If you have endless wanderlust, you can get the best of both worlds by getting a job that requires you to travel. There are even jobs that will pay for you to see the world. It’s a win-win, really. Here’s 20 of the best jobs for people who love to travel.
1. Flight attendant. Flight attendants travel the world but just remember short haul staff rarely leave their destination airport. If you’re lusting after long layovers in exotic locations, make sure to apply for major airlines that only serve long haul flights. The big bonus of this career is the cabin crew also get generous travel benefits so you, and often family members, can fly at greatly reduced rates on your days off.
2. English teacher. TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) lets you work practically anywhere in the world. The job is high in demand, and in most cases, you don’t even need a teaching credential. Although for the best jobs, you’ll need a degree plus a TEFL qualification. CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) qualifications are often preferred and typically take about four weeks to complete. Accommodation and flights are often provided free of charge and you’ll meet plenty of locals.
3. Cruise ship crew. Luxury cruisers have jobs for everyone from cooks and cleaners to nursery staff, musicians, fitness instructors and beauty therapists. All you need is a recognised qualification and experience in customer service or hospitality. Many companies advertise vacancies on their own sites or try cruiseshipjob.com and allcruisejobs.com.
4. Travel writer/blogger. Travel writers seem to have the “dream” job and will get many VIP treatments in hopes of a glowing review. However, there are a few downsides. It’s an extremely competitive and tough gig to score, you’ll probably have to start off writing for free and the pay is very inconsistent. Start by writing your own travel blog to get yourself a bit of a rep, guest post and then start sending in articles in to travel websites/blogs/magazines.
5. Tour leader/guide. I’ve been fortunate enough to become friends with many tour leaders (from Contiki, Busabout, & various sails around Croatia/Greek Islands). You’ll need oodles of enthusiasm and patience, strong leadership skills and plenty of travel experience. Mechanical skills, first aid, a foreign language, a geography or history of art degree, and possibly a PCV (passenger carrying vehicle) driving license are also almost imperative. You are responsible for people in your group 24/7 and the pay is almost appalling but you’re essentially traveling the world. The benefits are priceless.
6. Interpreter. If you’ve got true fluency in at least two languages then work as an interpreter can take you all over the world. Interpreters are needed at political and business meetings, international conventions and conferences, in court rooms and hospitals, refugee camps and multinational companies. You’ll need a language degree, a qualification in interpreting and specialist knowledge of science, politics, law or economics. Find out more at the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (UK|US|AUS).
7. Travel photographer. It’s certainly not an easy way to earn a living and income is never guaranteed, but you’ll be able to see some of the most spectacular parts of the world while working. You can complete a photography degree, however, formal qualifications are less important than a good eye. Start by building up your portfolio and doing a bit of research into photojournalism.
8. Archaeologist. Clearly this one requires some advance planning. Depending on what type of archaeologist you are, you may be able to enjoy a lot of fieldwork, digging up ancient ruins. You need to go to graduate school to attain a career in this field. This job is perfect for the person with a love of history, culture, and the outdoors.
9. Retail buyer. In addition to monitoring in-store inventory, retail buyers attend vendor meetings, trade shows and conferences across the country (or even the globe, depending on where the company sources its products from) to identify industry and consumer trends and make decisions about what products the company should sell. It’s a dream job for those who love fashion and travel.
10. Travel agent. In order to make honest, helpful advice to clients, travel agents often visit popular destinations to get a first-hand experience of the resorts and restaurants they recommend. Despite spending the majority of your time in an office and helping clients, you’ll also score a lot of travel benefits and flight/accommodation deals.
11. Au Pair. Do you work well with children and know a second language? If so, becoming an au pair might be a good option for you. Au pairs live with a host family in a foreign country and provide childcare services such as babysitting and assistance with schoolwork. You’ll receive a small salary on top of your room and board, but you also get to fully immerse yourself in another culture as an extended member of a family. To learn more about becoming an au pair, visit InterExchange.
12. Beauty therapist. The quest for beauty is evidently universal. There’s many job opportunities from Delhi to Dubai, as well as luxury liners and holiday villages. You’ll need a recognised qualification and salon experience before you travel. Take a look at hairandbeautyjobs.com for what’s available.
13. WWOF. Interested in organic farming? You’ll have to volunteer 4-6 hours of your day but you’ll get food, accommodation and an insight into local life on a WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). From banana plantations in Costa Rice to rice farms in China, there’s some pretty unique opportunities. Hop onto wwoof.se to learn more.
14. Consulting. Consultants are problem-solvers, providing companies with expert advice on everything from management to marketing to IT. You won’t be tied to one company as a consultant; rather, you’ll travel from city to city, visiting the businesses who need your help. Your stay depends on how much support a company needs.
15. Reporter. As a reporter, you can choose to go overseas, perhaps working for the foreign branch of a media company based in your country. It’s definitely helpful to know another language, though not always required.
16. Bartender. Yes, traveling bartenders exist! They’re pretty easy jobs to get too – all you need is a working visa. A lot of the bar jobs I’ve come across in London, Berlin and other parts of Europe also pay for you in accommodation as well if there’s a spare apartment upstairs. Although, a qualification can mean the difference between pulling pints in a phony Irish bar and serving cocktails at five-star hotels.
17. Event co-ordinator. A job coordinating large-scale events like festivals and trade shows could be a fantastic opportunity for travel lovers. Meet with potential vendors from across the country, then travel to the event location to help oversee everything from setup to breakdown.
18. Travel nurse. Registered nurses and doctors are often needed to take short-term positions lasting from three months to one year in medical facilities all over the world. There is a huge shortfall in trained medical staff, particularly in regional areas and developing countries.
19. Ski or scuba instructor. Ski and scuba buffs can live the dream by qualifying as an instructor in the most exotic locations (Gili islands? New Zealand, anyone?) You’ll need a Level 2 qualification from the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (basi.org.uk) to teach snowsports internationally, or a PADI (padi.com) Divemaster qualification followed by an Instructor Development Course and a minimum of 100 dives to teach scuba diving.
20. International hotel chain. If you’re able to land a job in a major international hotel chain, there are many opportunities for you to be transferred to their other locations and even more up the corporate ladder. The same goes for companies who have other offices located internationally.