Have you ever wondered how some people can afford to travel around the world for months or years at a time without working a 9-to-5 job? Same!
So when I looked into ways to make money while traveling, I found that teaching English online is a great option. Since all you need to teach online is a laptop and an internet connection, it’s not just something you can do from home, but from anywhere in the world!
While teaching English abroad is an awesome way to have a life-changing adventure living in a foreign country, teaching online gives you the freedom to teach English language learners without being tied down to one place.
As an online English teacher, you can earn around $14–$25 USD an hour working for companies like GoGoKid.
That’s more than enough to give you the financial freedom to hop from place to place without having to stress about draining your bank account. Plus, you’ll get to build a flexible teaching schedule around your travel plans, so you can leave yourself enough time to enjoy the places you visit.
Sounds pretty awesome, right? Let me fill you in on everything you need to know to get started. Here are some quick tips that I’ll expand on below.
How can you start making money while traveling by teaching English online?
- Get a TEFL certificate to beef up your resume.
- Prepare all the tools you’ll need to teach online.
- Find your dream online teaching job.
- Start teaching online from anywhere in the world! (But don’t forget to keep your expectations in check.)
Boost your resume for teaching jobs online.
Already a teacher? Perfect! It’s super easy to transition from the classroom to teaching online.
New to teaching? Don’t worry! If you have a bachelor’s degree, getting into teaching English as a foreign language is pretty easy.
Whether you’re already a teacher or not, the first thing you should do is add a TEFL certificate to your resume (if you don’t already have one). A TEFL course will help you acquire the skills needed to teach English language learners – which can be a little trickier than you’d expect.
The great news is that if you take a self-paced, online TEFL certification course, you can also get your TEFL certificate while traveling.
Make sure you have all the tools you’ll need to be a great online English teacher.
The most important thing you’ll need to take with you is a lightweight laptop with a webcam and microphone built in (or a headset with a microphone). And don’t forget to pack your laptop charger and travel adaptors for all the countries you plan to visit.
Worried about lesson planning? Don’t be! Most companies, like GoGoKid, provide their own lesson plans for you to follow. But you should also make sure to keep students engaged in your online classroom.
To get started, you’ll likely need some banners, flashcards or stuffed animals and puppets. If you have a knack for crafts, you can make your own, or if you don’t have a creative bone, head over to Pinterest for lots of teaching prop inspo and free downloads. Props are super light and easy to travel with and should easily fit in your luggage.
Getting paid is easy! Online schools normally pay teachers through PayPal or via direct deposit. If you don’t already have anything set up, open a PayPal account or have a direct deposit account set up with your bank, so you can get paid easily.
Start applying for online teaching jobs!
When you’re done sprucing up your resume, it’s time to put yourself out there and apply so you can start teaching online ASAP.
All you need to do is create a free Teach Away profile to start applying for online teaching jobs.
It’s also best to lock down a job before you leave home, so you have financial security during your travels.
Get out there and job search and do your homework. Take some time to research each company and find out which one best aligns with your teaching goals. You’ll find that each company has something unique to offer.
Once the interview requests start rolling in, then it’s time to nail your first online teaching interview!
Earn money and make the most of traveling and teaching online.
So you got the job? Congrats! Now you’re officially ready to teach English online and start your teaching adventure.
Teaching online is super flexible and gives you the freedom to build your own work schedule. Most teachers start with at least 20–25 hours per week, but you can always work fewer hours – or more if you’re feeling ambitious. How much you can earn teaching English online depends entirely on your goals!
To make your money last longer while you travel, it’s important to create a budget and stick to it. A great way to extend your travels is by visiting countries with a lower cost of living to make your paycheck go further.
One great way to save money on the road is by booking cheap accommodations like hostels, Airbnbs or budget hotels.
If you do choose to stay in hostels, it’s best that you book a private room so you have a noise-free space to host your teaching sessions.
But if hostels aren’t your thing, Airbnbs give you the freedom and privacy you need to enjoy the comfort of a home away from home. Make sure you read the reviews carefully and let your hosts know that you are an online teacher (if you are only renting a private room), so they know to give you privacy when you need it.
Whatever option you choose, make sure there is free WiFi available – this is KEY.
Keep your expectations in line with reality.
While the idea of teaching on the road is exciting and fun, there are still a few things to keep in mind as a new online teacher.
Never forget that this is a real job. It’s important to always have a strong work ethic. You are an independent contractor and your reputation matters. Plus, if you miss classes you could be penalized and it could cost you money.
Be a well-prepared online teacher. Make sure you always have a strong internet connection and the right software downloaded on your laptop, so you can take your classroom everywhere you go.
Be on time for classes and find a place to host your video session. You’ll want to find a private space with minimal noise and distractions so your students can hear you pronounce words, and stay on track.
Try to avoid scheduling teaching sessions on relocation days because it can be hard to find a reliable WiFi connection while you’re on the move. Book your teaching sessions around your travel days.
And speaking of booking teaching sessions, since the bulk of online teaching companies are based in China, the hours can be tricky. Be mindful of time zones so you can determine peak hours for teaching online.
As an online teacher, you are an independent contractor/self-employed so remember to report your income and pay your taxes in your home country. Keep track of all your work-related expenses and hold onto your receipts so you can claim them later on. What counts as a work expense depends on your home country.
With all that in mind, there is no reason that you shouldn’t have a relatively smooth remote teaching journey.
Begin your travel and teaching journey today!
Feeling excited about the possibility of traveling the world while you teach? Jumpstart your online teaching career with an online TEFL certification course. Once you’re done (or if you’re already TEFL certified), you can start applying for online teaching jobs at companies like GoGoKid.
While traveling the world and living as a digital nomad is super exciting, just don’t forget to be realistic and treat online teaching like a real job.
Now that you’re up to speed. Get ready for the experience of a lifetime! Traveling changes you for the better. You’ll get to experience different cultures, connect with new people from around the world, and check off so many exciting things on your bucket list. These experiences will turn you into a well-rounded person with a lot of great stories to tell.
So take the leap! Click below to set up your free Teach Away profile and take the first step to making the world your classroom.