This has been a turbulent couple of years for everyone and we always find that when life throws you a curveball, it’s the perfect time to make a change. Dave and I spent years searching for fulfilling careers that filled our souls with joy. But it wasn’t easy. We split our time between working in the film industry and traveling. We brainstormed a ton of ideas for travel jobs that suited our lifestyle from becoming scuba diving instructors to leading bicycle tours. We knew that travel was what we wanted to be in for the rest of our lives, but how do we choose the best travel job that actually pays a salary?
Best Travel Jobs
With working environments changing and remote living becoming more appealing, people are looking to living and working abroad. If you are thinking about making a change, we’ve compiled a list of the best travel jobs to spark new ideas for your career. I know that whenever Dave and I left to go traveling, we always came home to positive changes. When you open your heart to something new, the universe rewards you with ideas and opportunities to fill that space. So, let’s take a look at the best travel jobs to make some money and change your life. Read: How we make money in travel at Get Paid to Travel
Things to Consider When Working Overseas
When looking for travel jobs, keep in mind that you may need a working visa. There are different types of working visas. You may want to consider a working holiday visa. It allows travelers to employment and a residence permit in the country issuing the visa to supplement their travels. The catch for this one is it is usually set aside for young travelers ages 18 to 30 or 35.
Types of Travel Jobs
Things have come a long way since we started searching for travel jobs in 2003. Jobs now allow people to work remotely, everyone is connected and society has accepted the “location independent” way of thinking. The opportunities are endless. We not saying to quit your job today and start one of these careers in travel, but it doesn’t hurt to start doing the research and planning today for a more exciting life tomorrow! Read: How to Live a Life of Travel: Tips to Getting Started
Travel jobs fall into different categories, there are jobs that pay you to travel, jobs where you work from wherever you want remotely (digital nomad jobs), jobs in the travel industry, and jobs that support your travels as you travel the world. There are many ways to make money.
Looking to become location independent? Check out these other ways to get paid to travel
Network Network Network
One of the best ways to find travel jobs is to network with like-minded people. Places like Travel Massive, TBEX, (Travel Blog Exchange) Travel Writer’s Exchange, The Blogger Collective and Nomadic Network are great places to discuss ideas, find work and meet well travelled individuals that are already working in travel. . The
Digital Nomad Jobs
Digital Nomads jobs are fast becoming the best careers in travel since you can work from home, work anywhere you want in the world and it requires little experience. If you have a good internet connect and often times a dream and are willing to put in the hard work, you can succeed as a digital nomad. Plus, many companies are allowing people to work remotely which is opening the door to working abroad.
We are partial to travel blogging since it is the career we chose to travel the world and it is still an amazing way to make money while traveling. We thought this travel job was dying a couple of years ago. Between the pandemic and the onslaught of influencers, was there a future in travel blogging? Now that things are back to normal, we make most of our money blogging. (Yes more than through social media campaigns
- Read how to become a travel blogger:
Salary: For new bloggers, realistically be prepared to make about $3 – 5k after a year or so of very hard work. Start your travel blog right now while you are working a full-time job. (That’s what we did) It takes time to grow your expertise, but once you do, the sky is the limit. Top-tier travel bloggers make $20k – $60k per month.
Teach English Online
Did you know that you don’t have to teach English as a second language from a classroom? Online teaching platforms have made remote work more accessible than ever. And today online English teachers are in high demand as many people are studying from home.
If you’re a native English speaker, finding a teaching job online is easy and doable no matter what your expertise is in. If you don’t have a degree, don’t worry. It’s still possible to land the perfect online teaching job. We have an entire article about how to teach English online here. How to Teach English Online Without a Degree
Salary: As an online teacher, you can expect to earn anywhere from $12USD to $24USD per hour with regular bonuses and exciting pay incentives. If you are living and working from somewhere like Southeast Asia, that money can go a long way.
Another great way to live independently is to make money with your YouTube channel. This doesn’t happen overnight, but if you have editing skills and can create videos it can be a great career. Having a youtube channel is more than just making money from ads, you can get brand deals, have people pay you to create videos, or get hired to promote destinations. Read: 15 Best Travel Vloggers on YouTube to Follow in 2021
If you don’t want the hassle of having to build a youtube following, you can offer services to edit videos for YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. We have paid people to edit videos and regularly get offers from others to edit our videos for a fee. This can be very lucrative as companies, bloggers, and even YouTubers hire editors to help them with their videos. You don’t need a formal education to become a video editor, but you should be fluent in Final Cut ProX or Adobe Premiere Pro.
We are bloggers first, but Dave and I are often hired as influencers on social media. If you have a large following on Instagram or Tik Tock, you can make a lucrative career in travel. Many people hire Instagram influencers to help promote a destination, brand, or company. If you have the skills and following you can make money as an influencer. No experience is required for this travel job, but it does take a lot of hard work and a bit of luck.
Graphic Design and Website Management
Our friends Dana and Rose work from anywhere they want with their lucrative graphic design business. They recently moved from the United States to Canada keeping all their US clients while working from their new home. If you have graphic design skills, you can earn a great living while living abroad. We’ve spent thousands of dollars on developers to help us design previous websites. (Dave designed our latest at no cost) and you can earn too!
Believe it or not, freelance writers are still in demand. Even Dave and I pay writers to write for us! You don’t have to simply write for magazines or newspapers either. Get your resume on places like UpWork to let people know you are available for copywriting, newsletter writing, and formatting. Hone those skills with WordPress and other writing tools and then start networking. It’s not only Conde Nast and National Geographic that are looking for writers, there are tons of people looking for skilled writers to ease their workload. A great place to put your name in for freelance writing is UpWork, ProBlogger and Freelancer. Plus you can check the writing guidelines of your favourite outlets to see what they require. Make sure to create a solid pitch, and to know their editorial schedule and ale sire the content is unique but fits within their writing guidelines.
A Virtual Assistant is an excellent job for traveling. You don’t need to be in the same place as your boss or clients. IF you have access to zoom, a good internet connection, and email, you can work from anywhere. Virtual assistants take care of all sorts of tasks from formatting articles, answering emails, and helping with social media. Make sure you have a strong base with computers, blogging, and social media, and then get your name out there as a virtual assistant to start your exciting travel job! Good places to look for virtual assistant jobs: UpWork, LinkedIn and Indeed. people are always scouring the job boards there. Virtual assistants in Canada usually start at $25 per hour.
Website Technical Support
If you have an IT and tech background, you can travel the world and work from anywhere. Most website businesses have technical support that they pay a monthly retainer to. We do as well! They look after updates, and the back-end issues of our website and they can work from anywhere. As long as you have an internet connection and of course a lot of knowledge about coding, being in the IT and technical fields can be one of the best travel jobs out there. You definitely need experience and to know your way around the back end of a website. This is people’s livelyhoods you have in your hands and you don’t want to mess something up.
We know so many amazing travel photographers and they have many different streams of income. From selling images to magazines and newspapers, to selling stock photography. These are two great ways to supplement your photography income but the most lucrative way travel photographers make money is by running photography tours around the world and hosting photography workshops. Plus, if you have a strong Instagram or TikTok account, you can get hired as an influential photographer to help promote brands and destinations. No experience is needed, but you should build your portfolio, get out shooting regularly and be able to take photographs with a proper DSLR camera. Phone images are great, but they aren’t considered professional.
Teach English Abroad
teaching English abroad in 2021. TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) is a great way to kick start your travels. TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) is one of the most popular travel jobs out there. To teach English abroad, you need to do take a TEFL course and become TEFL-certified. Once you’ve done a TEFL course there are lots of online travel job boards where you can find a TEFL job to suit you. Read our entire post here: Fancy Teaching English Abroad – Consider TEFL
Salary for teaching English abroad: $1500 – $5000 per month. Salaries for teaching English abroad have a high range. If you have a degree, you will make more than someone without a degree. Depending on the country you are teaching in you will also make more money. Places like the UAE and Japan pay more than places in Europe or Southeast Asia.
Hospitality – Hotel and Resort Front Desk or Mananger
This job is best if you have a degree or education in hospitality or tourism. International hotels are always looking for international staff. We love walking into a hotel in Japan or China and being greeted by an array of international employees. Some of the most common travel jobs where foreign managers are hired in hospitality are hotel managers, chefs, and sales managers. For a well paying job in hospitality, you should have a degree.
Becoming a chef is a lot of work, but once you have put in the hours it opens up a world of possibilities. We recently ate at the French Ambassador’s house in Toronto and the chef used is from France. He has set up shop in Toronto for the past eight years but listed off all the places around the world that he has lived and worked. He definitely lives life to the fullest using his chef background to work abroad. Becoming a chef isn’t easy, but once you go through all the training and apprenticeships you will have an amazing career in travel and hospitality. Read: Why I Travel for Food And So Should You
If you are a nurse, you are in high demand. My brother and sister in law lived in America for nearly a decade as my sis-in-law Heather worked as a nurse. If yo have the skills you’ll be able to get a job around the world working in the medical field. Places in the middle east even pay higher wages than north America. It’s a great way to immerse in the local community. You can check out all you need to know at Travel Nursing Abroad.
Health and well-being has never been so important and becoming a yoga teach is an amazing travel job. We’ve even considered becoming a certified yoga instructor for a future career. There are yoga retreats around the world that need qualified instructors, but most resorts that we go to always offer yoga classes as well. We’ve had yoga classes in our condo downtown Toronto too. Think outside the box if you are an instructor. You can approach condos, hostels and gyms when traveling to see if they want to offer yoga classes. Cruise ships, holiday resorts and retreats all need yoga instructors as well. You will need complete a yoga training course to become a registered yoga instructor. Read more: The Best International Yoga Retreats
We have a massage nearly everywhere we go and massage therapists are in demand. Be it at a resort, on a cruise ship, or at a retreat, you can guarantee that getting a premium massage will be in demand. Make sure you are a certified instructor and then start browsing the Internet for jobs. Imagine working at the Four Seasons in places like Maui or in Kenya. Wouldn’t that be a dream job? There are different qualifications for different countries, you can see how to become a massage therapist here.
If you love kids, being in Au Pair is a great way to travel to a different part of the world for work. An Au Pair’s job is to live with and take care of a family’s children while helping with the cooking, and cleaning. It’s a great way to immerse in the culture of a destination, but make sure you have experience working in Childcare. Au Pair World is a good place to find Au Pair placements.
Non-governmental organizations are one of the top expat jobs we come across when traveling. NGOs play an important role in overseas work helping to improve communities while working in advocacy, environmental and human rights work. NGO workers gain valuable life and work experience. You can start of volunteering for an NGO to create contacts and experience. Even though NGOs are considered non profit organizations, they run with huge budgets and salaries can range greatly. NGOs work just like other businesses with a variety of employment opportunities from accountants to public relations and business development. If you have the skills and preferably a Master’s or Bachelor’s Degree, you can find a position in an NGO organization. A good way to gain experience is as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Transitions Abroad is a good resource for how to get work as an NGO Worker.
Travel Industry Jobs
Scuba Instructor or Dive Master
Becoming a Scuba Diving Instructor was our first idea for our future travel jobs. We went all the way to Honduras to take our divemasters and were committed to seeing the world. Circumstances changed though and we never did become dive instructors, but we always thought being a Dive Master or diving instructor would be a great way to travel the world. Diving instructors and Divemasters are in high demand in resort destinations. You need to become a certified scuba diving instructor to teach diving, but you can lead dives if you are a Dive Master.
Work on a Cruise Ship
I have done this and it is an amazing job! I was a singer on a cruise ship and it was while doing this job that my wanderlust was sparked. You don’t have to be the entertainment on a cruise ship either. There are countless jobs on cruises that people can do. Casino dealers make good money, activity specialist, chef, tour leaders, cleaning, pool staff…the possibilities are endless.
Take things to another level and work on a private yacht. Our friend Bobby did this and he has some amazing stories to tell. If you have experience sailing, you can get a lucrative position on a yacht. If you don’t, you can dip your feet into it by becoming a deckhand, cook, or cleaning staff. Check out CrewSeekers to find a yachting position.
Helicopter and Airline Pilot
When thinking of becoming a pilot, you don’t have to only consider working for the big airlines flying jets. Although that is awesome! If you get your pilot’s license the possibilities are endless. We’ve taken scenic flights around the world with helicopter pilots and in scenic planes from ex-pat pilots. We have a friend who is a water bomber for forest fires and spends his time in hot zones fighting fires. He has been talking about working for smaller airlines in the Maldives taking tourists to private islands. Obvious qualifications here. You need a pilot’s license.
Hot Air Balloon Pilot
Dave and I have taken hot air balloon rides on 6 continents and it seems that most pilots are expats or travelers from other countries when we fly. Our pilot in Kenya was from South Korea and other pilots have been everywhere from England to Scandinavia. Think outside the box and you could spend your time flying around the world. This is a cool out of the box thinking travel job. Sure everyone thinks of pilots of airplanes, but what about hot air balloons. They are in demand all over the world. Read: Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon: How to Choose the Right Company
Becoming a flight attendant is an obvious choice but it has to be included in a travel jobs post. This is pretty self-explanatory. We have friends who are flight attendants and they are the most well-traveled people we know!
One of the best ways to break into travel jobs is to get to work as a tour guide. Places like Intrepid Travel, GoAhead Tours, and many more hire people to sell tours and that can turn into leading tours around the world. If you want to get some experience, become a local tour guide in your home town. Places like GetYourGuide, Viator, and Tours by Locals need local guides to take people around on day tours. With that experience, you can branch out to find travel jobs around the world
It may feel like the job of a travel agent is dead with everyone booking online these days but with the changes that have happened over the past couple of years, people are looking for certainty. Becoming a travel agent is still a relevant choice for travel jobs, you just have to be more creative and hustle harder. We have friends who do well as travel agents but they are not working as one in a traditional way. Booking group tours, wellness, culinary tours, and unique vacations are ways to stand out from other travel agents. Luxury travelers still use travel agents as they don’t want to go through the hassle and travel agents have insight and information that independent travelers might not have. Travel agents have opportunities to travel as well. They are often invited on FAM trips (familiarization tours) to destinations and properties. There are stipulations to be able to sell vacations and tours, so make sure you have the correct credentials and insurance. Aya Life
Running Your Own Tours
One way that many people are turning their travel blogs into other viable travel options is to run their own tours. In a sense it is a travel agent but you are using your brand as the face of the tour. We have met people in Turkey who were backpacking through the country and now lead tours through Istanbul as a local. If you have set up shop in a country or destination, you could start running culinary tours, and local guiding tours on your own. There of course are visas and stipulations to think about but it can be done.
If you have skills, you can be a bartender anywhere in the world. Many a backpacker has toured the world while being a traveling bartender. It’s a great way to meet people and supplement your travels. If you are staying in one place for a while, hit the pavement to see if they need an extra hand.
Front of House
We’ve checked into many a hostel or guesthouse in Southeast Asia with a smiling Australian or American standing at the front desk to greet us. If you are sticking around a place for awhile, check with the local guesthouse or backpacker hostel to see if they need some help. They have high turnover so can probably offer you short term work from cleaning to checking people in.
Labourer and Seasonal Work
If you need to pick up some cash, consider looking into labour or seasonal work. They can be anything from swinging a hammer to cleaning and working on a farm. Farmers are always looking for laborers and when traveling you may want to look into doing farm work. This is particularly popular in places like New Zealand and Australia.
WWOOFing – Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms links travelers with organic farmers seeking a helping hand. You don’t get paid to travel, but Woofers help on the farm in exchange for free room and board. And you can work on farms,
A great way to see the world is to become a ski or snowboarding instructor. Spend a winter in the Rocky Mountains and then head to Australia or New Zealand to spend summer (their winter) down under. You can travel through the Alps or hit up the resorts in Asia. This is an excellent way to make money and see the world. These seasonal jobs may not pay a fortune, but they will take you around the world.
Whitewater Rafting or Kayaking Guide
When we took our whitewater kayaking course in Canada, our guide was from Argentina. When we went whitewater rafting in Australia, our guide was Canadian! Whitewater rafting guides work around the world using their skills and expertise to guide adrenaline junkies down class 5 rapids. There are countless job opportunities for river guides. It is worth getting outdoors and learn a unique skill like this. Start off in your own country and then branch out from there, and you’ll have a career that will take you around the world.
Extreme Sports Guides
Speaking of which, are you into skydiving or paragliding? These in-demand travel jobs are always seeking people to take travelers safely to the ground. We’ve flown tandem with expats all over the world. When in New Zealand, my paragliding pilot was from Switzerland. If you have the guts and the hours, you can have an amazing travel career.
Do you have skills that others can benefit from? Set your own fees and courses and start sharing that expertise for a price. Dave and I have always said that if we ever slow down on traveling, we’d get into consulting. We have a lot of expertise to share and could charge a pretty penny. But that will have to wait until our wanderlust fades away. (but really, will it ever?)
Do you have a marketing background? You may want to look into something called Dropshipping. Dropshipping is where you sell goods to consumers online. You don’t need a storefront or to hold your own inventory. You sell the manufacturer’s products under your own brand. You can start a Shopify, Amazon, Etsy or eBay store. Dropshipping is a lot like affiliate marketing, but you brand your goods. We can’t say that we are experts in this, but it seems that people are making very lucrative careers out of DropShipping. Shopify has some great information about starting a dropshipping business.
I can claim that this is totally doable as a I was a singer on a cruise ship. I have also sang on contracts in Japan, Florida and across Canada. The bands that I have sang with in the past were from all around the world. You don’t have to be a rock star to go on tour, hotels, resorts and bars are always looking for entertainment. While some people mention busking as a choice for travel jobs there are far better ways to put your skills to work. Sing and play guitar at coffee houses and apply at bars. We have seen musical acts from all around the world at bars when traveling.
A lot of people use Airbnb to look for vacation rentals, but our friends Kristen and Siya made an amazing income that helped fund their trip to Costa Rica as they set up their new house. They made 10k a month renting out their house. Now that is an amazing way to make money for travel. Plus, they are successful YouTubers, so they have two fo the best travel jobs on earth!
Other Travel Jobs – Thinking Outside the Box
Daytrading – Can’t say that we know much about this, but our old pal Marcello has been day trading since we first started blogging. He told us all about it in 2012 when we met up with him in Montreal and he hasn’t stopped since! Day trading is risky, so we don’t recommend it, but there are people doing it.
Online Translation – If you are fluent in a second language, this is a high-demand travel job. Companies are always needing manuals, websites and courses translated into other languages. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people to see if they need a translation.
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