Best jobs for travel lovers
If you love traveling, odds are you'd rather spend your hard-earned money on a vacation than on material things. You'd also probably want to spend your time exploring the world instead of working 9-to-5 in the office week after week. But you don't have to be so frugal with your time and money; you can earn a salary and travel with these 27 jobs.
Archaeologists travel the world to recover and preserve artifacts from past human cultures. Careers in archaeology allow you to take extended trips for digs and research projects, often in remote regions of the Earth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you'll need a master's degree or a Ph.D. in archaeology or anthropology, along with fieldwork experience.
Athletic recruiters are typically employed by colleges and professional sports organizations, and travel to schools and sporting events across the country to scout up-and-coming talent. You'll need to know the game inside and out, as well as the specific skills an athlete would need for certain positions on the team, but if you're an avid sports fan, this part of the job will be easy for you.
Do you work well with children and know a second language? If so, becoming an au pair might be a good option for you. Au pairs live with a host family in a foreign country and provide child care services, such as babysitting and assistance with schoolwork. You'll receive a small salary on top of your room and board, but you also get to fully immerse yourself in another culture as an extended member of a family. To learn more about becoming an au pair, visit InterExchange.
Auditors make their living examining the financial records and tax information of businesses around the country. Sure, you may not always get to see the most exotic locations, but auditors often spend a few weeks or more at each stop, making it one of the few careers where you have time to explore the new places you visit. The BLS says that auditor jobs will grow by 11 percent by 2024, making it a good opportunity for anyone with an accounting degree.
Construction managers not only make good money, but also do lots of traveling. Often, they will relocate to different locations and stay for several months to oversee a project. Even if you don't have the qualifications to be a project manager, construction companies are worth checking out — many need to hire support staff to relocate as well. A quick search on CareerBuilder pulls up nearly 7,000 open construction manager jobs nationwide.
Companies hire consultants from a wide variety of fields to fix specific problems. Because their knowledge is so specialized, a consultant's client base is often spread all over the country, or even around the world. Maintaining a positive relationship with clients requires regular on-site visits, making it a perfect job for people who love frequent travel.
Cruise line worker
Working on a cruise ship is a travel lover's dream gig. You make a living traveling the world, all while receiving free food and accommodations. Whether you're a restaurant server, a shop clerk or a performer in the cruise's entertainment lineup, there are opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds to work on one of these floating resorts. Websites like Cruise Line Jobs list employment openings with some of the top-rated cruise lines.
Destination wedding photographer
Every wedding needs someone to capture the newlyweds' big day. For couples who choose to host a destination wedding, the photographer they hire must be willing to travel to their location of choice. With a high-quality camera and a great eye for photography, you can get paid to spend a few days on a beautiful, sunny island (or wherever the wedding is), documenting the most special day of a couple's life together.
There is a whole other world beneath the ocean's surface, and you can live it by traveling and teaching the essentials of diving. Scuba instructors get the opportunity to see parts of the planet that most people never would. A great way to get started is with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), which offers training and student-center courses for anyone interested.
ESL (English as a second language) teachers are in high demand both at home and abroad. When you take a job as an ESL teacher in a foreign country, you'll get to help students understand your native language while immersing yourself in that country's culture. You'll need at least a bachelor's degree, ESL training and a special license to get hired. Study.com offers a step-by-step guide to becoming an ESL teacher.
Event coordinators might work on local events like parties and weddings, but orchestrating large-scale events like festivals and trade shows could be a golden opportunity for travel lovers. Meet with potential vendors from across the country; then travel to the event location to help oversee everything from setup to breakdown. A search for "trade show coordinator" on
CareerBuilder returns more than 200 jobs in a variety of cities.
It may not be the most glamorous job, but playing a behind-the-scenes role in the life of a corporate executive or other high-powered professional means you'll be right alongside your boss on his or her business trips. Because people in these positions travel quite frequently for important client meetings, you'll have plenty of opportunities to see new places while you work. You may need to build up your résumé with lower-level assistant or secretary positions before you can get hired by an executive.
Field service engineer
Field service engineers are essentially traveling customer service representatives. When a customer needs help with the installation or repair of a product, field service engineers are dispatched to help. If the company has clients worldwide, this career can require extensive travel to interesting places.
It may be the most obvious travel-related job, but it's also one of the most accessible: You don't need a specialized degree to become a flight attendant, and most major airlines only require prior customer service experience and a certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. The hours are frequently erratic, and the work isn't always easy, but you'll get a glimpse of hundreds of cities across the globe during your career. A bonus perk? Free or discounted flights for you and your family. Flight Attendant Lobby offers great resources and job listings for people who want to get into this career.
Foreign Service worker
If you want to combine your love of travel with your love of your country, a career as a Foreign Service officer or specialist could be right for you. The best known Foreign Service job is a U.S. diplomat, but there are plenty of other career tracks that allow you to meet and interact with foreign governments. The U.S. Department of State has more details about these jobs listed on its website, and with more than 250 embassies around the world, there are plenty of opportunities for travel.
Geoscientists study the earth and its evolution, allowing them to explore different types of terrain and bodies of water. In this industry, you'll makes discoveries from the earth's magnetic fields to aspects of its physical structure, and how it all ties together. Though you'll need a science background and a minimum of a bachelor's degree, it is well worth the adventures in store — plus, the BLS says this occupation will grow 10 percent by 2024, so the opportunities are plentiful.
International aid worker
If you want to travel for a living while making a real difference in people's lives, consider working for an international aid organization like USAID. With this job, you can visit struggling countries and help its residents recover from dire situations such as natural disasters and famine. You'll need a background in a field like health, agriculture or education and a strong interest in social work, according to How Stuff Works.
International tour guide
Imagine spending your days guiding fellow travel lovers through a bustling European metropolis — or perhaps a small village is more your style. Wherever you want to go, popular travel destinations are always in need of friendly, knowledgeable guides to lead tourists through city sights and cultural excursions. This National Geographic article offers some tips and inside knowledge for aspiring international tour guides.
Peace Corps volunteer
As the title "volunteer" might indicate, you won't exactly be making six figures working with the Peace Corps. But if you don't mind living on a budget, you can become part of a worthwhile organization that lets you travel the world and make a difference at the same time. Assignments typically last two years and involve working to advance education, health care, and economic and agricultural development in a community abroad. The Peace Corps also provides housing, health benefits and student loan deferment — not to mention an excellent résumé talking point.
"Working on the railroad" might seem like an outdated career left over from the Industrial Age, but the American freight railroad industry is alive and well. Jobs are based all over the country, and many involve travel. The railroads are also committed to providing work for veterans, and have made tens of thousands of new veteran hires since 2012. For a list of all of the country's freight railroad carriers and links to their websites with job openings, visit the American Association of Railroads website.
For the fashionista with wanderlust, a career in retail purchasing might be the ultimate dream job. In addition to monitoring in-store inventory, retail buyers attend vendor meetings, trade shows and conferences across the country (or even the globe, depending on from where the company sources its products) to identify industry and consumer trends, and make decisions about what products the company should sell. Of course, it's not just clothing stores that hire purchasing agents; most large retail companies employ buyers to help them select and negotiate merchandise deals.
Territory-based sales representatives travel within a certain geographic region to sell their company's products to local businesses, government agencies and other organizations. Because most sales jobs are commission-based, the amount you can earn is based largely on how much product you're able to sell, so if you're highly persuasive and charismatic, this might be the job for you. Depending on the type of product, you may need only a high school diploma to become a sales rep.
Theater productions and musicians go on tour all the time — and they take busloads of roadies and stagehands with them. While theaters and venues may have their own stagehands, some still travel with each act. You can begin your search for stagehand jobs on the International Alliance of Theater Stage Employees union website.
In the age of Google searches and travel price comparison websites, some people may think that the professional travel agent is a dead career. While it's true that the BLS predicts a decline in this occupation over the next decade, it's still a rewarding job for anyone who loves to travel. In order to make honest, helpful advice to clients, travel agents often visit popular destinations to get firsthand experience of the resorts and restaurants they recommend. Whether your clients are business or leisure travelers, they'll thank you for your insider insight into local sights and activities.
Traveling nurses move around the country from hospital to hospital, bouncing from one temporary position to the next. You'll be sent to areas where nurses are needed most, and your housing, travel expenses and benefits often will be covered. As with any nursing position, you'll need credentials from a nursing program to become a registered nurse. Visit TravelNursing.org for more information.
It might not be the easiest way to make a living, but if you've got a knack for writing, you can share your knowledge about popular travel destinations. Though full-time travel writing positions do exist, most of the work you can get is freelance, as publications typically want individuals who can submit firsthand accounts of the location they're writing about. Freelancer.com has a few openings for freelance travel bloggers listed.
Long-haul trucking is an ideal job for those who prefer the open road to an office cubicle. Because of the extended amount of time you'll spend driving by yourself, it's also a great career option for introverts. You'll need to obtain a commercial driver's license to start working in this field, but once you have it, you'll be able to see the country as you deliver shipments from one destination to the next.
Additional reporting by Sammi Caramela.