Today we are happy to bring to you another guest post by Leah Kaminsky, who brought us the Top 5 Places you can Work for a Free Night’s Stay, last month.
When you’ve got the travel bug bad, it’s hard not to just quit your job and head out on the road. But for those of us who lack bottomless coffers, doing so can be a daunting (and unrealistic) prospect. In many ways, finding a job that will pay you to travel can be a satisfying remedy, but only if that job actually allows you time and energy to enjoy the destinations. After all, it’s hard to imagine the backpacker at heart feeling satisfied with a consulting job that has them rushing from the airport to a job site to a hotel and back without a moment to grab a snack from a roadside cart along the way.
So what traveling jobs will fit the bill? Let’s take a look at a few possibilities.
1. ESL or International School Teacher
Teaching abroad is one of the best ways to integrate into and explore a new region. ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers often need only a college degree to teach in Southeast Asia and Latin America, though the higher paid jobs will go to those with TEFL and TESOL certifications. The JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program is a particularly popular option for recent college grads.
For qualified instructors, teaching in an international school is also a great option, allowing teachers to teach ex pats in accordance with American curriculums while still getting to explore the local culture in their off-time. One particularly attractive feature of international schools is that they tend to pay in a teacher’s home currency, which will likely stretch much further abroad. The website Teach Anywhere is a good resource for finding positions.
2. Tour Guide
In your journeys so far, has a particular destination gotten caught in your mind’s eye? There’s no better way to share your love of a culture than by becoming a tour guide. To get a great guiding job, you might have to go to tour guiding school, learn the local language and history, and complete on-site training, but the time invested will be well worth it as you navigate this place you love. Be warned that tour guides are almost always on duty while leading a tour, and those long hours don’t translate into the best pay. Make sure you really research potential tour operators so that you don’t get taken advantage of, and that you find a position that provides plenty of off-time between tours so you can do a little traveling yourself.
3. Travel Nurse
For certified nurses, the world is bounty of opportunity. Why? Because there’s a high demand for health professionals in a wide range of countries and settings – great for challenging yourself and learning new skills. Best of all, employers in your home country will appreciate your versatility upon your return.
Compensation should rival what you would get at home, and you’ll likely get free housing to boot. Do some research into a good travel nursing placement agency in order to find the best experiences, lasting between 8 and 52 weeks.
4. Delivery Person
Though the days of the travel courier are largely gone, bigger items like cars and boats still need to be delivered from place to place. And, hey, if you’re super rich, why would you sail your own yacht back to your homeport? You just came from there!
According to this estimate from Business Insider, high-quality, certified captains can make up to $400 a day sailing boats from port to port. Driving gigs will pay less, but they’re easier to find using sites like Craigslist and U-Ship.
5. Digital Nomad
Whether you work remotely, you’ve got your own online business, or you’re a freelancer, the internet can be a fantastic tool for merging travel and work. This seems to be a particularly popular route for internet marketers (or maybe they’re just better at telling everyone about it), but even freelance software programmers can work as they go. And of course, writers and editors have worked from home as freelancers for years, so taking that laptop on the road should be a simple shift. All the more power (and compensation) to you if you write about the destinations as you go!
Of course, there are many other jobs that will keep you traveling. A few include: Working in international development, for an NGO, or for the State Department; becoming a cruise ship employee; and working as an au pair.
Or, hey, you can always be a rock star or supermodel. Those jobs are easy to get, right?
Have we got your mind buzzing with the possibilities? Tell us about your dream travel job in the comments below!
Leah Kaminsky studied and worked in London in 2005 and 2007, and took a round the world trip after college. She writes blogposts, web copy and white papers for marketing companies and small businesses. She is also the founder and head writing consultant at Just Start Applications, a company that helps high schoolers, college and graduate students tell their unique stories. Her fiction writing and terribly drawn comics are available on her blog.