Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Finding work overseas is a fantastic way to continue your travel adventure for an extended period of time and really get to know the place you are visiting. If you can make money while you’re traveling, you’ll be able to continue living your travel dreams.
The most straightforward way to find work overseas is to get a company to sponsor you. This is possible, but not easy. For example, for a company in the European Union to sponsor a work visa for someone from outside of Europe, they have to have first looked for candidates in their country and the European Union who may have been qualified for the job. You may be the perfect candidate for a job, but if you don’t have a work visa there might be some obstacles outside of your control. Pursuing a corporate career abroad is worth a shot, but don’t bank on it. If the company you are working for right now has locations in other countries, see if you can get transferred to the offices that are overseas.
With that said, there are a number of ways you can make money while traveling without having to go through as much bureaucratic red tape. In my experience and the experience of travelers I know, here are thirteen great ideas to find work overseas:
1. Join a local sports team, organization, or group like Toastmasters. Social media is a great way to stay in touch with people and cell phones are very useful, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction. When I was living in Budapest, Hungary for a year I made excellent connections through my baseball team and the Toastmasters group I was a part of. You never know what can happen when you meet people in-person. These connections led to job opportunities. Additionally, you can get paid to be a sports coach.
2. Become a travel tour guide. You could work as a tour guide or assistant for an international company, or even run your own tours. When I was in Paris, I was amazed by the number of Americans running tours around the city.
3. Blogging/freelance work. It takes several years to build up to the point where you are making money with your blog, but if you have a credible website and some followers on social media there are other perks. For example, I know of travel bloggers who have stayed at hotels for free in exchange for a positive review of the hotel on social media. As far as freelance work, see if you can do your day job remotely while traveling. The answer from your boss may or may not be yes, but you never know until you ask.
4. Work at a hostel. When I was living in Budapest, I didn’t have a lot of money and needed some income. I did a grassroots approach and literally walked around the city going from hostel to hostel. Some said no, but I eventually found a hostel near Oktogon (Budapest’s city center) that let me work the overnight shift. I lost some sleep, but was happy that I was able to put some food into my belly.
5. Teach English. If you speak English, you’re lucky because it’s spoken in most of the countries around the world. It’s easy to take for granted something that you do without thinking, but the truth is a lot of countries value the teaching of this language. You could work at a school, teach an independent class, or tutor someone one-on-one.
6. Tutor someone in a skill you have. Consider tutoring someone in any kind of skill you have. While living in Budapest, I tutored people in mathematics.
7. Monetize your hobbies, passions, and talents. This is similar to the previous point, but is encouraging you to continue thinking outside of the box. In addition to your skills, you may have hobbies, passions, and other talents you could get paid for. Are you a good singer? Get paid to teach others how to sing. Are you a good dancer? Teach others how to dance. Do you know how to cut hair? Then put up advertisements at local hostels and get paid to cut people’s hair. Do you have computer skills, like design, programming, and SEO? Then help people improve their websites. Know how to give massages? Then get paid to give people massages. You get the point.
8. Work at a bar, restaurant, or café. Oftentimes bars need people who are willing to help out, even for a short period of time. If you don’t know how to make drinks, you could also help with advertising. While I was in Barcelona, I saw some of my friends getting paid by bars for each person they referred to that bar (convincing people walking by to take part in the pub crawl later that evening). Approaching various restaurants and cafés in the area that you have traveled to is a great way to possibly get some work. Some restaurants may consider bringing you on-board without too many formalities.
9. Work on a cruise ship or a farm. These options require a full day’s work, but in exchange you get free housing. You can expand the horizon of your career options. If working on a cruise ship or a farm isn’t attractive to you, considering working at a resort. If you approach the owner or manager, you may be able to negotiate a mutually beneficial work arrangement.
10. Volunteer. If you volunteer to work at organizations you can often in return get free housing along with a stipend for food. It may not be a huge paycheck, but it’s a way to make a difference while seeing the world.
11. Be a travel writer. Travel writing is valued by lots of people. Contacts magazines and websites and see if you can share your knowledge, wisdom, and experiences with them. If you’re interested in cuisine, you could also explore new cities from a food perspective and then blog or write about it.
12. Go to events and introduce yourself to people. When I was living in Budapest I met a business owner by pure chance during an event in the city. I ended up working for him! Good things happen when you put yourself out there.
13. Sell your belongings. I know this is a post about finding work overseas, but selling your belongings before or during your travels is a powerful way to bide yourself time and get some extra cash while you figure out your next move.
There are more ways than this to find work overseas, but I wanted to get your gears turning and have you think outside of the box. Remember, anything is possible. If you focus on your talents and get creative, there’s a good chance you can find work overseas.
For more useful posts on budget travel, please check out the travel section of jeffdspeaks.com/blog
Jeff Davis is a world-renowned traveler, blogger, and author of Traveling Triumphs: The Improbable in Budapest and Beyond.
Jeff Davis, jeffdspeaks.com | September 8, 2016