We need to work on the road or we’re coming home early

We have to work abroad We have to work abroad

Like most people who are already doing what we’re about to do, we don’t have a huge wad of cash in the bank account to travel on. We’ve got a little bit to keep us going, but we want to be on the road for a few years at least. As such we’ll both need to work on the road and I’ve taken my first steps to be ready.

We have a few money making ideas that we want to explore, but they are risky and may take some time to start producing an income. I have an education degree that will come in handy, and I have completed a 140-hour i-to-I TEFL course, formally qualifying me to teach English abroad.

Why did I choose i-to-i? Firstly I’ve read a few travel blogs that recommended them. Secondly they’re a big organisation that is recognised right around the world. From researching online it seems every company looking for employees to teach English mentions i-to-i. Thirdly the course is very flexible which suits my needs. I work, have a young son, and lead a busy life. The course I’ve chosen allows me to do it online for the most part, and then attend one of a selection of weekend workshops to finish things off.

There were heaps of courses to choose from, ranging from 20 to 140 hour options. But I didn’t choose which course straight away. I spoke with a lovely young girl on the phone initially, asked a bunch of questions, then said I’d have a think about it. After a few days I called her back, asked her a heap of other questions then chose my course. I always think it’s important, when making important decisions, to ask as many questions as possible and take your time to make a decision. After all, making the wrong decision could cost you more than just a lot of money!

I chose the 140-hour course, it’s clearly the most expensive, but I figured it would be money well spent in the long run. The competition for teaching positions is going to be fierce, particularly in the regions where they pay really well such as Western Europe and the Middle East. If I apply for a job and my resume shows I have an Education degree, teaching experience and one of the most in-depth TEFL qualifications as well, I’d be reasonably confident of getting the job above anyone who doesn’t have at least an equivalent TEFL qualification.

The i-to-i website also has some fantastic resources. You can find out all about the best countries around the world to teach, how much you should get paid, the cost of living in those places, and what other benefits may be included. When choosing where to go, don’t just head for the highest paid, because it could just be that it’s also the place with the highest cost of living. For example, working in the Middle East may be lucrative, but would you rather earn less and live in Rio de Janeiro or Prague or Ho Chi Minh City? For us the most important consideration is where we’ll be most happy. I’ve made the mistake of leaving a job I thoroughly enjoyed for better pay, a job that turned out to really suck. I knew it would but thought the great salary would soften the pain. It didn’t!

What do you do to earn cash while travelling? Got any suggestions for us or our readers? Leave a comment below…

Please note i-to-i had nothing to do with me writing this blog, and there are plenty of other companies out there who provide TEFL courses. Do some research and pick the course and company that is right for you.

7 Comments on We need to work on the road or we’re coming home early

  1. My main source of income while travelling was freelancing online. That and money from blog advertising.

  2. Hi, I have found your website through a comment you left on the blog of ‘Suitcase stories’. Just wanted to give you feedback and say that I am finding many of your posts really useful and our post on house sitting for example very supportive of something we have already started and didn’t realize was such a trend. We are just in negotiations with our second house-sitting opportunity for strangers and might spend June-July & August rent free in California, San Francisco Bay Area. (1 month will be for relatives of my partner). Your blog post on house sitting then made me think, perhaps we could house sit more and that way live in this area but still save for a deposit on our own home …

    I actually had a question specifically to the I-Tefl course that you chose. Do you feel satisfied that the 140 hour course will stand up to the more traditional Celta / Tefl qualifications ? And: did you finish the program already or did you begin it recently? I am asking because I have a potential year of living in Asia on my horizon, too (as well as dreaming up dream houses to build or buy)

    And last but not least: I look forward to looking up the logistics of travelling with a small human, we haven’t got one yet but are thinking about ‘making’ one..

    Best greetings, Birgit.

    • Hi Birgit, thanks so much for your kind words. We’re so happy you’re finding some of our posts useful for your own travel plans. We learnt so much from other blogs before we started, so we’re hoping our site might also help others along the way.

      House sitting is such a great way to go to save money and experience new places. We’ve only been to Vietnam and Cambodia so far, and opportunities are scarce, but we have no doubt when we get to Europe and North America our options will be much greater.

      As for the i-to-i TEFL course I did, I’m sure it will hold me in good stead when I start applying for paid teaching positions in the Middle East and Europe. I believe it’s comparable with our courses available and will be considered equally by potential employers. But you should do some research and choose the course you feel is best for you.

      Finally good luck with producing your own little human, that’s very exciting! Travelling with Jack is challenging at times, but ultimately we know it will be rewarding for him and shape his development into a well-rounded, resilient, accepting little boy.

      Safe travels…

  3. Excellent website/blogs
    We are planning a year of travelling in September 2015. 2 adults and 2 children (8 and 5 years old). Do you think there are house sitting, volunteering opportunities available for individuals with families?

    • Hi Edward, congrats on making the decision to go travelling for a year, you’ll have a blast. There are definitely housesitting opportunities for families everywhere. The people looking after the house we’re currently housesitting in France was a New Zealand couple with two kids. We’ve got some housesitting sites to search through here – http://www.travellingapples.com/2014/03/10/house-sitting, but we’ve also found a couple of others recently such as https://www.nomador.com and http://www.luxuryhousesitting.com. Start searching a few months before you leave and I’m sure you’ll find something, especially if you’re headed to Europe or America. France, Spain and England seem to be the most popular housesitting countries. Good luck.

  4. Thanks for the reply. The plan is to go to Thailand – South East Asia for a few months on to Australia, USA and then Canada. We are planning to sell our house, leave jobs etc. I have been a primary school headteacher for 12 years so the idea is a little mad. I’ve never travelled anywhere really so if we don’t do it now we never will! It will be great just to spend quality time together as a family. We’ve just come home from a wonderful 4 night break in Prague. Very busy there but the boys enjoyed the snow.

    • There’s plenty of housesitting opportunities in Australia, USA and Canada. You shouldn’t have any problems. I was a primary teacher once upon a time too, although that was over 10 years ago. We did almost exactly the same thing, although we didn’t sell our house, but we don’t really have a belonging to our name! It’s a little scary at first, but then you realise none of that matters, and the adventure takes over. You’re going to have an amazing time.

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