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How to Make Money Traveling by Sailboat

Is it possible to work while traveling quickly?

Hello Mellissa,

From my experience, I have found that it may be a mute effort to try to look for formal employment when traveling if you only want to be a places for few days: you will probably spend as much time looking for work as you would actually doing it. Though asking around for work never hurts. So every time you go into a restaurant, ask if they could use a temporary dishwasher; when going to bars, ask if they could use a couple of bartenders or wait staff. Ask around where ever you go on your regular rounds about towns, take whatever comes up. Post on Couchsurfing.org message boards, ask around the expat bars. Look as you go.

Though I would think that it may be a better strategy to work for yourselves as you travel, rather than always depending on finding work with an employer. If you could start a little business as you move about, then you have truly found the key to perpetual travel. You have a boat, so there are room for supplies. Maybe you could start a little mobile shop and sell jewelry or souvenirs in the streets, or perhaps you can offer the people that you meet little tours on your boat as a trade for food or for a little money. If your way of making money is self contained, as in your own mobile sort of business, it is my impression that your income could be a little more regular and dependable.

It is my impression that it would be your best bet to offer your services to the yachting/ cruising/ boating communities that you pass through. If you don’t already, I would advise that you learn everything you can about diesel engine repair, sail repair, refrigeration (especially!), painting, if you are SCUBA divers bring your gear with you so that you can fix under the boat problems for other cruisers. Basically, figure out what services long term boaters need, learn them, and then offer them to other sailors as you go. Every time you pull up to a port, a little harbor, a river docking, put up flyers all around the bulletin boards of the sailing community advertising your services. Talking shop around the sailor bars, and hanging out on the docks will probably be your best bet for finding employment to keep you afloat, literally.

It is my impression that this would be your best way of making the money to travel perpetually. You obviously know a few things about sailing, so if you could just do the dirty work for other sailors, you could probably make a decent living as you cruise around the world.

There are three things that a traveler needs: transportation, food, and shelter. As you are traveling on a boat, you have two of these necessities beat from the start. The money that you will actually need to travel — save repairs, supplies, and fuel for the boat — are almost nil. If you eat in markets and have cooking facilities on the boat, you are looking at $5 a day on food for the both of you. Stock up on beans, stock up on rice, noodles, textured vegetable protein, get a fruit dehydrator, think about food in terms of weight/ nutrition/ price ratios. Put solar panels and little wind turbines on your boat. Keep massive stores of bulk food on board, and you could probably eat for a penance.

  • Make Money to Travel
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Walk Slow,


p.s. if you would like to blog about your journey, we would love to have you on Vagabond Journey.com. Just go to Vagabond Journey Traveling Writers, and sign up for a free travel blog.

How to make money traveling by sailboat in Europe

Hi there Wade

Loving the website. Planning to travel round Europe on a sailing boat, we will be penniles and need to make some cash on the way round to pay for food and a few beers but obviously a bed is always available to us. We’ll be travelling down to the Med through the French canals and want to see if we can become perpetual travellers. We’re hard working but want to be on the move pretty much all the time at first.

So my question is, how difficult will it be for us to find work for just a few days/a week or 2 and then be moving on? Will it be best to tell potential employers of our plans to leave almost immediately?!

Hopefully you can give us a few tips on how best to go about this, cant let this dream slip away or have to return to the grey English skies having failed and in need of a few good meals!

Thanks for your time


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Filed under: Boat Travel, Europe, Money, Travel Help, Work

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3165 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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