15 ideas to make extra money as an expat

Want to find side hustles as an expat? As an expat and I consistently make five figures myself after work, I have the best tips to share. If you move to another country for your partner, you will also find many opportunities in this post.

The key to earning more money while living abroad

As an expat, you have advantages over locals when making money overseas as a foreigner. Most people think about side hustles like freelancing, but knowing your advantage as a highly-skilled foreigner is essential.

It’s crucial to leverage your resources as an expat. For most people, you speak more than two languages, have a multicultural background, are easy to adapt to new cultures, and love exploring new places. This post gives you ideas about quickly generating more money while living abroad.

Travel Blogging

If you love traveling, starting a travel blog is the best way to make extra money, and the best of it is that you can make an excellent passive income with it.

In my free time, I love exploring the city. After two years, I have a list of the best places to go for tourists. One day, I came up with the idea of starting a travel blog since I had exclusive spots that no one shared online.

Starting travel blogging is my best decision since I love traveling; I am an introvert, and writing is my gem. Running a travel blog doesn’t cost much, and in fact, it’s the best way to earn money if you are not a risk taker. In my first year of travel blogging, I spent only $100 on it, but now my travel blogs consistently make five-figure income.

Anyone can start a travel blog, but why is it the best option for expats?

As expats, you are more curious about the city and the country you live in. Besides, you know what foreigners want to read and have more time to explore the hidden spots. It’s best to start a travel blog about the city you live in.

This freebie shares five elements of a successful travel blogging business, giving you a good start for your travel blogs.

Start a coaching Service

Working and living abroad is a dream for many people, but it takes work. If you can help these people with your personal experience, it is a win-win situation.

There are many options for your coaching service as an expat, such as a career coach or job search coach.

As a career coach, you focus on how to help people get more clear on what they want in their career and the problems they have at work; this can apply to other expats in the area you live in or other expats in other countries. As a job search coach, you can help people from your home countries find jobs, including reviewing their resumes and having mock-up interviews.

Coaching service applies to many different areas, not just career/job-related. You can also help other expats to adapt to their lives locally and deal with the uncertainties or anxiety they have once moving abroad.

Be a tour guide

If you love traveling and meeting new people, being a tour guide might be a good option, especially if you speak French, Spanish or German, many tour companies offer local tours in these languages.

Work as a translator

Most expats have a good command of English and other languages. Working as a translator is a good option. Being a translator gives you time and location freedom; it’s a perfect option if you have a full-time job.

Teach languages online

If you love teaching, being an online tutor might be for you. You only need a good headset and some preparation to start with. 

No need to pay any upfront costs since most platforms only charge a certain amount of commission from your hourly rate. A perfect option if you are looking for zero-cost side hustle ideas.

Sell products from your home countries

Understanding the local market and having a unique product source are critical elements of a successful business. 

Since you are an expat, you have an advantage when starting your own business because you better understand both countries (the country you reside in and your home country) and know what products sell well in both markets.

Some friends of mine start their businesses by selling products from their home country; for example, Andrea from Byart sells unique crystal stones from Brazil. She began as a side hustler but later quit her job to immerse herself in the business. My friend, Debbie, imports products from her home country and sells them to other expats from her home country in the area.

This business has two approaches: Sell to the country or areas you reside in or your home country. 

There are two ways to sell products where you reside: sell them to the locals of the country you live in and sell them to other expats like you. This business model is good if you know what products to sell and have some money to invest it in. If you don’t want to invest much, the pre-order business model is more suitable since you only buy the products when the customer prepays the order.

If you plan to sell products to your home country, you can only select rare items on the market or be a treasure hunter at the local second-hand markets. It gives you a tremendous advantage in finding excellent pieces for your audience, which is what your competitors cannot do. 

If it is too risky, you can buy cheaper items locally for your customers. I did it often before I started travel blogging since I lived in Europe and purchased some European-based brands at a much more affordable price for my customers. When flying home for my holiday, I asked the customers to pay in advance and put all the products in my suitcase. You can start small and make it a long-term business. 

Remember, you must start somewhere to know if it’s an excellent way to generate more income. You will find more opportunities once you start!

Renting out a spare room on Airbnb

If you have a spare room in your apartment, it’s a good idea to rent it out. 

Is using Airbnb too complicated? You can simplify it by offering backpackers from your home country one or two days a month. 

My friend, Amy, saw some people on the backpacking forum from her home country asking for a short stay since these backpackers couldn’t find the hostel reasonably priced. Of course, Amy first welcomed female students who just needed a place to stay, not someone who was picky and had high standards. 

Earning money writing online

If you love writing, you can work with some online publications sharing your experience working and living abroad. You can pitch your story to publications that share the same values. Some publications only allow free content, but once your content gets popular, they can have a column for you and start making from there.

For some, the money is not much, but the most important thing is that it opens opportunities for you. 

Host a food workshop

Organizing a food workshop or dinner might be excellent if you love cooking and making new friends!

You can approach some online communities sharing your stories and passion for food. Then organize a food workshop or dinner for the locals, tourists, or other expats. 

Manage vacation homes or houses for other expats

Expats usually have busy schedules; some travel a lot during the year. Some expats don’t stay in one country for a long time but buy properties when they move to a new place if the local regulation allows it. 

A friend of mine, Jack, manages a few properties for expats he knew but has left the country. These expats have apartments at excellent locations, but it costs a lot of money if they have professional real estate agents to manage the property. Therefore, Jack has an advantage because these expats trust him, and the service charge is cheaper, too. 

You can start small, but setting up a company and getting a certification is best to make it a real business. 

Sell Handicrafts Online

Are you creative? Do you love making handicrafts? If so, you can start doing it by selling handicrafts online. The best place to do so is on Etsy and Creative Market. 

Lorena from Gemagenta was originally from Mexico but moved to Brazil for her Argentina boyfriend and then to Amsterdam for his job. Lorena is an excellent example of earning extra money as an expat family. 

She started selling jewelry on Etsy and created her online business from there. Because Lorena lives in Amsterdam, she has a jewelry collection inspired by Amsterdam, which makes her stand out from the market.

If you move to another country for your partner, it is an excellent opportunity to start your passion project. You never know how far you will get if you don’t try.

Organizing trips or small tours to tourists from your home countries

If you love traveling, you can organize some tours or day trips to the residents of your home country. Two advantages of doing it: knowing the language and understanding what your customers want to see in the city. Most importantly, as an expat, you can share some hidden gems and insights.

When I started my travel blog, I noticed that there are a lot of secret spots that no one shares online, so my blog provides different places for tourists to visit. You can do the same on your day trip or tours.

Real estate agent service

Are you interested in real estate? If yes, you can get a local certification as a real estate agent and target expats. There are so many agents, but most of them target the locals. Even if they target expats, they don’t have first-hand information about what the foreigners or expats want.

Being a real estate agent gives you a flexible schedule and unlimited income potential. In addition, it is a perfect opportunity if you move overseas for your partner’s job or want to make extra money in your spare time after work.

Resell used products/furniture from another expat to a new expat

Most expats don’t stay in one country for long; they leave once they finish their assignments. As a result, the expat community is the best place for preloved items.
These items are usually in good condition but need a new owner due to limited storage space when moving. It’s worth the time and investment on these preloved items and sells them to the next owner online.

Create an online course or workshop sharing your experience

Creating digital products is the best way to make passive income as expats since you don’t need to arrange shipping but only digital product delivery. The best part is that you only need to create it once, then you can sell as many copies as you like. It can be a pre-recorded workshop or an online course sharing your expertise and experience.

I created my first digital products after living abroad as an expat for over five years. My first digital product is an online workshop sharing my experience as an expat in the Netherlands, and that workshop has sold to more than 100 students. Later, I created more digital products.

Do you love creating passive income? Starting with digital products is easy. It would be best if you also had a blog to attract an audience who might be interested in your offer and software like Payhip for product delivery and payment.

If you have more ideas about increasing your income abroad as a foreigner, drop them in the comments!

Last Updated on July 5, 2023 by heronlineempire

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