For the majority of working Americans, grinding away at their job and saving for the occasional vacation is the norm. For many retirees, the goal shifts to becoming “snowbirds,” taking off during the winter months to a warmer climate, often somewhere in the U.S. Sun Belt or Hawaii.
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Of course, you could skip all that scrimping and earn your income while exploring the world. There are plenty of travel jobs available to adventure lovers if they have passion, specialized training, commitment and talent.
If you’re willing to follow your dream of traveling full-time, here are eight jobs you should look into.
In many ways, the travel industry faces more difficulties than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even if the job has changed, working as a flight attendant is one of the most common ways travelers satisfy their wanderlust. Flying has become more stressful over the past few years for both workers and passengers, but if you’re up for a challenge, cool under pressure and are fine working odd hours, consider this career.
If there’s a place you know well, pick a niche and run paid tours there, The Broke Backpacker advised. Running small group tours around the world allows you to share your interests and get paid to travel — but it’ll take a lot of work to get established. However, if you’re a proven self-starter and social butterfly, this career move can be an incredibly lucrative and rewarding one.
Hard work and long hours are a given, but working on cruise ships provides loads of benefits that landlubbers can only dream about. Luxury liners really are like floating cities, employing sometimes over a thousand crew members working as stewards, waiters and bartenders, performers, kitchen help, deckhands and more.
Becoming a travel agent might be your most direct path to achieving a perfect work-travel balance. You’re already working in the industry, and many companies send agents away to familiarize themselves with the destination packages they sell. Happily, taking trips to scout out potential hotels, restaurants and attractions is still part of the job of a travel agent.
Event planners arrange all aspects of events and professional gatherings. Although they put in long hours leading in their offices and onsite at hotels or conference centers, they often travel to attend events and visit meeting sites. “Event planning can take you to exciting places where client parties are set up or the materials for their functions are located,” noted Zippia. “Depending on your exact niche of event planning, you can travel anywhere to both nearby cities and distant countries.”
Devoting your working life to the study of Earth, human history and pre-history takes passion and years of specialized study. However, the fieldwork required in positions of these and many other science-based, study-intensive areas is often an unplanned reward. Spending large parts of your work day away from the lab in remote parts of the world is enticement enough for many to take the plunge.
With remote work so prevalent now, you don’t need a travel-focused job to make a living abroad. Freelance writers and photographers can make great money if they latch on to a secure travel gig. As the Dream Big, Travel Far blog pointed out, almost anyone with a laptop, a camera/phone for taking images, Wi-Fi and a bit of knowledge about websites or hosts can become a digital nomad, blogging or vlogging from anywhere in the world.
According to Zippia, international house sitters “willing and ready to travel abroad at a moment’s notice” are in huge demand. Simply being present and taking care of the daily tasks around the home is an invaluable service and provides peace of mind to many traveling homeowners. Job duties include maintaining security on site, household cleaning duties, lawn, plant and pool maintenance, forwarding calls and mail, contacting home service providers and caring for pets.
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