The 12 Best Jobs That Pay You to Travel the World

Travel jobs

Many of us spend the majority of our working lives doing a 9-5 job that we often hate for 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. And a great deal of that time is spent counting down the days to our next holiday or dreaming about a job that pays us to travel the world.

But what if I told you that you could make that dream a reality?

Whether you want to trek to the heights of Machu Picchu, explore the labyrinthine catacombs of Paris, take in the beauty of the spring-bloomed cherry blossom trees in Tokyo, kayak the Grand Canyon or take in the sun on a beach in Bali – all while making a decent living – then you’ve come to the right place.

Here are 12 ideas for globetrotters just like you for choosing a career that you’ll love.

1. Cabin Crew

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Not only will you experience different cultures and party it up in different cities, but you’ll also get free or discounted flights and accommodation as a cabin crew member, as well as a pretty decent pay packet. Salaries vary by airline, but you can expect to earn between £12,000 and £30,000 in the UK and on average $48,500 (£35,850) in the US. The best part is that you’ll typically only need a high school diploma.

2. Airline Pilot

Airline pilots in cockpitShutterstock

Next up is airline pilot which just happens to be the highest paid profession in the aviation industry. Depending on the airline you work for and how much experience you have, you can expect to earn as much as £140,000 in the UK or $208,000 (£153,875) in the US. Becoming an airline pilot is no easy feat, though, and it requires a sizeable time and financial investment on your part.

3. Geoscientist

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Perhaps not one of the most obvious choices, but becoming a geoscientist can be a great idea if you’re passionate about the Earth’s structure and formation. Though you’ll typically need a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject to enter this career, it’s well worth the money: up to $189,000 (£139,850) a year.

4. TEFL Teacher

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If you’re a native English speaker, have a passion for teaching and want to travel the world for a living, then you’re in luck: TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers are in high demand all over the world! Asian countries, in particular, have the highest demand and also the best pay: in South Korea, for example, you can expect to earn as much as $20,000 (£14,800). Courses usually last four weeks, which are typically followed by six-month contracts teaching English in the country you completed your training.

5. Cruise Line Worker

Cruise line workerShutterstock

If you want to travel the oceans of the world, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, this one’s for you. The great thing about working on a cruise ship is that there are dozens of positions to choose from, including casino dealers, hairdressers, cooks, bartenders, retail assistants and even clergy! Salaries largely depend on who you work for, as well as the position you hold. Stewards, for example, typically earn between £700 and £1,500 per month, with food, accommodation and insurance often included.

6. Truck Driver

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The hours can be long (working up to 14-hour shifts) and it can get incredibly lonely (which shouldn’t really be a problem if you don’t like people that much), but working as a long-haul driver is a great way to see the country and sometimes even the world. So if you prefer the open road to an office cubicle, then this job’s for you. You’ll generally only need a high school diploma and to attend a professional truck driving school, and you’ll soon be on your way to earning $41,340 (£30,630) a year!

7. Travelling Nurse

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If you work in the healthcare industry, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of opportunities for travel. One such opportunity is working as a travelling nurse where you’re hired to work in a specific location for limited amounts of time (typically 13 weeks) before moving on to your next assignment. Travelling nurses are in high demand and make good money, too: up to $10,000 (£7,410)… a month! But that’s not all: assignments often include free accommodation!

8. Tour Guide

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What better job is there than to show tourists around the cities you love and share all your favourite sights, attractions and hidden gems with them? The good news is that there are no set requirements to become a tour guide – though, having said that, you may need to apply for certification depending on the country where you operate. In the UK, you can expect to earn as much £30,000 a year and up to $43,060 (£31,915) in the US.

9. Travel Writer

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Love travelling and writing? Then why not combine both your passions and set up your own travel blog to share your experiences with the world? Making money can be difficult, especially at the beginning, but the trick is to not give up hope (and to monetise your blog). If you’re not quite the wordsmith, though, and are more of a filmmaker, then becoming a travel vlogger might just be right up your alley. Alternatively, if social media is your kind of thing, you might want to take a page of out Jack Morris and Lauren Bullen’s book and start making up to £7,000 to post a single photo on Instagram!

10. Au Pair

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Au pairs are basically professional live-in babysitters or nannies, usually women between the ages of 18 and 30 (though male au pairs are not unheard of!). They’re typically hired by a family in a foreign country, helping with childcare and light housework in exchange for room, board and a weekly income (in the UK, this is typically known as ‘pocket money’, usually between £70 to £85 a week).

11. Photographer

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve no doubt taken your fair share of holiday snaps on your trips. But have you thought about selling your images on a stock photography site like iStock or Alamy, where you can earn a commission on each download? Although it may take time before you start raking in millions, it’s a great way to earn some extra cash on the side. Alternatively, you might want to consider becoming a destination wedding photographer, where you get to travel to often exotic destinations around the world helping couples capture their big day on film – often up to £65,000 a year!

12. Translator

Woman translating at conferenceShutterstock

Another interesting job that could take you around the world is translator. Obviously, you’ll need to speak at least a second language to become one, and you can earn a living by working for a tour company selling tours to tourists who speak your language or charging businesses to translate their websites, for example. The possibilities are truly endless. Alternatively, you could look into becoming an interpreter, working for international government agencies, community organisations or hospitals. How much you earn will depend on a variety of factors, including how much experience you have and how in demand the language is, though salaries up to £40,000 are common.

Have any of these jobs taken your fancy? Or maybe you already make a living by travelling the world? Joint he conversation down below and share your thoughts and experiences with us!

Salary information is based on data compiled and published by various online sources, including the National Careers Service and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook. Currency conversions are based on rates supplied by on 1 December 2017.