Thrifty Travel Tips 3: 6 Ways to Work and Earn Abroad

A few of my friends have a slight problem going travelling with me. They want to shell out big money at fancy restaurants and on expensive experiences. I don’t share that desire. Personally, I find that when I am in a country, city, or region, for a period of time, there is always plenty to keep me busy without breaking the bank. Besides, keeping a little thrifty ensures that I can spend longer in these places and enjoy them that much more!

Working abroad is my favourite option for ensuring that travel doesn’t decimate my student budget and is, in my opinion, the best way to stretch out your travel over the long term. Get yourself an employer and a working visa in whichever place you want to travel to. Earn some cold hard cash and earn the right to stay in your country of choice beyond the period a tourist visa would normally allow!

There are a number of fantastic options for employment abroad. Here are some ideas:

  1. Teaching

Personally, I have taught English in Kenya and Madagascar, and I am now applying for teaching jobs in Bali and South Korea. Teaching English, if you are a fluent, is a relatively easy and well-paid way to capitalise on the skills you may already have.

Teaching requires planning, poise, and passion for helping others to improve their abilities (as well as a Bachelor’s Degree more often than not). You may also need a TEFL degree to teach through some schemes and these do cost money; however, some organisations, like English First, will provide you with certification if you agree to complete a contract with them.

Teaching opportunities are available worldwide because of the prominence of the English language. If you can afford a TEFL course to begin with, or sign a contract with a company who will provide you with the opportunities to get one, then you’ll be able to get a job in almost any country you want to visit!

I am also a tutor with MyTutor. I teach 11+ English and, provided I have a decent Wi-Fi connection and, provided I am able to make my schedule with my clients match up across time zones, can earn money remotely from anywhere in the world.

I highly recommend this as a way to supplement any teaching income because it’s easy to schedule on your terms and pays really well!

  1. Au Pair

There are countless opportunities to become an au pair abroad. If you have strong references, and don’t mind spending a lot of time around children, then this could be the one for you.

It definitely helps, when attempting to gain such an opportunity, if you have certain skills. Past experience of teaching and tutoring will prove that you can educate somebody’s children, if that comes under your remit, and culinary experience, being able to cook for the children or even the whole family, will definitely appeal to most parents. It is, however, very possible that neither of those skills will be required of you so just ask your potential employer at interview.

You will earn yourself a room, board, and modest salary, to do with what you will, although being an au pair generally doesn’t give you a lot of free time. Beware that this is a role which can take over your life so just make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for.

  1. Wwoofing

Wwoofing is not as unsavoury as it sounds. Worldwide opportunities on Organic farms. That’s a fancy way of saying, you will work as a farm hand abroad. Now a disclaimer; most Wwoofing opportunities through regular channels won’t offer you monetary remuneration. Instead, they will likely give you full board as compensation.

There are similar options which will pay you good money but Wwoofing is particularly popular. You will likely end up working with lots of fellow travellers, in a beautiful part of world, and doing hard but honest work. Living with locals will also further your understanding of their culture and bring you that much closer to the people with whom you are sharing your new stomping ground.

Personally, Wwoofing isn’t for me. I like to continually top up my income whilst abroad and Wwoofing just doesn’t do that, but everyone I know who has done it was a strong advocate so, if you’re interested, why not try it?

  1. Work as a an in-country volunteer coordinator

I know a lot of people who have done this one. Attaching yourself to a charitable organisation does pay a bit of money and gets you involved in valuable work abroad.

This kind of work is, in some ways, a little bit less hands on than being an Au Pair or teacher. This is mainly because you’re responsible in some way for a group of adults. In other ways, young adults seem capable of doing way more stupid things than any child and, if you think taking this route will get you a nice easy run, I very much doubt it.

Even so, the work you do will have value, the volunteers you spend time with will likely become your friends, and the pay is tangible at the very least. Again, the work may become something of a full-time job but don’t be discouraged, it’s worthwhile!

  1. Hostel worker

Hostel work is a more laid-back option. You can either work as a volunteer for a free room, and potentially board, or as a paid employee. The latter obviously has more stringent visa requirements like all the other paid work on the list.

Hostel workers move around a lot so are there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of. Moreover, working at a hostel will give you the opportunity to meet plenty of fellow travelers and the work is mainly menial tasks which you shouldn’t find too difficult.

Finally, hostels are often placed in convenient locations for effective travel and so, this job is perfect for the explorer in you!

  1. Ski season

Earn yourself a decent salary, a ski pass, and your room and board? Live in the South of France? Switzerland? Canada? Japan? Does that sound good? Of course, it does. I can’t even ski and I see no negatives. Enough said. This is a great option!

Thanks for reading. I hope this has given you some good ideas for potential work abroad! If anybody has any other ideas I would love to hear them in the comments! I will more than likely write more articles on this topic so if you have some good advice, hit me up down below!


15 thoughts on “Thrifty Travel Tips 3: 6 Ways to Work and Earn Abroad

  1. Couldn’t agree more with your comments about being thrifty. We’re cut from the same cloth. We’ve declined to go away with some people over the years because their idea of a good holiday in no way matched ours, especially when it came to budget! Doing it on the cheap is a far more spiritually and culturally rewarding way to travel anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never considered such options, but they do seem quite interesting. The idea of getting to know the locals and staying away from the big cities and more touristic places is captivating. Thanks for sharing your experience and these tips!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. a very long time ago I was an au pair in London of all places. I was not quite 16 yet and spent 3 months there. I wonder if the Jazz club in 100 oxford street is still there can you PLEASE let me know? I spent many many nights there with a glass of orange juice all by myself, wow what risk my parents took. I was a pretty girl with long hair and green eyes many many years ago. 19701971 Greetings from the USA


  4. I did volunteer work for Family Pastimes in Ontario, Canada, for 6 months many years ago when i was much younger. The place was a combination Nature-retreat and non-denominational spiritual retreat; they make many non-competitive games there, which they sold… and still sell. They wanted me to stay permanently but i left, went back to the U.S. and became a professional teacher for the multiply handicapped.

    Liked by 1 person

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