There are many ways to make money traveling the world. This is how we support our digital nomad lifestyle and how you can do it too!
“Travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work. Experience is far more valuable than money will ever be.” – unknown
How We Make Money Traveling
“What do you actually do for work?”
We work for ourselves creating content in the form of videos, articles, and books. It’s also how we make money traveling. This video explains the different revenue streams or you can keep reading.
The more traffic to your website or the more views on your YouTube videos, the more advertising dollars you can earn.
AdThrive is one of the highly rated advertising networks. They are dedicated to helping bloggers optimize ads on their website to get a higher RPM. They do have eligibility requirements including a minimum of 100,000 monthly pageviews with the majority of traffic based in the U.S. AdThrive also offers the option to monetize videos on your website.
Google AdSense is an advertising network that allows you to make money online by monetizing websites and YouTube channels. Some of the display ads you see on this website are served by AdSense. All the ads you see on our YouTube videos are served by AdSense. Adsense pays based on cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM), cost-per-engagement (CPE).
Amazon CPM Ads is an additional revenue source offered to Amazon Associates. These are display ads from Amazon and other advertisers in the network. Depending on website traffic, there are other advertising networks you can join that may pay more. Amazon CPM Ads were retired on 9/30/2018.
When we share our favorite products, we use affiliate tracking links. This means, when you click on the link to purchase the product we will earn a small commission.
Amazon Associates is one of the most popular affiliate programs. Associates can share product links and banners on their website to earn advertising fees. Visit We’re the Russos Store to see an example of how we incorporate Amazon affiliate links on this website.
Networks & Programs. There are many affiliate programs and affiliate networks available. Do your research to figure out the best ones for you. Below are some affiliate networks and programs to help you get started.
CJ Affiliate Network: http://www.cj.com/
REI Affiliate: https://www.rei.com/help/affiliates.html
Selling Digital Products – Books
Selling a digital product is another revenue stream. Right now we have a book available for purchase, Take Risks: One Couple’s Journey to Quit Their Jobs and Hit the Open Road. This is the start of a book series that documents our journey to make our dream a reality.
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing allows authors to self publish books by making it available on Kindle stores in different countries. There are other self publishing website such as Nook and Kobo as well as book aggregator and distributor sites.
Patreon is a membership service that allows content creators to earn revenue on a regular basis. Our Patrons pledge a monthly amount ($5 minimum) to get exclusive content, access to monthly chats, meet-ups and more. Check out We’re the Russos Patreon Page to see how it’s set up.
HelpX and Workaway are two sites that provide opportunities for those who want to travel and volunteer work in exchange for free lodging and/or food. Although you’re not earning income, it is a way to learn and supplement your travel costs.
There Are Some Challenges
Compared to a conventional job, making money traveling has its challenges.
It’s difficult to predict how much money we’ll make each month. Website traffic, video views, product orders will change month to month. However, we’ll gladly take the unpredictability of making money traveling over a conventional desk job any day.
Companies can change the terms of service anytime they want. This can impact the amount of money we earn through the program. For example, Google AdSense can change their terms to take a larger share of the advertising revenue.
Need a reliable internet connection all the time. This isn’t as challenging now that we have a Verizon Unlimited plan and a weBoost cell signal booster. In addition to the videos and articles we publish, there are emails, comments, and other websites we keep up with.
Access to a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Whether you’re a digital nomad or a customer at a cafe accessing a public network, data protection is a concern. Not only that, but if you ever travel to a country like China, website such as YouTube and Google will be blocked unless you use a VPN. The service we use and recommend is ExpressVPN.
How You Can Do It Too!
There are so many ways to make money traveling. You don’t need a website or YouTube channel to make it work for you. Figure out what you are passionate about first. Our dream is to travel and work for ourselves. It happened to manifest into digital content creation. If you’re dream is to travel and paint, a membership site like Patreon or a peer-to-peer e-commerce site like Etsy might be the way to go.
Start Your Own Website – How to Setup a Self Hosted WordPress Site
Start a YouTube Channel – YouTube’s Guide on Creating a New Channel
Below are a few more resources to get you on your way!
Expert Vagabond – Check out Matt’s post This Is How I Get Paid To Travel The World
Gone With the Wynns – Nikki and Jason have featured many success stories of how people Make Money and Travel.
The Wayward Home – Kristin has a series about How People Make Money on the Road.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our post on all our Video Equipment.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 2, 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.