The 10 Best Jobs for Travel and Adventure in 2019

The 10 Best Jobs for Travel and Adventure in 2019

Here you are, staring dreamily out your office window, feeling as if life is passing you by. You know there's a whole world out there for you to see, but you're stuck here in this job you barely tolerate. You have bills to pay; I get it. But what if you could get out into that big, beautiful world and still pay your bills? Finding some of the best jobs for travel and adventure isn't as hard as it seems. So snap out of your daydream. Let's start your planning your escape!

The first thing you'll need to do is figure out what you're good at. Can you ski? If so, you're a step ahead of millions of people. Are you a native English speaker? That alone will open up the world to you.

There are so many jobs you could do while you travel. Take it from me. I spent my 20s traveling the world as an English teacher and a travel blogger. I've lived in

  • ​South Korea
  • ​Japan
  • ​Thailand
  • ​Russia
  • ​Ukraine
  • ​Poland

​Also, I visited so many surrounding countries that I had to get new pages for my passport from the local embassy! The best thing about all of this is that I don't have any special skills, and I had $60 to my name when I first set out. You, too, can do the same, and this is the place to look for a few job ideas that will let you live the dream!

​The Best Jobs for Travel and Adventure

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Now that you're thinking about heading out into the great big world, you've got some decisions to make. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? You could meticulously plan every last detail, and that works great for some people. Or you could close your eyes and point at a map. Many find that fun, although if you land on North Korea or Tajikistan, you may end up regretting it.

Instead, take a moment and think of how you see yourself in your ideal surroundings. Are you sitting on a veranda, drinking coffee in the sun? Then, maybe somewhere in the Mediterranean is up your alley. Are strolling along a tropical beach, the surf washing over your feet? South-East Asia is the place for you. Perhaps you're letting loose in a nightclub, enjoying the nightlife? Eastern Europe or South America will do you fine.

Then, think of what you would like to be doing as a job while traveling. We've found some of the best jobs for travel and adventure to help you.

Bartender

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Believe it or not, experienced bartenders are in demand around the world. A traveling bartender contracts their services out to the hospitality industry in exchange for things like airfare, accommodations, and some money. Usually, you get to keep the tips, but in many countries tipping isn't part of the culture. Places you can bartend are France, Spain, Poland, Japan, the Philippines, and Australia. The hospitality industry is fairly relaxed in most countries (Australia excluded) and "working holiday" visas are cheap and easy to get with employment sponsorship. That makes this one of the best jobs for travel and adventure.

Traveling bartenders usually work on contract for six months or a year. Once your contract is up, you're free to hop on to the next country looking for a good bartender. You'll need a bit of experience as a bartender, so try to find a part-time gig close to home and learn some tricks. If you can locate a cheap bartending course nearby, hit it up. Also, read about mixology as much as possible in your spare time. You'll need to show potential employers that you know your stuff.

Travel blogger

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​Duh. Obviously, a travel blogger gets to travel a lot, right? Actually, many travel bloggers write about the topic from the comfort of their home. But there are those who are brave enough to travel somewhere before writing about it, and that's the kind of travel blogger you want to be. You should be aware that if you jump into travel blogging, you won't make any money right away. Instead, you'll need to work a different job while you build an audience and credibility. Then, once your blog is monetized enough to live off of, you can travel blog full time. Blogging is one of the best jobs for travel and adventure.

Travel blogging is still a lucrative business. Many travel blogs start small and then get purchased by bigger brands, such as Mashable, once they're worth enough. That's great because that will give you unlimited exposure and awesome income. Even if you don't get bought, start an email list, write an ebook, and sell it to your subscribers. You can also cash in on Google Adsense and affiliate marketing. There are plenty of ways to make money as a travel blogger once you have critical mass.

English teacher

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​For one of the best jobs for travel and adventure, consider teaching English. If English is your mother tongue, you're practically set up for a lifetime of travel. That's because the global TEFL industry (Teach English as a Foreign Language) is so vast, that nearly two billion people around the world sit in a class and learn English every year. Asia is where the vast majority of demand can be found. China has an insatiable appetite for English teachers, although South Korea and Japan are close behind. But if you prefer Europe, you can teach in Spain, Poland, Russia, Bulgaria, and many other places. Most jobs require a bachelor's degree in any subject.

Pay varies from place to place, but you can expect your employer to cover the cost of your apartment, health insurance, visa, and flight. Best of all, you can do it at any age. I've taught alongside new grads and retired people from around the English-speaking world. So what are you waiting for?

Tour guide

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​When groups of tourists visit the Haga Sophia in Istanbul, they are often led by a fluent English-speaking tour guide. That's because travel companies recognize the need for people to feel comfortable, and a familiar face speaking a language they understand is a big part of that. As a tour guide, you can find opportunities in all the heavily touristed spots around the world, such as Greece, Italy, France, Thailand, Japan, and even Dubai. During any Olympic events, armies of tour guides descend upon the host city, making this one of the best jobs for travel and adventure.

To get started as a tour guide, you may want to consider some training. the International Tour Management Institute is the most recognized certification but costs more than $3,000. You might be better off with a local community college or even an online course. Then, you'll need to scour the internet for opportunities. Be aware that at first, you'll need to cover your own transportation, health insurance, and in many cases, lodgings. Check out cheap local hostels until you get settled.

Translator

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​Okay, so you'll need to be fluent in at least two languages to land a job as a translator. But if you are, then there are translator jobs all over the world that are waiting for you. All you need to do is get some type of qualification or recognition. Check out your local community college or the American Translators Association to find out how. Then, figure out what niche you want to operate it. Business? Legal? Travel? There are unlimited options. Political meetings, refugee camps, tour agencies, museums -- the need for translators in our globalized world is almost endless. It's not all glamorous, but it is one of the best jobs for travel and adventure.

One area where you can start gaining practical experience as a translator is at a local embassy or consulate. If you're fluent in Spanish and English, then head to a consulate from a Spanish speaking country and work part-time. You'll be at the front counter, helping people file visa applications and things like that.

Flight attendant

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​When you think about travel, you don't really think about the actual act of traveling, but as a flight attendant, that's exactly what you'll be doing. Flight attendants travel the world and often get to stay for days at a time in whatever location they've landed in. The best part about being a flight attendant is that you're protected by domestic labor laws, and you get to come home often. That means you don't need to give up your apartment or have a big farewell party.

Flight attendants get paid decently and are protected by unions. That means benefits, pensions, and job security. Also, you get your own sleeping quarters on the airplane!

Foreign aid worker

​If you want to help the world, then a foreign aid worker is one of the best jobs for travel and adventure. Sometimes you want to feel like you're doing something more than just selfishly enjoying your own life. If you want to have a direct impact on people who need help, consider becoming a foreign aid worker. You'll need to be able to stomach some extreme living conditions. This isn't the type of job where you sip wine on the beach. Instead, you'll be helping people access clean water in war zones, or identifying bodies following a tsunami, or building a school in tropical humidity in Latin America. Expect to shed a lot of tears and to be in constant danger. But it's people like you who are on the front lines of making the world a tiny bit better.

To start as an aid worker, you'll need a bachelor's degree at the bare minimum. If you're enrolled in a college or university, then find a work abroad program where you can co-op with an aid program. You may need to volunteer your time with some NGOs first, but the experience will pay off when you land a job with the Red Cross or United Nations.

Business consultant

​On the other hand, if helping people isn't your thing, how about helping businesses? International business consultants travel the world, meeting with executives, and helping them plan and execute a variety of strategies. This is one of the best jobs for travel and adventure and money. Sometimes you'll help a business enter a new market. They'll require your knowledge of local customs and culture. Or you may help a start-up organize its staff and production facilities. Best of all, you're practically a freelancer, so your time is yours.

To become a traveling business consultant, you'll need to establish your personal brand. Build your personal web presence and start networking. If you don't know how to do this, then you may want to reconsider being a business consultant.

Ski instructor

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​We've all heard the jokes about ski instructors and unfaithful spouses. All jokes aside, ski instructors are in high demand in some of the most amazing places in the world. You can be a ski instructor in the Swiss Alps, in the Rocky Mountains of Canada, or even in Japan. You'll help plenty of rich people learn how to carve, master moguls, or just sit on the T-bar. Often you'll take groups of cross-country skiers along mountain trails for days at a time, living in strategically-placed chalets along the route. For adrenaline junkies, you can heli-ski in Banff, Alberta (Canada). This involves taking a helicopter to the top of some of the tallest mountains on the continent and spending all day skiing back down.

To start, take a course and get certified. Not surprisingly, some of the most recognized ski instructor courses are up in cold and mountainous Canada. You'll learn how to ski and how to teach others to ski. They'll also show you the daily routines of ski-instructor life. If you like powder, this is one of the best jobs for travel and adventure.

Scuba diver instructor

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​If spending time in Canada's cold mountains doesn't appeal to you, how about life under warm blue water in the Caribean? As a scuba diver instructor, you'll travel the world, living and working in mostly tropical paradises while teaching tourists how to survive underwater. Often you'll be a tour guide, taking people to see coral reefs, shipwrecks, or sharks. Jobs abound for qualified diving instructors, especially at all-inclusive resorts. Your accommodations, meals, travel, and insurance all get covered by your employer, so all you need to do is concentrate on diving and living life.

If you've never dived before, not to worry. First, head to a local YMCA/YWCA or community pool and learn the ropes of diving. Then qualify as an open-water diver before moving on to dive master. You'll need to complete 100 logged dives and get your Emergency First Aid certificate. Only then can you enroll in dive instructor courses. It's a bit of a process, but the end result is so worth it!

​Nomad or Expat?

​Once you've chosen the kind of job you want to do and where, you next need to figure out what kind of travel you're looking for? When you're working abroad, you're not a tourist. Instead, you're either a nomad or an expat. The difference between the two determines the kind of lifestyle you'll live.

Nomad

​A nomad stays for a short time and then moves on. A nomad never stops traveling and never sets down any sort of roots in any one place. A good example of a nomad is a travel blogger, who may spend years going from place to place with their laptop in tow. They're often loners, despite being outwardly social. Anyone can be a nomad. If you sign a one-year contract in a new country every year, that makes you a nomad.

The upside to being a nomad is that you get to see a large part of the world. Nobody that you left behind back home can understand what you're doing. Nobody will really care, either, but that's a topic for another day. The downside to being a nomad is that once you start, it's really hard to stop. Settling into regular life back home is difficult. And you miss out on some of life's greatest pleasures, such as love, children, and Disneyworld.

Expat

​On the other hand, an expat sets down roots in whichever destination they landed upon. You may not be staying for life, but you'll be there for a few years. Expats build friendships with locals and other expats, learn the language, and get to know their local community. They settle into a comfortable apartment. Basically, they make this new country their new home. Meanwhile, they know that eventually, they'll head back. They're not permanent residents. They're expatriates.

One of the great things about being an expat is that after you get over the culture shock, you start to really enjoy your new home. Things feel familiar and comfortable, and you make fantastic friendships. Many expats start deep relationships. On the other hand, as an expat, there's always the knowledge that it will all end. Also, sometimes it can be extremely frustrating trying to navigate systems in developing countries.

​How to Protect Yourself When Traveling

No matter which of the best jobs for travel and adventure you choose, there are some simple rules to follow to keep yourself safe. Obviously, you always want to observe local laws and don't ever try to enter a country illegally. That can get you into some serious trouble, and getting out of it can be costly. For instance, in Thailand, many people arrive as tourists and then stay as English teachers without a work visa. Thai authorities constantly raid schools and round up illegal workers, after which jail time awaits.

Nothing ruins the best jobs for travel and adventure like time in a Thai prison.

Besides the biggies, there are some other easy rules to follow.

Stash some cash

​Keep a good reserve of cash somewhere safe. This is your "get out of town quick" emergency fund. If you get into trouble and need to leave, you won't be stranded. Keep at least an airfare's worth of money somewhere you can easily access it.

Travel light

​Even if you choose the expat life, it's best to travel light. A suitcase and a carry-on are all you need. That allows you to move quickly and shift gears without much effort. When you're abroad, being light on your feet is the key to safety. Plus, you can jump among several of the best jobs for travel and adventure!

​Learn the local language

​Nothing will help you more than learning the local language. Learn the alphabet, learn vocabulary, and learn some grammar. Most importantly, learn proper pronunciation so people will understand you even if you butcher the grammar.

​Where Would You Go?

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​Choose a traveling career, choose a destination, and choose a lifestyle. Remember to follow some simple common sense rules. There's no need to work in a job you can't stand. The best jobs for travel and adventure await you. Where would you love to live and work? Let us know in the comments!

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