For every travel enthusiast, getting paid to discover the world is the ultimate dream. In fact, being paid to travel can be fairly common, and constitutes a perk of all sorts of careers, from weekend business trips to locations scouts. One silver lining of the pandemic is the huge increase in remote work opportunities, something that might carry on beyond the virus. If so, the digital nomadic lifestyle may see a huge boom, with resorts and hostels rebranding to accommodate more and more working explorers. Until then, here is a list of travel jobs you might not have considered before, to get you out there in the world whilst earning.
Teaching English abroad:
This one’s a classic, but for good reason. With a primary investment of between €100-300, anyone with a high proficiency of English can complete a TEFL course and gain the qualifications necessary for you to teach English anywhere in the world. From a school in Thailand, to China to Peru, you could be teaching in no time. Often offering room, board and a decent salary, this is an excellent option for those wanting to have a rewarding extended stay abroad and gain transferable skills for future careers. From getting to design your own curriculum, get to know new people and all the mayhem of hanging out with kids, this can be a challenging but very rewarding experience.
As a job that was already going digital before the pandemic, huge numbers of people are finding employment as content creators. By writing articles, blog posts and designing social media content for a company (or several if done on a freelance basis through companies such as UpWork), creative individuals can often do all their work remotely, giving them the freedom to work and travel simultaneously. Whether designing a viral social media campaign from a café in Bali or typing up a company’s internal weekly newsletter from a hostel in Amsterdam, this job can be hugely rewarding and offers plenty of room for career progression.
Another classic, the flight attendant job is the ultimate one for getting paid to travel. Yes, it might be less glamorous than it appears, particularly when you are having to deal with angry customers and queasy flyers, but there are still plenty of unique perks that make it standout. A shift on a long-haul flight generally offers free accommodation at an international hotel, and often several days before the return flight, giving you plenty of time to explore. If it is your dream to see the world, no job will scratch more destinations off your list than being an air steward, and better yet, all expenses are covered. Work your way up and you could find yourself working first class on a gold-tier airline, rubbing shoulders with celebrities and being accommodated in 5-star hotels.
Customer Service Representative:
Another job that is increasingly being offered remotely is work as a customer service representative, answering emails or phone calls and assisting customers with questions and concerns. Often highly demanded and requiring less insider company knowledge than might be expected, this is an excellent job for those on the move. It also provides plenty of transferable skills, as employers like to see customer service and sales skills on applicant’s resumes. That being said, this can be a tough job, dealing with angry customers complaints and maintaining a cool, friendly persona at all times. However, for a career starting point or temporary employment option, this can be a highly beneficial option.
For those that love working with kids and want to really experience life living in another country, this is a great option. Requiring a bit of luck on the part of who you get matched with, agencies will place you with a host family to live with for an extended period – ranging from a few weeks over summer to over a year. Au Pair’s generally get room and board, with a little extra for spending, not enough to save but certainly enough to have fun discovering a new city on your time off. The role requires a lot of responsibility, and you may need to be on call 24/7, particularly if the kids are young. Most likely however, you will leave your placement with great memories, and a whole new family to stay connected with for life.
Ever stumbled across a particularly cool street when on holiday and thought: this would look great in a movie? Or maybe you’ve just noticed something particularly cinematic about it. Well, for every market chase/motorboat getaway scene in a Moroccan port or tearful goodbye on a train platform in rural Italy, someone has done careful research and flown out on location to find these perfect spots. If your two passions in life are movies and travel, this job combines both! Though it may not be all glamour and jetting out to exotic locations (a huge amount of dull health and safety paperwork goes into finding good movie locations), it’s a job that is certainly pretty enviable.
Car Transfer Service:
This job doesn’t get talked about so much these days but was very popular back in the day. Essentially a free lift for those that want to travel, individuals that need cars moved across the country can sign up to have it driven for them. Companies like HittheRoad (Canada) and AutoDriveaway (USA) do the matching for you, advertising the A to B routes needing drivers. Though you do not get paid per se, all expenses are covered (e.g., fuel, accommodation for overnight journeys) and so this is a great way of removing transport costs for someone keen to travel long distances.
This might seem like a funny one, but it is worth making the point that those who set up their own companies have complete freedom to decide where and how they conduct their operations. Whether it is a clothing resale business, basing yourself in Thailand and marking up cheap items to sell internationally, or an online tuition business, you get to set your own hours and your own base. Plenty of people have been able to establish small, one-man businesses from behind a laptop, giving them enough of an income to travel. If you’ve got a side hustle, consider how you could grow it enough simply to fund your (budget) travels. You may not end up Mark Zuckerberg, but it could end up being enough to help you see the world.
Scuba Diving Instructor:
Got spare time and a bit of cash to get your PADI qualification? It may end up very useful if you’re looking for employment overseas. For those perpetual backpackers that love hanging out in hostels, being qualified (or basically qualified…) to teach scuba diving tends to be an instant hire at beachside resorts. Meeting new people every day, having your room and board covered and spending every afternoon in paradise – sounds good to me.
Another job that is starting to go digital is the business consultant. Often working freelance or for an agency, consultants tend to be paid very well, with plenty of opportunity for career progression. They say you have to choose between financial success and the backpacker lifestyle, but why not go for both? To those people giving advice to businesses on how to optimise their operations from the comfort of a beachside hammock, I say – well done, you’ve cracked it.