The Top 50 Best Travel Jobs – How To Make Money While Traveling
You could be heading on gap year or extended break and just need to supplement your travels. Perhaps you’re thinking about a career change and want a job that allows you to travel. You may even want to become a digital nomad and work remotely. Whatever your plans here are 50 travel jobs for your inspiration.
Top 50 Jobs That Allow You To Travel
1. Bar Work
A tried and tested way to earn money while you travel, casual bar work can be found almost anywhere in the world. You don’t necessarily need to have experience, but having a little can be useful. The hours are often flexible enough to give you time to explore your new home, and it’s a great way to get to know the locals and their favourite hang outs.
Pay rates will vary depending on where you are in the world, but the average bar job in the UK will pay around £7.50 an hour.
Bar work can be found pretty much anywhere in the world, except for countries where alcohol is prohibited.
2. Teaching English
Luckily for us, speaking English is one of the most sought after skills in the world, and there are always plenty of opportunities to make a little cash from doing so. If you want to teach on an official basis you may need a locally recognised certificate, or you may consider completing a TEFL course before you travel, as qualified teachers have a far higher earning potential.
The best paid TEFL jobs are often found in Japan and The Middle East, where you could expect you months salary to run into £1000’s, whereas Africa and Asia have far lower rates of pay.
3. Tour Guide
If you are outgoing and great with people, becoming a tour guide is a great way to get paid for being passionate about your new home. If you have a love of public speaking, a job as a tour guide will let you share your travels with different visitors everyday, all as enthralled about their new surroundings as you are.
The need for tour guides will depend on where in the world you are travelling to, and how much there is to see. America, Canada and Europe are where the highest paying tour guide positions can be found, where you could be pocketing as much as £10 per hour.
4. Freelance Translator
If you are fortunate enough to be fluent in a second language, freelance translation work can provide you a steady income while you travel. Translators are usually called upon by the commercial sector, so you will likely be working at a professional level, and you may even be able to find full time hours on a temporary basis.
The amount you can charge for your services will vary depending on where you work, but in the UK translators work for in excess of £15 per hour
5. Hostel Work
Let’s face it, anywhere that accommodates lots of travellers will usually be able to help them with employment sometimes too. Hostels run like small hotels and often need help with cleaning, cooking and even reception work. Depending on where you are in the world and the type of hostel, you may receive money for your help, or be offered free bed and board.
From groundkeepers, to booking clerks and everything in between, hostels will usually only offer a basic rate of pay, if any at all, but you will get to meet lots of fellow travellers along the way.
6. Travel Writer
If you can write and have some experience of pitching your work to editors or website owners, you may be able to pick up some extra cash by writing about your travels. Ideally, you will need to have experience, or be a travel blogger, and be able to show examples of work you have already undertaken.
English speaking countries are usually the best places for Brits abroad to pitch their work, unless you are bi-lingual. The amount you earn could vary, and you may be paid by the word or by the piece. When you reach your destination, search online for ideas of how much you should charge in each region.
7. Cruise Ship Staff
Many people choose to work on cruise ships just to travel the world. Entertainment staff are employed by cruise ship companies all over the world, and require a particular talent, but there are also plenty of other staff that are needed on every voyage too. Get a job as a cleaner, waiter, instructor or even babysitter on a cruise ship and you will get to visit stunning destinations while you work.
Make no mistake, this type of work will not make you rich, but free board and food is included and you will get to work with a team of fellow globetrotters.
8. Cruise Ship Entertainers
Moving on from general cruise ship staff, working as part of the entertainment team on a cruise ship is a highly sought after position. Usually, you will need to audition in the UK, and if successful you will be allocated a particular ship to work on. Singers, dancers, magicians and members of the chorus are all needed to fulfill high end cruise liners dedicated to offering great entertainment.
Cruise ship entertainers can earn £1000’s of pounds if they are in high demand, but most will earn a few £100,but be given food, board and the chance to see the world.
If you can cook, and you have experience of working in the catering industry, you may be able to use your skills as your travel. Bars and restaurants in tourist areas usually have a high turnover of staff and will often be looking to fill vacancies. Keep in mind though, that the hours will often be long and you will be shut in a kitchen for much of the day.
If you are looking for basic kitchen work then you will earn a minimal wage, but experienced and talented chefs will be better able to name their price.
10. Au Pair
A very traditional way of earning while you travel, Au pairs are called upon to help with childcare and housework in a domestic setting. You will need to be good with children, trustworthy and responsible, and prior experience is also helpful. You will usually work 6 days a week, with one day off to explore you new country. You will also need to be able to drive and hold a valid license. Working with a family is a great way to learn a new language too.
Most Au pairs are paid a weekly or monthly allowance, but are given free bed and board in the family home.
11. Festival Staff
If you don’t mind slumming it in a tent, and want to be rewarded with as much live music and entertainment as you can take, working the festival circuit is a great way to see the world. From the muddy fields of Glastonbury to exotic beach parties on the other side of the world, bar staff, food vendors, security staff and even rubbish pickers are all employed on a casual basis.
You may earn a minim wage of around £7.00 per hour, but you get free access to the festival and a chance to see world classy entertainment and mingle with other festival goers every day. Like an everlasting party, but with benefits.
12. Sports Instructor
If you are good at a particular sport, you may be able to earn some extra cash by teaching those who aren’t so good at it. Rock climbing, ski-ing, sailing, surfing and many more sports are popular with holidaymakers and fellow travellers alike, so you could earn extra cash doing something you enjoy.
Your rate of pay will vary depending on where you are and what you teach, but most instructors working for a school will earn around £10 an hour. If you can pick up private clients, you may be able to command more.
Also check out our guide on how to become a divemaster.
13. Busking/Street Performing
Every city or large town in the world has them. Entertainers who amaze the crowd with their singing, musical ability, magic tricks or even painting skills can be found the world over. Be careful though, as some city’s operate a “no permit, no play” policy and you could be asked to move on, or even fined.
What you earn will be entirely dependent on how good you are and how generous the crowd is. This may not be a reliable way to make a fortune, but could get you a quick bit of extra cash when you need it.
14. Fruit Picking
Very popular in Australia and Asia, part time labour is nearly always required on large fruit (or vegetable) plantations in hot countries. From mango farms in Australia to pear plantations in New Zealand, there is always plenty of work to be found. Be warned though, the hours are long and conditions are often very hot, but you can get paid good money for a short term fruit picking job.
You will usually get paid a minimum wage of around £15 per hour, or some farms will pay you by the punnet. Wages can be good for this type of work, because it is particularly hard going.
15. Promotional Work
Another popular way to earn money while you travel is to work as a PR for a bar, nightclub of other event. Not for the feint hearted, you will usually be encouraging tourists to frequent a particular establishment, and you usually have to work long into the night. If you are sociable and up for partying late, this kind of work is particularly prevalent in tourist spots full of younger revelers.
You may be able to get paid an hourly rate if you are lucky, but many venues work on a commission only basis, or free drinks and food.
16. Shop Promotions
If you are prepared to spray perfume, hand out leaflets or encourage visitors to spend money, large retail outlets look for seasonal staff to promote their wares. Unlike nightclub PR’s you will be working during the day. Shops will usually want you be well dressed and presentable so you may need to invest in some work clothes.
These types of jobs are usually sourced through recruitment agencies and you should be paid upwards of £7.00 an hour, on a week basis.
17. Shop Work
Much like bar work, many shops in tourist areas need staff. Although these types of positions are usually held by local workers, you may be able to pick up shop work in larger resorts or tourist attractions. If you are knowledgeable in a particular field or have relevant experience, you may be able to find retail vacancies that match, like working in a surf shop if you are an experienced boarder, or a beauty store if you are a beautician.
You may be paid cash in hand by the owner, or weekly via an agency.
18. Film Extra
Whilst this may not be the route to Hollywood stardom you think it might be, it can be a fun way to earn extra cash. Many westernised countries have thriving film industries, as does India, China and Japan. When you reach your destination, sign up with an extras agency and wait for the call. Extra work usually involves long hours hanging around between takes, but it is fun and you will meet lots of fellow travellers and maybe even glimpse the odd superstar.
Agency extra work in the UK will bank you around £80-£100 per day. How this translates to the going rate in other countries will depend upon where you are and the budget for the production.
If you are a talented photographer and have the tools you need to capture stunning images, you could make money selling your pictures online or direct to magazine or newspaper agencies. Creative jobs like this may not make you a ton of money while you are travelling around, but once you are home or have a permanent base, you may be able to sell your pictures for use as stock images.
The amount you earn will depend on the pictures you sell. Even then, you may not be able to sell individual images for very much, but it could act as way to showcase your talent, with a view to being employed by an agency.
20. Travel Blogs
If you want to travel, and can write, you could be sponsored by a huge variety of lifestyle companies that want to use your blog to promote their goods or services. Aspirational travel blogs are read by millions of people around the world, making them a great way for companies to promote themselves by affiliation. If you have a decent online following, you may be able to approach brands for endorsements.
You will not be paid for this type of work, but you may be able to bag free hotel stays, free travel and a whole load of other things like clothing, make-up and even food and drink. Check out our list of top UK travel blogs for inspiration.
If you are a qualified nurse or medical professional, your skills will be in high demand throughout the world. Your options will be endless from charitable work through to private consultancy, and if you are highly trained you should have no problem finding suitable employment. If you are looking to settle in a particular country for 6-12 months or longer, you could easily find a short term position that suits your skill set.
If you are lucky, you could earn more as a medical professional in the USA or Australia than you do here in the UK. Of course, if you choose to work for a charity or in an impoverished nation, you will earn less.
As a crew member on a yacht you will get to see some amazing locations. But, the work is hard and the hours are long and you will need to know your way around a boat. Many yacht crews work to service the requirements of private holidaymakers and they can expect a lot from them. If you are willing to put in the graft, you could be spending your time on multi-million pound sea craft, visiting some of the most expensive and exotic destinations in the world.
Don’t be fooled though, rich patrons do not equal great wages. American and Australian companies tend to pay better than their European counterparts and you will get free bed and board while at sea.
23. International Hotel Chains
Sometimes the best way to see the world is through your work. If you have experience with a large hotel chain in the UK, there is every chance that you can apply to work for any of their hotels, anywhere in the world. Reception staff, entertainment staff and hospitality staff have transferable skills that can be used to represent the brand in a wide variety of locations.
America, Australia, the Middle East and Europe do a roaring trade in luxury accommodation, so if you have a job here in London, you could always apply for a similar job in a more glamorous location. Wages will usually start from around £12 per hour.
24. Resort Staff
Big tourist resorts and attractions need an army of staff to help them succeed. From chambermaids to gardeners, pool boys and street cleaners, there is plenty of work to be found in large resorts. You will be surrounded by tourists and not fully able to see the real beauty of your chosen destination, but as a means to an end, resort work will usually pay enough for you to take off and enjoy travelling independently eventually.
America, Australia, Europe and the Middle East have some of the largest resorts in the world and working in one could earn you upwards of £10 per hour.
If you are interested in taking on some volunteer work while you travel, and are interested in organic produce, WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) brings together volunteers and farmers. You will be assigned a set number of working hours on the farm or plantation, in exchange for room and board. No previous farming experience is required. As a volunteer (or WWOOFer as they are known) you will get to live alongside your host, and meet like-minded travellers.
As it is purely volunteer work you will not be paid for your labour. But, you will get a unique opportunity to connect with the land and support the organic movement, as well as free bed and board and plenty of free time to go exploring.
Here’s a great guide on volunteering with Workaway.
26. Farm Work
If you don’t fancy volunteering on an organic farm, there are still plenty of opportunities to work on animal and arable farms around the world. From mucking out the horses to cleaning the yard, harvesting crops or seeding fields, there are all sorts of jobs to be found that involve farming. Some openings may require previous experience, but often farmers are looking for psychically strong, hardworking labourers who will be able to help with the day to day running of the farm.
Usually found outside of main tourist areas and in more remote parts of any country where farming is vital to the economy, you will earn a minimum labourers wage, but may be invited to stay on the farm for free.
27. Flight Attendant
If you are looking for a career that allows you to travel the world, becoming a flight attendant opens up a whole world of possibilities. You will need to train in the UK first, and you will need to meet the various criteria set out by the carriers. You may also be tied to a particular route until you are more experienced. But, airline employees not only get to travel everyday as part of their job, they are also entitled to substantial discounts on airfares for themselves and their families.
Flight attendants in the UK start on an entry level salary of around £15,000 per annum.
28. Waiting Work
If you don’t fancy working late nights in a noisy bar, you could look for a table waiting job instead. If you are good with customers and happy to be on your feet all day, waiting tables is a great way to earn extra money while you travel. Experience may be useful but is not always necessary, but a cheery disposition definitely is if you want to make good tips. Be wary of each individual countries immigrant working rules though, as just picking up a waiting job and being paid cash in hand could see you on the wrong side of their immigration law.
Unlike here in the UK, many countries reward servers with good size tips from customers, but they are only paid a very basic minimum wage by their employers.
29. Day Trading
Not your usual travel job, but if you have mad skills as a trader, you may be able to top up your travel funds as you go. You will need to have really good experience of the money markets, and be willing to take the risk of losing out if the market does not move your way. You will also need a laptop or reliable access to the internet to be able to trade effectively.
Keeping in mind that the values of stocks can go down as well as up, how much you make from day trading is entirely down to your own skill and experience.
30. Scuba Instructor
If you would like to spend your life travelling to some of the most exotic countries in the world, exploring underwater and helping others to do the same, then becoming a scuba diving instructor could be just the job for you. You will need to obtain the minimum of a PADI Open Water Scuba instructor course before you can become an instructor and you should consider taking on as many specialised courses and qualifications as you can to ensure constant employment. Don’t worry though; you can take your PADI qualifications here in the UK before you leave for sunnier climes.
Scuba instructors charge around £10 per hour.
31. Massage Therapist
Massage therapists are often employed by spa resort destinations to ease the pains of weary travellers. While you often don’t technically need an official accreditation, it can be useful to have studied the art of massage and have a proven history in therapy to help you land well paid positions. There are many different massage techniques that are popular throughout the world and working as a freelance massage therapist can be an extremely flexible and rewarding way to earn money while you travel.
Qualified massage therapists can earn around £15 per hour in the UK, and you may be able to make more depending on where in the world you are working.
If you have a skill with make-up, or have trained as a beautician in the UK, you should be able to find work as a beautician in most westernised, English-speaking countries. You could find work in a salon, on a department store make-up counter or even as a freelance beautician if you have the funds to invest in your own make-up kit.
You can find work in the beauty industry almost anywhere in the world, but some of the wealthier Arabic countries are particularly open to employing beauticians from oversees as many woman there are not encouraged to seek employment of their own. Beauticians in the UK usually start on basic salary of around £8 per hour.
33. Virtual Assistant
If you are proficient in this line of work, and good with people and making new contacts, there is nothing stopping you doing the same when you travel. If you are based in a large town or city, you should be able to find work as a personal assistant either in a local company or on a freelance basis. Working for senior members of staff or professionals, you will be called upon to manage their diaries, make travel arrangements, plan meetings and assist with any other ad hoc duties as required.
You can usually find this kind of work via an employment agency, or you could work freelance if you are have a laptop and mobile device that enables you to be in constant communication with your employer. Wages for virtual assistants in the UK start at around £15.00 per hour.
If you’re looking for a place to get started, check out these best virtual assistant courses.
34. Travel Planner
As an experienced traveller you may be able to offer assistance to other would-be-travellers looking to plan their dream holidays or expeditions. Once upon a time, it was only travel agents that worked exclusively with tour operators and airline carriers, but now anyone can now access great deals online if they are willing to shop around. Access to the internet is a must, as well as good communication skills and the ability to pitch your business.
Travel planners usually work on a freelance basis and charge as much as £20.00 per hour here in the UK.
35. Website Translator
Websites are often written in one language but need to be translated for visitors from other countries to understand and engage with. If you are fluent in more than one language, you could pick up work as a website translator anywhere in the world. You will ideally need access to your own laptop and the internet, and the ability to promote your services online. Most web translators work on a freelance basis, although you may be able to find an agency that specialises in translation work.
Freelance web translators in the UK usually work on either an hourly basis or price per words.
Fast and accurate typing speeds could secure you a position as a typist. Most large towns or cities in English speaking countries will have a large selection of employment agencies that look for typists with good speeds and some experience to work on a temporary basis for their commercial clients.
Australia, New Zealand and Canada are most like the UK in terms of the way employment agencies operates, but America and South Africa also have plenty of opportunities for those with office skills. Earnings in the UK would start from £10.00 per hour.
If you have the gift of the gab and are happy to work to targets, telesales positions can be a great way to earn money and have fun anywhere in the world. If you are fluent in more than one language, this will obviously open up more opportunities for you, but there are plenty of English speaking companies that constantly look for new sales staff to sell their wares over the telephone.
You may be required to work shifts, and you will need to be able to handle rejection, but call centres can be fun places to work. In the UK, telesales staff earn upwards of £7.00 per hour.
38. Domestic Home Help
Working in the homes of local residents can be a great way of learning a new language and meeting new friends. You will often be required to undertake basic housework duties, help with shopping and other domestic duties that do not involve childcare. Young professionals and working couples in large towns and cities often require reliable staff to help them manage their home life whilst they work.
Concierge agencies recruit staff for these types of roles, or you may be able to respond to advertisements in the recruitment pages. Domestic helpers can earn upwards of £10 here in the UK.
Bands, stage shows and festivals all require assistance with setting up the necessary equipment for each performance. As a roadie or technician, you could be using your skills travelling the world looking after the needs of bands or venues. You will, of course, need some experience and plenty of technical know-how, but if you can prove your worth, you could be working with some of the best bands and venues in the world, whilst getting paid for it.
Tours can be long and exhausting and work often involves long hours and physical labour, but the opportunity it gives you to see the world more than makes up for it. Roadies in the UK earn around £150 per gig.
40. Cocktail Mixer
A cut above the usual bar work, cocktail mixers are considered to be experts in their field and are highly sought after in large resorts and high class venues. You may already have a natural flair for the performance side, but undertaking a mixology course before you travel, or working as a cocktail mixer here in the UK, can help to increase your chances of getting the same kind of work overseas.
Cocktail staff here in the UK can expect to earn around £9.00 per hour plus tips. Countries like American and the resort islands surrounding it really value their cocktail staff and tips may be high.
41. Sell Timeshares
If you are a natural salesperson, then head to Greece, Thailand, Mexico, the Caribbean or any other major resort area and you can find work selling timeshares. Often the companies who own the resorts are keen to employ salespeople that their potential new customers can relate to; so in this case a British sales rep would be hired to sell units to British holiday makers.
The old fashioned face of timeshare sales has changed over the years, and now most reps work at building up a relationship with interested parties, rather than just working on the cold hard sell. You may be paid a very basic wage, but can make a lot of commission on every unit you sell.
42. Sell Goods Online
Much like we sell goods online in the UK to clear out our clutter and raise extra cash, you can do the same from most other countries in the world too. Craigslist, eBay and other online auction sites work the same way as they do here and if you have access to a camera and mobile device you could be selling unusual finds, vintage clothing or literally anything to help fund your travel.
How much you earn is purely based on how much you sell and what you are selling, and you will need to take into account fees and post and packaging costs too.
43. Cutting Hair
From highly experienced stylists to barbers, people always need their hair cut. If you are visiting somewhere that offers high end salons and are an experienced hair stylist you could approach any of these for a paid position. If you are travelling to somewhere much more remote, simply set up a sign and some scissors and charge locals or fellow travellers a minimal amount for a quick chop.
Earnings will depend on where you are and the kind of clients you work with. An entry level hairdresser here in the UK will charge around £7.00 per hour.
44. Website Design
If you can build websites here in the UK, even simple ones, you can do it anywhere else in the world too. You should focus on offering basic, affordable websites that appeal to the local market. Perhaps start by offering to upgrade or rebuild your hostel’s website, or other local business that you happen to have dealings with. Be prepared to promote yourself online, and keep your business plan simple so that you still have time to travel, but there is nothing stopping you from sharing your web design skills anywhere in the world.
UK based web designers can earn upwards of £100 per day, but judge your marketplace and carefully gage what is an affordable amount for those you plan to work for.
45. Teach a musical instrument
If you are a skilled guitarist, know your way around a drum kit or can play tunes on the piano, you could use your musical prowess to earn money while abroad. You can advertise your services in local papers, online classifieds or put up signs in shops and areas where students may gather. You may need to invest in an instrument if you haven’t brought yours with you, or offer to teach your students using their own.
Music teachers can earn upwards of £10.00 per hour here in the UK, so you should be able to aim for the same, if not more,when you travel.
46. Construction Work
If you have construction experience, or are willing to learn, you should be able to find short-term work on building sites all over the world. You will need to be physically strong and able to work long hours, sometimes in hot conditions, and be a fast, reliable worker. The work may not be exciting, but you will get to meet local people and other travellers and you usually get paid cash in hand on a daily or weekly basis.
Some countries have employment agencies were you can pick up this kind of work on a daily basis, or you could ask at any construction sites you see on your travels. Construction workers earn from £8.00 per hour in the UK.
47. Corporate Vacancies
You may well want to travel the world or live overseas, but you might not want to do it on a backpacker’s budget. If you have corporate experience and a chosen career path, look at ways to pursue the same path overseas. China, Singapore, New Zealand and the Middle East are just a few of the counties that are home to thousands of expats living and working for companies there.
Where you work and the level at which you work will be important factors in how much you earn.
48. Volunteer Work
Ok, so technically you won’t earn money volunteering, but you will be able to undertake worthwhile work for people who need you, and get a place to stay in return. You will also learn useful skills that you could make money from at some point in the future. Volunteer work can give you access to some of the most amazing places in the world, and a chance to meet people from all walks of life.
No wages for most volunteers, but you will be rewarded with bed and board and a chance to save the money you do have.
49. Sell travel tours
Many tour operators need staff on the ground to promote and sell their tours and excursions. Working at airports or harbors, you will need to be able to engage with visitors and encourage them to book tours with you. Cruise passengers looking for a way to spend a day inland, tourists flying in for the first time and even hotel guests, can all be open to booking independent tours from good salespeople.
You will usually work on a commission basis, and this may only be suitable for those that love to sell!
50. Finally, work remotely
If you have a career at home that can be easily transposed to another place in the world, then why not do that. Many creative, professional and administrative jobs can be carried out remotely just by using a laptop and a mobile device. You might even still be able to work for the same company if they are happy to employ you as a remote worker.
Alternatively set yourself up as a freelancer and offer your skills to business all around the world.