Work and Long Term Travel the Globe


Online teaching might sound like a daunting prospect to you, but fear not there is a way to make it relatively painless, and also a good chance you can work in your pyjamas from any remote location around the world! Teaching online to finance travel is the most effective way I’ve found to keep moving around the world long term, and I love that clients can follow you as you move.

What’ll I need?

A bit of a ‘wing it’ mentality, proficiency in English and a reliable internet connection. You’ll also find high speed broadband, a decent webcam and a headset mic a great advantage.

Can I really just get started?

In a word ‘yes’. I got my first online teaching work based on being a native speaker and a CV that showed I had relevant skills from volunteering and paid work, but no pricey degree in education or direct qualifications.

You can take private clients via Skype and deliver 1-to-1 lessons wherever you go via that handy webcam. Sourcing your students can easily come from the local free ad site- it’ll be the local Gumtree/ Craiglist equivalent but the name varies wildly depending on where you’re based- locals will tell you immediately what it is. There’s competition but also very high demand.  Place flyers in local language schools for extra tuition. Lodge with a local family and bargain your way to rock bottom prices in exchange for a few lessons  a week in English.

Teaching online to finance travel in Iceland

Your daily commute? This was my view working online from Iceland.


The second route is to join an online teaching agency. The major bonus is that they’ll find your students and set your timetable and rates. Agencies do expect a professional veneer so the quality camera and mic are non-negotiable here. On the downside, they’ll take a cut of what you earn for their services. A couple that I know to be legitimate and viable are TutorABC and italki. Some will even provide you with lesson plans and tailor made material- so all you have to do is login and teach. Bear in mind the minimum commitment is usually 10 hours per week

“I don’t know how to plan a lesson”

No one does, at the start. My major tools have been blog tips such as these, the library in whatever country I’ve just rocked up in, and E-books that I can send to students such as the Natural English series. Pull together a morning’s lessons, and by midday you’re free to explore your exotic location. Next week, login from a new country and catch your students up on your mindblowing adventure for a bit of listening practice! For me, teaching online is the obvious move to finance travel long term.

Featured image credit: CC Bart van Dorp @Flickr

Teaching online to finance travel - Secrets to Finding English Teacher Work Hints and Tips (ESL)

If you like it, then you shoulda put a pin on it!

PS: Looking for more ways to make money while traveling? Here I’ve listed the specific sites I used for teaching online to finance travel in Spain, with links and strategies.


  1. How to Live in Bolivia – How to Live on a Dime and See the World – LIVE IN 10 COUNTRIES

    July 22, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    […] Compare this with a teaching job online or via skype which would pay  at least $10-20 USD per hour. You wouldn’t need to work too many hours to pay for your stay. I have  a full post on teaching English online with agencies you can try here. […]

  2. Hayley

    August 21, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    A useful article, online teaching is definitely a growing market! I’m near completion of my PhD on TEFL teaching and tourism and although I haven’t yet written the results (I want to publish these formally in an academic journal first) I have summarised my research in a recent three minute thesis competition, I think it might interest you!

    1. Danni Lawson

      November 27, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      I checked out your 3 minute thesis, I think you identified some real key points and like your realistic take 🙂 My first teaching job in Peru was also largely unqualified, but luckily a lot of training was provided and it was possible to learn quickly. Thanks for your thoughts!

  3. Corinne

    August 23, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    I agree! It is the way I plan to make money in the next few years. Great article.

  4. Daphne from Girlswanderlust

    February 14, 2017 at 12:24 am

    What a good way to make money! I know many native English speakers travel and teach abroad, but I never heard about teaching online. Good Idea!

  5. Shane Prather

    February 14, 2017 at 7:53 am

    I honestly had no idea it was so simple to teach online. Makes the life of a digital nomad extremely possible!

  6. Julie Cao

    February 14, 2017 at 8:23 am

    I actually consider taking TEFL class before travel to South American so I can work my way through, but it is not in my budget now. I have heard online teaching but have no idea some do not need qualifications. but glad the school in Peru offered some training for you.

  7. Susanna

    February 14, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    I just shared this with my friend who is moving over to Germany and will be looking at trying to self employ while teaching online. I’m sure she will find this very useful. Thanks for recommending some specific companies to look at, I think that’s always the hardest thing to do is find good reliable companies.

  8. Paige Wunder

    February 15, 2017 at 1:13 am

    This is a genius idea for making money for travel or while traveling. I looked into doing TESOL but I didn’t have the money to do it at the time, but this is genius. I think I would very much enjoy this! Thank you for sharing!

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