The status quo may lead you to believe that traveling only happens while you’re on vacation. The rest of the time, you’re tied down to a single workplace and a hometown that doesn’t excite you nearly as much as the destinations you visit while you’re away.
It turns out, not only are there jobs that involve traveling, but they also pay you at a great rate. Carving out a career path in one of these travel jobs' disciplines will take you to the far-flung places you love, while still making the money you’re used to — or even more.
Are you ready to jet-set to your next job offer? Here are 14 travel jobs that unlock both domestic and international destinations while providing a solid part-time or even full-time job income.
1. Travel Agent
From the outside, a travel agent’s job may seem pretty immobile: They meet with people who usually speak a foreign language in one location and help them plan trips to another location. However, your career as a travel agent can see you on the road up to 40 percent of the time.
That’s because travel agents have to hit the road to find the best destinations, hotels and activities for their clients. Often, they’ll get invited to visit a new place for free in the hope they’ll send their customers there in the future. So, if you want a domestic homebase and the opportunity to maintain a regular travel schedule that counts as work, a career as a travel agent may be the dream job you.
2. English Teacher
Teaching English is a popular option. If you are a native English speaker, you have an inherent and extra-valuable skill. You can travel to a non-English-speaking foreign country and provide English lessons to those learning the language.
The list of potential destinations with a gamut of companies is long, and each country provides its English teachers with different pay and a range of secondary benefits. Teaching abroad in Spain, for example, would bring you between 800 and 1,000 Euros per month if you worked for the government, depending on your assigned region. But you earn that amount for working 16 hours a week or less, giving you plenty of time to supplement your income with private English lessons, which are always in high demand.
3. International Businessperson
Our interconnected world means some businesses cross borders, and working for one of them might allow you to travel to and even live in other cities with a hefty paycheck, to boot. Of course, you’ll need some training in economics, accounting, business, etc., as well as some personal guidelines for growth before taking off. But working in another country can be rewarding professionally, financially and culturally, if you find the right position in business.
Perhaps your love of foreign travel and cultures inspired you to learn a second language. Your hobby can turn into a lucrative career and your dream job if you use your skills to become a translator.
There are many opportunities for you to work within a company with offices in different countries. You could also be a translator of the written word for brands with international audiences. Many translators freelance, too, meaning they work with restaurants, tour companies and other businesses, leveraging their language skills to earn translating contracts.
5. Au Pair
Childcare isn’t for everyone, but for those who love kids, au pairing is the perfect way to live and work abroad. In most cases, a family will provide you room and board, as well as some spending money, to mind their brood during the day. And, many parents today are aware of the benefits of their children being bilingual, so speaking to the kids in English will likely be part of your responsibilities, too.
6. Cruise Ship or Yacht Employee
Talk about jobs that involve traveling. These massive vessels don’t float all on their own — they need smiling staffers to complete their journeys. Whether you work in the maintenance and movement of the boat, or you’re involved in customer service, you’ll get to sail the world and visit many of the locales while making good money, too.
Cruise ships provide even more opportunities beyond positions like deckhand, steward, chef, etc. You can also get a job as an on-ship entertainer, for example, and earn your keep by singing, dancing or making guests laugh each night. Cruise ships often need childcare workers, fitness trainers, activity leaders and other customer service-type jobs to help guests have memorable getaways. In the process, you’ll make some pretty great memories, too.
7. Travel Writer
Serving as a travel writer seems very much like a dream — and an unattainable one at that. However, with the right set of skills, you can make your online blog, news articles or feature stories into a bona fide career that’s creative, fulfilling and exciting.
To become a travel writer, you’ll want to start by reading as much travel news and literature as you can to get an idea of the style a pro journalist or reviewer needs. Then, find your niche: Will you travel on a shoestring? Travel with kids? Travel while wearing the most fashionable threads you can fit into a backpack? Then, get to writing about the world you see and how you see it — if it strikes a chord with readers, you may have just found a lifelong travel-centric career.
8. Professional Chef
If you have a passion for all things food-related, life as a chef could be perfect for you — and doing so while traveling the world would be the icing on the cake. Just think about how many restaurants there are in your local area. Cafes, hotels, ships — all of these need creative, well-trained cooks at the helm, so your culinary skills could get you an international job.
And, if you’re not yet up to the standards of a professional chef, find a training center overseas. You’ll get to build a career, make contacts and learn to cook a different country’s cuisine. Plus, you’ll be traveling while training, which sounds like it’ll suit you just fine.
9. Airline Pilot or Flight Attendant
Working for an airline allows you to make travel your job day in and day out. You may fancy a seat in the cockpit, guiding a plane from point A to point B. Or, you might opt to work with customers as a flight attendant, serving in-flight fare and ensuring the safety of everyone on board. In your off time, you could take advantage of free or discounted flights to see the world on your own, which is often a benefit of working for an airline.
10. Retail Buyer
Have you ever wondered how your favorite boutique or department store can offer clothing items from designers around the world? The answer is that they likely send a retail buyer to scope out soon-to-be popular products, which they’ll in turn stock in their store. You could be that person, too, if you have an eye for fashion and top-tier negotiating skills to buy clothing and accessories in bulk. It’s also important to deeply understand your customer, so they’ll buy what you’re selling upon your return.
11. Peace Corps
It may seem as though the Peace Corps aren’t a lucrative option for someone looking to find a job involving travel that pays well. But this volunteer opportunity takes care of you from start to finish and sets you up for a well-paid future.
For starters, you’ll receive stipends to cover your expenses as a Corps member, so you won’t have to shell out any of your own money to make it through each month. On top of that, a generous vacation package allows you to travel throughout the country in which you’re stationed, as well as its neighboring nations. When you complete your contract, the Corps will provide you with $8,000 to help you re-adjust to life in the States. Corps members even receive help to pay back their student loans.
If that’s not enough, consider the fact that the Peace Corps has many successful alumni who have gone on to achieve great success. For example, the founder of Netflix and CEO of Lucas Films both completed a Corps contract before embarking on lucrative, exciting careers that continue to allow them to travel.
12. Foreign Service
In a similar vein, you could get stationed to work abroad by the United States government if you join the Foreign Service. As a diplomat, you’ll likely be sent to a U.S. embassy somewhere other than your home country, meaning you’ll be working while immersed in a new culture. In most cases, you’ll need a college degree, as well as a working knowledge of another language, to get the gig.
Remember, most Foreign Service officers have little say in their placement location. So, unlike many other positions on this list, you may not be too jazzed about the international destination to which you’re assigned. But, you can use your experiences as stepping stones to more clout within the organization and prime placement in the future.
13. Travel Nurse
Nursing is a viable career worldwide, and there is a shortage of health care professionals in many places. As such, if you’ve already got your RN, you can look into the possibility of working abroad or even in a new domestic locale while staving off your wanderlust.
Because most travel nursing posts are temporary, the employer will often provide visiting professionals with housing, as well as rental cars and free health care. In many cases, travel nurses receive tax-free paychecks, to boot.
14. Sports or Fitness Instructor
Are you a skiing pro? Have you mastered the art of yoga? Your skills could be useful in resort towns across the U.S. — and across the world. As a professional sports instructor, you’ll likely have to move with the seasons, so you can continue to find work. For example, a snowboarding teacher will only find work in Colorado until it starts getting warm, at which point they’ll have to find another job or move to a place where the powder’s falling fresh.
As for fitness instruction, you can find plenty of resorts, as well as the aforementioned cruise liners, where your services are needed. You can also become a freelance instructor of sorts, moving from city to city and charging for classes you hold — depending on the legality of doing so, of course.
So, make your move.
As you can see, a job that involves traveling can manifest itself in many, many ways. You could live at home and fly out regularly, or live abroad and use your free time to see the new world around you. No matter what, one thing is for sure: The world is waiting, and it’s up to you to make your move.
More Travel Resources
Need a better reason to travel? Here's why traveling actually makes you more valuable to your company.
Planning travel for your next vacation? These sites will help you book flights, accommodations and more.
Need help budgeting your money to travel more? Here are some top money-saving tips.
About the Career Expert:
Sarah Landrum is an expert career blogger and the founder of Punched Clocks, a career and lifestyle blog helping professionals create a career they love and live a happy, healthy life.