Those who have a love of traveling often wish they could do it more, or at least get paid for it. It may come as a surprise, but there are several ways that you can travel and have your expenses paid for you, or even travel as a part of your job!
Travel for Free
If you’re just simply looking for a way to travel for free, there are several programs out there that allow you to travel with all (or most) expenses paid, in exchange for doing volunteer work or something similar.
This is a disaster-relief program, where volunteers are sent to various parts of the world where a disaster has struck to help provide relief for the victims and the environment.
Americorps is a type of volunteer program that focuses more on social issues (e.g., poverty) around the world, as opposed to environmental issues or disaster relief. This is also a long-term volunteer program, with members usually serving for one year, but shorter terms are available. In return, volunteers receive training, housing, food, healthcare, and childcare.
This program allows groups of volunteers to travel around the world to help restore and maintain natural environments, such as farms, and also help out on sailboats, bed and breakfasts, and hostels.
Student Conservation Association
This association is more student-focused, allowing students to travel to different parts of the world to help restore marine sanctuaries and national parks in exchange for all expenses paid.
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF)
WWOOF is similar to Help X, except that it’s more focused on plants and animals. Volunteers help out on farms in exchange for housing, food, and education.
Get Paid to Travel
There are several jobs that allow you to travel, or require you to travel. Some jobs that come to mind are flight attendants, cruise ship workers, and travel agents. However, there are other, nontraditional jobs that allow for the same opportunity to travel around the world.
Like the name suggests, these are jobs that you work at certain times of the year. Not to be confused with seasonal retail jobs, but these seasonal jobs allow you to travel either for work or when you’re not working. Some examples would be summer camp jobs, ski resort jobs, construction jobs, and even teaching jobs.
These are the touring types of jobs that require more exploring and physical activity, as opposed to hospitality. Types of adventure jobs include tour guides, wilderness specialists, outdoor educators, water guides (canoe, kayak, rafting, fishing, and sailing), land guides (horseback, safari, cycling, trail, and zipline), and mountain guides (climbing and skiing).
There are teaching jobs that allow you to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL) in non-English speaking countries. This can either be done online, or you can travel to another country and teach in person. A college degree is not usually required; all you need is a TEFL certificate and to be fluent in English to teach.
Babysitting abroad is known as an au pair job. Au pairs live with a host family for up to a year, receive free room and board and a weekly salary in exchange for babysitting the host family’s child/children. A key part of this job is a cultural exchange. The host family learns about the au pair’s culture, and the au pair learns about the culture of the host family. Au pairs are also required to be young adults (under the age of 30), nonmarried, and must not have any kids of their own.
Safety When Traveling
It’s always important to be aware of your surroundings and travel safely— especially when traveling alone. There are countless stories of kidnappings and even criminal incidents during transportation services, so it’s a good idea to have a traveling partner or to regularly let friends and family know of your whereabouts.
Traveling doesn’t have to be just a hobby or something you do for fun. It can also be the way you earn money or help make an impactful difference around the world.