Earning on the road
Earning on the road can be easier than you think. Basically, you don´t need to be a professional musician, acrobat or talented skillful person to get people´s attention or get a temporary job. Entertain them, provide a service, and fulfill a persons or businesses needs and wants. For this you will get their attention, their thanks, their appreciation, but also in-kind support and pay. You can find jobs in advance, take temporary work or busk occasionally. You can stay in one place to earn and gather funds or move quickly from place to place.
Busking is a very flexible, often rentable and beautiful way to make money and sustain yourself as a nomad around the world (even if mostly in rich and/or western countries).
In the dedicated article you can find some tips about how to do it.
While in every country and city article you will find a busking section to edit with tips and suggestion about local particular situations.
Selling stuff or services on streets
- Cleaning car mirrors/window shields: You can clean cars' mirrors for 1 dollar. All you need is wait the red lights and ask to people "I can clean your mirrors". You can earn 15-20 dollars in afternoon. You shouldn't choose the start and end work times people can be angry at that times.
- Macramé jewelry.
- Water bottles on busy tourist areas / beaches
There may be a chance to take a temporary job while on the road to earn some money or at least receive some in-kind supports (food and board). The types of jobs available will be varied, with some requiring skills, and others not. However, if taking a job in the underground economy, rather than volunteering, it's best to identify a paying job do as to earn financial payment. Given that you are on the road, you may be not have the documentation or visa to legally work. Therefore, you may be working in a legally grey area. This brings both opportunities but also challenges and annoyances. The opportunities comes from the fact that billions of dollars in cash circulate through the underground economy. The challenge is not getting exploited or caught.
This section does not include tips, websites or advice about working in the black economy, which includes income generated through illegal means (example: prostitution, gambling).
Types of Jobs
- Tutoring students at school or college level in a subject area or language. You may want to get a Teaching English in a Foreign Language qualification if you are traveling abroad.
- Work as a proofreader.
- Work in the tourism, hospitality industries; which a a big employer home in your home country and abroad (Coffee shops, bars, pubs, restaurants).
- If you have a skill, use it (cook, bartender, carpenter, welder, plumber).
- Earn money from your craft skills (Sewing, ceramics, jewelry).
- Teach music lessons.
- Getting cash for recycling.
- Giving plasma (blood).
- Selling homemade food outside shopping plazas
- Selling stuff at pawnshops, CD, book and used clothing stores.
- Livesafely.org has a list of Jobs That Pay Cash Under The Table.
- There are those that go Dumpster diving, repair goods and sell them on.
- Picking grapes in western and Southern Europe
- Dog Sitting.
- Amazon reviewer.
- Live-In Jobs - Free Live-in Jobs Service for Backpackers. Dee Cooper offers a free service providing contacts for Hotels looking for staff throughout the UK on a 3-6 month contract basis. As it's live-in and meals are usually provided on shift, it's a great way of saving the cash before getting back on the road. You will need an EU passport, or a working holiday visa, or an ancestry visa.
- The Jobs Abroad Bulletin (JAB - is a bulletin board full of job vacancies posted by employers looking for staff. We allow employers to post vacancies to us for free so JAB can contain as many jobs as possible.
- Any Work -Any Where - provides information on paid live-in jobs, and also voluntary opportunities around the world.
- Fruit Picking Jobs - Seasonal Work & Harvest Jobs Around the World.
- Picking Jobs - Picking Jobs is the place to find fruit picking jobs and other seasonal work around the world. They post available jobs worldwide, across Europe, North America, Australasia and Africa
- Back Door Jobs - short-term adventure jobs and international short-term job opportunities.
- Back Work Couples - is a site offering live-in job opportunities for couples.
- Help X - is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.
- GigRove.com is a platform where travelers (helpers) and hosts (seekers for help) connect.
Teaching English as a Foreign language
- Excellent introduction to life as a summer grape picker in Europe.
- Harvesting Grapes in France. (A 2016 New York Times article).
In theory, many of the jobs you take should involve paying tax. However, underground economy jobs are largely cash only, or use methods so that the government can not track the currency movement.
- The risk of getting exploited with lower pay or not being paid at all.
- No Social Security, health benefits, or any worker protection.