6 Best Side-Business Ideas to Combine Travel and Work

After being cooped up in the house for the past year and getting used to working from home, more people are realizing that they too can be location-independent and travel the world while still making a living. If you’ve been dreaming of life on the road and searching for ways to make it happen, here are six of the top side-business ideas to combine travel and work.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistants help businesses with administrative tasks like data entry, answering emails, and handling social media accounts. Transferring your current job skills into a profitable career as a freelance VA is simple and doesn’t involve much upfront investment of time or money.

If you’re organized, computer literate, and enjoy putting your skills to work for other business owners, you could easily make a living as a freelance virtual assistant while traveling the world. Indeed and Linkedin are great places to find clients seeking virtual assistants.


  • Average Earnings: $16/hour
  • Skills Required: Office and organizational skills
  • Resources Needed: Laptop, internet connection
  • Pros: Use current job references, plenty of work available
  • Cons: You may need to adapt to your clients’ schedules

Affiliate Marketing

You don’t need to be a blogger to do affiliate marketing. Many businesses will also accept affiliates with a decent social media following. You can promote nearly any category of product that sparks your interest.

These days, the hemp business is a particularly lucrative field for affiliate marketers. You can find plenty of cannabis-oriented companies looking for affiliates on sites like THCaffiliates.com.


  • Average Earnings: around $60,000/year
  • Skills Required: Basic writing, marketing
  • Resources Needed: Computer and internet connection
  • Pros: Passive income once you get started
  • Cons: Time to build social/blog following

English Teaching

Native English speakers will find a host of opportunities to teach language online or in-person. Schools in China, South Korea, and Vietnam are currently offering competitive salaries and plenty of perks for English teachers.

Most schools require that you have a TEFL certificate. Luckily, many institutions offer low-cost TEFL certifications you can finish online within a few months. If you’re the entrepreneurial type, you can even teach private English lessons at local hostels and community centers.


  • Average Earnings: $40,000/year + possible benefits
  • Skills Required: English, teaching
  • Resources Needed: Reliable internet connection
  • Pros: Interacting with locals, somewhat flexible hours
  • Cons: Difficult to find fast and reliable internet in rural areas, cultural barriers

Fitness Instructor

If fitness is your passion, why not turn it into a lucrative business to help you pay for your travels? Hotels, gyms, and resorts worldwide have openings for all kinds of fitness instructors, including:

yoga teachers

personal trainers

pilates and dance instructors

Teaching fitness on the go offers a lot of advantages. Tropical beach destinations are perfect places to teach fitness, and teaching classes regularly is an excellent way to stay in shape while you’re traveling.


  • Average Earnings: $20/hour
  • Skills Required: Fitness, teaching
  • Resources Needed: Certification
  • Pros: Stay healthy
  • Cons: Upfront investment for training


Freelancing is a fantastic way to earn money while you’re on the road. Companies are constantly searching for freelance writers, editors, graphic designers, website developers, and people with other specialist skills. Freelance travel writing and travel photography are particularly compatible with the nomad lifestyle.

You can find clients on freelance job boards and platforms such as Upwork, Guru, and Fivver. You can also find clients in freelancing Facebook groups and on professional social media networks like Linkedin.


  • Average Earnings: $25/hour
  • Skills Required: Design, writing, computer
  • Resources Needed: Laptop and reliable internet connection
  • Pros: Make your own schedule
  • Cons: Takes time to build a portfolio, variable income


Restaurants and bars in popular international tourist destinations are constantly on the lookout for English-speaking staff. You can usually pick up a few regular shifts if you get to town just before peak seasons. Alternatively, you can arrange jobs in advance through social media networks and sites like Workaway. Many hostels are also open to exchanging lodging and meals for bartending, hosting, or waiting tables.


  • Average Earnings: Depends on the local economy
  • Skills Required: English, customer service, patience
  • Resources Needed: None
  • Pros: Easy entry
  • Cons: Variable income, dealing with difficult situations

As you can see, there are many ways you can cover your expenses while traveling. If you combine more than one source of income, you may even be able to save some cash toward retirement or other long-term goals.





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