When on holiday, you may have wondered about (and even longed to be) the writers of the Frommers or Lonely Planet guide books that tourists pore through, dog ear, and even use as pillows in desperate cases. Or you may have looked at a Peace Corps worker in your town and envisioned yourself as a volunteer in another culture, trying to make a difference.
Or even if you have simply longed to be paid to travel, then you should know that there are plenty of jobs out there today that will let you earn while you, almost literally, vacation. Here’s a look at some of the most popular of these.
1. ESL Teacher
The most popular travel-while-you-earn job today is that of an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. There is a great demand for native English speakers in schools, universities, language centers and even for private tuition all over the world.
Some of these positions don’t require certifications, especially many South East Asian and Latin American countries. Pay is basic in these countries with low costs of living though enough to get by on and maybe save a little. If you’re there for the cultural experience, then making no savings may not matter too much.
In other countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, teaching in international schools and universities require university diplomas and sometimes, teaching experience. These jobs also pay quite well. Obtaining certifications such as TESOL, TEFL and CELTA are highly encouraged if you want to take up a position as an ESL teacher.
2. Flight Attendant
Flight attendant jobs pay very well, compared to most travel-related jobs. You will get to see the world and have a comfortably full bank account.
Duties of a flight attendant involve more than just customer service, however. The flight attendant must have the training and certification for first aid. If you’re flexible and can speak several languages, the chances of your getting a job (and a higher salary) are greater. A hospitality degree also helps, but it’s not essential. You can get trained at flight schools and online schools.
3. International School Teacher
While ESL teachers don’t get paid very well in developing countries, an International School teacher, on the other hand, gets paychecks equivalent to his or her home country and benefits such as flights. In Bali, for instance, an international school language teacher gets a furnished home, a car and driver as well as a maid for home maintenance.
However, you will need some experience as well as the qualifications to teach. If you’re already teaching English somewhere in the US, UK or in Australia and you want to travel, then this is a great job for you. There are international schools all over the world for the children of ex-pats in the military and in business. Your families may also be welcome.
4. Travel Writer
It’s not easy being a travel writer, not only because the pay is often a pittance. Often, travel writers on assignment find themselves in hostile environments and in danger, something that you wouldn’t expect as a writer. However, if you enjoy writing and traveling and would like to build up a portfolio, there are plenty of publications out there that you could contact. Remember that there are only a few publications that pay well, and it’s hard to break into these. However, you may feel that there’s nothing like being paid to travel.
A good place to start is on your blog. Be heard and put yourself out there, and then send your pitch to a publication of your choice.
5. Digital Nomad
There is a new section of people who are constantly on the move, and they work through their digital devices – smart phones, notebooks, tablets. They work in cafes and pool sides. They get paid in their home currencies, working with clients in the developed countries. There are thousands of writers, photographers, graphic artists etc. who enjoy nomadic lives in developing countries, living and traveling while they earn. Because the costs of living in these countries are low, the arrangement can be very profitable for the worker.
You can live like this as well. All you need is the ability to take up a line of work that can be digitalized. This way of living is becoming extremely popular, especially in South East Asian countries, some Latin American countries like Mexico and Columbia, and even New Zealand.
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