If you love traveling as much as I do, but can’t afford to completely quit working, you’re in luck. There are actually many travel job opportunities to make money traveling the world. Whether it’s seeking opportunities to trade work for accommodation, or landing a location independent job that gives you the freedom to travel abroad — you have options. The reason I’ve been able to travel the world for the past 5 years is because I’ve slowly turned my travel blog into a business. However that’s certainly not the only path to long-term travel.
Make Money TravelingFirst a little disclaimer. If all traveling jobs were easy, everyone would be doing this. Many of these professions require passion, specialized training, time commitment, and talent. For those that don’t, the pay just isn’t great. There is no magic way to instantly make lots of money traveling. The truth about becoming location independent is that it takes years of hard work and sacrifice behind the scenes — something too many people conveniently ignore. That said, it’s not impossible to work and travel either. The people who have fun travel jobs invested their time and resources to learn how to make it work — which means you can do the same if you make it a priority. We all have the same 24 hours, how will you spend yours?
Expat, Digital Nomad, or Vagabond?Not all “travel” jobs are created equally. The wanderlust opportunities listed here fall under one of the following categories — expat jobs, digital nomad jobs, or what I’ll call vagabonding. What’s the difference you ask?
Expat JobsExpat stands for “expatriate”. Meaning while you are a citizen of one country, you choose to live/work in a foreign country. Expat jobs are only related to travel in that you’re working in a different country from your own. You may live in that country for months or years at a time, so you aren’t exactly nomadic. Examples: English teacher, nanny, foreign service, etc.
Digital NomadDigital Nomads work from their computers. This makes them location independent. As long as they have access to the internet, they can earn a living. Blogging falls under this category, so it also describes my lifestyle. Digital nomads are free to travel at will, working from coffee shops or hotels. Examples: Online business, freelance writing, social media, etc.
VagabondsVagabonds do work that I’ll call “alternative” travel jobs. The type of work that may not require a computer, but a more hands-on approach. Think musicians, artists, or manual labor. Access to the internet or owning a computer aren’t mandatory requirements. Pay might sometimes be under the table. Examples: Street vendor, musician, farm work, etc.
Best Travel Jobs (2016)The following travel jobs encompass one or more of those categories. If you crave the safety of a permanent job, but you also want to live in a different country, then working abroad in a regular full-time type position might be best. Keep in mind not all of these jobs are suitable for everyone. If you have a university degree, you might not be as willing to pick berries on a farm as someone else might be. Or maybe you are! I won’t judge. We all have different backgrounds, skills, and comfort levels.
Bartender / ServerBars, nightclubs and restaurants are located worldwide and the job description is pretty much the same everywhere. It helps to speak the language, so you may need to invest in a few weeks of language classes. Touristy places will be easier to find work and there’s no minimum or maximum time requirement. Plus the more experience you gain as a bartender, the more job opportunities will open up, with a potential for higher income.
EXAMPLEMy buddy Jeremy traveled and worked as a bartender in Australia.
INCOME RANGE$1000 – $4000 per month
Travel Tour GuideYou could consider getting a job as a local tour guide or tour assistant for an international company, either at a single popular location or for larger multi-destination tours. Or you can think entrepreneurial and start your very own tours! Maybe it’s the best un-marked surf spots, an awesome local hiking trip, or showing people the coolest bars and restaurants in town.
EXAMPLEMy friend Lauren started a successful food tour business in Spain.
INCOME RANGE$1000 – $10,000 per month
Freelance TranslatorObviously you need to know a second language to be a translator, but maybe not as much as you think. Sure you probably won’t be working at the United Nations, but the opportunities are as open as your imagination. You could charge a restaurant to translate their menu, work for a tour company selling tours to tourists who speak your language, or offer freelance translation services online. The more fluent you are, the more money you can make.
EXAMPLEMy friend Maria translates English websites into Spanish.
INCOME RANGE$0.10 – $0.40 per word
Work At Backpacker HostelsBackpacker hostels frequently hire travelers to fill positions on a short term basis in exchange for free room and board. There are many different types of jobs, from working the front desk to housekeeping or bartending. If you plan to stay longer term, some hostels offer paid positions too. Actually, I once got paid to work at a backpacker hostel in Hawaii many years ago.
EXAMPLEMy buddy Dave worked the front desk at a backpacker hostel in Singapore.
INCOME RANGE$7 – $10 an hour, possibly with accommodation included
Traveling Fitness InstructorAnother job that allows you to travel the world while making money is working as a freelance fitness instructor. You can teach classes on pilates, yoga, zumba, dance, or provide services as a personal trainer if you have enough experience in these fields. Some instructors make deals with local gyms or backpacker hostels in order to use their facilities with clients.
EXAMPLEMy friends Brandon & Anne make money teaching yoga while traveling.
INCOME RANGE$30 – $100 per hour
- Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations & Techniques
- Igniting The Fire: Building A Successful Personal Training Career
Teach English AbroadDo you know how to speak English? Sweet! You may not realize it, but professional English teachers are highly sought after around the world — and the pay can be decent. However just understanding the language isn’t enough, you generally need a college degree and a TEFL certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).
EXAMPLEMy buddy Drew made money teaching english in Korea.
INCOME RANGE$2000 – $3000 per month plus accommodation.
RESOURCESOnline TEFL Language Course Teaching English As A Foreign Language For Dummies
Massage TherapistMassage therapy is in demand worldwide as an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. Trained therapists can offer their skills to weary travelers or expatriates near popular tourist destinations. Work for a larger company or strike out on your own as an entrepreneur. Find clients by teaming up with hotels and giving them a cut for referring customers. Print flyers to hang up around gyms, coffee shops, etc.
EXAMPLEMy friend Kach made money traveling working as a massage therapist.
INCOME RANGE$50 – $200 per day
RESOURCESBodyworker’s Success Blueprint Business Of Massage Therapy: Building A Successful Career
Web / Graphic DesignOne of the most common jobs for traveling digital nomads is graphic or website design. All you need is your computer, an eye for design, and knowledge of certain software programs and online platforms. Things like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, WordPress, Illustrator, etc. Talent for writing code helps too — specifically HTML, PHP, and CSS. School is great, but it’s also possible to learn on your own with tutorials.
EXAMPLEMy buddy Adam makes money traveling while designing websites.
INCOME RANGE$1000 – $6,000 per month
RESOURCESRunning A Web Design Business From Home Professional WordPress: Design & Development
Work On A Yacht / Cruise ShipTraveling the world while working on private yachts or large cruise ships is an awesome way to see some pretty exotic places. Food, accommodation, transportation, and insurance is covered too — so it’s a great way to save money. Many jobs also provide plenty of vacation time to travel on your own. There are different types of positions available: deck-hand, stewardess, chef, tour manager, entertainment, engineer, and more.
EXAMPLEMy friend Earl made money traveling & working on a cruise ship.
INCOME RANGE$1000 – $5000 per month
RESOURCESWork On A Cruise Ship The Yacht Guru’s Bible
Professional ChefWorking in the kitchen as a traveling chef gives you the opportunity to work anywhere in the world. However the hours are long, irregular, and stressful. Traveling chefs can land jobs at traditional restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, private yachts, food trucks, or even work for private households. Being well-rounded with past experience helps your chances too. Jobs vacancies are often listed online, either in classifieds or company websites.
EXAMPLEMy buddy Daniel makes money traveling as a professional chef.
INCOME RANGE$9 – $20 per hour
RESOURCESHave Blade Will Travel: Adventures Of A Traveling Chef
Day TradingLike many of the jobs in this list, you can’t just jump into day trading on the stock market without any prior experience and expect to become rich. However I’ve met quite a few people who make money traveling and day trading. It usually takes a few years, and losing some money, before it starts to pay off. A background in finance and spare cash to invest helps too.
EXAMPLEMy buddy Marcello makes money day trading stocks while traveling.
INCOME RANGE$100 – $10,000 per day
RESOURCESDay Trading Academy Day Trading: Strategies For Maximum Profit
Street VendorJewelry is the most popular item to sell, but it could also be art, clothing, leather goods… anything where you can source materials locally in bulk to make a product yourself. Setting up as a vendor requires supplies, possibly meaning a longer time in one location, but if you’re going to spend a season in one place it can be worth it. Find a location with lots of tourist traffic like walking streets or public beaches.
EXAMPLEMy friend Sorina sells leather accessories while traveling around Europe.
INCOME RANGE$20 – $200 per day
RESOURCESJewelry Making & Beading For Dummies Bohemian Inspired Jewelry Using Leather, Ribbons, and Cord
Festival CircuitYou don’t have to be a big name performer to work at festivals around the world. There are side-stage acts, installations, event staff, and food vendors too. Festivals always bring on lots of staff before, during and after the events. You can time southern hemisphere Australian and New Zealand festivals between Canadian, American and European summer circuits.
EXAMPLEMy friend Kellie makes money traveling working at festivals.
INCOME RANGEFree tickets – $12 an hour
RESOURCESHow To Get A Job At A Music Festival
Sports InstructorAre you exceptionally good at a particular sport? Share your knowledge with others and get a job as a professional instructor. Surfing, kitesurfing, skiing, scuba diving, skydiving, rock climbing, fly fishing, kayaking, tennis, sailing, mountaineering, etc. Earn an income doing what you love while traveling.
EXAMPLEMy friends Antonio & Amanda make money as scuba diving instructors.
INCOME RANGE$1000 – $4000 per month
RESOURCESTrue Stories From A Diving Instructor Ski Instructor’s Handbook
Au PairAn au pair is a professional live-in babysitter or nanny hired by a family to help their kids learn a new language and do some household chores in exchange for room, board, and a weekly income. The job allows you to live in a foreign country, learn a new language, and experience the culture first-hand while making some money.
EXAMPLEMy friend Ashley made money working as an au pair in France.
INCOME RANGE$400 – $1000 per month
RESOURCESAu Pair Guide: A Helpful Handbook So You Want To Be An Au Pair?
Flight AttendantThe life of a flight attendant may seem glamorous. Constantly jetting around the world, partying it up in different cities, experiencing different cultures, 90% off airline tickets, hotel discounts, cheap rent, and working above the clouds. But it’s hard work too. The training is tough, the hours are long, and all the moving around can get lonely. However for those with a case of wanderlust, it can help you travel the world.
EXAMPLEMy friend Mia makes money traveling as a flight attendant.
INCOME RANGE$1000 – $4000 per month
RESOURCESLooking Skyward: Turn Flight Attendant Dreams Into Reality Flight Attendant Survival Guide
Foreign ServiceWorking for the foreign service (aka diplomat) or an intergovernmental organization (IGO) is one travel job that allows you to experience life in a different part of the world. Most of these government jobs are only open to people with university degrees or knowledge of foreign languages. Applications and tests for these types of positions can be found online.
EXAMPLEMy friend Anna worked for the Polish embassy in London.
INCOME RANGE$500 – $10,000 per month
RESOURCESSo You Want My Job: Foreign Service Officer
PhotographerBecoming a professional travel or adventure photographer and selling your images from around the world takes years of hard work. You can upload photos in bulk to micro-stock sites or sell images to clients directly for use in magazines, books, brand campaigns, or websites. Running guided photography tours and selling online tutorials are additional ways to make money as a traveling photographer.
EXAMPLEMy friend Brendan wrote an eye-opening article about working as professional travel photographer these days.
INCOME RANGE$1000 – $10,000 per month
RESOURCESGoing Pro: Making Money With Photography How To Become A Travel Photographer
Travel WriterWriting about travel seems to be a dream job for many, however it’s not something most people can just jump into. First, you have to be a great writer. Next, you need to learn about networking, pitching to editors, and all the other business stuff involved. Once you have those down, then it’s possible to write for magazines, newspapers, websites, or travel guidebooks. Copywriting and other types of writing are also options.
EXAMPLEMy friend Jodi earns income on the road as a travel & food writer.
INCOME RANGE$0.10 – $1.00 per word
- The Essential Guide To Freelance Writing
- Travel Writing: Expert Advice From Lonely Planet
- How To Become A Travel Writer
Drop Shipping / Amazon FBAIt has a few names and variations, but buying products overseas then re-branding them and selling through Amazon is an increasingly common way to make money while traveling. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) means you don’t need an actual storefront location because products are stocked at Amazon’s network of fulfillment centers around the world.
EXAMPLEMy friend Aileen makes money traveling & selling products on Amazon.
INCOME RANGE$1000 – $30,000 per month
RESOURCESCreate Brands & Sell With Amazon FBA Amazon Selling Blueprint
BloggingMaking money as a blogger while traveling is a dream job for many. But like most things in life, it’s hardly simple. Earning a living with a blog is hard work — and can take years. A blog about travel isn’t the only option, other examples include food bloggers, mommy bloggers, fashion bloggers, and lifestyle bloggers. Income generally comes from advertising, affiliate sales, books, influencer projects, etc. But first you need to build an audience!
EXAMPLEMe! Check out my resources below about how to become a travel blogger.
INCOME RANGE$500 – $20,000+ per month
Musician / Street PerformerAlso known as busking, use your best talents to make some money from tourists. Create an act, grab an instrument, pick a spot with lots of foot traffic, and drop a hat. Many cities require a permit for busking, so make sure to do your research first. Do you have any special talents? Acrobatics, painting, fortune telling, music, break dancing, henna art, it could be anything.
EXAMPLEMy friend Nadia makes money traveling and playing street music.
INCOME RANGE$10 – $100 per hour
RESOURCESBusking For Fun & Profit Busking And Street Performing To Fund Your Travels
AirBnBI’m sure you’ve heard of AirBnB by now, the holiday apartment booking site that lets you stay in other people’s homes rather than hotels. Well some enterprising individuals are renting out their flats while they travel, making decent income. The key is automating the process as much as possible so you don’t have to be there in person.
EXAMPLEMy friend Alyssa makes money renting her apartment on AirBnB.
INCOME RANGE$1000 – $7000+ per month
RESOURCESGet Paid For Your Pad Make Money On AirBnB
Seasonal JobsI’ve met many travelers around the world who work seasonally, spending part of the year earning money and then traveling for months in the off-season. The number of jobs in this category are countless. Construction, school teachers, commercial fishing, oil workers, electricians, ski resort staff, etc. These jobs depend on what skills you currently possess or are willing to learn.
EXAMPLEMy buddy Brian has worked construction jobs while traveling.
INCOME RANGEVaries widely
RESOURCESOil Rig Jobs Reloaded Building A Better Teacher
Internet PokerIt almost sounds too good to be true. Playing poker for a living, online or at real tables, from anywhere in the world. But like anything else, it requires lots of hard work to make that lifestyle sustainable. You need to be good with numbers, possess strong willpower to play for hours, keep your emotions in check, and be able to stay focused on repetitive tasks.
EXAMPLEMy buddy Konrad makes money playing online poker for a living.
INCOME RANGE$1000 – $30,000 per month
RESOURCESBecoming An Online Professional Poker Player Strategies For Beating Small Stakes Poker Games
Peace Corp / NGOWant the experience of a lifetime helping others less fortunate than yourself? Try volunteering with the Peace Corp or a Non-Governmental Organization. Just keep in mind that volunteer work is a full-time job. While it makes your life rich with experiences, the money isn’t great. You’ll build confidence to handle any challenge — because the work itself is challenging.
EXAMPLEMy friend Danielle worked as Peace Corp volunteer in Nicaragua.
INCOME RANGE$314 per month plus food & accommodation
RESOURCESI Quit My Job and Joined The Peace Corp
Marketing / PRAgain, not something you can just learn in a week. There is a reason people go to school and get a degree in marketing. However if you have a business/marketing background, there is no reason why you can’t freelance this type of work from a hammock in Bali. In fact it’s becoming much more common — I’ve met plenty of people helping authors or brands get their name out to a wider audience while traveling.
EXAMPLEMy friends Pete & Dalene run a digital influencer marketing company.
INCOME RANGE$1000 – $10,000+ per month
RESOURCESThe New Rules Of Marketing & PR Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer On The Future
Video Work / VloggingTraveling around the world making videos is another dream job, and some people make a very good living with it. There are a few different paths too — shooting and selling stock footage, becoming a popular YouTuber, or producing highly polished marketing films for tourism boards & travel brands. A strong knowledge of video, editing, networking, and marketing is highly recommended for this type of work.
EXAMPLEMy friend Nadine makes money traveling as a professional YouTuber.
INCOME RANGE$1000 – $20,000+ per month
- Living Off YouTube: A Complete Guide
- YouTube Black Book: How To Create A Channel & Make Money
- How To Create Kick-Ass Travel Videos
Travel NurseTo become a travel nurse, you must first get a degree as a registered nurse (RN) which takes 2-4 years. Once you have that, it’s possible to apply for temporary travel nursing jobs which can last up to 13 weeks. Depending on the assignment, sometimes these jobs include tax-free income, free housing, medical coverage, rental cars, and more. There are travel nurse staffing agencies that specialize in helping you locate a job overseas too.
EXAMPLEMy friend Rachel worked as a travel nurse for a while.
INCOME RANGE$30 – $40 per hour
RESOURCESHow To Be A Successful Travel Nurse
Computer ProgrammerIf you already have the skills & training needed as a computer programmer, than transitioning your cubicle office job into a freelance position with location independence would give you the freedom to travel. There are special freelance programming websites where you can bid on jobs, or you can try to launch a company to build your own products like iPhone apps or custom web applications.
EXAMPLEMy friends Simon & Erin develop smartphone apps as they travel.
INCOME RANGE$3000 – $10,000 per month
RESOURCESHow To Become An Expert Software Engineer How I Work As A Digital Nomad Programmer
Virtual AssistantWith advancements in office technology and a desire to reduce employee costs, business are increasingly looking to hire virtual assistants who can work from home (or anywhere for that matter). There is little that personal assistants can’t do remotely these days. Social media scheduling, responding to customer enquires, calendar management, and all sorts of other tasks can be taken care of by a competent virtual assistant.
EXAMPLEMy friend Katie travels & works as a virtual assistant.
INCOME RANGE$500 – $3000 per month
RESOURCESBecoming A VA: The Virtual Assistant Industry Become A Virtual Assistant: Guide To Success
Professional ConsultantAre you an expert in your field? Working as a professional consultant for companies may give you the ticket to location independence. Consultants work on short term projects, helping businesses grow by training staff how to do something better. For example, instructing a business how to use social media effectively, or how to become more environmentally friendly. Generally they are paid to share their specialized expertise.
EXAMPLEMy friend Dave travels and works as a consultant for oil companies.
INCOME RANGEVaries widely.
RESOURCESNever Chase Clients Again: The Art Of Consulting Working For Yourself: Law & Taxes
Working Holiday VisasA working holiday visa is a special residence permit allowing travelers to legally work in foreign countries to supplement their travel funds. They are generally intended for people between the ages of 18 to 30, and requirements differ based on the country. Some popular destinations for working holidays include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, Ireland, and Singapore.
EXAMPLEMy friend Marta has lived in 3 different countries on working holiday visas.
INCOME RANGEVaries widely
RESOURCESList Of Countries Offering Working Holiday How To Travel The World On $50 A Day
Work Abroad With Travel JobsThe truth is there are no easy ways to make lots of money while traveling without prior skills, time commitment, or experience. It’s just not how the world works. No one is going to pay you thousands of dollars to do something easy. Dream jobs often take years to materialize, and include unimaginable effort & sacrifice that the average person just can’t understand until they experience that same journey for themselves. While I make a good living with my travel blog — it didn’t happen overnight. It’s the same for most of these other jealousy-inducing travel jobs. But I hope this article has demonstrated that there are plenty of people out there working hard and “living the dream” who manage to make money while traveling. It’s not impossible! So get out there and start making your own dreams come true. ★
READ NEXT: Norway’s Stunning Winter Wonderland
Do you have a travel friendly job? Any others I missed?
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.This is a post from The Expert Vagabond adventure blog.