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How to Make Passive Income While Traveling (on AUTOPILOT)

How would you like to be able to earn money while riding camels in the Sahara, hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, or salsa dancing the night away in Colombia?

It sounds too good to be true, but speaking from experience, it’s not. 

Today I’m gonna show you how to make passive income while traveling (PLUS how I use each of these passive income ideas personally…and how you can too).

Stick to the end for the key to making each of these ideas work. 

Prefer watching? Here ya go!

How to make passive income while traveling the world

#1.) Youtube

You’re probably thinking….

I can’t speak on camera!
Youtube is too saturated!
Who is going to care what I have to say!?

If you’re thinking any of these, you’re wrong.

Youtube is an INSANELY powerful tool. 

Where else can you throw up a video that gets viewed thousands or even hundreds of thousands of times?

Maybe TikTok or Instagram, but that’s a bit different. On Youtube, your videos are searchable on the second-biggest search engine in the world.

Seriously though, can you imagine tens of thousands of people all cramming into a stadium to hear what you have to say?

sticky person in speaking at stadium

It’s nuts.

And the best part is, you can earn passive income while actually helping real people. Reading the comment people leave you and the impact you made on their lives is priceless.

Our earnings fluctuate with Youtube, but we were earning enough passive income to support full-time travel for two people when we had less than 10k subscribers (well, at least in moderately affordable countries).

screenshot of Youtube earnings
This only shows ad revenue and doesn’t include other income opportunities Youtube offers.

So you don’t need to have a crazy amount of followers to make this work. What’s more important are views and high RPM topics.

This is why our income has actually dropped as subscribers increased (but at least you get the idea of the potential).

If you’re looking for ways to earn $5,000 a month in passive income (or more), this is a realistic option.

In fact, there technically is no earning cap or limit to how much you can grow. This gives it the potential to be one of the highest-paying location independent careers out there that is accessible to the masses.

There’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to Youtube, and the last thing you want to do is waste a ton of time and energy making videos that don’t move the needle.

To avoid this, I recommend Ali Abdaal’s Youtube for Beginners class on Skillshare, which you can get for free with this link. the sponsor of this video

screenshot of youtube for beginners skillshare course

Ali is a doctor-turned-mega-YouTuber, and he’s broken down the process of starting a channel down into a science. 

He actually has another super expensive Youtube training program available outside Skillshare, so it’s pretty awesome that you can get access to a big chunk of his knowledge on Skillshare essentially for free.

One thing I loved about this class is that it’s not just theoretical, it’s hands-on. By the time you finish, you actually have a Youtube channel up and running with your first video recorded, edited, and uploaded.

There was also a lesson I really liked where he showed the raw footage of him recording an actual video.

Watching a famous YouTuber getting nervous and making mistakes made me feel weirdly good about my own insecurities about talking on camera.

Speaking of which, Skillshare also has loads of classes on how to speak confidently on camera – something I struggle with even to this day – so I’ve been digging into those as well. 

Now, it should go without saying that — while a Youtube channel can earn you money while you’re sleeping on a bus or plane, it will obviously take work to build in the first place.

#2.) Blogging

Before you roll your eyes, hear me out. 

Every year people say blogging is dead. That video killed it. That it’s too saturated. Whatever.

But let me tell you, I’m part of a community of nearly 3,000 bloggers — some earning over $100k per MONTH — and there is no shortage of people starting new blogs from scratch TODAY and seeing success.

Screenshot from a thread in the forums

One member even starts one new site nearly every month (with the goal to sell each site within a couple years).

Starting the Project Untethered blog was the single best business decision I’ve ever made. 

It’s opened up an insane amount of doors and opportunities. And it continues to blow my mind when I see passive income hitting my accounts every day from articles I published months and years ago. 

One advantage blogging has over Youtube is you can diversify your income instead of relying solely on the Youtube algorithm.

graphic showing how travel blogs make money with different income streams

You can:

  • Sell physical or digital products on autopilot.
  • Use your site to attract customers to your freelancing services.
  • Build your traffic and earn from ads.
  • Build and monetize an email list.
  • Earn through sponsored content.
  • And much more.

Similar to Youtube, it’s possible to waste A LOT of time building a blog if you aren’t following a proven system and staying up to date with all the changes. 

To start earning as fast as possible, I recommend joining that community I’m a part of.

For me, joining was when I really started to see results and higher earnings.

That said before paying for anything, I recommend taking this free blogging course first.

#3.) Affiliate marketing

This actually pairs nicely with the first two ideas, but there are other ways to do it as well, even if you don’t have a blog or Youtube channel.

In a nutshell, you basically earn commissions (passively) for recommending products you like.

Affiliate marketing gets a bad rap because scammy marketers push crappy products just to earn a commission. But don’t let this scare you away.

When done correctly (i.e. you’re recommending truly great products that can really solve a person’s problem), then affiliate marketing is awesome. 

You’re creating a win-win-win.

You help solve someone’s problem. The company secures a new customer. And you earn a reward for playing matchmaker. 

company sale, happy customer, happy affiliate marketer graphic

For example, imagine you had an amazing personal trainer that whipped you into shape and helped you lose 50 pounds.

Let’s say that trainer set up a referral program where they offered you $100 for every new client you recommend to him.

Wouldn’t you recommend your awesome trainer to your friends who want to get healthier?

Affiliate marketing is the same idea, just tracked digitally. 

It feels satisfying to give someone a good recommendation that you know will help, and it feels even better if you get paid for it. 

An example of an affiliate program I earn from is SafetyWing travel insurance.

I had a good experience with the company when they covered two surgeries I needed abroad after a motorcycle accident. And now, I constantly recommend them in videos, emails, social media, and my blog posts about travel insurance for nomads.

Here’s an example of how I worked it into a video about travel safety.

Each of these pieces of content I put out into the world is like a little money-making machine that works for me day and night, earning me commissions from other travelers who sign up using my link. (Which, if you need travel insurance, feel free to use! 🙂

As more people sign up each month, this income stream is slowly starting to snowball. And that’s just from ONE company’s affiliate program.

There are a jillion companies out there you could do this with depending on what you create content about. It doesn’t have to be about travel.

To learn how to build a website that earns passive income with affiliate marketing, check out my Affiliate Lab course review. This one’s full of clever advanced tactics.

If you just want to dip your toes in the water, another option is this free mini-course – good stuff!

Key to making these passive income ideas work

As you can see, these are all types of content creation jobs, and the key is in those little money-making machines. 

The more you publish, the more little workers you have bringing in money every day while you’re out trying bizarre new foods, paragliding over beaches, and sipping Piña Coladas.

paragliding in turkey

Some things you create may be hits, others duds. But they all add up. 

The cool thing is you could create an article or video today, and 5 or 10 years down the road, it still might be faithfully pulling in money for you every month. 

So the key is to just keep cranking out quality content that helps people. And whatever you do, don’t give up too early!

Passive income streams require front-loaded effort to set up. It’s hard putting in work at the beginning without seeing any results.

But if you stick with it, it will be worth it. Guaranteed.

Since these all take time for things to snowball, I recommend choosing one of these digital nomad jobs for beginners so you can start earning ASAP.

From there, you can build up your passive income streams on the side.

This is the exact strategy I used, and I’m glad I did. 🙂

Keep in mind – you still have to pay taxes! And these can get confusing if you’re constantly traveling. I recommend this service for most “normal” digital nomad tax situations (if you’re a US citizen).

For even more ways to make money traveling, grab the internet’s most ginormous list of travel jobs below.

Mitch's Travel Recommendations:
Travel Planning Resources - Everything you need to plan your trip on one convenient page.
Going Cheap Flights Newsletter - Get flight deals from your airport up to 90% off sent straight to your inbox.
Safetywing Insurance - This cheap travel insurance has saved me over $15,000 in medical bills. - Book accommodation without adding your credit card (in case you need to cancel).
Trusted House Sitters - Take care of pets in exchange for free (sometimes luxury) accommodation.
Flexjobs - Find remote jobs without having to sift through crappy ones.
Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).


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