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Most of us will quit our jobs before going traveling for six months to a year. To earn that reward of long-term travel, we’ll save up money for as long as possible in advance.
But what if you could work while you travel? What if your trip length wasn’t tied solely to the money you save before a trip?
How to Work While Traveling
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 English teaching abroad visas. But you can also find work in other ways.
A Word of Warning: 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.
Digital Nomad Jobs
We have a feeling that if you’ve found this article, you are most likely searching for the digital nomad options. And why wouldn’t you? The idea of being solely responsible for not only WHEN you work, but also WHERE, is pretty darn enticing!
What are digital nomad jobs?
Let us first say that Digital Nomad isn’t a job title but an entire type of job that you can do from anywhere that has an Internet connection.
Digital nomad jobs might be freelance writing, web design, virtual assistant work, social media consulting, or even day trading. You might start a blog that sells affiliate products and ad space.
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.
- The upside: flexibility.
- The downside: 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.
The Best Digital Nomad Job Ideas
1. Virtual Assistant
We’re putting virtual assistant at the top of the list because they are in high demand!
A virtual assistant provides a variety of tasks to anybody requiring help for their business. This helps a small business owner free up the time to focus on big-ticket projects and activities instead of getting stuck in the busywork.
Common Virtual Assistant Tasks:
- Managing schedules
- Email inbox management
- Customer support
- Social media management and scheduling
- Writing website content
- Editing/creating photos
- Podcast editing
- WordPress blog management
The virtual assistance industry is one that’s not going away ANYTIME soon.
Especially since the pandemic, more and more businesses are focusing their attention online – and there are a slew of tasks and activities that can help with that process.
Lucky for you, these tasks take a lot of time and are often too much for one person or small business to undertake. In fact, any online business owner I know (including myself) is in need of a virtual assistant!
- If you think you’d like to get into the virtual assistant business, The Virtual Savvy has a free on-demand webinar that will help you get started! Watch it now >>
2. Graphic Designer
If the only equipment you need for doing graphic design work is your laptop, why not take your career on the road? Set up an online portfolio, network to advertize your skill, and look for opportunities in online job markets and you’re all set.
Graphic design work doesn’t have to be all complex these days, either.
If you’re a bit of a Canva-whizz, you could easily market your skills to help small business create social media and Pinterest graphics, PDF downloads and workbooks, and even flyers or business cards – all by using Canva!
This could also fall under the realm of becoming a virtual assistant – but a very specialized one. If you’d like the first steps towards starting your own virtual assistant business, I highly recommend watching this free on-demand webinar from The Virtual Savvy!
3. Web/App Developer
Tech jobs are in demand everywhere, and if the only requirement to be able to fulfill your duties is to have your laptop and a stable internet connection, maybe this is something that you can do while traveling if you have the skill.
Do you love sharing stories and your experiences while traveling? This is one good option for you, whether you love to write, or document your travels by taking videos.
Just know that making a living as a blogger or vlogger takes a bit of work before an income can be achieved. It’s best to lay the groundwork early!
5. Freelance Writer/Translator/Transcriber
Do you have a way with words or are you proficient in other languages? You can find freelance writing, translating, and transcribing jobs in many online job marketplaces.
If you have an eye for photography and video editing, you can use your skills for getting project-based work, or selling stock photos and footage.
Unless your consultancy work requires you to be physically present, this is a job that you can take anywhere in the world.
8. Virtual English/Music/Tech Teacher
If you have a skill that can be taught via video chat, this is one job you can consider doing while traveling.
9. Life/Health/Business/Travel Coach
Coaching can come in many forms but for the most part, it can be done remotely via video chat (we’re all pretty used to Zoom now!) or email.
Plus points is that you can also attend international coaching summits where you can improve your skill and network with other coaches while traveling.
10. Dropshipping Shop Owner
Dropshipping is basically an online retailer that does not keep inventory. Once you receive an order, it is directed to the supplier, who fulfills the order in your company’s name at wholesale prices.
Your main task is to ensure that the online storefront is working flawlessly and providing customer support as needed. Word to the wise: Do not underestimate the amount of support and attention you may need to give the shop while traveling.
11. Social Media Manager
Digital marketing has been on the rise for several years now, and it’s continuing to be the norm for many industries. If you love using Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, or other social networks, this may be the best fit for you.
These tasks also fall under typical virtual assistant duties, but you can easily specialize to focus on just one of these as your digital nomad job.
12. Remote Work Your Normal Job
If you’ve got a job that you already love, why not consider taking it with you on the road? Of course, you will need to get clearance from your boss.
Read about what it’s like to be a digital nomad:
- How We Got Started as Digital Nomads, Never Ending Voyage
- Personal Travel Coaches Are The Hot New Trend. Here’s What They Are And Why You Need One, Forbes
Jobs at Your Destination
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 hospitality work, like Australia and New Zealand’s working holiday schemes. But it’s not impossible to find this work without one.
Ask around at 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. In Australia, for example, the alcohol laws are so strict that glasses have lines on them to show you where to pour.
Expect to get paid hourly plus tips when possible.
- The upside: 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: the hours, which usually run late and on weekends, making it difficult to have a social life.
Read about how to get a bartending job overseas:
- How to get bar work while traveling, Successful Bar Secrets
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.
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: steady and reliable work for a set amount of time.
- The downside: 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.
Read about what it’s like to be an au pair:
- 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.
- The upside: the limited time frame of work.
- The downside: the same. You might not have time to travel much while working before your visa expires.
Read about getting a camp counselor job:
- 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.
- The upside: reasonable pay, flexible schedules, and the possibility of living expenses covered.
- The downside: you’re tethered to an area for a set amount of time. However, this is something to consider when choosing where you teach English.
Know more about what’s it’s like to teach English in Korea:
- 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.
Depending on where you will be filming, it can pay you fairly for your day or you can be paid peanuts. One thing is certain: it will give you a great story to tell when you talk about your travels.
The difficulty of this work is finding it abroad. You might see a flyer or post 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.
Read about what it’s like to be a film extra overseas:
Do you have a mastery of certain skills? Are you perhaps an experienced SCUBA diver and want to do more if it, instead of just doing it whenever you have free time? Or maybe you love doing yoga, and are thinking of taking it to the next level and be the one to lead the group?
Being an instructor is one thing that you can do while traveling the world. This is especially suited to people who prefer to stay long in one place while traveling.
Working as a SCUBA or surfing instructor can take you to tropical locales, though it can be a seasonal job.
Working as a yoga or fitness instructor can be more flexible when it comes to location and climate, but finding opportunities might be harder to come by, depending on where you are.
Read more about being a traveling instructor:
- 10 Tips How to Become a Traveling Yoga Teacher, Susanne Rieker
- Life as a Freelance SCUBA Diving Instructor, The Adventure Junkies
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.
Know more about odd jobs you can do while traveling:
- Jill of All Trades, Lateral Movements
Have you found any other jobs that allow you to travel? Leave them in the comments!