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The 9 Best Travel Jobs to Make Money on the Road

Last updated: March 23, 2020
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If you’ve been bitten by the wanderlust bug, you may be searching for that perfect job that lets you travel the world. These jobs do exist! Some require you to travel while others are built for anyone with an internet connection, no matter where they are. But they’re all great jobs that let you explore.

In this article, we’ll go over different kinds of travel jobs, and some of our favorite jobs out there right now. We’ll also give you some guidance on where to find these exciting gigs and what to watch out for when you’re on the job hunt.

Different Kinds of Travel Jobs

There isn’t just one kind of job out there for people who are looking to travel. The following categories are by no means comprehensive but can start to give you an idea of what kind of work is out there.

Expat Jobs

Expat, or expatriate, jobs are jobs that are often well suited for people living in a foreign country. For people who are eager to work outside of the United States, you can often find jobs where your skills in English are a huge plus. This can be working as an English teacher or as a nanny or au pair for a family who wants their children to learn English.

These types of jobs are usually meant for people who will live in one country for an extended period of time, so they might not work very well for those who want to be constantly on the move.

Digital Nomads

Digital nomads are people who do remote work that can be accomplished anywhere there’s an internet connection. That work can be anything from blogging and freelance design work to social media consulting or working as an online sales representative. If you can navigate the time zone issues and find the right employer, you can do this work no matter where you are — all over the world.

Seasonal Jobs

Seasonal jobs allow you to visit places at different times of the year and find work while you’re there. You might find work at a ski resort in the winter and as a scuba diving instructor in the summer, for example. Other types of seasonal work include summer camp counselors, farm labor (especially in other countries), or vacation resort workers.

Skills That Apply Anywhere

There are certain skills that are needed no matter where you are in the world. Skills like bartending, waiting tables, and manual labor are almost always in demand. These jobs might not always be the most high-paying, but they don’t (usually) have education requirements, which are great for backpackers who don’t mind putting in some hard work. If you can speak the language and can secure a work visa, you can often generate income through one of those jobs.

Travel Industry Careers

One of the perks of working in the travel industry is that you’re always finding the best deals on travel opportunities. These jobs can be business travel jobs — travel agents, marketing, or working on tourism boards — or more hands-on travel jobs, such as flight attendants or tour guides.

What to Watch Out For

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If you take a job in a foreign country, it helps to understand their tax system and rules for foreign workers. Some countries have time limits for how long foreign workers can stay with a job, while others may have special tax rules for expats. Understanding the laws of the country will be helpful in keeping you safe.

For remote jobs, make sure your employer knows about any travel plans and is comfortable with you working on the road. If the job just needs you to get work in by a due date, odds are they won’t care. But if you’re required to attend lots of meetings and time zones makes that difficult, an employer may want to know about your plans to relocate.

If you’re thinking about taking a job that requires extensive international travel, remember that travel can be taxing on you physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s not for everyone. Make sure you’re someone who thrives in that lifestyle before committing to a job that has you flying constantly.

9 Best Travel Jobs

We’ve gone over different kinds of travel jobs and what to watch out for when you’re looking for a gig that allows you a lot of travel. Let’s get to some of our favorite travel jobs out there.

1. Flight Attendant

Flight attendants are constantly on the move, but they get to see much of the country (or world) with amazing perks. Flight attendants and their families often get special deals on flights, and if you get a thrill from air travel, it can be a great way to make a living.

2. Cruise Ship Worker

Cruise ship employees have demanding schedules, but the pay is solid, and you get to spend your time exploring some of the world’s most beautiful places. If you have a background in the service or entertainment industry, cruise ship companies are often hiring.

3. Travel Nurse 

Travel nursing jobs are where qualified nurses go to a hospital with short-term staffing needs and provide care for the patients there. Travel nurses get to practice their work wherever they’re needed, which allows them to travel and experience new places.

4. Airbnb Property Manager

Property owners around the world are often looking for people to care for their rental home and act as the host for Airbnb guests. If you have friends who own vacation homes or want to live in a popular destination for vacationers, you can serve as a trustworthy manager to ensure Airbnb guests have a pleasant stay.

5. Au Pair

If you have experience providing childcare, you can make money all over the world as an au pair or nanny. Many families will offer room and board in addition to a small salary for you to provide child care. It’s often a bonus if you can teach English to your charges through natural conversation during the day.

6. Travel Consultant 

While travel agents aren’t quite as popular as they once were, there are plenty of travelers out there ready to hire someone to plan their perfect vacation. Travel agencies and travel consultants help find the best hotels, travel experiences, and restaurants for people eager to see a new part of the world.

7. Foreign Service Officer

Foreign service officers are highly qualified professionals who represent the United States abroad. It’s amazing, important work, but it’s also very difficult to land these jobs — they require extensive education and certification, not to mention proficiency in foreign languages. For those who do the necessary work, foreign service jobs are incredibly rewarding.

Not ready for all that education and training? You might want to look into becoming a Peace Corps volunteer.

8. Travel Blogger

Being a travel writer is a dream job for a lot of people. The good thing about travel blogging is that it’s never been easier to start — just book a ticket, create a site on a blogging platform, and get typing. The hard part is connecting with an audience. There are a lot of travel bloggers out there, and standing out can be difficult. If you find a fun hook, though, and become an expert on an interesting part of the world, you can find an audience and start making money through advertisements or affiliate marketing.

9. English Teacher

English as a Second Language (ESL) courses are in demand in countries all over the globe, and if you love working with students in a classroom setting, it’s a great gig. Different English-teaching jobs do have different requirements, though. If you want to teach English online, a bachelor’s degree will usually suffice. If you want in-classroom jobs in foreign countries, however, they might require TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification.

Finding Travel Job Opportunities

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Travel Weekly has an online job board specifically built for jobs in the travel industry. On their site, you can review job postings, read job descriptions, and even get job alerts.

The site is built for people looking to work in the travel industry, however, so if you’re looking for seasonal work or for a job as a digital nomad, you might want to start your search elsewhere.

A simple search on Google can be a great way to get started looking for job opportunities in a certain part of the world. There’s also a site built for freelancers, FlexJobs, which has a host of full-time and part-time job opportunities for people who want to work remotely.

For each listing, you can review the description to see if they insist on you being located in a certain place, but remember, if you have an internet connection, many of these opportunities will let you work anywhere in the world.

Make Money Traveling

Not all jobs require you to sit still in a cubicle. There are plenty of wonderful opportunities out there where you can make a great living while exploring a new part of the world. With this article, you should have the tools you need to start the hunt for your dream travel job. Want more ideas? We’ve got a guide to virtual vocations that are perfect for aspiring travelers.

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