At first blush, working and traveling seem like contrasting terms. Often, people consider traveling a leisure activity – one wholly unconcerned with the demand for ongoing income. But long-term travel can take a toll on your bank statement, especially if you’re touring a relatively expensive part of the world. And working can be a fantastic way to fund your trip, meet a few locals, and really dig your heels into a place.
Naturally, you might have some pressing questions about working while you travel. To help build your confidence and set you up for success, this article explores some frequently asked questions about working while traveling.
Travel Jobs vs. Remote Work: What’s the Difference?
To start, let’s define “working while traveling.” Travel jobs aren’t the same as remote work or “digital nomadism,” wherein a traveler takes their remote online job from home and works on the road. Here, travel jobs refer to physical jobs that you take at your destination.
Both are terrific options for earning income as you travel, but the latter has the added benefit of allowing you to mingle with locals away from your computer screen.
What Are the Best Jobs for Travelers?
The best travel jobs allow you to mingle with locals, earn a steady income without a long-term contract, and – ideally – afford you daytime hours off to sightsee. That said, the most popular travel jobs are:
- Bartending: Bartending allows you to chat with patrons and soak in the local nightlife while freeing your daytime hours to plan activities.
- English Tutoring: One of the few jobs abroad that don’t require local language proficiency. Tutoring is often freelance, though you may need to work through an agency.
- Au Pair Work: Babysitting or nannying can be an excellent way to get to know a local family, their customs and culture. Often, au pair jobs stipulate a contract length (anywhere from a couple of weeks to a full year).
- Agricultural Work: Seasonal agricultural work is a common travel job – it has a set (short) contract length, requires no foreign language proficiency, allows you to spend time outdoors, and often includes free lodging.
How Do You Land a Job Abroad?
Let’s say you wanted to be a bartender in Los Angeles, a city famous for its buzzy nightlife. What steps would you need to take to land a job?
First, you would need to get your permits and certifications sorted. If you were traveling from outside the US, you would submit an H-2B application with the Department of State to obtain a temporary work visa, a process that you can start from home. (American citizens can skip this step). And you would need to obtain a Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) Training certification, which isn’t as challenging as it sounds. There are online courses through Userve that make it easier to get your RBS Certification training in the evening.
Finally, you would print resumes at a local print shop and hand them out to a sampling of nearby bars. This process is relatively similar to other jobs and locales, which will also require visas, certification, and resumes.
Related Read: Best Jobs For Traveling
What Do You Do for Accommodation?
If you work an agricultural or au pair job, chances are your lodging will be included (perhaps at the expense of a lower paycheck).
But if you choose to bartend or teach English, you will need to find your own accommodations. Unless you plan to stay long-term, finding a rental property might be challenging, as they often require year-long tenancy agreements. Instead, you can either find a sublet (short-term rental) or strike a deal with a nearby hostel or Airbnb, which often offer reduced rates for long-term stays.
In summary, working while traveling is an excellent opportunity to fund your trip and live like a local for a while. It’s a relatively straightforward process involving visas, certifications like RBS, and short-term lodging agreements. If you’ve ever wanted to tour the world, but worry about running out of money, consider an exciting job in a new locale.