5 Top Travel Jobs
For Backpackers

Top Travel Jobs For Backpackers and International Nomads…

In most of us there is an unquenched thirst for travel and adventure. This could be anything from the sweeping Sahara desert to the world-acclaimed wineries of Napa Valley, from exploring the enchanting treasure-trove of Great Barrier Reefs to walking on the hallowed streets of the Eternal City with a cappuccino and gelato.

Thoughts of travel is like a temptress urging us to shake off those shackles of a desk job or confines of a classroom and set forth into new horizons, yet very few people are willing to spend their hard-earned savings or quit their 9 to 5 jobs for a few days of travel. I get it, I’ve been there… However, with rapid globalization and a plethora of short-term and seasonal jobs being available, it is not only possible to travel on a shoestring budget but it is also possible to make and save some money while being on the road. Yes, the prospect of this is quite exciting and there are many top travel jobs out there!

While some of the most coveted backpackers’ jobs are off the record cash-in-hand jobs, some might require previous experience, training (usually an online course with a duration of few hours), and/or a certification. Also, it is always wise to check if a work permit is absolutely mandatory to be able to work in that particular country as many are.

Check out these 5 Top Travel Jobs For Backpackers 


Top Travel Jobs #1

One of the best and economical ways to explore and sail around the world is to work on a cruise ship. Cruise ships operate out of all popular tourist destinations and cater to a diverse demographic and cultures for which they have a myriad job openings onboard like cleaners, bartenders, chefs, entertainers, fitness instructors, translators etc. While it entails long hours, it comes with some great perks like complimentary food and accommodation, free health benefits and the use of most of the facilities onboard. The bonus is that most of the money can go towards your savings since a majority of your expenses are already covered.

5 Top Travel Jobs For Backpackers

Working on a cruise ship can be a great way to earn money while also sailing through some exotic locations

Top Travel Jobs #2

If you are ‘shutter-happy’ with a flair for public speaking and can make awe-inspiring and gasp- inducing videos of national parks and other such places, then you can actually be paid by prestigious travel magazines to document your life enriching experiences. These are highly illustrious jobs and one needs to be exceptionally media-savvy and talented in photography, videography, and in all forms of communication to be selected by these magazines. You can earn money by selling your videos and images to websites and magazines dedicated to travel, tourism, nature etc.

Top Travel Jobs #3

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is another smart way to fund your backpacking adventure. Yes, you’ve heard of this one before but lets be honest, this can be one of the most easy jobs to land and can also be highly paid in many countries. With English being the most widely used language for official purposes and for cross-language communication there is a huge world-wide demand for native English speakers to teach English. If you are a native English speaker, you can expect a median pay of 15$/hr. However, some institutions would require a college degree in any field, combined with an ESL teaching certificate. And if that median $15/hr doesn’t sound like much, just keep in mind that in many countries, you can live on $20-30 a day so you can imagine the amount of money you could save each week! If you want more information on my own experience as an English teacher, check out my post on Teaching English in China.

Top Travel Jobs #4

Looking to spend summer and/or winter traveling on a meagre budget? Then certain seasonal jobs can go a long way to support your gallivanting. You could be a ski instructor after completing brief courses on skiing and snowboarding or work at a ski resort or chalet in other capacities. During summer there is always a demand for trained personnel at various summer camps, amusement parks, beaches etc. Skilled lifeguards, river guides, kayak and canoe instructors, divers, windsurf instructors and watersport experts are greatly desired by various companies. For more information, check out seasonworkers.com for a great place to look for funding your next backpacking expedition if you are the outdoorsy type.

5 Top Travel Jobs For Backpackers

You can usually find work in the winter season as a ski or snowboard instructor or simply within the resort. It’s a great way to save up for the season, enjoy the perks and then move on come spring time…

Top Travel Jobs #5

Freelancing is the ultimate answer you are looking for if you want to spend most of your time on the road. In this Internet age of the digital nomad and the remote worker one can almost work from anywhere as long you’re is equipped with a computer and a proper Internet connection.  For instance, copywriting can pay around 15$/hr and if you work for at least four hours a day you can get by quite comfortably in low-cost of living countries such as South East Asia or Central America. If you know more than two languages, translating services can go a long way to finance your trips. Similarly blogging, web designing, online marketing, search engine advertising, social media marketing, and e-commerce are some of the best ways to fund your adventures without having to disrupt your travel plans. Online jobs are available on various websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, and even Craigslist  to name a few.

5 Top Travel Jobs For Backpackers

While getting an internet connection while on the beach can be a challenge in many countries, it is still possible to work remotely as a freelancer in a whole host of different online capacities. I recall working on the beach in Goa, India for a full 3 weeks and catching the sunset every night. Probably the best time I’ve ever spent while on the computer!

Hopefully, these top travel jobs will help you guide you in your search to either earn money while already on the travel road. Or perhaps, maybe they’ll entice you to finally make that trip after realizing it is truly possible to both travel and work at the same time. Heck, you can even station yourself somewhere for just 2-6 months in various locations around world by working temporarily and traveling in between as you save up. Whatever you do, just get out there and do it and remember that international job opportunities abound…

Have I left anything out? Know of  other top travel jobs you can share? Have you worked overseas yourself? Leave your comments below and help our your fellow travelers!

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