When Stasha and I decided travel nursing was the right decision for us, the opportunity for me to start an online career was a big part of our decision. I didn’t hate my job but I knew it wasn’t for me. Traveling has given me a chance to learn new skills and try my hand at making money online. I have a long way to go before I would consider my efforts a runaway success, but I enjoy working online far more than any other job I’ve worked. If you or a spouse is looking to make a little money or even pursue a new career while traveling, here are a few very realistic options:
- Start a website or blog
- Use your current skills online
- YouTube videos
- Temp Services
Start a website or blog
Starting a website has become very inexpensive and easy to do with software like WordPress. You should be able to get a domain name and hosting for less than $70 a year. If your website becomes popular enough, you could earn money with ads. There are plenty of books and websites that will teach you how to install WordPress and get started in as little as 10 minutes. If you like a challenge, you could even teach yourself how to build websites without WordPress using HTML and CSS. Who knows, if you enjoyed it and became skilled at it, you could start charging to build websites for others. To get started with WordPress, I would highly recommend InMotion Hosting and Elegant Themes. Inmotion is not the cheapest hosting company but they have excellent tech support and will be willing to hold your hand a little more than most other companies. Elegant Themes is a great way to get started with WordPress quickly and easily. It’s like having the website already designed for you; just add pictures and content to make it your own.
Use your current skills online
There are several websites that allow you to use your skills online including: Elance, Odesk and Fiverr. What kind of skills are people looking for? – web programmers, designers, writers, editors, customer service, artwork, translation…… the list really is endless. If you don’t think you have any skills, you might be surprised. The website Fiver.com has some very unique skills and talents on display and is great for getting some ideas and thinking outside the box. Competition is pretty high on these sites as users all around the world can sign up. You may have to complete a few jobs for less than you would want but once you get some positive feedback and a good reputation, you can start to increase your prices.
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Many people have taken advantage of this and use it promote their business or services. You can also make money from your videos. If you have a skilled passion like cooking, drawing, or PC repair, you could upload “how to” videos and make money from advertisements that YouTube places on your videos. You would need thousands or even hundreds of thousands of views before you would make any serious money, but $100 a month is very possible within a short amount of time. That may not be much but you have to start somewhere. If any of your videos ranked high in a Google search or went viral, that number could make a serious jump.
When all else fails, there is always the tried and true manual labor. Almost every small city has a temp agency that will find a job for you based on your skills. If you have no skills, people are always looking for someone to unload a truck, shovel dirt, or work on an assembly line. It may not be the most ideal option but if you need some extra cash, you could just work a few jobs. They are “temporary” jobs after all. Just make sure the temporary service is your employer. If you take a permanent position, your tax home will shift to that location and will have a negative impact on your tax return for the following year. I recently worked at an Amazon warehouse as a temp for six months in Carlisle, PA. It was nice to get out of the apartment and meet some great people in the area.
Volunteering might not have immediate financial benefits but sometimes it’s not always about money. There are always organizations looking for extra help and would probably welcome anything you can bring to the table. It would also be a great way to socialize and network with others. Being the spouse of a traveler can get lonely sometimes. Volunteering gives you an opportunity to meet some of the locals and make a few friends. You might even walk away with a new skill. If not, any time spent helping others is time well spent.
I am constantly looking for new ways to earn money while traveling and hope to add to this list as I find them. The most important thing to remember is that making money online is not easy. It takes a lot of perseverance and know-how to turn your efforts into cash. Many of the respectable online marketers will tell you to be prepared for a marathon, not a sprint. Some even warn that you shouldn’t expect anything for a full year. If that’s not an option for you, a temp position or a skill-based website like Odesk or Elance might be more up your alley and offer more immediate results.