11 Jobs That Will Pay You To Travel

Want to make a living by living out of your suitcase? Then get out of that cubicle and start getting paid to see the world.

Not everyone is meant for a typical 9-5. Some of us deliver our best work when in motion. Luckily, some jobs were designed with wanderlust in mind. And for those seeking a budget-friendly way to travel, jobs that pay you to globe-trot might be just the ticket.

These 11 career paths can take you to exciting destinations all over the planet. So if you crave a job that consistently scratches your travel itch, it might be time to dust off that resume and pack your bags.

Travel Nurse

According to the American Nurses Association, the national nursing shortage remains on the rise. In turn, hospitals are hiring more travel nurses than ever before. Because these jobs are temporary (usually 13-week contracts), travel nurses are able to work in different hospitals all over the country.

stethoscope sitting next to globe and laptop

If this is a career path that intrigues you, you’ll need a registered nursing degree, first and foremost. Then, you’ll need to become licensed in every state you practice. Typically, travel nursing jobs require at least one year of hospital experience, but the steps you must take will prove well worth it.

Not only do travel nurses get to have extended stays in various parts of the United States and help people along the way, but they make about $32 hourly on average.

Flight Attendant

flight attendant waiting for flight in airport

If you dream of a jet-setting lifestyle and you don’t mind odd hours, you might enjoy working as a flight attendant. While you’ll provide food, beverages, and hospitality to passengers, you’ll also be responsible for the more serious task of ensuring the safety of everyone on board. But you’ll also get to travel the world.

If you can remain calm in stressful situations and deal with the occasional tough customer, start looking into training and certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. You can easily earn between $40,000 and $50,000 a year.

Travel Writer

Are you a wordsmith with a wandering spirit? You may want to consider travel writing for a living. Obviously, it’s one of the surest ways to travel for work, even if it’s not the highest paying on the list. Cover popular destinations and hidden gem locales. Write for your own blog, freelance articles, travel guides, travel journals, and online publications. Not to mention, it’s one of the best gigs for those who want to work remotely full-time.

backpacker typing on laptop next to mountain range

The New York TimesConde Nast, and National Geographic are famous for hiring travel writers to report from around the world. So do a little research and see what’s out there. But before you apply, start putting some travel-oriented samples together. Because so many people dream of a job like this, you need to show them what you’re working with in order to stand out.

When working for larger publications, you’ll travel on the company’s dime. If there’s somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, you’ll be able to pitch articles and potentially be sent to your dream destinations on assignment, with accommodations covered. If you take the route of a travel blogger, you’ll typically work with local tourism industries and businesses. To get your feet wet with travel writing, set up a blog. It’ll function as your portfolio for potential clients.


close up of geologist inspecting rock in Australia

Oftentimes, geoscientists travel to remote parts of the world on a regular basis. Your job will be to study the earth, its formations, and its processes. And no stone will be left unturned. Whether you’re studying rock formations or ocean water circulation, there will always be something new to do and somewhere to travel. No matter what, however, you’ll divide your time between field research and the lab.

To become an entry-level geoscientist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in geosciences, geology, physics, or another related field. And if you’re looking to make the big bucks (and we’re talking around $90,000 per year), you’ll need to pursue a Ph.D.

Management Consultant

female consultant leading meeting with skyscrapers in background through window view

Sometimes called management analysts, management consultants are sent to various locations in order to advise managers on how to fine-tune their businesses and cut costs. The role is client-based, and so, traveling tends to be a main part of the gig.

You’ll need a bachelor’s degree for this one. But if you don’t have time or the means to go back to school, consider looking into credible online courses. Depending on your chosen field of study, you’ll be able to work in a variety of fields. With the right credentials, you can potentially bring home upward of $80,000 annually.

Event Coordinator

If you’re looking for a role that involves hospitality, great organization skills, new projects, and rotating venues, you might want to give event coordinating a try.

event planner smiling outside formal event

Event coordinators/planners are tasked with organizing meetings, conferences, retreats, and celebrations, and they’re never limited to just one industry. Because you’ll need to scope the scene before you “set up shop,” event coordinators spend a good chunk of their time on the go.

Most times, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, but not always. No matter your level of education, experience in the hospitality industry will be a major plus. As with most jobs on the list, those who pursue a degree tend to make more money out the gate. In this case, you’d earn about $50,000 annually.


Some archaeologists are permanently stationed at museums, labs, conservatories, and colleges. But a special few spend the bulk of their careers doing fieldwork. If you’ve ever wanted to travel to exotic places to unearth pieces of history, this could very well be your dream job.

archaeologist on an excavation digging up stone with markings from an ancient civilization

As it turns out, collecting and studying artifacts from around the world and presenting the research pays pretty well. You can make over $60,000 a year. You can also make money by publishing your findings in various journals.

Perks aside, it’s not the kind of job you can start on a whim. It’s more of a major career move that requires long-term dedication. In most cases, you’ll need a master’s degree or Ph.D. in archaeology. But if you’re seriously considering it, don’t hesitate. I’ve only met a few archaeologists, but they all say they love what they do for a living and have been allowed to explore places they never imagined they’d ever go.

Athletic Scout

Recruiting athletes is one of the best ways to travel while on the job. And if you’re a sports lover, it’s a win-win.

athletic scouts watching hockey game

Colleges often employ full-time scouts to seek out talented high school athletes. Typically, you’ll travel to cities across the country all year long for on-the-ground scouting.

While requirements vary, you’ll need a high school degree to qualify. It also helps if you were an athlete at some point. College coaches and pro team coaches tend to hire people with athletic backgrounds, whether they worked as a coach or played a sport.

Cruise Ship Worker

Traveling by sea year-round might sound glamourous, but it’s also a lot of hard work, long hours, and a lot less playtime than you might think. Yes, you’ll get to go to the most sought-after destinations on earth, but the 6-month to 3-year contracts are known to be binding with few breaks. So know what you’re getting yourself into and read the fine print.

With all of that said, there are some pretty incredible perks for those who sign on.

man with walkie talkie looking out at cruise ship in Saint Lucia

Along with fully covered travel accommodations and meals, you’ll get to meet new people for a living and make friends from all over the world. Because you’ll return to the same exotic and popular destinations periodically, you’ll also learn the lay of the land better than the average tourist. In other words, the entire world will become your oyster and your home away from home.

Cruise ships tend to depart from popular ports all over the globe, including New York and Hawaii. So make the most of the time spent docked by exploring whatever port city you happen to be in. Check out the job postings on Cruise Ship Jobs to learn what you can expect and search for positions that sound like a good fit.

English Teacher

Many of my globe-trotting friends have made a pretty decent living traveling to places like Japan, Mexico, Thailand, and the Czech Republic to teach English. And they all called the experience life-changing.

Also, it’s often easier to get into than you might think.

globe and text book wearing graduation caps

If English is your native language and you feel comfortable enough with basic teaching skills, you may be qualified to teach abroad. All you need is a bachelor’s degree and a little teaching experience under your belt. But even if you’ve never been an instructor, you still may have what it takes to land this gig. Previously working as a tutor, aid, or teaching assistant also counts.

Some companies may require you to have a TESOL or CELTA credential, so know the requirements before you apply. Also, beware of scams. There are many legitimate jobs for those who wish to teach English abroad, but there are just as many scams. Always make sure the company hiring is credible. Many people turn this into their full-time gig, turning themselves into full-time travelers in the process.

Tour Guide

Would you like to get paid for exploring a historic city or lush jungle? How about sharing your passion for travel, architecture, and culture with others? If this sounds like something you’d be into, you might make the perfect tour guide.

woman holding city guide in Ma

While some tour guides are bound to one place, others get to explore stunning destinations on a regular basis. No matter the exact job description, you’ll always be managing small and large groups of people and above all else, you’ll need extensive knowledge of your surroundings. The good news is, some of that can be learned on the job.

Many tour guides choose to work as freelancers because it frees them up to travel more often than not. However, larger companies also hire full-time tour guides to run travel programs and they pay pretty well. Your workload may change based on the season, but you’ll always be sharing your love of discovering new places with people.

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