29 ways to make money while travelling (even as a family!)

Do you want to travel as a family? Are finances holding you back?

I see a lot of articles on ways to make money travelling and most are aimed at the single traveller. I’ve travelled as as single person, part of a couple, as a family with and as a single mum. Each type of travel is quite different and the income options vary based on your circumstances. Most of the articles on ways to make money travelling didn’t apply to my situation as I was married at 19 and had kids young.

Some of the ideas in my list depend on the ages of your kids or you might need to arrange some childcare. Most of them can be done by families though. Check the legalities and regulations for the area you are in so you don’t break the law and end up in trouble!

1.) Invest
Firstly, look at investing in different ways to create residual/passive income. I have always been partial to shares, particularly blue-chip shares. I know the market goes up and down, however, if you invest for the long term, reinvest the dividends (or split them 50/50 using 50 to have fun with and 50 to reinvest if you want), they create a great long-term investment solution. 
Other investments include property, businesses, blogs, things which cost a little upfront but will provide income over the long term if done right. This means you can travel and still earn without thinking about it too much.

2.) Rent out your home
I have done this through AirBnB. I have also used AirBnB for accommodation a fair bit when travelling (if you use this link you get $28 credit). They have an insurance policy and dispute resolution process if you need. I haven’t had to use the insurance, I did use the resolution process once when the accommodation was not as described and AirBnB were great. Another option is renting to friends or family or people they know.

If you choose to rent out your home, there are some things to consider:
– Lock away all your valuables.
– Are you comfortable with strangers being in your home, potentially going through your stuff, using the things you own etc.
– What will you do about your mail while you are gone?
– If you rent through AirBnB make sure you read the conditions carefully. Provide basics such as towels, linen, soap, shampoo, conditioner etc.
– Do you want to rent out your whole house or only a room and have a friend or family member stay in another room to keep an eye on things?
– Factor in electricity, gas, internet and other bills. You might be frugal with usage whereas others are not.
– Have everything in writing. Be extremely specific and do not assume anything!
– Check your home and contents insurance in case of emergencies or issues.

3.) Rent out your car
If you are leaving your car behind there are companies who will rent your car out for you, you could rent it to friends and family. There are big risks with renting out your car including if your insurance will cover you, what happens if there is an accident and you come home to no car? What if they completely thrash it? 
I have had friends rent their cars out and been really happy with it and the money they made. It is a very personal decision, much like renting out your house.

4.) Photography
Making money from photography is often touted as an easy way to make money. It is not! Good photography is a skill, knowing how to sell is a skill! So how do you make money with photography and travel?
 Offer to review places you want to go and provide photos.

– Sell your photos on stock photo sites.
– Sell them as prints, calendars, cards.
– Offer the photos to local businesses of the areas you are visiting.
– Hold an exhibition.
– Rent yourself for the day to tourist. People are now paying photographers to follow them around and take photos of them at all the iconic places within a few hours or one day then they go back to all the places and visit them properly. It is better for them than asking a stranger and potentially losing the camera or getting blurry pictures and it’s not a selfie!

5.) Childcare
People always need childcare. With travel, there are many options such as being an au pair (if you are single or a couple), offering babysitting services, being a nanny or in home/hotel care.

6.) Tourism and destination marketing
With a strong social media following and some photography/videography or writing skills you can make money doing destination marketing through promoting places on your social media, writing articles for magazines and books or providing content for local tourism companies. There is heavy competition for this so find your point of difference such as a whole family review, video as well as photography, high engagement on social media, allow them to use your content from your sites, pitch some unique article ideas and have a different perspective to enable them to promote what you are providing easier.

7.) Caretakers/groundskeepers
Work reception in hotels, take care of the caravan park or clean in the hotel. You often get accommodation, sometimes food and pay in exchange for doing this sort of work.

8.) Freelance work
What skills do you have that you could make money from freelancing? I mentioned photography, you could also do writing, website design, graphic design, virtual assistant work or offer options on sites like fiverr.

9.) Farm work
Farm work is year round and there are seasons where farmers are in need of extra hands for work such as fruit picking, harvest, planting seeds, repairing buildings, animal care and so on. Some farms provide accommodation as well as pay as they are so far from anything. It can be a great experience for the whole family, although it is a lot of hard work.

10.) House sitting
Generally, house sitting is a way to save money on accommodation. If you are good at it, have a good reputation, testimonials, a point of difference, leave things better than you found them, then people will pay you to look after their home while they are away. You can do this for anywhere you want to travel to and make money on accommodation instead of paying for it.

11.)TV/modelling work
Jobs as a movie and TV extras, callouts for models for tv, magazine and promotional material can be found online. The pay varies a lot, as does the type of work. Also look out for reality tv shows in your area you can apply for, some are travel based and can be a great way to travel, make some money or interesting life experiences.

12.) Pet minding
Like housesitting, pet minding can be a free and easy way to travel that can also be a paid option. You do need to adhere to how they want their pets looked after, many include house sitting with the pet minding so it can be a great way to earn income, save on accommodation and experience having a pet.

13.) Work remotely
Many occupations can be done remotely. Ask your employer about the options, try it from home to being with and see if it works for everyone. If it does, ask for longer term so you can travel.

14.) Teach
Anything you know can be taught to others for a fee such as languages, music, dance, craft, cooking, yoga, fitness, surfing, diving. What are you passionate and knowledgeable about? How can you run classes (like walking tours teaching English, cooking class in a local cafe after hours)?Once you know that, look at ways to promote it such as community noticeboards or Facebook groups, then off you go!

15.) Tours
Walking tours of the local area, bicycle tours, photography or anything you are teaching can be done as a tour. Alternatively, become a tour guide. If you are doing the tours yourself you can promote them as family friendly and do them with your family.

29 ways to make money while travelling (1)

16.) Public speaking
Public speaking is many people’s worst nightmare, yet it can be a great way to get paid to travel. You can speak at conferences, on cruise ships, at library’s, local events or create your own speaking circuit to travel and speak on. Payment varies from travel expenses only through to thousands for speaking.

17.) Markets
Sell things at markets such as things you have sold, draw pictures/caricatures, work on someone else’s market stall or find out about working on their marketing team to promote the market more.

18.) Blogging
Blogging can be done from pretty much anywhere and can be monetised in a variety of ways. Check out this post for a lot of options.

19.) Haircuts, beauty or massage
I strongly recommend checking the regulations for these. I know of many people who have stuck up a sign in a hostel or caravan park offering cheap, basic cuts and colours. They worked one day and made enough money to get by for the week.

20.) Timeshare sales
With the gift of the gab and get sales skills you can sell timeshares in exotic locations as you travel. This works especially well in resorts and some cruises.

21.) Tasks for others
There are apps and sites where people write what they want done such as their stuff listed on eBay, their house cleaned, a document delivered and you pitch your fee then do it if they accept your offer.

22.) Mystery shopping
Not a big income earner, it can cover meals here and there, clothing and other things. The pay is often low, however, over time if you build a good reputation you can get all expenses paid trips as a mystery shopper as well as the little cafes and takeaway jobs.

23.) Affiliate links
A lot of things we buy and services we use have affiliate links. Even without your own site or strong social media following you can use the affiliate links with your friends and family on Facebook and still make and small income.

24.) Uber
With Uber you can earn by being a driver (which you can’t do with your family in the car), be referring other drivers once you are a driver yourself or you can earn free rides by sharing your affiliate code. 
There have been cases of Uber drivers using their cars as their personal showroom to sell other items with great success too. It’s up to you how creative you want to be.

25.) Sell on eBay
If you are travelling somewhere you can sell souvenirs or things local to that area on eBay. If you are travelling to the USA, makeup and clothing are often significantly cheaper than where I am in Australia and can be bought then resold for a profit.

26.) Magazines

Many magazines offer payment for jokes, stories and photos, some even have cash prizes for pictures of their magazine in different locations. I have seen payments of $25 – $3,000 for stories, photos and jokes from every day people.

27.) Online surveys
Online surveys can be done at night when the kids are in bed, at the bus stop or anywhere else you are waiting. Payment isn’t huge though. Sites such as SwagBucks have been good for me.

28.) Social media
Making money from social media is a great way to make money during travel. Along with the options listed about you can also do sponsored tweets, Facebook mentions, Instagram photos. Apps such as Tribe make this easier.

29.) Transcribing
Something that can be done at night when the kids are in bed if you are travelling as a family is transcribing. You can do it for people wanting to publish books, doctors, lawyers and similar professions.

What have you done while travelling to make money?

This post does contain some affiliate and paid links from resources I have personally used. 


    • admin

      There are insurance policies in place, but totally understand not wanting strangers. I have friends who have rental properties that are entirely AirBnB and they make so much more than they did with private rental.

  • Lila Donovan

    I’m freelancing as a writer right now, and my minimum rate is $100. I know there are writers that make a lot more than that but since I started out this February (getting paid) then I figure it’s not too bad. I also pet sit and that brings in about $10/hour. I’m in college though.

    Once I become better at art, I would like to sell my artwork and provide other art services. =)

  • Chris Bragg

    Great list and valuable content.
    Thanks! It will definitly help in the future!
    How do you get onto public speaking events?

    • admin

      Thanks Chris, glad you like it.
      For public speaking mine has been a mixture of organisations reaching out to me and me applying for opportunities as they come up. Google events/conferences/summits in your area of expertise and look for speaker submissions/callouts etc. Also, for travel specifically, you can apply directly with cruise ships if that is something you’re interested in.
      What do you want to speak on?

  • Doro

    So many ideas! I think a lot of people don’t realize that when you have the right perspective, almost everyone can travel, even when one a budget!

  • SamH Travels

    This is a great post with so many ideas! I also clicked through to the blogging monetisation link too.
    I will definitely be trying some of these out – thank you fo sharing 🙂

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