Is it Possible to Work while Traveling?

It is absolutely possible to work while traveling. Mind you, working while traveling has its challenges. Some places are easier to work from than others.

I have run my own and other peoples online businesses while travelling. I set up a real world retail business and  designed it to operate as via a virtual office, with staff in different parts of the world. None of these caused me any issues anywhere.


The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
Jean Wallace


Let’s take a step backwards and sort out the bigger picture first. For instance, you can do different types of work while traveling.  Shall we make a list?

By this is mean where you are working in a physical job at a specific location and being paid. In your home country, this is simple enough But if you are abroad this will require a work visa, if you aren’t already a resident.

  • Voluntary work for no pay

Some countries, like Indonesia consider this the same as a paid job and requires work permit. Be sure to get if you are in such a country as things can become very difficult for you if you are and the authorities discover it.

  • Working as a freelancer, usually for an online business

When you are working for other people, generally providing some sort of service and it is usually online, if it is to a person or company not in the jurisdiction you are in, then you are generally fine, but if it is providing online services to a client in the jurisdiction you are in, then you almost certainly will need to have a work visa or be a resident.

  • Taking care of your own business (mostly online)

This is generally going to be an online business that you own and operate, if you are abroad, if would be difficult for the country’s immigration services to say you are working in that country and need a work visa or residency, unless the online business has been set up in that jurisdiction.

There are caveats, Switzerland for instance has special tax categories.  These do not permit you to work anywhere in any active business, you can only manage your assets… This can become very grey!

  • Managing your investments

It doesn’t matter where your investments are, you are just managing them. It might be real estate, or a share portfolio, it might be a day a week  or every day for 5 hours. Generally this is not going to require any sort of a special visa if you are abroad, unless the investment is in the country you are in and could be construed as paid or unpaid work.

Always do it by the book

Don’t risk working illegally anywhere, it is always going to be a big problem for you. being caught can mean being banned from returning. You will be deported in almost all circumstances. It is a painful and slow process that can often involve you being incarcerated for a period of time in the process.

If I am making the consequences of working illegally in another country sound bad, it’s because it is.

Social Media

Authorities use social media monitoring to see what people are up to, you would be amazed how many people are deported from Indonesia each month for posting what they are up to work wise in their social media profiles.

Saying stuff like your share portfolio is doing well this week won’t generally be a problem. Saying you did a photo shoot for a villa can be a huge problem. Advertising your services in a group will do it too.

What sort of work is best?

I’m going to tell you that two types of work are generally fine.

Run your own online business. Be sure to check in with anyone who is knowledgable about the local immigration laws. It might still be an issue.

Manage your investments, you can rarely go wrong with this.

I had done a huge amount of research on residencies, second residencies, citizenship by investment programs and all that sort of jazz. I am happy to give some specific advice if you want some. Just drop me a line and I’ll help if I can.

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Mostly we use just 2 booking sites to find the best deals.

Sometimes we won’t or can't book in advance and just arrive at a place and look around. It can be cheaper. If you try this, get in early and not during peak holiday times. Some people find this a bit too challenging even without kids in tow.

For Long Stays


Airbnb is perfect for longer stays, but you have to be really thorough when you make a booking on airbnb. We have created a video guide on how to make a booking using airbnb, what to look for what to make sure of before confirming the booking. We have booked 100's of places and know all the tricks.

For Short Stays


We have found that when it comes to staying anywhere for a shorter time, the hotels and even apartments offered by booking.com are better value than Airbnb. They are generally more budget focused and not as well set up, but that's not always the case. we just like the hotel offers more for our family for short stays

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For longer-term apartment rentals, Airbnb works out cheaper.  Mostly we find for shorter stays hotels give us better value in pretty much every way.

AirBnb works best for long-term (1 month or more even) stays there are no security deposits and leases to worry about and no utility bills either.

We’ve recently found good deals on Airbnb in Europe and London too, so Asia isn't the only place worth using it.

Become a Host

Airbnb is a great way to make some extra money and meet interesting people by being a host, Use this link to join and get a discount through us.

Booking.com will list your apartment or rooms too for you, just follow this link to sign up

Book a Tour

We have found that other than a rare exception, if you want to book a tour, the best way to do it is through GetYourGuide. The site is easy to use, the tours are all good quality and the pricing is really good, because they negotiate bulk pricing.

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World Nomads is the only travel insurance we use, and it’s great. Get a quote instantly by simply filling out the form below. You can also go to our travel insurance guide page for the full details.

Miscellaneous Stuff

We’ve tried housesitting, but due to it being sporatic, we rarely do it. We are not really into couch-surfing.  Not many people would have enough couches for the whole family anyhow. We do host couch-surfers at home, we just prefer to pay our way.

We backpack fairly regularly, because it's fun (some tips on backpacking with kids will be coming soon). Stays at luxury resorts and villas we like. Going camping and glamping are good too.  Getting ready to do some blue water cruising on a catamaran is definitely our thing.

We never go on package holidays,

Thanks for reading our post, we like to think that we are inspiring people like yourself to even try long term travel, or any travel, with children, or without, maybe to more challenging destinations.

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Try our Travel with Kids in cars post or choose from our Travel Posts Page.