This feature was written by Freelance Journalist Georgina Lawton…
We’ve all spoken about jetting off in favour of a new life in sunnier climes, but what if you could actually make it happen? (As in for real, not just in your mind).
Lower airfare costs than in our parents’ generation, coupled with the decreasing stigma around taking time away and working abroad, means now has never been a better time to book that one-way ticket to paradise.
And if you reckon yourself a bit of a wanderluster in the making, but don’t know how you could legitimately support yourself whilst travelling the world (because er, money), then don’t fret because I’ve compiled a list of non soul-destroying jobs that you can actually do abroad and make money from. And I just so happen to have done a couple of them myself too, so my advice is at least semi-trustworthy.
Here are some excellent job ideas to get you thinking about realising that dream of working abroad.
Reckon you’re the outdoors-y type? Great, because with a little bit of research, you’ll find that there’s really no shortage of travel jobs that involve working . From helping out on ranches, to chipping in on a placement in permaculture or becoming a “jackeroo” (farm-hand) on an Australian farm, there are actually so many options. Check out WOOF, which helps match those interested in sustainable living with organic farm placements all over the world or search for “farm jobs” on WorkAway.info, which is a favourite site of mine for finding all kinds of work on the road.
Working on a yacht can be lucrative, but only if you’re getting amazing tips (as is more common on chartered yachts) and it can be hard to find work initially as this work can competitive. I met plenty of yacht crew people on my travels though and they all told me it was a very demanding roles, but often the perks (money and travel) was totally worth it. Try and get some experience in sailing before you start applying, although many roles simply require a willingness to learn (you will be starting at the very bottom) and a good work ethic. Try Find a Crew or Crew Starters to start with, or join a local yacht club and ask around.
Wouldn’t it be nice to spend your days showing people around the city of your dreams? Whether that’s through free tours, from which you make your money through tips, or you become a full-time tour guide on a normal wage, there are a few options here. To get the best roles, try and live in the city for a while first to accumulate local knowledge and learn at least some of the local language too (although there’s always a demand for English-language tours). Search on the “Work for Us” section of your favourite travel operator websites to learn how to become an affiliated guide, or simply ask around at local hostels and tour companies after moving to your desired location.
Being paid to write content from an exotic location sounds incredible – and when you get commissioned to do so by an editor, it’s great. But being a travel writer isn’t reliable, secure or particularly well paid – and this I *do* know from experience. I found that it was a great way to make extra cash whilst on the road, but it wasn’t something I could rely on for funding all my travels. And if you don’t have any prior writing experience before you head off into the sunset, you will find it hard to get any of your pitches approved (or even replied to) by editors. My advice is to get a few contacts before you go; obtain some work experience at a travel or lifestyle publication, and then start pitching to a few smaller sites before you head for the big ones.
If chillaxing abroad in a mansion – rent free – sounds like a dream come true, then congrats, you might be a suitable candidate for working as a house sitter! Technically you don’t get paid and it’s not actually an official job, but it does take a huge bite out of the costs of living and working abroad. Of course you’ll also need to be responsible, trustworthy, honest and be able to write a top-notch profile which persuades house-owners that you possess all those worthy attributes (and more) as so they’ll trust you with their property. Competition, as you can probably guess, is often fierce. Check out some of the killer profiles on sites like Trusted Housesitters to give you an idea of what you’ll need to write.
Foreign Language Teacher
Did you know that if you become a foreign language teacher, you can nab perks such as free housing and a monthly wage of up to £3000 a month in some areas of the world? (the Middle East, Korea and Japan pay the most for qualified teachers, FYI). You’ll need to get a TEFL certificate for the best roles, but in some countries like Colombia, Thailand and others where demand is high, sourcing a job could be as easy as asking around at local schools or colleges and speaking to locals. Search sites like Teach.com and Go Abroad for tips on how to get into this sector.
Working in the hospitality industry as a theme park worker or, as a camp leader at something like Camp USA can suit sociable and thrill-seeking travellers, but beware – the pay isn’t usually great. However there may be other perks, such as free entrance to parks, discounted or free food and the ability to mingle with other like-minded travellers at work. For any idea of what’s out there, check Bunac or Smaller Earth.
If you’re good with kids, becoming an au pair abroad is a great way to see the world. Most au pairs are live-in, to look after children and it’s normal to receive benefits like free food, a monthly stipend and trips away with the family on top of this. If you’ve got prior experience working with children references always strengthen your application and oftentimes families will prefer au pairs who speak more than one language. Find jobs on sites like Au Pair America or Au Pair
If you fancy helping out at a hostel as a bartender, receptionist or cleaner in exchange for free board or food, all you really need to do is fire a few emails off to your chosen location before you leave, or ask around when you arrive in the country because hostels are always in need of assistance. Sites like WorkAway are also full of hostels advertising for lesser-known roles like artists (for help re-decorating), yoga teachers and social media whizzes.
Blogger / Online Marketer
The internet is awash with ways for you to make money whilst travelling. A blog is a great place to start but it takes long-term hard work. With my own travel and lifestyle blog, I noticed that the more I posted, the more opportunities to make money I received; consistency and content is definitely key! Once your blog is receiving a few hits, you can make money from advertising, sponsored posts or affiliate marketing (placing links to products that you recommend and receiving a cut of any sales). Of course, it will take a few months of hard work before you will be able to make money so if you need something quicker, perhaps blogging, copywriting, designing or translating for someone else may suit. Sites like Upwork and People Per Hour advertise for online jobs all the time, but be sure not to undercharge when you bid for jobs and emphasise the skills and expertise that you could bring, as this guide suggests. Good luck and happy travels!
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