It's the ultimate dream: travel not just for a few weeks of vacation each year, but for months or years. But what to do about cash? Fear not, even if you're not a millionaire, it's doable with careful planning and the occasional money making scheme along the way. Here are a few ideas for injecting some cash into your travels...
Since you're reading this, you happen to have a skill that's in demand almost anywhere in the world. You can make money teaching English. There’s always teaching as a private tutor, of course, but the real money comes when you get TEFL certification. The middle way is to go through a placement program like JET, for teaching English in Japan, which gives you training. Once you’re qualified, you can travel the world earning with this skill.
Try freelance writing
Writing is the ultimate flexible work – you can do it from anywhere. And travel writing – well, that's the ultimate coup. Getting steady writing and journalism jobs takes stamina, and we can’t guarantee the money you make will be the best, it’s all a bit of being in the right place at the right time. To increase your chances, contact plenty of editors before you leave home, and head for somewhere odd and potentially newsworthy. Think Rwanda, not Rome.
Go grape harvesting
France's grape harvest is perhaps the most idyllic work-travel scenario: snip grapes off the vines by day, drink plenty of wine and eat French food by night. You may work seven days a week until the job is done, but you get room and board and make a nominal amount of about 50 euros a day. In fact, you can travel around the “harvest trail" of seasonal farm work around Europe, Australia and Canada. Less lucrative but more flexible is volunteering through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). 'WWOOFing' gets you a free place to stay in rural scenarios around the world.
Apply for a youth work visa
American students and recent graduates are eligible for 12-month work visas in Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, through the BUNAC program (New Zealand will take applicants up to 35 years old). The same program arranges visas for UK youths as well, all over the world. Most jobs are low-paying but give you good interaction with locals: pulling pints at a pub or working as a counselor at a summer camp.
Take up busking
Hey, if you've got a musical talent, work it. You might not make more than money for beer, but you'll make the street a nicer-sounding place. And the possibilities are endless with a whole world of streets out there to travel to. Even if you don't have a skill, there's still room – New York City didn't have "living statue" buskers until a few years ago, and don't all cities need a Naked Cowboy or two?
Check out the call centres
Spend time in India or the Philippines answering tech questions in the middle of the night – it's not only lucrative, it's also an interesting insight into a huge economy. Anyone with fluent English is a shoo-in.
Become a movie extra
Cairo-made films love to spruce up their blockbusters with foreign faces in the background. Hang out in the city for any length of time, and you'll likely be approached to be an extra in a movie. The Bollywood scene is similar. Or you can be a bit more systematic about it, seeking out films you'd like to be a part of, planning a trip for casting and hoping you make the cut.
Work your niche
Whatever your interest, start networking around the world – you might find you can make money out of your hobby. Teach improv comedy to fellow funny people, for instance, or demonstrate your kitchen ninja skills at a cooking school. The world is yours...