5 Surefire Ways Earn Money While Travelling South America

South America boasts many wonders of the world. There’s no wonder why more and more travellers from all over the world make their way to the continent.

You cannot expect to see everything South America has to offer within a single, short trip. I travelled to South America for three months, and it’s not even enough, although I see some of the best things about it.

It’s one of many travel buffs’ dream to explore South America, and luckily, this continent has some of the most affordable countries to visit. However, sometimes no matter how careful we think we are on spending our money and regardless of how cheap the country is, we still get short on travel funds especially when we are travelling long term.

So, how can we work this out? Unless you have an unlimited flow of cash in your bank account, the best option you can have is to work while travelling. Fortunately, there are several jobs you can find in South America that are perfect for travellers who want to extend their trip. Here are five of them…

Teach English

It doesn’t matter whether your first language is English or not. As long as you have a good grasp of the English language, you have a high chance of teaching English in many countries in the region. Unlike teaching English in many countries in East Asia who demand English teachers, however, just expect earnings that will help you get through the day. Well, of course, if you have a credential, it’s going to be a different case as you can land a position at private schools or even respective universities. Otherwise, expect to earn only about US$5/hour, which is pretty decent considering you’re in a country that has a cheaper standard of living. You can also be a private English tutors where you can earn an extra bit more.



Many countries in South America are in need of volunteers. There’s widespread poverty, violence, social injustice, and environmental issues around the region. Because of this, there are many of volunteer service organisations and NGOs all over the continent who offer help to those who are affected. You’ll find a lot of different work experiences to match your interests that don’t require hefty fees to get you involved. You cannot expect big earnings from this type of job, in fact, there are even some that don’t pay at all. However, working on this kind of job may save you on your food and accommodation expenses. The best way to find volunteering job is with the use of the internet; my favourite source is Workaway.

Hostel or Bars

Asado friday party in Lao Hostel - Mendoza, Argentina

The tourism industry is probably one of the best options you can have for finding a job that pays well when you are backpacking in Southeast Asia. Just like volunteering job, you can either paid in cash or paid in food or accommodations, which is for me, similar to earning actual money since that where you are going to spend it anyway.

Working for a hostel is my top favourite job while travelling. I tend to get a manager position in exchange for excellent accommodations, foods, and allowance. My tasks vary, but they are not very complicated. From cleaning the toilets and kitchen sink to making beds and dealing with drunk backpackers, it’s not always the easier job, but still, I find them fun.

It’s also the same as working at bars. Except you have to be willing stay up late and know how to party. Having some bartending or serving skills would also be extremely helpful,

Au Pair

You’re probably aware that Au Pair is common in many European countries, but you have to know that there are also many South American families looking for foreigners to host in exchange for some service. Au Pair is a French phrase which translated to an extra set of hands in English. And this is what it exactly is. An Au Pair is usually a person who is looking to travel the world, and in exchange, they are giving light house chores and/or babysitting jobs. You can find several agencies online that can get you a host family. Aside from food and lodging, host families also offer a handsome amount of salary. The idea of being an Au Pair may sound exciting but also intimidating at the same time. Applying for this to travel around South America requires a lot of research on your side.

Selling Crafts

embroidered felt cuffs #9 #8 #3 #2 #5 #6

Do you have talent on making some art craft? Get the most out of it! Perhaps you can create bracelets, clothes, painting, hats, or any accessories that people may find useful, beautiful, or interesting! There are a lot of tourist spots in South America that have some sort of craft market where you can layout your creations for other people to buy. South America is also known for its many lively music festivals; take that as an opportunity to sell your goods! Aside from selling fashion accessories or jewellery to people, you can offer them body painting or even massage!

As you can imagine, travelling while working in South America sounds intimidating. However, it is not that complicated, and it is definitely achievable. First of all, it’s important for you to create a plan and do a lot of research. If you do, the prize you will get in the end is going to be precious. It might take some time in order for you to make out your final plan. But eventually, it is going to be worth all the time and effort you put on it when you start to look back at the people you met along the way, the places you’ve been, the things you experienced, and all the memories you made, which made possible by working while travelling.

If you like this article, make sure to visit www.fortravelista.com for more useful tips and advice that will make travelling to South America and even in other parts of the world a lot more fun and convenient!

About Emily

Emily Luxton is an award-winning travel blogger and writer with a special love for South America - her favourite continent and second home. A lover of slow, deep travel and really interacting with new cultures, she travels as often as possible on the hunt for new adventures.

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