One of travel’s greatest dreams is believing that the adventure will never end.
Start making a living while on the road and there’s no end to the escapades. But to make it work you have to stop dreaming. You have to move the mind away from idealistic reverie and into jobs that will keep the bank account fully stocked.
That means jobs that aren’t absurdly difficult to find yet still provide a unique experience of living and working in different destinations. Here are eight that practically anyone can do.
1. Hotel Manager in an Emerging Destination
A hostel is where you want to hang out. It’s lively, fun, and full of drunk hook-ups. But a hotel is where you want to work, because hostels rarely pay. Hotels are on a higher professional rung and often crave the oversight of a foreign mind, especially in emerging destinations. Luxury lodges, beach resorts, new hotels…the world is full of great local ventures that miss a fundamental ingredient – understanding the mind of a foreign tourist. And that’s where your pitch to be manager starts. Hotels can cheaply employ locals to run reception and clean the rooms. They need your input to develop an online presence, train staff in hospitality, and professionalize the whole operation. Deliver results and being a hotel manager is a well paid job. If you tried it at home you’d be stuck in a rat race. But in a new destination, skin color gets your foot in the door and improved profits sees the bonuses stacking up.
2. Working on a Super Yacht
Just imagine: you get paid to travel the world. That’s the fundamental mantra of working on a cruise ship. Jobs are easy to come by. You just need to be single, have half a brain cell, and be prepared to work hard. With accommodation and food covered, there’s virtually nothing for you to blow your wages on. But when looking for work cruising the world, there’s a ladder of opportunity. At the bottom there’s large ships of screaming families going from A to B, then back A. At the top, there’s multimillionaire yacht owners who keep a permanent crew to look after their opulent crafts. No experience is necessary. The important thing is to have a bit of character and an easily lovable personality, because the captain just wants great staff to hang out with. On a super yacht you travel the world’s great destinations; cruising from place to place and then hanging out for months on end while the bosses are elsewhere.
3. Overland Tour Guide
Being a tour guide isn’t as good as it sounds. All day, every day, you have to deal with fussy complaining customers as you repeat the same spiel about a place. It’s essentially babysitting. The dream tour guide job is to work on the overland trucks, going on two to six month journeys across unknown destinations. You’re getting paid to travel and hang out with a load of new friends. And all it takes is a sense of initiative. Most overland tour companies have good relations with their hostels, so you also get free accommodation during your time off. You’ll find these jobs in Africa, Australia, USA, and Europe.
4. Commercial Travel Writer
Nobody cares about your blog. Sure, you might have some cool stories and half a dozen facebook likes, but it’s going to take insane devotion to build the blog into something that really pays. If you have the skills, don’t write what you want to write. Write what others will pay to read. It’s far easier to make a living writing commercially than it is to try and get your article published in National Geographic or some other travel magazine. Sure, it’s not as cool. But you’re writing for a living and living on the road. Sites like elance and upwork are good places to start building your reputation.
5. Beauty Therapist / Masseuse
Travelers crave a few regular home comforts. Just take a look at the excitement in faces when people hit a town that has a KFC. One of the easiest jobs on the road is to be some kind of traveling beauty therapist. Do pedicures, massages, manicures, back waxing for guys at the beach…As long as the prices are reasonable, the customers will line up. Everyone you meet is a potential customer, and a few easy jobs a week keeps the travel fund stocked.
6. Chef in a Random Country
Could there be a more stressful job than being a chef? You get constantly abused by your boss, never get to sit down, and work completely unsociable hours. That’s at home at least. In developing countries, a foreign chef is one of the most sought after people. Obviously you need to cook pretty well, but there’s no need for formal training. Hotels and restaurants will pay foreign chefs for two important reasons. Firstly, their kitchen needs professionalizing. Secondly, they need to transform local ingredients and styles into something that the majority of foreign palates will enjoy. Great pizza, indulgent Western breakfasts, toasted sandwiches, fries that don’t give you a heart attack…there’s no need for serious innovation, just get the basics right for the audience.
7. Ticket Seller
You could be sat at a desk, cold calling pensioners and selling them insurance. You could be stood in a mall, annoying shoppers by trying to sell them Cable TV. Or you could be in a pumping party destination, selling club tickets and tours to drunk tourists who want to sleep with you. Hmmm…
The world will always need sales people. And seasonal destinations will always pay good commission to those who sell their products. So get out of the office and use your sales speech on young people who want to party and want to buy.
8. Manage a Bar
You may be noticing a theme by now. Hotel, restaurant, bar…local businesses want foreign managers because they have new ideas. They’re not new ideas to you. Anyone who has spent enough time drinking in bars at home will quickly grasp the basics of how to run one professionally. Especially in coastal destinations, local bars are keen for foreign managers. It’s easy: teach the staff cocktails, manage the stock effectively, arrange themed nights to pull in customers, and play music that foreigners like (not just Bob Marley’s Legend and offensive local hiphop). Foreigners know what foreigners want, which is why it’s easy to get hired if you’ve got a bit of personality.