Guest Post: How to Turn Travel Into a Career

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How to Turn Your Love of Travel into a Career

Most people will simply laugh and tell you that you’re living in a dream when you say you’re leaving your stable 9-5 job to explore the world while living out of a backpacker. However, so many people are doing it these days, and there’s no reason why you can’t as well.

If you’ve got the traveling bug and a passion and drive to explore this beautiful world that will live in, you’re in luck. There are so many ways you can transform your love for travelling into a career that will allow you to live your dreams. Today, we’ll explore some of the best.

Becoming an Expat

You may be interested in creating your future career while you’re traveling and don’t worry, there’s nothing stopping you! If you’re looking to enter the corporate world, why not look for jobs overseas in your chosen career?

Some of the most popular destinations at the moment include New Zealand and China, but you’re free to look for any destination that you can think of. You may need some savings to get this project started as you’ll need to find suitable accommodation and you’ll also need to organize visas and working visas during your stay.

However, this is a great way to discover what life living overseas is like as well as having the opportunity to try something new and gaining the career experience you’ll need later in life.

Become a Travel Photographer

This may seem like one of the more far-fetched ideas to most people but, in truth, it’s one of the most feasible. If you’ve got a knack for using a camera and love exploring the world, this could be perfect for you.

By becoming a travel photographer, there’s a tonne of options open to you. In its most lucrative form, you could take photos of your travels, selling them the edited versions to travel bloggers, magazines, and web publications that pay good money for good photos that will inspire people about the destinations you visit.

Alternatively, you can sell your photos on stock imagery websites, such as Shutterstock. Once uploaded, you’ll get a commission every time somebody buys your photo. You’re probably going to want a semi-decent camera with photo editing software for this though! Possibly even a drone.

Work in a Resort

There are countless holiday resorts that can be found across the planet. Each is operated by a different company, organization, or tour guide group and usually come as the accommodation for people who have purchased package holidays.

While on their holidays, these holiday-makers can get in touch with the reps who work on behalf of these companies for information about their travel destination and can answer any questions, such as which restaurants are good to go to or what excursions are available to them.

While traveling, if you’re developing your knowledge for a destination, this could be ideal. Alternatively, you could find work inside the resort itself, either as a cleaner, a cook or reception staff.

Work in a Hostel

Similar to working in a resort listed about, you could work in a backpacker’s hostel, which would be far more suitable if you’re currently backpacking. In most cases, you’ll only have to work a couple of hours a day.

Some of your jobs could include cleaning or working on the reception and answering queries that the comers and goers have. You may also need to work hours during events that the hostel holds as well as cooking and washing up duties.

In some cases, some hostel will offer free food and a bed to sleep in the staff area, instead of payment so at least you’re cutting your bills now in these hostels. For these options, either email the hostel before you arrive or ask at the front desk.

Become a Travel Blogger

Hand in hand with being a travel photographer, why not also be a travel blogger and keep your images and videos to yourself? This may be the most time-consuming venture to set up, but, using platforms such as WordPress, this is relatively easy.

Before you leave for your journey of a lifetime, set up your blog, get the pages set up and go! Once you’re on the road, you can write about your adventures, share your stories and inspire people to want to read your content.

When you start to get a following, you can monetize your website, helping you to fund your adventures, either through ads or affiliate marketing.

Editor’s Note: Travel blogging, you say? Maybe I should try something like that…

Teach English Abroad

This is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to create a career while traveling but it’s still not a very competitive market. By signing up for services such as TEFL or Academized, you’ll be able to earn yourself a degree that will qualify you to teach English in countries around the world.

You could teach in schools, organize classes, conduct one-on-one sessions or even mentor people through programs like Skype. The possibilities are endless, and it’s really up to you how you use your skills.

Whether you’re trying to find classes to teach or trying to find one-on-one clients to teach online, the internet has a tonne of resources that can get you started.

Editor’s Note: I can’t speak highly enough of teaching abroad as a way to get overseas. I’ve written in the past about how to find a job in South Korea as well as my life as an expat in China.

Sell Your Creations

If you’ve got a knack for making things with your hands, such as handmade jewelry, handmade crafts, or even clothes that you make yourself, you can always sell these online to pay for your travels.

You can make things on the move, and there’s nothing better than sitting on a beach, soaking up the sun while making your afternoon order to send off to your online customers located around the world.

In my experience, I’ve seen people make and sell earrings, hand-drawn greetings card, knick-knacks, models and clothes such as knitted gloves and scarves.

Freelance Writing

This is by far one of the easiest ventures to get into, but it can also be the most time-consuming when you’re actually out of the road. Working as a content writer or freelance writer will help you to manage your time and trips. To start with, you’ll need to set up an account with websites such as UpWork, UKwritings or Peopleperhour which are trusted and used by millions of people around the world. So you won’t be left without payment after finishing your work.

Then, you’ll be able to apply for writing jobs from businesses and individuals from around the world. This could vary from writing website page content, blogs, product descriptions, or basically any kind of written text that you’d find online.

If you haven’t practised writing in a while, you can brush up on your knowledge using online resources, such as State of Writing and Viawriting. This was the first step I took when travelling and it gave me all the knowledge I needed to be here today!

Fruit Picking

If picking grapes in the sun-soaked vineyards of the South of France sounds ideal to you or picking oranges from the vast fields in North New Zealand, it sounds like fruit picking is for you. You’ll be spending the majority of your days out in the fields, socialising with the other workers and, of course, picking fruit.

This is a very popular activity for young people, especially in European countries such as France, Spain and Italy, as well as warmer climates such as Australia.

You’ll need to book your position or vacancy online so the farms can track who’s coming and going when and pay can vary. You may be paid hourly, per kilo of fruit that you pick or you may be paid in accommodation and food.

Work on a Cruise Ship

This is a highly recommended option because it’s such an interesting niche. Working on a cruise ship is great for those who like a tad of luxury in their travelling as well as the opportunity to explore the world. The money is good, and you’ll be free to use most of the ship’s facilities during your time abroad which can vary from a few days to a few weeks.

You’ll be responsible for all kinds of jobs depending on what role you apply for, such as chef, cleaner or activities manager. You’ll gain a tonne of experience in the hospitality industries as well as having the opportunity to network and socialise with hundreds of different people and families!


There are many people and families out there that need their houses looked after during the day. Whether the occupants are out and need their children looked after, the dog walked, a cleaner or someone to look after the garden, this is a very interesting job role that’s been created specifically for travellers.

In most cases, you’ll be paid while having the opportunity to live in the house or the accommodation will be your payment. In these situations, you’ll also have food and drink paid for you. For long-term travellers, you may hop from house to house, using your days off to explore the destination that you’re in.

Bar Staff

Everywhere you go, there’s bound to be restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the area, all of which need bar staff to operate. Most bars are universal, and you’ll be serving similar kinds of drink but learning some of the more popular cocktails and specialist drinks may help you to secure a job.

Of course, you’ll probably be working late hours into the night, but that does mean that you’ll be able to explore your destinations in the day, making it a great long-term job to have if you’re staying in the same place for a prolonged amount of time. You’ll also get paid cash in hand at the end of each shift which is great!

Other Hospitality Roles

Similar to working in a bar, there are countless other hospitality jobs that you can get involved in. Think any restaurant, café or eatery that you walk past. You’ll probably have a lot more of a chance if you see a job vacancy advertised and it’s more likely to get a job if you steer clear of major brands and chain restaurants.

However, locally owned restaurants and cafes are ideal, and you’re sure to be able to get paid cash in hand. You may even get lucky and find a café that’s dedicated to hiring travellers, just look online.

Become an Au Pair

This is just another name for a babysitter. The situation, vacancy and job requirements will vary from person to person, job to job, but in most cases, you’ll be able to stay in the house, and you’ll simply be looking after the owner’s children while they are out or at work.

In other cases, you’ll also be expected to clean and cook meals, but you’ll get paid cash in hand, you’ll be able to live in the house, and you’ll also have multiple days off a week where you’re free to explore your local destination.

Using Your Special Skills

If you’re especially talented in a certain area, such as playing an instrument, performing circus skills such as the Diablo or even drawing and painting, you could make a living traveling as a busker. Find yourself a good corner or location within a city, set up your busking area and get to entertaining the passing crowds!

The money will obviously vary depending on your destination and what the crowd is like, and it’s essential that you check the rules of your city before you go as busking can be frowned upon and even illegal in some parts of the world.

Volunteer Work

Of course, you’re not going to get paid for volunteer work. However, you can find places that will offer free food and accommodation in return for your services which help you to cut your bills dramatically.

There are also many options available to you, such as paying to volunteer with a larger charity, or simply finding one in a local area where you plan on going, simply search online to see what’s available!

About the Author

Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs at Oxessays. She is self-motivated results-driven individual who is encouraged to travel and share gained experience. You can visit her personal blog at

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