10 Practical Ways to Start a Life of Travel

10 Practical Ways to Start a Life of Travel

Earn while you travel -- oh, such beautiful words! Here are practical ways to do it.

Contributed by Kiara Mijares

start travel life

As you may have figured out, I’m more of a practical person. And I don’t mean it as something that’s going to completely debunk whatever other bloggers say. It’s more of, I like knowing things. I like knowing whether they will work, they won’t, and use it to my advantage.

So when I give out advice, I really think of all the methods I’ve done, what I’ve heard from others, and how to use all my knowledge to make the best case scenario.

In your case, it’s starting a life of travel. Essentially, this shouldn’t be difficult if you want to just pack up your things and go. But then again, not everyone has the same privilege.

I grew up in the Philippines where we have to show every embassy that we won’t be illegal migrants in their home country.  And so, I’ve been using the most practical methods I know how to earn (while studying) and show that I won’t be an illegal migrant *rolls eyes*.

Also read: How to Become a Digital Nomad

Business methods

1. Start investing in the bank

THIS. I don’t understand why many of my friends don’t know the beauty of investing (or is it just me?). A little background about my family, my grandfather used to work at a bank before he started his own business venture. Growing up, I was taught to use my money wisely and invest in things that will have a significant return.

So, I did what any Psychology major did (lol though)… I invested my savings in the bank. Because banks nowadays only need at least ₱5,000  (US$107) for the credit cards or ₱10,000 (US$214) to start investing in the stock market, it wasn’t that difficult.

Okay, let me show you my numbers: every month, I used to receive ₱6,000 (US$128) as my allowance. I had to divide that with my school books, food, and commute. So, I would save at least ₱500 (US$10) in a week to reach the minimum of ₱10,000 in 6 months with a little extra.

It depends on how aggressive your bank is on the market but I earned about ₱8,000 in the first 6 months.

Now, I invest a larger sum. But that’s not really something you should think of doing until you’ve at least tried the minimum amount and see which bank is doing better than others.

2. Begin building a business

Totally biased but building a business is probably one of the best methods to begin a life of travel. If anyone’s curious, I’m also trying to build my own coaching business that talks about personal branding and finance (which will be launched in a  few months!!!).

I don’t believe when people tell me that I have to be an employee for the rest of my life.

And this is something my family has taught me ever since: employees are dispensable.

But anyway! It’s also how my family has been able to travel often. We’ve been travelling all over the world for almost every school break I’ve ever had. That wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t own a corporation and it definitely wouldn’t be possible if my parents were only employees (even with a large salary).

Really though, if you need cash and want to travel, building an empire is the best way I can recommend.

Although, obviously, it’s going to take time, patience, and dedication. However, you’re also forgetting the rise of the digital nomad — a class of people who work independently while travelling — and that’s something I think we can all do. And if you have no idea what you’re going to do with a blog, here’s a little extra for inspiration.

The rewards are seemingly better though than working as a waitress. I mean, if that’s your thing, that’s cool. But personally, I enjoy knowing I’m earning enough to be able to wine and dine at a restaurant in Italy without worrying about the bill that much.

3. Try the buy and sell method

I think one of the easiest methods people can earn and probably make as a full-time business, is to buy and sell their stuff.

I’ve read dozens of travel bloggers do this especially when they no longer have a home base. It’s going to get you on the road for a little while but then you’ll probably start working again sooner than later.

Or we can go a different route and sell things online that we see while we travel.

A number of flight attendants I know do this. To earn a little extra, they post pre-ordered luxury bags on Facebook or Instagram, and if someone orders from you then buy it for them. It’s like becoming a personal shopper for someone.

I mean, imagine going around Champs Elysees and buying a Longchamp bag for your friend, ship it to wherever they are and earn a bit of extra.

It’s a sustainable way of living that I highly recommend to people who are alright with shopping, want to continually earn for every country they visit, and not exactly prepared to build an empire yet.

Also read: Wanna be a Full-Time Traveller? Here’s How

Freelance methods

4. Become a copywriter

I’M SO BIASED. But!!! I can prove to you that copywriting will help you earn while travelling! I never went for the corporate job and if you’re anything like me (or want to quit yours), I completely recommend entering the world of copywriting!

It’s a much more practical method to start earning enough to travel while working independently! You only really need your laptop and brain of yours! Haha

Seriously though, I adore copywriting. I’ve been lacking a lot of sleep reading books, watching TED talks, and attending courses on the very art of copywriting. It’s an interesting form of writing that pays so much more than writing a novel. There are actual posts about that.

After 2 weeks of being a copywriter, I was able to afford to go to Cebu City, PH for a weekend (that’s about US$100) plus spend on the good kind of wine while shopping in between. A month into it, I’ve been able to afford 2 domain names, a website theme, and a plane ticket to Metro Manila (about US$200) on my own. All while also saving enough money to pay my daily expenses (like coffee).

So…yes, I do recommend you enter the art of copywriting. Or writing in general.

Also read: 9 Ways a Day in the Life of a Travel Writer is Similar to Any Other Job

5. Become a social media marketer

When I first started out freelancing, I was a social media marketer or growth hacker. Mostly because I didn’t understand what it really meant and what kind of job I was supposed to do.

I thought marketing on social media would be a piece of cake.

Yea, it’s a cake I’m fine with not eating ever again.

It isn’t because of it took too much of my time or because I wasn’t earning compared to when I started copywriting. Nope. I was actually earning a bit more as a social media marketer.

If you’re someone who enjoys reading about e-commerce stores, analysing the best ways to use your social media accounts, and implementing it, then I recommend this for you.

I’ve never really been a social media person (except for Instagram), so you can imagine how difficult it was for me to really understand everything about growing a social media following. That’s what many business owners have difficulty with too.

You can even niche it further and choose to only focus on Facebook ads, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter.

It’s why it’s a pretty big market to start with especially if you’re on Upwork. Again, you only need your laptop and brain for this! Yay!

6. Become a virtual assistant

I know, I know. This isn’t the kind of job everyone wants. But it’s also the kind of job someone, somewhere needs.

It’s actually really handy if you’re not sure what kind of freelance work you want to delve into. I mean, it’s the most practical way to get a hang of all the methods in maintaining a business and knowing your client/s.

When you’re a virtual assistant, you help your “boss” schedule meetings, book flights, and bring up any concerns other independent contractors may have. Not only that, you can also learn data entry, transcription, or other secretarial work. Because this is also a good method to understand what it’s like to build an empire, many people choose to go this route.

I’m also pretty positive that this is one of the sought-after jobs on Upwork because of the high-demand of online business owners to get their work done in a shorter amount of time.

7. Become a web designer

I’m putting this here because although not everyone thinks they have the qualifications, it’s not actually that hard! I mean, okay, it is.

But a lot of people can learn web design online now a days. One of my favourites is the Treehouse course for Web Design or Front End Web Development. I agree that it’s pretty expensive when you’re just starting out and probably don’t have enough money for, but then again, the payout is huge.

I know about 3 freelancers who didn’t graduate with a computer science degree but ended up designing websites anyway. They’re able to travel to different cities both domestic and international in a few short months. More than that, they’re also able to afford certain luxuries that most people can’t.

In terms of starting your freelance career, you can charge a pretty large fee for this or you can charge a “low” free and still receive a huge payout.

I mean, because Upwork works on an hourly basis, designing websites takes a huge amount of time. It’s like building your own business since you’re starting out with a lot of patience and dedication like everything else.

My point is, if you love to design and want to earn doing it, becoming a web designer is a practical method to start your freelance career. There are so many online businesses that are in need of a professional web designer or a front-end web developer to help them out.

Investing in courses like Treehouse will benefit you 100x more too (I can certainly guarantee this based on the people I know).

8. Become a graphic designer

Graphic design is something I’m still learning. It’s also something I’ve always wanted to learn when I was younger (try two years younger HAHA).

Unfortunately, not a lot of business owners have this kind of mentality (or hotel owners, or other bloggers). I’m just going to go out and say it: everyone needs a graphic designer to have the best website, conversions, sales.

Graphic design is uniquely important and probably needed as much as web design because it’s your direct form of communicating with your audience.

I’m not a visual learner. Ummm, but I know about 95% of the people in school are. That’s why we hate textbooks when they don’t have photos. It’s why we don’t like websites that look incredibly plain without pictures.

It’s also a good reason to enter into the industry. Because you only need your skills, brain, and laptop on this one!

Oh, and Adobe products too. But we’ll talk about that later.


The point is, becoming a graphic designer boosts your creative energy and your business acumen. It also helps you earn while you’re on the road. Can you imagine yourself on a plane to say, Malta with your laptop and a stellar idea for a company’s new design page?

That’s a pretty cool thing.

Also read: 10 Professions that Will Allow You to Travel the World


I’m the last person who wants to sit in a chair all day long but I gotta admit, these career moves that my friends have made are the best ways. And you’ve probably heard of them, know about them, or thought of doing one of them at one point.

In this case, I’m only giving two career plans that I think you should make to start a life of travel:

9. Pilot / Flight steward

I have a cousin who is a flight stewardess and her husband who’s a pilot! And I can’t count the times I sometimes wish I chose that as my job.

They earn a bit more than most people and they get to travel the world as part of their work.

Their relatives also get a few free tickets or benefits offered by the airlines they work with! It’s amazing. I completely recommend this to anyone who doesn’t want to start a business or do freelance but want to see the world.

It falls under my practical guide to starting a life of travel because it’s the most practical method I know of. You’re literally working while travelling. It’s your job to travel.

And although you don’t always get to choose where you travel, at least you are travelling.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

10. Overseas teacher

There’s been an influx on the amount of millennials who want to teach English overseas to travel.

I’d like to tell you to get on that train. Because it’s one way to see the world and to also feel very fulfilled with the kids you’re helping.

If teaching English isn’t your thing, I know other teachers have chosen to teach their home language, development work, or share their expertise.

I agree that you’re also paying a hefty sum to start to do this but I feel that the pay off is guaranteed because you’re earning.

Honestly, that’s the one aspect of travelling full-time or just travelling, in general, I want you to understand. It’s okay to do all these things as long as you’re earning.

I can’t imagine spending so much money travelling on the road and not finding a quick resource on how to earn.

Also read: 9 Signs You Are Ready to Quit Your Job and Travel The World

And so, I’m finishing this post with that lesson in mind: travel a lot but also earn. Sometimes we don’t know when or where we need the money and it’s always better to be prepared.

About Author

Kiara Mijares
Kiara Mijares

20-something writer with restless feet and a wandering heart, Kiara Mijares lives to explore different cities while immersing in their (coffee) culture. Serving as an online writing portfolio and blog, her website The Art In Cities by Kiara Mijares relays clever tales about travelling, being Filipina, and understanding one's own madness. Follow her for more adventures!


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