Traveling the world is a dream for many. The thought of visiting new places, trying new foods, and immersing yourself in different cultures is incredibly alluring. However, extended travel often requires taking a leave of absence from work and can become quite expensive.
What if you could make money while you travel, essentially get paid to travel? The good news is there are numerous ways to make money on the road, allowing you to fund your travels while having unique experiences.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the top ways you can get paid as you globetrot, with tips from expert travelers. From remote jobs, travel writing, tour guiding and more, read on to learn how you can earn an income while adventuring across the globe.
Expert Ways to Get Paid to Travel
1. Teach English Abroad
One of the most popular ways to make money while traveling is by teaching English in a foreign country. Demand for English teachers continues to grow globally, making this a relatively easy way to earn good money abroad.
Some programs to check out include:
- English First: Contracts in China, Indonesia, Thailand and other Asian countries. No experience/certification required.
- JET Program: Teach in Japanese public schools. Bachelor’s degree required. Competitive program.
- TALK Program: Teach in South Korean public schools. Bachelor’s degree required.
- International TEFL Academy: Get TEFL certified and apply to teach worldwide. In-person and online certification courses available.
As an English teacher abroad, you’ll typically work 20-30 hours per week, earning enough to cover living expenses and travel within the country/region and get paid to travel. It’s an immersive experience that allows you to live like a local. Many programs also take care of details like visa sponsorship and housing.
2. Pick up Remote Freelance Gigs
The rise of remote and freelance work has made it easier than ever to make money while on the road. As long as you have a laptop and internet connection, you can pick up gigs from anywhere.
Some flexible remote jobs include:
- Writing/Editing: Become a freelance writer or editor for magazines, websites and more. Create content on topics you’re knowledgeable and passionate about.
- Transcription: Transcribe audio and video files for companies and individuals. Pay ranges from $10-$30+ per audio hour based on experience.
- Virtual Assistant: Offer administrative, data entry, customer service and other support to clients. VA skills are in high demand with location flexibility.
- Graphic Design: Design graphics, illustrations, ads and visual assets for brands as a freelancer. Build up a portfolio of work samples to attract clients.
- Social Media Manager: Manage social accounts, craft engaging posts, run paid ads and drive growth for brands remotely.
- Web Development/Coding: Build, update and troubleshoot websites and apps for clients anywhere with an internet connection.
- Translation: If you’re fluent in multiple languages, offer translation services to individuals, companies and organizations.
The key is identifying high demand skills you possess that translate into remote work. Establish yourself on freelancing sites like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer to connect with clients.
3. Become a Travel Writer & Get Paid to Travel
Turn your travels and experiences into paid writing gigs. This is a highly desirable job for those who love both writing and travel.
As a travel writer, you can write articles, blogs, guides, listicles and more for websites, magazines and travel publications. Typical topics include:
- Destination guides (e.g. “Two Weeks in Peru: The Ultimate Itinerary”)
- Trip reports recapping your travels (e.g. “3 Days in Bangkok: My Whirlwind Weekend”)
- Roundups like “10 Best Beaches in the Caribbean”
- Advice like “How to Travel Europe on a Budget”
Study successful travel blogs and outlets to understand what types of pieces perform well and attract readers. Reach out to editors with unique pitches and ideas tailored to their audience.
Many travel writers start by writing guest posts for other blogs before pitching paid freelance work. Build up published samples before applying to become a regular contributor.
4. Become a Tour Guide
If you love traveling and enjoy interacting with people, becoming a tour guide allows you to essentially get paid to travel. Tour guides lead groups on trips throughout exotic destinations, sharing insider knowledge while ensuring a smooth experience.
Options for tour guiding include:
- Join a multi-day tour company that travels to destinations like Europe, Asia, Africa, etc. Serve as one of the guides on their fixed itineraries.
- Offer private tour services in the region you live/spend time in. Advertise to individual travelers and small groups.
- Specialize in a specific activity like food tours, hiking tours, history tours, etc. Become an expert in that area.
- Guide road trips through scenic destinations. For example, lead guests on a guided drive along coasts or national parks.
Look into certifications to boost credentials as a tour guide. Knowledgable guides with great customer service skills tend to be in high demand.
5. Work at Hostels & Get Paid to Travel
Hostels provide affordable accommodations for backpackers and budget travelers. These social atmospheres make it easy to meet fellow travelers and swap stories.
You can work at hostels in exchange for free lodging, meals and sometimes extra pay. Common hostel jobs include:
- Reception desk staff to check-in guests
- Housekeeping and maintenance
- Planning activities and events
- Running the hostel bar or cafe
- Tour guide for hostel group outings
Hostel job boards like Hostel Jobs Network make it easy to locate overseas positions. Once placed, you’ll get to interact with fascinating travelers every day. When off duty, take advantage of free time to explore the surrounding region.
6. Become an Au Pair
Au pairs essentially live with a family in a foreign country and help provide childcare in exchange for room and board. It’s a unique way to experience another culture while bonding with a family.
Typical au pair responsibilities include:
- Childcare like preparing meals, driving to activities, playing, teaching languages
- Light household help like laundry, tidying up, grocery shopping
- Tutoring or helping with homework
- Planning fun outings and activities
Many au pair placements last 6-12 months, allowing you an extended stay in your chosen destination and get paid to travel. You’ll also earn a weekly stipend for personal spending.
7. Become a Destination Wedding Photographer
As a photographer, scouting and shooting destination weddings allow you to travel for work. Popular wedding locales include Hawaii, Jamaica, Costa Rica and other scenic places.
Working as a destination wedding photographer has perks like:
- All expense paid travel to cover weddings
- Discounted stays at the wedding resort or venue
- Opportunities to explore the locale on non-wedding days
- Additional income from providing photography services to resort guests
Build up a wedding photography portfolio and connect with resorts and venues that host destination weddings to inquire about working events on-site.
8. House Sit Abroad & Get Paid to Travel
House sitting essentially involves living in someone else’s home for free while they are away in exchange for home maintenance. Homeowners often choose house sitters so their homes are cared for and safe while they travel.
When house sitting abroad, you’ll enjoy:
- Free housing in your chosen destination
- Living like a local and exploring at your own pace
- Saving money on lodging costs
- Occasional opportunities to house sit with pets
9. Work on a Cruise Ship & Get Paid to Travel
Working on a cruise ship allows you to travel the world and get paid. You’ll get free room and board while being able to explore different ports of call when the ship docks.
Common cruise ship jobs include:
- Retail clerk
- Spa/salon staff
- Youth counselor
- Casino dealer
- Shore excursion guide/salesperson
Contracts are commonly 6-12 months, allowing you extended adventures across the seas. You can wake up in a new destination every day and get paid to travel. Positions are extremely hireable if you have good customer service skills and relevant experience.
10. Teach Yoga/Fitness Classes
If you’re a certified yoga instructor or group fitness pro, look into opportunities to teach aboard cruise ships, at resorts or even at hostels as you travel.
With this route you can typically earn money teaching classes while enjoying free lodging and activities. Build up your teaching resume and certifications to appeal to travel lodging and cruise lines seeking fitness programming.
The key is securing a steady schedule of classes to instruct during your stay. This provides reliable income plus opportunities to engage with travelers and locals interested in fitness and wellness.
11. Become an Adventure Tour Guide
Turn your passion for outdoor adventure into a travel job by becoming a tour guide. As an adventure guide, you’ll lead groups on active excursions like hiking, surfing, scuba diving, rock climbing, mountain biking and more.
This role allows you to share your expertise while exploring exciting destinations and get paid to travel as well. Popular companies like Intrepid Travel and G Adventures are always seeking knowledgeable, passionate guides. Or you can look into working with small local outfitters.
Pursuing guide certifications for specific activities can help land gigs. You get to enjoy the outdoors, challenge yourself and help others do the same in awe-inspiring places around the world.
12. Work at a Ski Resort
Ski resorts offer loads of opportunities for seasonal travel jobs. Spend your winter months working at a resort in the mountains, skiing and snowboarding on your days off.
Common ski resort jobs include:
- Ski lift operator
- Ski patrol
- Snowmaking crew
- Ski/snowboard instructors
- Restaurant and lodging staff
- Ticket sales
- Equipment rentals
- Retail shops
Look into job postings at popular resorts in Colorado, Canada, Switzerland, Japan and beyond. Employee perks often include free or discounted access to resort amenities like lifts, lessons and lodging.
13. Teach Scuba Diving
Become a certified scuba instructor and teach diving courses to other travelers in amazing underwater destinations. This allows you to get paid to travel while exploring the beauty below the ocean surface.
Many dive shops across the world offer internships or opportunities to become divemasters and instructors. After gaining certifications, you can get paid to lead dives, courses and certifications for students looking to explore the underwater world. Major travel dive destinations include Thailand, Belize, Hawaii, Australia and more.
Instructors can make upwards of $50-100 per diving student plus free dives and room and board.
14. Become a Travel Nurse & Get Paid to Travel
Travel nursing allows you to earn good pay while experiencing new places. Assignments range from 8-26 weeks, often with free housing provided.
You’ll get to immerse yourself in new cities and hospitals across the U.S. Most travel nurses take 3-4 assignments per year. Destinations span from major cities to rural towns to resort areas with world-class outdoor recreation.
To become a travel nurse you’ll need:
- Nursing degree and active RN license
- At least 1 year experience in your specialty – ICU, ER, labor and delivery etc.
- Willingness to relocate every few months
15. Lead Bike Tours & Get Paid to Travel
As a cycling enthusiast, look into leading bike tours through scenic locales like Napa Valley, Tuscany, Costa Rica, etc. You’ll get to share your passion while riding through beautiful destinations.
Often bike tour companies have partnerships with inns and restaurants, allowing you to stay and eat free. You’ll enjoy activities like:
- Leading groups on rides through interesting landscapes
- Providing history/culture lessons along the routes
- Recommending the best spots for meals and activities
- Ensuring tourists have an amazing cycling experience
Have a strong fitness background and cycling skills. Become certified if required and gain experience by joining a few tours yourself.
16. Work at National Parks
America’s national parks offer a wealth of opportunities to travel and earn money through unique seasonal jobs and internships. Positions include:
- Park rangerleading nature walks, managing visitors, answering questions
- Retail and restaurant staff inlodges, gift shops, cafes etc.
- Hospitality crew like housekeeping, front desk and maintenance
- Field work like wildlife surveys, habitat restoration, trail maintenance
Additionally, The Artist-in-Residence program places creatives like photographers, writers, composers and painters in national parks to create works inspired by the land.
You’ll get to immerse yourself in incredible natural landscapes across the U.S. while earning a stipend. Great way to travel if you love the outdoors!
Tips for Making Money While Traveling and Get Paid to Travel
If exploring the world while earning money sounds appealing, here are some top tips to make your adventures successful:
Pick a Lifestyle-Friendly Job
Choose travel jobs that fit the lifestyle and routine you want while abroad. If you like flexibility, pick freelance gigs you can do remotely. If you want immersive local experiences, teach English or become an au pair. Understand what works best for you.
Get Any Required Certifications
For many travel jobs, specific certifications and licenses are required. For example, TEFL certification for teaching English or Red Cross Lifeguarding to work at a resort pool. Research requirements and obtain necessary credentials.
Be Open to New Types of Work
Don’t limit yourself to the same work you do at home. Gain skills and take on new roles like freelance writing, tour guiding or volunteer programs abroad. Expand your horizons.
Prepare a Budget & Emergency Fund
Have a travel budget and savings to cover necessities and emergencies abroad. Jobs may cover housing and meals but you’ll want backups for surprise expenses. Review costs for destinations you’re interested in.
Arrange Travel Logistics in Advance
Book accommodations and travel plans early, especially for peak seasons. For jobs abroad, know visa requirements and arrange paperwork like work permits and health exams proactively.
Pitch Clients Early & Often
Start pitching writing clips, freelance gigs, tour packages and other services well in advance of your trip. Lining up paid work can take time, so start early.
Market Yourself Smartly on Social Media
Create professional profiles that highlight your expertise, passion and unique persona. Share photos, videos and stories that attract potential clients or inspire followers.
Consider Short-Term Positions
If you’re unable to commit long-term, seasonal resort jobs, volunteer programs and other short-term roles allow you to travel for weeks or months at a time. Great for testing different locales.
Frequently Asked Questions About Get Paid to Travel Jobs
What are the best websites for finding travel jobs?
- CoolWorks: Jobs at resorts, theme parks, ranches and more across the U.S.
- GoAbroad: Directory of paid and volunteer positions worldwide.
- Nomad Job Finder: Curated remote jobs, freelance gigs and travel opportunities.
- HostelWorld: Hostel jobs and volunteer openings around the globe.
- Idealist: Nonprofit international roles including many volunteer postings.
- Dave’s ESL Cafe: Extensive TEFL job board.
- Be My Travel Muse: Travel job board updated weekly.
Do I need previous experience to get a job abroad?
Requirements vary greatly by program and country. Some teaching or hospitality jobs require little experience beyond a degree or certification. For highly skilled positions like nurses or photographers, relevant professional experience is key. There are opportunities at different experience levels.
How much can I earn from travel jobs?
Income potential ranges widely. Volunteer programs may just cover housing costs while specialized roles like travel nurses can pay $25-$45 per hour. Teaching English, freelance writing or service jobs typically earn enough to cover costs plus a little extra for travel. Know your goals and skills to find the right fit.
Do I need a work visa or permit?
Yes, you’ll need the proper visas and permits for paid work abroad. Requirements vary greatly by country. Many programs like teaching English can sponsor your visa directly. Do thorough research on a country’s work regulations.
What are common challenges with travel jobs?
Being away for long periods, tax/legal complexities of living/working abroad, earning consistent pay, poor internet access hampering remote work, cultural adjustment issues, language barriers, homesickness. Discuss challenges with others who have worked abroad in that role.
A job that allows you to travel and see the world is a dream opportunity for many. With a wide variety of roles to pursue, from tour guiding to freelance writing to teaching English, it’s possible to fund your trips through meaningful work. Find an option that matches your skills, lifestyle and financial needs.
Research destinations, connect with travel job boards and remote companies, and secure any required certifications to start your adventures. With smart planning, unique opportunities exist to gain experiences and bring in income as you journey across the globe.
So what are you waiting for? Start chasing your travel dreams and plotting your path to making money on the road today!