Are you looking to become a digital nomad? Trying to figure out what jobs you can do as a digital nomad? But you don’t know where to begin? Let me help you get on the road and travel indefinitely!
“I start early and I stay late, day after day, year after year. It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success.” – Lionel Messi
There is no way to overnight success, as greatly stated in the above sports quote. Therefore, I put together this guide with over 30 jobs and 100+ platforms, websites and places to help you kickstart your career as a digital nomad. You will find concrete places to find jobs to make money, or platforms to save money on the road. For every job type in the guide, I put examples in this blog so you can already start here.
The rest you will find in the PDF guide that you can download below. Because I want everyone to enjoy this guide and it is still work in progress, you can pay as you want:
Here is a quick overview of what you will find on this page and in the PDF guide.
1.1. General freelance jobs
1.5 Coaching & Advising
1.6 Personal Trainer
1.7 Software Testing & User Research
1.8 Teaching languages
1.9 Virtual Assistant
1.10 Graphic Design
1.11 Search Engine Evaluator
1.12 Offline Jobs for Nomadic people
2. Create Passive income streams
2.1 Property Rental
2.2 Sell Online Courses
2.3 Sell your Creative / Print on demand
2.4 Sell your Digital Resources
2.6 Monetize Blog
1. Free or cheap accommodation
1.1 Traveller networks
1.2 Housesitting, Houseswamps & Petsitting
1.3 Travelling with a tent, campervan or motorhome
2. Free or cheap travel
2.1 Car sharing & Carpooling
2.2 Join a boat crew
Free or cheap eating
Discount restaurant apps
This list is becoming very long and obviously, I cannot try all of these services and websites myself. Because I usually only recommend services that I really like, I will place a “vouched for” logo at all services that are tried and tested by me :-).
Become A Digital Nomad: Making Money
If you want to enjoy life as a digital nomad a bit, saving money alone is not enough for most! You will have to make some money while you’re travelling. To become a digital nomad, there is a plentitude of jobs around for you to pick up.
I make a distinction between several ways to make money while digital nomading. The first is simple: work remotely. I provide you with a list of places to start on your way to become a digital nomad. I hereby focus on the “gig” economy, and less on seasoned freelancers that are looking for fixed, long-term remote jobs. The second one is already a bit more difficult: create passive income.
1. Work Remotely
1.1 General Freelance Jobs
If you are new to freelancing or wanting to become a digital nomad, it may be good idea to subscribe at several different freelance platforms. This way, you can have a look at what kind of jobs are in demand, what appeals to you and what’s your market value. Basically all kind of jobs you will find in the rest of the post, you can also find at these freelance platforms.
I will be forever grateful to Upwork for allowing me to become a digital nomad 🙂 It was simple to sign up on Upwork and it was extremely easy to browse jobs and apply. I only got the lousy jobs at first, but then I quickly was able to secure better paying jobs and clients. The best clients are the ones that bring in recurring revenues like weekly or monthly gigs. On Upwork you can find anything from developers to writers to graphical designers and much more!
I think it helps if you speak a language that is not that offered that much (like Dutch) or if you have a very specific skillset that is rare. This will make it easer. Upwork gives some good tips here on how to be succesful on their platform. Invoices are easy to process and also payment is easy, but mind Upwork’s payment structure and figure out what’s most beneficial to you.
People Per Hour
People Per Hour connects talented experts with savvy businesses that search for the right skills to get a job done quickly and with no hassle. The people working on this platform are called “hourlies” and perform the widest variety of jobs you can think of! So whether it’s drawing cartoons, writing reviews on someone’s website or transcribing a group conversation – offer it here!
Find 6 more freelance platforms for remote jobs in my E-Book! (E-Book is WIP – so pay as you want)
Every blog, every website description, every biography – every piece of content on the web is written by somebody. And most website owners do not have time to create all that content themselves. Let alone in different languages. Freelance writing is a great way to become a digital nomad because it comes in many forms and shapes. Ghost-writing, SEO writing, technical writing, e-book writing, editing and so much more. So if you like writing and can type fast (otherwise you will never make money out of this), check out the following writing platforms.
Contentmart is a platform focused on matching copywriters with companies. What I like is that they give guidelines on fair rates based on experience level. Like many freelance platforms these days, Contentmart has many freelance writers for the same gigs – there are over 100.000 freelancers on the platform as we speak. Still, there seems to be a plentitude of work to choose from if you have the right skills and are able to build the right portfolio.
Constant Content is a website where companies can order articles from writers, but also the other way around. What I like about this website is that writers can also offer their articles to clients that can browse by topic. So writers that like to write about any specific topic, can upload their articles here and sell them to any clients out there. For website owners, this may be a great source of original articles without the hassle of hiring people.
Find 4 more places to find remote writing jobs in my E-Book! (E-Book is WIP – so pay as you want)
In my opinion, translating is one of the easiest ways to start a digital nomading career. As soon as you know your mother tongue and one other language, you can already start! Translating can happen at many levels – from low quality translating to technical, legal or medical documents. In the beginning it won’t pay much, but the great thing is you can do it anywhere. Some clients will send you a word or excel file with translations to be made, others have more sophisticated apps where you can enter the translations.
Fairlingo is a crowd translation platform where you can pick the texts you want to translate. They work with both novice and experienced translators. I have not worked with them yet, but because they work with novice translaters too it seems like a good place to start.
Gengo is a large platform for freelance translators. You sign up, do some tests and if you get approved you can start translating. Gengo has a great knowledge database to improve your translation skills. What I like about this platform is that you can pass pro qualification tests to unlock access to more challenging projects at higher reward rates. So there is definitely an incentive to do your work in the right way!
Want to get to know about more translation platforms? Purchase the complete guide now! (Guide is WIP – so pay as you want)
If you are a quick typer, transcribing can be profitable! Although the speed of completing an assignment is completely dependent on the quality of the audio recording, this can be a great job to do on the road. Just download the audio files, sit down and type! Sometimes you even get to learn something from the conversations you’re transcribing 🙂
Scribie is a transcribing service based on turnaround time. Quicker delivery is a higher price for the client. If you are a freelancer with Scribie, they pay by audio hour and not the actual time spent working on it. They pay a monthly bonus of $5 for every 3 hours completed each month. You have to do a test first, and can earn performance points to get to reviewers level. You can subscribe as a transcriber here.
TranscribeMe offers premium, top-rated speech-to-text transcription, translation and voice analytics services for leading companies all over the world. What’s cool about this company is that instead of transcribing long interviews, you get to transcribe short 2-4 minute fragments. This way, it doesn’t get boring and multiple translators can work on the same piece at the same time!
Check out 2 more platforms to find transcribing jobs in the guide below (Pay as you want! Guide is WIP and you will always have access to the latest version)
Are you a lifestyle, career or other type of coach? Then why not take your business online! There is an increasing amount of places where you can offer your services and coach people on a large variety of topics. Even if you are not certified, you can still help people out. Read on!
I love Evisors! Evisors is a Career Advise Network. They enable people to access personal career coaching and webinars from professionals who’ve worked at top employers. I have always liked to help people out with resumes and career steps and this platform facilitates exactly that. I do resume critiques and provide advice on how to proceed with job applications.
You get your own advisor page on the platform and students can look for you based on your services and resume. Currently, I do between 2-5 sessions per month. These are usually $10 sessions of 30 minutes. So it’s not a lot of money, but I really like doing this and I see the requests increasing the more reviews I get. Some experienced advisors earn lots and lots of money per hours! The pay-out is fast and easy via paypal.
Jigsawbox is the online coaching platform for coaches, consultants and trainers. It aims to help a thousand coaches, consultants and trainers help a thousand clients each and impact a million with JigsawBox. You can sign up and get clients from all over the world. 1-1 sessions, modules and programs, it seems very flexible!
Want to get to know about 4 more exciting coaching platforms? Purchase the complete guide now! (Guide is WIP – so pay as you want)
1.6 Online Personal Trainer
Are you a personal trainer or are you certified in giving fitness classes? Then have a look at one of these platforms where you can either have 1-1 sessions with clients, or live-stream your fitness classes!
With Powhow, people can join fitness classes from hundreds of instructors. People can schedule a time for a private lesson or join a group class with a global community around the world. You can open your own Powwow studio here.
1.7 Software Testing & User research
If you have ever built your own website you will recognise that for every bug you fix, you will find 10 other problems 🙂 Contact forms that don’t work, broken links, bad CSS and mobile website failures. There is now a solution: crowd testing. Companies sign up with testing platforms, and those platforms assign testers to test the website or app. A fun way to make money on the road!
Testbirds is a Crowd-testing platform. Companies can test websites, apps or Internet of Things applications with the help of testers from anywhere in the world. You can sign up as a tester and get invited to many different tests. Testing with Testbirds is a serious job and you are expected to deliver high-quality bug reports and use cases. You usually earn a fixed price per test, and you get paid more if you report relevant bugs in the system. I have done a couple of tests now and really like it! You can sign up as a tester with testbirds here.
Usertesting is such a fun way to earn some extra cash! You have to perform some user experience tasks on websites, speak out loud what you are doing while your screen and voice are being recorded. This way, companies can found out the real things you are clicking on and if you can or cannot find certain things. You can sign up to become part of Usertesting here.
Find 2 more testing platforms in the below guide and start earning money testing now!
1.8 Teaching Languages Online
Teaching languages online is a great way to earn an income on the road. Schedule classes with your students, prepare your classes in the plane and login to Skype to hold the classes! You can connect with students from all over the world without any trouble and earn a good income!
Italki is a is a language learning social network that connects students and language teachers. It claims to be the world’s largest marketplace for online language teachers and to have over 2 million students.. You can sign up as a teacher here.
Verbling is an online language-learning platform that connects language learners with qualified language teachers for private sessions through live video chat. With Verbling, you can teach anytime, from anywhere and set your own rates. You need to be a native speaker, but certificates are not required. You can apply to become a teacher here
3 more language platforms are waiting for you to join! Check out the full guide here
1.9 Virtual Assistant
Being a virtual assistant can be a great job for on the road. You can assist your client in scheduling appointments, booking meeting rooms, plan social media posts, order office supplies and much more! Most Virtual Assistant jobs you will be able to get through Upwork or personal connections, but there are some platforms too (mainly US based)
Zirtual is a platform for virtual assistants for entrepreneurs, professionals, and small teams. This company only hires US-based virtual assistants and you have to go through a rigorous selection procedure.
Fancy Hands is a team of US-based assistants. People can purchase tasks or requests and spend them on things as scheduling, research or other personal or business requests. You can apply to become a Virtual Assistant at Fancy Hands here
1.10 Graphic Designer
Graphic Design is a popular way to make money while travelling. Plenty of jobs are available and it’s a pretty crowded market. What’s most important: portfolio, portfolio and communication 😉
99 Designs is an innovative design platform that works with contests. The client writes a brief and picks a pricing package. Then designers from all over the world can submit their work and try to win the contest. As a designer you can sign up here
I love platforms that do things just a little bit differently! Juiiicy is a private community for top notch designers to refer freelances jobs to others or apply to jobs posted by others. This means that on this platform you cannot just find jobs, you can also create a passive income (7% commission per referral) by referring other people. You can request an invite on the website.
Download the complete guide for remote jobs now! (Guide is WIP – so pay as you want)
1.10 Search Engine Evaluators
Ever wondered how Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines know what to show you? They make use of algorithms. These are usually already quite smart, but it’s not uncommon to get weird or useless results on your search query. That’s where human input comes in. As a Search Engine Evaluator, you analyse the results in the search engine for quality and relevance.
Leapforce gathers human judgements to help data scientists build algorithms. They seem to be one of the leading players in this market. You can sign up here to become an evaluator . You select your country, fill in the requirements and then you have to do some tests to become an evaluator.
Lionbridge is one of world’s largest professional translation and localisation company. They run The Smart Crowd of which the Search Engine evaluator is one their remote jobs. You can click here for the job opportunities and check out what they have in store for your region.
Find more jobs as search engine evaluator in the downloadable E-Book
1.12 Offline jobs for Nomadic people
So these are not digital nomad jobs, but may still be interesting to you when you are travelling the globe 🙂
Yoga trade Connects the yoga and wellness community with inspiring work experiences and unique opportunities around the world.
All Cruise Jobs is the biggest job board specialised in jobs in cruise lines. It currently contains 1963 cruise ship jobs from 80 recruiters.
Small Jobs, Mystery Shopping and much more..
Want to get to know about more platforms to find an offline job while travelling? Purchase the complete guide now for an extensive list! (Guide is WIP – so pay as you want)
2. Create Passive Income Streams
2.1 Property Rental
If you own property, it becomes so much easier to make a passive income. You can rent out your apartment when you are on the road and potentially even make more money than you spend! For example, when I still owned my apartment in Amsterdam, I made triple the amount of AirBnB than I was spending while backpacking!
Unfortunately in many cities the renting via AirBnb is now regulated and limited, but you can still make a decent income out of this! You can evne hire agencies to arrange reservations, check-ins / outs and cleaning for you.
Sign up to host or travel with AirBnB via this link and you will receive up to €35 in travel credit!
2.2 Sell online courses
Udemy is a platform for online courses. You can purchase a course about basically any topic you can think of, but you can also become an instructor. Are you really good at something specific? Design and record a course about it, upload it on Udemy and start making money! If you sell courses through your own network, you get 100% of the price. If Udemy makes a sale for you (through a promotion or affiliate), you only get a part of the course price. But hey, it’s passive income!
I have created a course on “Instagram for artists” and every month I sell a couple of these courses, even without promoting it! This is exactly what you want when travelling – that your assets get monetized without you watching it :-). It’s not big money, but it’s something. Some instructors with courses that are very popular make huge amounts of money, so make sure to take a look at this platform!
Find 5 more places where to sell your online courses in the Complete Guide to Become a Digital Nomad
2.3 Sell Your Creative / Print on Demand
Are you creative? A designer, photographer, videographer or artist? Then selling your creative online may be key to succes! Sell prints, digital images or even your videos. Also, Print on Demand is a relatively unknown way to build a passive income. If you are a graphic designer or illustrator you can upload your art, and the print on demand supplier sells items with your prints on it to their audience.
Zazzle allows you to sell your artworks printed on thousands of items. You upload your artworks and then, you choose a product that you want to add a design to. Next, upload your images or create text using the design tool, then arrange and resize the different elements of your design as desired. You put it up for sale and then, people can order any item with your art printed on it. So you just create the items and Zazzle helps you sell! No inventory, no website, easy!
Society 6 is another great print on demand platform. All you have to do is post your artwork to make it immediately available for sale as a variety of products. When you sell a product, Society 6 will produce it, package it and ship it for you, so that you can focus on making more art! Check out Society 6 here or find more info on selling right here.
Find more info on how to start selling via print on demand here
2.4 Sell your digital resources
Shutterstock is a global marketplace for artists and creators to sell royalty-free images, footage, vectors and illustrations. So do you take great pictures of make beautiful video’s? This could become a great source of passive income for you!
Want to know about more places where to sell your photography, video or Adobe Lightroom presets? Check the guide
E-commerce is a great option to create passive income. There are two main ways you can make passive income using e-commerce; drop shipping and fulfilment.
Drop shipping means that at the moment you sell your product to a customer, you forward the order to your own supplier who sends the product directly to the customer. There are various platforms online you can sign up to contact suppliers who are looking for drop shippers.
Another option is outsourcing the fulfilment. After you set up your store and you’ve purchased your products you can ship them to a fulfilment center. A fulfilment center does the warehousing, order picking and shipping for you. You pay a fixed fee per order for this service.
If you are looking for a place to build your webshop, I can highly recommend Lightspeed E-commerce. A super simply, intuitive webshop Saas solution. It’s quite affordable and provides many apps that help you bring your products to websites like Amazon, Ebay and comparison websites. Also the webshop is optimized for SEO which helps you in bringing in organic traffic. I run my online art marketplace accessART on Lightspeed.
Salehoo helps you to setup a dropshipping company. You source a product from their suppliers at a wholesale rate, sell it on your own website and have it shipped by the supplier. You can find products you can sell without having to buy, store, pack, and ship them. Salehoo reviews all their suppliers and offers customer service.
Want to know about more tools and platforms that can help you make a living doing E-Commerce? Check the complete guide
2.5 Sell an e-Book
Creating an E-book can cost a lot of time, but when it’s done, it can create an amazing form of passive income. These days, you don’t need to get contracted by a renowned publisher – there are plenty of ways to publish your own book! Next to publishing it via a platform, you can also sell it through your own blog via a payment provider.
Payhip helps you to sell your digital downloads and subscriptions. This payment provider is a simple way to sell your subscriptions, eBooks, music, videos, photography, fonts, software, courses, digital art and other downloadable products. You easily set up your store page, set your price and start selling your product. With a business account you can even embed the payment in your own blog.
NOOK Press is an online, self-publishing portal where independent publishers and authors can find everything they need to publish their eBooks directly to the NOOK Bookstores. This self-publisher allows you to create, edit, and sell your digital books through the NOOK Bookstore all in one place. There is no charge for using NOOK Press. When your NOOK Books sell, NOOK will retain a percentage of the List Price. NOOK® Press is currently for authors and publishers in the following countries: US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands and Belgium.
Check out 5+ more ways to create and sell E-Books in the complete guide.
2.6 Monetize Blog
Google Adsense is a great place to start with, but don’t expect miracles here ;-). When you sign up, you can place the advertisement code on any place on your website you want. The results are staggering 😉 Month 1: €0,50 – I’m sure 75% of this came from my mum 😉 . Month 2: €0,77 . But, my website traffic is growing and you see slow growth in the revenues. This is totally passive income – only have to place the code once and you’re done.
Amazon Affiliate Marketing
With the Amazon affiliate program you can link to specific products that are related to your blog or post. If someone buys an article you will receive a commission.
It’s very easy to sign up and find links to products and I think it does not bother people that an affiliate link is placed when the content is relevant, or when a product is otherwise hard to find. You have to sell at least 3 items within 180 days, so you want to have enough traffic and blogs featuring articles. I just started and have not sold anything yet, but still have 170 days left 😉
Become A Digital Nomad: Saving Money
1. Free or Cheap Accommodation
Budgeting on accommodation is one of the most effective ways to save money while on the road. While in Bolivia you can get by with $5 hostels a night, in Australia it’s not uncommon to pay $40 a night for a 6 or 8-bed dorm!
1.1 Traveller Networks
I have used Couchsurfing for almost 10 years now. Although I am not a big fan of where the platform has moved and the type of travellers it’s attracting today, it’s still a great way to meet people along the way, get local experiences and get some free places to sleep too!
1.2 House Sitting, House Swaps & Petsitting
Watching someone else’s house or pet while they are travelling is a great way to save on accommodation and get to know an area better. Or, swap houses and meet the love of your life like in the movie “The Holiday” 😉 … Check out House Sit Magazine for stories and more information
Trusted house sitters
Trusted House Sitters have the mission to help pet lovers travel. It is one of the largest house-sitting websites around, and this also makes it hard to find a good sit!
Housecarers is another platform where you can find people that are looking for someone to take care of their house and/or pets while they are away.
1.3 Travelling with a Tent, Campervan or Motorhome
France Passion (France)
France Passion was invented when the editor of a wine magazine noticed that more and more motorhomes were exploring the winegrowing regions of France. He realised that it was not easy for them to find a safe place to park overnight in these rural areas. His idea was to organise a network of winegrowers who could provide free private parking space on their land, and were happy to welcome motorhomes all year round for an overnight stopover or a 24 hour stay. That was in 1993… Since those pioneering days, the network has taken off, now including close to 2000 host properties. I love using this network
Camping in my garden
Camp in my Garden – With more than 1000 micro-campsites to choose from, and located on every continent except Antarctica, Campinmygarden.com is the first website advertising private gardens for camping. Here you will find accessible, affordable and fun alternatives to traditional accommodation all around the world.
Workaway is one of the most well-known to find volunteering and work/travel/free accommodation combinations. They are the world’s leading community for volunteering, working and cultural exchange. You can stay, help and connect with over 31052 active hosts from 170 countries!
WWOOF is a worldwide movement linking volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange, thereby helping to build a sustainable, global community. You can work on a farm in exchange for accommodation and often food you picked yourself 😉
Check out 6 more volunteering platforms to exchange work for free accommodation here!
2. Free or Cheap Travelling
2.1 Car Sharing & Carpooling
Blabla car is a trusted carpooling website that is connecting people who need to travel with drivers who have empty seats. This way you can get cheaply from one destination to the other. I have an account, but have not used Blabla car yet. I do know some French people that used it a lot getting around France and from/to Amsterdam from/to France. You can leave reviews for the drivers and passengers, so there is social control.
Snappcar is a car-sharing platform where individuals can rent out their cars. Fully insured.
2.2 Join a Boat Crew
3. Free or Cheap Eating
How To Become A Digital Nomad – Contributors to this guide
I could not have made this list without the help of others. Other bloggers and people that want to become a digital nomad that have contributed to this list are:
Betsy Wuebker / Passing thru – Print on demand resources
Dorota Miskiewicz / Born Global
Gintaute Gia Vitkute
Kelly Dunning / Global Goose – Work Abroad for all ages
Robin / Reisbaas – Fulfillment & Dropshipping