7 Jobs You’ll Love If You Want to Travel the World

get paid to travel

The average American only gets 10 vacation days after a year on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And 23 percent of Americans get no paid vacation time at all.

It’s tough to fit in a trip to Europe or Asia when you’re only allotted two weeks of vacation a year. If exploring the world is a priority for you, consider jobs where you can get paid to travel.

Instead of standing in the way of your travel dreams, some jobs will pay you to travel. Check out these seven jobs that allow you to travel the world.

1. English language teacher

As the international language of business, English is a hot commodity across the world. Private and public schools across the globe seek native English speakers to teach the language. Several governments — like Korea, Japan, and France — hire college graduates as classroom assistants.

If you’re interested in becoming a head teacher, get a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate. You can take a 120-hour course full-time for a month or part-time on weekends. A TEFL certificate opens doors to teaching jobs that let you travel across the world.

To locate a position, use a job placement agency or search on a job board like Dave’s ESL Cafe. Just remember to start the process early. You’ll need time to make travel arrangements and obtain a visa from a local embassy.

Salaries vary across the world. South Korea and Japan have some of the highest paychecks for English teachers. According to Go Overseas, private school teachers in South Korea make between $1,600 and $1,940 a month. Public school teachers make between $1,265 and $2,500.

Note that some schools will cover round-trip airfare, visa expenses, and housing. Between those perks and a potentially lower cost of living, you could live a high quality of life and save money.

2. International sales representative

Do you have a nose for business? Companies hire sales consultants and managers to connect with clients around the world. These positions require a strong understanding of a company’s products and clients’ needs. You’ll develop quarterly goals and work hard to meet them.

Your job will involve a lot of international travel, but you won’t necessarily get to choose where you go. International sales representatives make a median salary of $69,928, according to Salary.com.

These roles typically require a Bachelor’s degree, excellent communication skills, and experience.

3. Flight attendant

If you’re comfortable flying through the skies, then you could travel the world as a flight attendant.

Flight attendants look after passengers, plus they know everything about safety protocols. As a flight attendant, you’ll get the chance to travel the globe. However, you probably won’t get a regular schedule.

“Every other month I alternate between a set schedule and an on-call schedule, which means you have to be near the airport and ready to head into work on short notice if you’re called in,” one flight attendant told Cosmopolitan.

She adds that flights attendants typically work on holidays. Plus, they have to sleep in strange places, like bunk beds above the passenger area. Flight attendants make between $23,000 and $78,000 a year, according to Payscale, with the average salary coming in at $38,000.

4. Government employee

The U.S. Defense Department, State Department, and other bureaus employ thousands of people in overseas positions across the globe.

The Department of State, for instance, hires foreign officers to work in many public diplomacy tracks. It also hires students and post-graduates for professional fellowships.

You can browse thousands of jobs opportunities at the State Department or Department of Defense. Salaries and skill sets vary widely. But most government employees can expect full benefits and some tax advantages.

5. Online freelancer

If you have a service to offer online, like writing or web design, then you could work remotely from wherever you want in the world. Remote work is a growing trend, with many industries looking to hire remote workers over the next year.

Websites like Freelancer and Upwork connect freelancers to employers. You can build your portfolio while working from anywhere with internet access. You could even eventually start your own online business.

Note that you may have to account for time zone differences. If your work involves meetings, then you may have to keep strange hours if you’re traveling across the globe.

6. Tour guide

One of the most straightforward ways to get paid to travel is to work in the tourism industry. As a tour guide, you can live abroad while showing other people around your favorite new city.

Work as a guide for tourists, or take groups of high school students on overseas trips. Companies like Broad Reach and Winterline hire seasonal guides.

If you’re outdoorsy, work for an outdoor adventure company, like Adventures Cross Country (ARCC). If you’d rather travel with adults, join a globe-trotting company like Remote Year.

Note that tour guide jobs are not always full-time or year-round. You may have to supplement seasonal work with other employment during your off time.

7. Cruise ship employee

The Disney Dream cruise ship has 14 decks, 1,250 staterooms, and three pools. Needless to say, this 130,000-ton ship needs a lot of employees to keep everything up and running.

Cruise ships hire all types of workers, from group guides and photographers to dishwashers and entertainers. You’ll get paid to travel on the cruise and explore new places on your days off.

Rumor has it, the pay is low and hours are long. But you’ll have most of your needs covered, like food and housing, so you’ll be able to put your income straight into your savings.

Plus, working on a cruise ship is a great way to explore the world and meet new people as you figure out the next step in your career. You can find a huge directory of cruise ship jobs at AllCruiseJobs.com or official company websites.

How to get paid to travel

If your feet are itching to wander the globe, you can find lots of jobs that let you get paid to travel. Some people work abroad for a year or two after graduation before moving into an entirely new career field. Others build careers that involve lifelong international travel.

Whatever you choose, you’ll develop skills of global awareness and cross-cultural communication. Your international skills and experiences will help you advance your career.

Curious about how to discuss your skills with an employer? Check out this guide to learn how to make yourself marketable for post-college jobs.

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1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lender Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
  2. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 5.49% APR to 14.24% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.29% APR to 11.44% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of December 1, 2017 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.29% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.34% plus 4.20% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2017, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.23%. Variable interest rates range from 6.02% – 15.97% (6.02% – 15.97% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of your loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Fixed interest rates range from 5.99% – 16.24% (5.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms and presence of a co-applicant. Lowest rates shown are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with Citizens Bank at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, Citizens Bank checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Benefit: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.39% - 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
5.29% - 14.24%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
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5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.25% - 14.24%$2,000 - $50,000Visit Earnest
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