Get Paid to See the World: 12 of the Best Jobs that Combine Work and Travel
Typically these hurdles revolve around jobs and money. Even though leaving a job in a down economy may not spell disaster, it’s still a leap of faith that some just aren’t willing to take. I totally understand that taking a chance like this just isn’t for everyone.
If you are one of these people who love travel but don’t want to risk quitting your job and not having a steady stream of income, there are other ways to see the world. Travel is an important requirement for many jobs and careers, so if quitting your job to gallivant around the globe is not for you, consider looking into the following opportunities to have the best of both worlds.
If you can work with clients from developed countries throughout North American, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand, get paid in your home currency, but live and/or travel throughout developing countries and regions, then you can save a ton while still working and experiencing the world. Becoming a digital nomad is the future. It allows you to do what you love, see the world, and actually make a living wage doing so.
You need to obtain commercial pilot and medical certificates to get started. Then it’s necessary to pass several tests and log at least 250 hours in the air, all of which costs money that comes out of your pocket. A college degree is preferred and many pilots have them, but it’s not a necessity.
The type of work varies wildly depending on the area of the world you are teaching in. South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan tend to pay the best, but make sure you do your homework before signing on, as horror stories abound.
Teaching ESL in another country, particularly a developing country with low costs of living, typically gives teachers a lot of flexibility and time off to travel around the region they are teaching in. Plus it gives the opportunity to live and work in another culture, all the while putting some money in your pocket. There are people who work their whole lives as ESL teachers, moving to a new place each time their contract is up.
>> Check out 17 questions you should ask before accepting a TEFL job, or visit Dave’s ESL Café, the premiere site for teaching English around the globe
While a degree in English or journalism certainly helps, it’s just as important to have a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial skills to make it as a travel writer. Getting hired as a full-time travel writer on staff is unlikely though. Most people start doing it as a second job, or hobby, and slowly build up their experience and portfolio. Starting a blog is a great way to get your name out there and get noticed, and there are tons of publications that accept pitches from aspiring writers (including here at BootnsAll).
Cruise Ship Employee
The best way to get into the cruise business is to contact one of the many recruitment agencies or simply visit the websites of large cruise lines to see their job openings and requirements. Any offshore experience in any of the related fields can help you get a job on a cruise ship. Keep in mind that accommodations are typically shared, hours are really long, and pay isn’t the greatest. However, you get room and board for free, so saving most of what you make is possible, and you’ll visit great destinations all over the world.
You can get trained and certified to become a tour guide at a school, and while it may help you find a job, it’s not a necessity. The most important traits a tour guide must have are people skills, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the area you want to lead tours in. Being bi or multi-lingual makes you extremely appealing, so if you speak more than one language, your opportunities skyrocket.
If you have many interests, consider freelancing to maximize your expertise and money-making abilities. The pay isn’t always the greatest, but keep in mind that many tour guides receive tips, so the better you are, the more you make.
While many think flight attendants are there to take care of customer service issues and keep passengers happy, it’s not as simple as that. Enforcing safety and security measures while having first aid certification and expertise is also vitally important if you want to become a flight attendant.
Flexibility is another essential trait, and if you are multi-lingual, more opportunities (and better pay) will be available to you. A degree, especially in hospitality, certainly helps but is not a requirement. While there are online schools and flight schools to become a flight attendant, it’s more important to focus on hospitality training and customer service experience.
International School Teacher
International schools are set up around the world to educate ex-pats in the curriculum of their home country. So if you are a certified teacher in the US, look into international schools with American curriculums.
They are located in countries around the world, many times educating military children and offspring of international businessmen and families living abroad. Pay is typically in the home country’s currency and on par with what you would get paid at home, and housing and flights are usually included as well. It’s a great opportunity for teachers who love to travel, and even if you are married with children, there are plenty of schools who welcome families.
>> Check out Teach Anywhere for more information about teaching at international schools around the world.
If you are already a nurse and looking for a new experience that can also benefit your career, then consider becoming a travel nurse. You can learn new practices and work in a variety of clinical settings, all the while getting paid well (while staying in free housing) and having the opportunity to experience a completely new culture.
Ask to speak personally to clients of theirs who they have placed in the region you want to go. Assignments typically range from 8-52 weeks, with the average being 13 weeks. They look for all types of nurses, but it’s good to have at least 1.5-2 years of experience at home first before looking into this opportunity.
In exchange, the au pair typically gets paid a small stipend, receives free room and board, and some form of education, usually language classes. It’s a great immersion program for young people and can be a great experience. Like travel nursing, there are a great amount of agencies assisting in the placement of au pairs, so make sure you do the necessary research.
The pay is not good (and sometimes they only accept volunteers) and a degree (particularly in social work) and experience in the field you’re looking into is helpful as working for an NGO is quite competitive. If you’re willing to overlook the low pay and fierce competition, you can live and work in a completely different culture while making a major impact in others’ lives.
>> Check out Transitions Abroad, a great site where you can find information about Au Pairning, the Peace Corps, and working for an NGO, amongst many other opportunities.
While we would all love to just up and quit our jobs, hop on a plane, and travel for an extended period of time, the reality of the situation for many is that it’s just not possible. Work and money constraints keep too many people from seeing the world, but it doesn’t have to be this way. If handing in your two week’s notice with no future job opportunity in sight is just not in the cards for you, then consider one of the jobs or careers above. They all give you the opportunity to see the world while still putting some money in your pocket.
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Have you ever had a job that involved travel? What did you do, and how did you like it? Comment below to share your experiences.