The 11 Best Travel Jobs

Did you know that nearly one-fourth of US companies offer no paid time time off to their employees? The ones lucky enough to get time off enjoy a meagre 10 days of paid vacation every year. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for backpacking through Peru or enjoying a wine tour in Italy.

But travelling the world without leaving a gap on your resume is possible. How, you ask? Just check out our list of the best travel jobs below:

1. ESL Teacher

Young man instructing a group of students.

English teachers are being sought out to teach in countries all around the world from Brazil to Korea and beyond. Some schools may require a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s in education, with nearly all positions requiring a TEFL certification as a bare minimum. The advantages of teaching abroad include easily learning new languages, a generous amount of paid vacation days and (depending on where you teach) a low cost of living. Read more about the advantages and where you can teach or take some notes from travel blogger Drew on the experience and process:

I taught English in Korea for 18 months and I had an amazing experience! I highly recommend it to anyone, whether you are fresh out of college, bored at your current job, or just want to get paid to travel the world. You can apply to teach in more than 100 countries, mostly in Asia, Europe and South America. I recommend looking into Korea because the salary, benefits, and lifestyle provide the best overall experience. The only requirements to teach are: You must have a passport from an English speaking country, you must have any bachelors’s degree and you must have your TEFL certification (a class that proves your fluency in English).  – Drew from Drew Binsky

2. Freelance Writer/Graphic Designer

If you love writing or designing and think you have a way with words (or graphics) this could be the perfect travel job for you. Now this one is going to be hard to become successful at unless you’re a truly great writer or artist but you can compensate with a talent for networking, outreach and entrepreneurial flare. Just take it from successful travel blogger, Amy:

Reach out to other travellers and bloggers who are working abroad in the areas you’re interested in moving to. They can give you the best advice about what to bring, how to find a job and where to live; they may even have contacts that can help you land a job. I’d also recommend saving at least £1,500 to take with you when you first move abroad; you’ll need money to put a deposit down on an apartment and cash to see you through until you get your first pay packet. Most importantly, be resilient and positive when searching for jobs abroad. – Amy of Our Big Fat Travel Adventure

They say to write what you know, so to break into freelance writer, we suggest starting with a blog that chronicles your life and journey around the world. If you’re able to get it and maintain a following that’s great! Start applying for blogger awards to raise your profile and then you can proposition magazines, websites and travel companies to write for them.

Graphic designers need to be proficient in the Adobe Creative Suite, and an ability to write code only helps to expand your work opportunities.

3. Tour Guide

Guide offering historical information on the Roman Coliseum.

Becoming a tour guide is one of the most rewarding and exhilarating ways to see the world, learn about a country’s culture and history, while sharing your love of travel with people just like you. You can learn so many skills while on the road as a tour guide and you’ll find yourselves doing everything from conflict resolution, public speaking, event management, therapist, accountant and more. The best part is that while you’re leading your group from one city to the next, everything from your transportation to accommodation will be covered.

4. Travel Nurse

Are you a registered nurse? Are you tired of the same old commute to and from the hospital in your home city? Well kiss all that goodbye in favour for temporary travel nursing job. Ranging from 4 to 13 weeks in duration, your position allows you the opportunity to discover new places without sacrificing your financial security. In most cases you’ll find that housing and insurance is provided.

5. Au Pair

An au pair is basically another word for professional babysitter, or if you like to be classy, nanny. Wealthy families will hire au pairs to take care of their children and households in exchange for accommodations and a weekly salary. The profession of au pairing is very popular in Europe and it’s a great opportunity to potentially experience the “finer things” like free vacations with your host family, gourmet meals, and so on. You can make anywhere between $500 to $1000 a month au pairing.

6. Peace Corp

An expat working in South Africa.

So joining the peace corp is not something you do for the money but it’s likely one of the most rewarding travel careers you’ll ever have. If you’re a US citizen and opt to enrol in the Peace Corp’s two year program, you can expect to be deployed to a developing country where you will work in community-based projects (agriculture, health and education). Volunteers will also receive 2 to 3 months of language, technical and cultural training in the country you’ll be volunteering in prior to your departure. Additional bonuses include health insurance, student loan deferrals, 48 days of vacation over two years and an $8000 readjustment allowance to help volunteers transition back into American society.

7. Interpreter

If you’re bilingual, trilingual or…whatever comes next, then the world can be your oyster! You can find a job with a government agency, community organization, hospital or private company. Depending on your employer you may be required to have a bachelor’s degree and certification. Of course you can always search the internet for freelancer opportunities as well.

8. Flight Attendant

Flight attendants distribute onboard meals and care packages.

This one’s an oldie but a goodie. You have to be at least 21 years of age, of average height and be able to pass a criminal background check in order to apply. In most cases, you aren’t required to have a degree but fluency in at least two languages is a definite advantage. When you’re just starting out (as with any job) you’ll have limited options in terms of your schedule and flight hours but you’ll certainly be provided the opportunity to travel to many different destinations. Your salary can also vary greatly depending on the airline you’re hired by and the experience you bring to the job.

9. Virtual Assistant

In a response to recent improvements in office tech, coupled with a goal of reducing the bottom line, many businesses are beginning to hire virtual assistants who don’t work from a physical office. When you consider the kind of work personal assistants are responsible for–scheduling, enquiries, social media management, etc–you’ll see that all of this can be completed online and over the phone.

10. Cruise Ship/Hostel Staff

Any place you can work that covers your room and board while you live abroad is a great job in our books. Onboard a cruise ship you’ll have everything covered from food, accommodations, insurance and transportation. Many cruise-liners allow a lot of vacation time and you’ll be on the move from port to port almost constantly so you can expect to see a lot of the world. You can choose from a variety of roles: chef, tour manager, entertainment, engineer, deck-hand, janitor, and more. At a hostel you can apply to fill short term positions in exchange for free accommodations and if you’re staying long term you can even apply for paid positions. The roles vary from working the front desk to housekeeping.

11. Bartender

Young man uses his bartending skills to impressive patrons.

The language of liquor is spoken around the world so lucky for you, finding a job as a bartender in a restaurant, bar or nightclub away from home isn’t too hard. You do need to speak the local language for most of these positions but in the more touristy parts of a country, you may be able to get by without knowing the language. The job for the most part is easy to get and even easier to quit and most of the time you’re required to have a basic work visa when doing it on the books. There are more or less three different bar jobs: actual bartenders, bar promoters (stand outside and hand out flyers) and “hostesses” (available only to girls, hostesses go out on the dance floor to entice guys to buy drinks). Be aware of cultural differences in advance to avoid awkward hiccups during your work day, as travel blogger Jessica learned:

When trying to find work abroad understand that there may be differences, even within a job you’ve had before. For example, I waitressed for five years in my home of New York; however, when I got a waitressing job in Sydney, Australia there were some differences that threw me off. Not only did they use different words for certain things (i.e. serviette instead of napkin), but they don’t really do unlimited soda fountain drinks. Instead, guests get capped soda bottles. I got scolded for not opening the bottles for the guests because you need a tool to do it, which I didn’t know. Be patient and try not to get frustrated. It’s all in getting to understand a different destination and culture! – Jessica from Jessie On a Journey

Of course you can always follow some sound advice from Johnny:

Getting a job overseas seems daunting, but in my experience, if you’re really keen to get moving quickly, I’d buy a ticket and hit the country you want to re-settle in. Grab a short-term apartment and visit every business there within your industry. Face to face, showing how proactive and enthusiastic you are. Waiting around never helped anyone! – Johnny Wood from OneStep4ward


Jackie is a travel-addicted Canadian who currently resides in Vienna, Austria. When she’s not writing travel guides or reading her new favourite book, she’s planning her next weekend getaway somewhere in Europe.

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