Wouldn’t it be fantastic to get paid to travel?
Imagine the places you can see…
the culture you’d experience…
the food you’d taste…
the friends you’d meet…
and the beauty of beaches and other natural or handmade destinations around the world you’d be able to keep in your memories.
If you’ve been stalking travel bloggers forever and wondering how these seemingly ordinary people can travel around the world, this post will answer all your burning questions about this “industry.”
Sure there are various ways you can travel for free, but wouldn’t it be even better to make money while you travel?
Here’s how to get started:
22 Ways to Get Paid to Travel
You’ll likely encounter two main types of jobs:
- Jobs with travel and accommodation included – You apply to these jobs abroad because it gives you the opportunity to travel without spending a lot upfront. Jobs like ski instructing and cruise ship gigs are perfect examples of these jobs.
- Odd jobs in the city you plan to travel – Those who rely on real-world skills to go wherever their feet take them, get by through finding seasonal jobs. Bartender gigs or teaching how to speak another language fall under these types of jobs.
Whatever job you end up taking, always make sure that it’s legal, and you can do it legally (that is, don’t get deported or worse, arrested!).
Here are some of the ways you can get paid to travel.
1. Get Paid to Teach
Not a lot of people can do this, but there is always a demand for teachers, regardless of the topic that you plan to teach.
a. Teaching Skiing and other Specialty Sports
Depending on your travel goals, teaching people to ski can get you a job and a place to stay at popular ski resorts in New Zealand, California, Colorado, and other places.
Other similar instructor jobs involve scuba diving, yoga, fitness, surfing, rock climbing, and a whole lot more.
You usually have to get certifications and other requirements to land these jobs, but it is worth it.
b. Teaching English and other languages
Most travelers opt to teach English abroad as it involves a skill they already possess. Plus, depending on the company they work for and the type of equipment they have, they can do it anywhere in the city or country where they are.
The requirements are easy to meet too!
In most cases, you’d only have to be a native speaker to get the job. Some companies require a college degree and a teaching certification (that you can easily obtain online).
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Legit companies will pay teachers their airfare and housing on top of a monthly salary with benefits.
There are plenty of resources about teaching languages either online or office-based, but you can start with Dave’s ESL Cafe if you’re serious about going this route.
2. Get Paid Housesitting & Petsitting
Taking care of other people’s houses and pets when they’re away is a real job.
Some people have been housesitting professionally around the world for years. Of course, accommodation is free and as long as you’re not breaking the terms of your contract, you have the freedom to tour locally for extended times.
Want to know more? You can learn more about housesitting in this article.
3. Apply to Cruise Ship Jobs
For people who want a bit of security as they roam around the world, cruise ship jobs are the perfect gateway to living the nomad life.
The best thing about landing a cruise ship job is you get free fare and free room and board while traveling, plus you’ll get a salary.
You’re essentially getting paid to travel, which is the whole point!
The jobs vary wildly; from entertaining (singers, dancers, hosts, tour guides, etc.) to day-to-day cruise ship work like housekeeping, cooking, waitressing, bartending, and more.
Work hours are long in cruise ships, but it gives you a chance to see the world, one port of call at a time.
Requirements depend on the position you’re applying for, but at the very least, you’ll have to know how to swim and be physically, emotionally, and mentally able to stand months at sea.
4. Explore Hospitality Jobs
Working in a hotel or hostel as a front desk officer, housekeeper, cook/chef, bartender, waitress, etc. can certainly pay off, especially if you do your job in many different places around the world.
You’ll have a better chance of getting these jobs if you apply in hotels that are in areas with plenty of tourists all year round.
This is one of the most straightforward ways to meet locals and actually experience their culture, as well as speak to tourists and learn travel tips and destinations.
This route can be hard because it involves back-breaking, labor-intensive work, but this can be fulfilling for the right kind of traveler.
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5. Become a Farmhand
This is one job where you’ll need to be strong and have plenty of stamina.
Becoming a farmhand is no easy endeavor, but if you’re strong and have plenty of stamina, it’s a good way to earn while you’re traveling.
If you’re looking for something that gives you time to explore, why not check out WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms)?
They offer opportunities to work on organic farms throughout the world.
You’d work for a set number of hours a day (around 4 to 6 hours) and you get room and board in exchange. That leaves you plenty of time to go exploring.
6. Be an Au Pair
If you’re an unmarried young adult with no children but are good with them, working as an au pair in another country is a good way to earn money while traveling.
An au pair is an individual who travels to a foreign country for a definite period of time, usually a year, to support a family through childcare and housework in exchange for room and board, as well as a salary.
The main purpose is a cultural exchange; you get to learn about a foreign land and possibly a new language, while your host family gets childcare, housework, and learns your language and your culture.
The benefits of being an au pair are triple: you get to live in a foreign country, you get free room and board, and you get paid a salary!
7. Work on a Yacht
Working on a yacht is much different from working on a cruise ship. You’ll need to wear many more hats and be a team player as well.
Finding yachts to work on is made much easier by using The Crew Network, a site designed to match up crew looking for work and boat owners looking for crew.
Even if you don’t have experience working on a yacht or any kind of boat, you can still apply to entry-level yacht jobs, such as deckhands or stewardesses. Of course, you can also apply as a chef or an engineer if that’s your professional experience.
While you will get to work in and visit many new and exciting places, be aware that you won’t be in control of your destinations.
8. Alternative Travel Jobs
If you’ve never been comfortable with 8-to-5 jobs, alternative jobs would probably work better for you.
These jobs are often under-the-table, so don’t expect overtime salaries, benefits, and all that jazz.
But you’ll be able to get paid to travel and support your adventures day in, day out by:
- joining a group of fire dancers,
- drawing/painting people’s portraits,
- becoming a camp counselor,
- singing or playing music for the quirky bar,
- helping local farmers,
- …or doing other cool jobs.
There’s not much security in these kinds of jobs, but it gives the most freedom to earn from various tasks each day.
9. Get Paid to Travel while Doing your Old Job
There’s a term for a growing number of people who sold everything they owned, packed a bag, and traveled to Bali or somewhere exotic.
The only thing they kept from their old life is their jobs.
Called “digital nomads,” these groups of people work from their computers. Their location is irrelevant, as long as there is access to the internet.
If you’re lucky and your current company offers to turn your office job into a remote position, then you can adapt to the digital nomad lifestyle easily.
For those who can’t continue doing their old jobs, there is a wide range of jobs available for you to do.
10. Earn from Travel Photography
If you have an eye for travel photography, you can sell your images to the right people.
Matthew Karsten of ExpertVagabond.com sells images from his travels to National Geographic, tourism departments of various countries, magazines, tour companies, book publishers, and more. He even teaches fellow “vagabonds” how to earn money with travel photography.
11. Get Paid to Travel with Freelance Writing
Those who have a flair for words can earn money while traveling through freelance writing. Magazines like The Travel Channel often hire third-party writers to share their stories with their readers.
Since traveling could be your forte by now, travel writing often comes out naturally.
However, you don’t necessarily have to write about travel. You can earn as a freelance writer even if you talk about finance, IT, or even product reviews.
Freelance writers earn somewhere between 1 cent to $1 per word, depending on their skills, experience, popularity, and the company they’re working for.
Interested? Here are 153 other writing jobs you can check out.
12. Work as a Travel Nurse
Travel nurses work temporary, short-term assignments (as short as 18 weeks up to 6 months) at hospitals or other healthcare facilities to fill positions when there is an unusually high demand for nurses in a certain location.
You’d need the same educational level and licenses that traditional registered nurses and nurse practitioners who work in hospitals and clinics, with the added requirement of being willing and able to travel and relocate.
Travel nurses usually find employment in other states and sometimes other countries by signing up with a travel nurse staffing agency. Some reputable ones include American Mobile, Onward Healthcare, and Aya Healthcare.
13. Move Cars
If your idea of traveling is driving cross-country, perhaps working to deliver cars from one point to another may appeal to you.
Customers may hire drivers to drive their cars home from a vacation while they get home through other means of transportation. Still others may want their vehicles driven home when they move to another state.
14. Haul Boats
For much the same reasons as customers want drivers to move their cars, some (probably more affluent) customers may want to hire people to move their boats; either they’re moving or going home after a vacation.
They may either hire people to haul their boats by loading them onto a trailer and driving them, or they might be willing to hire a sailor to drive the boat.
This type of job isn’t very much in demand, but this might be a good supplemental income if you like driving.
15. Rent Your House
If you own your house and don’t want to sell it when you travel so that you’ll still have a “home base,” you can make money off it by renting out your house through Airbnb, other similar apps, or through a property management company.
This way, you can earn side cash from a property that will sit idle otherwise, and you’ll have a safety net in case you have trouble getting a steady income while traveling or you decide you want to come back home.
You might think it’s better to rent out to people you know, but there are pros and cons to renting out to friends versus strangers, so learn them before you finalize your plan.
How to Earn Money from a Travel Blog
I’m now going to talk about how travel bloggers earn money that could sustain their adventures.
Before we begin, you have to understand that it takes a lot of hard work, no-income months, and budget traveling for travel bloggers to be able to live the life they project on their social media.
Some bloggers even use up their entire life savings or sell everything they own just to be able to travel the first several months from their own pockets.
Simply put, the success of travel bloggers doesn’t happen overnight.
And they all got their start by following quality Internet Marketing training.
16. Google Adsense and other premium ad networks
Anyone can join Google’s advertising platform, as long as the website has been live for at least six months and meet other requirements.
Once you join AdSense, you can start placing special code on your blog, which then displays ads that are relevant to the content of your site.
You earn cents per view. It doesn’t sound much, but if your blog is visited by thousands of people every day, those cents can add up pretty quickly.
When your audience grows bigger, you can apply to other ad networks that have better rates. MediaVine or AdThrive, for example, are known to pay higher rates than AdSense but require your blog to have a minimum number of visits monthly.
17. Affiliate Marketing
With affiliate marketing, you mention products and services on your blog, add a link going to a third-party store like Amazon and WorldNomads.com that sells these products, and receive a commission from a sale if someone clicks on your link and buys anything from that store.
The more affiliate links you post on your blog, the higher chances of receiving bigger commissions.
Be wary of doing it too much (especially if the products are no longer relevant to your brand). Too much advertising is generally frowned upon by readers/viewers.
Instead, only recommend products that you actually use. For example, a new camera or phone that you use for recording your videos, travel gear given to you by a friend, books you just read, and so on.
Aside from third-party stores, you can also check out dedicated affiliate networks like Commission Junction that organizes affiliates from multiple brands.
Popular travel blogs with over 500,000 monthly page views earn $10 to $15k per month.
18. Brand Partnerships
Many bloggers say you’ve made it big when companies begin noticing you, your blog or social media accounts, and the network of audience you’ve built.
Their goal is to establish a partnership with you.
These companies will pay to advertise on your platform. This could mean a blog post, tweet, mention on newsletters, Instagram feature, and so on.
The cool thing about sponsorships is that the income potential is endless.
From several hundreds of dollars for a post on Facebook to over $15,000 for an ad package or long-form post, the deals depend largely on the company you’re talking to and your bragging rights (how popular is your blog, how much audience do you have, etc).
A note about sponsorships/partnerships: Make sure to always include a disclaimer whenever you post a sponsored video, article, photo, and so on. This way, you remain honest with your audience and maintain their loyalties.
Take a look at our BIG list of brands looking for influencers to partner with.
19. Long-term Ambassadorships
If you get paid to travel as a brand ambassador, you’re living the dream many bloggers aspire to achieve.
When you become a brand ambassador, you’ll be featured in that brand’s commercials, social media marketing, and other activities of the brand.
Think about how successful athletes become icons for Nike, or famous actresses become spokespersons for CoverGirl, and so on.
Brand ambassadorships are longer than a typical sponsorship and include more than one promotion.
What’s great about these deals is that more often than not, the brand pays more or less $10,000 per project. And the greater reach you have, the higher rate you can ask.
20. Tourism Marketing
The viral potential of blog posts or videos is unquestionable, and tourism departments of many countries are catching up to online advertising.
If you’re in the rockstar levels of travel blogging, you’ll be invited to visit a country (usually with flights, accommodation, and tours paid) on top of a project fee. This fee can go as high as $20,000, depending on the type of promotion included in the campaign.
Tourism boards, tour companies, and local brands and industries are other groups willing to sponsor trips and travel expenses of travel bloggers to promote their regions and products.
21. Get Paid to Travel with Social Media
Even if you don’t maintain a travel photography website or travel blog, you can still get paid to travel with social media. You have several options, including:
Facebook – Nas Daily, a traveler who tries to inspire people with 1-minute video snippets of his travel around the world, uses Facebook indirectly to make money traveling.
Capitalizing on his fame from making 1,000 one-minute videos in 1,000 days, his page currently has 20 million followers on FB, which helps him earn from his merch and land video editing jobs, consulting gigs, speaking engagements, and other opportunities.
His current endeavor is Nas Academy, which aims to present engaging courses targeted to content creators.
Instagram – Travel bloggers on Instagram produce some of the best-looking travel photography today. Just a quick look at the best Instagram travel bloggers gives you an idea of how talented they are.
These Instagram stars earn money through sponsorships (mostly in the travel industry) and brand placement.
22. Become a Local Tour Guide
Being a local tour guide isn’t as hard as you think.
Sure there are plenty of agencies you can join, but there are usually no set laws surrounding this job.
If you have a solid knowledge of the area, plenty of stories, anecdotes, and trivia, and a good sense of humor, this is probably a good fit for you.
Plus, you can use your travel blog to promote your tour guide services and vice versa.
And don’t underestimate how much content you can mine from your tour guide sessions. You can write about your clients (don’t name them if you don’t have their permission) or something interesting or new you’ve learned.
You CAN Get Paid to Travel!
Getting paid to travel is the dream, really.
Just remember: it’s a combination of a ton of hard work and a little bit of luck.
Your best bet is to find jobs that take you around the world and then create a blog about your adventures.
Once you have a big enough following, that’s when the magic starts to happen.
In the meantime, browse my list of work-at-home jobs. These are jobs you can do anywhere in the world.
Which job or option looks most attractive to you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!