Looking for a job that allows you to make money traveling? This article outlines some fun and realistic ideas on how to chase your dreams while traveling the world.
On the road, I’ve met many people like myself who value travel and remote work over traditional desk jobs. It’s certainly not for everyone, but it is for me, which is why I decided to leave my 9-5 and create a digital business in the travel industry. (More about how to become a travel blogger here.)
In this article, I’ve only included travel jobs of people I’ve met and that are reliable (and in demand). There are lots of gimmicks out there about how to travel for free, which are simply not realistic for most people. As such, I wanted to list out travel jobs and careers from people who I personally know (and have found that they can, in fact, be done). This includes everything from seasonal work and backpacker jobs to long-term digital nomad jobs. There are so many amazing travel jobs out there, where the only requirement is a passion for traveling (and a desire to seek them out!).
If you’re looking for a realistic way to travel and work at the same time, this article has got you covered. Here’s my round-up of the 28 best travel jobs in the world.
Travel Writer – One of the best travel jobs for digital nomads
If you enjoy visiting and writing about exotic locales, this travel job is calling your name.
As a travel writer, you have two solid options to make money and travel at the same time. Firstly, you could do freelance writing for travel journals and publications. Small publications will pay you for each article while the larger ones can hook you up with free travel adventures and experiences (in addition to pay).
Another way to make it as a travel writer is to start your own blog or publication. I make money on this site through ads, affiliate links, and sponsored content, and I prefer to write for myself rather than publications (though I do so occasionally).
If your passion is writing and storytelling, this travel job is for you.
Read next: How to Start Travel Blogging
Can you speak English? If you’ve made it this far, I’m going to assume the answer is yes!
During the summer of 2016 (a gap between graduating college and starting my finance job) I taught English in Valencia, Spain. It was a life-changing experience, allowing me to grow as an individual and give back to the community in the process.
If English is your native language, there are lots of opportunities for you to teach abroad. Generally, you’ll need to obtain at least one of the following to be able to do this:
– Bachelor’s Degree
– Prior teaching experience
Virtually every country is looking for English teachers, so take your pick. Japan is a popular option for high-skilled teachers, while jobs in Southeast Asia and South America tend to be more abundant and accessible (with lower living expenses!). You can teach in an academy like me, remotely via Skype, or you can even set up a teaching space in your own home or apartment.
Throughout the process of becoming an English teacher abroad, be sure to ask about benefits like flight reimbursements, travel stipends, and even free housing! And to supplement your teaching income, consider tutoring, too.
Teaching abroad is an impactful way to be a part of your community, and you can make money traveling at the same!
Au Pair is a top travel job for young people
This is one of the most popular travel jobs for young adults, particularly in European countries.
As an au pair, you work for a host family in return for free room and board, and usually a stipend. You’re tasked with taking care of family responsibilities, including childcare and housework.
There are many Au Pair agencies to choose from around the globe, but here are the 15 agencies designated by the U.S. State Department. Au pairs are typically between 18 and 30 years old, though each country has different requirements.
Being an au pair is a wonderful cultural immersion experience. And if you get lucky, your host family may even take you on a family vacation somewhere!
Tour Guide Traveling Jobs
Consider becoming a local tour guide or working for an international tour company. This is a great way to make money while sharing your passion for travel.
I’ve met many people on the road who do “free walking tours,” where they don’t charge a fee upfront, but instead rely on tips. This is a good way to get your feet wet in the industry, while learning a bit about the culture, history, and best spots in a destination. From there, you could even become an entrepreneur by creating Airbnb experiences and leading your own custom tours. Popular ideas include food tours, photo walks, and history tours.
The tours with the best pay are the international tour operators, such as Rick Steves Europe, G Adventures, and Intrepid Travel to name a few. Due to the pandemic, many of these tours are not currently operating. However, I think there will be tons of pent up demand once international travel returns to normal again.
WWOOFing is one of the best jobs for travel
Looking for a cheap way to travel? Try WWOOFing.
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is a cultural and educational program where you get to work on a farm, ranch, or homestead in return for free accommodation. While helping at a farm, you’ll get to learn all about organic agriculture and sustainability, two very important topics that are having an incredible impact on our world. Think of it as an exchange program for those with global perspectives!
WWOOFers typically spend half their time working on the farm, and the other half exploring their destination. There are over 1700 organic host farms in the US, and many more around the world (in 130 countries!). I can’t imagine a better travel job than one which allows you to see the world and give back in the process!
Make money traveling by being a travel agent!
With the advent of the internet, many thought travel agents would be no more. After all, people can just book everything on their own online, right? Not so fast.
The travel agent industry faced a tough decline over the years, but was holding up quite well prior to the pandemic. The range of expertise and experience that travel agents bring to the table is not only valuable, but indispensable—particularly for busy people who would prefer assistance with itineraries rather than planning and booking on their own.
Conversely, travel review sites like TripAdvisor aren’t always reliable, as there’s a lot of missing context that would be valuable in making informed travel decisions. For instance, you don’t know what life experiences caused a person to write a positive or negative review. As a result, you can’t really tell if a certain hotel or attraction will be a good fit for you. A travel agent, on the other hand, can make personalized recommendations based on prior industry and destination-related experience. They are experts in the field who have extensive travel experience and have acquired an understanding of different travelers’ preferences.
While there aren’t any degree requirements to become a travel agent, you should have relevant travel experience, communication skills, and great attention to detail.
In the post-COVID world, I’m confident that there will always be a need for experts in the field to assist travelers with bookings, recommendations, and flight, tour, and vacation packages. As an occupation, travel agents won’t be going anywhere!
Street Performer – a creative travel job that’s location independent
Wherever there are tourists, there’s a way to make money. Being a street performer or musician is definitely one of the most creative travel jobs in the world, giving you the opportunity to showcase your talents!
Are you good at playing an instrument like the guitar? Break dancing or magic tricks? You can monetize just about anything in big cities like London, NYC, Barcelona, or Bogota. Just make sure you do some research beforehand, as some places will require that you get a permit. If you’re someone who enjoys entertaining, you’ll find that this is one of the best jobs for travel.
Customer Service Agent
This is a remote job that you can do just about anywhere. All you need are customer service skills, fast internet, and a cool destination as your home base!
The listening skills and cool demeanor suitable for this position are helpful when you’re living and traveling abroad. Interpersonal conflicts and misunderstands can easily happen while you’re on the road, and this type of job can help you resolve them. As such, it’s definitely among the most practical travel jobs out there!
Translator – Among the best jobs for travel lovers
If you are fluent in multiple languages, consider becoming a translator! There’s demand for this travel job pretty much everywhere, and you can even perform a lot of this work online.
Helping others communicate is one of the most rewarding deeds imaginable. And the chance to visit other countries in the process makes this a top travel job for expats and digital nomads alike.
Hotel Professional – one of the best travel industry jobs
Do you enjoy working with people and providing top-notch service? A hotel professional job is one of the most rewarding jobs for travel lovers!
Working for hotels usually don’t require degrees, and you can work your way up the ladder relatively quickly. Within a year, you can move from an entry-level position to a manager, and you’ll be sought-after by hotel brands around the world.
Many of the hotel professionals I’ve met have lived and worked in multiple countries. It’s a transient industry, where it’s not uncommon to switch hotels every 6-12 months. The major hotel chains provide lots of opportunities, both domestic and abroad, that will shape you into a well-rounded and worldly hotel professional. Whenever you’re looking to live and work abroad, these companies will take care of the visa process for you, making it much easier than doing it on your own.
The hospitality industry can be quite challenging, but it’s so worth it if you enjoy traveling.
Consultant Traveling Jobs
Do you have an area of expertise (or planning to pursue one)? Consider becoming a consultant!
Consultants are experts in their field or industry who can provide answers to complex problems. This type of specialized knowledge is not just desired domestically, but also across the world. In particular, social media consultants are in high demand, and are one of the best travel jobs for digital nomads!
Consultants are known to make great money, and travel extensively in the process. Definitely a win-win if you’re looking for jobs with travel!
Read next: Top Wine Regions Every Traveler Should Know
Do you enjoy capturing special moments of your travels? Perhaps becoming a travel photographer is in the cards!
There are lots of ways to make money as a professional travel photographer. One of the quickest and easiest ways to make money is by selling prints and high-resolution files. All you need to do is register on stock image websites, such as Shutterstock, and create your own Etsy shop.
Another way to make money as a freelance travel photographer is by working with destinations and brands. Partner with tourism boards, hotels, restaurants, and just about any other travel-oriented business by taking high-quality photos and videos. Over time, you can even become an influencer if you’re able to establish a social media presence.
Lastly, once you are a professional travel photographer for long enough, you can consider creating courses and “how to” videos. Prospective photographers are always interested in buying these courses and learning from the best. It’s no wonder this is one of the best travel careers out there!
Read next: Top Photography Tips for Beginners
Virtual Assistant – one of the best digital nomad jobs for travelers
A virtual assistant is one of the most accessible jobs out there. Most of the time, this type of work does not require a degree, and you can perform the work from wherever you want.
These remote jobs are in high demand, covering a range of administrative tasks including scheduling and calendar arrangements, customer service, bookkeeping, online research, event coordination, social media work, and more.
Practically everything that you can do online can be performed by a virtual assistant. All you have to do is figure out what your niche is and offer services that you enjoy doing (and are in demand). Websites like upwork.com offers thousands of VA jobs where you can find remote work.
Rather than personal assistants who must go into an office every day, you can complete tasks from home or even from a foreign country! This makes VAs one of the most desirable travel jobs in the world.
Flight Attendant – a great way to get paid traveling the world
If you want to travel all over, become a flight attendant! It’s certainly not an easy job, but it has its perks. Flight attendants get steep discounts on airline tickets, hotels, and rental cars, not to mention cheaper rent as they’re jaunting all around the world.
As a flight attendant, you also get maximum flexibility. You can easily switch flights with your coworkers and maximize your in-flight hours so you can take more days off. And if you work for one of the major airlines, you’ll also get great benefits, including medical, retirement, and overtime benefits. Of course, the cost of being a flight attendant is that you must undergo grueling training, obnoxious passengers, and lots of moving around. But if traveling is truly your thing, then it’s worth it!
As a flight attendant, not only will you make money traveling, but you’ll also get lots of flexibility that you can’t find in traditional desk jobs.
Read next: Best Travel Tips for Flying
International Aid Worker
Want to travel and help others at the same time? Consider becoming an international aid worker! It’s one of the best jobs for traveling, and certainly among the most rewarding.
The Peace Corps and Red Cross are two international organizations (of many) that are always looking for help. Whether it’s for charitable causes like health and social services, or assistance during natural disasters or wars, aid workers are highly sought-after around the world.
In addition to volunteer-oriented opportunities, working at an IGO is another great way to help others while living abroad. Prominent IGOs include the United Nations, NATO, and the World Health Organization. Note that positions in these organizations usually require degrees, foreign language skills, and other relevant credentials. International aid workers are definitely one of the most rewarding travel careers!
Read next: Top 100 Unique and Inspirational Travel Quotes
Lots of ski resorts around the world hire seasonal ski instructors. You can spend part of the year in the Northern Hemisphere (i.e. Canada and the Alps) and part of the year in the Southern Hemisphere (i.e. Argentina, New Zealand, and Chile). That way, you can enjoy winter year-round!
Resorts may require a certification, which there are different levels. Be sure to obtain that certification before applying, particularly in the country where you want to teach.
If you already live close to ski resorts, then this job doesn’t necessarily require travel. But it certainly helps if you want to see the world!
If scuba diving is your thing, this is a fun job that would allow you to make money traveling and teaching. You’ll get to visit exotic locales, such as Australia and Hawaii, all while being able to see the beauty that lies beneath the ocean.
Training and certifications are required to become a scuba diving instructor, so be sure to check out the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) website for more information. Is this one of the top travel jobs? 100%!
Read next: The World’s Most Breathtaking Islands
This is one of the coolest travel jobs for history lovers! They help us understand human geography and how civilizations—including customs, values, and traditions—came to be.
Archaeologists study mankind through excavation, seeking to understand historical artifacts, sites, and remains. This involves digging, researching, and assessing different cultures and historical events. As such, it also requires quite a bit of travel, often to remote places and for a long period at a time. In addition to fieldwork, archaeologists also work at museums and cultural and historical sites.
This is not a job that will make you rich, but the work itself is incredibly enriching and you’ll be able to travel a lot, too!
In addition to archaeologists, geographers and anthropologists provide similar opportunities and jobs for travel lovers!
Day Trading Stocks
This is a popular location independent job that allows you to make money while traveling.
Using free trading apps like Robinhood, you can buy and sell stocks with no fees. This is the best way to start out and learn about day trading, while testing out different strategies.
I do some day trading, and highly recommend it for people with prior knowledge of finance. It certainly requires some patience and due diligence, and you will have to cope with losing money sometimes. But the payoff can be amazing in the long run! I’ve met lots of travelers who also like to day trade and use it to fund their adventures around the world!
Sign up on Robinhood using my unique code and you’ll get a free stock!
This is a travel job you can do just about everywhere, particularly in touristy places with lots of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. All you need for the most part is a basic understanding of the local language, and some prior bartending experience. If you’d like to get a job in a high-end bar, a reputable bartending school may be required.
One of the main draws to traveling is the nightlife, so being a traveling bartender is a great way to connect with fellow travelers. And it’s always in high demand!
Looking to become a traveling bartender? Check out this book with over 1,000 drink recipes: Bartending For Dummies!
This travel job will allow you to satisfy your wanderlust while having a decent work-life balance. As a massage therapist, you can travel with a sports team, cruise line, hotel, or even as a freelancer.
Wherever there are tourists, there’s a demand for wellness spas, and subsequently, massage therapy. So, team up with a hotel, resort, or another local business to help meet the demand!
Cruise Ship Traveling Jobs
Being a cruise ship worker is a great travel job for people from all walks of life. You can be a cook, entertainer, tour manager, housekeeper, waiter/waitress, and so much more as you sail around the globe. Not only can you see a variety of destinations, but you also get your food, accommodation, and transportation paid for.
I’ve done several cruises with the major cruise lines— including Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line, and Norwegian Cruise Line. It’s an awesome way to meet passengers and workers from all around the world!
During Pre-COVID times, this was one of the best travel jobs out there. I think it will definitely make a comeback.
Read next: Top Travel Resources for Frequent Travelers
Software/Computer Engineer – a remote job that will allow you to travel the world
I’ve met lots of people on the road who work remotely as software and computer engineers. Most of them are freelancers who build websites and apps, all while living in cheap destinations. It’s truly a great way to travel and work at the same time.
A computer science or engineering degree is required for most jobs. However, there are tons of freelance gigs out there on sites like freelancer.com where you can find work without necessarily having one.
Read next: Coolest Travel Apps for iPhone and Android
Work at a Hostel
Looking to earn while traveling? Working at a backpacker’s hostel is one of the best traveling jobs for meeting people around the world. You’ll receive free room and board in return for working at the front desk or in housekeeping. Some hostels also have an onsite bar, so you could work as a bartender, too!
Usually, working at hostels is a short-term ordeal. However, if you choose to stay longer, you can try to negotiate for a paid position. I know lots of people who have done this; no degrees or qualifications are required, except for a passion for meeting new people!
Web Developer – one of the best expat jobs
Looking to find jobs that travel the world? Well, this isn’t your typical travel job, but it sure lends itself to that!
In addition, website and graphic designers are in high demand, particularly on WordPress and Adobe products. While a degree is helpful, you can learn how to write code and program websites and applications with free online instruction.
Many of the digital nomads I’ve met on the road are self-employed web developers and designers. It’s definitely a full-proof way to work and travel at the same time!
Pilot – the best paying travel job for jetsetters
If you’re looking for jobs that require traveling the world, this is it.
Pilots are among the best paying travel jobs in the world. You’ll be able to fly all over and see some of the most beautiful places on the planet. It takes a lot of flight hours and special training, but after thousands of hours in the air, you’ll be on your way to becoming a commercial airline pilot!
Read next: Top Things You Should Do Before a Flight
If you enjoy traveling on road trips, you may also like being a truck driver. It pays well, doesn’t require a degree, and offers a change of scenery that you don’t get with traditional desk jobs. Truck drivers are in high demand and you’ll have the ability to travel frequently. What more could you want in a top travel job?
Read next: Coolest Road Trip Ideas in New England
Airbnb Owner – a great travel job to make money while traveling the world
Rent out your home or apartment on Airbnb as you’re out galivanting around the globe.
You can make a lot of income doing this, not only helping you to cover your rent or mortgage, but also funding your travels. Just make sure you have contactless check-in options (i.e., a keypad), so you won’t have to be there to let guests through the door!
Thinking about hosting your home on Airbnb? Here’s my special referral link where you can list your space for free!
Read next: Coolest Airbnbs in the World
More advice on how to work and travel the world
There are so many great traveling jobs out there in the world, but which are the best for you?
As you’re looking for a full-time travel career or side hustle, you may find that some travel-friendly jobs aren’t always easy to come by. After all, if it were so easy, everyone would do it!
Many of these travel jobs require a substantial commitment, including specialized training and lots of passion, the latter being the most important. If you are passionate about traveling, you can do any of these jobs. You can be certain of that!
Are there any other travel jobs that you feel should be mentioned? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy travels! -Jon
Read next: How to Become a Travel Blogger