Think you can’t get paid to travel? Think again. Because that perfect travel job is more in your reach than you think.
And here’s the kicker:
No matter your skill set or education, you can make money while traveling.
From entry-level travel jobs to more advanced and lucrative travel careers, there’s a dream job to be had for everyone here.
Get Paid To Travel: A Reality Check
There are a lot of travel jobs out there. That may come as a surprise to you. But, there’s also considerable demand for those travel jobs. Competition is fierce. And that shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. Who wouldn’t want to get paid to travel the world? Exactly.
The travel jobs are there. But be ready to earn your spot.
So, if your motivation to find a travel job is to look cool on social media, you might not make the cut.
Another important fact to note. Although a portion of these jobs are entry-level, others require specialized skillsets. And even the so-called ‘entry-level’ travel jobs will require some experience or passion and fineness. Some of these travel jobs pay incredibly well. Others, not so much. Such is the trade off for getting paid to travel.
Many companies will even pay for your relocation!
Whether you want to be a travel blogger, work in a ski resort, or teach English in Japan, there are tons of travel job options available. All require a great degree of hustle on your part. The good news is, many companies will pay your way. Especially for careers like travel nursing, which often offer sign on bonuses and other perks.
But your time and energy investment won’t be for naught. As most of these jobs can lead to more lucrative careers down the road. Keep reading to learn more about the world’s 13 best travel jobs. And get ready to make some serious bank while traveling!
English is now the dominant language in the world. Thus, people from all over are desperate to employ native-born Americans who are open to teaching English. For many positions, you don’t even have to be in the same country as your students. All thanks to the wonders of Skype.
But, you may want to take the traditional route and teach students to speak English in person. Because while these jobs are in high demand, they often require more stringent qualifications than online English jobs. Here are a few platforms you should review if you want to start teaching English:
- VIPKID: This is a leading online language teaching platform that pays $22+ per hour. Learn more in our VIPKID review.
- Teach Away: This platform is easy to understand, and it posts tons of English teaching jobs in dozens of different countries.
- Go Abroad: In addition to paid English teaching positions, Go Abroad also posts volunteer gigs that might help you become popular in the community you’re visiting.
- Go Overseas: With a streamlined interface and tons of teaching opportunities, Go Overseas offers everything you need to score a rewarding gig as an English teacher.
If you’d rather teach your native tongue in person, you might require a teaching certificate. Operating in a bonafide classroom setting is serious work.
If your trip is part of an organized program, it’s possible to arrange English teaching positions ahead of time. But, otherwise, you should check in with your host family or friends in the country to learn more about English teacher opportunities.
As a citizen of the United States, your primary goal in teaching English abroad should be helping foreigners gain mastery of your native tongue. Along the way, however, you’ll make a lot of friends, and you’ll get plenty of chances to learn a foreign language yourself.
Cruise Ship Employee
If sailing the seven seas sounds like your dream travel job, then you’ll love the opportunities cruise ships offer. These enormous seafaring vessels are practically small cities. Which means there are tons of ways that you can make money while you ride the waves. All with hundreds of your new best friends. Here are just a few of the types of jobs you might find within this sector of the travel industry:
- Casino dealer
- Cash register clerk
- Cook or food preparer
- Entertainment director
Some of these jobs are part-time or entry level, but others will require you to travel on a cruise ship year round. As an onboard clergy member, as an example, you’ll need to provide religious services every Sunday. As another example, most cruise ship hairdressers live onboard full-time.
Working on a cruise ship isn’t all hard labor, either. Every once in a while, you’ll stop off at a port of call. This is a place where the cruise ship docks and you can get off and explore. Depending on the ship you work on, your ports of call might be mundane. Or completely mind-blowing.
While routine stops in various areas of the Caribbean can get boring after a while, some cruises go around the world–or even up to the North Pole. Ready to hunt for a paid position on a cruise ship?
CruiseShipJob.com is where to find paid cruise ship jobs. This platform compiles information on open positions on ships all over the world. So, whichever employment type you pursue, this site can set you sailing in the right direction.
Being a flight attendant has long been considered one of the best ways to get paid to travel.
However, the life of a flight attendant is anything but easy. While it’s true your job will take you far and wide, tending to passengers is a lot of work. And cramped airplane conditions can get to you after a while.
Plus, not all flight attendant jobs involve going to far-off lands. Many flight attendants work the same domestic flights over and over. It’s also important to consider that science has discovered flight attendants and other flight crew members are often exposed to dangerous levels of cosmic radiation while in flight.
If none of these downsides to being a flight attendant bother you, this job can be highly rewarding. Even if you decide that serving peanuts in tiny plastic bags and arguing with passengers over how much they’ve had to drink isn’t right for you after a few years, you’ll still have gained a lot of travel experience that you can transform into a different career.
Working for a travel agency doesn’t usually involve any actual traveling on your part, but it does require a lot of traveling know-how. To be a travel agent, it’s usually necessary to have at least a bachelor’s degree, and you’ll also need personal experience being in some or all the locations you’re suggesting your clients should visit.
As a travel agent, you might even score “familiarization trips,” which are free excursions that allow you to get to know places you’re advertising in person. Better yet, working for a travel agency usually provides you with discounted rates on your own domestic or international trips. To be a travel agent, you’ll need to love traveling more than practically anything else, but this position certainly has its perks.
If you’re a registered nurse, taking your medical skills on the road can be a blast. From New Zealand to India to Vietnam, there are plenty of places that need travel nurses. From providing aid after regional disasters to other unexpected circumstances, demand is ongoing for travel nurses.
Certain areas within countries need more medical help at certain times. So, instead of training and hiring new nursing staff, local hospitals rely on travel nurses to bridge the gap. There are tons of places where you can find travel nursing jobs online. From Craigslist pages in your travel area, to soliciting local non-profits, opportunities are everywhere.
- TravelNursing.org also have tons of options for travel nurse positions no matter where you want to go.
- Fastaff is another option for high-paying travel nurse jobs, and is updated regularly online.
- American Traveler is regularly updated with nurse travel jobs, with a quick and easy application process.
Telemedicine is on the rise because much of the world now has access to internet. With this technological revolution, medical professionals like M.D’s and R.N’s can now provide medical assistance to people around the country–or across the world. While telemedicine positions don’t involve actual traveling, it’s a career path you could have while still traveling. If you want to make money as a registered nurse while on the go, give it a look.
Tour companies in practically every country are constantly on the lookout for young, fresh-faced, and professional people to provide tours of various locations around the world. If you think that being a tour guide usually involves ferrying a bunch of clueless tourists around boring attractions you’ve already seen hundreds of times, you aren’t wrong. However, positions like those aren’t the only tour guide opportunities out there.
For instance, you could also become a guide or leader for a small adventure tour company. These types of tours are much more upbeat than shuffling groups through city squares. Plus, they might provide you with opportunities to visit places you’ve never been. That, or empower you to keep going back to your favorite stretch of jungle, desert, or open sea.
Once you get experience, you can even start offering your own tours. Travelers from around the world are constantly on the hunt for authentic experiences in faraway places. And if you’re familiar with a few exotic locales, show off your knowledge for a fee. So go lead people through exciting sites while sharing your unique perspective. It doesn’t get more exciting than that!
To be an effective tour guide, you’ll need to know the local tongue, and you’ll need to be capable of keeping your head in stressful situations. If you decide to guide people through dangerous or exotic locations, you’ll need to remember that you aren’t just responsible for your own safety and comfort; as a guide, you’re a leader who your entire group relies on to have a good time.
If you love to ski and you’re pretty good at it, you should consider becoming a ski instructor in a faraway land. Whether it’s Europe, China, Russia, or practically anywhere else in the world, there are plenty of places where you can ski in exotic locations, and foreign ski resorts are always on the hunt for Americans they can employ on a full-time or part-time basis.
Keep in mind that some countries even have indoor ski areas where you can hit the slopes even in hot conditions. However, most overseas ski instructor job providers hire on a seasonal basis, and foreign ski lodges and resorts prefer instructors who are fully licensed by local certification agencies.
Think you have what it takes to write popular articles for travel magazines? Then you should try your hand at being a travel writer. For our purposes, we’re differentiating between travel writers and travel bloggers; while travel bloggers might or might not get paid for their work, travel writers always write for pay.
Whether you want to publish your own travel book or write for an established publication like Conde Nast Traveler, the best way to start a career as a travel writer is to travel a lot and love what you do. While scoring paid positions for print travel publications is getting harder and harder every year, it’s still possible to self-publish a travel book that could help people like you derive as much enjoyment from their excursions around the world as possible.
Just like travel agents, airline pilots get paid to travel around the world. Also like travel agents, however, being a commercial airline pilot is a lot of work, and you won’t get to stay anywhere very long.
Most airlines treat their pilots well, and you might get free trips or other forms of travel-based compensation for your work as a commercial pilot. Even if you don’t get any perks, being a commercial pilot will pay out handsomely; the BLS reports that pilots made an average of $115,670 in 2018, and the top 10% of earners can make $200,000 or more.
If you want to get the most out of your travels as a pilot, you should do your best to become the full-time pilot of a private plane. Depending on who you work for, pilots for the rich and famous can make more than $500,000 per year, and unless your client is a true jet-setter, you’ll be free to spend most of your time however you see fit.
“Geoscientist” is a fancy name for a geologist who works for an oil company. These professionals use their knowledge of the Earth to find the best places to drill for oil all over the world, which means that geoscientists are always on the move.
According to the BLS, geoscientists made an average of $91,130 in 2018, which means that this travel job pays off in a big way. While you’ll spend most of your time as a geoscientist looking for fossil fuels, oil companies generally treat their geoscientists well, and you’ll have your evenings free to enjoy the local nightlife or kick back in your company-paid hotel room.
These days, “au pair” is an antiquated phrase. But people all around the world are still on the hunt for foreigners to take care of their kids. As its name suggests, this profession originated in France, and originally, French aristocrats invited young women from other countries to serve as nannies. The purpose? To make their children familiar with other cultures.
To be an au pair in the 21st century, you don’t have to travel to France; there are tons of people around the world who will pay you to take care of their kids and impart some of your unique cultural values at the same time. In some cases, your work as an au pair might dovetail with teaching English, or you might simply sit around and take care of kids all day while your clients go to work or take care of shopping. Many au pair arrangements are live-in, which means you probably won’t have to worry about housing when you try this intriguing travel job.
Foreign Service Officer
The U.S. Foreign Service is a branch of the State Department, and foreign service officers travel to far-off locations to provide various diplomatic services. Unless you make it high up in the food chain of the U.S. Foreign Service, you probably won’t have to make any diplomatic decisions that might change geopolitical power balances forever; in most cases, you’ll simply serve as support for higher-ups such as ambassadors and the Secretary of State.
While the life of a foreign service agent might look glamorous at first glance, the foreign service might take you to dangerous or war-torn parts of the world. At the same time, however, you’ll be provided with high-end, taxpayer-paid housing, and you’ll get to visit unique cultures and interact with people you’d never meet in your day-to-day life at home.
This job description covers a whole host of different potential positions. Do you love blogging about your travels? How about taking pictures of cool places and interesting people? Maybe you like interviewing the inhabitants of the places you visit. Or perhaps you want to make a living on the internet while traveling. Getting paid to soak in the sights. No matter what you do, as long as you make money on the internet while traveling, you’re a digital nomad.
It’s even possible to keep up with high-paying careers like engineering and digital marketing. All with nothing more than a quality laptop and a strong Wi-Fi signal. While being a travel blogger is one of the most sensible jobs for a digital nomad, there’s no reason you need to be limited to a travel-related career. At its best, the life of a digital nomad simply frees you up to make money while you travel.
You can work 40 hours per week as a digital nomad if you want, or you can just work as much as you need to pay your hostel bills and secure transportation to your next location. Whichever tack you take, being a digital nomad is all about living out your own personal definition of freedom wherever you go.
Travel Jobs Wrap-Up
There’s so much to experience in the world. But, lamentably, we spend almost all our time going back and forth between the same places.
Traveling jobs like those we’ve listed can give you a chance to break out of your bubble and experience the world first-hand, and there are enough travel job opportunities to keep you busy no matter what your dream vocation might be. Traveling from New York to Hawaii to Australia to Asia just to share your travel experience with your followers is a lot of hard work, but it sure beats the job search back at home. After you’ve made your nomadic lifestyle work for you, check in with us to share your experience!
Bonus: Make Extra Money While Traveling
Formal travel jobs are just one way to make money fast while traveling. But why stop there?
Surveys for money are a great way to supplement your primary income while on the go. Because who couldn’t use extra money, right? And, if you have time to kill while on the plane–and who doesn’t?–you can even get paid to watch videos. The highest paying sites based on our research are:
- Survey Junkie
Another great option for travelers is cash back app Ibotta (you can learn more about them via our Ibotta review). They offer some of the most generous percentage returns. In fact, as much as 20% of your purchase will be paid back to you on certain purchases. Plus, if you sign up for them now, they’ll give you $5. Plus, another $5 for every card you link.
And you are limited to certain products like most cash back apps. While you’re on the go, you’ll buy a lot of generic or unfamiliar brands. Fortunately, Ibotta pays cash back on healthy products, off-brand products and all sorts of other goods. This is why they ranked #1 on our list of best money making apps.