Believe it or not, earning money whilst you travel doesn't have to be boring or difficult. We've collected 18 awesome travel jobs, many of which are surprisingly easy to come by.
After years of travel, we've done our fair share of jobs. It's surprising what can happen when you put yourself out there! One thing's for sure; travelling opens up unique doorways to unusual ways to earn and save money.
Let's delve in and take a look.
More useful guides:
The 18 epic Travel Jobs are...
- 1. Teach English Abroad
- 2. Teach English Online
- 3. Become a PADI Divemaster
- 4. Sell your Crafts
- 5. Become a Digital Nomad
- 6. Run Workshops/Classes
- 7. Work on a Cruise Ship
- 8. Become a Tour Guide
- 9. Busk on the streets
- 10. Work in a Hostel
- 11. Look after kids
- 12. Get a job at a local bar
- 13. Seasonal Work
- 14. Working Holiday Visas
- 15. Festival hop
- 16. Volunteer!
- 17. Car Relocation
- 18. House/Pet Sitting
1. Teach English Abroad
This is in the #1 spot for a reason - teaching English abroad doesn’t (always) require experience and/or qualifications, and it pays really well! There are endless companies across the world offering opportunities for native English speakers to begin a career or gap year teaching English to children, adults, business people… you name it!
Whilst this is usually a full time job, as long as you choose a destination you’re keen on exploring, it’s a superb way to really get to know the place in depth as opposed to a 1-2 week holiday.
Note: Qualifications and experience required depends largely on the country and company and varies greatly.
Firsthand Experience Teaching English in China
After completing my 120 hr TEFL certificate online, I applied for a job teaching English to children (aged 4-8) in Beijing, China. To my surprise I was offered the job! It was a surprise because I had no previous teaching experience or university degree. I was offered a 1 year contract, full training upon arrival, help with housing (including a interest-free loan to help me before my first paycheck) and a substantial monthly salary that far exceeded my expenses. Safe to say, it turned into a fantastic year!
2. Teach English Online
If you don’t fancy dropping everything to move to a far flung country on the other side of the world, online teaching is another option. As long as you have a solid internet connection, you’re set! Again, there are many companies that require online teachers, varying in requirements and abilities.
Usually, it’s possible to choose your hours and work part-time - a great means of making a bit of extra money whilst you travel.
3. Become a PADI Divemaster
Surely everyone has dreamed of scuba diving their way around the world?! I surely did. And I went one step further to undertake my PADI Divemaster qualification to make the dream a reality.
I won’t lie: it’s expensive. To go from novice Open Water Diver to Divemaster requires doing 5 courses (plus optional specialties) to become qualified before you can even think about getting paid work. Yet, if you absolutely love it and are happy knowing it will lead to many paid opportunities on your travels, it’s totally worth the time, effort and money. Over time, what you invest will come back to you tenfold.
Hey! Go one step further and use your passion to become a scuba diving instructor.
4. Sell your Crafts
Perhaps you’re already a crafty individual, or maybe you’d like to learn a new skill that can boost that all important travel fund.
From jewelry to crochet, to weaving and painting - there are endless handmade creations that people you meet on the road will love to purchase. Get creative and make it known that your unique creations are for sale. Sell at festivals, hostels, on a market stall or even in a local shop if you’re in town for a while.
5. Become a Digital Nomad
Easier said than done, we hear you say. Well, yes and no! The term digital nomad covers a huge variety of job roles. From setting up your own travel blog that generates money from affiliate marketing, to contracting your skills for a company that’s already doing well… to even doing simple work like copyright editing and proofreading. Again, there are endless avenues into location-independent work and endless resources to help get you started. Take courses, read blogs, reach out and do your research… you’ve got this!
6. Run Workshops/Classes
Do you have sought after skills that others would love to learn? This is where you could have a lot of fun making money as you travel!
Offer anything from yoga classes, vegan cooking workshops, dance, guitar lessons, language exchange, craft workshops, massage… again, the list goes on. Basically, if you’re skilled/certified in something you love, why not offer to share it for a reasonable price as a means of funding your travels?
7. Work on a Cruise Ship
Cruise ship life offers a neat little package of travel, party, good pay and endless social opportunities. Sure, you will work hard, but you’ll play just as hard in this kind of job. There are many roles on a cruise ship such as entertainer, shop assistant, bar worker and general crew. That means it’s possible to get a job on a cruise ship even if you’re not highly qualified.
Alternatively, work on a sailboat. This obviously requires a bit more skill and experience, but there are also apprentice opportunities out there if you look hard enough.
8. Become a Tour Guide
Yes please! Many tourist hotspots are in need of guides and many of which are travellers that fall in love with a place and want to stay. Experience isn’t always necessary, but speaking multiple languages comes in very useful.
True Story: Tour Guide at Uluru National Park
After falling in love with Alice Springs in Australia and deciding I wanted to stay, I took a chance by approaching a local tour guide company to apply as a tour guide for their 4 day camping adventures to Uluru (Ayers Rock). Again, I had no previous experience, but what I lacked in skill I made up for in people skills, enthusiasm and organisation - I got the job! I shadowed other guides, took a course particular to guiding at Uluru, underwent a minibus license and learnt invaluable survival skills necessary for the Australian outback. It’s pretty cool what can happen when you put yourself out there!
9. Busk on the streets
As long as it’s legal (always check this first), busking is a great way to fund your hostel accommodation or food expenses. Grab your favourite instrument and hit the streets!
Tip: Pick a busy pedestrianised street of a city where you’ll be passed by more people.
10. Work in a Hostel
Get a job in a hostel and you’ll be living the backpacker dream! Whilst many hostels offer work in return for accommodation (in a shared dorm), it’s possible to get paid hostel work, too. Jobs typically include housekeeping, reception work, bar work and party planner.
New to hostels? Let us help you get started:
- How do Hostels Work? The ins and outs of hostel life
- Are Hostels Safe? 11 safety tips
- How to find the Best Hostels
- 10 Types of Hostels on Hostelz.com
11. Look after kids
The option of becoming an au pair is a good one. Families are usually after a commitment of at least 6 months, which is great if you want to enjoy an area thoroughly and build up your savings before moving on. It’s a well paid job that usually includes other perks such as use of a car and a private room in the family home. If you love children, this won’t feel like a job at all. The only downside is that it might be really hard to say goodbye and keep travelling!
12. Get a job at a local bar
This one’s for the party animals out there! It’s a common backpacker job and one that comes with endless fun and too many hangovers. Play your cards right and you could make a lot in tips, too.
Tip: Stay long-term in a hostel whilst you do this job to save money and create friendships with other travellers.
13. Seasonal Work
Seasonal work and travel go hand in hand. You can either apply in advance and travel specifically to that country for seasonal work, or apply whilst you’re already on the move. Popular seasonal work includes fruit picking/pruning, ski resorts, tour guide, summer camps and festival work.
True story: Becoming a walk/ski organiser by accident
Yet again, I landed an epic paid job by accident as a walk/ski organiser in the Italian Dolomites. With no previous experience (except a love for outdoor adventure) or qualifications, I found myself spending 2 years in Italy leading mountain treks and ski days, plus a number of other responsibilities. I even learnt how to ski on the job! Again, this story is to help highlight the travel job opportunities available if you’re prepared to put yourself out there.
14. Working Holiday Visas
Many countries offer working holiday visas for young adults, usually aged 18-35 years. Popular countries include New Zealand, Australia and Canada offering opportunities to live and work in the country for up to 2 years. It’s a no-brainer to consider this if you want to travel long-term and earn money along the way.
Important: It will depend on where you’re from whether you’re eligible for certain working holiday visas.
15. Festival hop
One way to live cheaply on the road is to volunteer at festivals during festival season. Typically, a festival volunteer will give between 10-15 hours of their time in return for a festival ticket and camping. Sometimes a free meal or two is thrown in. You could be part of the set up/set down team, decoration team, toilet team (not fun but usually means less work hours) or information tent dealing directly with the public. It’s a fantastic way to meet people as a solo traveller!
There’s also opportunity to work for a food vendor that pays, or even set up your own stall and sell your crafts.
No matter where in the world you want to go or for how long, or who you are and what you enjoy; volunteering opens up SO many doors! Chances are, whatever volunteering position you dream about, it’s out there waiting for you. Whilst you won’t earn money, you’ll save plenty.
Start here and read: Volunteer and Travel the World with Worldpackers and Workaway
To help you out, we’ve teamed up with Worldpackers to offer you a discount for your membership.
17. Car Relocation
This is a travel hack not many people are aware of. Many car rental companies require car relocations from one city to another, usually in big countries like Australia. They utilise travellers by offering amazing deals like $1 a day rental and a free tank of fuel. It usually requires putting down a deposit and you’ll have a deadline to get the car/campervan to where it needs to be (typically 2-5 days).
Simply search for car relocation opportunities in the country you are travelling in and see if they suit your travel plans.
18. House/Pet Sitting
Need a break from hostels? Or missing your pets and need some all important furry-friend time? Definitely give house sitting a go! Essentially you get free accommodation, furry cuddles and a chance to meet lovely locals in return for watching over someone’s house and pets. Housesits last anywhere between 1 day and 6 months, possibly longer. This could even become a full-time ‘job’ for a while.
Have a look at Trusted House Sitters, one of the world’s leading trusted house sitting sites.
As you can see, dear readers, there are plenty of incredible travel jobs that await out there in the big, wide world! No matter your budget or time-frame, there is a way of making money on the road without selling your soul.
We hope this has been helpful and encouraging for you to set out on an adventure without allowing the topic of money to hold you back. In our experience, there is always money to be made, and as long as you're open and flexible to trying new things, you'll be fine.
One last thing. Before you head off, make use of our handy packing guide for backpackers.