Work while traveling: must-read tips

Work while traveling: must-read tips

20 job options for those who wish to make money while traveling.

It is increasingly common to come across stories of people who, by a decision of the company or their own, have left their hometowns and invested in careers that allow them to generate income while they travel the world.

With so many success stories, many people are starting to think about quitting their jobs to work on their own, without a permanent residence.

But before you do this, it is important to know the pros and cons of this lifestyle and find out if it’s right for you.

Want to know how to become a digital nomad? It’s easier than you may think! Keep reading our post to check out 20 jobs that allow you to earn money while traveling around the world.

How to plan for working while traveling

Nowadays, many jobs allow professionals to work wherever they are, as long as they have access to the internet and technology.

Planning to work while traveling, however, depends on the type of service you perform and your personal and professional goals and priorities.

Below, we’ll talk about 2 profiles of those who work while traveling and we’ll show you how you can prepare for these business trips.

1. Company transfer

For professionals who have the chance to be transferred to other countries, states or cities by their company for example, it is necessary to master two or more languages.

These professionals will also need to have a good interpersonal relationship and a deep knowledge of the company’s business to ensure that quality parameters will be maintained anywhere in the world.

In cases of transfer by the company, it is common for employees to know in advance which are the possible places where they might go and what are the requirements that must be met before being transferred, which facilitates planning.

Another positive aspect of this type of change is that, because it is a transfer requested by the company, professionals can count on the help of other departments to solve the bureaucratic part. Most companies also help pay for housing and travel costs to visit family and friends on scheduled dates.

2. Freelance or remote work

For a freelancer or someone who works remotely, the choice of destinations can be based on personal preferences. Considering the flexibility that these professionals have, it is possible to travel to different locations without it affecting the work.

Therefore, this is what you need to worry about when planning to work while traveling:

  • Finding out about each country’s laws before moving;
  • Arrange for your stay beforehand;
  • Check and prepare the necessary documentation to work and live in another country;
  • Provide the means to receive the payments for your services;
  • Be financially prepared.

We will talk in detail about a few topics.

Make a financial plan

Before you start traveling, you need to save a satisfactory amount of money to live on during the first few months. It is also important to cultivate a recurring customer base, which can help support yourself during the toughest months.

To find out how much you actually need to save up, do some research on the country/city you wish to go to.

You need to know the average amount people who live in that city spend on a daily basis, on food, housing, such as rent,water and electricity bills; how public transportation works, among other routine expenses you’ll have.

This gives you an idea of ​​how much it would take to spend a few weeks or even months there without having to work. This makes it safer to travel, especially if you have a hard time finding a job there. Better safe than sorry, right?

It is also important to cultivate a recurring customer base, which can help you support yourself during the toughest months.

Study the laws of each country

It is also important to research the immigration laws of each country to ensure that you won’t have any problems during your stay.

Every country has its own particularities, so it will be necessary to go to the embassy websites to check which documents are required.

You need to be extra careful with the type of work you plan to do in each country, as the type of visa and its requirements may change depending on the job. 

Take the time you need during this step, don’t be in a hurry!

Prepare your family

Professionals who have very strong family ties usually have more difficulty working while traveling. Therefore, it is necessary to be prepared (and prepare them too!) so that the time you’ll be away is less painful.

Make time before your trip to spend with your family and visit people you like, but haven’t seen in a while.

Whenever you feel lonely, always remember that there are video calls, email and other technologies that help you overcome your homesickness.

Study the place to where you are traveling

After you’ve selected a list of possible destinations, it’s time to carefully study the cultural habits and routine of the selected cities and countries.

Also make sure that the chosen place offers the structure you need to pursue your profession. If it is a very remote area, for example, internet access might be limited, which directly impacts the delivery of your services.

20 professions that enable you to work while traveling

As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are both remote and face-to-face jobs that offer greater geographic freedom for professionals.

Some of them are simple because they are in the home-office format, in other words, the office can be at home, and your home can be anywhere in the world.

Other professions however, require the presence of professionals to carry out the activities, but because they are a result of temporary and outsourcing hiring, they are also possibilities for those who wish to work while traveling.

Here are a few examples:

1. Bartender or waiter/waitress

Work While Traveling - Bartender

As a bartender, you can find opportunities in various bars, restaurants and pubs around the world, and work temporarily at the chosen locations.

This way, you learn about new cultures, many different people and get paid for your work, besides being able to count on the extra money from tips.

But don’t forget that because it is a job that requires direct contact with the public, mastery of the language is essential.

2. Au pair

Work While Traveling Au Pair

For those interested in visiting a foreign language country and that know how to deal with children, this may be a good choice.

Au pair exchange programs provides a place to stay, meals and remuneration to exchange students, who in turn are responsible for all care related to the children of the selected family.

By living together with a family throughout the program, it is possible to immerse yourself in the local culture and customs, which makes the experience very enriching for participants.

3. Copywriter

Work While Traveling Copywriter

For professionals who work in the area of writing texts and wish to work while traveling, taking on projects as a freelancer allows them to generate content from anywhere in the world.

That is only possible because all you need is a computer and Internet access, and a well-organized schedule to meet the deadlines.

For those who require creativity and inspiration to write, there is nothing better than being in places where you would usually spend your vacation, right?

In addition, there is the possibility of working in coworkings in various places around the world, making it possible to meet new people and even make work contacts.

Another option for writers is to create an ebook, which is a very popular digital product format among internet users that you can sell online.

4. Photographer

Work While Traveling Photographer

For those who are skilled with a camera or want to start a career in the field, exploring other cultures and realities may not only be a good idea, but also a great source of amazing images.

As a photographer, you have plenty of options, including:

  • Offer your services for people in the countries you are traveling to;
  • Sell ​​your photos to image banks;
  • Display your photos and even physically sell them.

But remember that to work as a photographer, it is important for you to have your own photographic equipment so you don’t have to spend too much on renting a camera or lighting equipment, for example.

It’s also a great idea to take some time to post some photos on social media, such as Instagram. Be mindful of your aesthetics and visual identity, as this may be an excellent way to boost your networking and business. 

5. Designer

Work While Traveling - Designer

Those who have knowledge and experience in design find several opportunities to work as a freelancer, which makes it easier for the work to be done and delivered without the need of being in a fixed location.

For this reason, a lot of designers are able to easily work while traveling.

6. Digital Influencer

Work While Traveling - Digital influencer

The digital influencer profession lies on the creation of content that adds value for users and to do so, you don’t need a lot of investment at all. 

With a computer, mobile phone and internet access, you can research, create and produce content regardless of where you are living.

7. Blogger

Work While Traveling - blogger

Just like digital influencers, bloggers can work on their page from anywhere in the world, without being attached to an office, city, state or country.

You can even use your experience to help you create unique content in other blogs.

8. Online Teacher

Work While Traveling - Online teacher

When you travel to a foreign country, you can start teaching your native language to those who are interested, which can be done both in the classroom and through online classes .

Of course, teaching your native language is only one of the alternatives. The options are endless, as long as you’re really good at a certain subject that can be useful to others. 

Since we are talking about online classes, there are no boundaries that prevent you from reaching students in different countries and teach your classes while you travel to the places you want. 

You don’t even have to worry about getting a work permit in some countries if you’re teaching online classes. Keep in mind that it’s always important to check local legislation. 

9. Professional coach

Work While Traveling - professional coach

If you master a specific subject and feel prepared to help others develop professionally or personally,  working as a coach may be the right decision for those who wish to leave the office and work while traveling.

The sessions can be held online or, if you are fluent in English, you can also invest on classroom courses and lectures.

10. Aircrew member

Work While Traveling - Aircrew member

Is there a more common way of working while traveling than as a pilot or an air crew member?

Obviously they need to travel a lot for work, however, unlike some other professions we have shown here, you may not be able to spend more than a few hours in a country where your plane has landed.

Regardless, if you want to venture out as part of a air crew, don’t forget to research which courses you need to take and the job requirements. One more perk? A lot of airlines allow crew members to travel for free once or twice a year, which can help you quench your wanderlust. 

11. Cruise ship worker

Work While Traveling Cruise ship member

Just like working on an airplane, being part of a cruise ship’s crew allows you to travel to different places around the world.

The difference here is that there are other job options that often do not require a long-term course, such as a bartender, cook or even fitness instructor.

The best part? Your overhead costs will be low, as you won’t spend a dime on lodging and food while you’re on the cruise. Just be aware that you may spend a lot of time away from dry land (that scares some people!). Also, make sure the wage and working hours are within your expectations.

12. Tour guide

Work While Traveling Tour guide

Getting a travel and tourism degree is a great option if you choose to follow this career path.  However, if you’d like to become a tour guide, you may not even need a degree. 

If you’d like to travel and share your expertise on a place’s history and sights, you can offer tour guide services.

Do you know those guided tours you can find on most cities in the world? This is what we are talking about. 

But be aware: to be a tour guide, you need to really know the place and its history so that the people who hire you have a great experience. 

13. Sales representative

Work While Traveling - Sales representative

To be a sales representative, you usually need to have a steady job in an organization.

However, this career is on our list of  jobs to work while traveling because the sales rep needs to go where customers are, and they may be anywhere in the world.

So your company may need you to travel a lot to sell products or services, which would be great for those who want to have a traveler’s life.

14. Hospitality job

Work While Traveling - Hospitality job

We talked about a travel and tourism degree, right? People who have this degree commonly work at hotels.

But don’t think that this degree or formal training is mandatory for all those who work in the hospitality industry.

You can, for example, travel  to other countries and, at each place you stay, ask if you can be a part of the hotel staff, whether as a receptionist, concierge or housekeeper, among other positions.

Keep in mind that these jobs usually require great communication and people skills.

15. Translator

Work While Traveling - Translator

Translating texts or documents is the kind of profession you can do from pretty much anywhere in the world.

For this job, it’s essential that you are able to speak at least two foreign languages fluently and idiomatically. 

With formal training, you can even work as an interpreter, a job that can require even more traveling. 

16. Cook

Work While Traveling - Cook

For those who cook well, there are several options for working in unconventional jobs.

You can:

  • Work as a cook in restaurants anywhere in the country and around the world;
  • Cook and sell home-made meals or snacks in places you are staying at;
  • Work in hotel kitchens or hostels;
  • Work as a temp in cafes and patisseries, etc.

17. Events or concerts producer

Work While Traveling - Events or concert producer

Producing a show or event is no easy task. This involves making big decisions, from where the event will be held to booking the attractions.

The event producer can work while traveling because they don’t have the remain in one single place.

If you know how to do good marketing, you can be hired to organize the event for people from anywhere in the world, so you can get to know new cultures and perhaps even new countries.

18. Seasonable jobs

Work While Traveling - Seasonable jobs

This type of work is very common for civil engineers and construction workers who need to relocate each time a project is completed.

But seasonal work is not just about that.

Remember one of our tips was working in au pair? If the family you work with no longer needs someone to be with the children, you can ask them to recommend you to another family.

Or, maybe someone needs a gardener for a day, or somebody to look after a pet or a house for a few days?

The possibilities are endless, so keep an eye out for seasonal work, especially during the holiday season, when several stores look for temporary salespeople.

19. Personal assistant

Work While Traveling - Personal Assistant

The personal assistant is much more than a secretary, because that person may even be responsible for deciding on the clothes their employer will wear.

This is a type of job you’ll need to do your personal marketing very well to attract customers.

In addition, you need to stand out from the crowd, especially if you wish to work for celebrities. You can, for instance, be a makeup artist.

And why is this a kind of profession for those who want to work while traveling?

Imagine being a personal assistant to an international celebrity! If there is one thing that this person will do a lot, is travel.

20. Volunteer

Work While Traveling - Volunteer

Volunteer work is not primarily about traveling. However, depending on where you want to work, you will eventually travel.

Today, there are a number of NGOs and organizations such as Médecins Sans Frontières that allow people not only to help financially, but also to do some work in places that need help.

If your goal is to help people from other countries, this may be the opportunity for you to do some good and also get to know a new culture.

Websites for those who wish to work while traveling

With the expressive number of people interested in working while traveling, there are currently several sites and projects, both free and paid, that link those who are interested in making a change in their professional life to opportunities that exist around the world.

On these websites, you find which institutions or companies need a particular service and what will be offered in exchange, such as a place to stay, meals or some form of financial aid.

For those who need a little help to finally quit a job they don’t like, a boring routine or simply to make their dream of learning about other cultures while working come true, here are a few websites that can help you:

AuPair World

This site is merely one of those that exist with the intention of connecting those interested in working as an au pair to the open positions.

If you have identified with the profile that we presented previously, you will find further detailed information about prices, places that work with au pair programs and other information about this type of work.

AIESEC

With AIESEC , you have access to three different programs (entrepreneur, talent and volunteer) that allow you to acquire and develop specific skills and knowledge.

In the Global Entrepreneur program, the openings are for internships in startups, with the intention of developing entrepreneurial leaders. In the Global Talent program, it is possible to experience the reality of an international company, increase your networking and enrich your resume.

There is also the possibility of being a Global Volunteer and carrying out projects in NGOs, which allows you to experience diverse cultures and positively impact the world.

Workaway

Workaway gathers opportunities for those interested in cultural exchange and, in exchange for services performed throughout the day, have a place to stay and meals. There are options at farms, hostels, family homes, schools, social projects, among others.

There are also a few other websites whose purpose resembles Workaway’s, such as: Worldpackers, WWOOF and HelpX.

For those interested in remote work, there are specific websites for this audience, where openings available for people in various locations are gathered. The following are a few options: Workana, Working Nomads, Skip the Drive, and We Work Remotely.

Pros and cons of working while traveling

Cons

–    Loneliness

At least in the beginning, it’s common to feel a little lonely, since friends and family were behind and you still haven’t had time to create a new circle of friends. However, texting, video chats, and social media can help ease homesickness and loneliness.

You can also work in cafes and co-working spaces to soften the feeling of being always lonely, without this interfering with the accomplishment of your tasks.

–    Cultural shock

Especially when the chosen places have very different cultures from ours, a certain alienation may occur regarding certain customs and habits.

 Issues such as local cuisine, clothing, laws and ways of relating vary greatly from country to country. So it’s important to do a lot of research before you move or decide to spend a period in new places.

–    Adapting to the climate

Those who live in countries with warm weather may be used to little climatic variation between the seasons. However, depending on the country where you are, changes between the times of the year may surprise you. 

The cold tends to bother those who are unaccustomed and there is also the possibility of phenomena such as snow, earthquakes and hurricanes. But remember these are aspects to which you adapt over time and with the right preparation. 

–    Restarting your career

With the exception of cases where professionals have been transferred by their companies or have been able to work remotely in the area in which they previously worked, many people choose to start a new career, and this may be the greatest difficulty. 

After all, everything that is new causes a certain difficulty in the beginning, mainly because we have to reorganize our entire routine due to the new reality. But it’s only a matter of time before you get used to it.

Pros

–    Having a more flexible and freer routine

One of the greatest advantages of traveling is the possibility of having a more flexible routine, which allows workdays to be defined by professionals and that the work is carried out wherever he/she thinks is best, without the formalities and rules of a corporate environment.

–    Learning new languages

In a world where professionals who master other languages are becoming increasingly more valued, working while traveling offers the chance not only to learn native languages, but also to become fluent thanks to the everyday conversation experience.

–    Acquiring professional experience

For your resume, an international experience can be very valuable since, when you choose to work while traveling, there are great chances of developing resilience, teamwork, leadership and communication skills.

In addition, getting to know new work environments and ways of working adds value and makes professionals more apt and prepared for new challenges.

–    Learning about other cultures

We mentioned earlier that encountering a new culture might create culture shock, since we are talking about a whole new set of habits.

However, getting to know another culture usually provides more benefits than harm, especially if the experience is viewed with an interested and unbiased view.

The world is your oyster

If you got this far, you must have noticed that the world is for all those who work hard to achieve their goals. Just decide on what path you’d like to take, plan and hit the road!

We hope that this content was useful for you! And if you’re looking for more ideas on how to work while traveling, check out our post with 30 business ideas so you can become your own boss.

This post was originally published in August, 2018 and has since been updated to convey more complete, accurate information.

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