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How to Earn Money while Traveling, even as a Pensioner

How to Earn Money while Traveling, even as a Pensioner

Don’t you love to travel? I know I do. When I was young it wasn’t that common to go abroad, but my parents, specifically my mother, loved to go on holidays to other countries. From the age of 5, I went abroad.

Lucky me, my husband, Tom, likes to travel as well. Our holidays used to be expensive and we never spend a thought on how to earn money while traveling. We don’t like organized trips and I never realized that making all the arrangements on your own is costing a lot of extra money, even if you camp.

Not that it matters, we had a lot of fun. We stayed at one place for two or three days in a row, explored the surroundings, hiked a lot, and visited museums. After which we drove to the next place. And wrote in a travel log and on a blog, never with the intention to monetize that.

As soon as we are able to and allowed to, we want to travel again. Maybe in the old way, just staying a few days in one place. Or maybe in the way we traveled in the year between leaving the Netherlands and settling down in Spain.

How do you want to travel?

Traveling by train

Tom and I are trying to live as sustainable as possible, so we don’t fly if we don’t have to. Going to the USA is the only time we take a plane. When we were young we were backpackers, traveling by train. Nowadays, we travel by car.

It is a pity governments subsidize flying instead of traveling by train. Although often there are reduced prices for 60+, making it affordable to go by train.

Where to stay

For most of our holidays, we had everything for staying at a campground in the back of the car but were just as happy in a 4- or 5-star hotel. In our ‘rich days’, we hardly looked at hotel prices.

The financial crisis of 2008 made us more aware of money. We can only spend our money once, so no need to throw money down the drain. On the last trips we made, we stayed at one place for a longer period and rented a house or an apartment.

Can you earn money while traveling?

For a number of years now I have been convinced that it is possible to make money while traveling. In 2013, I seriously started to investigate the possibilities. Back then I wrote for several platforms. InfoBarrel, later Squidoo and Zujava, and pretty soon skipped that in favor of Bubblews.

As far as I know, the only one of those platforms that still exists, is InfoBarrel. I quit writing like this because you never know how long a platform will be around. Squidoo stopped at some point and did it in a decent way, but Bubblews went out of the air without paying the last fees they owed to the writers.

Nowadays, my favorite way of making money – while traveling or at home – is writing for my own websites in combination with affiliate marketing.

In 20 Simple Ideas on How to Make Money after Retirement, I have listed ways to earn money while you are at home. I will list ways to earn money while traveling in this article. In fancy words: how to make money location-independently. 🙂

What are some possibilities?

In this list are ideas that are doable for elderly people. For the simple reason that Tom and I are 65+. For young people, there are also all kinds of jobs, like waiting tables or working in a summer camp. If you want to do something like that, by all means, don’t let age stop you.

A word of caution upfront: I don’t have experience with every idea (yet). So whenever you want to try one for yourself, make sure you do your own investigations as well. Often there are more companies available for a specific item, I have listed just a few.

Rent out your house

Rent out your house

The house is left behind, so why not rent it out. When you let friends or acquaintances stay in your house, no extra precautions are necessary. But to let strangers use it, it’s better to be covered by a real estate agent or an organization like AirBNB.

Swap your house

You have to stay somewhere as well, so you can also swap your house with someone who would love to be in your area for a while. HomeExchange or a similar organization brings interested parties together and takes care of the hassle.

House sitting or pet sitting

Another way to take care of your stay somewhere else. A friend of mine does this all the time and visits the loveliest places this way. MindMyHouse and TrustedHousesitters are examples of organizations that take care of the details.

Get rent for your car

Depending on how you travel of course, but if your car stays in the garage at home, why not rent it out. The main concerns for house or car rentals are the possible damage. That’s why it’s usually better to let a company take care of such things. And for everything is a company available, so for this, there is Turo.

Rent out your camper

Rent out your camper or travel by RV Relocation.

Like your car, your camper will be in the garage at times. Lots of people rather rent from a person than from an impersonal company. Have a look at Outdoorsy.

RV relocation

What better than getting a camper to your disposal for a minimal amount plus petrol costs. Especially in the US, but also in Australia and New Zealand there are often possibilities to drive a car or a camper from one place to another.

You can’t order something like that months in advance. The opportunities are usually posted a few weeks before. But if the time period doesn’t matter to you, nor the places, it’s a perfect way to travel.

Companies are for instance Imoova and JUCY.

Blog about your travels or another subject

Maybe you have a vacation diary anyway, so why not put it online to share your experiences. Competition for travel blogs is fierce, but if you can find a specific angle that will be of interest to other travelers, you have a good chance.

Just publishing your stories won’t make you any money. Ads on your blog, sponsoring or affiliate marketing will.

Affiliate partner

There are so many companies that have an affiliate program. Sendowl is one of the companies I work with. Another one I am an affiliate of is Wealthy Affiliate. You don’t always need a website of your own to be an affiliate partner. For some, it’s enough if you have social media platforms to promote their stuff on.

Get sponsoring

The Instagram Influencers get sponsored by all kinds of businesses. For their clothes, make-up or shoes. You will need a large audience on your social media or blog to be interesting for companies. But as we Dutch say: not shooting is always missing the target.

Be a courier

I was amazed to learn that people at times want a favorite item so bad, that they are willing to pay extra money for it. For instance, ex-pats who want goodies from their home country. Beckfriends connects the parties.

Tour guide

Be a tourguide

A Dutch singer was telling a story about his time in Paris. He loved being in the cemetery Père Lachaise and knew a lot about the famous people who were lying there. At some point, after being asked several times if he could show the way, he offered his services to tourists.

He told people they could pay him afterward if they wanted to, but there was no obligation. Most paid him, making his stay affordable. That is a way to be a guide or join TourByLocals.

Offer your services

Through your working life or your hobbies, you surely have expertise in several areas. You can offer your services when applicable or take a look at UpWork or Fiverr.

Street performance

Playing an instrument, singing or another performing art can be fun to do on the street. In some places, you will need a permit, so inform yourself in advance.

Earn money while traveling

Whether you have to earn money while traveling because otherwise you cannot afford your trip, or you just want some extra money to eat out, it doesn’t matter. Not only is it nice to have a little extra, but it is also a way to travel meaningfully.

Do you think something is missing from my list? Tell me in the comment box below.

Wealthy Affiliate

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Join me in being an affiliate marketeer at Wealthy Affiliate.

Related article: Earn a Side Income as a Pensioner – Become an Affiliate

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6 thoughts on “How to Earn Money while Traveling, even as a Pensioner”

  1. These are some great suggestions, and there are many that hadn’t even occurred to me, like renting out your camper or your car. I would be nervous about letting someone else drive my car. I don’t like others to drive my car, but it is of course a good option to rent it out while you’re away on a trip. Housesitting and petsitting is something that is often offered in my area, because many people only live here for the season and then return home. In those months that the house is empty, they let housesitters or petsitters stay, and they often end up staying at lovely beach houses. I would be too shy for a street performance, but I know that you can earn a decent amount of coins with it. Now during covid, the amount of street performers has increased, probably due to a lack of money and because many people here (in Mexico) have lost their jobs.

    • Whenever others use our stuff, we have that uneasy feeling “Will they take care of it as well as I do?” I get that, Christine, I have the same feeling. That’s why renting out through a company is a good option. They know the drill. They have insurance in place. And most of them have the possibility to leave reviews for both the renters and the owners. That way, you can make inquiries on forehand.

      And I do know of several renters that left the stuff in better shape than they found it. So like every coin, also this has 2 sides. 🙂

      Ah, so I can come your way and stay in one of those houses for a while! Tempting prospect, Christine. 😉

  2. Thanks for the great tips. I never thought of swapping a house with someone! I didn’t know that it’s even possible. That’s the best thing I’ve read recently. I don’t travel a lot, especially because of this Covid-19 crisis, which will hopefully end soon.

    But with this swapping thing, I’ll be able to visit more places, me and my wife like to travel, but since Croatia isn’t the richest country for us, it’s expensive to travel to other countries since all of them are more expensive than Croatia.

    Are there any law regulations for house swapping? Also, I live in a tourist city, do you think it’s profitable to make a website just about one city, something as a travel guide for that city. I checked some affiliate partners such as Airbnb, but they are very strict, and you need at least 2 million pageviews, which is impossible for such a “small” niche.

    • Exactly, Petar, AirBNB and Booking-com are hopeless for us, ‘small businesses’.

      Maybe in some countries, there are certain regulations you must abide by when you do house swapping. That’s why I would always recommend using a firm, that specializes in this. Let them figure it out and they will also take care of the insurances needed. Pennywise would be very pound-foolish in this case.

      If I were you, I would do both. Subscribe to one (or several) house swap firms and make your own website. Especially when your website is new, traffic will be sparse, so then it’s handy to take advantage of a business that already has a lot of traffic. Your website can be a perfect guide for the people you are swapping with.

      The beauty of regulated house swapping is that you don’t have to swap with the person whose house you are going to use. You build up credits with the swap company for every week somebody is using your house and can use those credits yourself in turn anywhere you want. The perfect system in my eyes.

      And especially if you’re living in a country with a lower standard of living like Croatia, where you live, or Spain, where I live, it is indeed perfect to visit more expensive countries.
      I didn’t know about this system either, and I intent to try it when we are allowed to travel again. 😉

  3. Thank you for this great article. I am triggered by the idea of earning while traveling for a long time already and you put together some great tips on how to do it at any age. Nowadays, we are living in a very uncertain era due to another crisis (maybe even worse than the 2008 one) but one day it will be over, and therefore it is very wise to be prepared. I love the house petting option, I had never heard of it before. But it seems like a meaningful choice. Great Tip!

    • Thanks, Julius. Yes, if you are not allergic to pets – like I am – it’s a marvelous way to see a lot of places. A friend of mine has done this for years and will continue once the virus is gone, and she loves the diversity of places where she comes as well as the diversity of the pets she has to take care of.

      It’s a marvelous way to be part of a community for a while. She also loves to meet all those different people. Every pet owner has his or her own behavior towards the animals, which makes it really interesting. Of course, sometimes her experiences are not so nice. People that on purpose don’t tell the details, if those are a chance of not finding a pet sitter.

      But because she has done it for so long now, the nice and trustworthy people outweigh the nasty ones on a big scale. It is highly recommended to make arrangements through one of the organizations because they often show reviews from others.

      Take care and I hope you can travel soon again.


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