How We Make Money While Traveling the World

The one burning question everybody wants to know right, “how do you make money while traveling the world?”

Yes, we get it. We always wonder the same when we meet other travelers and digital nomads.

Are they living on savings?IMG_2251

Are they making money on the road?

Trust fund babies, maybe?

Actually, it’s very rarely (if ever) the latter although that seems to be the assumption from a lot of people. We’ve had people make comments to us implying we are getting help from mommy and daddy, when in fact, we’ve never asked for a dollar. For many, they find it hard to believe that generating a steady online income to support a location independent lifestyle isn’t possibly. We were skeptics as well, until we did it ourselves and became living proof that it is possible.

The truth is, almost everyone we’ve met on the road has either saved up a chunk of money and set out on a round-the-world trip or they have some sort of online business that allows them to work and travel. Many people even started out on just a RTW trip and then found a way to work on the road so that they could continue a life of travel.

We spent the past two years primarily in one place, Thailand, searching for a way to sustain this location independent lifestyle. When we first set off on this journey, Charlie was still trading currency (hence, The Trading Travelers), and this was our primary income. He even started a series on the blog, Trading Tuesday, and although the posts were pretty popular, the series was short lived. You can read the posts here.

digital nomads chiang mai thailandWhile Charlie continued to trade, we were looking for ways to diversify our income, mostly because Charlie knew the trading days would eventually come to an end. He had been dabbling in the app development game with his friend from high school for a few years and they started focusing more on apps. They had a few successes and it was making a little bit of money on the side but nothing substantial. We knew we needed a real business model. (You can read more about their journey with app development at micronicheapps.com).

We were turned on to the world of affiliate websites by Charlie’s same friend/business partner he worked with in the app development game. The biggest draw to building affiliate websites is that it is a passive income business model that continues generating income even if we are off the grid traveling for days, weeks, or even months at a time. Additionally, we have no clients, no bosses, no customer service…we are truly our own bosses. We can put in as little or as much work as we wish.

Success didn’t happen overnight though. It was a steep learning curve and a lot of hard work. In fact, we almost threw in the towel at one point. But we pushed through, putting in more hours than any corporate jobs we’ve had, and before we knew it things were turning around. And once our income started picking up, it was like a snowball effect (read about our 35,000 ft Success Story). We haven’t looked back since.

This business has now taken us to 15 countries across three continents and we no longer have to stay in one place or work long hours like we once did. In fact, our most profitable month yet was when we were back in the US for a month visiting family and we decided to take the month off, barely turning on our laptops at all. The funny thing is though, we actually prefer to slow travel, to continue working and growing our business while discovering new places. We know the more we put in, the more we get out of it. And we are always looking for ways to expand into other areas.