Working around the World: 28 Awesome Jobs you need to do

Whilst travelling is incredible, life-changing, eye-opening, exciting and so many other wonderful things, it is also expensive. Between flights, accommodation, food, drinks and the odd drunken tattoo those expenses really can start to add up. How is it possible to fund a life on the road? How can you travel for longer whilst still enjoying the nomadic lifestyle? Well, the answer is simple; work. We, just like everyone else, have had our fair share of crappy jobs, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t some amazing job opportunities out there. Not only that, but there are a lot of travel experiences you can only have through work. We actually both love working, we love being independent and we love improving and broadening our skills. So, with all of this in mind, we decided to create a bucket list of cool, weird, wonderful and unique jobs that will not only help you fund your travels, but also help you enjoy them even more.

1. TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language

Teaching English has many positives. It can be very good money with many benefits, which usually include accommodation and flight reimbursement at the very least. Most companies will require you to have a degree as well as an official TEFL certification to apply. The TEFL certificate can be really cheap to get; keep an eye out for deals online using Groupon and other deal websites, but make sure you’re getting at least a 120 hour certificate as many companies will not hire you with less. Companies don’t always need you to have a lot of experience, which means that it is much easier to find a job, especially as there are far more jobs than there are TEFL teachers. Despite it being a fulfilling job, once you’ve started there can be a lot of working hours which make travelling whilst you work difficult. The best way around this is to find out your schools holiday periods in advance and plan accordingly. The pupils you teach can vary from children to adults who come with their own perks as well as challenges. The downside to this is how expensive the process can be upfront; companies will need you to do lots of checks, which usually include at least a medical and a police check. This also makes the process very long winded. Each country has their own difficulties though and some are much easier than others. We highly recommend this, our personal experience in this field so far has been great and it is a very useful thing to have in your back pocket. For more information on the TEFL process, check out our blog on how to get started here!

2. Work on a cruise ship

Working on a cruise ship is a great way of getting paid whilst you travel and if done right you can come away with quite a bit of money. The salary is average, but you have little to no outgoings as your accommodation and food is already paid for. You can also get benefits such as flight reimbursement, visa reimbursement, and access to guest areas and free onboard services. The job security is pretty good and you can hone your skills in a range of ways whilst on board. During Li’s time in this field she became very proficient at circus and it helped become even better with children. One of the main positives is the friendships you form. The job is very intimate and you spend a lot of time with the same people and saying goodbye can be very hard. The contracts tend to be around 6 months, which is a good length of time but the working hours can very long depending on which area you apply for. You will very rarely get full days off and have to spend a lot of your down time in small shared spaces, which can be hard at times. On top of that the internet tends to be very weak, which makes personal time even harder. This is a great experience though, one in which the positives far outweigh the negatives. In Li’s words; ‘working on the cruise ship was the best experience I’ve ever had, and I’ve had many weird and awesome experiences’! Check out this blog for more information on the pros and cons of cruise ship work.

3. Teach English online

Whilst this is technically a TEFL job, teaching online can be very different from teaching in person. The main benefit of this type of job offers is the freedom you have. You can usually choose your own working hours and can do it from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a stable internet connection, which makes travelling whilst you work much easier. The lessons tend to be 1 on 1 which means you have a more personal connection with the student, although it can be hard to gauge the student through a screen. You are usually supplied with lesson plans as well which makes your class preparation much easier and less time consuming. Unfortunately teaching online isn’t as good on your CV as teaching in person and the pay isn’t as good, but is still a fairly good income for the amount of freedom you have. Ben spent some time doing online teaching before we moved to China and we definitely plan on doing it again sometime in the future. Check out this blog for even more information.

4. Hostel

Hostel work can come in the form of either paid or voluntary work and will usually include free accommodation. Jobs like this which include a lot of personal interaction are most suited to sociable people. During your stay you will meet people from all over the world, hear amazing stories and share tips. This goes for both colleagues and guests, the friendships you form can last a lifetime and we’ve met lots of people at hostels who we still speak to. When people inevitably pack up and move on though it can be very hard. You tend to have quite a lot of free time doing hostel work as the hours are often flexible as are the contracts. The pay isn’t very good but it is a good way of balancing the books, whilst not having to pay for a room. One of our favourite aspects of hostel life is the fairly wild lifestyle, long nights spent chatting and drinking and most of your meals are ordered from a nearby fast food joint. Although this is fun, it can really take its toll on your body. For more information on the working in a hostel, check out this blog.

5. Bar on a beach

Bar work is usually pretty fun but can also be very demanding. We’ve spent a lot of time in the hospitality industry and know the stresses it can cause. That being said, working on a beach bar would be more relaxing than a city bar as those coming in from drinks are far less likely to be stressed. You can learn some great skills in this job, especially if you are behind the bar and pick up some cocktail skills. There’s also the possibility of good tips, which go a long way to funding your travels. Salary and contracts vary, but when you’re working in paradise, who’s counting down the days?

6. Chalet host

Chalet hosting is one of the next jobs we have on our list. Chalet hosts work in apartments or chalets within ski resorts to clean and cater for visiting holidaymakers, cooking and serving meals and snacks throughout the day. Being a chalet host involves a range of activities. One of the first choices you make is location; Europe is a popular destination, although North America is on our list. The wage tends to be pretty low, but when you take into consideration the free accommodation, free food as well as free access to the slopes; it is more than worth it. There is a social side to working a ski season; you meet a lot of new people and a lot of time is spent hanging out, drinking and having fun. For more information on chalet hosting, take a look at this article.

7. On a boat

Working on a boat is the type of job you tend to find on websites and apps such as Workaway (we’ll come to that later) and usually involves you helping out and being an extra pair of hands. You tend to be repaid with free accommodation and food as well as being trained in boat maintenance and control. You can find more formal jobs like this online and they can pay fairly well depending on experience levels. If you’re somebody that suffers from sea sickness or cabin fever this job probably won’t be for you, but for those looking for a chance to be out on the open sea, this is a great opportunity.

8. Tour Guide

We all have those friends who love spouting facts and information about random cities and countries. For most of our friends, we are those people. Working as a Tour Guide seems like a really interesting job, it is a chance to learn new things whilst also helping others learn new things. You have two options as a Tour Guide, do I work self employed or work for a company? Being self employed, leading your own tours means more freedom, more pay but also a lot of more work on your part. Also, if you can’t find work you don’t get paid. Working for a company means less freedom, usually less pay but more security. One of the main positives of this is that you can spend a lot of time travelling and you get to meet people from all over the world. For more information on what it's like to be a tour guide, check out this awesome blog.

9. Freelance photographer

Whilst Ben is technically a freelance photographer, we both decided that we can tick this off of our list when we start seeing a more steady income from it. There are a range of ways to earn money through photographs but it isn’t easy. One of the best ways of generating an income for your travel shots are on stock websites. From here people pay to use your photographs for whatever purpose they have, albeit for a cheapish price, but once your work becomes popular it can be really profitable. This is a great gig as you have no contract; any money you earn is all yours and it gives you a chance to earn from your art. Follow this link for a list of good stock websites.