The 15 Best Jobs For People Who Love To Travel (and How To Get Started)
Do you dream of making the world your office?
Do you want to ditch the desk and travel the globe without sacrificing your paycheck?
It honestly isn't too good to be true and you don't have to get involved in some sketchy get-rich-quick scheme to make a work + travel lifestyle a reality.
After blogging on this topic for years, I've noticed that most people asking for advice on creating a work + travel lifestyle either want to a) have a job where travel is part of the job (versus being based in a foreign country), or b) want to live a location-independent lifestyle so they can work online while they travel, wherever and whenever.
I wanted to extract 15 of the "best" jobs in my opinion - those that are realistic, offer decent travel benefits or opportunities to travel, and what people actually seem to enjoy according to people I've talked to or blog posts I've read.
I've split this list in half, with 10 work-while-you-travel opportunities, and 5 work-online opportunities. Some of these are mentioned in my main post (The Ultimate List of Jobs That Pay You To Travel the World) or my free guide, and some of them are new.
Best Jobs For People Who Want to Travel While They Work
If you want travel to literally be part of your job, consider these opportunities:
1. Flight attendant or Pilot
This one may seem obvious, but when I bring it up to people, they often say they haven't thought about doing it!
You're literally traveling on planes for work, and must be very responsible and have great customer service. There are typically long hours and holidays required.
But if you feel like the skies are calling, look into it.
2. Tour Guide on full package tours
As you may know, this was one of my first work + travel jobs. I worked for a full-package group tour company based in Italy and traveled around Europe for work most weekends.
It is a LOT of work but I'm very organized and outgoing so if you're the same, consider working as a tour guide.
3. Work Summer Camps or Conferences
This is another travel job that I have done yearly - teaching at career-themed leadership conferences for high school students. I've done this across multiple cities in the USA, Europe, and China.
I've found this to be truly rewarding, yet exhausting as the hours are LONG. Apparently I tend to gravitate toward leadership roles with long hours when I'm not working online...though if this sounds like something you're into, research positions for summer camps or student conferences!
4. Cruise ship Staff
Want to work on deck? (Is that even the right phrase to use? I've yet to go on a cruise, haha).
From more traditional positions on the hospitality side, to entertainment or experience-based roles, when you're working on a cruise ship, you go where the ship goes. Check out allcruisejobs.com to get inspiration and seek opportunities.
5. Dive Instructor
This is a role where you'd likely be based in a location and do diving classes in the same area, though with many diving spots all over the world, there are many places you could do this. Alex's blog has plenty of great posts on her diving roles; here is her series on becoming a divemaster.
6. Teaching English as a Second Language
Okay, so if you're teaching English abroad, you're very likely going to be based in a location, but pretty much everyone I know or know of that has taught English abroad did so because their priority outside of work is to travel on weekends and school breaks.
Make sure to get your TEFL or TESOL certificate and do plenty of research on where to go and how to make it happen! There are tons of helpful blog posts and resources out there.
7. Study Abroad Staff Overseas
While many study abroad advisors or coordinators work in the study abroad office at the home university, there are also staff and faculty based abroad with the students who tend to lead weekend trips and excursions.
Some sort of advanced university degree (M.A., M.S., or M.Ed.) is typically required for American universities, and I would assume fluency of the destination's language would be required as well.
These types of roles tend to be very competitive, but if you have (or desire) a career in higher education, it's definitely worth looking into!
8. Travel Nurse
I've met a few travel nurses over the years who love the work they do, and love being able to move to new locations every so often and be able to travel.
9. Government or non-government worker overseas
Jobs in the government, NGOs, and other international organizations often have roles abroad, some of which include traveling to various destinations.
One of the people I interviewed in The Adventure Club did both Peace Corps and Peace Boat - with Peace Boat she was volunteering on a boat that cruised to and from Japan and visited 13 countries in between.
Being an actual archaeologist used to sound very random and far-fetched to me as someone who loves big cities and studied PR/marketing in college.
However, when I took a 300-level history class in college titled The Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome, they introduced a study abroad/internship opportunity in Turkey to dig and discover.
History is "always changing" as some people say, and analyzing pieces or sites is important for historians/researchers, universities, etc.
Best Opportunities For People Who Want to Work Online While They Travel
We are incredibly lucky to live in a time where technology can allow us to work online from anywhere.
This summer, I was traveling through Mexico City and kept up with my online freelance work while I was there.
There was definitely a stressful moment or two trying to figure out how to complete work projects when the Airbnb electricity went out or when I lost wifi on a bus in the middle of nowhere, but overall, it was pretty amazing to still be doing the same work I would be doing at home, but in Mexico City instead.
In general, over the past couple of years I've been able to work + travel online across Asia, Oceania, and Mexico with little to no issues.
It's just important to keep your work/life (or work/travel) balance for these opportunities in mind!
11. Travel Blogger or Vlogger
This isn't always lucrative in the beginning, but if you love to create with writing and/or videos, this is definitely one way you can make a work + travel lifestyle a reality.
How to Get Started: Check out my post on how to start, grow, and earn money from a travel blog.
It goes over ALL the basics on how to decide whether you want to start with an actual blog or social media, the tech basics of creating a website, how to grow your online presence, and various ways you can earn money from doing so.
12. Freelancer - video and stock video
This video is super helpful if you want to sell stock video! I linked to this in my #MotivationMonday emails and got a few replies from people saying they started doing this.
You can also create videos for businesses, hotels, weddings, and so much more that doesn't require you being in one location all the time.
13. Freelancer - literally anything else that you can do online
Yes, you can freelance for pretty much anything these days - social media marketing, graphic design, IT support, HTML and coding, copy writing, copy editing...the list goes on and on. Check out sites like Fiverr and Upwork for inspiration, and consider creating a profile of your own to sell your services if you're getting started.
Another way to get word out is to tell people you're available for hire. Facebook groups that allow this are another great way to find and connect with potential clients (make sure to respect the group's rules first, though)!
14. Run an online business
"Running an online business" is extremely general, as there are many different ways you can work online. From dropshipping to online services to Etsy and (so much) more, it is entirely doable to create a business that requires no location.
Like anything, using Google and researching avenues you're interested in is the best way to learn how to start.
Know that it's not always easy (in fact, in most cases it'll be the toughest thing you do), so only look at starting an online business if you're passionate, self-motivated, and persistent.
15. Travel Agent
Believe it or not, even in this day and age with all the information on the internet, there are still people who are full-time travel agents and actually make money doing so.
Whether it is for booking corporate trips, honeymoons, or big family vacations, not everyone has the time or willingness to plan a trip abroad.
Both one of my friends and her mom are travel agents - my friend has her license and casually does it on the side if an opportunity comes her way (and enjoys the travel agent discounts), while her mom has a long list of clients and does it as her full-time job.
There are plenty of different travel agencies out there. Here is the one my friend and her mom work for.
What Most People Won't Tell You About Looking For a Travel Job
If you're interested in creating a work + travel lifestyle, chances are you've come across similar blog posts or articles like this one.
What I've found is that most of them don't tell you how to get started or how to find the time in your day to make this goal a reality.
They'll tell you to bring a guitar and do music busking on the street, or work the night shift in a hostel for free accommodation, and that'll be enough...but 1) that may not pay the bills, and 2) you might not find that enjoyable or feel like you actually get to experience the destination you're in.
What you need to do is do the research and decide what path is right for YOU.
One of the number one things my readers tell me through emails is that they feel relieved that I pull back the curtain on how to work + travel, and how to find something realistic.
This is why I have people telling me they have actually gone out and made it happen! (And that makes me SO happy. All I want is for YOU to be out there living your travel DREAMS!)
When you're creating a work + travel lifestyle, you'll want to consider:
- the destination(s) you're working in
- the lifestyle you want to create - do you want travel to be part of your day-to-day job, or do you want to live the "laptop lifestyle" and free yourself of location?
- how much money you need to make to sustain your lifestyle - this is so important, yet so many people skip over this
- when it is doable to make this a reality - how long will it take to build up your online income, when would a tour guide position open up, when is flight attendant training....etc.
2 Ways To Get Started (and Stay Organized!) When Creating Your Work + Travel Lifestyle
1. Download my free guide on working abroad
I go over the three simple ways to get paid to travel and how to organize the process in my free guide. It also comes with a free email series to further help you streamline the process.
Thousands of people have gone through the free guide + email series and have given it great feedback on how it helped them get started on pursuing their travel goals.
2. Get my book, The Adventure Club
In The Adventure Club, I go over what a work + travel lifestyle is and how to figure out which path is right for you.
Twenty (!) interviews are included from people who have worked, volunteered, or started online businesses all over the globe.
At the end, there are journaling questions and an Action Plan guide to help you clarify your goals! Grab your copy today on Kindle or paperback. :)