Do you have a talent for arts and crafts? Painting local landscapes, making jewelry, or making other items that others will buy?
There are travelers who fund their adventure travel dreams by selling their arts and crafts at local festivals and fairs to locals and tourists and those that sell them online.
Also, I’ve met some travelers that make and sell baked goods to other travelers to make some cash.
Making and selling arts and crafts is one way to fund your travel adventures, though there are several things to consider if you think this is an option for funding your travels.
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Tips to Sell at Markets
If you are going to sell at local markets while you travel, you will need to research the places in which you can sell your arts and crafts.
You can research ahead if you know where you’re going, or you can ask hostel managers or café workers if there are local markets where you could set up shop.
In addition to markets, there may be opportunities to advertise your art or crafts and sell them directly to locals, travelers, or tourists.
You might post fliers, use free online classifieds, or network with locals to reach direct buyers.
To manage transaction, we suggest you sign up for a service like Square which will allow you to easily accept credit cards using a mobile phone or tablet.
If you are dealing in cash, be prepared with a plan for managing and banking cash. This becomes particularly important if you are crossing borders and dealing with various currencies.
You will need some amount of cash to operate your arts and crafts business, but we caution against carrying a large amount of cash on your person while traveling.
Sign up for a checking account at a bank that has ATMs where you’re planning to travel, this way you can withdraw and deposit cash as needed without penalty.
If you are traveling to a foreign country without a work visa, it is highly likely that you will be breaking some sort of employment laws by selling your product, so be doubly careful about local restrictions.
Tips to Sell Online
Selling arts and crafts online is an increasingly accessible option to all persons, regardless of their technical or digital savvy.
Websites like Etsy.com allow anyone, including worldwide travelers, to easily setup, manage, and grow an online presence to sell arts and crafts online.
You could also decide to open your own online store at shopify.com, or build you own self-hosted store to sell products.
Setting up an online shop is probably a good option for all, even if you plan to sell arts and crafts at local markets.
However, this is an especially good option if you won’t regularly have access to qualified buyers, those with cash.
If you are traveling in a region that is poor with low population density, it’s better to focus your efforts on moving products online.
Plan for your Time, Space, and Supplies for Production
If you’re planning to sell arts and crafts, you will also need to set aside the time, find the space, and procure the raw materials to actually make your product.
This can be a big challenge, depending on your style of adventure travel.
For one, you’ll likely be more interested in spending your time experiencing the local culture and activities. You’ll need to manage that desire to spend time exploring with the time spent time working.
Create as regular a schedule as you can for production and selling, such as setting aside a day or so for production and a couple days for selling each week or every other week.
If you need raw materials, such as beads, canvas, or art supplies, determine how you will manage supplies purchases and inventory.
Will you carry a bunch of supplies? Or will you buy supplies at each town?
Can your crafts travel with you? Small items may be able to be easily stowed and transported, but larger pieces will likely need to be sold or scrapped before you leave.
You won’t have much space for inventory of raw materials or finished goods, so plan logistics accordingly.