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The Best Jobs for Those Who Love to Travel

Male traveller at train station

While historical giants such as Christopher Columbus may have earned a lucrative (and often controversial) living through travel, traversing the four corners of the globe during the so-called Age of Discovery was not for the faint-hearted. Not only did explorers often have to embark on long and arduous journeys , for example, but they were also exposed to incredible hardships on the open waters. This includes some quite hideous diseases, which are best left to the deep recesses of the imagination.

The world of international travel has changed beyond all recognition since this time, however – both in terms of the modes of transportation available and the opportunities available to those who wish to explore the world. In many ways, the concept of travelling across the globe and embarking on a voyage of international discovery has never been more accessible. The proliferation of cheap business class flights and long-haul direct flights through iconic airlines like Etihad Airways has also made this pastime increasingly affordable, too, regardless of where in the world you choose to travel to.

For those with a genuine passion for travel, however, the rise of accessible and low-cost long-haul travel also offers additional opportunities for growth and adventure. It allows you to forge new and exciting career paths overseas, for example, or expand an existing business into the international marketplace. Best of all, you can spend more time abroad pursuing your career while also maintaining close contact with loved ones at home and leveraging affordable travel to book regular visits.

Before you begin to plan your international journey or pack a suitcase, however, it is important that you identify viable career opportunities that suit your skill set and that boast a high level of demand within the global marketplace. With this in mind, here are four of the best jobs for travel enthusiasts who want to establish themselves as the modern incarnation of Columbus.


1. Archaeologist

Salary: £17,000 – £60,000/year (via National Careers Service)

While Indiana Jones was not your typical archaeologist, his adventures did encapsulate the spirit of exploration associated with the profession. It also highlighted the reverence in which archaeologists are held as while this is a difficult and academically challenging career path to forge, it is one that delivers a diversity of rewards over time.

Archaeologists are often required to travel and work abroad and recover preserved artefacts from different eras and cultures. This means that they have a unique opportunity to enjoy extended stays in some of the world's most exotic and remote locations, as they dig for physical remnants of lost civilisations and ancient heritages. From the South American rainforests to the arid lands of the Middle East, this is a career that can take you to even the most remote corners of the world.

You will need a Master’s degree or a PhD in Archaeology (or Anthropology) which can take up to five years to achieve, depending on the level of attainment that you pursue. It is also crucial that you seek out voluntary experience before earning a paid role, as this can afford you a competitive advantage in the marketplace.


2. Au Pair

Salary: £70 – £85/week plus free accommodation, meals, etc (via GOV.UK)

Ideal for anyone with a love of travel and the ability to adapt, the role of au pair offers stable employment and combines security with international adventure. Essentially, an au pair will live with a host family in their destination of choice, providing variable services including childcare, cleaning and cooking.

Of course, you will be provided with accommodation and various amenities during your stay, while you will also receive a reasonable salary, too. You will need a number of qualifications and accreditations to perform this role, however, while it should be noted that the job will require you to remain in one location for typically a lengthy period of time (usually at least one full year).

While the precise nature of the accreditations that you require will depend on your duties and the terms of your contract, you will need a college diploma as a bare minimum.

You should probably manage your expectations, too, as while becoming an au pair is a great way of indulging your passion for travel, you will not be able to move as frequently as you would like.


3. Cruise Liner Service Staff

Salary: Variable, depending on position

Let's face fact: the nature of travel and the way in which people choose to see the world has changed in recent times. Rising motorhome sales reflect this evolution, highlighting the growing desire to travel abroad independently.

This outlook has also influenced traditional travel market niches to evolve, too, with the cruise sector having showcased considerable growth thanks to the proliferation of tailor-made packages (this was last year). This is good news for those who are looking to forge a career out of travel, as it continues to diversify the market and create new, exciting opportunities.

In many ways, this represents the ideal career opportunity for travel lovers. After all, not only do cruise liners create a considerable diversity of jobs to suit alternative skill sets but there are also rising numbers of service providers that operate in various locations across the globe.

So, whether you are an aspiring chef or an entertainer, if you have a passion for travel, then working on a cruise liner is ideal for you. To ensure that you get the most from the experience, however, consider the type of locations that you would like to visit and target jobs with relevant operators (whether you wish to traverse the fjords of Norway or bask in the heat of the Mediterranean sun).

You can then look to refine your skill set to suit a preferred job role, before creating your CV and actively applying for roles.


4. Wedding Photographer

Salary: £12,000 – £65,000/year (via Prospects)

Similarly, working abroad as a wedding photographer enables you to take an already coveted and marketable skill and combine this with a fierce passion for travel. The Daily Mail reports that one in four couples now marry abroad, creating a huge demand and opportunity for skilled photographers who are willing to travel.

This is a job role that can provide a steady stream of work in the modern age while it also has the potential to take you anywhere in the world. Weddings are also held all year round internationally, so you could theoretically spend all of your time traversing the length and breadth of the earth while also making huge sums of money.

Now comes a small dose of reality, however, as this career requires far more than simply picking up a camera and booking an international flight. This is particularly true when you are charging a premium to capture your client's wedding, as this represents a competitive space where customers are increasingly likely to demand credentials. As a basic rule, you will need to have a college diploma, although you can further your prospects and increase your earning potential by sourcing a relevant degree qualification.

With a sound academic grounding and an ability to promote your marketable skill, however, becoming a wedding photographer can become a joyous career that can deliver huge rewards.


These four careers all offer huge potential in the current economic climate, while demand is unlikely to suffer in 2017. So, if you have a love of travel and adventure, but wish to earn money, too, these are the career paths you should consider in the New Year.

Do you have anything you’d like to add? Join the conversation below!

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