so and isolating ourselves can be daunting if we overdo it.
Luckily there are many opportunities to find good working spots and meet like-minded digital nomads to work among and network with.
While you’ll also find plenty of distractions worth your while, many hostels offer good common areas with free Wi-Fi and other work-friendly amenities.
Along with cheap accommodation expanding your money’s worth, and opportunities to meet other digital nomads or travelers.
You’ll find these in most developed countries today.
Here you can pay for a day or sign up for a subscription and gain access to shared working areas among other amenities.
A good source to find these is Coworkingmap.org.
Cafés and Restaurants
If you’re looking for a more private work setting yet not in isolation this is a good option. Or if you’re on the move and need a place to settle for a while.
Along with the usual free Wi-Fi, it’s also a good place to spoil yourself with a quality meal or drink.
Popular Destinations for Digital Nomads
Besides Google and having faith in the keywords you’re searching for.
Using Nomadlist.com is a good way to find digital nomad-friendly destinations. Based on a juicy amount of data all at your disposal.
Though be aware that they limit the use for non-members.
While I have yet to buy a membership on their site, it gives access to a lot of additional things such as a huge digital nomad community, meetups, and job listings.
Digital Nomad Gear for Increased Productivity
Investing in the right gear can help us become more productive as full-time travelers.
And ultimately help us earn more money or reach goals more efficiently.
These are known to be useful during flights and traveling in general.
Especially when it comes to blocking out noise from our environment. This can be essential to focus and avoid distractions while working. Or having important calls or meetings.
I recommend the award-winning Sony WH-1000XM5 which is currently the one I use.
It’s considered the industry’s leading noise-canceling headset. It’s amazing.
But with quality comes a price, and if you want a cheaper alternative I also recommend the Bose QuietComfort 45 headset which is a good headset too. Especially for the price. This is my previous beloved headset.
📌 TIP: If you end up in a very noisy place, consider using earplugs at the same time. It's an effective combination.
Portable Laptop Stand
If you work for several hours weekly it’s a good idea to think about sitting ergonomics. Which is likely to suffer while traveling compared to a stationary working station.
For this, we have the Roost laptop stand to support a better body posture and increased productivity.
Since it’s a bit pricy, I also recommend the one from Nextstand which is the best alternative if you’re on a budget.
Remember that you’ll also need a separate Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
For the keyboard, I recommend buying a smaller one to save volume and weigh in your baggage.
📌 TIP: If you want to travel as lightly as possible consider sticking with a laptop. These things are nice to have but not necessarily needed. Which is the reason I only use them if I'm staying somewhere for a longer time.
Wireless Lightweight Mouse
Despite being more efficient than the built-in trackpad, a mouse can be necessary for you to do your work properly.
If you decide to buy one I recommend the Logitech G Pro mouse.
Though it’s marketed as a gaming mouse don’t let this confuse you. It’s ultra-lightweight and responsive despite having no cable making it optimal for traveling.
And despite the extra weight I prefer using a small mousepad such as this one from Steelseries.
It makes everything more smooth, also on uneven surfaces you sometimes face when traveling. And you avoid scratching whatever you’re using it on.
Lightweight Laptop With a Good Battery
Considering that a compact laptop can save you a few pounds or kilos it’s worth paying attention to.
The one I prefer is any of the Macbook Airs with the M-chip. The cheapest model should be fine for most people’s needs.
But the second most important thing is the battery life of up to 18 hours. This is enough for most remote working days or long travels.
And as a bonus, the charger is also tiny and lightweight.
Local Sim Card or eSIM With Data
Just because there’s Wi-Fi somewhere doesn’t mean that it works. I think most of us can agree on this.
Though it’s preferable to find accommodation and working places with good Wi-Fi, it’s not always possible.
And in those cases having a backup solution can be very valuable.
The cheapest option is usually getting a local SIM card wherever you travel.
But the most convenient option is getting an eSIM such as Airalo.
📌 TIP: If you go with an eSIM be aware of whether the device or network you're using allows you to create a Wi-Fi hotspot. For some reason, it's not always possible. So check up on that first.
If You Dream About Traveling the World
In case you haven’t already, I recommend reading my post about why my goal is to travel the world.
Chances are it will help you reach your traveling goals too.
Examples of what we’ll cover:
- The reasons you don’t necessarily need anyone else to go traveling
- Why traveling can be the best investment you’ll ever make
- How traveling helps you become the best version of yourself
- The real currency of life that tends to be forgotten
- The important but often overlooked things to deal with before departing
- And much more…