How to Finance Your Trip While on the Go?


How to Finance Your Trip While on the Go?

If you’re planning on doing long-term backpacking, then at some point it’s likely you’ll run low on money. Some people use this as a point to end their trip, but others see this as a new adventure in their journey. You don’t have to go home to make money these days. You can work from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access or the motivation to go out and find a job. We’ve outlined some of the best ways to either prolong your trip or make money while traveling.


1. Online freelance work

If you’re looking for a way to use your skills through remote freelance work, then there are a few websites that you can make some serious cash with. Don’t worry if you don’t have professional expertise in a certain field. With freelancing websites such as Upwork and Fiverr, you can apply for jobs in a variety of fields even with little to no experience.

Upwork is a website that can be used by either clients or freelancers. It’s free to sign up as a freelancer, and you can dictate whether you’re interested in working short-term, long-term, hourly, or at a fixed rate. Once you set up your profile, you can start browsing open jobs posted by Upwork’s clients. There are thousands of job postings every day, so finding the right job for you shouldn’t be difficult.

The most common job categories for freelance travelers are editing, translation, blog writing, and graphic design. Upwork also offers more technical categories such as IT help, software development, engineering, architecture, and accounting, so if you have experience in any of these fields, then there are plenty of jobs for you! In order to apply for a job you simply create a proposal, and if the client is interested, he or she will get in contact with you to discuss the project further. Once a project is completed on time and is approved by the client, they then release funds to the freelancer through Upwork’s safe payment system.

Fiverr works in a similar way to Upwork, but it’s primarily for smaller jobs. Freelancers can do a variety of smaller jobs for a typical starting rate of $5 per project. $5 doesn’t seem like much, but these projects can often be completed in less time than the jobs on Upwork. The jobs are very similar to those featured on Upwork, but the most common ones are graphic design, marketing and PR, and writing.

As long as you have steady internet access and a dedication to your clients, online freelancing will be one of the best ways to fund your travels. If you can manage to build yourself a strong client base, you will have no problem getting consistent work, regardless of where you may be in the world!


2. Teach English online

Websites like Cambly and Lingoda are reliant on English-speaking teachers to help their students learn the language. These sites are great for backpackers because all you need is a laptop and internet connection to start making extra money. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working from a hostel, coffee shop, or airport. As long as you have reliable wifi, you can keep your travel fund going through online teaching.

To sign up for this opportunity, you simply have to create a short video detailing who you are, your experience, and why you want to teach. Your video is then reviewed carefully by the site, and in 2-3 weeks you should receive an acceptance email confirming you’re approved to teach. Once accepted as a teacher, you will get notified when there are students available to chat.

As a teacher, you will spend one hour speaking with a student via video chat, and after the hour is up you will get paid $10. You won’t have set guidelines on what to teach either. You can have conversations with the students about any subject you wish to talk about, whether that’s family, culture, traveling, school, or anything else you choose. Students are known

3. Volunteer exchange

There are many different websites to help pair volunteers with hosts, but one of the best websites we’ve found for backpackers is Workaway advertises thousands of volunteer opportunities in practically every country in the world. Most hosts offer accommodation and occasionally meals in exchange for volunteer work, so it’s a great way to travel inexpensively if you’re running low on money. You can either choose to search Workaway opportunities by type of work, location, or last-minute listings.

The type of work varies, but the most common jobs are volunteering at a hostel, farm, animal shelter, school, or helping a family with childcare. You typically won’t need any prior experience to be accepted as a volunteer, so you can pick any type of work that sounds appealing to you. If you’re more interested in working in a specific location, you can search location-specific opportunities. Some countries are more likely to have a greater number of available opportunities though, so it’s best to have a few countries in mind. For example, if your heart is set on volunteering in Fiji, you will only have 4 options. If you are interested in going to Vietnam though, you will have 150 opportunities to choose from.

The other option to find a Workaway opportunity is last minute listings. If you don’t want to wait long to start your volunteering, you can search through the hosts looking for people to start immediately. There are usually hundreds of hosts posting last minute listings, so it should be easy to start work within a few days or a week. For example, some current last minute posting are:

  • Help with an organic farm in Spain

  • House-cleaning in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

  • Help at a Bed and Breakfast in Sydney, Australia

  • Help at a therapeutic horse riding stable in Austria

  • Help at an eco nature sanctuary in Sicily

Some hosts require a minimum stay of a few months in order for you to get the free accommodation, but other hosts you can volunteer with for as little as a few days if that’s all the time you have. You will also have to consider what type of amenities you need while volunteering. Some volunteer opportunities are in locations lacking internet access, warm water, or a private room. In order to find out exactly what the volunteering entails, you can email the host directly through Workaway and they should be able to give you more detailed information about the program.

To sign up for Workaway, you just have to create a profile listing some basic information about yourself, where you’re interested in travel, and what areas you have experience in. You will also have to pay an annual $30 membership fee, but there are other websites that don’t require a membership fee if you’re tight on cash. is a free site that works in a similar way as Workaway by pairing volunteers with hosts. It doesn’t offer quite as many opportunities, but you’re bound to find a program that catches your interest.


4. Internships

Internships are a great way to gain more experience in a field while also giving you the ability to travel relatively inexpensively. Typically, internships are an unpaid form of work, but if you do your research right and be patient, you can get lucky. There are some useful online websites such as and that list available international internships, but not all are paid so you will have to sift through them to see what’s right for you.

Interning abroad is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You will gain valuable, real-life experience in your field of interest, and get the opportunity to learn about a whole new culture. You also are likely to be working with other young professionals with a thirst for travel, so it will be easy to make friends while abroad. Landing a paid internship may not cover all your costs like flights, accommodation, food, and sightseeing, but if it covers even a few of these expenses, then don’t let it pass by.

5. Apply for a job

It’s common for tour companies to need English-speaking guides, so if English is your native language, then go door-to-door visiting tour companies to see if they are hiring. If you come off as confident and have good social skills, you’ll more than likely get offered at least a part time position or a trial-run. Hotels and resorts also are always in need of English-speaking staff members. It may just be a low-paid receptionist position, but money is money.

Another option is to join Facebook community groups for your specific location. Most towns, cities, or islands will have groups where companies can post job openings for expats or backpackers. If you are a member of these groups you will get a notification whenever anyone posts about a new job opportunity, so you will be able to get your resume in quickly.

Our last suggestion is to volunteer at a hostel. I know that you’re probably more interested in a paid position, but often times volunteering with a hostel is the foot-in-the-door you need to land a paid job. Volunteering isn’t a reason to slack off though. This is the time that you really need to prove yourself. You will have to show up to work early, stay late, and work hard if you want it to turn into a paid position.

Volunteer work at hostels varies, so you have to be open to doing any odd jobs that are requested. You may be cleaning dorm rooms, making beds, checking visitors in, bartending, or leading hostel tours. If you have a certain area of expertise like marketing or construction however, don’t hide it. You may just end up volunteering doing work you enjoy! And even if you don’t end up with a paid position, at the very least you should be offered free food in exchange for volunteering, so it’s a good way to save some money while traveling.



6. House and/or pet sitting

How would you like to get free accommodation while traveling? House sitting is one of the best ways to see a new part of the world while making sure you don’t blow through your bank account. Websites such as and can help pair you up with homeowners looking for trusted individuals to take care of their house.

The assignments could be for as little as a few days or last for a few months. They could be in a big city or in a remote village. You could only be watching the house, or watching ten of their animals. Each assignment is different, so you have to determine what type of house sitting you’re interested in prior to applying. If you’re open to pet sitting, you may also be offered a small stipend by the homeowner which would help cover some additional costs while house and pet sitting.

Once accepted for an assignment you will be responsible for figuring out your visa and transportation to the area, but that’s a small price to pay for free accommodation. House and pet sitting not only provides you with a cheap stay, but also gives you the opportunity to live like a local and explore a new area of the world.


So if you’re running dangerously low on money and not quite ready to put away the passport, there’s no need to worry. There are countless ways to make money online or to travel inexpensively if you know the right places to look. You just need to take a step in the right direction and start thinking through your options to decide what’s right for you. Pretty soon you will see your bank account grow and come to the realization that you can travel the world forever!