How To Make Money Backpacking

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Backpackers are known for living adventurous lives. You would rarely like to be in the same place for more than a few years at a time. But backpackers also need money. Some of the tasks you do are similar to a job, such as freelancing. Backpackers can also get jobs, especially those in the service industry which allows you to get hired easily and meet the locals while travelling the world.

How To Make Money Backpacking

How To Make Money Backpacking

Create a YouTube channel

Some of the most popular backpackers of the moment have their own YouTube channels. Building a full-time income backpacking on YouTube isn’t easy. However, there are also many dedicated one-man channels where backpacking becomes a journey worth documenting and sharing on social media.

Today’s cellphones capture HD video and you can use this to your advantage. It’s easy to start with a POV phone holder. These can strap a phone around your chest or your head.

You can improve the audio with a microphone attachment.

YouTube offers a monetization method where content creators are paid per view. The more views a video has the more it will earn to its creator. While it sounds easy, YouTube can be a full-time job for many. Creating a script, filming, and editing requires skills and dedication.

Sharing experiences on a blog

Blogging is not dead. There are many personal blogs still creating a full-time income through a large following. Backpackers who have good SEO skills, good writing skills, and those who find the worthy blog titles that get searched online can still create successful blogs.
It takes as much time to build a blog as it takes to build a YouTube following.

Some say blogging is even harder than YouTube. However, the benefits of a blog outweigh the benefits of YouTube once successful. As a blogger, you have full control over your blog. On the other hand, you’re tied to the demanding policies of YouTube.

Seasonal work

Seasonal work such as jobs in farming represents another popular method of earning a living as a backpacker. Countries such as Australia and the USA are known for offering many types of seasonal jobs.

These can involve working on a farm running daily tasks. Other seasonal jobs are found in entertainment venues, parks, and even with concert organizers. Backpackers typically choose the jobs which also allow them to travel. A seasonal job in a hub with good transport connections is always the best.

Teaching English

Teaching English as a foreign language is one of the most popular methods of earning a living while traveling. Teaching positions in Asia are always in high demand. While not every country pays the same wage, you can still earn a good local wage in just about any Asian country teaching English.

Other countries to teach English in are found in Europe. However, positions here are scarce compared to the high number of options you can choose from in Asian schools. Alternatively, backpackers can also consider teaching English online. Hours of online conferences can turn into real money at the end of the month.

Publishing books

Books are a known source of passive income. Most books don’t make a lot of money. But good books with good marketing tend to create high recurrent income for their writer.

Good backpacking books are a must-have in modern bookshops. Everybody interested in backpacking is certainly interested in the experience of others in this space. This is why it can be tempting to start writing a backpacking book.

Writing it is one thing, but you also need to know how to promote it. Online ads are a good way to start. Networking and social media are other good methods of promoting a backpacking book.

On the other hand, a book can be turned into a blog. You can publish multiple posts which represent its chapters and start promoting them for free online. Alternatively, you can promote one chapter of the book and offer the rest of the book for free based on an email opt-in subscription. This then allows you to sell products or advertise directly through your email.

Freelance work

Freelance work has always been in high demand. The current trend sees freelance work becoming even more important. Many seek to become their boss and freelancing is the easiest method to get away from the corporate world.
A certain level of freedom is the main advantage of freelancing. You can work 10 hours one day and not work at all the following day. This type of schedule freedom can be one of the ideal scenarios for backpackers.

Selling photos

Backpackers certainly see many interesting people and locations when they travel. Those with good photography skills can certainly get into this hobby by making money behind the camera. Stock photography is the best route here. You can create good photos which you can then sell through a photo-sharing platform.

Working in a hotel

Hotel work is easy to find. Hotels are found in almost every country and every large city. From maintenance to reception work, these types of jobs require no previous qualification, making them ideal for backpackers. Hotel work often offers perks such as on-site accommodation. This can help backpackers save considerably every month.

Making and serving food in a restaurant

Restaurant work is always in high demand. From making food to serving or delivering it, backpackers can work in this high-paced industry with a low entry barrier. However, some of the jobs backpackers have access to without experience are basic jobs that don’t pay too well.

Wages in restaurants tend to go high with experience. Working at high-end restaurants is one of the methods backpackers can make more money each month.

Restaurant work tends to be highly demanding. You need to work late hours and you might also need to work during the holidays.
However, it’s a space of merit where the experience gets promotions. It’s also a good place to save on food as many restaurant workers benefit from free meals while at work. Restaurant work also builds social skills which many backpackers need or seek when they’re after a new adventure.

Tour guiding

Working as a tour guide is one of the best methods of earning while traveling. You can become a city tour guide without a formal qualification. Some cities require having a permit while others don’t require any type of documentation.

The perks of working as a tour guide include earning a living while meeting people from all over the world. Tour guides work with tourists and this can often come with very good networking opportunities and more backpacking opportunities.

Tour guides can also be employed at various companies. This method ensures a fixed monthly salary, recommended for those who don’t like the idea of freelancing of varying income.


Backpackers can earn a living through various means. Some of these means can be combined for a fixed income and a recurring monthly income. A job can be combined with a blog or YouTube. However, those that earn considerably from blogging or social media tend to do this full-time.

Being a backpacker was never about making a lot of money. But this has changed considerably over the past few years. It has never been as good of a time to be a backpacker as today. Jobs and freelancing jobs can now be found just a few clicks away. The opportunity to self-publish through blogging, writing books, or creating a YouTube channel has never been easier as well.

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