Use your laptop to pay for travel, while you travel.
You might just discover a new career while you're at it.
In a recent 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.
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Working while traveling and telecommuting aren't quite the same thing
Which is true. People usually associate telecommuting with a full-time job that lets you work from home regularly.
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:
- Jobs you can do over the Internet
- Jobs that can be done over a short time-span i.e. during your travels
- Jobs you can get on short notice
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.
Jobs you can do while traveling
With that in mind, the list below should give you all sorts of traveling job 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.
- 3D and Flash Animator
- Administrative Assistant
- Article Writer
- Billing and Debt Collection Representative
- Blog Programmer
- Career Coach
- Virtual Assistant
- Advertising Poster
- Customer Service Representative
- Data Entry Provider
- Data Specialist
- Database Developer
- E-book Writer
- Email Template Designer
- Flash/Web Developer
- Graphic Artist
- Marketing & Lead Generation Campaigner
- Logo Designer
- Online Tutor
- Personal Assistant/Secretary
- Press Release Writer
- Project Manager
- Recruitment Researcher
- Sourcer (not sorcerer!)
- Resume Writer
- Sales Presentation Designer
- SEO Analyst
- Foreign Language Voice Talents
- Technical Support
- Telemarketing Professional
- Travel Planner
- Video Editor
- Web Content Writer
- Web Designer
- Website Translator
- Stock Photographer
- Real Estate Researcher
- Business Consultant
- Legal Advisor
- User Guides and Manuals Editor
- Game Developers
- Travel Writer
Don't think this is possible? Not for you?
See how others have done it:
- Lauren Juliff, @NEFootsteps: How I Fund my Travels Around the World
- Benny Lewis, @irishpolyglot: How to become a location-independent freelance translator
- Amanda Williams, @dangerousbiz: My Life as a Travel Blogger
- Adam Groffman: @travelsofadam: How to Make Money with a Travel Blog
Have you ever worked while traveling for pleasure? How did you find the job? Tell us in the comments.