Leaving the nine to five grind behind is the dream of, well pretty much everyone. Luckily, the world is full of incredible opportunities to walk out of your cubicle, throw your tie in the garbage, and work on the road, getting a sweet tan while you’re at it. So let’s look at some of the best jobs that give you the freedom to travel the world.
Where there’s civilization, there’s bars. And if there’s bars, someone usually needs people to serve at those bars. Being a bartender opens up a world of possibilities. From working in Mexico during spring break, to hopping across Europe serving drinks to fellow travelers, the possibilities are endless. That being said, you’ll likely need to complete some classes to become a licensed bartender, or be okay with getting paid under-the-table and the problems that could arise from that lifestyle. Still, if you’re a fan of the nightlife this is a great way to earn a living.
20. Tour Guide
This one is pretty much a no-brainer. Working as a tour guide, you can spend your days in exotic and beautiful locations telling your clients the story of their new surroundings. There are many types of tour guides. Some guides are just required to lead a group around a single town for one day, while others specialize in tours that last weeks and visit multiple locations. You do need to be good with people to make this type of job work for you, and learning some of the local languages would certainly help. But if you don’t mind dragging large groups of (sometimes clueless) travelers, this is a great way to make money and travel at the same time.
19. Dive Instructor
This is probably the most adventurous career on the travel employment marketplace. There is no job more fun for those who love the water than being a scuba diving instructor. From creating amazing memories with your students to diving some of the most exotic reefs in the world, no job compares for adventure junkies. With dive shops located all over the world in many of the hottest tourist destinations and demand for a good dive instructor being constant this is an opportunity that you can start working on tomorrow. Each country offers its own unique diversity and ecosystem meaning that dive instructors really never have a reason to get bored. Low season in Thailand? Time to check out the bull sharks in Mexico! This lifestyle isn’t for the faint of heart.
If you speak a second language, you’re pretty much set with this job. People need to communicate with one another the world over and are happy to pay fluent speakers to facilitate that communication. Not really into following someone around and talking to people? That’s fine, more and more businesses are hiring people to translate their websites, which you can do from anywhere with an internet connection. Additionally, restaurants in popular tourist destinations are always looking for people to translate their menus. It takes a bit of work on the front-end, but working as a translator is an easy way to use a skill you already have to travel.
17. English Teacher
Don’t know a second language but still want to travel? Well if you can read this article, you’re halfway there. English is one of the most sought after languages in the world, and many countries are more than happy to bring native speakers to their schools to teach English. Now, most of the time you’ll need special certification like TEFL. But here’s the good news; it’s common that schools will either help you earn the certification or in some instances forgo the requirement altogether. And if teaching in school isn’t for you, some families will accomodate and feed English speakers if they tutor their children!
So yeah, Teaching English is a great way to travel and earn some money while you’re at it.
16. Travel Writer
If you’re going to be travelling anyway, why not write about it? Becoming a travel writer isn’t easy, but it’s certainly not impossible either. If you’re good at writing, are able to pitch your ideas to an editor, and can deliver on strict deadlines, you can make it as a travel writer. What’s better than getting paid to travel around the world, visiting the coolest places, and telling others about your experiences? Nothing. That’s what.
15. Web Design
Are you good with computers? Do you know how to build a website from scratch? Perfect, you’re all set with this one. Web design is a great job for people with a serious case of wanderlust, due to the fact that many employers don’t care where you are. The internet is everywhere (just about), and if you’re making your money online, you don’t need an office. Any coffee shop or library in the world can be your office. Now, it’s not as easy as taking a few classes on HTML and packing your bags. This type of work is highly competitive, and a good portfolio is a must, but once you start making a living building websites, you’re free to do it from anywhere. And how’s this for an added incentive: you could earn your wage in a strong currency, yet live in a tropical paradise where the cost of living is really cheap! Talk about win-win!
14. Cruise Ship Crew
Have you ever wanted to take a cruise? Then why not just work on one? You get to sail the seven seas, and get paid to do it. Sure, you won’t get to enjoy all the fun and games the passengers get to indulge in, but cruise lines still offer plenty of vacation time and some even offer free or highly reduced cost cruises to crew members. From entertainment, to technical crew, to kitchen and hospitality, there’s tons of different jobs on a ship, and I bet you could find one that interests you. The competition is fierce though, so don’t let one rejection get you down. Turns out a lot of people want a job that lets them travel...
Writing has long been a popular occupation for people who want to travel, and with the rise of the internet it’s become even easier. Everyone can have a blog, and while it takes a lot of hard work and time to build an audience big enough to support yourself, literally anyone can do it. Eventually, when your audience grows big enough, you’ll be able to start earning money using your brand to connect with advertisers and brands. Pretty neat, right?
If you have a laptop and an internet connection you can write about anything, from parenting, travel, gaming, food, whatever. And the great thing about blogging? The more you do it the better you’ll get and the more people will find you. And that’s just more money for you. All from your hammock in the Bahamas. Now that’s a pretty sweet gig.
Everyone has to eat but not everyone has the ability to take the food from their fridge and turn it into a tasty meal. So if you have the culinary gift, you could easily travel the world making food in local restaurants. Much like the bartender route, this path is basically “go to a town, secure work in a restaurant, work, move onto the next town, repeat until you’re done travelling.” Working as a chef is hard and the hours are often long, but if you have the skills and dedication, you can make decent money in the restaurant business. And of course, the more experience you have, the more you can make.
11. Day Trader
This isn’t really a “quit your job today and make money on the stock market from a cafe in Greece tomorrow” type of job, but if you have the experience, the temperament, and the spare cash to play the stock market, you could certainly make it work. While it usually takes a few years to build up a portfolio you can travel off of, the stock market is a great opportunity for those willing and daring enough to risk it all. Like many jobs on this list, all you need is a laptop, an internet connection, and a dream, and you can make it happen.
10. Flight Attendant
If jetting around the world and spending every night in a new city sounds like the life for you, a job as a flight attendant might just be your calling. It’s hard work, but the perks are outstanding. From 90% or more off airline tickets, hotel discounts, cheap rent, and the chance to experience the world like others only dream, it’s hard to see the downside. But the training is rough, the hours are long, and the market is highly competitive. Because you’ll be moving around a lot, it’s easy to become lonely too. But if you aren’t bothered by the downsides, and have severe wanderlust, this could be your life.
Becoming a professional photographer takes years of hard work. But if you aren’t deterred, it can also be a highly profitable way to fund your adventures. You can travel to the coolest and most wonderful places in the world, taking pictures and selling them to magazines, books, brand campaigns, or websites. You can upload photos in bulk to micro-stock sites and hope enough people pay to use them, or even run your own photography tours or teach classes in person or online. The possibilities are there if you’re willing to put in the time. Granted, this isn’t the path for everyone, the equipment can be expensive, and you need a certain “eye” for the right shot, but if you believe in your skills and want to try your hand, no one is stopping you.
8. Musician/Street Performer
Ahh yes, the age-old art of busking. Grab your hat, toss it on the ground in front of you and play your little heart out for crowds of people, hoping they’ll enjoy your performance enough to make a little monetary donation. While many cities require a permit for busking, it can still be a great way to supplement your income while on the road. Don’t play an instrument? No worries. You can dance, tell fortunes, paint faces, tell jokes, whatever you’re good at. Obviously an outgoing personality will help you with this, and you won’t get rich, but if you’re good, you will always make enough for a room for the night and a hot dinner, which honestly, is probably enough.
7. Peace Corps
I’m not going to lie to you, the Peace Corps aren’t for everyone. The work is hard and the pay is lousy, but what you don’t earn in cash you will earn in life experience. Besides, this list is about how to get a job that lets you travel, not how to become a millionaire. Working with the Peace Corps could send you to all corners of the globe where you’ll get hands on experience with new cultures, experience the world like you never have, and build confidence in yourself while you’re at it. If you have the drive to help those less fortunate, and don’t mind breaking a sweat while you’re at it, the Peace Corps is a great option.
This is another job you probably won’t get successful enough overnight to fund your adventures around the world. But if you already have marketing or PR experience, you could easily transition into the freelance market and do this work from a yacht off the Adriatic. In fact, marketing is quickly becoming one of the best jobs to do from home/wherever. Plenty of businesses need to get their brand out to people, and because they don’t want to hire dedicated marketing people, they outsource to marketing firms, or more increasingly, freelancers. (Check out freelance sites like Upwork and you’ll find a ton of job listings). This type of job usually requires a marketing degree, but if you have a strong portfolio, that isn’t always the case. Being able to sell yourself to the business you want to represent is key.
5. Truck Driver
If you love the open road, why not make it your office? All you need is a Commercial Driver's License and a good soundtrack, and you can make a living as a trucker. Long-haul trucking jobs are the ideal job for introverts that want to see the world. You spend most of your time alone, on the road, seeing the country. It’s not all fun and games though. Government regulation is increasingly cutting into the trucking industry, and in some countries truck driving jobs aren’t as plentiful as they used to be. On top of that, the hours can be long and it can be a struggle to stay awake. But if you don’t mind having a hefty caffeine reliance and sitting for hours at a time, go get yourself a CDL and see the world!
If you’re a registered nurse who dreams of travel, this could be your shot. Taking temporary travel nurse jobs is a great way to go to new places. Even better, these jobs sometimes include tax-free income, free housing, medical coverage, rental cars, and more. Plus, there are staffing agencies that will help you secure overseas travel nurse jobs. If you aren’t a RN though, don’t fret, it only takes 2-4 years of education and you too can be on the path to traveling the world, healing people along the way.
Remember how I said “web design is a great job for people with a serious case of wanderlust, because most employers usually don’t even have an office? Well, the same thing goes here. Programming is one of the most in-demand jobs in the world right now. And if you’re good at it, you’ll have no problems finding work while you sip tea from the banks of the Thames. The key with this work is much like most of the previous entries. You need to be dedicated, disciplined, and able to secure work. But if you can do that, the world is your burrito.
2. Virtual Assistant
Ever thought you would be great as a secretary, but hated the idea of working at a desk outside some high-powered executives door? Well, I have some good news for you! Those jobs have evolved into what is now called a “virtual assistant” job. Businesses are looking to cut overhead, and since there’s little that a personal secretary can do in person that a virtual assistant can’t do remotely, businesses have increasingly turned to the remote option. You’ll l be scheduling social media posts, responding to customer enquiries, dealing with calendar management, and all sorts of other tasks from wherever in the world you so choose. Not bad.
1. A Regular Office Job?
Sometimes the 9-5 grind is the way to go after all. Working for large businesses with facilities all over the world can lead to plenty of travel options if you work your way up the corporate ladder. While it’s true the guy on the floor probably won’t be doing much travel, if you work hard and excel in your field, it won’t be long before they’re sending you to different sites to share your knowledge or supervise a project. If you work for a multinational corporation, you could even see travel abroad. Additionally, the perks of a steady pay check and guaranteed vacation time mean while you won’t be working from Bali, you’ll still have an opportunity to visit if you budget properly. There’s a reason these types of jobs are still the most popular out there. Job security does lead to the ability to do some pretty cool things.