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It’s not always easy to have the time or opportunities necessary to save enough money to fund your entire around-the-world backpacking experience before you leave. Sometimes you have to plan to earn some extra cash along the way to help fund your journeys.
That’s why I’ve put together this handy article including some quirky tips for travellers heading to London and seeking ways of topping up their bank balance in order to see the sights of the British capital and the rest of the UK.
Get free accommodation by working for a hostel. You might be surprised that you can find hostels across London that are almost always on the lookout for staff. In fact, you might even be able to do a deal with them and work for them as a receptionist, cleaner, or laundry room attendant in exchange for a roof over your head! Many hostel staff are travellers, so if you’re young and energetic, working in a hostel is the ideal way to save money on accommodations and meet cool, like-minded people along the way.
Freelancing – If you have already qualified or worked as a professional in a creative industry such as copywriting, graphic design, or social media, you might just have an opportunity to work from the comfort of your hostel bed, or in a cozy coffee shop, with your laptop. Freelance job sites and communities abound, such as Freelancer and Upwork, which typically pay per job rather than at an hourly rate. Nevertheless, the flexibility to pick and choose your work fits perfectly around your sightseeing and social activities!
Work as a tour guide – If you fancy yourself as a bit of a know-it-all about London and have spent a considerable period of time there, you’ll make a great candidate for any tour guide vacancies throughout the city. If you’re great with people, enjoy telling stories, and possibly even bilingual, many tour operators will take you on with very little experience required!
Busking – Are you a talented musician or singer? If you’re not afraid to showcase your ability, it’s possible that you could earn some extra pennies busking around Central London. The London Underground is full of buskers, although the vast majority of these performers have official permits to operate in specific areas of tube stations, which may be something you need to look into.
If you don’t fancy leaving your bed and worrying about looking the part in a London, you could even try your luck with online poker. With just a little innovation and intuition, it is possible to top up your travelling funds doing work that doesn’t even feel like work. Using your nous and people skills to get by with what you can is part and parcel of the backpacking experience. Embrace it!