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How to Make Money While Living Abroad: 18 Job Ideas

Looking for the best ways to make money while living abroad? Whether you speak the language of your new country fluently and have a work visa, or you’re trying to make money on the side while you travel from one country to the next, there are plenty of job opportunities that can allow you make money overseas. Find something that fits your lifestyle and skills in the guide below!

Switch to Remote Work

Love your job and the company you’re with but want to move overseas? See if there’s a way to work remotely! Even if your current job doesn’t have a work exchange program, it doesn’t hurt to ask about potential relocation opportunities. Reliable WiFi, the ability to call in during meetings, and a willingness to work a designated amount of hours each week is required to make this possible. But if you’re open to having a set schedule, an international job opportunity could be closer than you think!

Work for a Travel Company

Campsite in Torres Del Paine National Park, Patagonia. Photo by Instagram user @advwomen

Photo via @advwomen

If you’ve been abroad before, you’ve most likely taken a trip booked through a travel company. But have you ever considered being the person leading the bus trip, checking vacationers in at the hostel, or helping them get to know their new city? Working for a travel company is an amazing overseas job for Americans if you don’t mind work becoming your life in exchange for lodging and constant travel. Another perk is that there are different organizations for all ages and interests. For example, STA Travel caters to students, AdventureWomen is for female travelers, and ElderTreks is perfect for 50+ adults. Do some research on the best travel companies to work for and find the right one for you!

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Be a Free Tour Guide

Woman touring Pernštejn. Photo by Instagram user @elisabethappy

Photo via @elisabethappy

Do you enjoy history and architecture, know your new city and its culture well, and want to set more flexible hours? Becoming a tour guide might be one of the best travel abroad jobs for you! Working with local tourism agencies, visitors centers, or even groups like FREETOUR.com are great opportunities for you to put your walking and talking skills to work—and, of course, you’ll get to have fun at the same time!

Consider Becoming an Au Pair

If finding safe, comfortable lodging abroad is one of your biggest concerns, an international au pair job can remove that stress. As an au pair (i.e., a domestic assistant), you’ll be placed with a host family and exchange childcare and housework services for food and lodging. This is a great way to make money abroad with some added stability and a built-in network of connections in your new country. Check out sites like AuPair.com or InterExchange to explore your overseas au pair opportunities.

Teach English

Woman wearing headphones during training session. Photo by Instagram user @iamrisparker

Photo via @iamrisparker

Language jobs are a common way to make money abroad, but how do you find one? It depends on if you want to teach English in person or online, as well as if you need a TEFL or TESOL certificate for your desired country. While many places want you to have a bachelor’s degree, certain countries like Costa Rica, Spain, Argentina, and others are okay with you not having a degree if you have a language certificate. There are lots of online jobs abroad for English speakers to teach or tutor through sites like VIPKidEnglishHuntItalkiiTutorGroup, or Cambly if you want more freedom to travel.

Work as a Digital Translator

Man sitting on rock working on computer. Photo by Instagram user @sdltrados

Photo via @sdltrados

Don’t love working with people directly but love foreign languages? Try working as a digital translator! This can be a high-paying overseas job, especially if you have past translation experience. If you don’t want to be tied to one job or one location, become a freelance translator. Services like ProZ can help you find work so you can spend less time hunting down jobs and more time doing what you love!

Monetize Your Gap Year

Surfer in Australia. Photo by Instagram user @bunac_global

Photo via @bunac_global

If you’re taking a gap year between classes to travel, there are programs abroad that can pay you for your skills and time. Make money as a surfing instructor or raft guide, join a theatre production, or find a job in the hospitality industry. College students taking a year between classes can also use this time to take on a paid internship abroad, where they can earn money and gain experience in their field of study.

Do Freelance Work

Consider freelancing! Thanks to coworking spaces, coffee shops, and free WiFi, it’s easy to hop on your computer and get to work. While traditional freelance opportunities can be found in fields like web development, copywriting, graphic design, photography, and data entry, a variety of sites make it easy to find work in almost anything. Visit UpworkPeoplePerHourFiverr99 Designs, and other skill-specific websites to find your next freelancing gig!

Become a Sponsored Traveler

Influencer holding hands with man in front of Taj Mahal. Photo by Instagram user @glographics

Photo via @glographics

Instead of trying to make money while traveling, what if you could make money because of your travels? Anyone who’s writing a travel blog, sharing pictures on Instagram, or posting vlogs on Youtube about their wanderlust adventures is in a great position to try and monetize their travel. Check out these ideas for landing sponsored travel and how to make money off a travel blog.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Hoping to use your time abroad to connect with nature? Look for jobs with local farms! You could live and work abroad on a vineyard in Italy or a rice paddy in Thailand. Resources like Workaway can connect you with farmers who want to trade lodging and accommodations for work, with some even offering daily allowances. There are also sites like WWOOF that are used solely to trade skills and time for lodging and cultural immersion without monetary reimbursement.

Score a Gig in a Hostel

Two men working behind desk at Bounce Hostels in Cairns. Photo by Instagram user @bouncehostels

Photo via @bouncehostels

If you’ve traveled abroad before, you may have stayed in a hostel at one point. But did you know that many of the employees are fellow travelers, too? Hostels are perfect for earning some extra cash if you have a work visa or if you want to trade your services for a place to stay. Hostel responsibilities can include working the front desk, serving drinks at the bar, cleaning rooms and common areas, helping out in the kitchen, giving tours to other guests, and more. Find ways to stand out so you can get work in a hostel, as this is a popular gig for travelers.

Make Money at Sea…

Planning to work abroad for a year? If you want to test out life as a nomad, consider a job on the water! Not only does working on a cruise ship allow you to make money while you travel, but it also has opportunities for people with a variety of skills. You could work in the casino, serve in a restaurant, help in the kids club, be a massage therapist, and more. Job boards like All Cruise Jobs can connect you with the right ship for your travel dreams and background. Anyone with serving experience can consider working as a yacht stewardess as well. Many people will serve full-time on one vessel, but there’s also the opportunity to freelance, so you can go where you want and take time off as desired.

…Or in the Sky

Anyone dreaming of getting paid to travel and live abroad should consider a career as a flight attendant! While many newcomers have to take the flights that veteran attendants don’t want, if you’re willing to pace yourself and work your way up the ranks, you could eventually have the route of your dreams. In the meantime, you’ll get to fly most places for practically nothing!

Rent Out Your Home in the U.S.

Living room in Airbnb home. Photo by Instagram user @airbnb

Photo via @airbnb

If you only plan to live abroad for a few months or years and you own a home back in the states, you could rent it out for extra cash. Sites like Airbnb make it easy to bring in consistent money by renting out your stateside home. Plus, you can always sell later if your plans abroad become permanent.

Work as a Virtual Assistant

Work from your couch, a local coffee shop, or an outdoor cafe as a virtual assistant. This is a great international job for Americans who love organization and planning and want flexibility in their daily schedule. Tasks can range from managing emails and arranging trip plans to bookkeeping and detailing marketing initiatives. You can choose between working independently or finding a business that’s open to your hours. Check out these websites that can help you find virtual assistant jobs.

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Pursue Your Passions

Woman scuba diving in the Maldives. Photo by Instagram user @kinumayu

Photo via @kinumayu

Wondering how to travel and make money without giving up what you love? Chase your dreams! Maybe you want to be a street performer in Finland. Or work as a scuba diving instructor in Maldives. Or sell your jewelry on Etsy while traveling through China. Whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to do, getting creative about earning money while you’re living abroad can make your experience more fun!

Start Your Own Business

Yoga instructor posing in Lake Atitlan. Photo by Instagram user @yogawithgabby

Photo via @yogawithgabby

Whether you’re trying to make money while studying abroad or looking for additional income while living in a new country, starting a business might be the way to go. It could be anything from teaching yoga classes to working as a motivational coach. Check out these business ideas you can run anywhere!

Tackle the Service Industry

If you speak the local language, have a working holiday visa, and are wondering how you can make money, try finding a job as a server, barista, bartender, housekeeper, or receptionist. A good strategy for landing a gig is to first frequent the places you want to work. Set yourself apart from the competition by becoming a regular, then inquire about jobs once you have a relationship with some of the staff.


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