Sometimes, our lust for travel far exceeds our budget. Does that mean we must resign ourselves to daydreaming from a stuffy cubicle? Goodness, no. It just means we need to find a way to get paid to travel.
Fortunately, there are quite a few ways to make money while seeing the world. You may even be able to combine your passion for travel with another one of your interests. Some jobs will pay travel expenses and others may pay a reasonable salary that allows you to live abroad. Either way, you can get paid while seeing the world. And that’s a win in anyone’s travel journal.
1. Au pair
An au pair is a lot like a nanny. One major difference is that au pairs often work in a land that is foreign to their own. Expect some light housework and household chores in exchange for room and board. Au pairs usually pay their own travel expenses, but the job will include lodging and/or food.
If you like children and have experience in caring for them, this may be a good career choice for you. The best way to get your foot in the door is to connect with a reputable agency.
Travel nurses are well-compensated for travel expenses and work. This makes it a great option for the passionate adventurer who likes to help others.
You’ll need a nursing degree to become one, and usually at least a year of experience before you begin to travel. Contract lengths vary, but with the most common length at 13 weeks you should expect to travel for at least a few months at a time. One of the greatest benefits of travel nursing is that you have a lot of control over where and when your assignments take place.
Once you have your nursing degree, the best way to proceed is to contact an agency or recruiter.
3. Flight attendant
If you’re a people person who wants to see every inch of this beautiful planet, you may be happy as a flight attendant (acrophobes need not apply). Just be aware that this is a major departure from any 9-5 job you may have held in the past. It’s not unusual for a flight attendant to start the day at 4 a.m., as well as be ready for anything. This includes flight delays, cancellations, and working holidays.
4.Cruise line job
Much like a flight attendant, cruise line workers can visit exotic locations for free. One major advantage is that ships typically only port at desirable vacation spots. So, you’ll never have to worry about how much free time you’ll spend in a place like Lubbock, Texas.
There are many jobs available on cruise ships, so you’re likely to find one that suits your skills or experience. Choose from jobs in entertainment, medical, childcare, maintenance, administration, and more.
5. Travel blogger
How did you first realize you wanted to go somewhere you’ve never been? There’s a good chance it’s because you read about someone else’s experience. Travel writing is an in-demand job, so paid positions can be hard to come by. However, if you have some time and don’t mind sparing some elbow grease, you can start a travel blog of your own. Many bloggers make a living this way, but even if you don’t, your blog may open the door for other travel-writing opportunities.
6. Retail buyer
If shopping and travel are the reasons you wake up in the morning, you were born to be a retail buyer. It’s almost as glamorous as it sounds, but like any job, it’s work. Expect to spend a large part of your time on trend and market analyses as well as globetrotting. The amount of time you spend traveling will depend on the category of products you buy and the company you work for.
To become a retail buyer, you should have a Bachelor’s degree or higher and have some retail experience. Expect to start as an assistant and work your way up from there.
7. Truck driver
It’s just you: the open road and an opportunity to see every state in the country. If this thought gets your heart racing, you may want to consider a job as a truck driver. This is a job where you get paid to travel, but you should expect to spend most of your time alone. Truck driving isn’t right for everyone, but some people thrive on the truck driving experience.
To become a truck driver, you’ll need a CDL license. Some drivers own their trucks, and others drive rigs that belong to their employer. If you’re just starting out, consider a position where you can drive a company truck.
When you’re serious about what you want out of life, little things, like money, cannot stand in your way. We may need jobs to survive, but they don’t have to bring us down. Choose a career that allows you to live as you want, and you’ll experience the freedom most people only dream about.