There are many ways to make some cash whilst on your travels, some easier than others. Just through my experience alone I can tell you it is possible and fairly straight forward.
1. WHV. The most easiest way (I found) to make money, was to start off with applying for a working holiday visa before you arrive in your designated country. This is simpler, of course if you’re going to Australia, New Zealand or Canada as these countries have a system whereby if you’re from the UK you can work there legally. I found Canada to be much trickier however, as they only release a limited amount of visas each year, there is a lot of competition and they don’t tell you when exactly the visas get released. Australia and New Zealand however, allow you to apply and be accepted at any point during the year, if you meet the requirements. Australia allows you 1 year to work in their country, if you want to stay another year you have to carry out 88 days of agricultural work to be accepted. New Zealand on the other hand, allows you to stay 2 years without the agricultural work (Yippee!) I found with my WHV in Australia it was so easy to get casual work, especially in the larger cities such as Sydney. Agricultural work was hit and miss really, we found our farms on gumtree, the first one up in Northern Queensland was legit and we got paid hourly and fairly. The second farm though in Mildura, VIC was the complete opposite. The guy running it completely exploited backpackers like myself and was only after our money. You have to be careful when looking for a farm, the best way to go about it is word of mouth through other backpackers. Try and pick up a contact number or email off someone who has already had a good experience on a farm.
2. TEFL. I’ve heard a lot about teaching abroad with a TEFL certificate, I met many people in Australia who had just come from Taiwan or South Korea who had spent up to 3 years teaching there. It sounded fun and rewarding, you get paid a fairly good amount and you get lots of time off, which of course means getting to travel the whole of SE Asia as its so cheap to fly. I think it’s a great way to explore a new country, by actually living and working in a local school and being consumed by a whole new culture sounds completely worthwhile. I have heard though that when choosing which school to get your TEFL from, be wary. The internet can draw you in with ‘internationally recognised’ and other marketing schemes but there are only 2 which stand out and are internationally highly regarded, CELTA and Trinity are the ones to go for. Before I booked my flight to New Zealand I was getting very tempted to sign up for a TEFL course, I would love to live in SE Asia for a while. Even if you use it for a Gap year, a career change or just to carry on funding your travels, it’s a great way to earn some cash AND explore a new country and culture, killing two birds with one stone I’d say!
3. WWOOFING. Ok, so WOOFING may not make you much money, but it will stop you spending what you do have! Stands for; World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It’s a system whereby you volunteer to work a few hours a day on a host’s farm, in return for accommodation and food. I am hoping to do this in New Zealand, when I went last time there were some really beautiful places you could stay on such as http://www.blueduckstation.co.nz. It’s a great experience and you can also learn a lot whilst you’re there too, farms will want you to do all kinds of jobs, from odd painting jobs to feeding livestock. There’s no ties to it and you can stay for as long or little as you want. A completely different and pure experience to sleeping in hostels every night and will save you a lot of money. If you’re really interested in WOOFING you can sign up to this website http://www.wwoofinternational.org and choose what country you’d like to do it in. I believe you have to pay a membership fee of $70 per year, you get a handbook included too with all the names and addresses of hosts. I think the membership option is appealing for people who haven’t travelled before, it’s easier to get set up and know exactly where you’re heading. I like to just go on recommendations from other backpackers, you’d be surprised how many people WOOF. When we were in New Zealand on the Stray bus we stayed at many accommodations where it was possible to WOOF there, hopefully using these contacts this time around we will be able to get something pretty easily.
4. BLOGGING. So many people blog nowadays (including me) and lets face it, no one ever really makes money from it. You have to be extremely lucky and bloody good at blogging before you can make even a small income. Some people have managed it though, and lucky lucky them as I can’t think of a better job than getting to travel the world, write about it and get paid! I got shown a few weeks ago a blog by an Irish man who does exactly this, his blog is called http://www.onestep4ward.com. He’s been literally everywhere and I’m so jealous of him! He’s worth checking out. Don’t give up blogging though, I think the hardest thing when doing it is to keep writing more posts, especially when you aren’t getting much interest. There are ways you can make your blog more successful and create more traffic, just ask google. I’ve been trying for a while so I’ll just keep going untill I hit the big time…
5. USING YOUR SKILLS. If you already have a skill or hobby that you’re good at, then why not use it to make money? Whether it’s a football coach, boot camp instructor or yogi – ask around the local community, put posters up, promote your service. You never know you may find a permanent job from it. If you are a certified diver, theres jobs going all around the world, you could find yourself in Costa Rica diving with turtles everyday! If its something you enjoy with the chance of making a bit of cash, what could go wrong? Get yourself out there!
I hope this helps anyone planning their trips and worrying about how they are going to survive and how they will manage to fund the rest of their travels. I have one bit of advice, DON’T WORRY! Seriously, when I ended up in Sydney, Tom and I had like $20 to our name and just enough money to pay for a hostel. If we knew that before we went travelling we would have panicked and thought “There’s no way we could survive, we’d have to go home” but when you are on the road it’s completely different. You have a different view on how life works, you become a lot more optimistic and stress free. It’s such a great place to be and I hope I never lose that feeling, at the time we weren’t at all phased by our lack of money, life goes on and everything works out in the end. Tom got a job as a labourer within the first week and I got a job in retail a bit later (after about 80 coffee shop trials!) We were never worried and neither should anyone, especially before they set off, there are so many ways to make money whilst travelling – just stay open-minded and try new things and you’ll be well on your way to ticking another country off your bucket list!