Small World Travel

The 10 Best Jobs While Travelling

So, you want to travel annnnd make money at the same time. Cool. It’s easier than you may think!

There are a few posts written on this subject but I feel like they all miss WHY each of these jobs is a great way to earn money while abroad. As someone who has worked 7 of these 10 jobs, I can vouch that they are legitimate (and fun) ways to make money while travelling. These are the absolute best jobs while you are travelling, and here’s why.


#1 Use your talents


WHY IT’S A GREAT JOB:  Whether your talent is languages, music, art, photography, design or whatever, if you are somewhat good at it, you can probably make a few bucks doing it. Think tutoring, busking, selling art, taking photos for a company, graphic design. Using your talents or hobbies to make money is perfect while travelling. You can make your own hours and decide how much effort you want to put into the job. It’s also an excellent way to force yourself to network while on the road.

EXPECTED PAY: You really decide by how much you work.

THE SETBACKS: You may not be able to count on a fixed amount of income.

#2 Bartender

Preparing cocktails
Preparing cocktails

WHY IT’S A GREAT JOB:  Bartending is great for so many reasons. Firstly, you will make a ton of friends. It’s such a social job. You’ll interact with all the people coming in for drinks as well as the other people working there. Often bartending has perks like getting discounts at other bars and restaurants when you are working in a touristy area. The job has a great atmosphere and excellent pay in most countries. It also offers a lot of flexibility, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the local area and getting time off to travel is usually a piece of cake. I have worked in pubs, clubs, hostel bars and even a party boat in countries around the world. It’s always a great way to make money and have fun.

EXPECTED PAY: Around $15 an hour in most countries plus tips. If you are working in North America you can expect more tips and a lower wage if you are working in Aus or NZ you can expect a higher wage with less tips.

THE SETBACKS: Working late nights can sometimes wear you down and dealing with drunk and disorderly people isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time.


#3 Tour Guidewhistler

WHY IT’S A GREAT JOB: As a Tour Guide you are literally getting paid to go on a trip and do some amazing things in amazing places. You’ll meet people from all over the world who look up to you and want your expertise and advice on travel. As a guide, I would always get free activities like ziplining, glacier climbs, white water rafting and even helicopter rides, all while getting paid to do them! Check this out if you want know more about what being a guide is really like.

EXPECTED PAY: Around $100-$150 a day. Plus tips at the end of your tour.

THE SETBACKS: You are pretty much always on duty. Even though you are travelling, it’s your job to always be planning and looking out for a million and one things for your guests. The job also doesn’t offer a lot of time to explore and do things on your own.


#4 Sport Instructor


WHY IT’S A GREAT JOB: Being an instructor, you will likely be doing something you already love to do. Skiing, scuba diving, surfing, dance… whatever it is, you are instructing that sport because you obviously love it. On top of that, you get to meet great people and show them your passion for the sport you love. 

EXPECTED PAY: If you freelance the instructing you can make a killing. If you work for a company, which is more likely, you’ll prob make $100-$150 a day.

THE SETBACKS: Hard to think of any… ??

#5 Volunteer


WHY IT’S A GREAT JOB: Volunteering is a great job because of the rewards of giving your time and effort to help others. Volunteer settings are about learning and assisting. You’ll learn about people, places, and cultures you had no idea about. This job isn’t so much about money, and actually not so much a job, as it is an experience. This will obviously look good on the resume down the road too.  Volunteering was something I loved so much that I started my own volunteer program the GiveBack GiveAway.

EXPECTED PAY: Housing and food.

THE SETBACKS: Volunteering isn’t for everyone. It can be really hard work, and if money is your driving force then volunteering probably isn’t for you.

#6 Teacher


WHY IT’S A GREAT JOB: Teaching is a great way to immerse yourself in another culture. Teachers are committed to staying in a place for a minimum of 6 months usually, making getting to know the community easy. There are often other foreign teachers at the schools, so making friends is simple. Teaching also looks great going into future jobs. You’ve shown that you’re not afraid to go out of your comfort zone and take on responsibility. Pay can also be quite good, depending on where you teach. 

EXPECTED PAY: $1500 – $3000 a month.

THE SETBACKS:  Often work long, tiring days.

#7 Mystery Shop


WHY IT’S A GREAT JOB: It’s something that businesses need all around the world. You don’t necessarily need to have a work permit to do it either. You can make a few bucks here and there by doing things you were going to do anyway. Things like eating out, shopping, getting groceries, buying consumer products, even taking flights. I  actually wrote a post about how I saved thousands by mystery shopping.

EXPECTED PAY: Not going to buy a home with it.  Maybe $5-$50 depending on assignment plus the cost of the purchase you made.

THE SETBACKS: It requires doing a bit of research and scheduling the shops you are going to do.

#8 Yacht or cruise ship worker


WHY IT’S A GREAT JOB: I don’t know about you, but travelling by boat seems very exotic to me. So if you can get paid to travel this way it seems it would be a very exotic job. I’ve never done this job but working on either a super yacht or cruise ship would allow you to meet a ton of people and be a way to see some fascinating ports and destinations. There is also a variety of jobs that each boat needs like cooks, entertainers, stylists, coaches, mechanics, etc. So lots of opportunities.

EXPECTED PAY: Anywhere from $3000 to $10,000 a month. This has a lot to do with how long you stay with the job but ya, I know, good money eh.

THE SETBACKS: Long stints out at sea, limited connection to the outside world and sometimes long contracts.

#9 Promoter


WHY IT’S A GREAT JOB: This is a great job because you don’t really need any skills. That’s not meant to take away from it being a decent job though.  As a promoter, all you’re required to do is talk to people and get them interested in a show, a bar, a concert, a pub crawl. You just need to walk around and get people interested in an event. It’s a great way to chat to people, you get to go to the event for free and it’s great social practice. I worked promoting and running a pub crawl in Australia. It was wild fun, and easy money.

EXPECTED PAY: Depends on how the payment structure is set up but usually between $50 and $150 bucks a night.

THE SETBACKS: It’s usually just a short term job to make a bit of cash while on the road. Although you could make more out of it if you become the full-time promoter for a big venue.

#10 writer

Well-dressed man working with laptop sitting on the rocky mountain on beautiful scenic clif background near Meteora monasteries in Greece.

WHY IT’S A GREAT JOB: It’s a great job because you can do it at anytime from anywhere. Wherever there’s a wifi connection and a laptop, you can write. It’s pretty easy to get simple writing gigs as well. When I was travelling I would put posts up on Facebook groups asking if anyone needs a writer for any sort of content. I’d be able to get enough work to make some spending cash for my travels.

EXPECTED PAY: 5 cents to $1 a word.

THE SETBACKS: It not completely reliable. I had good experiences, but there are stories of people not paying. So just be careful.

Bonus: Working Holiday Visa

A working Holiday Visa allows you to work pretty much just as you would in your home country. Some of the jobs I mentioned you would need this type or a similar visa to get the job. Check out more on Working Holiday Visas here.

That’s the top 10 list of jobs while abroad. Have you done any of these jobs, would you? Do you think there should be another job in the list? Let me know in the comments. I’d be keen to hear.

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