As a keen and perpetual traveller, I’ve found myself in a position where I just am not ready to go home, even after four years of non-stop travel (Sorry mum!).
So here’s a few “travel hacks” if you will, that have enabled me to live wherever my heart desires.
WORK AS YOU TRAVEL
This is a great way to learn about the culture of the foreign country you are in while sticking around for an extended stay. It’s actually surprisingly easy to get work in a foreign country once you push your self-doubts aside.
Working Holiday Visa – Many countries offer a working holiday visa, which is exactly what’s in the name. You can work and holiday at the same damn time. These visas typically allow you to live in the country for a year or two for young people from the age of 18-30. As long as you can pass a simple background check and pay the initial visa fee, this is a wonderful gateway to many interesting countries like: Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Uruguay, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Each visa has partner countries, so go check it out online on the official government websites and find the country that works for you. Work Visas – Other than the working holiday visa, there are many other types of visas available in this small world of ours. In Germany, there is an artist visa or self-employment visa. In America, there is the Entertainment visa if you are working in the entertainment industry. In Australia and New Zealand, they are really short of chefs, hairdressers, and engineers among many other professions; they will sponsor professionals in these fields.
Teaching English – In Europe, South America and Asia you can get a work visa to teach English quite easily or figure it out once you’re there. That’s not as scary as it sounds.
VOLUNTEER EXCHANGE AND LIVE FOR FREE
Volunteer exchange is a way for you to volunteer to different causes and in exchange live and eat for free. Volunteer exchange is a no brainer for a lot of travelers as it feels great to give your time for something you believe in, hang out with like-minded people and of course, save on food and accommodation.
HelpX & Workaway – These two sites offers an international network of volunteer exchange opportunities for a small yearly fee. If you’re a couple or two friends you can sign up under one account. The standard HelpX situation is 4 hours of volunteer work a day, 5 days a week, in exchange for free room and meals. WWOOFING – willing workers on organic farms – This is the same volunteer exchange for 4 hours of volunteer work a day, 5 days a week but strictly on organic farms. So if you’re interested in permaculture and organic farming – this is for you.
Gumtree – I found an amazing opportunity to sail from Australia to New Zealand on Gumtree, Australia’s versions of Craigslist. There are many of these crewing opportunities around the world on Craigslist and Gumtree.
Local Papers and Community Boards – If you are already traveling, have a look around in local papers and community boards.
There are sites that allow you to housesit stranger’s homes while they’re on an extended vacay. You definitely need to be trustworthy so get some references from family and friends. Trusted Housesitters is one of the largest housesitting sites on the web. There’s a membership fee but it’s surely worth it when you’re housesitting in fabulous places for four weeks to three months at a time.
BECOME A DIGITAL NOMAD WITH THESE SITES
Digital nomads are travellers with computers who put their digital skills to work online. Digital nomads include but are not limited to: web designers, coders, programmers, graphic designers, writers, filmmakers, editors, photographers, social media gurus and marketers. Read up on some digital nomad blogs and get started on freelancing sites like Upwork and Guru – they’re great.
MONEY MAKING APPS AND WEBSITES
There are so many interesting apps and websites to help you make money on the road.
English Tutoring for Chinese Students – One app that I had a lot of fun with was NiceTalk where you tutor Chinese students on their English via video-chat sessions. You can chat with Chinese students at your own convenience and every minute is counted at the rate of $10USD per hour.
Sell your travel itineraries – Yep, you can sell travel itineraries. Why not make a great itinerary of your home city or country while you’re on the road on one of these sites; unanchor or tripilli.
Sell your travel photos – Budding photographers, sell your travel shots at iStockPhoto, Kombu or Shareapic.
Travel Writing – Upwork and Freelancer are great sites. You can also do a search on websites and magazines that pay for writing and submit your finished pieces or pitches.
I’m just going to say there’s a whole world of using travel credit cards from banks and airlines to gather points that you can use for free flights and hotels. Just make sure you don’t rack up any credit card debt! The trick is to use your line of credit, get your points, pay off the card and then get rid of that card all together before the yearly fee kicks in. On to the next one.