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6 Jobs That Pay You to Travel the World

Updated on January 24, 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, what better way to travel the world than to get paid for doing it?

No, I'm not insane, crazy, or any of the other choice words that popped in your head at this suggestion. There really are many, many jobs in the world that will pay you for traveling.

Remember that ad campaign a couple of years back for the 'Island Caretaker', or 'The Best Job in the World'? Jobs like these actually exist. How else do you think the world's multi-millionaires keep their mega-yachts staffed?

The following six jobs will not only help you travel the world, but even give you some nice coin to do it:


1. Work on a Cruise Ship

This is so obvious, yet so little thought of. Cruise ships employ hundreds to thousands of people from all parts of the professional fold - IT staff, service staff, musicians, managers, customer service, chefs, mechanics, sailors...the list goes on. Today's mega curise ships are pretty much like floating cities and have all the staff requirements of one.

Jobs on cruise ships pay well and you get to travel to exotic destinations. The only downside is that you get to be surrounded by water in sun-kisssed beach islands all the time!

CruiseJobFinder is a great resource to find get a leg up on this industry.

3. Work as a Travel Writer

Haven't you thumbed through an issue of the National Geographic or watched a travel documentary on Discovery and thought, "Man, I would love to do that!".

Travel writing is an exciting and challenging job that pays well. Top travel writers often become mini-celebrities in their own right. If you're very good and have the right connections, you could even land your own show!

Travel shows also need a camera crew, drivers, etc. If writing/presenting is not your forte, you could always get a job behind the scenes.

Get in touch with travel magazines or broadcasters with travel shows. Do anything to get a leg in the door, even if it means starting out at the lowest rung. The best travel writers today did the same.

2. Work as a Travel or Adventure Guide

'Adventure Tourism' is the new buzzword in the travel industry. And since there are so few travel guides actually trained in this field, the pay is typically very good. Your job description would include traveling to exotic locations, teaching people how to climb mountains, zipline through dense jungles, and raft across a river.

Finding such jobs can be a little tricky, but try contacting local adventure travel agencies. Many large cruise line operators also hire travel and adventure guides.

4. Work as an English Teacher

You probably already know that the demand for fluent and effective English teachers is huge all across the globe, particularly in Asian countries like China, S. Korea and Japan. In fact, working as an English teacher is usually the most common way for native-English speakers to travel through Japan and China. Not only is the pay good, but you also get to meet and interact with people from an entirely different culture.

Most well paying jobs do require that you have at least a Bachelor's degree in English or Education, however. If you have a Master's degree, you can get paid even higher.


5. Work as a Boat's Crew

Yachts, sail boats, fishermen's boats - they all require a large crew to maintain smooth operation. While the pay varies from job to job - working on a fisherman's boat will pay little, while a crew member on Larry Ellison's yacht can expect to take home a hefty pay package.

Finding work on a boat can be a little tricky. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources on the internet to point you in the right direction. is a good starting point.

6. Work as a Volunteer

There are hundreds of thousands of charities that desperately need volunteers and are willing to pay for all your expenses. Not only do you get to make a difference in the world, but even get paid for doing so. What else could any adventure-lover ask for?

Further Reading

Tim Ferriss' The Four Hour Work-Week is an essential reading for the digital age. It'll change your entire perspective on what 'work' should be like.

Jobs for Travel Lovers' is a great resource for more in-depth reading on this subject filled with tons of information on how to get jobs that'll pay you for traveling.


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    • kashmir-ladakh profile image


      5 years ago from usa

      teaching English has helped many people to travel to many countries. also some outsourcing companies give you chance to travel and work in another country

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Web Developer Evangelist, travel around talking in seminars, forums, etc in different countries speaking/ promoting and defending technology under a companies banner. Awesome.

    • hoteltravel profile image


      6 years ago from Thailand

      Great ideas! May be some day I'll muster up courage to try them. Voted up and interesting.

    • sashas89 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from A Series of Tubes

      Agreed. But a pilot's life isn't for everyone. It can be ridiculously stressful to be on the move at all times away from friends and family. While you can travel for a few years as part of a cruise ship crew then quit and go back to regular life, it's difficult to do the same as a pilot because of the years of training already investing in learning the skill.

    • Bragman profile image


      6 years ago from Orlando

      A little bit of training is involved but pilots are in short supply and high demand. Private aviation can pay well and allow you to see some cool places the airlines don't get to.

    • sashas89 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from A Series of Tubes

      I didn't even know there were so many boats looking for crews until I came across a post on Reddit (can't find the link). Basically, two friends finished school, then got a gig on a New Zealand boat and sailed all around Africa, paying for nothing except for lending a helping hand on the boat.

    • profile image


      6 years ago


      The internet is an extraordinary world.

      It's also a place where every Tom,Dick,Harry can write their opinion and point of view.

      The fact that it's on the internet doesn't make it right or wrong, good or bad ... it's just one person's input.

      I've worked several cruise contracts myself and make a living helping others get jobs on ships ... it's a special experience.

      Check out this video ...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great article sashas89 ... and right on the ball!

      I've been in the travel industry for 25yrs ... and counting!

      I've done all but one of these and they have all played a magnificent part of my travel journey.

      Thank you for sharing!

    • Lady_E profile image


      6 years ago from London, UK

      Lovely. It's nice to travel the world but something I feel reluctant to do these days because of protests that break out often.

      Lovely Hub though.

    • sashas89 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from A Series of Tubes

      I know a lot of people who work as freelancers and travel at the same time.

      The internet has opened up SO many opportunities. It'd be a shame if we are still tied to our desks in this age.

    • ukbusiness profile image


      6 years ago from Bristol, UK

      Very interesting, I was always interested in taking some time out and working on a cruise ship, but I read this article ( and it has put me off since.

      Maybe I will try one of your other methods though!

    • alocsin profile image


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Some nice options here. Perhaps some day I'll be able to try them. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • TravelinAsia profile image


      6 years ago from Thailand/Southeast Asia

      I have personally tried all but one of the forementioned six jobs that pay you to travel, and I can assure you that my favourite of all of them is writing about my experiences here at hubpages as well as my other blogs.

      The one thing I didn't do was work on a cruise ship, but hell .. I am only 35 .. plenty of time for that later..


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