Long term travel is a rewarding experience, but can be stressful if you have to think about how you’ll support yourself and pay for your travels. Most of us will quit our jobs before going traveling for six months to a year. We’ll save up for as long as possible. But what if you could work while you travel?
There are a number of options for travelers who want to have a job on the road, namely through work visa programs. The working holiday program in Australia and New Zealand are two of the most popular as are the English teaching visas. But you can also find work in other ways. If you aren’t taking the visa route, check your country’s requirements before accepting a job or agreeing to cash under the table. You’d hate to end up with that big deportation stamp on your passport!
Keep in mind that each job might require different visas or certifications in different countries. Bring a copy of your resume already printed out to hand out to prospective employers. And most importantly, we are not experts in consular affairs, so be sure to do your own research.
Let us first say that this isn’t a job title but an entire type of job that you can do from anywhere that has an Internet connection. This might be freelance writing, web design, virtual assistant work, social media consulting, or even day trading. You might start a blog that sells affiliate ads.
The hard work comes on the front end in finding this type of career or switching from a traditional office format to working remotely. You might ask your employer if they would be open to working from home a few days a week to prove that you are capable. Remote work can also be found on websites like Upwork and FlexJobs.
The upside is the flexibility that can come with this type of career. The downside is being tied down to places with quality Internet, which can be difficult in certain parts of the world, and having to work while everyone else is enjoying themselves traveling.
Digital Nomad Job Ideas:
- Graphic Designer
- Web/App Developer
- Virtual Assistant
- Freelance Writer/Translator/Transcriber
- Virtual English/Music/Tech Teacher
- Life/Health/Business Coach
- Dropshipping Shop Owner
- Social Media Manager
- Remote Work Your Normal Job
- How We Got Started as Digital Nomads, Never Ending Voyage
One of the easiest jobs to find overseas is as a bartender or server. Most countries require you to have a visa for this type of work, like Australia and New Zealand’s working holiday schemes. But it’s not impossible to find this work without one. Ask around a hostel, which might be willing to hire you to cover room and board. Others will pay you cash and let you work short term, but only you can decide if this is worth the risk.
Some establishments will require bartending experience, but most training can be done on the job. For example, in Australia the alcohol laws are strict so glasses have lines on them to show you where to pour. Expect to get paid hourly plus tips when possible.
The upside is the ease of the work and decent money that can be found as well as the discounts or free meals you can get during your shift. The downside is the hours, which usually run late and on weekends. Your free time is when everyone else is at work, which makes it difficult to have a social life.
- How to Get a Bartending Job Anywhere in the World, Travel Freak
If you’ve ever worked as a babysitter or cared for siblings, being a nanny overseas might be a good job for you. Nearly every part of the world needs nannies and this type of work requires few prerequisites apart from experience with children. Certifications like first aid can also be a plus. Websites like Care.com and Au Pair World as well as agencies make it easy to find work.
Expect to set up a Skype call or interview with a prospective family before you arrive in the country. This will allow you to ask important questions about hours, pay, and living arrangements, if applicable.
The upside is steady and reliable work for a set amount of time. The downside of this job is the hours. If you stay with the family, you’re rarely “off duty.” You’re also staying in someone’s home, so don’t expect to throw parties or bring home dates.
- A Day in the Life: Au Pair, Caroline in the City
Some countries offer visas for seasonal work like working in resorts or farming. Few prior skills are required but hours can be long. In the United States, young people from overseas get visas to work as camp counselors, while in Canada, visas are extended to employees of ski resorts. You might also be picking fruit or some other harvesting job or working as a river rafting guide. Backdoor Jobs has the best listings of these short term opportunities.
Upsides into these jobs is the limited time frame of work while the downside is the same. You might not have time to travel much while working before your visa expires.
- So You Want to Be A Camp Counselor?, Bitten By the Travel Bug
One of the best jobs for recent graduates is English teaching overseas. You can do it almost anywhere, but South Korea tends to be a popular spot for its benefits and cost of living. Some places require a specific degree, while others only need you to have a college diploma and a strong grasp of the English language. These jobs are easily found online through websites and recruiters.
Upsides include reasonable pay, flexible schedules, and the possibility of living expenses covered. The downsides are few, but the only one might be the fact that you’re tethered to an area for a set amount of time. However, this is something to consider when choosing where you teach English.
- Answering Your FAQs About Teaching in Korea, That Backpacker
While not regular work, it’s easy to work as a film or television extra. Some pay cash that day while others require you to have a legal work visa. Much of the job is waiting around for many hours until your brief scene, up to 10 hours of sitting for 2 hours of work.
The difficulty of this work is finding it abroad. You might see a flyer or posting online, but the best way is through Facebook. Look up “casting + your city” and follow the agencies in your destination to see what types of extras they’re looking for.
- My Life as a German Movie Star, Adventurous Kate
What about the work that doesn’t fit into any other category? This might be cleaning your hostel for a free bed and meals or handing out flyers for cash. If you’re especially enterprising, it might be using your skills as a busker. Or if you make your own jewelry or can cut hair, peddle these to your fellow travelers.
- Jill of All Trades, Lateral Movements
Have you found any other jobs that allow you to travel? Leave them in the comments!
Join the Her Packing List email community!
Get our latest packing lists, gear deals, and travel news by email.