Long-term travel without income is impossible for most of us. In this podcast we explore some legal methods of making money while travelling.
On visas, permits and bureaucracy
One of the hardest parts of working overseas is understanding the law and dealing with the bureaucracy surrounding your situation. If you’re working for a company, it’s nice and clear cut: get a work permit! If you are visiting a country and doing billable work there, you may also be liable for local goods and services or income taxes, even if you’re already paying tax at “home”!
Everyone’s situation is unique, so check with local embassies or consulates for work permit applications and with your small business advisor/lawyer/accountant if you’re self-employed.
One thing under-thirties should be aware of is the great “work and travel” programmes where you can do casual work for six months out of a twelve-month stay. Some countries allow you to double that if you meet a required need, fruit picking in Australia for example.
Working for others
Unskilled and semi-skilled work is almost always easily available: labouring, fruit-picking, cleaning, retail sales and bartending/waitering often have high turnover rates providing opportunities for work. Many hostels offer free accommodation and a moderate wage for in-house cleaners and staff.
How to be location independent
Jobs such as nursing, teaching and professional services are also available, but ensure your qualification matches those required by local regulations, and consider having important documents officially translated before you arrive. Likewise, health and safety permits and other vital training courses may need to be re-applied for locally. We’ve spoken previously about ESL teaching qualifications for travel and finding short-term work overseas.
Working for yourself
Modern communication networks have resulted in a growing number of “location independent professionals” (LIP’s) and Digital Nomads. Although freelance creatives, such as writers and artists, have always been somewhat free to travel, the internet has dramatically changed the way we are able to work with global teams and clients.
Although working for yourself gives you freedom and, in the best cases, passive income, the amount of initial investment in planning and building your business can’t be understated. Like any small business, if you’re not working, you’re probably not earning and one can spend as much time finding clients as doing the actual work.
The resources on the right link to websites and books that we have found useful in transitioning our work from employment to self-employment. You should also investigate:
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