Last Updated on November 7, 2021 by Christine Kaaloa
If your dream is to travel or live abroad, you’ve probably wondered How to make money traveling and which jobs pay you to travel ? I get it.
The traditional answer to making money for travel is a lackluster one- work at a 9-5 job at home, live frugally and sock your money away for a vacation. But why can’t every day be a vacation? Is it possible to get paid to travel?
Well, yes and no.
Travel is not a traditionally-painted road of right and wrong resumes. There are many alternative ways to go about things and the road is as wide as your creativity.
In this post, I’m sharing jobs that pay you to travel.
Before moving home to Hawaii, I made a living out from career jobs which pay me to travel or offer the tangential perks of travel. Collegiate volleyball player, dancer in a dance company, cameraman for television, English teacher in Korea… All embraced a skill, hobby or talent I was passionate about and travel on an occasional to regular basis.
How did I do it? I invested the time to transform my passion into a lifestyle that embraced travel.
Impossible is a state of mind. Anything is possible if you will it! > Click to tweet
Table of Contents: 11 Jobs Which Pay you to Travel | How to Make Money Traveling
Top 11 Jobs that Pay you to Travel
There are many types of “travel jobs” out there and many ways to turn a beloved “hobby” into a career. Yes, these are jobs which will pay you to either, travel or live abroad. While some require slightly more specialized skills or training, if you earnestly start sculpting yourself towards the goal, it will pay off in the long run.
Travel jobs that pay you to travel from home
Travel jobs in customer service
Jobs which pay you to create travel experiences
These are travel jobs which pay you to create good experiences for other travelers and thus, it allows you to work and travel. Some folks like having a familiar home base, when traveling and one of the major benefits of getting a travel job from home is the ability to work legally in your country, be paid in your country currency and to keep your stuff in your apartment’s storage, as you travel.
1. Tour Leader or Tour Guide
“I get paid to travel the world, visit more than 30 countries per year, live in luxury hotels and on cruise ships when I work and I fly so often that the cabin crew often goes “Hi Claus” when I enter the flight cause they remember me from previous flights.
As a tour leader you often have the sole responsibility of the group and you should expect the average working day to be around 14 hours per day and there are no days off before the group has gone home. And these hours can increase if one of your clients end up in hospital or get robbed.
Pay varies a great deal and some companies barely pay anything and you might have to start with these companies when you are new but once you get some experience then you should be able to save a bit of money up for further travels. As I am a native danish speaker and because the global crisis has not hit Denmark as bad as some other countries and I earn roughly 200 US dollars per day and have all expenses paid while I am on tour.” – Claus Anderson, Tour Leader, Denmark, Read more at Travelling Claus
Work on a cruise ship *
• Airport customer service check-in attendant (It’s minimum wage, but you get free flight vouchers on a part time job alone!)
2. Flight Attendant
I have never met a flight attendant who has regretted her career. Flight attendants are given paid training and then paid a salary to travel. Pay is not as glamorous as the lifestyle. Starting pay can be at a basic wage, lower than average. Wages grow with seniority as well as the option to choose their destinations. Check with the airlines you are interested in to see when they are hiring.
Flight attendant jobs can be competitive. Many flight attendant hopefuls research and study the possible interview questions given so they are prepared with correct responses, dress style and behavioral engagement.
Travel Jobs with special training
3. Travel Nurse
“A travel nurse is referred to as a “traveler” because we come from out-of-town to fill a staffing shortage. Because we are experienced, we are given literally one day of orientation and then jump in the fire. In the ER setting, it can be sink or swim and you have to rely on your knowledge, skills, and experience to really get there to take care of patients and navigate through the healthcare setting. It is nice to get to meet people from new places and ask them about themselves, the way they live, where they are from and places to eat and places to visit when you are new to town.
Usually the contracts that I have done are 8 to 13 weeks in length with the option of extending. You can start working as a travel nurse with as little as one year experience, however, much more competitive resumes have at least two years of experience in certain specialties.
I’ve met nurses that have worked in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Ireland, the UK, US Virgin Isles, Australia. There are medical missions such as Doctors Without Borders, Operation Smile, and the Aloha Medical Mission that can take you to all the continents with destinations that include Sri Lanka, China, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Africa, etc.”” – Erik Vincent Pacpaco, Travel Nurse, U.S.A
Travel Jobs in the Media
4. Film or Television Crew
” When I lived in New York, I worked in the television industry and often with MTV Networks and other large cable brands. I traveled for anywhere from weeks to months to the point. At one point, I only ever came home to do laundry. My work hours ranged anywhere from two hours to a non-stop eighteen hours, operating a camera, while producing television episodes. It’s hard work and physical, but I love being paid to do my gym workout. Pay is relatively good, all my expenses are covered from flight, hotels, rental car and meals.
Working in the center of all the action, in a changing environment of talented personalities is what I’m drawn to and I got to use my creativity in a way I loved and thrived under. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to knowing your episode is being viewed nationwide and occasionally internationally too.
While I went to school to enhance my skills for this profession, there are thousands, who enter the entertainment industry, and learn on the job either, starting as an assistant or through paid/non-paid apprenticeships. ” – Christine Ka’aloa, Camera Operator/Field Producer, U.S.A.
5. Travel Blogger, Content Creator, YouTuber
Working as a travel blogger and content creator is something more travelers and long-term travelers aspire to. You get to travel exotic destinations and write or film about them to inspire other travelers to take the leap. Occasional press trip abound offering all-inclusive trips to creators who are dedicated to their craft and who have amassed an audience. Pay ranges from below minimum wage to $100,000+/ year. It all depends how you leverage your skills, monetize and grow an audience.
Interested in getting paid to travel? Check out my How to Make Money with YouTube.
Some of these jobs are:
• Roadie for a band
• News Journalist or Correspondent
• Travel Photographer, Correspondent, Journalist
Travel Jobs that pay you to live abroad
You mean, I need a visa?! If you want to work legally in another country and in a traditional “job”, you’ll need a work visa and the only way to get one is to have a company in that country hire and sponsor you. A foreign company will only hire you to perform a skill that a national can’t do. That leaves a lot of us to be English teachers or to hold jobs based on the skill of being a native English speaker.
6. English Teacher Overseas
Teaching ESL is how many travelers get to live and work overseas. Often, requirements scatter across the board and are dependent upon country. However, the main requirement is that you have to be a native English speaker or otherwise, born in a country, where English is the first language, (over 58 countries meet this requirement!). Some require a TEFL certification or a teaching degree; others, not. Teaching is a full-time job, and the salary will afford rent and a basic lifestyle. Depending on the cost of living in the country you’re at, if you’re thrifty you can save.
Take my one year of working in Korea- not only did I get a rent-free apartment and all expense paid for roundtrip flight to Korea, I was also able to save over $10,000 of my salary and that became my travel fund.
All countries will pay a salary, comparable to a decent lifestyle in the country. Some countries pay little, but the cost of living is low. Alternately, is true of countries like Japan, where the cost of living is high. So far, the Arab Nations offers the highest salary I’ve seen yet. It’s enough to have me wondering what I might look like in a hijab!
While there are many private institutions which teach English, my recommendations for Asia are EPIK| EPIK -Seoul & TALK for South Korea and the JET Programme for Japan. With EPIK, you can apply through their website or the recruiters I’ve listed some below. JET applicants need to apply directly through their website. They’re both government-funded programs, which means they’re regulated.
Private institutions can be reputable too, but you have to do your homework on them. There are bad schools out there too,.
More posts about teaching and being an expat in Korea.
Resources for Teach Abroad Programs:
• Dave’s ESL Cafe – Great for finding ESL jobs in Asia (mostly Korea and China, occasionally Japan and other). Outside of Asia, the options thin and it’s best to go through recruiting agencies.
• Jobs Abroad Bulletin UK- The ESL job postings on this site aren’t as good or nearly as organized as Dave’s ESL, but the site posts various jobs in travel for Western/European countries as well.
Well-known Recruiting Companies:
Note : There are smaller recruiting agents/ headhunters on Dave’s ESL. All recruiters make a commission from the hiring employer, so, you should *never* pay a fee for job placement.
7. Scuba Dive Instructor
Scuba Dive instructors and dive masters can live and work abroad around the world. Jobs can be seasonal and not always legal, but it’s a way to follow the deep blue if you’re passionate about it. Some divers who get certified abroad like to stay abroad. For instance, in Thailand, you’ll find many foreign dive masters working at dive companies and dive liveaboards while teaching adventurous travelers how to get their PADI or SSI scuba certification. Pay ranges according to country pay scale.
8. Entertainer on a Cruise Boat
If you have a talent in dance, singing or the performing arts and love living on cruise boats, you can sail the seas on a cruise boat while being ship’s entertainment. Entertainers are part of the ship’s staff and get paid with free room and board. When the ship docks in a bay, you can get off with the tourists to explore.
9. Au Pair
Get a job as a live in au pair, offering childcare services to a family. You can do this internationally and likewise in Anmerica. You will be earning a wage while gaining room and board. See Au Pair in America, Au Pair International
Other jobs are:
• Yoga /Activities Instructor at a resort (i.e. Club Med– over 40 countries)
• Camp counselor
10. English Teacher at an English Camp
Occasionally, you can find listings for temporary teach abroad work through English camps. The contract can last anywhere from a few weeks to a month, during summer or winter. Some programs will get you a work visa to work legally, others may slide you with a sly “wink” for an understanding. Many provide dorm living situations for the camp counselors and while the atmosphere is fun, the hours can be long. Tips: Jobs are limited and competitive, so start looking on job boards a month or so beforehand.
11. Private tutoring
When you get a work visa, you’re not allowed to work freelance or part-time outside that contract. The condition of a work visa is that you only work for the company sponsoring your visa. With that warning in mind, I have known expats to private tutor on the side for extra money. It is illegal to do this, so if you try it, I wouldn’t get caught.
Recommended Travel Job e-Books
How to Work on a Cruise Ship by Derek Earl Baron (Wandering Earl)
Add Your Brick to the Great Wall: Teaching in China Made Easy- Sarah Bennett & e-tramping (Agness Walewinder & Cez Krol)
How to Teach English Overseas by Matt Kepnes (Nomadic Matt)
Best Travel Insurance for Travel Jobs
American travelers often pay a premium on travel insurance. World Nomads offers economic solutions for travelers who seek security and peace of mind. It covers 150 countries.