Bean Money: How to make money while travelling

Within this page are links, suggestions, and ideas for making up a little bean money while on the tramp. If you know of any other sources for temporary employment that may suite the wanderer please let me know and I will include it here. Thanks, Wade.


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Employment on the Road Travelogue Posts

Links for travel employment:

Archaeology: This is an entire database of Archaeology field work, field schools, and volunteer opportuinities. This is the prime resource for professional archaeologist to find employment in North America.

This is another really good database for finding fieldwork. It also has a great collection of links to Cultural Resource Management companies. 

This database has many international paid and volunteer opportuinities.


Dave's ESL Cafe This is a wonderful resource for finding teaching jobs overseas.

This is a source for obtaining a 60 hour TEFL certificate online through an accredited source. 

General Employment Resources


To find work on the road may seem like a daunting task, but from my experience it is one of the most fluid, natural things that someone can do. Humans are natural wanderers and still, to a certain extent, live within the bounds of the natural world. To make up your lively hood, your bean-money, while travelling is to let chance, providence, and spontaneity be your guide: thus meaning, to live untethered, free, and natural.

So, to assist fellow wanderers with coming up with some suitable employment options, I have compiled the following ideas and links that I have been using:



Doing Archaeological fieldwork has been my main way of coming up with bean money on the Road. It is an interesting profession, to say the least, and you can do it anywhere in the world where humans left signs of previously dwelling; that is to say- almost anywhere. It is also profession that demands you to travel, so it keeps you perpetually roving around the planet from site to site.

The credentials needed for this work are varied. Officially, you need a B.A. in anthropology or archaeology with an archaeology field school, but it has been my experience that a field school alone oftentimes suffices. Field schools can cost anywhere from $500 to $3000 depending on where you do it and if you want university credit for it. But do not be put off by this pricetag, as you will surly make this money back during your first month of professional work. There are links on the left hand side of this page to archaeology work and field school resources.

 Travelogue posts about Archaeology


Those of you who have not engaged in this type of work before may think that it is a little presumptuous to think that you can score a job as a teacher in a foreign country with no prior experience, little education, and no other skill other than the ability to speak your native language. . . and be paid $12- 20 an hour for it. But it is true. The luck of the draw at being a native speaker of a western language (mostly English) is an employable skill all throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. I know many wanderers who jump from country to country, school to school, just teaching English. They seem to make a really good living at it too.

Take Loren Everly ( for instance. He teaches for a 6 months in South Korea and then travels for 6 months through China, Tibet, Nepal, and India and then picks up another teaching position in Saudi Arabia where he will probably work for six months and then travel for another six through the Middle East. Teaching English is a true ace in the hole for us itinerant Anglophones.

The credentials needed for teaching English are varied. Often times, like in China, you can just walk into a private English school, say that you want a job, and be working the next day- being paid more than you can make in the USA. But some other countries desire teachers with a little more education. For instance, often times to get a good teaching position it is a good idea to take a TEFL or ESL course and to have a University degree. These are not absolute requirements by any means, but if you have both of these certificates you NEVER have to worry about finding work in most corners of the world. Anyway, from my experience, I think that it is a good idea to take a short course in teaching English. I have never had one before and I had to learn how to teach my native tongue the hard way: I was stuck up in front of 40 Chinese people and told to "teach." I pulled it off, but I think that it would have been vastly easier if I was a little more prepared.

English teaching certifications do not cost that much either, and you will surly make back all of the money that you put into one of these courses during your first month of teaching. The types of these certifications are also varied, as you can can take full semester, one month, two week, and even internet courses. In point, if you have one of these little certificates you will have a much easier time procuring work that is already easy to get. There are links for places where you can gain these certifications on the left hand side of this page.

But again, please remember that credentials for teaching English are not essential- I don’t have any (other than a little experience).

Farmwork/ Odd jobs/ Temp. employment

This category can be a much more open, to the wind style of working on the tramp. It is actually pretty easy to secure such temp. work on farms or in cafes, and there are various ways to go about it. One way is the internet. Just search for jobs in the location where you want to work. Or you can use a travel work database, as there are many all over the internet.

Another way of finding farmwork is to learn the harvest cycles of the area that you wish to travel through. Then go to a rural center during this time, ask around for the meeting place for seasonal farm laborers (usually a café or restaurant), and get there early in the morning to await the arrival of a farmer that needs to hire some extra workers. There are seasonal harvest cycles around North America, Europe, and Australia that I am familiar with, and you can just travel these rounds picking up work as you go.

Volunteering with an organization, such as WWOOF (willing workers on organic farms), can also be a great way to get your room and board paid for you while tramping, as well as a good place to meet up with other travellers.

Working as wait staff/ nature guide/ hotel staff in tourist towns during the in-season is another way to make up some pretty good money while on the Road. All you have to do is go to one of these towns right before the tourist season and ask around. There is a good chance that you will come up with some kind of work pretty easily.

If you have any questions about how to find work while travelling please do not hesitate to ask me. I have been picking up work on the road for the past eight years and have worked as everything from an Archaeologist to an English teacher to a gardener. Just email me and I will try to help you out the best that I can.