Do you wish you could travel the world but need the income from your job to support your adventures?
One of the silver linings of the pandemic is the emphasis on remote work – and it appears to be sticking. A recent Gallup poll showed that 45% of workers are at least partially remote. That number jumps to 67% for white-collar office jobs.
While that’s great news for many people, some types of work lend themselves more to travel jobs than others. For example, even if you work remotely now, you may be tied to set work hours or need a particular workstation setup; you can’t just throw a laptop in a backpack and hit the road.
Here is a list of the 12 best travel jobs for those looking to jet-set worldwide.
What Defines a Good Travel Job?
When you picture the ideal travel job, what comes to mind? Is it sitting in a coffee shop in Italy with your laptop or lying on the beach with just a cell phone in hand? Maybe it involves working in the local community to get a more authentic experience of the day-to-day life of those around you.
The definition of the perfect travel job doesn’t have a right or wrong answer. It ultimately comes down to your preferences and skills. Having a flexible schedule can be a plus. Learning a skill that translates to working from anywhere globally is helpful.
Some people may want to find a job they can do in the evenings to enjoy sightseeing during the day. Others may want a more hands-on job to live like a local.
No matter your preferences for travel jobs, this list should give you some ideas to jump-start your search.
A virtual assistant may be the quintessential digital nomad job. In this role, you could offer a broad range of services, such as:
- Virtual bookkeeping
- Social media management
- Customer service
- Email and calendar management
- Graphic design
- and many more
As a virtual assistant, you control what you do and when. The more specialized your skillset, the more money you can make. For example, you can earn $20-30 per hour for administrative tasks. Or you can make $100 an hour or more as a high-end web designer.
If you love to travel, why not make it your job to document your experiences and share them with others? For example, as a travel blogger, you could research the best places to visit in a particular city or country and share your tips as you travel.
While many bloggers make it look easy, it takes a lot of work to establish a profitable blog. You could eventually make six figures a year or more. But be prepared to spend at least six to twelve months building your blog before making any substantial income.
You don’t have to stick to just travel if you have other interests. Whether your blog is about parenting, personal finance, food, or touches on multiple niches, blogging offers a highly flexible schedule with limitless earning potential.
Remote Work (In Your Current Profession)
Remote work is trending across many careers that used to be entirely in-person. While you have a better chance of working remotely as a financial analyst than a plumber, if you’re in the right field, you can quickly turn your work-from-home job into a work-from-anywhere job.
If you’re considering traveling the globe in your current role, consider how you can best make it work. For example, working hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm in the U.S. could make for some late nights in Spain. Some positions have more flexible hours, but it never hurts to ask if there’s any flexibility regardless of the stated company policy.
You’d be surprised what companies are willing to negotiate to keep a good employee.
Are you looking for something a little more hands-on and local? If you plan to travel the world but stay in one place for at least a few months, bartending could be a good option.
Bartending skills are essentially the same across the world, so you could find a job in almost any town. This travel job would also allow you to get plugged into the local culture.
Do you not think you have any skills that would allow you to work abroad? Think again. If you speak English, there are many opportunities to teach worldwide. You could become an English teacher in a local school or even teach exclusively online through a platform like VIP Kid.
Most online platforms require you to have a bachelor’s degree. In some cases, you may also need a TEFL certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). You can make around $20 per hour teaching online. Teaching at a school often includes free room and board.
Do you like writing but don’t want to deal with the unknowns of growing a blog? Becoming a freelance writer could be the perfect travel job. As a freelancer, you can choose to work when you want. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection.
Most writers choose a niche such as entertainment, politics, travel, food, etc. Once you gain a reputation, you can earn $0.10 per word or more ($100 for a 1,000-word article) writing for websites, magazines, or newspapers. You can make $1,000 a month if you write just ten articles.
You can make significantly more if you specialize even further in copywriting or creating sales and marketing content designed to generate leads.
Becoming a freelance photographer could be a great travel job if you have an eye for the perfect photo. As a travel photographer, you could sell images of your adventures to stock photo sites or to clients directly.
Another way to use beautiful pictures to make a living is by building an audience on a social media platform and getting paid for influencer marketing and special projects. It’s not an easy field to break into, but it could be a lucrative side job during your worldwide travels once you’ve made some connections.
Cruise Ship Worker
What better way to travel abroad than on a cruise ship? Get paid to sail to exotic locales as a worker on a cruise ship. Many different positions are available, such as servers, housekeeping, tour guides, and more.
Working on a cruise ship has other benefits as well. Your food, housing, and transportation are all paid for, and most jobs provide one to two months off in between contracts to do some traveling of your own.
If you love the thrill of experiencing new cities and cultures and staying in a new place every night, becoming a flight attendant could be the perfect opportunity. The profession has a median income of $80,000 and tons of travel perks like free hotels and discounted flights. A career as a flight attendant can be a great way to travel in style.
However, there are some downsides. You will work long hours, and you are often not in control of your destinations. On the plus side, most flight attendants get at least two weeks off per month, which gives you plenty of time to do your own vacationing.
Do you love planning your trip as much as going on the trip itself? As a travel agent, you can help other people who don’t want to deal with all the logistics of vacation planning.
Travel agents organize hotels, transportation, and trip itineraries full of activities. Many destinations offer free trips to travel agents in order to help promote the location. This allows travel agents to get acquainted with the amenities and activities they offer so they can, in turn, recommend the destination to clients. It can be a great way to travel for free!
With the rise of online booking platforms, many people think of travel agents as a dying breed. But the industry is revitalizing itself by creating custom trips and done-for-you packages that travel agents offer customers. This is perfect for travelers weary of trip planning and for those who may find joy in a travel agent job.
Nursing is an excellent career with limitless prospects. It’s an in-demand job that exists in every city, state, and country. To become a registered nurse, you need at least a two-year associate’s degree. Many hospitals and clinics require a four-year bachelor’s degree.
You could easily move every few years and find a nursing job in a new city but you may want even more flexibility if the travel bug has bitten you. As a travel nurse, you sign-up for temporary nursing jobs in high-need areas. Travel nurses tend to be compensated very well and often get company-paid housing.
At the end of your contract, you can move on to a new location or take some time off to travel in between gigs.
Travel Jobs: The Final Word
There are many ways to make money while traveling the world. In an increasingly digital economy, more and more opportunities for remote work are becoming available.
Finding your dream travel job may take some time, training, and creativity, but there are plenty of examples of people who have made it happen. Why wait for retirement to travel the world when you can take your job with you anywhere you want to go?
Andrew is the founder of Wealthy Nickel where he writes about all things personal finance. He has a passion for helping people pursue financial freedom through saving money, making money, and building wealth. Andrew documents his family’s journey to financial independence through side hustles while raising 2 kids on a single income