10 Best Jobs for People Who Love to Travel the World

When Scott and I started our blog, our hope was to inspire others to travel, even with a full-time job. Our travel goals don’t include becoming permanent nomads, so we try to find the balance between work and a whole lot of travel.

I was a bookkeeper for years (before I began making a living traveling the world) and Scott is a software/techie expert — both of which provide flexible schedules for traveling. The truth is, there are plenty of ways you can make money while traveling the world. For those of you who are curious about which careers won’t limit your insatiable travel bug, here are ten of the best jobs for people who love to travel the world.

Best jobs for travelers


Ten Best Jobs for People Who Love to Travel


Independent Contractor

Independent contractors like writers, editors, personal trainers, life coaches, and other self-employed positions that work on commission can be a great career for those looking to control their own schedules. For those self-motivated enough to work at it, being your own boss gives you the freedom to prioritize your own work schedule.

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Learn more:

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Learn how to get paid to travel the world

Ten Best Jobs for People Who Love to Travel



Bookkeepers and auditors can now easily work from home thanks to technology, and is a great career for those looking to telecommute. Even in a more traditional office setting, business tends to come in heavily during certain times of the year when taxes are due, so taking a light hour workload during the “off-season” is customary.


Web Designer

Since it’s become so easy to access the internet no matter where you travel now, a web designer is an ideal job for the technomad who wants to bring his or her work with them. Maintain a creative day-job with an office in a new place every day.

Before you consider starting an online business, you will need a website and hosting. We recommend Bluehost; not only are they inexpensive (get a discount and only pay $3.95 per month by signing up through our link), but they’re also built for WordPress, have one-click install, and offer a number of other handy website management tools.


Domestic Service Provider

Nannies, dog walkers, housekeepers, and au pairs can give you plenty of opportunities to work and travel at the same time. Besides having part-time or flexible hours, nanny and au pair work is also a great way to become employed abroad, especially in countries in Western Europe.


Restaurant Industry Employee

Working as a bartender or server is a perfect way to finance travel. The flexible hours can give you the freedom to explore, while an ability to speak English can be a hiring point if you’re applying to server jobs in restaurants looking to attract more English speaking tourists.


Public Service

Working three twelve-hour days might seem stressful to some, but for those interested in working as a policeman, fireman, doctor, or registered nurse, there are benefits to the schedule. Many of these kinds of jobs offer four days of free time after the condensed, extended on-call shift, perfect for short excursions.


Seasonal Employee

As Rolf Potts pointed out in his traveler’s guide “Vagabonding,” you don’t need to be rich to travel full-time. Working seasonally for two or three months as a field worker, retail assistant, or hotel host can help you save up enough money to finance months of travel in advance.

Ten Best Jobs for People Who Love to Travel


Flight Attendant or Pilot

A natural choice for those who like to travel is to take a job that inherently involves visiting place to place. Flight attendants, pilots, and other transportation experts are required to fly to new cities every day — which makes it much easier to visit an exotic destination between shifts.


Travel Expert

If you’re especially passionate about a certain city or attraction, why not look for employment there as a tour guide, using your knowledge to help other travelers learn about the area? If you have a special skill set such as travel photography or rock climbing, becoming certified and offering lessons can be a great way to visit places like Yellowstone National Park, the Great Barrier Reef, or Havasu Falls where those skill sets are in demand.

Ten Best Jobs for People Who Love to Travel


TEFL Teacher

Companies like Bridge TEFL and i-to-i offer certifications in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, a working position in high demand, especially in Asia. You can be hired full-time as an English teacher with a regular salary, and can even negotiate for your ticket and living situation to be financed by your institution — essentially getting paid to live in a foreign country.

These are just a few ways to travel and still make money. For more ideas on how others have realized their dreams of traveling the world while making a living, check out a couple of guides from our friend, Wandering Earl. —->> How to Live a Life of Travel.

Ten Best Jobs for People Who Love to Travel


Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. The price stays the same for you, but if purchased through this link, the company would pay us a small percentage of the sale.

Christy Woodrow is a travel photographer and professional blogger based in San Diego. She has been traveling around the world with her partner in crime, Scott, since 2006. Join them in their quest to find off-the-beaten-path destinations by signing up for weekly emails and following her on .

  • Jenna Francisco

    I would second the TEFL teaching job. It’s a great way to see a part of the world and get to actually know the people. And when you decide to move back to your home country, you may be able to teach ESL there–it’s so rewarding, working with people from all over the world (and getting lots of time off to travel!).

    • I considered it many times, but decided against moving. Did you teach in another country?

  • Jennifer Dombrowski

    This is a great list, Christy! I actually telecommute for my job as a communications manager and social media strategist at a university. I proposed telecommuting when I had to relocate outside of the US due to my husband’s job, and here I am 5 years later and still working for the university. The big joke is that I’ve now worked at my job longer from Italy, where we live, than I did when I used to get up and go to the offices on campus. And so long as I have internet access, I can do my job from anywhere, which makes traveling a whole lot pretty easy!

    • That’s so great that your company allowed you to telecommute. I bet your co-workers were jealous though! 😉

  • Caron Faherty

    Yes, I am an occupational therapist and it is a great way to travel. I did that for a few years.

  • Great post. I work as a contractor, primarily writing and editing, and it gives me so much more freedom than any of my previous jobs — even teaching! Being your own boss is leagues better than summers off.

  • Good list Christy, and I too can heartily endorse teaching EFL around the globe. I’ve been teaching in Asia now for more than 2 years (and have been able to explore a boatload of countries here including Mongolia for a month, Sumatra, Borneo, Nepal, Lao, younameit).

    BUT, I strongly recommend getting a legitimate EFL certificate (read: one with an actual on-site teaching component) not some flaky on-line nonsense. The CELTA (a month long course you can take all over the world, I did mine in Ho Chi Minh City) is the gold standard – accredited by no less than Cambridge University, and recognized the world over. Not only will it ensure you the best paying EFL jobs, but… arguably your students deserve a REAL teacher who halfway knows what s/he’s doing.

    Seriously, with a degree (in anything) and a CELTA or comparable TEFL certificate – the world will verily be your oyster! 😉

  • TripsByLance

    Great list. My wife is an independent contractor (freelance writer). I’m tied down to a newspaper editing job, but am slowly working more toward being a freelance journalist.

  • Epiclist

    How about starting a travel company and help others to travel better and more exciting, while discovering the world through the discoveries of other people? Thats what we enjoy doing here everyday at Epiclist! And we get to know all the insights, so we can perfectly plan our own adventures!

  • Renuka Singh

    That’s a really cool list! I think the opportunities are certainly there, but we need to alert to be able to grab them. As long as you have the will, there is a way!

  • This is a good list of possible careers. I think I have definitely considered a few of them in the past couple of years. I really like the idea of teaching overseas for a year or two.

  • Quill

    Could you shed some light on getting a job as a restaurant employee in foreign countries? How would one go about doing that?

    • Hi Quill. I don’t have any personal experience working as a restaurant employee in a foreign country, but I’m sure a Google search would give some helpful results. Good luck!

  • Alana Woods

    The Public Service is a great suggestion!! Currently I work for the RCMP in Canada in our area as a 911 Call taker/Dispatcher and my boyfriend is a Police Officer. We work shift work– 4 days on, 4 days off. Our 4 days on are 2 twelve hour days and 2 twelve hour nights but with a public service job, we also get 160 hours a year of paid vacation leave. So to use 48 hours vacation leave will get us a full 4 day block off, but actually, it’s 12 days off in row, including our regular 4 days off on either side of the regular working days. So 160 hours a year goes a far ways! We also get to ‘bank’ stats– instead of taking time and a half pay for them, we add 12 hours per stat into our Leave Bank. We plan to travel at least 4 times per year.. And we’re both in our 20s (I’m 22 and he’s 26). Our 4 trips last year were a Caribbean Cruise, Hawaii, Disney World, and he took me home to meet his family in Newfoundland. Fortunately last year, we didn’t use our banked stats, so upcoming this year we have Thailand (20 days! or 2 blocks off), Australia (for a whole month! 3 blocks off for 28 days) & Egypt (only for 10 days, a single block). For anyone desperate to travel, but needing to work to support that lifestyle, the Public Service should definitely be a consideration 🙂

    • Wow. Thanks so much for all of this info, Alana! You have made me want to get a job in your field. lol. How did you like Newfoundland? I just went there in August. Loved it!

  • Laki

    Medical transcription and editing (make sure you have the editing component). Tips: attend a school recognized by the AHDI. (I chose Career Step and loved it.) You work from home via a secure internet connection, so you are location independent within the country. I’ve lived all over the U.S. and continue to move every year or so. There are opportunities for working internationally as well, although I haven’t taken that step yet.

  • Rae

    Yoga teacher. 🙂

  • Sarah


  • Defending TEFL/TESL

    A word about TEFL/TESL teaching– It takes a lof of skills and education to become a successful TEFL/TESL teacher and most places now require more than just a certificate– they require an advanced degree. In the U.S. you most certainly cannot teach “ESL” (which is actually now called ELL, EL, or CDL) with just a certificate. You need a degree from an accredited college/university. The way you describe a TESL/TEFL teacher, lumping it in with service workers and the like, is devaluing to all of us who take seriously the business of education.

    • ??? We never said it didn’t take skills or education. A lot of these other jobs take skills and education as well. I’m pretty sure pilots don’t just get their license with a quick 6-week course.

  • International teachers working at American or other western international schools abroad have it pretty slick! We get all the benefits of TEFL teachers, like the free housing, free airfare, shipping allowance, etc but we also get a lot more time off and better salaries. Of course you have to get your degree and certification, but it’s a pretty awesome career path!

  • Di Cruz

    I just cannot find a job in a cruise line (or anything), this is so hard, I don’t have money and I keep hearing people say that you can travel with no money, but they think that you have a few bucks to spare, I really mean it. I don’t have any money, I have like 20 bucks to my name and thats going to dissappear pretty soon.

  • Elise Krentzel

    I’ve traveled to over 500 cities lived in 6 countries for a total of 25 years. Each time I started over, a new business, friends, husband (JK, well some of the time). I immersed myself. Can’t say that’s for everyone but hella life for someone who relishes 9 or more lives.

  • Will surely consider TEFL teaching job. I love English language and will love to consider it as career option.