So you’ve got a great plan worked out for where you want to travel—a summer backpacking around Europe, six months hitch-hiking around South America, a year volunteering in Africa, seven years in Tibet—and you’re sure it’s going to be great. But money is always tight, and you need to figure out how to finance this adventure of yours. Getting a real job is for suckers, and you’re going to be moving around too much while you’re traveling to settle down and work in a hostel or ski resort or farm. How are you going to make this crazy thing work? The answer is clear—make money online.


Those words might make you instantly think of “work from home” scams that can never hope to deliver what they promise. It’s true—unless very good at what you do, you probably won’t get rich from an online venture while you’re traveling full time. But depending on how much effort you’re willing to put in, what kind of contacts you can make, and how good your luck is. Here are five ways to pull it off:

1. Freelance writing and photography

Selling your photos or articles to a blog, magazine, or website can be a frustrating process at first. It’s tough to get accepted, and the money isn’t great. But as you build up a portfolio, your profits can grow exponentially. Exposure is everything. Start small, see where it takes you.


2. Affiliate marketing

How do you think the onestep4ward team affords their extravagant life of $3 hostels and greasy street food? If you have a well-written, content-driven travel blog, you can attract advertisers that will be willing to pay surprisingly large amounts of money if you can direct traffic their way. This is another process that starts small and snowballs into impressive results.

3. Graphic design

Good with Photoshop and other design programs? New websites always need artistic designers to improve their image. This is a job that is easy to do remotely, and can pay very handsomely if your work is appreciated. Different designers work at different speeds, but if you’re fast and can manage several projects at once, you will find it quite profitable.

4. SEO and web development

If you have technical skills and some initiative, you will find that there is always demand for programmers, developers, and SEO writers. It is a busy and fast-growing world, and if you’re able to break into it, you can find a lot of success. SEO writing can be dull, but if it pays the bills, it pays the bills.


5. Online gambling

Okay, that sounds like a joke, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re good at cards, or just received a shamanistic blessing from an Indian sadhu or Czech gypsy woman, it’s possible to turn a good profit. Some travelers have managed to finance their whole trips this way.

Any of these options has the potential to really help you out. So, what are you waiting for? Make money online, and go live out your dream adventure.