I dropped out of college to travel the world at the age of 18 in February 2016 and then began traveling the world in April 2016, the most common question I still get is: “how do you make money traveling?” or “how to get paid to travel?”
Having dropped straight out of college, I never ever got a “9-5 job” nor do I ever plan on. I dropped out mainly because a degree wasn’t going to help achieve the goals I wanted out of life.
Here are the details and the actual way I use different skills and ideas to make money traveling!
No; Sadly none of them include me sitting on a beach with millions magically appearing in my bank account! Shit like that doesn’t exist!
The sources are constantly changing. So the way I make money now might not be the same way I will be making money while traveling in a year or 2.
However it’s the one big questions I’m asked way too often and the one everyone seems to want an answer to, I’m going to try my best to clarify this burning query today. By the end of this article, you’ll learn exactly how I’ve funded my travels in the past — along with my plans to continue indefinitely into the future.
Here’s How I Get Paid To Travel The World!
When I started traveling I didn’t start out with a lot of savings, coming from a middle-class Indian family, I had barely 200$ that I saved over birthdays and Christmas as my startup capital. My goal was to pay for my travels by making money while traveling, instead of the usual “make money, save and then travel.”
How To Make Money Traveling
Every day I get so many messages from old friends from high school, they usually go along the lines of “OMG! you are so lucky” and later the questions are always the same
“How exactly do you make money traveling?”
“How do you make money to pay for your travels around the world?”
“Are you paid to travel the world?”
Before I dropped out of college, I dedicated my free time to develop new skills and I’m always learning new things thanks to the infinite knowledge available to everyone reading this, it’s called the internet.
Let me tell you one simple thing, I’m not lucky, I worked. I worked countless coffee-fueled nights and weekends doing hundreds of hours of research to learn about how I could make money traveling, while my friends were out partying.
How I Make Money Traveling
A little over a year ago I started this blog, Think Travel Lift Grow, and I started it for less than 100$. Now I am occasionally making more than that 100$ in a single day, even if I don’t post something new, even if I sleep the whole day.
I don’t like ads personally and I didn’t feel fair to bombard my viewers with them so I never used them on my blog. Instead, when I share my favorite travel gear, books, hotels and other products with my readers, I include affiliate tracking links to those products. Meaning if you decide to click-through and buy a product, I’ll receive a small commission. However the great thing is that the price remains the same whether you use my special link or not, I get paid out of the companies cut!
Most of my affiliate links are for Amazon.com. However, I have a personal policy by which I never endorse a product or service I didn’t actually try or believe in.
Also, I’m always looking for win-win offers that’ll benefit my viewers much more than it’ll benefit me. Here’s an example, I promote the trial offer of Audible quite often on the blog. I love audible and use it often to listen to audiobooks. (Check out my reading list!) If someone clicks on my link to audible and then signs up for an audible trail, they get a free month of audible and 2 free audiobooks, they don’t have to pay anything but I earn a small commission for referring them. WIN-WIN!
When I just started my blog I remember I made barely a dollar in my first month! But I kept on putting in the work, slowly I saw a little money coming in. Once that started happening I started focusing more of my time on making it bigger and better.
I focused my energy on learning new skills to write better, learning new ideas that would help me grow the blog further and eventually it grew to be a full-time income. I don’t believe there is a “secret” or “hack” to success! It all comes down to Smart and then hard work. I have an article that might be useful to anyone going down this path, Click Here To Learn How To Start A Blog And Make Money
Freelance Travel Writing (past)
I used to get paid to write travel-related articles for other websites and also online publications. Many travel, lifestyle and adventure sports related websites on the internet need content, and I have a lot of stories to share.
It can be a decent source of income and many people I know travel doing this, but it wasn’t something I was passionate about doing. Once my blog grew to cover my expenses, I was able to not have to do this anymore as I’m able to earn more working on my own site rather than writing for others. Also, I wasn’t honestly really passionate about selling my articles.
Most of my opportunities in this industry came through my blog, many companies would read my articles and reach out to me.
Freelance Website Building (past)
In the process of building this blog, I taught myself how to build websites. That simple skill of building basic websites was my second biggest source of income during the first 6 months of my travels. I built websites for Hotels, Cafes, Restaurants, Hostels and also quite a variety of blogs for other people.
I didn’t get my first clients thanks to some “secret” or a “hack” but actual hard work. I typed cafe *city name* into Google and made a list of all the cafes, then filtered down to the ones which were active on social media eg Facebook. Checked off the ones that had a website and finally, I was left with a list of cafes that understood the benefits of marketing on the internet and would benefit from a website.
I would struggle to get clients online as I didn’t have a portfolio or a degree so now that I had a list, I then went cafe to cafe and tried to convey about how having a website would benefit them. At the end of the day, I had a client. At the same time, my friends and fans of my blog who now contact me every day who have 10X-100X the level of skill I did are complaining about not being able to get clients. I also realized why everyone also had an excuse for why they can’t do something in life.
Every time I entered a cafe it was awkward and awkward was the best scenario. The most common answers were rude or condescending.
But the more cafes I went to, the more awkward situations I put myself in, the more condescending the comments, the more I got made fun of, the less I started to give a shit.
It’s about doing the things most people aren’t willing to do, to live a life most people won’t ever get to live. I don’t believe there is a “secret” to success it’s smart then hard work eg, instead of going to every cafe, I narrowed my list down to the cafes that understand the benefits of online marketing but didn’t have a website yet!
I stopped doing this once my travel blog grew.
This article comes on the first page of Google for many queries like “how to make money traveling” and most of my other articles come on the first page of Google (sometimes even the first result). I consult with other businesses and help them gain more traffic to their product or service!
I also provide SEO Coaching to other bloggers that help them improve their rankings on Google.
My marketing philosophy is based on the ‘Give, Give, Give and then Ask”. With my blog, I try to give and give and help as many people as I can!
Are you struggling with getting readers or leads to your products or service? Click her to get in touch with me.
Drinking Coffee on YouTube
A couple of weeks ago I started a Coffee vlog on YouTube, where over the next couple of years I’m planning on going to go to cafes and coffee farms, try out the best coffee and vlog about it!
I just started this so the project is really small however I’ve already got invitations to a few cafes around the world. I don’t, however, plan on monetizing the vlog using ads ever, I might partner up with companies later on but I’m not fond of ads as I mentioned above and hence won’t use it.
Why did I pick vlogging about coffee? Well, I never liked the idea of travel vlogging which is why I never did it! I did like the idea of having a coffee show where I’d go around the world, drinking coffee for a living, so I just started it! I clicked the same upload button that you can click.
My thesis as I said at the start is to do what you love, I chose to vlog about coffee before I love it more than travel. If that’s making money traveling the world, or opening a bakery, do what you love, because honestly it’s never been easier.
How Much Money Do I Make Traveling The World?
I know, I know. You want details. Asking someone how much money they make is a very personal question, and it’s not something I’m entirely comfortable posting, but I’ll give you an idea.
I have earned over 400$ in a single day, but I also have days when I have earned less than 20$. I make enough to make ends meet and also invest in my future!
I put most of my income back into this blog or in starting my other businesses in one form or another. All businesses need investment to grow, including blogs. My blog is only a year old but now it pays for me to travel around the world, and I plan on growing it even more.
I can travel for the rest of my life if I chose to, settle in any country I like and work on the go and only need Wi-Fi, my phone or laptop, and Coffee. Especially Coffee!
The reality is that I actually have no idea how much I’ll make next month. Or the month after that. It’s one downside to working for yourself. In exchange for freedom, you often lose some security.
I’ve chosen freedom over security.
I’m not that worried as most people would be about ever going broke because that’s something I have already experienced. I once had a week when my bank account was negative and all I had was a jar of peanut butter for my meals for 3 days until I got a new cafe as a client.
Having hit rock bottom and making my way up from there taught me more that college ever could.
I love what I do, and will continue to learn new skills and work towards living a life being true to myself. I don’t ever have to get a job and I can live life on my own terms.
I was inspired by all the stories of travel bloggers and people quitting their jobs to travel the world. I was completely enthralled with their photos and stories from exotic destinations around the world.
Many people look at stories like that and call those people “lucky”, I looked at all the top bloggers and people traveling the world and realized that “Alright that’s great for them, they definitely put in a lot of work to be where they are, now what can I learn from them so that I can do the same?” Instead of complaining about my circumstance, I believe in taking responsibility and putting in the world.
I believe that anything is possible with hard work, patience, and dedication.
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