There are many incredible travel jobs which are directly related to the travel industry, and many incredible online jobs which allow you to work remotely as you travel. However there are also many other jobs that require travel, and which provide for great opportunities to travel while doing something else.
This was precisely how I managed to visit almost 120 countries, while still maintaining a full time career – all thanks to jobs that took me to different destinations.
Many of these pseudo travel jobs may even be better than working in the travel industry directly because you get to enjoy travel as a guest, and they often have generous travel perks.
Want to work and travel the world? Read on!
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I was a management and strategy consultant for 9 years and, in my opinion, this is the best job to travel the world there is. Granted, it is a job that can be quite hard to get, but it is the one that made me realize I loved traveling.
What makes consulting great is that the pay is uber generous, you get a sensible number of vacation days (albeit this depends on the country you are in), you are staying at 5-star hotels and often flying business class for work. If that was not enough, most companies will let you travel during the weekend between two consecutive weeks away, with a budget paid for by the company.
Doesn’t that sound like the best travel job there is?! Even if it is not actually in the travel industry.
A consultant usually works for a consulting firm. There are many kinds of consulting companies and jobs. Some of the best-known strategy consulting companies are Bain, Boston Consulting Group or McKinsey. These pay the highest salaries and are usually the most prestigious jobs.
Then there are all the former “Big-5” consulting companies, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Accenture, Ernst & Young and KPMG who are also auditing firms and provide more operation and process-driven advisory services. They are larger and hire thousands of graduates every year.
Lastly, there are lots of other niche consulting firms that may specialize in industries or countries, for example, the company I worked for specialized in telecoms and emerging markets.
What to expect from a consulting job:
- What to expect: Consultants work very long hours (60-80 hours a week are not unheard of) under a lot of stress and often away from home. Projects tend to last a few months and, usually, a consultant will travel to the client’s location every week, from Monday to Friday or Thursday. Your learning curve is fast as you work twice as long as in any other regular job and are constantly learning new things and being intellectually challenged. The fast-paced stressful environment is not for everyone and it does mean that it can be hard to maintain relationships back home when you are only there in the weekends.
- Salaries: Salaries are in the higher end of the range as this is a very well paid job. Bonuses at the end of the year can be as high as the base salary, career progression is fast.
- Requirements: You will almost always need a business degree. Consulting firms only hire fresh graduates or MBA graduates. Occasional hiring can take place at other points when hiring experienced consultants from the competition. You can never join a consulting firm without experience other than after graduating.
- How to get a job as a consultant: Firstly, you need to have a business degree or an MBA and then you need to apply during the hiring season directly with the consulting firm you are interested in. You should make sure to study at one of the universities that consulting firms hire from. For example, in Spain, the big consulting firms only hire from the top-5 business faculties in the country.
The most important part of getting a job in consulting, besides having excellent grades from a top university, is nailing the interview. Consulting interviews are known for specifically using the case interview technique which consists of posing a situation and seeing how the interviewee approaches and resolves a problem.
Private Equity Management
Very similar in nature to Consulting, a job in Private Equity usually requires you to travel to visit the clients/target companies who are the investees in your portfolio. In this case, travel tends to be less frequent but perhaps for a longer period, depending on the company.
For example, I have a friend who works for KKR, one of the largest investment funds in the world. She is based in London but travels within Europe 2 to 3 times a month to visit her portfolio companies.
I have another friend whose firm specializes in agricultural investments and has a large portfolio footprint from Africa to the Caribbean and Asia. This means that, when he travels, he often does it long-haul and for a long period of time.
Someone in Private Equity can start out as an Analyst and climb the ladder to Manager and even Partner. The job scope evolves from performing analysis to managing portfolio companies and clients.
- What to expect: Like with consulting, hours can be long and it is difficult to disconnect. However, the levels of stress and demands on your personal life tend to be lower than with consulting because the job is not project-based but rather long term. Many funds are industry-focused whereas others are general.
- Salaries: Salaries in private equity are high, some of the highest on this list, and top-tier firms will only hire the best students from the best universities.
- Requirements: You will need to have a business degree or an MBA to get a job in Private Equity and you will also have to graduate at the top of the class to get an interview. If you know what company you want to work for, you should investigate where they recruit from and make sure you study there.
- How to get a job in Private Equity: Like with consulting, you will need a business degree or MBA to get an interview and choosing to study at the right university will make it possible. Because these are coveted and very well paid jobs, top firms only recruit from the best universities in each country so the choice needs to start when deciding where to study. It is possible for those who didn’t get a business undergraduate degree to then add an MBA to switch to a business career (eg. if you had an engineering degree and want a career change into business roles).
Private Equity interviews are also case-based so you should familiarise yourself with the case interview technique.
If you’re more of a people person, becoming a yoga teacher is a great alternative to business-minded travel jobs.
In the last few years, the interest in becoming a yoga teacher has skyrocketed and there are now lots of courses, online resources and even hubs such as Bali which have become renowned as yoga destinations.
Unlike other professions, there is no single globally recognized yoga teacher training so you can take the course in many schools. Typically, you will also need to have led a certain amount of yoga classes to get a job.
Yoga teachers have the advantage of being able to lead classes across the world so can base themselves at various locations. Some have taken this to the next level by setting up online businesses where they teach yoga remotely or through videos.
For example, Adriene has a large YouTube following of her yoga videos and monetizes her reach with premium videos and resources. If you spend a bit of time in Ubud, Bali, you will meet various online entrepreneurs who have taken their yoga practice online.
Additionally, some yoga teachers have gone down the retreat route organizing yoga retreats and workshops across the world and teaching this way. I have a friend who leads acro yoga retreats in Bali.
It is important to understand that becoming a yoga teacher is probably not the most financially rewarding job. Average hourly rates can be $30-$50 and your upfront training course is probably $2,000 or more.
It is the flexibility, the increasing demand for teachers and the fact that these are skills you can take with you anywhere in the world that make this one of the best travel jobs on this list.
What to expect from being a yoga teacher:
- What to expect: Yogis have very different lifestyles but typically, if you work for a traditional yoga studio, you will have a class schedule that may change weekly or monthly. You could have classes early in the morning and late at night, with smaller or larger groups. Your specialty will also determine the type of classes.
- Salaries: Some locations and studios pay more than others but it is important to remember that your salary is tied to the number of hours you work. Hourly rates of between $30-$100 depending on location, studio, size and experience. If you work online, your income can scale up which is why many people chose this path. If you organize your own retreats successfully, you can also supplement your income while getting to discover different locations.
- Requirements: Like with all teaching jobs, you need to first be good at yoga and then have completed a yoga teaching training course from a reputable institution, the Yoga Alliance is one of the respected teaching institutions with 200h and 500h courses and a certification registry to get your credentials. You will then need to accumulate experience leading classes.
Depending on where you want to base yourself, you will also have to sort out your work visa. For example, to work as a yoga instructor in Bali you need to apply for your own business visa which can cost up to $2,000 every 6 months. It will not be possible to work without as it is illegal and the Government is really on top of it. Training courses to become a teacher vary in price depending on the location, length and intensity. For example, the more intense a course is the more expensive it can become. Locations like India or Bali are cheaper to base yourself in than Europe or North America.
- How to get a job as a yoga teacher: Like with other jobs on this list, the easiest way to get a yoga teaching job is by moving to one of the main hubs and dropping your CV at the various yoga studios. Some of these locations have a high turn over of teachers and are always looking to recruit new ones.
Well-known hubs are Rishikesh and Goa in India, Ubud in Bali, Indonesia, Koh Phanghan in Thailand or Ibiza in Spain. Many yogis find teaching jobs at the studios they took their courses, which is why you need to choose wisely. Lots of people start teaching yoga as a supplementary income on top of their jobs, gaining practice and experience before doing it full time. Lastly, there are online platforms you can sign up to teach online.
- Book Yoga Teacher Training lists and compares yoga teacher training courses around the world
- Yoga Alliance yoga school directory
- Becoming a yoga teacher guide
- Workaway has barter payment yoga jobs where you work a few hours a day in exchange for lodging and food
- Yoga Travel Jobs – make sure to check if the job is paid or the payment is with boarding and lodging
- Yoga Trade job portal
- YogiSwap to swap yoga teaching jobs with others around the world
- Namastream to teach online
Teach English Abroad
Teaching English has become one of the most popular travel jobs in recent years. The easiness to get a certification, the many online English teaching opportunities, and the fact that this is a universally transferable skill that can be taken anywhere have made it the choice of career for those who want a life of travel.
Before teaching English online became easy and accessible, teaching English abroad was the way to go. It gives the opportunity of immersing yourself into a new culture and learning the local language while also forming bonds with students from all over the world.
Typically, teaching English abroad provides good salaries and generous vacation time making it a very convenient job for those who want to travel. Many people work for 9 months as a teacher then travel for the remaining 3 months of the year.
- What to expect: Generous vacation time, possibly intense course curriculum depending on school and location, good pay and steep cultural learning curve.
- Salaries: Salaries largely depend on the location as well as the school. International schools around the world pay well with countries where expat communities are large (eg. the Middle East and Asia) having the highest demand and salaries allowing you to save and travel in the summer months.
- Requirements: While you do not need an English degree (or even a university degree in many countries), you will generally need to get an internationally-recognized certification. There are many options: Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) but they are usually 120h courses which can be done intensely or over a longer period of time. These courses can be completed online or in-person and are offered by various institutions around the world for prices ranging from $250 to $500. You can also take specialty courses for teaching kids or for teaching business English.
- How to get a job as an English teacher abroad: You will first need to get a TEFL certification to teach English abroad and then you can apply to the many vacancies around the world. Some of the most popular (and best paid) destinations to teach English are in Asia. Countries like South Korea, Thailand, China, Japan or the UAE usually have vacancies and attractive salaries. The opportunities vary from private teaching to business English teaching, adult teaching or international school jobs.
- International TEFL and TESOL Training is the most complete resource to gain certifications to teach English abroad. Members of the Solo Female Travelers community get 10% OFF regular prices when applying for the courses here.
Work for an International Charity or Aid Organisation
One of the most rewarding travel jobs there is is not really in the travel industry, but within the international cooperation and non-governmental world. This not only allows you to do good or respond to your calling but also to experience a country from a very different point of view than a tourist.
Working in international aid will require you to spend longer amounts of time on the ground or you could oversee several projects, traveling regularly to check progress. Some aid jobs (eg. Medicines and frontiers) are unpaid and done by volunteers, whereas others are career jobs in established organisations (eg. United Nations or The Red Cross).
When working across Africa I met lots of people working for the UN and other international organisations on a variety of projects.
- What to expect: There are many different roles to be had in international aid, from project management to more administrative roles or field work, your skills and experience will determine the type of work you can do.
- Salaries: Salaries in international aid for the large organisations are generally high and there are hardship bonuses added for dangerous locations and other aspects. If you spend time on the ground in a challenging destination you will also be provided with lodging, possibly security detail, a car and a driver.
- Requirements: You will need a degree in the area of expertise required for your job. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, the roles could vary significantly and some jobs may not require any previous experience.
- How to get a job in international aid: If you are looking for a formal job, it pays to obtain a relevant university degree in the field of your choice. Applying for a job after is usually done through the organisation’s job portals. Volunteering programs are offered by a range of organisations and tend to be unpaid. In some cases you might get food and lodging covered, you will almost always have to pay for your flights.
- Workaway has volunteer opportunities with NGOs
Carrier with Grabr.io
One of the coolest and out-of-the-box travel jobs is becoming a carrier or delivery person for other people living at the destinations you are visiting, and who need something that doesn’t exist in their country.
For example, you may be Spanish living in Rio de Janeiro and really want to get a specific brand of gazpacho that they don’t sell in Brazil. You could post the need on Grabr.io and get someone coming from Spain to Brazil to bring it for you. Or, you could be the shopper.
- What to expect: You can browse all the requirements and see if there is any request that fits into your travel profile. You then agree on the amount to be paid by the requester, buy the item in your country and then meet the buyer at the destination. Some of the items are small things like earphones while others can be as large as golf clubs. Obviously, the more expensive and inconvenient something is to carry the higher the fee you may make. If you are traveling on a popular route, you could fulfil more than one request.
- Salaries: Amounts paid vary significantly for $10 to a few hundred. You can clearly see the amount at stake in the request and decide if you are interested.
- Requirements: You don’t need anything to do this other than some trips planned and some extra luggage space. You should make sure that it will not cost you extra to carry the item.
- How to get a job as a carrier: Sign up for Grabr.io, it is free, and start seeing opportunities available.
- Look at all the items that are being requested on the site
- Grabr Review: Earn money delivering products to shoppers abroad
Work in Exchange for Lodging
One of the best ways to discover the world is by working in different locations for an extended period of time. I should know because I have been an expat for almost 15 years and lived in 8 cities in 6 countries.
But not everyone has the ability to take their jobs with them. This is where working in exchange for food and lodging comes in. You don’t usually get any cash payments, but you do at least get accommodation and sometimes food.
You can find seasonal jobs that require some or no experience and which are generally manual (eg. fruit picking). You work for a few months in exchange for lodging and food, or even a stipend, and then travel for a few months after that.
Some countries like Australia which have strict visa rules have specific visa programs for these kinds of jobs that allow you to stay longer and work for a portion of your visa time.
- What to expect: The expectations from the host can range from a couple of hours of work a day to 8 hours, to no work at all. You may have access to lodging only, lodging and food and even lodging, food and other perks like internet or yoga. Some exchanges are for simple house sitting, others require you to take care of plants or pets. There is an incredibly wide range of opportunities available.
- Salaries: Most exchanges are in kind, meaning you don’t get any payment in cash. You should consider whether the requirements from the host are worth it for the effort requested in exchange plus whatever new skill you pick up on the way.
- Requirements: Generally, there are no expectations on skills, however, if you have experience doing certain jobs, you might have leverage in finding better opportunities.
- Workaway and WorldPackers are two of the best known portals for finding such opportunities. You can literally find any kinds of jobs on a wide range of countries there, from horse farms in Germany to fruit picking in New Zealand. Sometimes all you need to do is stay at someone’s house to help them practice English or even just house sit.
- HelpX is another platform that connects hosts with volunteers.
Au Pair or a Granny Au Pair
In a way, working as an au pair could be the same as working for lodging, and some au pair opportunities are listed in Workaway and the like for no pay. However, serious au pair jobs are demanding in hours, require experience (and even formal education) and pay a small amount of pocket cash.
Working as an au pair may not involve any travel per se, as you will be required to spend most of the time with the family (unless you travel with the family), but they are an opportunity to discover a new culture and explore the world slowly.
If you have a degree in English or in children’s education, you should consider working as a nanny instead. Usually, au pair contracts last a year because of the visas associated with au pair programs, and are targeted at people below the age of 30.
If you are older and want to participate in the program, you can also consider the newer Granny au pair programs where the cultural exchange happens with older people rather than younger.
- What to expect: You will be expected to help with childcare and household tasks such as cleaning and tidying up. You may also have to cook and help prepare children’s meals. The number of weekly hours you can “work” are regulated by law in most countries and range from 20 to 40 hours a week. This means you should have plenty of free time to explore the city and surroundings during your time on the ground.
- Salaries: Many au pair jobs are actually paid for in kind, with food and lodging, but pocket money, or a stipend, is usually provided too. This amount varies by country and is often regulated by law. Amounts can range from 330 CAD in Canada per week to less than 300 EUR a month in Spain.
- Requirements: Depending on the country where you want to work as an au pair you will need to fulfil different requirements. Usually, a minimum of secondary education is required, as is a basic level of English. You should have previous experience with children, be a people’s person, be friendly and open-minded and usually young, as au pair visas tend to be granted only to those below the age of 30. Cultural exchange and language learning tend to be the reason why a family hires an au pair, so social skills are a must. In some countries, au pair opportunities need to be arranged via an au pair agency as these are the only ones allowed to request au pair visas.
- How to get a job as an au pair: You will usually need to use an au pair agency to organise your trip. This makes the entire process easiest and you get guidance all the way. They will connect you with a hosting family and also help navigate the details. They will also handle your visa requirements if you have any.
- AuPairCare platform for those looking to au pair in the US (only open to non-US citizens).
- AuPairWorld platform with a wide range of host countries from Europe to Australia, depending on your nationality (and visa options) and the languages you speak.
- AuPair.com matching platform also helps with finding tutors, caregivers for the elderly, nannies and granny au pairs.
Another job which gives you transferable skills that can take you places is that of a massage therapist. This is a job which is generally the same across the world and which is in demand in various locations.
It is also a job that can be used in conjunction with retreats and hotels around the world with the added benefit of being almost like other travel jobs. For example, you could offer your skills at wellness resorts and retreats while spending some time at the destination.
Unlike other jobs on this list, massage therapy is a transferable skill but one which cannot be done online.
- What to expect: The lifestyle associated with being a massage therapist can vary significantly from setup to setup and from one country to the next. As you work with your hands and by the hour depending on bookings, your schedule changes daily. The physical work can be tiresome and requires quite a lot of strength.
- Salaries: Paid by the hour or monthly for longer term contracts. If you work with a resort of a temporary assignment you may be able to negotiate higher rates or a commission based remuneration.
- Requirements: You will need a recognised certificate, a formal degree or even a license to practice in some countries such as the US. In others, you can build your own portfolio and offering and get your own customers. Places like Bali have a wide range of massage and wellness therapies that are not necessarily provided by formal masseuses or masseurs.
- How to get a job as a massage therapist: You should first check the requirements for the location you want to work in. Some countries like the US have massage-at-home services where you can create a profile and start taking customers. This would allow you to explore the country while making some money on the side. Alternatively, you can go to the destination you want to base yourself in and drop CVs.
Pet or House Sitter
Pet or house sitting opportunities are a favorite job to travel the world and often times are not even jobs, because they impose little requirements and are more of an exchange of lodging for taking care of a house or pet.
I have a lot of blogging friends who have been living rent-free for years house sitting homes when the owners are away. I also have other friends who love cats and prefer to cat sit.
The difference between a house sitting and a pet sitting arrangement is usually the type of home and duration. A house sitting contract is usually for a second residence an owner might not visit in the off season whereas pet sitting is usually done in the main residence and for a shorter period of time when the owner is on holidays.
House sitting arrangements are usually unpaid, although your utilities are free and you might have a vehicle at your disposal too, while pet sitting stints can attract a fee, especially if there are more than one pet or if they are particularly demanding or difficult to deal with (eg. 5 crazy cats that all need to be hand fed daily at different times, or dogs that need to be walked several times a day).
In some cases, a pet sitting stay can pay $100 a day making it a very lucrative business. Some of them do not even require you to live in the house but only to visit the animals during the day, in which case you could take more than one pet sitting contract at the same time.
What to expect from house / pet sitting jobs:
- What to expect: Each pet or house sitting job will be different and you will have to negotiate each contract accordingly. Most house sitting agreements require little other than keeping the house clean and tidy as you would with your own, others might require you to do some light gardening. Pet sittings can be time consuming or difficult (eg. if there is an animal that wakes you in the middle of the night or which needs to be walked or cleaned often) so you should be clear on expectations upfront. House sitting assignments usually last a few months whereas pet sitting can sometimes be arranged for as short as just a few days.
- Salaries: The salary you may earn from house or pet sitting will depend on supply and demand. If the owner has high expectations and demands it is likely they will offer payment, if the offer is coveted, it is likely it will be given without extra pay.
- Requirements: There are no real requirements for either house or pet sitting but experience makes it easier to get an assignment. If you will be taking care of a pet you should have experience with that. The better your online profile on the house/pet sitting platform the higher the chances for getting an assignment. Make sure you look responsible and get references from any home or pet owner you work with, you can even start with friends and family to build experience and a resume.
- How to get a job as a house/pet sitter: Start by creating a profile in several of the house and pet sitting apps and try to take short assignments near your area to build experience. Some of these platforms are global and provide great opportunities to travel.
Do you know of other jobs or careers which actually require travel as part of the job description? We have aimed to create the most comprehensive and well rounded resource online, so please do tell us in the comments. We’d love to hear how you make money while traveling!