24 of the Best Jobs That Let You Travel (With Salary Info)
Updated June 29, 2023
While the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily shuttered the travel industry, it also allowed people to reassess how—and where—they work. Whether you desire a more flexible work schedule or want to pursue adventure outside of your 9-to-5, there are a variety of job opportunities that allow you to travel.
In this article, we’ll list 20 of the best jobs where traveling is a component, plus answer frequently asked questions about how people are pursuing jobs today that involve travel.
How to find a travel job
If you’ve decided to make a career change and pursue a job in the travel industry—or one that allows you to travel, consider the following steps:
Determine your interests: Do you want to work in the travel industry or perhaps you’d prefer a job with a travel component, such as a home-based business with travel opportunities that’s less customer-facing? Knowing your preferences on what you’d like to do day-to-day can help you narrow down specific roles.
Begin the job search: Once you have a better idea of the type of work you’d like to do, you can start your job search for remote work on Indeed or a general travel industry opportunity. Look for roles where the job description matches your skill set, especially if you’re changing careers.
Practice for interviews: While applying to jobs, work on your elevator pitch and prepare for interviews using the same platform the interviewer will be using. For example, if you’re applying to work on a cruise ship, the hiring manager may be conducting interviews via video conferencing.
Jobs that allow you to travel
If you have a personal interest in traveling, the following types of jobs can allow you the flexibility to do so—and get paid for it:
National average salary: $19,088 per year
Job duties: Freelance photographers, like other freelancers, work on their own time and for themselves. This flexibility allows for travel when they’d like or for a particular assignment. Freelance photographers often specialize in a certain kind of photography, which allows them to build their brand, such as portrait photography, nature photography or fine art photography. They sell their photos on their website or on stock photography sites, as well as work with clients on a per-project, contract basis. Their work could take them to other parts of the world.
National average salary: $28,999 per year
Job duties: Actors portray characters on the stage, in film and on TV, as well as in radio and animation through voice acting. Through their skills as an actor, they help tell the story of a play, a musical or a novel adaptation. For their jobs, they need to travel to sets, which in some cases could mean another city, state or even country. In the case of a stage actor, they may travel as part of a touring company.
National average salary: $29,943 per year
Job duties: An English teacher educates students in the English language and literature. They create curricula that help students develop their verbal and written communication skills, as well as understand the principles behind the proper use of the English language. They instruct on grammar and spelling, writing and reading comprehension. There are various job opportunities for English teachers to teach abroad, which will allow them to travel to different countries, too.
4. Tour guide
National average salary: $35,211 per year
Job duties: Popular destinations provide the source of numerous jobs for avid travelers and history experts. Famous cities, national parks and world heritage sites are always in need of knowledgeable tour guides who speak various languages. Communication and people skills are essential, while foreign language fluency may be preferred.
National average salary: $40,884 per year
Job duties: Flight attendants enjoy the stability of a steady paycheck while also being able to travel nearly full time. For this travel industry job, patience and customer service experience are essential, as well as the ability to work long shifts with several flights per day. With hundreds of airlines across the globe, you can find a company that aligns with both your core values and geographic interests.
Read more: The Benefits of Being a Flight Attendant
12. Travel agent
National average salary: $43,299 per year
Job duties: As a travel agent, you’ll work with individuals or groups of people to plan vacations or professional travel. You should have reasonably extensive knowledge about popular travel destinations, as well as schedule planning. You might also need experience with travel planning software.
Read more: Learn About Being a Travel Agent
6. Au pair
National average salary: $43,648 per year
Job duties: This job involves becoming a nanny for a family overseas. Au pairs are responsible for taking care of children, making sure they complete homework, tutoring sessions and other school projects and any other task required by the parents. In exchange, many au pairs get free room and board, as well as a monthly stipend.
Related: How To Become a Nanny in 7 Steps
National average salary: $45,521 per year
Job duties: Travel blogging allows you to write about your interests while traveling to anywhere in the world. As a blogger, you’ll need various skills, including web design, copywriting, search engine optimization and social media management, in addition to the dedication to post and improve your content regularly. It takes time to build enough traffic to make a solid living, but once you acquire a decent audience, travel blogging can be a full-time option or a side hustle.
National average salary: $47,782 per year
Job duties: Many travelers have sustained themselves by working at bars, and it gives you a chance to meet people from across the globe. Regardless of the location or season, bartenders are nearly always in demand. It’s likely easier to find bartender jobs in mid- to large-sized cities.
Read more: Learn About Being a Bartender
National average salary: Varies by position. Bartenders can make anywhere from $48,785 to $79,086 per year, casino dealers can make an average of $1,300 per month and servers can make between $2,098 and $4,000 per month.
Job duties: With work contracts of varying lengths available, cruise ship employees can travel as much as they choose. Numerous types of positions are available on cruise ships, allowing you to apply your skills and interests. Cruise ship jobs include musicians, card dealers, bartenders and servers, deckhands, chefs and cooks, maintenance technicians, yoga instructors, schedule directors, nurses and more.
Related: 50 Jobs on a Cruise Ship
National average salary: $49,908 per year
Job duties: Influencers often get paid to travel, or alternatively, they can earn money while abroad by creating content or representing brands on social media. If you already have an established social media following, you may be able to transition doing what you enjoy for fun into a travel career.
National average salary: $52,352 per year
Job duties: If you enjoy adventure, as well as teaching concepts to others, consider becoming a scuba diving instructor. Scuba instructor jobs are available on all six livable continents, allowing you to show both locals and tourists how to dive. Scuba certification is mandatory, and you should have strong communication skills.
National average salary: $55,398 per year
Job duties: SEO specialists work to improve the links, content and copy on websites so they appear at the top of search engine results pages. Because the algorithms for search engines change regularly, expertise in this area is always in demand.
Read more: Become an SEO Expert
National average salary: $55,978 per year
Job duties: A pilot is a skilled professional who safely transports people or cargo via air travel. Aviation is a diverse field that could allow you to work in the military, the airline industry or as an independent contractor. Cargo and airline pilots are both considered commercial pilots. There are many opportunities for travel and work-related fulfillment, as well as the chance to earn a sizable income.
National average salary: $58,435 per year
Job duties: Archaeologists study the past to better understand the origin and development of human history. In their work, archaeologists examine cultures, languages, artifacts, remains and historic sites. Depending on the project, some archaeologists may find they need to travel a great deal to carry out their research. This is primarily for projects where the subject or site isn’t located near the archaeologist’s primary place of work.
National average salary: $61,203 per year
Job duties: A chef is a highly skilled professional who runs the kitchen in various settings, from hotels to restaurants. In addition to culinary skills, a chef is also knowledgeable in areas such as customer service and public safety, as well as the management of people. Chefs who work on a cruise ship will travel regularly, but a professional chef is a type of job that allows for travel, as there are likely to be job opportunities wherever they go.
14. Web developer
National average salary: $66,625 per year
Job duties: A web developer creates and maintains websites. Their work involves not only building code and implementing visual designs and layouts but also optimizing the website so it provides the proper experience for the user while meeting the client’s requests. Web development you can work remotely, meaning there’s opportunity to travel, working as a digital nomad.
National average salary: $67,447 per year
Job duties: If you’re fluent in more than one language, your skills may be in demand in several industries across the globe. As a translator or interpreter, you’ll be the intermediary between two parties that speak different languages or transcribe languages online.
14. Truck driver
National average salary:$70,031 per year
Primary duties: Over-the-road (OTR) drivers haul goods over long distances. They may transport raw materials and finished products between manufacturers and distribution centers. They work for private companies or can be owner-operators of their rig. Typical OTR drivers work for three weeks, with one week off, per month.
Related: A Guide To High-Paying Trucking Jobs
National average salary: $76,299 per year
Job duties: Construction managers oversee the execution of construction projects. For a project, they’ll assemble a team, order materials, ensure the safety of the site and supervise the project’s progress. For their work, they split their time between working in an office and on-site at the construction site(s), which they’ll need to travel to often throughout a project.
17. Civil engineer
National average salary: $82,602 per year
Job duties: Civil engineers design, build, create, operate and maintain the infrastructure around us. Projects they might work on include roads, bridges, airports, tunnels, dams and energy and water systems. Their work typically involves travel, albeit locally for the most part. However, they may at times be required to travel abroad to work on larger projects.
National average salary: $88,000 per year (artist)
Job duties: Muralists create paintings or pictures of large public spaces, such as walls, ceilings or the sides of a pedestrian tunnel. They also work with clients to create murals inside of buildings and homes, from museums to a new baby’s nursery. Given the specificity of their work, muralists may find it necessary to travel often, whether it’s to another city or country.
19. Travel nurse
National average salary: $109,765 per year
Primary duties: A travel nurse is responsible for taking care of patients in the same way other nursing professionals may, except they complete their work as employees of health care staffing agencies who contract them out to work at different hospitals and care facilities around the nation for a specific length of time.
National average salary: $112,063 per year
Job duties: A veterinarian is a medical doctor who cares for animals. They often work in a clinic or animal hospital, but they could also work for zoos or classrooms. While a veterinarian position is often location-based, you could take your skills and travel abroad, as anywhere in the world, there’s a need for skilled veterinary care. If you’re fluent in another language, that may be where you can start in your work as an expatriate veterinarian.
Frequently asked questions
What's the job outlook for the travel industry?
It varies, especially as the travel industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it looks like the employment growth of certain jobs, such as travel agents, is on the rise.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, travel agent jobs are projected to grow by 20% in the decade between 2021 and 2031, while the job outlook for flight attendants is also looking very promising for the same period, with the statistics bureau forecasting 21% employment growth.
Can I get a job in the travel industry with no experience?
Yes. Several entry-level jobs within travel exist for those who want to travel for a living. For example, you can teach English abroad or work in hospitality, become a camp counselor or join the Peace Corps. Many popular travel jobs also only require a high school diploma or GED.
What’s a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is a person who works remotely, using digital tools such as the internet. These individuals take this flexibility and live nomadically, traveling from place to place. How far a person travels varies, with some people moving to another country entirely. However, the constant part of a digital nomad’s life is that they work from wherever they like, with the freedom to travel when they choose. Computer-based jobs, such as a web developer, content writer or an influencer, are adaptable to a digital-nomad lifestyle.
What are some examples of backpacker jobs?
Backpacker jobs shouldn’t be confused with those of digital nomads. These jobs are typically temporary, part-time work that individuals can take on while traveling. A tourist, for example, could be a backpacker, working a short-term job while they’re visiting another country. These types of jobs are also often seasonal, like fruit-picking or working in hospitality during a peak season.
What’s expatriate work?
Expatriates are individuals who are assigned to work in another country, such as an English teacher working in a country abroad to teach English to students as a second language. These jobs are often temporary, but some can turn into long-term relocations.
More resources to help you find a travel job
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