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Unique Jobs That Pay You to Travel: 10 Travel for a Living Jobs

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As an engineer, Mazlan had the opportunity to travel and work abroad. He has traveled to over 30 countries.

Check which jobs that pay you to travel are a good fit for you

Check which jobs that pay you to travel are a good fit for you

THIS ARTICLE AT A GLANCE

  • Do you love to travel and get paid for it?
  • The obvious travel jobs are working as a pilot, flight attendant, English teacher in a foreign country, as a teacher in an international school, as a travel tour guide, as a travel writer, as a cruise ship employee, as a diplomat, or in the military services.
  • This article will not cover those obvious travel jobs but instead gives you the following unique traveling jobs list.

How to Get Paid to Travel

Everyone loves to travel and to be paid to travel is a dream come true. So, if you are keen to earn money while traveling, you have come to the right place.

Travel Jobs

Travel jobs can be adventurous and give exposure to many new things such as foreign cultures, learning a new language, and meeting new people from other parts of the world.

There are few jobs that allow you to travel if you are a junior staff member but there are jobs where travel is an essential requirement. So, which are the best travel jobs?

Obvious Jobs Where You Travel

Some of the obvious jobs that allow you to travel and get paid for it are the pilot, the flight attendant, as an English teacher in a foreign country or as a teacher in an international school, as a travel tour guide, as a travel writer, as a cruise ship employee, as a diplomat and of course, if you are in the military services.

You will also get paid to travel from state to state if you work as a truck driver, bus driver, or train driver.

Check These Travel Jobs if They Are Right for You

Instead, check these ten unique traveling jobs list and decide if they are right for you.

Merchandise Buyer

International Student Recruiter

Firefighter With Interagency Hotshot Crews

Management Consultant

Peace Corps Volunteer

Field Journalist

Travel Nurse

Au Pair

NGO Worker and UNV

Medical Sales Representative

Check which travel jobs is right for you

Check which travel jobs is right for you

1. Creative Travel Jobs: Merchandise Buyer

If you work as a merchandise buyer for a large fashion retail store, you might be traveling around the world to pick the latest in fashion. You will be responsible for the selection of new products that sell. So, you need to understand customers' needs and the ability to react quickly to any changes in demand.

In addition, you must have good negotiation skills to negotiate contracts with suppliers and ensure on-time delivery of the products to be resold at retail outlets or online.

Also, you need to have a good eye to spot the new trend in fashion as well as attend trade shows, conferences, etc to stay abreast of the trends.

For this job a degree in retail, merchandising, fashion, economics, marketing, or another related field is preferred. However, merchandise buyer is one of the creative travel jobs that can consider people with a diploma or with years of related experience.

Are you the right person? Visit Salary.com for more information and job openings.

2. International Student Recruiter

You may not know this but universities and colleges are vying for the best international students to study at their institutions, not just to get the best brains but for better cash flow as international students pay the highest fees.

As an international student recruiter, you will be responsible for developing recruitment strategies, being aware of the problems associated with international student recruitment from various countries, and being able to solve common admissions issues. So, you need good analytical skills, listening skills, and interpersonal skills.

Overseas Roadshows

Overseas roadshows are held on an annual basis (some do more) to recruit these students, but for now, this has temporarily stopped due to the pandemic situation and will recommence once it gets better.

These overseas roadshows are usually held jointly with local student recruitment agencies or with the embassy.

If you work in colleges or universities that participate in international roadshows, you might be lucky to join one of these trips. Otherwise, visit ZipRecruiter for any openings for the International Student Recruiter position.

3. Firefighter With Interagency Hotshot Crews

Hmm, how do you get paid to travel as a firefighter? You might if you join the Interagency Hotshot Crews (IHC).

Interagency Hotshot Crews are professional wildland firefighters employed by the US Forest Service, National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management. You can join as part-time staff available for each of the forest fire seasons, or as permanent staff.

Hotshot Firefighters

This is a physically and mentally challenging job as you will be sent to work on the hottest points i.e. the most difficult parts of the fire and can mean working long hours and with minimal logistical support. So, expect lots of sweat, dirt, fumes, smoke, and temper flaring.

Besides handling all phases of wildland fire management such as constructing fire lines with hand tools and chainsaws, and cleaning up the affected areas, Interagency Hotshot Crews also support all-risk missions in a disaster area.

To handle the variety of tasks on wildland fires, you will be given highly skilled training conforming to very high physical standards, critical thinking skills, leadership management, and the ability to tackle difficult assignments.

Most of the work is in the US and Canada but you may be traveling to other countries if the expertise is required.

Hotshots Jobs

If you are passionate about protecting public land and wildlife habitat, love to get dirty, and get paid to travel to all wildland fire areas then this might be the travel job for you. For more information and to apply, visit the National Interagency Fire Center website or the official Tumblr for the Bureau of Land Management or check out the video below.

Hotshot crew members from the U.S. Forest Service, South-western Region, Kaibab National Forest.

Hotshot crew members from the U.S. Forest Service, South-western Region, Kaibab National Forest.

Hotshots Jobs

4. Management Consultant

If you work as a Management Consultant in companies such as Accenture or McKinsey, you will be traveling to a client's office, and this can be interstate or abroad.

Management Consultant Job

Your job as a Management Consultant is to create better value in the client's operation, on how to improve their business operation, how to implement an effective staff separation scheme, how to do mergers, and on many more issues related to management, IT, human resources, finance, and investment.

It is a demanding job, involving long hours with a fair bit of traveling, and can be hectic, but it is one of the best-paid travel jobs.

You must at least have a degree in any discipline which is numerical or analytical in nature. If you have what it takes, check for any Management Consultant openings here.

5. Peace Corps Volunteer: No Salary!

If money is not your main concern and your desire to travel and to serve others is strong, try the Peace Corps, one of the many volunteer travel jobs.

To be a Peace Corps Volunteer, you have to be an American aged 18 and above who can contribute expertise in education, IT, health, business, community development, agriculture, or the environment.

You might be working either in Asia, Eastern Europe, Central America, South America, Africa, or the Middle East.

NOTE: As the pandemic continues to impact the safety of the Peace Corps volunteers, the agency has temporarily suspended any new recruitments. Visit their website for any new changes.

Do They Get Paid as Volunteers?

No, there's no monthly salary. However, there's a living allowance to pay for the monthly living and housing expenses, free medical and dental care, paid travel expenses to and from the country of service, and two paid vacation days for every month of service.

At the end of your two years of service, you will be paid a transition fund of more than $10,000 (pre-tax). This is to assist with the transition to life back to your hometown. However, you are still responsible for your student loan. In some cases, public student loans may be deferred or eligible for 'Public Service Loan Forgiveness'.

What are the Benefits?

The benefits of working as a Peace Corps Volunteer are the international experience and exposure that you will gain. Unlike other jobs that pay you to travel, the Peace Corps works closely with the locals almost all the time. Hence, your knowledge and understanding of the local culture (and maybe their language as well) is an asset that is highly sought-after in today's global economy.

That alone is worth more than your monthly salary.

Other Volunteer Travel Opportunities

If you are looking for other volunteer travel opportunities, try Britain's equivalent of the Peace Corps, which is the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), an independent volunteer sending agency. If you are between 18 to 75 years old you can volunteer and be part of the VSO community to fight and tackle poverty.

You don't need to be British to join. Just the enthusiasm and commitment to contribute are all that's required.

Financial compensation is similar to the Peace Corps except for the transition fund. Instead, VSO pays an allowance to cover part of your home country's expenses.

Since VSO has offices in other parts of the world and accepts volunteers from most countries, you can practically consider VSO as your home country's equivalent of the Peace Corps.

NOTE: Similarly, VSO is adapting the recruitment of new volunteers in response to the pandemic challenges. Visit their website for any new changes.

As a peace corps volunteer, you work at the grassroots level to create meaningful changes

As a peace corps volunteer, you work at the grassroots level to create meaningful changes

6. A Field Journalist

A Field Journalist's job can be fun, exciting and also dangerous. You have to do research, investigate and collect information and data from various sources and sometimes take photos and videos of the news item. Then feed the information to the journalist who works at the studio. It is fast-paced, hectic, and stressful to meet deadlines. Most of the time, your agency will be pushing for the info so as to be the first to break the news story.

If you cover troubled areas, your life can be at risk. There's also the psychological trauma that you face after seeing in person the many wars, disasters, death, sickness and human sufferings.

If you work for an international news agency and if you are the lucky one to be selected, you get to travel the world and get paid for it!

To be a field journalist, you must have a degree in journalism or in a related field that you will be covering (show business, political science, sports, etc.) with a major in journalism.

7. Travel and Nursing: Travel Nurse

If you are a certified nurse, register with a reputable company that can find a suitable travel nurse job for you in your desired location, either locally or abroad. You can try Host healthcare, one of the top travel healthcare companies in the U.S.

Travel Nurse Job Description

As a travel nurse, you will be traveling to the patient's home, or school to perform tests, administer medication, and write reports. Some jobs may require traveling to disease-ridden areas, or be assigned to hospitals or medical centers to fill temporary gaps due to nursing shortages.

To be a good travel nurse, you should be:

  • Able to follow instructions and communicate effectively.
  • Use logical thinking skills.
  • Well-organized and resilient
  • Punctual.
  • Able to work in a range of environments.

A Good Job to be Paid to Travel

Currently, there's a shortage of qualified and experienced nurses not just in America but in most parts of the world. The salary for a travel nurse is also higher compared to a nurse assigned to a doctor's office or hospital. Generally, a critical care travel nurse earns much more than a pediatric travel nurse.

So, if you love to travel and see new places, new people and new cultures, become a Travel Nurse. You will also gain new experiences, new practices while getting paid for them.

8. Medical Sales Representative

As a Medical Sales Representative, you provide the link between your pharmaceutical company and the healthcare professionals such as doctors, pharmacies, healthcare professionals, clinics, and hospitals.

Your role is to convince them that your products (medicine, medicinal equipment) or services are better. Most important of all is to solve the specific problems that they have. If it helps them and their patients, then you have made a good sale.

In certain job areas, you are also responsible for advertising, marketing, and distributing specific medical products and equipment.

Regional Travel

Generally, you will be working at an office or home-based. In fact, a large amount of your time will be spent traveling to and from potential clients' offices.

Initially, your travel may be limited to regional travel but as you move up the ladder, you might be traveling abroad for sales, conventions, seminars, and training.

Besides having a bachelor's degree in pharmacy or any related field, you must also have good interpersonal skills, be highly persuasive, and have strong negotiation and sales skills.

If this sounds like a medical good travel job, check LinkedIn for possible job openings.

9. NGO Worker and UNV

You can work as a Non-Governmental Organization or NGO worker for an international organization such as the World Health Organization or UNICEF.

Working for these reputable organizations gives you comfort and security when you travel and work in countries that have conflicts.

You can be working in agriculture, health care, infrastructures, education, or anything else in between. These organizations give you a decent salary but other NGOs may not be financially strong enough to pay you well.

If you love to contribute and make a difference, then get paid to travel as an NGO worker.

United Nations Volunteer (UNV)

Alternatively, you can also sign up for the United Nations Volunteer program for either:

  • Volunteer in your home country.
  • Volunteer abroad.
  • Volunteer online.

Since you are looking for volunteer travel jobs, then ignore the 'volunteer online'. If you are committed to volunteerism and will stay for the full duration of the program, then sign up at the United Nations Volunteers sign-up page. To know more about the volunteer program visit 'A Guide to United Nations Volunteer Jobs'.

Requirements for UN Volunteer Abroad

  • University degree or higher technical diploma
  • At least 25 years old
  • Minimum of two years of work experience
  • Have working knowledge in one of the United Nations languages: English, French, and Spanish.

Requirements for UN Volunteer at Home Country

  • Higher technical diploma or university degree. In some cases, completion of secondary education is accepted.
  • At least 18 years old.
  • Minimum of two years of work experience.
  • Have working knowledge or fluency in the local language.

Do United Nations Volunteers Get Paid?

No, but the United Nations volunteers get a monthly volunteer living allowance (VLA) to cover the modest cost of living in the country you are assigned to. In addition, UNV gets medical, dental, insurance, travel expenses, and resettlement allowance when moving back home.

These are similar to the compensation offered by the Peace Corps and VSO.

As a United Nations Volunteer (UNV) you can also work with refugee children.

As a United Nations Volunteer (UNV) you can also work with refugee children.

10. Travel as an Au Pair

An Au Pair can simply be defined as a domestic helper or assistant, usually from another country, working and living with, and considered part of the host's family. They help with the housework, take care of the kids, and in return, get free board and lodging, and a small allowance.

In Europe, Au Pairs are allowed to work part-time and study part-time. This gives you the opportunity to work and study; say a foreign language, preferably the language of your host country.

Au Pair Requirement

If you don't have the qualification and experience to apply for the above-mentioned jobs but still want to travel and get paid (well, minimal), then try Au Pair.

Male Au Pair

To be an Au Pair, you must be between 18 to 30 years old and have some childcare experience. Although Au Pairs are generally females, there are families who want a 'male role model' or a 'big brother' for their kids and will accept male Au Pairs. Male Au Pairs, generally, make up only 5% of the Au Pair team.

Most families prefer a non-smoker but some may take in smokers. Although not a requirement, some basic knowledge of your host country's language helps.

Working as an Au Pair is a part-time job. It is also a travel job that doesn't pay well but gives you the opportunity to travel abroad and get paid for board and lodging, which is a major cost of any traveling expenses.

Are You Ready to Take the Challenge?

So now you know you don't have to be in a travel-related industry to get paid to travel. Have you decided which are the best travel jobs for you?

If not, start in-depth research on the above list. Salary-wise most of the jobs are not great but you get a change in lifestyle, outlook, and perspective of your regional and global neighbors, by joining one of these professions.

They say that change is good for you.

'When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves' ~Victor Frank

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Mazlan A

Comments

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on April 25, 2020:

Hi Carrie, thanks for dropping by and sharing your own personal experience. Actually, you can be a 'paid travel writer'. Write a travel blog and with the traffic that you get, you get paid. If you have any affiliate links, you get paid if someone clicks and buys. Some travel bloggers don't even travel to the places that they write about but they still get decent traffic. I suppose it's how you approach the subject matter. I have lots of travel photos and if you need them, let me know. You can you use them, gratis! Have a great and safe weekend.

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on April 25, 2020:

Interesting hub :) My cousin and her hubby traveled to China after college to teach English. She loved it :) She is now a Corporate Travel Agent and gets to travel frequently. My husband used to be in the military so I got to see some of Europe. I would love, however, to be a paid travel writer :) Have a safe and wonderful week :)

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on December 22, 2019:

Hi Dominique. Thanks for the compliments and for dropping by and commenting. Have a great day ahead.

Dominique Cantin-Meaney from Montreal, Canada on December 22, 2019:

This is definitely an interesting article. Thanks for sharing.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on February 20, 2019:

Mamabyrd, yup traveling is fun as well as educational. In fact, I am in Vietnam now as I reply to your comment.

Mamabyrd from West Texas on February 19, 2019:

Very interesting! I love to travel. I often joke with my husband that I get the urge to move if we don't spend enough time traveling.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on April 17, 2013:

@CareerCounsel, yes you are right. It's great to travel and get paid for doing it. Thanks for the compliments and vote.

Jenny from New York City on April 12, 2013:

Who doesn't love to travel and get paid doing it? Great hub, wonderfully written. Voted up!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on August 23, 2012:

@GClark : Thanks for the tips and sharing them with the readers. I am sure many will find them useful.

GClark from United States on August 21, 2012:

Enjoyed this hub. Note: you can also make a living as a free-lance writer of travel articles, etc. plus if you have a good eye and talent for photography you can add punch to your writing and increase the value and demand for your work. Also consider selling photos to stock photo agencies who will market your work.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on August 20, 2012:

@Paul Kuehn. We learn new things as we travel and we learn to accept what used to be foreign and alien to us. You are one of those lucky few who are paid to travel. Thanks for the votes and Share.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on August 20, 2012:

@livingabroad. Thanks for the visit and the compliment. You are lucky to in Koh Samui. It is a beautiful place and if you enjoy diving, it is perfect. There is another hubber, hoteltravel, who also live in Koh Samui. You may want to check him out.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on August 20, 2012:

This is a fantastic hub with great ideas on how to get paid to travel. When I was younger the military paid me to travel, and then later as a diplomat I did a lot of travelling. These were all great experiences and I certainly learned a lot about the world. I'll probably keep travelling until I pass away because it is so exciting and rewarding. Voted up and sharing.

livingabroad from Wales, UK on August 20, 2012:

Really interesting stuff here! You must have spent a lot of time, or have amazing worldly knowledge (or both) to put something together like this. I never knew there were so many ways to make money and live overseas, however I am currently TEFLing in Thailand and have a really good gig on Koh Samui. Here's to working and travelling the world!

Great stuff here. Up, awesome and SHARING.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 26, 2012:

@watergeek , Thanks will try that.

Susette Horspool from Pasadena CA on June 26, 2012:

Recently I received a message from an old Peace Corps buddy I knew in the '70s. She'd Googled my name and found the new website I posted a couple of months ago. So I found her on Facebook and it turns out she's already "friends" with another PCV we knew then. Just out of the blue, the three of us are connected.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 25, 2012:

@watergeek Way back in the late '60s we had couple of Peace Corps volunteers teaching at our school. Can't remember all their names but I remember Mr Bradley Jessup as he was our class teacher and also taught Biology. Wonder if I can look him up, you know how? Where were you attached to during your stints? Thanks for dropping by and Sharing

Susette Horspool from Pasadena CA on June 21, 2012:

Please note that to qualify for the Peace Corps you have to have a Bachelor's degree in a topic that's practical, e.g. agriculture, business, teaching, health. I was in twice and I also recruited for a year or two. Interesting hub. Makes me want to go again.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 08, 2012:

@krsharp05, Thanks for the compliment, and thanks for dropping by.

Kristi Sharp from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota. on June 08, 2012:

Fantastic ideas to travel and make money! What a great way to see the world. I've never thought about being an international firefighter. Love your work. -K

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 06, 2012:

@rfmoran, that sounds like an easy job. Wonder what's inside that envelope! There are so many ways to get paid to travel, thanks for sharing.

Russ Moran - The Write Stuff from Long Island, New York on June 06, 2012:

Excellent Hub, especially with so many people looking for work. I once met a guy who got gigs as a courier. His job would be to supervise a shipment of something, as small as an envelope, and to travel with it.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 06, 2012:

@randomcreative. Thanks. I am glad you find this useful.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 06, 2012:

@dmop, When I worked in Dubai and Saudi Arabia, I was there alone. My family stayed back in Malaysia and came to visit during the school holidays. Those were the sacrifices that we had to make! It can be tough for some people. My kids were all at the Uni except for the youngest, still in high school. So it wasn't so bad.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 06, 2012:

@Hypersapien Thanks for dropping by and your compliment. Have a great day.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 06, 2012:

Wow, great topic for a hub! This is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in pursuing work options that include a lot of travel.

dmop from Cambridge City, IN on June 05, 2012:

That's a lot of ideas that could pay a person to see the world. Probably not something I can do with seven kids, but very interesting. Voted up and useful.

Hypersapien on June 05, 2012:

Nice hub with some great ideas, thanks!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 04, 2012:

@Simone, I didn't know about the Hotshots until I did my research,. They must be really dedicated and amazing people. Thanks for the visit.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 04, 2012:

@Om, Nice to hear from you again. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on June 04, 2012:

These are ALL cool opportunities. I know plenty of folks who have traveled abroad as management consultants and salesmen, as well as people who have worked in the Peace Corps and as teachers and au pairs, but international firefighters? How cool are THEY??

Thanks for introducing all these options.

Om Paramapoonya on June 04, 2012:

Aha, I never thought there were so many ways we can get paid to travel. This is really good to know! Thanks for doing such great research :)

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 04, 2012:

@tirelesstraveler, Thank you for your kind comment. I love to travel too, but will have to put it on hold until the 6 month AP is over!!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 04, 2012:

@brsmom68, thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Judy Specht from California on June 04, 2012:

Any article that has the word,"travel" makes my heart sings. Nice hub. You have done a nice job of pointing out some jobs not often thought about.

Diane Ziomek from Alberta, Canada on June 04, 2012:

This Hub lays it out in a nutshell. Well done! I am not much of a traveler, but for anyone who is this is some very good information. :)

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 03, 2012:

@lindacee, Thanks again for another visit. And thanks for the votes. I am glad you found the article useful and interesting.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 03, 2012:

@leahlefler- Good to hear from you again. You are lucky to have the opportunity to travel and get paid for it..I read it in one of your post..to Ireland? Will you have another opportunity in the near future? Thanks for dropping by and sharing.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 03, 2012:

@Kbdare - Thank you for reading and for your kind comment. Have a great day.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 03, 2012:

@Robert, Good to see you again. Thanks for the compliment. Will maintain or better my standard for my future articles and I hope I will not disappoint you.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on June 03, 2012:

@Riverfish24, Thanks for sharing. I have done both the short business travel as well as being based overseas, in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. As you have rightly said, the experience and exposure will leave you enriched as a person.

Linda Chechar from Arizona on June 03, 2012:

Great ideas for us to get out and see the world! Good research on each of the careers you covered in this Hub. Voted up, useful and interesting!

Leah Lefler from Western New York on June 03, 2012:

There are so many great ideas for careers and other opportunities that actually pay for all travel expenses - very comprehensive! We traveled with our company when it outsourced, so they paid our moving expenses and housing expenses for 1 calendar year. It was really a fantastic opportunity!

Kbdare from Western US. on June 03, 2012:

An interesting Hub with some great information. It would be great to travel and be paid at the same time. Thanks for sharing!

Robert Erich from California on June 03, 2012:

Another great article! I love the idea of getting paid to travel. I am quickly realizing that I will be enjoying your articles.

Riverfish24 from United States on June 03, 2012:

Awesome information! Great suggestions and it is indeed wonderful to travel for work, even though these trips are usually short and hectic, but its all worth it. I have had the chance to travel to a bunch of countries on work and its been a great experience. Work+Shopping+site seeing+interacting with people from diverse cultures = leaves you enriched as a person and in experience.

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