The Ultimate List of Jobs That Pay You To Travel
If you have been asking, How can I make money while traveling? then you’re in the right place.
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 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
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.
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.
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 Speakers 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 you can find with a simple Google or Pinterest search!
5. Teaching abroad (other subjects)
You don't have to teach English, you can teach other subjects as well! 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.
Often you'd start in your current city and then work your way to an international office. Start by doing some research on what it would take to get re-assigned to a foreign hotel location.
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.
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! I’ve also known some girls who were au pairs and they absolutely hated it. Again - do your research.
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.
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.
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:
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 your home country 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! Plus, you can start a blog for only $2.75.
Keep in mind it can take a while 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 seek 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.
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
Below are some of my favorite resources on starting or creating an online business, or other tools/strategies you can use to make money online.
How to Start a Blog:
How to Start, Grow, and Earn Money from a Blog: Go Seek Explore - this is my all-in-one massive guide on everything you need to know from determining whether to start with a blog or social media, how to set up a blog, strategies for growing your blog traffic and following, and ways to make money blogging. It’s long so I recommend bookmarking it to refer back to at each stage of your journey!
Turning your Blog into a Business:
These articles go over how to go from blogger to business owner - by using your blog as your business platform.
Make your blog self-hosted (if you have a free website - ex: yourwebsite.wordpress .com - you should upgrade to hosting. You can do this for as little as $2.75 a month!)
Passive income takes a lot of work to set up, but once you set it up successfully and are earning money from it, it takes little maintenance over time. The following two blogs are two of my go-to resources for learning about and implementing passive income.
Affiliate marketing is where you link to products with your own special/unique affiliate link and you get a commission from the retailer when someone clicks or buys.
Two of the most common and trusted affiliate programs out there are:
Selling services either as projects or ongoing work is very common for those who have strengths in specific skills.
Another question I get often is finding those initial clients as a freelancer. It’s no doubt that it can be tough at the beginning, as you need to build trust and have some sort of portfolio. This is where I say having a blog or some sort of online/social media presence related to your skill can be helpful.
Sites you can make profiles on to find clients:
Use Facebook community groups to find clients - business and entrepreneur groups are good places to start. Don’t break rules or be spammy, but sometimes you’ll see someone make a post that they are looking to hire a freelancer for X skill. This is where you can comment/message them directly about your services.
Craigslist - I haven’t used Craigslist personally for freelance clients, though do know some people who have landed projects through there. Do your research first!
Stay Motivated! My book recommendations for you:
For those seeking unique ways to work around the world, whether it is finding a job abroad or doing random odd jobs to fund your travels, Vagabonding by Rolf Potts is a must read. It has been wildly popular over the years, and it seems like most people who hear that I’ve worked abroad have asked me if this book was what inspired me in the first place.
For those itching to leave the 9-5 grind, or simply desire to become location independent by setting up systems and a life that works for you (not the other way around), The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss is an absolute gamechanger. In fact, I read this book about a year before I quit my first office job and the productivity strategies alone made it well worth the read! It seems like everyone who is living the digital nomad lifestyle has read and learned from this book, so if you haven’t done so yet and your goal is to remove the shackles of being tied to a location, I couldn’t recommend it more.
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