29 apr. 2014

Traveling and working

what to do to earn money during traveling
Some people are smart, they first search for a job in another country before going there and make sure all the paperwork is done beforehand. Some are like me, stupid, and just go and see what happens.

Just kidding, because starting with traveling and see from there what you are going to do, gives a different kind of freedom than when being prepared. It sometimes even makes you find work easier, and travel and see more that way. And well, when I want to go, I want to go! Don't you?

I'm the kind of person people have to meet in order for me to get work. Besides, I 'm tired of writing resumes and letters. Often you just get lost in a pile. 


I will first give some tips on how to look and ask for work and then sum up some possible jobs/work, things I at least have done or tried. Be inspired, but remember: do it your own way! 

Ways to look and ask for work while traveling: 

1. Don't listen too much to what other people, for example locals, say. 
For I heard finding work in Austria would be easy. It took four whole weeks of asking at least 40 different places and people! I even asked strangers on the streets if they needed a dog walker or knew anybody or anything. 
In Istanbul it was the opposite. People said it would be difficult. I asked three restaurants the second night after arriving and I could already choose between two of them!
You know what I think? No? Well, I think there's a difference if you are a local or a traveler. Many locals work officially, they can't easily fire someone then, but someone who isn't hired (yet) :), like a traveler... And if you speak English and even more languages, that can benefit you a lot. Especially restaurant work and such.

2. Search for work only if you are in a good (enough) mood.
Being too tired or grumpy or whatever wont give that necessary first good impression. 

3. (But then:) Just go for it!
You will start feeling more relaxed after just stepping into some places or up to some people. Make a plan. For example: 'I will ask 3 places or people a day until I have work'. Kick that nice behind of yours, if you feel insecure or whatever! If things go wrong: next! It takes practice to get experienced.

4. Use the "give it/me a try" thing.
In Prague I found the second day of my searching, and about 9 places further, work. 
I walked into this restaurant and told my story: "I am traveling and hitchhiking 
(through Europe/world) and looking for work. I need income, but also really like to work." She, the owner, asked me if I had experience. I said yes, even if it was a little. (I am for honesty by the way!) She also asked if I could speak Czech. I said I couldn't. It seemed that that was that, but I was getting a little desperate and didn't want to give up that easy. 
I asked: "don't you have anything? Even if it's for an hour?" She looked at me, waited some seconds and said: "tomorrow 5 pm be here". And within 5 days of working there I was training the new girls and she hoped I would stay. Had a great time there! (see photo) And the language barrier... we sorted that out just fine. Many tourists came to eat there anyway. 
So "lets give it a try, give me change to proof myself"!

5. After a "no", do not leave right away.
Ask if they know anyone or anything else. Give your (public) email or other contact info anyway, for if they hear anything or change their minds. Asking their contact info isn't a bad idea either.
When asking strangers on the streets stay polite and do not force yourself onto them. For example: start the conversation with where you're from, that you're traveling, etc. People get interested most of the time with just the word traveling, hitchhiking and such. That is what I've noticed.

6. Listen to your intuition.
Sometimes it is better to look on then to keep on trying. If you feel the place or people are not right for you, move on. It are your thoughts saying: listen to your instinct and feelings. 

7. Ask (locals) for help.
This can be through example Couchsurfing, friends of friends or such. They can give tips, go with you on job hunt and/or translate for you when needed. 
Just let a lot of people you meet know that you are looking for work. You never know... even the woman behind a counter in the supermarket can be the one with the golden tip.

...and when you get a "yes":

8. Get paid daily! Immediately ask how much you'll be earning an hour. 
Most of the time you don't work under contract (immediately). You have no prove you worked or got payed. So, make it clear that you want to be payed daily after work and in cash. This is always possible, officially or not! Make clear you need money daily and that without a contract you want it daily. 

Probably there are more things and a lot is the same with when you are not traveling and are looking for a job. 

Possible jobs/work while traveling:

1. Restaurants/bars. (They also know many people... for places to stay and work.)
2. Hotels/hostels. (Sometimes in trade for lodging and food.)
3. Teaching English or another language. (Private or at schools.)
4. Cleaning. (Private or for the number 1. or 2. above.)
5. Baby-sitting (or au-pair).
6. Selling on the market: second-hand clothes (ask people you meet for cloths they do not wear), make jewelry, and food (bread, (RAW)cakes) works great! (In some countries this is easier than in others, because of being checked and all.)
7. Cutting hair. (Make a deal with a hostel or ask around.)
8. Dog walking, house-sitting and such. (House-sitting is most of the time unpaid, but free stay.)

Some try to earn money with their blogs. You got to be evolutionary good. There are too many bloggers also in the Internet world. I personally prefer to have even more offline time then I do now. But if you like to start a good blog, this blog will help you out:

This is also a nice blog I found about working during traveling:
I never did it, but if you want to work on a farm for lodging and food:

Hope this blog inspires you! 
Links, tips and experiences are very welcome to write below. Lets help one another. Please share my blog, gracias.

Wishing you a happy and successful (future) travels... and do not forget: be creative and enjoy.

Viviane Rose

Note: Traveling and finding work as a single mom is different and difficult. A blog about traveling with a baby will follow soon and will also tell something about my experiences in finding work.

6 opmerkingen:

  1. Forgot a great possible work... (though it's not something I have done, but still very worth mentioning... number 9: playing an instrument in public/the streets!
    In some big cities, such as in Istanbul, as I can remember, you can make good money with playing an instrument... if you're good that is and find the right places. I wish I could, but I can't.

  2. The Internet. There is plenty of ways to make money over the internet from filling out forms to web design to translation to being a virtual assistant. Look at sites like,,,,,,and many, many more you can easily google. You need a Paypal address and you're good to go - no paperwork at all. I've worked in tropical places earning up to $50/hour, which keeps you going for a week. Good luck!

    1. Great link-tips! Thanks!

      Did you have to pay and promote yourself on those sites (a lot)? If so, if you can give tips on how to do it?

      I do not always trust filling in forms, have heard bad stories, how do you know those can be trusted. I am interested, because I have no computer with me, but sometimes have the possibility to go behind the computer... so those forms are possible... Though I do not have a bank-account, but maybe it is allowed to send it to someone else?


    2. I was traveling i Buenos Aires and went to a free walking tour. The tour guide earned his money only trough his guided visits and by helping tourists with reservations and getting tips for his work. He seemed very passionate and happy about his work!

    3. Oh yeah, that is also a great job to do in the city you live in. You have to love the city and be interested in learning some of its history. I see sometimes posts on Couchsurfing about it, and making some advertisements in hostels and on example Facebook pages will also do the trick.

      Thanks for adding this idea!

  3. For checking out what you need for a getting a visa, I always use this handy website-page: