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Making money while travelling?

Posted by daveb on April 29th, 2008

I’m back in the UK and enjoying a well deserved rest in-between Morocco and continuing planning for our sub-Saharan African adventure. Rather than eat chewing gum for the mind, I’m turning my thoughts towards ways of making money while travelling to help us continue to fund our trip.

When I originally put this Website together, I had delusions of grandeur: Thousands of people from all over the world, travelling vicariously with us, clicking adverts and buying products from our partners as they go — our partners pay us a small commission each time a purchase is made, without affecting the price paid by our readers. Alas, the reality thus far has been somewhat different. In fact, we’ve not yet hit the minimum payout amounts required by any of our partners — although we’re getting close in with Amazon and Google. We still have some way to go before Expedia, Lastminute and Hostelbookers open their wallets to us!

I should have thought a bit harder about my audience before spending a lot valuable time setting up partnerships and affiliations with advertisers for, what is essentially, a personal journal. After all, other than family and friends wanting to keep in touch with us, who’s actually going to read just another personal travel blog?

And so, my mind now boggles over all the opportunities out there to make money and travel. Some would say that it’s impossible to make money and travel at the same time: You’re either doing one, or the other. I’m not sure that I agree with this view. For instance, I just sold my first photo on Fotolia while I was sleeping!

Here’s a few other ideas that came to my mind during a quick brainstorm:

  • Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) — alright, Claire’s already doing this!
  • Write travel articles for magazines and Websites (this one included).
  • Review hotels, hostels and restaurants.
  • Crew on a yacht or cruise, for a free/reduced cost ride.
  • Repair/upgrade the computers belonging to fellow travellers and locals.
  • Become a tourist tout — I’m joking, folks.

There are a lot of websites out there from people working while they travel. And some of them are making more money than they did with a regular day job. However, upon further investigation it appears that the vast majority of these folks are reliant on their major income coming in the form of remote freelance work. They tend to stay in one place for a few months at a time and work a few days a week. I can see that this life is a good one, however at the moment Claire and I are bouncing from place to place on a daily, or at least weekly, basis and don’t want to change that; else we’ll never get around the globe! So what I’m trying to figure out is whether it’s possible to continue travelling at our fast pace, changing our location often (with all the organisation that it takes) and make a couple of quid on the side to put the occasional plate of food in our bellies.

Do you have any ideas that we could use to make money while travelling?

When I’ve got enough plausible and feasible ideas, I’ll even write an e-book to help others too.


Comment from Naomi
Time: May 1, 2008, 6:27 pm

Hi Dave,
Make money while travelling?
You could always sell Claire for a couple of camels!
(I’m gonna get a right telling off from her for this one – tee hee!)
Enjoy Africaaaaa, say hello to the giraffes for me (but not the hippos – they’re mean)
Lots of loveliness
Naomi x

Comment from mark @ mytropicalescape
Time: May 1, 2008, 8:12 pm

Greetings – THANKS for the link. :) It looks like you guys are on an amazing adventure! You might also consider writing an ebook about your journey, which you could then sell on this site.

All the best,
Mark H.

Comment from Sista
Time: May 6, 2008, 11:12 am

I’ve checked with the bank manager and it looks like I’ll be able to shout you both a free feed or two when you reach Abu Dhabi later this year.

All well in AbDab – it’s now 40 degrees although we have had a very light rain shower today – unheard of for May – and lots of people crowded on to the street, beaming. Aaah.

Speak soon,

Comment from Squiffy
Time: May 6, 2008, 6:10 pm

Hello All

Naomi, you could at least suggest selling me for a hundred camels!
Mark H – Dave needs no encouragement on the ebook front :o)
Sista Sarah – looking forward to coming and seeing your swanky pad (and you of course).

Comment from Carlos
Time: May 9, 2008, 12:30 pm

Hello Mr DB, good to see that you have managed to avoid being locked up so far.

As for generating income you may find that some of the cultures out there have a particular
desire for a Welsh tomato.

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