How to Make Money While Motorcycle Travelling

If you’re planning a big motorcycle trip and want to figure out ways of earning money as you go, then this one’s for you. This guide offers a range of ideas and options to help you make money while travelling and live like a motorcycle nomad.

How to Make Money While Motorcycle Travelling

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How to Make Money While Motorcycle Travelling

The holy grail. How to make money while having the time of your life? This is one of (if not the) most asked questions of long-term and round the world motorcycle travellers.

But before we get into it, it’s important to note that this isn’t for everyone because not everybody wants to earn money as they travel. Of course, everyone wants to earn money – but a lot of people save for a very long time to do their trip of a lifetime. Their trip might be six months or a year, or even five – and they want to enjoy every moment and not worry about money as they go – hence relying on savings and that’s a great way to do it!

However, for those who don’t want to solely rely on savings and might want to extend and stretch their trip out, earning money as you go is a must because it opens up a whole new world of possibilities – like being able to stay on the road indefinitely.

Here’s the crux. Earning money on your motorcycle travels means you have the possibility to change your actual lifestyle. You can effectively live on the road.

And if that sounds like something you want to do, then read on as here’s what we’ve learnt after spending five years on the road so far…

The legal bit

This article only offers ideas on jobs and ways to make money as you travel. Some countries require specific visas for working. You will need to check the regulations and rules for each country before you engage in any work.

Travelling on the cheap and budgeting

A quick note on conserving money while travelling. This article’s aim is to offer ideas on how to make money while travelling, however, that’s just half the battle. Figuring out how to spend well, budget and travel cheaply is what really stretches your coins for longer. We have a separate and seriously comprehensive guide on that for you to check out next. 

READ MORE: How to Motorcycle Travel on the Cheap 

Adv bike camping in Mongolia
Self service laundry in Mongolia's Gobi Desert. Check out our Travelling on the Cheap Guide for tips.

Online Work for Motorcycle Travellers

Work remotely

This is by far the easiest option for earning money as you travel on a motorcycle. Keep doing the job you’re already doing – but from abroad.

Of course, it might not be as easy as that for some. You would need to be able to work less so you can travel more – that means being able to work for yourself, or having a boss who will let you work part time or with flexible hours or set hours.

It also requires you to have a job that you can do remotely. This basically means that you can work from anywhere and don’t need to physically go into work to do your job. During covid, a lot of businesses realised that their staff could easily work from home, if you fall into this category, it may be worth speaking to your employer to see how they’d feel about the idea.

You would need to make sure you are able to connect to WiFi on your work days if that’s required and have an agreement in place with your employer on your set days. Alternatively, if you work for yourself, then it’s all down to you.

There’s a trillion examples of jobs that lend themselves to remote work – here’s just a few fields: graphic design, accountancy, consultancy, IT, recruitment, web design, social media, marketing, copywriter, customer services, finance, software, sales… anything really!

If you’ve got a job that you don’t need to be in the office for, see if you can make it work on the road.

Online jobs

You might not currently have a job that allows you to work remotely, but don’t worry because there are thousands of jobs out there that you could do online.

Before you go on your trip, you could retrain in a different field that would allow you to work online and from abroad. Alternatively, you could look for online work. There’s so much to choose from and so many ideas out there.

So, we took a look at what other long-term motorcycle travellers do and have listed down a bunch of their online jobs. These are actual examples from travellers you probably already follow.

You can do these jobs by offering your services on websites like Upwork or Fiverr, or by promoting them on your own website or social media accounts.

Australia Motorcycle Travel Great Dividing Range
With online jobs, you can literally work out of your top box... so long as you can fit a laptop in there.

Travel planner – If you’ve got a knack for logistics and know your way around the globe, why not help others plan their trip?

Teach online – This is a great idea. If you’ve got the skills to teach then apply them to online learning. Teaching language is a very popular option and there are plenty of websites out there looking for online teachers.

Copywriting – If you can write well, then offer your services up on a digital platform. You could translate films for Netflix, write text for websites or articles for companies.

Social media – Social media consultancy work is a popular business. A lot of people offer their services to help manage and promote businesses.

Marketing consultants – This one links on from social media above but covers a much broader spectrum if you’re able to work with brands to help with their marketing needs.

Photography – Some travellers sell their photos or even offer their services to edit other people’s pictures or even teach photography.

Life coaching – If you have experience in this field, there’s no reason you can’t do it online.

Set up a business

One of the best ways to make money as you travel is to set up your own business – but it’s also one of the hardest and requires more of your time than the other suggestions.

You might not know anything about setting up a business, but you can easily learn what you need to know from the sheer vastness of online articles. There’s loads of ideas out there and a business can be born out of anything. Think about your skill set, what you’re good at and what you’re interested in and see if it can be applied to an online business.

Also, bear in mind that you don’t have to do everything from scratch. There are online services like Fiverr and Upwork where you can find and pay people to do work for you – at usually very reasonable prices.

Drop shipping and print on demand

For example, let’s say you want to set up a t-shirt selling business. You don’t have to design and sell these yourself. Outsource!

Go onto Fiverr and find someone to build you a website, then find someone on there to produce a selection of t-shirt designs, make an account with a t-shirt printing company that does prints and posts the products (print on demand explained below), upload your designs and voila!

The beauty of this is that print on demand means a product is only produced once a customer places an order. So there’s no mountain of boxes filled with different designs, colours and sizes sat in your bedroom (or stuffed in your panniers).

Someone places an order somewhere in the world, the order automatically goes to the printing company, they print and post the item, take a cut of the profit and pay you your share. 

We use this option with our Mad or Nomad Shop. Take a look at the site and you’ll see how it works. 

Sporting our own t-shirts helps pay for fuel (petrol, coffee and wine) on the road.

Create and sell your own product

Jannell Clarke is a motorcycle traveller from Australia who has been on the road for nine years with her husband Stu. They travel the world on their motorcycles with their dogs. So, they set up a business making dog carriers for motorcycles! Read more about their story and their ideas for earning on the road here.

READ MORE: How We Financed 9 Years on the Road

Set up a business like Jannell Clarke.

Etsy, eBay, Amazon

You can create a store on eBay and sell products. These could be things you find in the country you’re travelling through, or motorcycle parts if you can get them cheap. Etsy is a great way to sell creative design products and a lot of people have great success with Amazon fulfilment.  

Digital products

Your online business doesn’t have to be physical products. You could always delve into digital products too, like eBooks, setting up a commerce store, starting a blog or website, consulting and so on. It could literally be on anything.

Social Media for Motorcycle Travellers

YouTube

This is a big one for motorcycle travellers. A big chunk of people heading out there on two wheels these days create YouTube content. Some do it for fun as a way to document their travels and so set it up with the aim of making money and supporting their trip. There is a lot of money to be made from YouTube, but it is a competitive market and takes planning, commitment, time and hard work to get a YouTube channel off the ground and to start earning decent money from it.  

But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. You can make it work if you want to put the time and effort into it.

We met a fellow traveller a long time ago who left on his trip with no intention of creating YouTube videos. But he started one day into his trip as a way to let friends and family know how he was getting on. His views and subscribers started growing and it slowly turned into a proper channel. Today he’s a successful YouTuber and is able to keep his travels going by producing and uploading video content.

If you’re interested in getting into YouTube and filming your travels, have a read of this guide.

READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide to MotoVlogging

The Ultimate Guide on MotoVlogging - Making Motorcycle Videos for YouTube
Start a YouTube channel like Marc Travels.

Instagram

Instagram is also big business. But like the above, it requires time, serious commitment and work to make money from it.

How motorcycle travellers make money from Instagram is primarily by being sponsored and paid to recommend gear, products and services. They might get a helmet for example and be paid to upload content about it.

The catch here is that you need a big following (at least 10,000 plus) to make it worthwhile. So, this is something you can start earning from once you have already established your account and following.

To give you an idea, motorcycle Instagrammers can earn anything from £10 to £1,000 per sponsored post. Famous travellers with upwards of 100,000 followers can earn more than this too.

Websites and affiliate sales

You could build a website in whatever industry you like or have knowledge in. Create informative content to help people, provide interesting stories, in-depth reviews, offer services or produce engaging content. You could do anything with a website, the options are limitless. But again, like with social media, it is hard work and takes a lot of time.

How most people make money from websites is by using Ad services like Google Ads or Media Vine. When a user scrolls through your website and clicks an advertisement, the website owner gets paid.

Another method is by sponsored posts. A company may pay for a post or article on your website in order to help drive traffic to their website. You could get paid for the article itself or for the amount of clicks you can send someone.

Banner ads are also popular. Companies pay website owners to place a banner (image, picture, text or graphic) on their website which advertises them.

Another option is to link up with affiliate companies. The way this works is by recommending a product with a link to a store that sells it (for example Amazon). And if a follower clicks on your link to buy it from Amazon, then Amazon may pay you a small commission for sending someone their way.

Morally, it is very important to note here that the products you recommend should always be things that you genuinely believe in, like and use.

Hands On Work for Motorcycle Travellers

Working online isn’t the only way of making money on your motorcycle travels. It’s not for everyone and some people prefer to be more hands on. There’s loads of options here too.

Work as you go

The easiest way to earn money doing hands-on work on your motorcycle trip is to just work as you go. This doesn’t have to be work you do at home (or even know how to do) as you can get on the job training.

You could opt for bar work, cafes, restaurants, cleaning, hostels, hotels, campsites, maintenance, farm work, building, you could even use your bike to work as a delivery rider or food courier… anything! The list goes on and on. 

Pull up in an area you like, find cheap accommodation, and ask around for work. Ask your friends, fellow travellers, locals, in bars, online, on Facebook groups etc. If you work in a hostel, bunkhouse, campsite, a fruit picking farm or anywhere that has accommodation, you are very likely to get a heavy discount or the room included.

Skills

Do you work as a mechanic at home? Ask a garage if you can put some days work in. Are you a carpenter, or brick layer, plumber or can you do odd jobs? Ask in a motel if they need any work doing. Having a skill set means you can apply for more specific jobs and hopefully earn a little more too.  

Adventure jobs

There are plenty of adventurous and active jobs out there. You could be a tour guide for a hiking company, lead truck tours, adventure weekends, rafting, canoeing etc. What about flying to Thailand and taking your scuba diving instructor qualification and then stopping off every so often to work as a diving guide? What about a support vehicle driver for bike tours? How about a local tour guide? ATV tours? Horse guide in Kyrgyzstan? The list goes on…

Motorcycle Travel Philippines
Diving in Borneo? Why not have an adventurous job while on your adventure!

Guided motorcycle tours

There are a lot of great motorcycle rental and tour companies out there and they’re always looking for knowledgeable tour guides to help on rides around the world. You could always ask local companies if they need any guides, or even get in touch with the big companies too.

If you’ve been staying in a country for some time on your travels and know the lay of the land then you’re going to be an excellent candidate. If leading a tour isn’t your thing, then don’t worry. Tour companies are also on the look out for tail end riders or support truck drivers etc. Just get in touch and ask.

Additionally, you could always do your own thing. Put a post out online and offer to take people on a great route.

Ultimate Guide Guided Motorcycle Tour
Leading or helping out on guided motorcycle tours is an excellent option for adventure travellers.

Teach English

We mentioned teaching English in the online jobs section above. But you can also do this physically too. There will always be schools around the world that would love to employ English speaking teachers. TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is a great qualification that can be done as a crash course and enables you to teach abroad. You can even get the qualification online. 

Freelance writer

Writing for motorcycle publications is a great way to share your stories and earn money as you go. Get in touch with some of your favourite motorcycle magazines and ask what their requirements are for submitting freelance work. You will also need to supply high-res photography to go with your copy, so it’s worth investing in a good camera and spending time learning how to use it and edit your pictures. The best words in the world can’t be sold without photos!

If you’re new to freelance writing, it may be worth practising first by submitting features to online blogs and websites and ask for feedback.

It doesn’t have to be a motorcycle magazine either. You could be an avid hiker or foodie and submit articles to those types of magazines as you travel.

Photography

As above with freelance writing, you could sell your photography to motorcycle magazines and publications. This can easily be extended to other magazines too like wildlife and landscape mags.

Motorcycle Travel Tasmania
You can make money from your pictures if you're already a professiononal photographer. Or if not, invest in decent equipment, hone your skills and see what happens...

Presentations

Some motorcycle travellers are fantastic at giving incredible presentations about their travels. This might be an idea for you if you’re good at public speaking. Get in touch with events, organisations, dealerships and so on.

Write a book

This is a big one, but book sales can help fund your travels. It seems to be a more popular idea these days, especially with self-publishing and selling your own book in Kindle form on Amazon etc.

If you’re after some inspiration, have a read of our favourite motorcycle travel books. 

READ MORE: The Best Motorcycle Travel Books

Work Exchange for Motorcycle Travellers

Volunteering

Of course, volunteering and work exchange doesn’t actually physically pay you any money – but – it is a great way of extending your time on the road and enhancing your travels, which is the ultimate goal of this article anyway. 

With work exchange, you can work for a company or more often a private individual in exchange for food and accommodation. While doing so, you get to spend time in an area and really get to know it, the people, the language, customs, culture and so on. 

There are lots of ways of doing this, from working on farms, to helping someone run their B&B, fruit picking, or even house and pet sitting. If you were to house sit, it’s like free accommodation so you’re saving a lot of money there! 

Great websites to get started down this route are WWOOF and Workaway. And don’t just take our word for it, read this excellent article on the Thoughts from the Road page.

READ MORE: Volunteering on a Motorcycle Trip by Morgane and Max

Sponsorship for Motorcycle Travellers

You’ll find a bunch of brilliant articles about sponsorship for motorcycle travellers with a quick Google search. We’re not sponsored by anyone, so if you’re considering getting sponsored to help fund your travels, it’s worth checking out those articles written by people who know that world better than we do. Additionally, cash is extremely unlikely and very rarely involved, and so it is not a way to earn money on your motorcycle travels – another reason we’re not going into it in detail in this article.

Our quick take though is that sponsorship isn’t just asking companies for free stuff. It’s an exchange. You will need to provide a company with social media posts, exposure, coverage, photos, articles etc – whatever it is you agree on, and in return they provide you with gear or services. Before you go down this route, consider if you really want sponsorship and to be tied to a company – having to hashtag them in everything and worry about giving them the coverage you promised while trying to enjoy your trip of a lifetime. 

Passive Income for Motorcycle Travellers

Earning passive income is the absolute best way to travel if you can make it work. It means being able to earn money automatically even after the work you have done is finished. So that automatic generation could be from investments for example.

This is, of course, something you would need to set up before you leave on your trip. But it can be done while on the road if you choose to invest while travelling.

The most popular way of earning passive income is to invest in something. That could mean renting your house out and using the rental income to fund your travels. Or it could be investing in a business, other property, stocks and shares or even in your local fish and chip shop. If you have an acumen for this, then consider it a option.

Read more on motorcycle travel

Thanks for checking out the How to Make Money While Motorcycle Travelling Guide. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on motorcycle travel that we recommend you read next. 

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Are you planning a motorcycle trip and thinking of ways to make money while you travel? Do you have any questions, tips or suggestions? Let us know in the comments below. 

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