Who wouldn’t want to get paid to travel? While some prefer the white picket fence and stability of an office job, others were born to become a professional traveler. Imagine jet-setting off to a new location every week, or traveling around in a camper to explore the country. With the price of rent, moving from park to park in an RV sounds like an affordable source of luxury and freedom.
So how do you get a full time job that allows you to travel anywhere in the world? Let’s talk about the options you have to become a professional traveler.
Two Types of Professional Travelers
When you think about someone who is a professional traveler, two different options come to mind. Does the job’s flexibility allow you to become a digital nomad, or does your company pay you to travel?
There are pros and cons to each type of professional traveler. For someone who gets paid by their company to travel, you get an incredible opportunity to see the world on someone else’s dime. Plus, you might go places you never would have picked on your own, leading you to a brand new set of adventures. Through your work, you’ll have the opportunity to make connections with professionals all around the globe.
On the negative side, you don’t determine your schedule. You are beholden to where the company tells you to go, the accommodations they give you, and the times they need you to leave. There’s a lot of structure, and in some instances, you’ll be working so much that you can’t schedule in time to explore the new location. The company won’t want to waste money in paying for you to take a vacation. You’re generally there for work purposes only.
If you work remotely and have the option to travel wherever you want, there’s the downside that you need to pay your way to get places. However, you have infinitely more freedom on where you want to go, when you want to leave, and where you choose to stay.
If you want to end your apartment lease and travel around to National Parks in a camper, you can. Decided you want to leave for Italy for two months to get a change of scenery? No one can stop you.
This type of arrangement works best for someone who likes to make their own schedule and craft their own adventures. With the prevalence of remote work, it wouldn’t be too hard to find a remote job in most industries.
Jobs That Pay for Your Travel
Looking for jobs that guarantee your ability to travel or live abroad? Here are some options that will allow you to do just that thanks to your employer.
English as a Foreign Language Teacher
Did you know that you don’t need a degree in English or Education to teach English abroad? There are plenty of places around the world looking for a native English speaker to teach English to students. Whether those students are in grade school or adults looking to brush up their skills, you can definitely find somewhere to teach the language. Generally, all you need is a bachelor’s degree in any field and a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certificate.
While this position will keep you in one country, you can always pack up and leave for a new destination after you finish your semester.
Imagine all the beautiful places around the globe. Someone has to be there to show you around and tell you the history, right?
From National Park Rangers to gondoliers in Venice, you get to not only enjoy a natural or historical wonder, but you get to share that passion with others.
Growing tired of your current location? Become an expert in another location’s history and you can become a tour guide there next.
Cruise Ship Worker
You need plenty of people working on board to keep a cruise ship afloat (literally). From deckhands, to yoga teachers, to musical performers, to medical staff, to gift shop workers, to hosts, to security, to bartenders, to chefs, you have plenty of options to choose from. Plus, all of these skills are transferable, so you can switch routes. This flexibility allows you to change the amazing locations you get to enjoy on each trip. With the diverse skill sets needed to make a cruise ship operate smoothly, you’re sure to find some positions where you can excel.
Positions at Backpacker Hostels
Just like the people who travel through them, backpacker hostels don’t need their staff to stay for long. While you can certainly get a long-term position at these hostels, many of the positions were designed to be filled on a short-term basis. You won’t make a fortune, but you’ll have free room and board. With the cost of lodging associated with traveling, that could save you more than you might make at a different job.
And once you finish up your stay at one hostel, you can always travel on to the next one.
Positions with a Touring Band
When your favorite band goes on tour, they’re taking an awful lot of staff along with them. “Roadies” include anyone from production technicians to sound engineers to front of house and more. You could work with one band, traveling along as they tour, or you could work for one specific festival venue. You’ll get to see all the touring talent come through and explore the location over a longer period.
Scuba Diving Instructor
Do you love to scuba dive? Get certified and you might be able to teach scuba diving at some exotic location.
This is another skill that you can easily transfer to other places. Once you feel like you’ve enjoyed the island or coast you’re working on for long enough, you can find another spot that needs a scuba diving instructor.
Parents all around the world need help caring for their children. While some just need the occasional babysitter, some need a live-in nanny. Instead of a nanny job with set hours and a salary, an au pair becomes a part of the family.
They live with the family full-time and get lower compensation, as they do not need to pay for room or board. If you work for a jetsetting family, you’ll get to travel along with them to care for the kids while the parents work. Or you could simply be an au pair for a family that lives in a different country.
Flight Attendant or Pilot
One of the most common jobs that you associate with traveling is a flight attendant or pilot. If you enjoy flying, you might as well get paid to do it!
Jobs You Could Freelance or Work In-House
With these jobs, you can choose to freelance or work for a specific company. You need to decide if you’d prefer to have flexibility or a stable salary.
Photography can open up practically infinite doors if you’ve got the talent and drive. You could own your own photography business, freelancing, and finding your own clients. Or you could work for a specific company that needs photography anywhere in the world. You could work for a photography journalist and work for a specific publication as a professional traveler with a camera. Or you could sell stock images of the gorgeous locations you visited.
You can be just about as creative as your photography when figuring out how to craft your travel photography career.
Are you more of a writer than a photographer? You can work alongside them as a travel journalist. Choose between working with a particular new organization or working as a freelance journalist, submitting your work to different publications. Again, it’s all about deciding whether or not you want stability or autonomy.
The best way to get eyes on your website is through a search engine optimized blog. To have a successful blog, you need a writer. Any industry associated with travel will have a need for a blogger. For example, you could work for a hotel chain to travel and write for their company.
If you want to run your own business, you can start travel blogging on your own website. While it’s difficult to get up and running, if you put in the effort, you can have a highly successful blog. And this allows you to decide where you go and what your schedule looks like.
Social Media Manager
While travel companies need bloggers, they also need social media managers. Don’t expect to have an Emily in Paris moment. Being a social media manager is a lot of work. While it does offer you a lot of amazing opportunities, you’re almost constantly working. Some people really enjoy the challenge, and it allows you to enjoy all the amenities and perks of the travel agency you work for.
You can work for one company in particular, or you could also own a social media management agency and work for a variety of brands remotely.
Remote Jobs that Allow You to Travel
Some jobs allow you to become a professional traveler because you work remotely. If you don’t have an office to go to, anywhere can be your office. Here are some options that allow you to work from anywhere your heart desires.
Here is one of those professional traveler jobs that allow you to control your traveling destiny. It’s clear that this job is remote; the word “virtual” appears in the title.
Virtual assistants help with a wide variety of tasks that involve administrative work. You can work for a rather large organization or a business with only a few people on the payroll. If you have great organizational skills, you can juggle working for multiple companies at once.
If you want to freelance from anywhere, graphic design gives you a lot of flexibility. As long as you can bring your laptop or tablet with you, you can design from just about anywhere. While you don’t need a degree in graphic design, you need a considerable amount of skill and business savvy to set yourself apart.
Editor or Transcriber
Are you great at finding typos? You might have what it takes to be a freelance editor. No matter how fancy your proofreading software is, you need human eyes to go over writing for errors.
Even if you don’t have a great eye for catching typos, you can always work as a transcriber. Lots of people have videos they need to have transcribed. Once again, software won’t always write out the audio with the most accuracy, so having someone do it yields better results.
Do you have a property that other people may want to travel to? If you rent out your home on Airbnb, you could use that income to fund your travels. And your house will stay occupied while you’re gone!
Becoming a Professional Traveler Could Unlock Personal and Professional Opportunities
Travelling the world as a professional traveler would completely change your career. But exposing yourself to different cultures and experiences will change you as an individual as well. If you feel as though you need a change of perspective, opening yourself up to a whole new world of travel will certainly do just that.
Looking to change your career? Join WBD so we can help you along this important transition! We’re here to support you along this journey of self-discovery.Published in
Author, Artist, Photographer.
Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.
She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.
She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.