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10 Jobs That Pay You to Travel

6. State Department

Maybe you’ve always dreamed of a big fancy job working for the US government. You can still travel! In a nutshell, the US Department of State prides itself on “Careers Representing America,” so you better be up for the challenge. The two main categories of these jobs are Foreign Service Officer and Foreign Service Specialist. While they both deal with foreign diplomacy, there are multiple career tracks to choose from and are geared towards a wide range of interests. Here’s the rub: there’s a test involved as part of the application process for both of these positions. But hey, if you can get past it, you may have a potentially life-long career representing the good ol’ US of A in your future.

How to get an international job with the US government:

•   The US Department of State’s website give general information about what working for the government entails.
 For more specific information about being a Foreign Service Officer or a Foreign Service Specialist, check out their respective sites.
•   If you’re concerned about the aforementioned selection process for either of these career tracks, check out the Test Information and Selection Process tab for being a Foreign Service Officer and the selection process tab for being a Foreign Service Specialist.


7. Roadie

Ok, so this may not be exactly what comes to mind when you think of working in a different country, but, if you’re into music, being a roadie may just be the best job for you. Depending on your gig, this could range from occasionally traveling to constantly traversing the world. As a technician or some other crew member for a famous musician, you could be in constant transit and working a lot of hours, but it could also be a great way to see countless cities and meet tons of new people everyday. Plus, if you’re a music geek, what’s better than a backstage pass to your favorite performer every night?

How to become a roadie:

•   Sites like Roadie Jobs and Music Jobs are great to check for posts about current job openings.
•   Any connections you may have in the industry could always be milked to get your foot in the door to work for your favorite performer.


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8. Au Pair or Nanny

Do you only have a summer to dip your toes in the international waters? Maybe being an au pair is right for you. An au pair is an international nanny that typically lives with a family to take care of their kids for a certain amount of time. There are countless websites that help find potential matches between families and budding au pairs, depending on things like availability, experience, and country preferences. Payments can range from just room and board to flights and a salary being included. Many times, families are looking for somebody to speak to their little munchkins in just English (as they want them to learn it from you!) but if you’re interested in picking up a new language, this could also be a great way to practice your skills or do a sort-of language exchange with your new family.

How to get a job as an au pair:

•   Websites like Au Pair World and International Au Pair Association help match hopeful au pairs with potential families.
•   Networking is also a great way to set up these types of positions. A lot of times family members have international coworkers or friends who would just love to have somebody come visit and babysit their kids or teach them English for the summer.

9. Travel Nurse

If you’re on the nursing track, you should consider being a travel nurse. These positions are applicable to a wide variety of health-care professionals and include both national and international traveling as a way to help with the international nursing shortage. Assignments can range from a short span to multiple years, so they could work for someone who’s a nursing student or a certified nurse looking to do something different. Compensation varies and many times housing is provided by the agency. If you’re tired of the same old scrubs in the same old hospital, it might do you some good to expand your horizons and try offering up your services in a new part of the world.

 How to get a job as a travel nurse:

•   Depending on if you’re hoping for domestic or international travel, there are a lot of great sites, such as Continental Travel Nurse and Worldwide Travel Staffing to get you set up.
•   These organizations and others like  are set up to match you with a travel nurse agency or position that best suits your fancy, ideal location, and skillset.

10. WWOOFing

Suppose all these options still seem a bit too mainstream for your vagabond soul. Not to worry–there’s always WWOOFing, or Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. While many of these positions are not technically paying jobs, the deal is that you usually work for a farmer in exchange for room and board. And what’s better for a hippie like yourself than a way to move about the world in a self-sustaining way all the while nurturing the organic greens that make this world thrive? This flexible position often allows you to set your own timetable and enables you to bop around the world from farm to farm as much as your little heart desires.

How to WWOOF:

•   There are websites, such as that have you enroll as a volunteer and help you to find a match with a host farmer in your desired land.
•   Other websites, such as WWOOF Aotearoa New Zealand and WWOOF Deutschland are geared only to their respective countries.

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Photo sources: Thompson Rivers University via Flickr, Frontierofficial via Flickr, Web.MIT.eduInterExchange USA via Flickr

Laura’s persistent urge to experience new cultures has her currently stationed teaching English in Hong Kong since graduating college this year. Before that, she studied abroad in both the Netherlands and Costa Rica and found them also to be quite pleasant experiences. When not doing the whole English-teaching thing, Laura loves exploring new places, hiking, playing the piano, and enjoying some nice bread and cheese. If you’re still curious, check out her Hong Kong blog.

21 thoughts on “10 Jobs That Pay You to Travel

  1. Maria

    Fantastic and interesting post! Other good job that pay you to travel could be a “Foreign Language Teacher”. You could travel with your students group to the country where speak this language.

  2. Hannah Wasielewski

    These are great, I’m currently teaching English in Brazil. Many people think they can’t go abroad because they’ll be issing out on job opportunities at home. But why not work abroad? English teachers can get really good salaries. Another thing to remember is Working Holiday visas. I plan on spending one year in Australia next year with the Work & Holiday, and Americans can also get this type of visa to Ireland and New Zealand. So many opportunities!

  3. Trevor Moynihan

    I’ve worked on cruise ships before. Great experience BUT they do not contribute to your Social Security or unemployment benefits.

    1. Jessica Dante

      Right. Most jobs that are international won’t, but if you plan on working a cruise ship job for just a year or two, that wouldn’t really be something to worry about– will just be a great experience!

  4. Amy


    I like the article! 🙂

    Do you have any further suggestions of where to look for Tour Guide jobs?

    I’m wanting to be a Tour Guide to Latin America and/or New Zealand, but I’m having a difficult time finding any listed vacancies that I can apply for.


  5. Donald

    Hi Hannah!
    My name is Donald and I’m living in Texas now and for the last 3 years trying the job market, but I was raised overseas by my mom whose job for almost 30 years was in the US Foreign Service, and I’d love to try my hand and find something overseas as well. The only thing is I don’t have much of a college education at 44 yrs old, but a lot of life experience in customer service and hospitality. So I’d like to ask you, after all my overseas upbringing in 9 different countries,and a fairly good grasp
    of Spanish as a second language, don’t you think I should be able to find employment abroad?? I appreciate any input, thanks so much!

  6. Mary

    I used to work at the Grand Canyon. Two companies there are Xanterra and Delaware North. They even have benefits, and you can transfer parks. Housing and meals vary upon location, position/status, season… If you’re an avid hiker and the folks at Phantom Ranch like you, you could even work there. Always save money, though, in case you suddenly get let go. A couple of times a year, there’s a sort of purge of employees. You’ll find plenty of folks imagine a back-up plan or future move. Some people are with the company for many years, though, too. Grand Canyon has a school, too. One of the teachers told me she found the school through some International Baccalaureate teaching resources. Park Service has housing, too. So do some of the businesses outside the park, in Tusayan. The bank and the post office don’t have housing, but you may get lucky finding a place in the trailer park. Plenty of tour companies come through town – bus tours/photography/hiking/rafting. My favorite site is They have links to all kinds of stuff in all kinds of places. That’s where I found the Grand Canyon job.

  7. Tyra Reynolds

    Hi i was wondering if you all new about any traveling jobs like throwing phone books or news papers or just selling things door to door for a profit s and hotel

  8. Melstein


    Any advice or information for parents wanting to work abroad with children in tow? I was fortunate enough to grow in a family that travel with their employer. I would like my children to experience the same. Thank you for any and all information in advance.

  9. christina

    I’m wondering if i were to become an ESFL teacher, would it just be you going to another country or could you take your kids too?

  10. Jen

    I am a corporate event planner, I don’t travel constantly as my only form of work but I get paid to travel. I plan events and incentive trips and it has taken me to Asia, Europe, South America, and of course Hawaii and Mexico over and over! Full benefits, steady pay, and great paid trips.

  11. Silvi

    I have a BA in healthcare administration and management. My dream job would be to travel all over while working in my field. Anyone have any ideas of jobs that I could do that? It would be much appreciated!!!!


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