Experiencing Asia is a dream that is often near the top of nearly every traveler’s list. Once you’ve visited, it’s likely you don’t want to leave or will already be planning your return. This vast continent offers such an incredible and diverse culture that it’s easy to feel like you’re in another world. Alongside the long and dynamic history of the region and the incredible expat community, this is one of many reasons why some opt to stay in Asia once their vacation is up.
So what if I told you that you didn’t have to leave? That it was possible to earn a living in Asia with relative ease, which will support your traveling needs indefinitely—if that’s what you’re hoping!
There are many ways to earn money in Asia, but these are some of the most common and surefire methods.
For those who haven’t heard of TEFL, it stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. If you’re a native English speaker, consider taking a TEFL certification course. Classes are offered in many locations and can even be done online. Once qualified, you are free to apply for jobs wherever you wish. There is a whole host of English language schools in Asia, spread across all regions. A great tactic is to base yourself in a central point or transport hub. By doing this, you can spend your week earning money and your time off exploring the surrounding countries!
Workaway is a fantastically useful website of which all travelers need to be made aware. It allows hosts from all over the world to advertise jobs to those who want to get to know more about the local culture.
Some of the positions pay an actual wage while some just offer a roof and food. The jobs range wildly from manual labor, exercise instructors, au pairs and much, much more. Websites with jobs like this are a truly phenomenal way to experience parts of another country that wouldn’t be accessible to the average tourist.
- Travel Blogging
If you’re an avid traveler, then it’s more than likely you’ve considered running a travel blog. Unfortunately, managing this is a long-shot. Making a full-time wage from a personal travel blog can be an incredibly difficult task that takes an immense amount of effort.
However, if you think you have what it takes, then my only advice is to build up a following before your trip. A good audience makes it infinitely easier to get sponsors.
Alternatively, there are ways to make money from travel blogging without owning a blog. The Travel Intern program allows you to tour for free in exchange for content creation. Similarly, some bloggers pay for guest posts. If you’re a photographer, then consider selling stock images of your trip.
Start your travel blog by getting your own domain name and hosting site.
- Digital Nomad
If blogging as yourself seems like too much effort, then there are a whole host of job offers out there you can do while location independent. Freelancing sites, such as Upwork, are a hotbed of paid projects that you can complete from your computer.
No matter your skill – be it writing, photography, coding, design, organization – it’s possible to find employment to suit you. However, it is worth noting that you may have some problems with internet restrictions in more conservative countries, such as China. You will have to avoid these destinations, or do as the locals do and install a Virtual Private Network.
- Tour Guide
No matter where you are, English-speaking tour guides are always in demand. The benefit of using this tactic to travel Asia is two-fold. Not only do you literally get paid for traveling to some of the most exciting places on the continent, but you also get to learn so much about your host country.
This option is by far the best way to get an intimate understanding of the countries you’re visiting. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to find a job. A simple Google search of “become a tour guide Asia” produces a litany of websites and tutorials to help you find employment.
- Cabin Crew
It wasn’t until I met an entire cabin crew on the streets of Singapore that I realized what a great option their job is for travel. Think about it: You might end up in a different country at the end of each day, you get major discounts on flying, and by choosing the right airline, you can explore certain parts of the world with ease.
For Asia travelers, I would highly recommend looking into the following airlines: Singapore Air, AirAsia, Thai Airways and Malaysia Airlines. Fortunately, you don’t need any prior qualifications—other than perhaps the ability to swim—and your employer will provide you all the on-the-job training you’ll need! It’s almost the perfect solution!
Farm work is a classic when it comes to working when traveling. I remember my mom telling me stories of fruit picking when she was young, and not much has changed since then. You can get farm work anywhere. Especially in the spectacular countryside of Asia, it can be a great option for those looking to earn money on their travels.
I’ve already mentioned Workaway, but there are many of alternative sites you can try specifically for farm work. Some options include:
Similarly, there are countless volunteer organizations such as WWOOF that will provide you with food and a roof over your head in exchange for work. These unpaid roles can be a great option to have in your back pocket in case you run into an emergency!
Asia is such a vast and miraculous place to explore. Running low on funds should never be a reason to miss out on that. Using any of these seven options, you can pursue your travel dreams without having to worry about finances!
There are loads more ideas like this available. If you’ve had a recent experience with working abroad, then please share your ideas to give fellow travelers some inspiration!