11 Feb 7 Ways to Finance a City-Hopping Lifestyle
Almost every bucket list contains some variation on the same theme: travel the world. It’s a pipeline dream for most – but in our world of social media and hyper-connectivity, the fantasy of living a city-hopping lifestyle can easily become a reality. Whether you want to travel across Europe or try out living in a foreign city for a year, sustaining an income is the key to making this life choice a viable one. So, here are a few ways to support yourself as you bounce from place to place. And the best part? Some of them don’t even require an internet connection, bringing even far-flung destinations within reach.
Become a “Clickworker”
All you need is a laptop and a reliable internet connection to make money online. Almost unbelievably, no special skills or qualifications are required – you can literally get paid to surf the web! You might not get rich, but it could certainly be a way to help you cover your day-to-day expenses. There are endless ways of earning: from completing surveys to watching videos to writing unique articles. Most sites pay on a regular basis through PayPal, so it’s relatively easy to access your funds wherever you are.
Utilize your accommodation
Looking for a cheap alternative to an overpriced city center hotel? Leaving an empty apartment back home while you travel Europe? Renting out your apartment on hosting websites like Airbnb is a great way to make money while you’re traveling, and similarly, an amazingly cost-effective way to live in a city, giving you the opportunity to live like a local and meet like-minded people. Better suited to short-term city hoppers, hosts advertise space in their accommodation and will often act as your host, showing you around town for the fraction of the cost of staying in a hotel. Alternatively, if you own your own house or apartment, you have the option to rent it out whilst your away, allowing you to bring in money which could help to balance out (or even cover) the cost of your accommodation while traveling.
If you’re creative, this can be a great thing to harness if looking for ways to sustain yourself while either traveling or staying in a foreign city. Take photos and turn them into postcards. Collect local shells and pebbles and make jewelry. You could even start digital printing flexible packaging. Knit, sew, draw, paint. You can sell your wares online through communities like Etsy, or better still, at local markets. Check with tourist information in your destination city for details.
If you’re looking at an extended lifestyle change, rather than just a quick stop, teaching English is a great way to experience life in the world’s major cities. English is the global language, and there’s high demand for teachers across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Salaries and working conditions vary widely from school to school and city to city. A university degree will increase your credibility exponentially, and a TEFL certificate, although expensive, will allow you to work professionally and make a better wage. Many schools require you to sign a contract for at least a year though, so this is not an option for the commitment-phobic.
Whatever your native language, you’re most likely have skills or knowledge that you can pass on to others. Perhaps you have a degree in History, or you are a WordPress wizard. Through a number of online platforms you can offer Skype lessons, or create video lessons that you can ‘sell’ to eager potential students. A good internet connection, a webcam and a headset is usually needed for this option, which makes it a great option for a city hopper.
For the more mathematically-minded traveler, or for those with a background in banking or finance, online trading could help you to meet your monthly living costs. You can buy and sell shares or foreign currency, and you don’t need a huge amount of capital to start with.
Go mystery shopping
Being paid to shop sounds too good to be true, right? Wrong. Acting as a ‘mystery shopper‘ can pay off in more ways than one – some retailers pay you a small fee to visit their branches and evaluate the service, while others reward you in goods or services. As mystery shopping services exist in most major cities, this can be a way to either boost your income or help cover some expenses, be it food or services.
That ‘pipe dream’ is starting to look a little more achievable now, isn’t it?