Many people have a dream to travel and for some people the dream is to travel indefinitely. Something about being nomadic and shirking the career lifestyle is just so appealing to the free spirit in many of us. If you like a place stay a bit longer, if you don’t roll on the the next port of call and try your luck again. However, travelling costs money. Airfares, hotels, trains, eating, booze, visas…. It all adds up!
But with a bit of bravery and a little bit of cash in your back pocket to start with, you can make the dream a reality and work your way around the world. In some places it’s easier than others and in some places the casual economy means you can pretty much be working in days for a decent amount. If you’re thinking about it or you’ve never thought about it before, here are some ideas to get you prepped for a life on the road.
This is probably the most obvious way to work in most places but that isn’t a bad thing. If you’re a native English speaker then get yourself a CELTA, TEFL or TESOL certificate and rock up. It’s not always that easy and in some places the competition can be fierce but that’s not to say it can’t be done. Places like Dubai, Qatar, China, Korea and Brazil – the emerging economies – often have a vibrant marketplace ready to offer teachers a choice of placements.
One of the best ways to study for your TEFL is in situ. This means you get experience of teaching and often get a job straight after qualifying, often with support. SEE TEFL offer great and affordable options in Thailand which is one of the most popular travel destinations.
Parlez Francais? Vous pouvez obtenez un ceritifcat de CIEP de enseigner Francais au tout le monde!
Hablas Español? Puedes estudiar por un certificado ELE del Cervantes y enseñar Español en todo el mundo!
Teach a Skill
Maybe you’re not ready to be a language teacher but perhaps you have a passion for something else; perhaps Yoga? Skiing? Surfing? Life coaching?
If you are qualified or highly skilled at something then why not pass on your skills and enthusiasm by teaching others. You can sometimes do this as a freelancer at hostels or rented spaces or perhaps on a beach or in a field (by arrangement with the owners of course – probably for a cut of your profits).
Many people teach skiing or snowboarding at resorts or perhaps freelance dance tuition or even confidence or marketing skills. Think what you might be able to offer and you might be able to make some decent money. If you can pick up some kind of recognisable qualification in your area of expertise before you go then that will help too of course.
Maybe you’re not the teaching type. But you’re good with a guitar? Or perhaps you’re an aspiring DJ who wants to share the music? Maybe you’re a singer looking to get known somewhere less obvious.
I myself DJ’d in Thailand which was excellent fun. I found that approaching bars and clubs, having mixes available and being available at the drop of a hat meant that I got some great gigs and, even though I got paid in free drinks on one occasion, it meant I got to do what I loved for money.
Check out bulletin boards for band members wanted, start busking, ask local venues if they are looking for an act and before you know it you’ll find something. Certain places can be competitive but I know several people who have successfully busked around Japan, DJ’s who got gigs in Croatia and France and have met singers who had gigs singing in bars across the Middle and Far East.
If you want to find something before you go check here for DJ’ing.
Consider also working on cruise ships which has the added benefit of being tax free.
If you have experience looking after children then you’ll find plenty of opportunity to be a nanny or au pair around the world. Busy schedules and lifestyles mean people pay very good money for someone to look after their little darlings. This comes at a cost, which means you may not have as much free time as you’d like, but you can always do the job for a while and move on having saved a pretty penny too.
You may also find that holiday hotspots will have places where parents want to leave the kids while they go and explore – kinda like a creche. You will definitely need some kind of certification from home that says you are security cleared to work with children and a little experience will go a long way but this is a relatively easy industry to get work in.
Check out SeasonWorkers for a list of great job options including childcare.
Can you cook or do you have experience as a chef? Certain countries have chefs on their immigration skills list including Australia and Canada. You could also get cheffing on private boats or cruise ships, ski resorts or at restaurants the world over. Check vacancies at CatererGlobal.
Bar Work and Hospitality
Many places have casual bar workers and you can often rock up in a new place and be behind the bar by evening. Working that is. In some countries you’ll need to be able to speak the local lingo to a reasonable degree (European countries for example) but in some Asian countries (Cambodia, Thailand, Japan) you can often get away with English. Best bet is trying your luck when you arrive.
Reception work in hostels and hotels can often be picked up too which can sometimes mean working for free digs.
Always wanted to live by the sea and swim with the fishes? How about getting paid for doing exactly that? Get a PADI dive master certificate and you can find your own slice of paradise and get paid to go deep sea diving. Choose from amazing destinations such as the Caribbean, Great Barrier Reef, Mozambique or Croatia and make yourself at home.
Expect to spend around £2000 getting all your certification in order. It can be cheaper to do the course in the more far flung sunnier places to shop around. Koh Tao in Thailand for example is one of the most popular and cheapest places to get certified as is Bali.
Adventure Tour Guide
Now this is quite a full time job and doesn’t pay a lot, but you get to travel and show people around and get to know a particular region really well. Busabout are a relatively new company that have become one of the industry big guns and are usually recruiting for lively and fun tour guides. See also companies like Kuoni, G Adventures and Tucan.
What this entails is usually a program of activities and a full tour of an area. This will be a solid job for anything from a few months to a year but you will get to really know a place, meet loads of cool people and save all your earnings as you’ll be too busy to spend them! And you literally do work your way around the world.
The thing is, if you need to make ends meet there is always something. If you’re on the ground in a new town you can usually find a casual job which can lead to bigger things, from fruit picking or labouring to medical research or acting.
Making a few friends or just hanging out in the right kind of haunts will often give you a heads up to the local market conditions. I’ve known people who have become tour guides to Russian tourists in Bangkok, tattoo artists in Koh Phangan, dive instructors in Nicaragua, hostel owners in Kerala, India and tour guides across Europe and Asia.
All you need to do is get out there and make it happen!
*DISCLAIMER: Please abide by immigration and employment rules in whichever country you are working in.
**PLEASE NOTE: This article is done for information and as a rough guide. I have included numerous links and the only affiliate marketing link is for SEETEFL. Please use this link if you are considering signing up for this service.