19 Ways to Get Paid to Travel the World

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Wondering how to get paid to travel the world?

If you’ve got wanderlust, sitting in a cubicle all week just doesn’t cut it.

Luckily, it’s possible to find legit jobs that pay you to explore the globe. 

In this post, I’ll cover exactly how to get paid to travel the world. Keep reading to learn more about how to become a professional traveler.

How to Get Paid to Travel the World

There’s no shortage of ways to get paid to travel the world. Here are some of the most popular travel jobs and careers. The first half of the list includes ways to make money while traveling as an entrepreneur while the latter half focuses on more traditional ways to get paid to travel the world.

  1. Find house-sitting gigs
  2. Work as a freelance writer or travel blogger
  3. Teach English online
  4. Try your hand at public speaking
  5. Become a social media influencer
  6. Sell travel photography
  7. Become an SEO specialist
  8. Manage social media
  9. Work as a travel tour guide
  10. Be a transporter
  11. Become an outside sales representative
  12. Teach English overseas
  13. Become a flight attendant
  14. Work on a cruise ship
  15. Work as an au pair
  16. Enlist in the Navy
  17. Work for the US Department of State
  18. Join the Peace Corps
  19. Become a traveling nurse

Ways to Make Money While Traveling as an Entrepreneur

In today’s digital economy, it’s possible to work from anywhere you have an internet connection. Here are some of my favorite ways to start a business that will allow you to travel the world.

1. Find house-sitting gigs

House sitting is one of the best international jobs you can have.

As unbelievable as it may sound, homeowners often pay strangers from other countries to watch their houses while they’re away.

House sitters can make $70,166 per year, which comes out to about $36 per hour.

In most cases, house sitting requires only easy tasks like bringing in the mail, dusting, and watering the plants. In a way, it’s like going on vacation and getting a paycheck instead of paying for lodging. Plus, if you’re a digital nomad, you can work other side hustles while you do it.

If this sounds up your alley, check out House Sitters America, an online community for US based house and pet sitters.

2. Work as a freelance writer or travel blogger

When you’re a freelance writer or blogger, you’ll earn money no matter where you put your laptop.

Wondering how to become a freelance writer? You can find gigs on sites like Fiverr or Upwork or by carving out your own path.

You could also start your own travel blog and make money from advertisements and Amazon affiliate marketing links. Travel writing doesn’t require many upfront costs. And with the right approach, it can lead to a solid passive income stream.

You can go at your own pace as a travel writer as you move around and experience different places. And if you have a good eye, you could make each blog post even more appealing by being your own travel photographer.

According to Indeed, freelancers make an average of $20.94 hourly. When you’re travel writing, that kind of money can go a long way in most of the world.

3. Teach English online

You can get paid to travel by teaching English online. This offers a few major advantages.

First, you can do this job from the comfort of any Airbnb.

Second, as an online teacher, you’ll choose your own hours. You could spend all day at the beach or on a trip to historic ruins and then come back and teach for a few hours in the evening.

Plus, there’s also strong demand for native English speakers – which means you shouldn’t have any trouble finding work.

Here’s a quick breakdown of my three favorite services for teaching English online.

VIPKid: Best overall online English site

VIPKid is one of the best sites for teaching English to Chinese students. You can make $14 to $22 per hour with this site if you meet the qualifications.

Cambly: Best option with no TEFL certification

Cambly doesn’t have any certification requirements. Users earn extra cash just by talking with students and helping them improve their conversational skills.

Cambly pays 17 cents per minute when you’re teaching adults and 20 cents per minute when you’re teaching kids. 

Zebra English: Best for teaching young students

Zebra English is a great option if you want to work with kids between the ages of three and seven. If you like inspiring the youngest generation, you can earn $16 to $26 per hour doing so.

4. Try your hand at public speaking

If you have expert knowledge in a certain subject, you may want to consider public speaking.

This is a great way to get your name out there and spark conversations with people in your industry. Software developers, scientists, lawyers, and doctors should all consider doing it.

Speaking arrangements can range from small, intimate gatherings to large events with hundreds of guests. According to ZipRecruiter, public speakers make an average of $105,034 each year.

In the past, this type of opportunity typically required having deep industry connections. Nowadays, you can use a service like Agent to locate events and book speaking arrangements for your next trip.

5. Become a social media influencer

Working as a social media influencer can be another awesome way to see the world.

You could become a product influencer and showcase clothes and accessories in different locations like Paris or New York.

But you could do this job even if you’re camera-shy. As an influencer, you could add some travel writing to the mix and share your experiences at hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions.

Social media influencers make an average of $46,703 per year.

This isn’t enough to live a lavish globetrotting lifestyle. But that money can go a long way if you’re traveling in a low-cost area.

Check out Social Influencer Jobs for information on where to find gigs in this space. 

6. Sell travel photography

Do you want to get paid to travel the world and take photos?

You might want to consider a job as a travel photographer.

Just think of the possibilities:

  • You could go to Africa and film animals on safari.
  • You could go to Prague and shoot legendary sunsets.
  • You could even scuba dive and film sea turtles.

There are a few different ways to make money with travel photography. You could sell prints, host live or virtual exhibits, or even take private commissions for clients.

Who knows? If you’re good enough, you may even be able to sell your work to magazines like National Geographic.

Once you build up a body of work, head over to a site like Shutterstock and submit your best samples. If your work has what it takes, you’ll get paid every time someone downloads your images.

Shutterstock contributors typically get between 15% and 40% of the site’s licensing costs.

Other photography sites to explore include iStock and Adobe Stock.

While the average salary for a travel photographer is $61,760 per year, go-getters can make a heck of a lot more.

Don’t forget: You could also consider becoming a traveling wedding photographer with Thumbtack.

Learn More:

7. Become an SEO specialist

Just about every business in the world wants to rank higher on Google. There’s just one thing: Many don’t have a clue about how to do it.

If you know the art and science behind SEO, you’ll be an asset to any marketing team.

New to the world of SEO? It might seem complicated at first, but anyone can learn it.

Trust me. I have more than a decade of professional SEO experience. It’s solid and dependable work, and it’s helped me get where I am today.

Available data says you can expect to make about $50,944 as a beginner SEO specialist.

Learn More:

8. Manage social media

If you know your way around sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, you should consider social media as a career.

Social media managers help businesses market on sites like Facebook and engage with customers. By creating compelling posts, you’ll help your client drive sales—making you an invaluable asset to the business.

Interested in becoming a social media manager? If so, you could work full-time or on a freelance basis from anywhere with an internet connection.

Social media managers typically make around $54,315 per year—assuming they work for one company.

Learn More:

Traditional Ways to Get Paid To Travel the World

Now that we’ve covered the most common digital nomad, here are some more traditional jobs where you get paid to travel.

9. Work as a travel tour guide 

Travel tour guides lead trips and handle logistics for tour groups. You’ll organize lodging, meals, transportation, and activities. 

And of course, you’ll also want to show your group a fun time. So you’ll just have to “research” the best restaurants and experiences around. Bummer!

If this path sounds interesting, first determine your area of interest and expertise. If you’re into history and European culture, consider spending a few months in Italy or France. If cycling is your thing, consider becoming a Trek travel guide. If you love the water, you might want to look into riverboat or kayak tours. You get the gist.

And if you get really good at being a tour guide, why not start your own independent tour company? It doesn’t take much upfront capital, and you could operate it from your home—or even your favorite café.

Typically, a travel tour guide makes about $18 per hour (as an employee). But if you start your own thing, you could earn $100 per hour—or even more. 

10. Be a transporter

If you love a good road trip, you may want to consider becoming a transporter. Sounds way cool, right?

Roadie is a social delivery app that connects people and businesses with drivers. The company delivers items to more than 20,000 ZIP codes nationwide. It pays $15 for local deliveries and up to $650 for long trips—enough to cover gas, meals, and lodging along the way.

If you have a pickup truck and a hitch, you may also want to consider hauling items across the country for cash. For example, someone may hire you to deliver a large item – like a boat – from New York to Florida.

You could also get paid by Auto Driveaway to move cars and trucks around the country. Check it out.

11. Become an outside sales representative

There are tons of jobs in the consulting, IT, defense, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries that pay well over $100,000 annually to people willing to put in hard work on the road.

Working in sales can be stressful—there’s no doubt about that. But when you’re working with the right team and representing an amazing product, sales is a people-person’s dream job. 

Not sure where to start? In my experience, LinkedIn has always been an amazing resource for connecting with all kinds of professionals, including international recruiters. You can also check out Indeed, Monster, and ZipRecruiter.

On average, outside sales reps earn $53,777 per year. But you’ll make well over that if you work for the right company.

12. Teach English overseas

When you become an English teacher overseas, you’ll learn about a different culture while gaining valuable classroom experience.

Your pay will vary depending on your subject, qualifications, and location.

Some international teachers forego big salaries for the chance to work in developing countries. At the same time, others make thousands of dollars per month in the world’s richest nations.

It all depends on what you want from the opportunity.

One of the best parts about working as a teacher abroad is the amount of time you get off. You’ll have nights, weekends, and holidays to yourself. You can use the time to explore your local area, travel, and make friends and connections.

Thinking about working overseas? CIEE is a resource you might want to check out.

13. Become a flight attendant

Do you love being on airplanes and like the idea of traveling to a new destination every few days?

If so, another way to get paid to travel the world is to consider becoming a flight attendant.

As a flight attendant, you’ll spend around three nights per week away from home and anywhere from seventy-five to ninety hours per month in the air.

You’ll receive perks like free meals and hotel stays. Plus, you’ll also be able to explore different cities between flights.

One thing to keep in mind is that seniority is a big deal in the airline industry. Most likely, you’ll start with fewer days off than your colleagues. And you won’t have much say in terms of assignments or layovers.

So you may have to wait a few years before you get to fly to Australia, the Caribbean, or Southeast Asia.

The average salary for a flight attendant is $59,987 per year. If you like to travel, want to see more of the world, and don’t mind waiting on passengers, it’s hard to beat a gig like this.

14. Work on a cruise ship

COVID-19 decimated the cruise industry last year. But now, many cruise lines are resuming operations—and they need to fill jobs right away! 

If you don’t mind putting in long hours at sea, working on a cruise ship could be a great way to travel.

Cruise lines hire entertainers, bartenders, restaurant workers, maintenance crews, deckhands, cooks, concierge managers, and security personnel.

To find opportunities, visit a niche aggregator like All Cruise Jobs. You can also go directly to a cruise line like Royal Caribbean or Carnival and search its job listings.

The average cruise ship worker’s salary is $63,377 per year. That’s not bad if you’re trying to see more of the world while earning cash at the same time.

15. Work as an au pair

An au pair is a caretaker from another country who helps a host family by taking care of the kids.

Working as an au pair can be an awesome way to experience life in another country. In addition to the amazing travel stories, you’ll form lifelong friendships and possibly learn a new language. 

GeoVisions and InterExchange are two international agencies that offer au pair services.

The amount you’ll make varies by country. According to GeoVisions, au pairs in Australia can make over $800 per week. But on average, au pairs in Italy earn only $102 per week. 

Keep in mind that this is temporary work. Most au pair jobs last only six months to a year. But if you do a good job, you’ll most likely have the option to take on a new assignment with a different host family. 

Who knows? You may hit it off with your host family and decide to pursue a longer-term arrangement.

“Let the Journey Begin” is one of my favorite Navy recruiting slogans.

If you’re tough enough to make it through basic training and are willing to do some grunt work, you may find yourself sailing all over the world.

It’s a lot of work. But it can also be a lot of fun.

Sailors often get a few hours off the boat when visiting overseas ports. The Navy also occasionally allows for overnight shore leave.

And the pay isn’t bad, either. According to ZipRecruiter, the Navy pays an average salary of $44,718 per year.

But officers can earn much more than that. Climb the ranks, and who knows how much you might end up raking in—all while protecting freedom around the world.

On top of this, you’ll get free housing while you’re enlisted and qualify for lifelong benefits like VA loans, special credit cards, and tuition assistance.

17. Work for the U.S. Department of State

Want a stable office job that lets you enjoy life in another country?

If you’re looking for a bit of adventure and want to represent the U.S. overseas, working for the U.S. Department of State is a great way to get paid to travel the world.

State Department salaries range from $47,484 to $159,023.

End up on the upper end of that spectrum, make smart investments over the years, and the road to financial freedom could become that much smoother.

18. Join the Peace Corps

Got the travel itch but not the budget to match it?

Check out the Peace Corps, which offers placement opportunities in more than 60 countries across Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Islands.

As a Peace Corps volunteer, you’ll have the opportunity to teach, provide healthcare, assist with economic development, perform environmental work, or farm, among other activities.

It’s not technically a paying gig, but the Peace Corps will cover your housing and give you a stipend to live on. And after two years of service, the organization will provide you with about $10,000 (pretax) to help ease the transition back into civilian life.

Volunteer work can make you more marketable in the long run. You’ll pick up new skills and learn a lot about yourself.

19. Become a traveling nurse

Working as a nurse can get old when you visit the same healthcare facility day in and day out. But if you take a job as a traveling nurse, you’ll have a world of opportunity at your fingertips.

As a traveling nurse, you’ll go all over the world working with different teams and under all types of conditions. And in the process, you’ll be saving people’s lives.

Best of all, if you don’t like a particular assignment, you can move onto another gig after a few months.

If you’re interested in becoming a traveling nurse, you’ll need to be a registered nurse (RN) first.

Interested in this line of work? Check out TravelNursing.org. It’s an excellent resource for qualified individuals.

The average salary for a travel nurse is $99,202 per year. Traveling the world and making good money at the same time? Not bad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to pay taxes when you’re getting paid to travel the world?

Everyone pays taxes.

Digital nomads need to spend 11 months outside the U.S. to avoid paying the IRS.

However, if you pay local taxes where you work—e.g., in Spain—you’ll likely qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exemption.

It’s always a good idea to talk with a tax advisor to make sure you comply with the requisite jurisdictions.

Check my Freelance Tax Guide for more information.

Is it easy to make money and travel?

It depends on what you’re doing and how aggressive you are about creating new opportunities for yourself.

With a positive attitude and a bit of creativity, it’s certainly possible to make money and travel simultaneously.

By far, the most challenging part is unshackling yourself from your desk and routine. Once you get a taste of the good life on the road, there’s no going back.

What’s a tax resident?

Being a tax resident of a foreign country means you have to pay taxes there.

A country may consider you a tax resident if you spend a certain amount of time living within its borders.

For example, if you’re a U.S. citizen who spends 183 or more days in the U.K., you may have to pay local taxes.

Tax residency varies from country to country, so be sure to check before taking a job overseas!

The Bottom Line

In today’s digital age, there are plenty of opportunities for travelers and digital nomads to get paid to travel the world.

Hopefully, I’ve given you a few creative ways to earn money while having a travel experience you’ll never forget.

Whether you take a traditional job in the travel industry or create a side gig to cover your travel expenses, start exploring your options right now. Why wait any longer? 

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