I wake up to an email everyday asking me how to make money to travel. Well, I am no soothsayer . But the query everyone wants to ask is about how to make enough money as a traveller. People think I have probably discovered a treasure somewhere that allows me to travel wherever and whenever I want to. The fact is I live out of my basic sustenance that comes from a variety of projects I do around the clock.
For an international traveller, there are many opportunities abroad – from teaching English in select Asian countries, to bartending to part time jobs such as even offering hair cuts. But in India, the options are just opening up and you need to be looking out for them all the time. But if you are out there, you have enough to keep your hands busy when you are not travelling.So if you are ready to become a digital nomad and are planning to make your living out of it, here are some options that you might want to consider
Figure out your niche
What is your niche ? And I mean, not just in travel. You may love writing or have a flair for photography. Perhaps you are good at web designing or you can dabble a bit in marketing or sales as well with some social media thrown in. Every traveller does not have to be a writer or a blogger. Look for projects in the areas you specialise in – may be in photography or you can help design websites and blogs. Build a portfolio first. Look for a mix of known brands and start ups. Associate yourself with brands you believe in or those you would like to see on your portfolio. You are always known by the company you keep.
Keep an eye for start ups
Everyday there is a travel portal or an app that is being launched somewhere in the world. There are several start ups, especially in the sustainable tourism space who want to make a difference. All of these are passionate people who believe in what they do and what they want to offer . Perhaps you find a synergy with them ? You can volunteer or take up a part time role or maybe give them a shout out on social media ? Find an association that works for both of you
Create itineraries or lead tours
Travel is not a commodity and most travellers are not looking for the regular packages but experiences. And if you have a penchant for creating customised itineraries then look at it as a specialised skill. Promote it on your own blog or tie up with a travel company or even a resort and offer your services. You can take it one step further and even guide or lead groups. An additional skill in a foreign language would help if you like to take foreign tourists on a tour. Even better, with a bit of entrepreneur skills, you can have your own tour company.
What is your travel space ?
Are you into adventure or do you have a penchant for birds and wildlife ? Maybe it is history with a dash of culture. Now, look for organisations, resorts, portals that may need someone like you. Be a part time naturalist or an adventure specialist . If history is your forte, then you could share your knowledge which may be part of brochures, itineraries or even tours. Destination marketing is in and if you have a bit of a PR skill and add a bit of marketing and social media to it and voila, you have something going for you !
Look beyond the byline
Everyone likes to have their name on a newspaper or a magazine. And the more bylines you have, the tourism boards will probably woo you to come on free trips. That is great but then there are more opportunities for a travel writer – from a simple brochure to ebooks to guides, both online and offline..explore this space
And yes, social media
This is a vast space and it is only evolving as we go. To begin with , there is the blog and you can start with simple advertisements to affliate programmes and content marketing projects . If you have enough “klout” then you can become an influencer, promoting brands and products for a fee on your social media space. Videos are gaining currency and if you can create cool ones, then plan a youtube channel as well. The key word according to me is “positioning.” If you can figure out how to position yourself so that you and your skills can stand out in the clutter, then you can make the most of the opportunities out there.
And share your experiences – either on a blog or in a newspaper or on instagram or twitter or whatever works for you
Got any other ideas or opportunities ? Do share your thoughts with us.