Is Working While You Travel Actually Worth It? Try This Quick Exercise

Is working while you travel actually worth it? Try this one simple exercise to find out!

One thing people often ask me is why you'd want to work while you travel instead of taking a simple vacation. I get it! Work is often connected to days where you hit snooze 2-3 times, get stuck in rush hour, and sit in a boring cubicle doing mind-numbing tasks day after day.

Not all jobs are like that...and I'm talking about travel jobs.

Yup! Because I've lived a work + travel lifestyle for 2+ years I've worked three international travel jobs in Europe and Asia, all of which included some pretty fun experiences.

These jobs included specific duties like tour operations, marketing, and teaching in addition to the travel stuff - traveling and doing adventurous activities.

Hiking the Great Wall in China (that's not a typo - it's hilly, wear good shoes!). White water rafting in Croatia. Boat cruising in Southern Italy.

All for my job.

Is working while you travel actually worth it? Try this one simple exercise to find out!

The jobs I've personally held were for international educational conferences and a study abroad travel company.

Since there are SO many travel opportunities out there, not one job will be the same. That's why it's good to look at all pieces of the puzzle when deciding if working while you travel is worth it.

Is working while you travel actually worth it? Try this one simple exercise, it should take no more than two minutes.

Take out a piece of paper and draw three columns.

In the first column, write down which travel job you're looking into, and the required duties.

In the next column, list what's covered, such as a paycheck, housing, or travel costs.

For the last column, add other non-monetary benefits like soft skills, friendships, or learning a new language.

So the three columns should include:

  1. What the job entails
  2. What you get in exchange for work
  3. Other skills/benefits from this job

For an example, I'll use my former travel guiding job in Italy.

What the job entailed:

  • Leading full packaged weekend trips around Europe
  • Sales
  • Social media management
  • Event planning and hosting

What I got in exchange for work:

  • Monthly stipend
  • Covered amenities: housing, all transportation/activities on trips, some food on trips, gym membership, discounts at bars/restaurants around town

Other skills/benefits from this job:

  • Friendships + built in social network (the awesome team)
  • Immersive experience - living in Italy and traveling around Europe
  • Travel to 11 countries for work, including cities in Italy
  • Learn a new language
  • Good work experience for future career opportunities
  • Soft skills: independence, problem-solving, getting around/directions, thinking on your feet, snap decisions

See? Simple. Your list might look like mine, where a decent amount of expenses are covered, plus a stipend. Or you might have nothing covered or no expenses, which may make you think otherwise.

If you know you'll enjoy the duties of the position that's already a great start.

Then when you look at the other columns and see which benefits you'd be getting - expenses/amenities, friendships, and soft skills - you will be able to have a clearer picture of how to decide if this is right for you.

Would you enjoy this opportunity? Does it make you excited? Does it allow you to travel?

Further, you could consider long-term effects of this position, such as selling your house, car, etc. if you need to move.

Everyone is in a different situation, so make sure to review all of the columns and feel it out!