The Best Jobs For Backpackers In 2023 – What’s Holding You Back?

backpacker digital nomad

As many countries are reopening, many people are considering a life of travel. Many people are flocking to nomad countries such as Mexico and even the Maldives.

People have discovered that working remotely works. The recent pandemic has allowed people to reevaluate what they truly desire. Working from anywhere, to their own schedule with the ones they love.

If you have got a job that you can be doing while travelling, such as graphic design or proofreading, excellent. You are one of the lucky ones! But if you don’t, before you sell and then pack up your leftover possessions into your Osprey 65L backpack, you will need to figure out and test how to make money for that sustainable travel and work lifestyle.

Are backpackers lazy?

Backpacking often requires a great deal of physical stamina, mental resilience, and resourcefulness to keep carrying on. Backpackers typically engage in long-distance hiking or travel with a minimal amount of gear, carrying their belongings in a backpack.

They often explore diverse landscapes, navigate unfamiliar territories, and adapt to different cultures and environments. Backpacking requires careful planning, self-sufficiency, and the ability to handle unexpected challenges along the way.

While some backpackers may choose a more leisurely pace or prioritize relaxation during their travels, it is inaccurate to label all backpackers as lazy.

Do backpackers work remotely?

Many backpackers choose to work remotely while they travel. With the advancement of technology and the availability of internet access in many parts of the world, it has become increasingly common for backpackers to work online and maintain a source of income while exploring different destinations. Remote work allows backpackers to have more flexibility in their schedules and locations, as they can work from anywhere with an internet connection.

There are various types of remote work that backpackers engage in, depending on their skills and interests. Some common remote job options include freelancing; digital marketing, social media management, programming, graphic design, online tutoring, and virtual assistant. By working remotely, backpackers can support themselves financially and extend their travels while enjoying new experiences in different locations such as Mexico or Portugal.

It’s worth noting that not all backpackers work remotely. Some may save money before their trip, work temporary jobs in specific destinations, or rely on savings to fund their travels. The choice to work remotely while backpacking is an individual one and it depends on personal circumstances and preferences.

Get paid to travel with no experience

Starting something new and unknown can be scary. Especially when you have more hunger for travel than work. Fortunately, as remote working is still very fresh, many people will be in the same inexperienced situation.

I am sure that there is less competition now than there will be in 10 years’ time when working remotely full-time will be more normalised. Working remotely now is an investment in yourself, it will help future-proof your career and give you the freedom you deserve.

That being said, don’t relax quite yet as you will still have to compete for jobs with like-minded individuals, and put your best foot forward. Answer this simple question, ‘How are you different?’ and then focus your personal branding around this. This will stand you apart as no one can be who you are.

Once you discover what works and who you are, just build upon it and develop as a person. When starting something new such as this life-changing venture, it’s a very good idea to base yourself in a cheap country. Prices have increased in Southeast Asia and it’s not as affordable as it once was, however, it’s still cheap.

Plan everything in advance and give yourself targets that need to be met. Once you have achieved everything on your list, and feel more secure in the direction you are heading in, replicate what works and travel as you please.

Become a travel blogger

Travelling area to area and country to country, you are one of the first since pre covid. As you are confident and have an efficient work-and-travel lifestyle. You are the perfect candidate to start travel blogging. People will be sitting at home wanting to do what you are experiencing. Giving them a glimpse into this travel lifestyle that you are living, will surely inspire and catch a few eyes.

The travel industry is having a rebirth. If you can provide fresh and original content that doesn’t exist anywhere else, people will want to read it.

How do I make money with a travel blog?

One crucial way to make money as a travel blogger is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you recommend products on your site, and include links to them.

Using Amazon as an example, should the reader click and buy the product that’s being suggested via a link, you can usually receive a commission from the sale.

If your travel blog can get the traffic, affiliate marketing is a great way to earn a passive income.

Teach English Online

Teaching English online is a massive industry and many backpackers do this to fund their travelling lifestyle. You do not have to have the teaching experience to start, however, it does help. Most online teaching companies require teachers to have a University degree in any subject and a TEFL certificate which can be taken online with i-to-i.

Teaching English online allows backpackers to travel the world while opening up time slots for lessons. Teaching online is very flexible. iTutor is an excellent platform to start with.

Copywriting and Proofreading

Did you have good English grades? If you still hold onto those great grammar and writing skills. This may be all you need to succeed in copywriting and proofreading.

With copywriting, you create text (copy) for different clients, usually in the marketing or advertising industry. However, there are also plenty of opportunities to write articles for websites. Working with startups is a great way to grow into the industry.

Usually, you have to work to the client’s timeframe and meet deadlines, However, you get to choose when to write, and what jobs you want to take on; allowing more time to travel when you want to travel.


If you are living in a developing or emerging country, dropshipping is an excellent way to make money while travelling. You find products that you can sell to the rest of the world for a higher price. When the buyer pays you, you pay the company or person for the product and send it.

Sometimes, the supplier will offer to send out your item so you are just the middle person. Opening an online store or using Amazon fulfilment are other options.


If you can read, write and speak in a different language, a job translating may be very welcomed. In south-east Asia, there is always a demand for accurate translators as everything is paper-based.

Having an understanding of the culture is also just as important. Sometimes words have multiple meanings in different cultures and countries.

We were once translating marketing documents for a street party in Ghana. Fortunately, as we were translating we discovered that everything including the logo was worded in a way that suggested a whore party! We informed the client and the campaign had to be completely changed due to how the words got perceived. When translating in a new country always let somebody proofread it first.

Social media

Travel and being social work hand in hand. You must have seen all those Instagram posts of the sea and sand.

All companies have to have social media in this day and age but they tend to struggle in the execution of it. Companies like to outsource this job so they can focus on their core business. Social Media Managers take care of everything from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook posts.

Social Media Managers usually work ‘In the moment,’ although this depends hugely on the industry. A social Media Manager may have to plan posts a week or two in advance.


OnlyFans is an interesting concept, It’s been in the headlines of national newspapers, a lot. The concept is simple, you make videos of whatever you want and charge the audience a premium to watch it. Travelling to exotic locations make for a very interesting OnlyFans profile. To use OnlyFans you have to be over 18 years old and you can record anything that you are passionate about.

This platform is not my type of thing, but people I know have made thousands of dollars from selling content on this website. Before you give it ago, I suggest you read a few articles on medium first. So you know exactly what to expect through first-hand experience.


From Trading stocks and shares to Cryptocurrency to NFT’s. Everybody I know has explored trading in some way. New technology has given us many new platforms to trade cryptocurrency or day trade stock and shares at the touch of a few buttons.

I use Coinbase for all my cryptocurrency needs because it is the most trusted platform to use in this crowded marketplace.

I use Freetrade when buying stocks and shares, as it is commission-free and has a certain level of insurance and protection.

Unless you know what you are doing, trading cryptocurrency is a high risk. This job option is not financial advice, but merely for entertainment and educational purposes. You are responsible for your own financial decisions.

Graphic design

Graphic designers are a special breed of people who can turn something looking terrible and ineffective into something meaningful and objective. They are needed for marketing and branding purposes, but it’s not the only thing they do.

Graphic Design is a thriving industry. Due to advances in technology, graphic designers are even more needed now, than in the past, especially for social media purposes.

Not only do Graphic Designers have to make things look good, but they also have to confidently sell what they have been working on to clients.

Starting out as a graphic designer can be very overwhelming because the job is very on-demand and competitive. But it’s very possible to make a career in graphic design, especially as freelancing platforms such as Upwork are becoming more popular. Age should never be a factor when choosing your dream career.

If you want to become a graphic designer I suggest you start with just manipulating imagery in photoshop and then, slowly expand into other areas of design. Don’t bite more off than you can chew as reputation is everything in this industry. The faster you become, while keeping the quality high, the more money you can charge. 💰


There are loads of stock imagery websites where you can submit and sell photos. When travelling it’s only natural to take photographs so why not make money from them as well? Selling stock imagery is very competitive, however, you may make extra money each month which could end up paying for extra luxuries each month.

I like to upload my images to Depositphotos.

These are The Best Jobs For backpackers in 2023

Ultimately, when backpacking around the world, you are accountable for literally everything, including insurance (I use Safety wing).

Backpacking should be enjoyable, if it is not, switch things up until it is. Burnout is real, don’t let it happen to you!

There are jobs for all types of people, both online and offline. If working for yourself isn’t for you, you may want to work for companies in the country where you are living, so you get a real taste of the culture.

Have you ever considered working remotely in Thailand or even Melbourne? There is no right or wrong way to travel, just make it fun.

Opportunities are everywhere, waiting to be found. Enjoy every moment, just make sure you have great nomad insurance!