The Ultimate List of Jobs That Pay You To Travel

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Are you asking, "How can I make money while traveling?"

If you've been around this blog for awhile, you know my #1 secret to getting paid to travel is working while I do it.

You can, too!

Working while you travel is the most financially stable way to travel.

Why?

Because you're literally getting a paycheck and/or amenities (such as housing) covered in exchange for work.

And if your work involves traveling, moving somewhere new, or working online so you can travel whenever you want...then that's a pretty sweet tradeoff.

It's not as crazy or out there as you may think, either - in fact, I've rounded up the ultimate list of jobs that pay you to travel in this post!

These are genuine opportunities, too - none of that get-rich-quick BS you'll find around the web.

How To Get Paid To Travel The World: Real Opportunities So You Can Make It Happen

This list is separated into four sections: 

  • Location-based opportunities: you're typically based in one location, though often you can do this in a foreign city/country (live like a local!) and can travel on your off-hours
  • Work while you travel opportunities: travel is usually a main component of these jobs, so you would literally be traveling for your job. Keep in mind that you'd be working; it's not a vacation!
  • Location-independent ("digital nomad") opportunities: various ways to earn an income online so you can work wherever, whenever!
  • Online business resources: some links to resources that can help you start and grow a location-independent business

LOCATION-BASED TRAVEL WORK OPPORTUNITIES

1. WorkAway.info

Work Away is a super popular method for travelers looking to work in exchange for housing (and sometimes food)! These aren't paid opportunities, but if you're looking to meet and stay with locals for free, get some work experience (most jobs are 2-5 hours per day), this could be a great option.

2. Worldpackers

I've come across this site more recently and it seems pretty cool! It's the same concept as Work Away so I recommend checking both sites to see all options.

3. WWOOF

WOOF-ing is similar to Work Away or Worldpackers, except it's specific to working on sustainable farms around the world!

4. Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL/TESOL)

If you've been searching for ways to work abroad, chances are you've come across teaching English as an option since it is probably the most popular method of working abroad. In fact, a few of my friends have done this and have really enjoyed it!

To teach English you need a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teaching English to Speaks of Other Languages) and in most cases a bachelor's degree. You also need to be a native English speaker from an English-speaking country.

Your college degree can be in anything and you don't need teaching experience for most TEFL/TESOL jobs since you'll get the training when you earn your certificate.

There's a lot of info on this around the web! I found Drew's post on teaching in Korea to be a really helpful resource.

5. Teaching abroad (other subjects) 

You don't have to teach English, you can do other subjects! For these jobs, you'll need to see the requirements for the position - teaching experience, an advanced degree, or being fluent in multiple languages may be required.

Check out Teach Away for this!

6. Hotel jobs (big hotel chains have locations all over the globe)

Big hotel chains have locations all over the globe. This is a cool opportunity if you want to be based in a foreign country.

Start by doing some research on what it would take to get re-assigned to a foreign hotel location. Often you'd start in your current city and then work your way to an international office. 

7. Hostel jobs

Whenever I've stayed in hostels while traveling, oftentimes the hostel workers will be staying there for free in exchange for work (or getting paid).

If you love the hostel life this could be a fun way to get some work experience in exchange for a paycheck and/or free housing.

8. Bartender or Restaurant Server

Bars and restaurants are all over the globe and could be a great way to make some cash if you're based in a location.

Consider the visa situation and the level of fluency you'd need in another language.

9. Travel nurse

If you're a nurse or are studying nursing, being a travel nurse would be a cool way to do something you love while being based in other locations for a certain period of time.

Check out Rachel's post about when she used to be a travel nurse!

10. Volunteering

There are countless ways to volunteer around the world. While volunteering isn't paid, you may get your housing or other travel expenses covered, though it is about the experience and helping others!

11. International government or NGO jobs

If your career path is in international relations, consider jobs in international government, diplomacy, politics, international non-profits, or NGOs.

These often have higher requirements than the other jobs on this list in terms of experience, university degree, and required languages.

12. Au Pair (live-in nanny)

This is another common travel job for those who want to be a live-in nanny for a family in another country. From what I've heard, make sure to do plenty of research, Skype with the family before you accept an offer, and go through an agency if possible! You want to make sure they stick to their payment/contract.

While traveling I've met some girls who were au pairs and they really enjoyed it!

13. Internships

Look at interning in another country! You'll be based somewhere else while getting valuable work experience. This could be a good option for someone still in college or right out of school.

BUNAC is an international internship placement organization that is quite popular. Keep in mind you'd have to pay them for the placement (it includes other things too) so this would be more about getting a placement and traveling while working than a paycheck.

14. Disney College Program

If you LOVE Disney, then consider the Disney College Program! I know a few people that did this and they raved about their experience.

Disney programs for US citizens / programs for international applicants

15. Safari guide

Love animals and tour guiding? Consider being a safari guide! This wild opportunity (pun intended) is quite the unique experience.

I read the book Whatever You Do, Don't Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide recently and it was both informative and hilarious. I'd recommend that book for anyone who enjoys a good travel read, and especially for those looking for first-hand accounts of what it's like to be a safari guide!

16. Environment-related jobs (ex: marine biologist, forester, etc.)

If your field and interests are related to the environment, look for jobs internationally! We're all in this together (and be "we" I mean our entire planet) so you can do research or work all over the globe.

WORK-WHILE-YOU-TRAVEL JOBS

17. Tour guide/tourism jobs

If you're a tour guide, since you are leading the tour, you get to (obviously) travel with your group!

I worked for a group travel company for six months where I was based in Italy and traveled to different countries every weekend for my job.

Check out these posts for tips on being a tour guide:

How To Figure Out If Tour Guiding Is The Right Travel Job For You

How I Traveled To 11 Countries By Working Abroad

18. International Education and Study Abroad

If your career path is aligned with international education and/or study abroad, look for jobs in this field! Depending on the position you may get to travel for FAM (familiarization) trips or be based in the study abroad program location. Depending on your position you may get to lead trips for your students.

You may have to start in the US and work your way up into the international part of the company, as these jobs tend to be very competitive and oftentimes require an advanced college degree.

19. Cruise ship jobs

Want to live and work on a cruise ship? There are many jobs you could get aboard a cruise ship, and there are cruises traveling all over the world. 

Check out this website for cruise ship job postings around the world.

Fun fact: I was really close to applying for a fitness instructor job aboard a Caribbean cruise line! I decided not to since I got a job offer elsewhere, but how cool would that have been?!

20. Pilot or Flight attendant

Love flying? Look into being a pilot or a flight attendant, as you literally travel for your job.

Depending on your route and work experience, you can work up to some pretty cool locations and even look at international roles, too. International roles will most likely require fluency in multiple languages.

Also, keep in mind that you'll probably have to work holidays and odd hours! Worth it though if you love customer service and people, and love to travel as well.

21. DJ or musician - go on tour, play at festivals, etc.

Now this one is a little more of a stretch since it isn't as easy, as you'll need to build up your portfolio and have major talent.

Touring as a musician or DJ for your own tour and/or playing at shows/festivals around the world is a pretty sweet way to live your passion and travel.

NON-LOCATION-BASED ("DIGITAL NOMAD") TRAVEL JOB OPPORTUNITIES

22. Freelancer in creative industries such as photography, video, writing, or graphic design

People can freelance pretty much any skill they have, and with the ability to do a lot of freelance-type jobs on a computer, you can be based anywhere you can get a good wifi connection.

23. Virtual Assistant

You can assist bloggers or businesses virtually by being the person they outsource to! Admin work, social media, copywriting/editing, etc. 

24. Online coach/teacher

Similar to freelancing but you're providing expert advice or education through sessions with your students.

You can do this in many areas, like private career coaching, business coaching, teaching classes (like music classes) through Skype/video chats, etc.

25. Blogger: any niche, doesn't necessarily have to be travel-related

If you can build and grow a blog to the point where it becomes profitable, then you can work from anywhere!

Keep in mind it can take a LONG time for you to build up your blog and earn an income from it through sponsored posts, collaborations, press trips, affiliate marketing, etc. Definitely consider diversifying your income when you're blogging.

One of my best tips for those who want to blog full-time and travel is to work a different travel job while blogging on the side. That way, you are able to travel and can build/grow your blog.

26. Social Media Manager (depends on company if you could do this remotely)

Some companies will outsource or need help with their social media. Social media management for a brand is often a full-time job, especially if you're running campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, and Email. 

This is actually what I currently do part-time as a freelancer and I'm able to be based anywhere in the world.

27. Remote jobs

Any job you can find that doesn't require you to be based in a certain location.

28. Tech support

Some tech support jobs don't require you to be based somewhere specific.

Also, some customer service-type tech jobs need people to fill 24/7 hours, so if you're in a different time zone that could be a plus for the company as you could fill the "off" hours during your day.

29. Independent travel agent

As an independent travel agent, you'll be helping people plan and book their travels around the world. You'll earn money through this either by them paying you or a commission from the places you book with. You may even get additional travel perks from the tourism industry.

30. Translator

As the world becomes more globalized, businesses are often translating their websites, marketing materials, menus, etc. in multiple languages and may need help ensuring their sentence flow and grammar are correct.

If this is your strong suit, consider this as more of a side gig (unless you can find a full-time opportunity).

31. Author (+ add a tour to promote your book!)

It's known that writing a book takes a lot of time and probably won't get you rich, but if you love to write and have that idea in your head, then just do it!

There are a lot of resources out there on going through a publisher versus self-publishing, so make sure to do your research.

Also, in today's age, consider growing your online presence and email list/social media to promote your book. Depending on your following and how your book is doing, you can do a book tour to promote your book which would be a method of travel.

32. Online store or Etsy shop owner

If you run an online store and can keep up with it remotely, then you can travel while you work. Make sure you can realistically manage your inventory and keep up with everything before heading out on a long trip!

ONLINE BUSINESS RESOURCES