Get Paid to Travel: 11 Adventurous Jobs for Bored Nine-to-Fivers from Travel Jobs for Bored Nine-to-Fivers
Travel Jobs for Bored Nine-to-Fivers
Destination Wedding Photographer
The only thing better than being paid to photograph a happy couple’s wedding day is being paid to travel to a tropical island and photograph their special day. Though this travel job certainly takes some major skill, training and requires quite a bit of equipment to start (camera, computer, editing software, ect.), once you get going it can be a lucrative and unique way to see the world.
Great job for: Skilled photographers.
Work on a Cruise Line
The kinds of jobs available on cruise ships are as varied as the destinations they visit. Jobs you’ll find on any ship range from housekeeping, bartending and babysitting to ship officers and the Captain. Even the lower paying jobs include housing and meals and though you might be working on a tight schedule, you’ll see many exotic locations.
Great job for: Friendly, flexible people who love the ocean.
What does every iconic tourist destination need? Tour guides. Lead people through the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona or take them around the Edinburgh Castle in Scotland or even lead a group of tourists through multiple destinations—there are countless options. A few things to keep in mind though, tour guides don’t typically make a lot of money and most tour guiding is seasonal, meaning job security might be an issue in the off season.
Great job for: Friendly, energetic people with tons of patience. Must be organized, personable and have a deep appreciation for different cultures and history.
See Also: So You Want to Be a Tour Guide?
Work for an Airline
The big draw of a career with an airline is travel—pilots and flight attendants both get to see the world for free and many airlines extend those benefits to family members as well. Add to that a livable salary (an average of $47,000 for flight attendants and $67,000 for pilots in the U.S.) and a flexible schedule and it’s not surprising that airline jobs are the most quintessential travel jobs out there.
Great job for: those looking into a long term career in air travel (as the pay and travel routes at the beginning are usually lousy). Friendliness, patience and an average height are must-haves as well.
See Also: So You Want to Be a Flight Attendant?
Au Pairs are more than just international babysitters—the French name “Au Pair” translates to “At Par” or “equal to.” Au Pairs are typically considered part of the family. They care for children and do light housework in exchange for free housing and an allowance.
Great job for: young people who love kids and are looking to get to know a country, culture and family very well.
Few jobs are more rewarding than teaching, choosing a classroom abroad is both gratifying and full of adventure. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need to be fluent in another language in order to teach English, but it does help and in some cases you don’t need specialized training, though there are degrees specifically for teaching English as a second language (TESL). Pay, benefits and living situations vary greatly based on location—areas in Latin America might only be able to provide housing, while some locations in Asia offer high paying jobs.
Great job for: strong leaders who love teaching and thrive in changing environments.
Another extremely rewarding career, nursing has gained a travel option due to the shortage of qualified people in the U.S. Traveling nurses can see the country and bring along family members, while earning an average of $74,000 a year in the U.S.
Great job for: Flexible, upbeat people who have a degree and proper certifications in nursing. Those looking for a challenge and hoping to see the country will enjoy this career.
If the term “archaeologist” brings to mind a team digging around in Egypt, looking for clues about how the pyramids were built—you’re not entirely wrong. Archaeology involves finding, preserving and explaining past cultures through artifacts, and yes, that often means traveling. Jobs in the field require a bachelor’s degree (at a minimum), though most professionals go on to get a master’s or doctorate. People who choose to pursue a career in archaeology do so because it’s their passion, very few archaeologists make tons of money. The average salary for an archaeologist in the U.S. is $44,000.
Great job for: those wildly passionate about history and culture, people who love to learn.
Farming abroad, or WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), is becoming an increasingly popular way to travel for free. Typically the farm owners will house and feed “volunteers,” in exchange for a few hours of help each day. Farm abroad trips can last anywhere from a few days to a whole season, arrangements vary by location.
Great job for: people interested in learning about alternative ways of living and farming. Some physical fitness is helpful, as some of the work might be physically demanding.
Research for a Travel Guidebook
Nothing says “get paid to travel” quite like researching and writing for a travel guidebook, but what is seemingly a dream come true isn’t always such a sweet deal. Long hours, tough deadlines and little pay make it a tough job. As a New York Times feature pointed out, “Most who do it quickly learn the one hard-and-fast rule of the trade: travel-guide writing is no vacation.” On the upside, you’ll get to see just about all there is in your assignment location.
Great job for: young writers who thrive in chaos. Those who love to explore and want to share information with fellow travelers.
Write About Your Travels
Travel blogging and freelancing are two common ways writers can travel for free. Bloggers usually need to dedicate at least a year to creating an interesting blog that will draw in readers and advertisers, and then they need to essentially run their own business and grow readership. Freelancers work on assignment, so neither of the jobs are very secure and the travel-writing line of work doesn't usually pay a lot.
Great job for: writers who are most concerned with traveling as much as possible.