24 Jobs to Do While Traveling the World


We’re up to 27 Jobs to Do While Traveling the World.  I didn’t overinflate the list by separating out all the different teaching, boat, and freelance jobs.  This list could easily have been the “100 Best Travel Jobs” or “99 Jobs for Travelers.”  I hope the minimalist version helps you think more clearly about your options!

You already know combining work and travel comes with costs if you read:
6 Unspoken Truths About Making Money While Traveling

It also comes with benefits – like making you smarter!


To help you decide which world travel job could be a fit for you, I’ve divided them into two categories – jobs that require a location commitment and jobs that can be done from almost anywhere.

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Jobs for Travelers: Location Commitment

As explained in “6 Unspoken Truths About Making Money While Traveling“, work and travel mix about as well as oil and water.  But even when you take a location-specific job while traveling the world, you’re still “traveling” in the Charles Cooley way of thinking.  He says:

“To get away from one’s […] environment is, in a sense, to get away from one’s self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.”

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While your work lifestyle might not change, everything else will.  Instead of going to book group and the gym in your free time, you’ll be attending your co-worker’s Balinese wedding ceremony or visiting the Taj Mahal.

mountain lake is where you can end up if you want traveling jobs no experience required

You can have it all: make money while traveling from one of the best travel jobs where you get to hang out in places like this on your lunch break!  photo: Ales Krivec

So what are your options for jobs that allow you to have a change in environment, but still require the same basic lifestyle?

Location Based Jobs To Do While Traveling:

1. REGULAR JOBS!

My travel and work combinations have mostly involved these types of traveling jobs.  I’ve worked internationally doing bartending, waitressing, kitchen work, admin, cleaning, construction, and heavy lifting.

  • Pros: Not as much leg work required as some of the other types of jobs for travelers – you can often start working on the spot.  You also get the stability of a routine.
  • Cons: Stability means putting down roots, which makes it tougher to move around (read: travel).  Without a work visa, getting hired at a job like this is much harder. I worked all of the above jobs on Working Holiday Visas.
The best travel jobs involve employment in a beautiful place like this Roy's Peak overlooking Wanaka New Zealand

This is the peak above the town where I had many of my “regular jobs” while traveling the world. Even though I worked 70+ hours a week, it was a gorgeous spot to slave away!  photo: John Paul Galliano

2. REGULAR PROFESSIONAL JOBS

Much demand exists abroad for doctors, nurses, engineers, etc.  If you’re skilled, companies and governments will often be willing to sponsor you to come and work in their country.

  • Pros: You can often access a country for a length of time that is unavailable to most travelers.  Companies will frequently cover your visa fees and handle the paperwork for you.
  • Cons: In industrialized nations, it’s not uncommon to have to jump through hoops, get equivalent certifications, take equivalent tests, etc. Many professionals I’ve met ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it for them.

3. SCHOOL TEACHER

English is a popular suggestion, but you might also teach any other subject over which you have mastery.  International Schools exist worldwide, and the shared language is often English.

  • Pros: If you enjoy teaching, you can easily take away the giver’s high from the challenge.  If you’re outgoing, getting connected with your co-workers will show you a side of the culture other travelers won’t see.  Some locations are notorious for allowing English teachers to squirrel away lots of cash for onward travel. aSouth Korea and Japan come to mind.
  • Cons: Getting the job requires front end work – networking, visas, research, contracts, and possibly getting certified to teach bfor English, you should get your TEFL or equivalent unless you studied English or have tons of teaching experience.  Knowing how to do something is not the same as teaching others how to do it!.  International teachers of English regularly speak of the long hours.  Many also talk about sketchy contract issues.  Some find the most well-paying countries can be the least fun.
teacher teaching english is a popular one of the jobs to do while traveling the world

Some English teaching jobs will allow you to make money while traveling the world. Others will just allow you to travel the world! photo: tumisu

4. AU PAIR/ NANNY/ VACATION NANNY

Update 2017: Until January 17th, you can apply to be a traveling nanny for this couple.

People all over the world need help taking care of their kids!  Many want to expose their child to the nanny’s language – English in your case, hey?  If you like kids and like the idea of living with a family and helping them in exchange for a wage, go for it!

  • Pros:  This is a traveling job that doesn’t require a whole lot of experience.  You’ll have the stability of home while getting to intimately explore a foreign region.
  • Cons: The family will either make it the best travel job or the worst – it’s a lottery! Getting the job requires networking, possible visas, possible language requirement, and possible payment to an agency for placement.  If you don’t pay an agency, you have less recourse if things go awry.  

5. RESORT WORK & TIMESHARE SALES

Resorts can be like small cities, with jobs from the restaurants to the repair shop and all points in between.  If you’re good with people, the sales desk at timeshare resorts could be your space to shine.  And earn mega commissions.  cPersonally, I wouldn’t be caught dead talking someone into a timeshare – most people I know who have one don’t love it.  But, hey… to each their own!

  • Pros:  Resorts are located in places people want to see on vacation – think fun activities combined with gorgeous views.   Of course, you don’t have to work at a resort just to work in the gorgeous area.
  • Cons: Resorts tend to draw a certain demographic.  This isn’t necessarily a con, but it easily can be.  I’ve heard tell that some resorts have restrictive policies, including not allowing you to leave the premises until the end of your contract.  Perhaps to prevent fraternizing with clientele?
resort pool where you might work if you want jobs while traveling the world

There are worse places to be a bartender! Some would say resort work is one of the best travel jobs. photo: Scott Webb

6. SUMMER CAMP COUNSELOR

Much like a resort, but usually for kids.  There are camps in most industrialized countries – and several in developing nations, too – looking for counselors!  We’re not just talking outdoor activities camp.  There are language camps, math camps, sports camps, and more.

  • Pros:  Some camps are in gorgeous locales.  And even when they aren’t, you’re getting paid to see a cool new place during “high season” when you otherwise might not afford to go.  Also, it’s likely the camp will be willing and able to sort out any necessary visa for you.  Many of these traveling jobs require no experience if you have a reference who knows you’re good with kids.
  • Cons: Working with kids rarely pays impressively.  And you’re giving up your summer to work.

6. TEACH RECREATIONAL SKILLS

Often needed in the same locales as resorts, but without actually having to work at a resort.  If you know or can learn a skill people typically do on vacation – skiing, climbing, surfing, yoga, scuba diving, etc – you are a candidate to teach said skill at exotic international locations while traveling the world.

  • Pros:  It’s a pretty fun job overall.  Sure there is the tedium that comes with repetition… even in paradise.  But it’s hard to dislike being out doing a fun activity each day.  If you already have the skill, it’s a lower investment than, say, teaching English.  
  • Cons: These are some of the best travel jobs, and therefore very competitive.  Get to networking! Also, similar to resorts, you’ll be working with a certain demographic… namely the people who can afford you.  Again – not always a con, but sometimes that demographic can be!
you, too, can go surfing at sunset if you have one of the best travel jobs to make money while traveling the world

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! Kidding… being a surfing instructor has to be one of the best jobs for travelers. photo: Mark Harpur

7. TOUR GUIDE

Tour guides are needed in places you likely want to see.  I put this one in the location-dependent section, because being a guide requires having an in-depth knowledge of a place or subject.  While all the tour guides I’ve met in my travels have been locals, I’ve heard of international travelers getting to know an area, then offering their expertise to other travelers.

  • Pros:  This traveling job requires no experience – just people skills!  You’ll get to meet lots of people and learn lots yourself. 
  • Cons: You might have my experience: I thought I’d never tire of being a rafting guide on the border of Yellowstone National Park, but seeing the same spots while repeating the same facts each day did get a bit tiresome.  If you’re doing pop-up tours in a place where you don’t have a visa or guide certification, you risk running afoul of authorities. 

8. HOSTEL WORKER

I don’t think this option belongs on all the “Jobs for Travelers” lists out there.  I added it here so I can talk you out of it.  Hostel work notoriously pays poorly or not at all.  Plenty of people are clamoring to do the work in exchange for free accommodation.

  • Pros:  It’s another traveling job requiring no experience.  Even if you’re only making a few dollars a day (and getting free accommodation), some might say it’s better than no money!  Additionally, you’ll get to meet lots of people.
  • Cons: You’ll also get to make their beds and clean up their beer bottles.   
this cute girl holding a feather duster would be smiling if she was doing hostel work - not one of the best travel jobs

“I can’t wait to clean up after people who have never lived away from their parents or owned their own home!”  Ok, not all hostel-goers are wild, feral partying folk who give no thought to their surroundings. All it takes is one or two for things to get nasty, though. photo: public domain pictures

9. PEACE CORPS 

Most people looking for jobs to do while traveling picture themselves as mostly traveling and only working a little.  However, just like other location-based jobs for travelers, the Peace Corps (or whatever government service program your country has if you aren’t American) provides an opportunity to get to know a place in depth.  Peace Corps workers receive a stipend that meets their basic needs and a readjustment award of $8,775 when they’re through. dBefore you start salivating over “all that money,” remember it requires 27 months of service.  So basically, they’ll save up $325 for you for every month that you work.  If you suck at saving money, that could be a perk for you.

  • Pros:  As with English teaching, you’ll be more integrated into a community than most other jobs for travelers will allow.  If you, like most Americans, have crazy student loans, you get a big chunk of change at the end of your service that can be used to pay them down eor get more education if you’re a glutton for debt.  It’s another traveling job requiring no experience.  
  • Cons: While the Peace Corps prefers applicants with experience, beggars can’t be choosers.  Critics of the organization complain that sending “fresh” college grads to “help” in foreign countries is ineffective and a huge waste of money.  Yes, you need a four-year degree.  And committing to something for two years is a pretty big deal.  You won’t save up tons of money. 

10. CRUISE SHIPS & PRIVATE YACHTS

Boats afloat around the world need employees!  Cruise ships have staff positions from cabin cleaner to entertainer, massage therapist to chef.  Private Yachts jobs tend to be mostly about taking care of the boat, though I did meet a woman who was a chef on a small yacht.

Some might argue this belongs on the Nomadic Jobs for Travelers list. However, while the ship may be changing location, that location is determined by others.  And the job still requires a longer-term commitment to a residence (the ship!).  And it requires the bulk of your time.

  • Pros:  Not paying for room and board is awesome and allows you to save up really quickly.   Just ask Wandering Earl who’s known for his years working on cruise ships.  Also, life on a ship or yacht can be tons of fun with amenities you wouldn’t have with other jobs traveling the world.  And you’ll get to see lots of ports that you wouldn’t see otherwise.
  • Cons: If you get sea sick, this isn’t the job for you!  Cruise ships are all about cramming as much experience into the journey as possible, so you won’t have time to explore port cities or the surrounding areas in depth.  On a yacht, your stops and their length are determined by the owner and/or captain.  Finally, the best parts of the ship are reserved for customers/owners use.  
cruise ships like this have some traveling jobs no experience required

Cruise ship employment may be one of the best travel jobs – if you don’t get sea-sick and you like the travel style and pace! photo: mustang joe

11. FLIGHT ATTENDANT

As with boats, some might argue this belongs on the Nomadic Jobs for Travelers list. However, while the plane may be changing location, that location is determined by others who require the bulk of your time.  To get realistic about what this life is like, check out some blogs written by flight attendants.

  • Pros:  Free flights!  Housemates love someone who’s never home!  You’ll get to be in places you might not go to otherwise.  Everyone will think you have the coolest traveling job and are soooo lucky.
  • Cons: Paying rent to store a bed you’re not often using is kind of a bummer.  When you’re spending the night in a foreign city, you may not have time or energy to see more than the hotels nearest the airport.  You don’t get paid when the plane isn’t in the air fFlight attendants are just as pissed as you are about maintenance and tarmac delays.  The most sought-after locations go to your co-workers with seniority, so newbies are more likely to be flying to rural South Dakota than New York City.  You’re providing service to a fairly entitled demographic.  The entry-level wages are a bit underwhelming.

12. JOIN THE CIRCUS (or a band, theater group, dance troupe…)

You don’t have to be an acrobat, guitar player, actor, or dancer to travel with a traveling show.  These groups need support crew, too!  Again, this isn’t on the Nomadic Jobs for Travelers list because your location is determined by others and the job requires the bulk of your time.  If you’re a novice, start working at your local venue to learn the ropes.  Unless you network, it would be tough to get this traveling job with no experience.

  • Pros:  You’ll get to rub elbows with different cultures and be in places you might not go otherwise.  One day you could even end up as a roadie for your favorite artist!  Your friends and family will turn green with envy at your luck landing one of the best travel jobs.
  • Cons: Going from city to city to city can turn into a bit of a blur of road signs, airports, hotel rooms, and performance venues.  You may go to London and never see Big Ben, New York City and never see the Statue of Liberty.  
you'd get to see a female lyra circus performer like this if you had one of the best travel jobs - a roadie for her show!

Second only to being the performer, working as a roadie is one of the most awesome traveling jobs.  Especially if you want to see this every night.  photo: barni1

Update 2017:

A. OPEN A BUSINESS ABROAD! 

Consider becoming a permanent resident in the destination of your dreams.  Services are always needed to meet tourist demand.  Open a restaurant, a pub, a guiding company, or even a hostel like this guy.   While you could technically have this traveling job with no experience, I wouldn’t recommend opening a business abroad without having a solid work-history under your belt.

  • Pros:  You’ll get to live in paradise!  The constant flow of people from your home culture will stave off homesickness, but you’ll also become part of a new culture.  Fun!  And challenging… 
  • Cons: Friends might think owning a business abroad and living as an expat counts as one of the best travel jobs.  You, however, will quickly learn that living permanently outside your home country can have a darker side.  Your government red tape is hard enough to deal with, despite your lifetime of exposure.  Now you have to puzzle through a mind-boggling set of new rules, possibly in a different language, and always with your future financial security on the line.  You can do it!  It has been done!  But it’s a serious journey.

B. BECOME A STUDY-ABROAD LEADER

If you’re keen to hang out with the 18-25 crowd, and if you like serving as a mentor, consider escorting a group on their international sojourn.  This usually means being based in one location and taking the group on region trips from there.  I didn’t put this on the Nomadic Jobs for Travelers list because your location will be semi-fixed, destinations are determined by others, and the job requires the bulk of your time.  It would be tough to get this traveling job with no experience.  Most programs require familiarity with the region where you’ll be leading groups.

  • Pros:  You’ll get paid to travel!  Free accommodation, free food, and a salary!  And since it’s a bonafide job, those of you concerned about resume gaps can now have your cake and eat it too.  You’ll also have a chance to teach others from your home country about respectful travel.
  • Cons:  This isn’t the kind of travel that’s all about you.  You don’t pick the destinations and you’ll spend lots of your time and energy focused on your charges.  If you’re a glass-of-wine-with-dinner person, know that many organizations require substance abstinence for the duration of the program.

C. SIGN UP TO BE A LAB RAT

If Belfast, Northern Ireland; Phoenix, Arizona; or Lincoln, Nebraska appeal to you, you could earn thousands for participating in Celerion’s medical studies. For example, at the time of this writing, one could earn $2,750 for going to three daytime appointments and four two-night stays.  Obviously this traveling job requires no experience.

  • Pros:  Study participants earn a pretty serious chunk of change.  In the example above, the dates of participation span seven weeks and actually take very little of your time.  This would be a great option for someone hoping to launch a digital nomad career – spend your days networking at a local co-working space and take time out to go to a few appointments.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  
  • Cons:  Being a lab rat.  Presumably they’ve tested the compounds you’ll be ingesting on actual rats first.  But they’re looking to prove the newest drug won’t be harmful.  And if they’re wrong, assuming you live to tell the tale, I’m sure you have zero recourse for any harm incurred.

That’s it!  Now let’s talk about the genuinely portable jobs.

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Jobs for Travelers: Nomadic

These are either one-off gigs or work that can be done on your own time from anywhere.  These jobs will give you a change of environment and a whole new lifestyle!  As before, you have to give up some travel if you’re going to work.  One (or two or three) days in your hotel room on your laptop, followed by a day visiting the Eiffel Tower or walking around Bangkok.  I say laptop, because many of the jobs suggested below fall under new term: digital nomad – a person whose work can be done anywhere with electricity and an internet connection.

this digital nomad has on of the best travel jobs - working from anywhere making money while traveling the world

With the advent of the internet, every digitally connected person can design their very own “best travel jobs.” Every cafe, library, and picnic table is now your office! photo: Alejandro Escamilla

I’ve put these in order from least effort to most intensive.

Nomadic Jobs To Do While Traveling:

13. PACK MULE

Don’t worry – you can let your car or suitcase do the heavy lifting.  Roadie.com is attempting to expand beyond the U.S.  For now, anyone traversing America can get paid to bring something to a destination on their itinerary.  Rates seem to be between $10 and $20 per hour of travel time, depending on the size of the item.  Similar websites exist for airplane travel, including Grabr where senders seem to set their delivery rewards at between $10 and $50.   Make money while traveling by checking these sites a few weeks before you head to the airport or pack up the car.

  • Pros: A traveling job, no experience required!  Pretty easy cash, plus you may even get the giver’s high.
  • Cons: There’s always the chance that something could go wrong or end up taking way more of your time than expected.  Luddites need not apply: you need a smartphone!  

14. KEEP YOUR PACT

You can earn up to $5 a week with Pact by setting a food or exercise goal and meeting it. That means you can paid for walking 10,000 steps (read: visiting the Coliseum, Vatican, and Trevi Fountain) or logging your food (pad thai, pineapple, green curry, pad thai again, papaya…).

Update 9-2016: Healthy Wage also offers similar but higher paying opportunities.

  • Pros: Another traveling job, no experience required!  Make money while traveling the world, plus have a record of ever amazing gelateria you visited in Venice.  Or keep the travel weight gain at bay!
  • Cons: Requires engaging with your smartphone.  Also, the money comes from those who didn’t meet their goals… so make sure you’re earning from the system, not paying out!  And yeah, $5 isn’t amazing, but in some countries it’s a night in a hotel.  In others, it’s a beer.  In expensive countries, it will get you a cup of coffee you might otherwise forego.
"I can't believe I'm basically getting paid to eat this ice cream while getting paid to walk to the Eiffel Tower. My life is amazing." photo: Jill Wellington

“I can’t believe I’m basically getting paid to eat this ice cream while getting paid to walk to the Eiffel Tower. My life is amazing.” photo: Jill Wellington

15. DONATE PLASMA

If you weigh at least 110 lbs (50 kilos) and know you’re going to be in one place long enough for a few medical appointments, check out Donating Plasma to find a location worldwide.  Plasma donors make between $30 and $60 a visit.  You need to donate at least three times – most places can’t use your first two donations for quality assurance reasons.  You’ll need to give an extensive medical history.

  • Pros: Again – a traveling job, no experience required!  It doesn’t take too much time, and you’re helping people!
  • Cons: This one isn’t as easy to do on a whim, what with the series of appointments needed.  You could be ineligible if you’ve gotten a tattoo, a piercing, or traveled to red-flag countires.  

16. BUSKING

Have you ever dropped some coins into the case of a saxophone or guitar player on the corner?  You’ve supported a busker!  Even if you don’t have or play an instrument, get creative!  Sing.  Do stupid human tricks.  Perform a skit with your travel buddy!

  • Pros: Fun!  Low level of investment gif you’ve already got the skill and aren’t counting the thousands of hours you’ve spend learning it.  And yet another traveling job, no experience required!  
  • Cons: If you’re shy, this might sound like your worst nightmare.  It’s possible to spend an afternoon or evening and earn less than you’d hoped.  And there’s always the possibility of getting in trouble with (or just asked to move along by) the local authorities in places where permits are technically required.   
busking is one of the traveling jobs, no experience required

You could make money while traveling the world just by putting your enthusiasm on display. photo: Alejandro Lopez

17. STAFF AN EVENT

Especially if you’re traveling during the summer, there are festivals and gatherings galore all looking for some temporary help.  Google search “events” or “event staff” in the destinations on your itinerary and see if you can pick up some cash!

  • Pros: You’ll get paid while getting a behind-the-scenes look at an event.  Even if you’re a waitress in the VIP section or backstage security… you’re still in the VIP or backstage!  And it’s another of the traveling jobs with no experience required.
  • Cons: If you don’t plan ahead, you may end up with nowhere to sleep as the city is overrun with festival goers who booked their tickets months ago.  In countries with more red tape, these jobs can require more paperwork than you’re able to get.  For instance, in Australia an event job I wanted required a construction site safety certification ($50) before they’d even consider an application.  Because assembling bleachers is “construction.”

18. SELL YOURSELF

What are your skills?  Think haircuts, massage, cooking, fixing backpacks, mending things, teaching a language, guest lecturing, instrument lessons, yoga sessions, one-off translations.  Get creative.  What do you have to offer those around you?  Put up a poster at your hostel, walk around to restaurants and businesses offering to edit their English language materials, call up a local club or university that might be interested in your area of expertise.

  • Pros: Assuming you already have the skills, it’s a pretty low investment.  Just a little legwork required.
  • Cons: But sometimes a little legwork turns into a lot of legwork.  Sometimes making and printing and hanging those posters leads to nothing.  Sometimes every place you ask says “no thank you.”  Sometimes every email you write goes unanswered.  There’s no free lunch, dang it!   Also, you do run the (small) risk of getting busted for “working illegally.”
if you can do this yoga pose you can get one of the jobs for travelers - yoga instructor!

Your hostel or hotel might be super psyched to let you teach a yoga class in the common area. Not only will you get to practice and make a little cash, you’ll probably make cool new friends! photo: jeviniya

19. HARVEST WORK

This is another of the jobs for travelers that I’d like to talk you out of.  Like hostel work, harvest work notoriously pays poorly.  And these jobs are repetitive, back-breaking work.  I know firsthand!  If you’re 18, it will be an epic story later in your life.  If you’re 28, you’ll have a much greater awareness of just how much it sucks.  Work in the ag industry is often talked about as the easy-to-get, low-hanging-fruit on the jobs for travelers list. I beg to differ.

  • Pros: It’s a great workout!  If you get lucky, like this French guy I met, you could end up getting paid cash under the table and have great working conditions.  You’ll meet lots of other travelers, and there’s nothing like misery to really bond you to people.  Plus, you’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel before the job even starts, unlike the thousands of people who say they’re stuck in jobs they hate.  The “I’m Happy I Harvested!” people – about 20% of my arbitrary sample – either have exceptionally good attitudes or got paid illegally and therefore very well.
  • Cons: You could give yourself a life-long repetitive motion injury.  Working conditions are generally mediocre, and you often get paid by yield instead of per hour.  If you’re slow or small, too bad!  Finally, your employer isn’t invested in you.  They don’t have much of an incentive to treat you well.

20. CREATE A ROAMING INCOME

You don’t have to have a full-fledged business or a website with five years of content to make money while traveling the world.  Online gurus ask for hundreds or thousands of dollars to share their personal blueprint for a business that makes six figures or more.  And if millions is your goal, uh… go for it.  But if you just want enough money to travel – a few thousand dollars a month – don’t start a business.  Earning six figures takes up most of your travel time for at least a few years.  If that’s the kind of investment you want to make, good for you.  For everyone else, figure out how to grow a roaming income from a single project.  If you like it, do another.  There aren’t a lot of teachers out there with the “work only as hard as you need to” mentality, but I recently met two -Nat and Jodie.  They’ve got a great, free video series about their journey.

  • Pros: This is the stuff modern dreams are made of.  Work hard for a little bit doing a project that’s not incredibly overwhelming, live off the royalties for months or years.  Yes, please!
  • Cons: It’s not that easy.   If it were, everyone would already be doing it. First, there’s the insecurity that comes with anything that isn’t working a job for an employer.  Learning something new is hard.  Will all your work be worth it?  Will anything come of your tremendous efforts?  Will you be left with nothing to show for your time but “experience?”  Also, the online realms are full of people encouraging you to do more, more, more.  If you’re a DIYer like me, figuring out where to start and what’s really important can feel like an insurmountable challenge.  (Which is another reason to check out the free roaming income videos.)

21. FREELANCE

The linchpin in everyone’s “make money while traveling the world” plan these days is freelancing!  If you’re traveling with a laptop, check out all the computer-based jobs out there on sites like UpWork hformerly Odesk and ElanceFiverr, and Mechanical Turk.  I’ve worked jobs and hired people via Upwork – it’s a great option for making money while traveling the world.  Guru, and iFreelance are other options.  If you have a skill to teach, check out Take Lessons.  For specific ideas, check out 101 Best Side Business Ideas.  Many on the list are computer-based, location-independent options.

  • Pros: So many options!  Set your own schedule.  Work at your leisure.  You might be like fellow travel blogger Bren, and have great success on Upwork (formerly Elance).  Once you’re established and have some repeat customers, you get a bit of job security.
  • Cons: Hustling your income can be frustrating.   Close your eyes and think about a stressful job search in your past.  Freelancers are constantly job searching, applying for positions, following up, and often never hearing back.  “Set your own hours” often means work yourself to the bone because you never know when you’ll win the next job.  Getting established is the hardest part.  Being responsive to clients who are in different time zones means you might not have as much control over your schedule as you dream you will.  And those times the internet at your hotel goes out a few hours before a work deadline?  Maddening!
freelancing like this guy really is one of the best travel jobs. It's also a traveling jobs, no experience required, as long as you know how to sell yourself

“Dear person with money, Please let me do your stuff. I am really smart, experienced, dependable, and knowledgeable. I look forward to helping you. And being able to buy coffee. Love, the guy trying to make money while traveling the world.” photo: Gerd Altmann

22. SELL STUFF ONLINE

If you make jewelry, other small crafts that are easy to pack around, or are in a country where you could put local items on ebay for a major profit, this one might be for you!   You can also sell your photos online if you’re packing around your DSLR.

  • Pros: Mad flexibility!  Kind of.  Super Easy!  Once you know the sites.
  • Cons: It’s a pretty big front end investment – learning the interface of whatever platform your using, understanding buyers habits, building up feedback.  With physical items, you also lose a bit of schedule control.  You’re expected to be responsive, so you can’t just randomly jet off on a five-day jungle excursion without figuring out how to deal with any sales that will (hopefully) happen in your absence.  On the photo side of the equation, unfortunately you aren’t the only one who loves taking photos and would love to get paid for it.  Paired with the fact that there are lots of amazing free photos out there, you’ve got your work cut out for you.  A very talented photographer friend of mine sells a bit of online.  His most purchased shot?  Nope, not his stunning travel or nature work.  It’s a keyboard.

23. STOCK MARKET NINJA

You shouldn’t consider day trading unless you’re already interested in the freakish nuances of the stock market world.  But, yeah.  You can theoretically take gambles based on your (hopefully) very educated guesses and fill up your travel fund!  I follow this traveling day trader on twitter.   

  • Pros: If you know your stuff, you can make very decent money.  It’s also extremely thrilling.  Each day you have your decisions punished or rewarded.
  • Cons: So about the punishment part… it’s easy to lose your shirt.  Even when you know what you’re doing.  If you aren’t already well versed, plan to spend many 60-hour weeks in front of your computer learning, learning, learning.  This is definitely not a traveling job requiring no experience.  And having your schedule center around when the markets open in certain countries doesn’t sound like everyone’s cup of tea.
day trading worried surprised shocked face when day trading isn't best jobs for travelers

“Whoa. I guessed way wrong about that energy project in Namibia. Sad basket. Maybe day trading isn’t one of the best jobs for travelers after all.” photo: gratisography

24. RENT OUT YOUR HOME

If you own your own dwelling, do what homeowners around the world do to keep paying the mortgage while away.  Rent your place!  You can get long term renters.  Or, if you live in a destination city, get a friend to help you AirBnB your spot.  Remember to lock up stuff you don’t want used or touched.  This traveling job technically requires no experience, but at least talk to a landlord about their experiences if this is your first time renting out your digs.

  • Pros: It’s pretty awesome to have someone else pay your mortgage.  It’s even better to actually make money on your house while you aren’t using it.  Score!
  • Cons: Hopefully you have a friend or family member in town who can check on things, take care of emergencies, or do key drop off and cleaning in the case of AirBnB.  Being a landlord comes with logistics and responsibilities that many find disappointing.

25. START A TRAVEL BLOG!

Kidding!  Kind of.  Like day trading, this is a great idea for someone who already has a solid background in programming, code-writing, social media campaigns, search engine optimization, email campaigns, google analytics, editorial calendars, and organization.  The writing part is only about 5% of the “job” of travel blogging.  See: Blogging is No Easier Than Being A Stripper

  • Pros: Set your own schedule!  Write about whatever you want!  Keep in touch with family and friends!  Doing something you love-enough-to-slave-over is still fun, despite the insane amount of largely unrewarded work.  If I haven’t scared you away, check out How to Start a Blog That Makes Money.
  • Cons: There’s a HUGE learning curve when it comes to running a website.  Possibilities are limitless, so first you have to learn about all of them, then decide what to do and where to start.  All of this takes several hundred hours a week.  Since most folks only have 60-80 spare hours to part with, it’s pretty slow going.  And it takes most of the time you imagine you’ll spend traveling.  Maybe that knocks it off the best travel jobs list?  The conventional wisdom is not to count on any website for an income for at least a year.  If you’ve never done it before and have no background, make it two years.  Two years of 60+ hour work weeks.  Here are some now-big-name bloggers talking honestly about their experiences:
    20-Something Travel
    Hecktic Travels

Attitude is Everything

Okay.  You’re armed with a list of jobs.  You’re dangerous.
Actually getting the jobs is a whole other ball game.

The world really is your oyster, you reader of the English language and possessor of electronic device.  From there, the only thing stopping you is attitude.  The mindset needed to get the best travel jobs is illustrated perfectly by this iBrenOnTheRoad.com quote:

“Making money while travelling takes a bit of work, some creativity, maybe a little unconventional thinking and of course, the willingness to go out there and make it happen.” 

want traveling jobs no experience: can I get an amen squrirrel

Want one of the best travel jobs? Get ready to make it happen! photo: LRB

Keep that attitude in mind as you consider all of the above jobs for travelers.

For more guidance, go check out:
How to Get a Job While Traveling the World


Prefer to be employed as little as possible? jlike me!  Check out these budget-friendly travel hacks instead:

Sleep for Free, Worldwide!
Free Flights
How to Become a House Sitter

Free Backstage Cultural Pass

Do You Make These 8 Travel Mistakes?
Cheap Flight Hacks

Happy Job Hunting!! ♣

Want to pin this for later?

the best travel jobs are the ones that you can do to quickly make money while traveling

I did tons of research while writing this for you.  Want to keep reading about how to make money while traveling?  Or keep searching for the best travel jobs:

The Practical Guide To Making Money While Travelling
5 Easy Ways to Make Money Traveling
Escape Normal Jobs’: Adventure Jobs
101 Best Side Businesses

Update 2017: One travel blogger interviewed travelers from 19 countries about jobs they’ve done abroad.  See if your country is listed to get ideas and see what’s possible:  You Can Live and Work Abroad

And GoBanking Rates interviewed me & other travel experts on this topic:

How to Make Money While You’re On Vacation

References   [ + ]

a. South Korea and Japan come to mind.
b. for English, you should get your TEFL or equivalent unless you studied English or have tons of teaching experience.  Knowing how to do something is not the same as teaching others how to do it!
c. Personally, I wouldn’t be caught dead talking someone into a timeshare – most people I know who have one don’t love it.  But, hey… to each their own!
d. Before you start salivating over “all that money,” remember it requires 27 months of service.  So basically, they’ll save up $325 for you for every month that you work.  If you suck at saving money, that could be a perk for you.
e. or get more education if you’re a glutton for debt.
f. Flight attendants are just as pissed as you are about maintenance and tarmac delays
g. if you’ve already got the skill and aren’t counting the thousands of hours you’ve spend learning it
h. formerly Odesk and Elance
i. BrenOnTheRoad.com
j. like me!


20 comments

  • August 21, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    This is a great list. I would like to add the following company that hires native English speakers. VIPKid is a great place to work if you are looking for a job while traveling. I have been with the company for a year now and it’s so rewarding teaching English to students in China. You are able to make between $14 and $22 an hour as well as set your own work schedule. This job affords you the opportunity to earn extra income from the anywhere with internet connection. All you need is a Bachelor’s degree, be a native speaker of English and have some teaching experience (formal or informal). If you are interested, please use the link below to apply!

    [Editor’s note: this appears to be an affiliate link, and it is likely the poster will be compensated for anyone who takes action through this link. Especially since she has not disclosed her affiliate relationship, it is possible she could be motivated to be over-positive about her experience to encourage action.]

    https://t.vipkid.com.cn/?refereeId=1566543&partnerId=6843213

  • August 30, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    This is such a very comprehensive post! 😀 I belong under #21 and with drop-shipping services like Amazon (which is my online business) it really enables me to become a traveling nomad because hassles like inventory and shipping are taken care of for me and my business. 😀

    • August 30, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      That’s awesome, Aileen! What do you sell on Amazon?

  • August 29, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Great list! I’ve been freelancing for a long time and being location independent is fun. I still have a home base and am home more often than not, but it’s a great way to travel whenever you want without worrying about time off. Worst case, you bring your work with you 🙂

    • August 29, 2016 at 2:53 pm

      I’m starting to feel like having a home base after not having one for six years. I find that being location independent can make it just as hard to plan as having a fixed location. Fixed folks struggle to make plans because they don’t have time with all their commitments going on in their location. Independent folks struggle to make plans because we’re never quite sure where we’ll be and when!

  • August 29, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Can’t believe you’ve managed to come up with and gather so many options. I guess it really needs some creativity to find work while travelling. Some were really fun. Have you used Pact? I think a lot of people go and work at hostels especially backpackers. If you are staying at hostels anyway you don’t mind staying a bit longer for free.

    • August 29, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Definitely took ages to research and write this one! Haven’t used pact, because I don’t have a smartphone! That little facet of my life keeps me from participating in lots of cultural things – both a great and lamentable issue. 🙂

  • August 29, 2016 at 4:33 am

    Freelancing and working on location are probably the best real ways to make money while traveling. You have to develop skills in the areas that you want to live/travel. Writing/internet skills are priceless, but if you can’t do that, being a tour guide or helping at a hotel or hostel is a good fall back.

    • August 29, 2016 at 1:49 pm

      I definitely agree. I’m often explaining that working and traveling are tough to do synonymously – especially because they can both easily be full-time gigs. And especially because the money you can usually get for work that you do on the road isn’t the kind of money it takes to save up, hey. I’ve come to think of work-and-travel jobs as another style of travel vs. a earn-and-save-money opportunity.

  • August 29, 2016 at 3:44 am

    This is a great selection of travel jobs! A lot of youth in Singapore apply to be stewards and stewardesses on Singapore Airlines if they want to travel. The irregular hours can leave them really tired though.

    • August 29, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      Sounds like a great opportunity, especially if your citizenship makes it more challenging to move around globally!

  • August 28, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    You have collected a good list of jobs. Cannot think of any you have missed but I really refret that I did not do a year as an Au-pair when I was younger 🙂

    • August 28, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      Amen! I feel the same way about teaching English. I better hurry up and do it before it becomes an expired dream!

  • August 28, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    I have taught English and au-paired abroad. They certainly don’t pay fantastic (although teaching I was earning more per hour than my first job out of university) but are a great way to see a country.

    • August 28, 2016 at 4:38 pm

      That’s awesome, Anne! What country did you teach in?

  • August 28, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Well that’s a pretty big list of work you can do while travelling. Taking a career break to travel seems like a bit of a trend at the moment.

  • August 28, 2016 at 1:50 am

    What a diverse list of jobs/ways of earning some cash while travelling. I have never heard of Pact before, that’s quite an interesting concept.

    • August 28, 2016 at 7:00 am

      I’ve just heard of a few more apps that let you make cash for various easy things – a bit more research and I’ll add them, too.

  • August 28, 2016 at 12:46 am

    Wow! Thanks so much for this super comprehensive list. Saw lots of unique ones like donating plasma and pact- often times list like this end with travel blogger and woofing!

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