Use your laptop to pay for travel, while you travel.
You might just discover a new career while you're at it.
In a posting to the Digital Eve Israel Yahoo Group, a group member asked the following question:
“Any leads on how to find a job that can be done on my laptop, here and there, so that I can still pay my bills while traveling?”
This reminded me of the time when I was still a programmer at Amazon.com back in 2000.
Living in Paris but working daily over the Internet with people in Seattle, I wanted to visit my family in Montreal without taking a lot of vacation time either. Luckily, Amazon's computer systems allowed people to connect from outside the office and that made it easier to convince my boss to let me go.
In the end, I only took off 2 days for traveling purposes and otherwise worked full days from my parents' house, basically paying for my trip and expenses. A side benefit to Amazon was that having me in a middle time zone (6 hours behind Paris but 3 ahead of Seattle) made some projects easier to finish on time.
People usually associate telecommuting with a full-time job that lets you regularly work from home, but it can also be a part-time job on the road.
To best answer the question above, let's set out some criteria that make more sense regarding jobs for travelers. Those jobs usually need to be:
This last one is important in case you need multiple jobs to pay all your bills during your trip.
So we're dealing with freelance jobs. However, if you choose well and deliver well, a short-term freelance job can become a longer-term freelance job that you continue from home after traveling.
With that in mind, the list below of online jobs for travelers should give you all sorts of ideas. Each job title points at a real job description, and if the description isn't a good match for you, just do a search on the job title to find more open jobs like it.
Don't think this is possible? Not for you?
See how these laptop warriors have built careers while traveling:
Bonus tip for beginners
Like with any job, having work experience will help a lot compared to a candidate who has no experience. But even having just a little bit of experience will make a difference because it will still allow you to tell potential employers “I've done this online before”.
With that in mind, get experience before your travels by doing some quick, cheap projects. This has the added benefit of getting you familiar with freelance marketplaces, negotiation with potential employers, and actually getting paid with all that's involved.
It would suck to be in a foreign country expecting to receive your pay the next day only to discover that you need to wait a few more days because of some strange policy you didn't know about. Practice before you go!
Another great success story
Question of the article
Have you ever worked while traveling for pleasure? How did you find the job? Tell us in the comments.
Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.