You’ve had your fill of the nine-to-five. You’re tired of the commuting and the bad coffee. You want a job that gives you more freedom, the chance to work from home with a cat in your in-tray, and maybe the chance to hit the road once in a while.
Here’s our guide to the best travel jobs.
Want to travel and work but don’t fancy the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants world of freelancing? Here are some of the best contract jobs for people with wanderlust.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is among the best travel jobs. You can work just about wherever you like and pay is pretty good, frequently in places with a low cost of living.
You’ll often get free flights and accommodation plus have the chance to meet the locals and immerse yourself in the culture. Contracts tend to be from a few months up to a year or so. You’ll need a degree and a CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) qualification, which you can pick up inside a month.
If you’re a graduate with a political bent, how about government work? A degree in International Relations could get you a job in foreign affairs and trade. The downside is you’ll have very little say about where you’re posted—and it could be at a moment’s notice. Not recommended for the faint-hearted.
Fancy joining the jet-set? Staying in top hotels all over the world? Enjoying reduced rates on air travel? Working as a flight attendant is pretty achievable. A background in customer service will help. Cons are the crazy hours, the jet lag and time away from your family.
You could live the eternal summer aboard a cruise ship, spending your summers gliding around the Med and your winters in the Caribbean. Cruisers have all kinds of jobs going – chefs, swimming instructors, singers, beauty staff. A relevant qualification and a customer services background will help.
Being an au pair is another job where you can travel, pick up a new language and enjoy a new culture, all while being paid. Admittedly, you won’t make a mint, but food and accommodation are taken care of and you’ll have plenty of time to get out and about. Experience of working with kids is beneficial but a positive attitude and friendly personality will take you just as far.
Genuinely fluent in at least two languages? Working as an interpreter is one of the best travel jobs. Interpreters are always in demand at conferences and conventions, for legal work and in big corporations. You’ll usually be based in one place but could wangle a number of short contracts.
You'll need a degree in languages, an interpreting qualification and an understanding of a specialist area such as politics or law.
Seeing some of the more exotic parts of the world is possible when you teach tourists the essentials of diving. Top resorts are always looking for scuba instructors. Kick things off with a course with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors.
Want to travel while doing something worthy? Working for an international-aid organisation such as Oxfam could make a real difference to people’s lives. You’ll be helping countries recover from famine and natural disasters. Experience in education or health and a social-work qualification will help.
Love the outdoors? Love clean, crisp mountain air? Enjoy skiing? Working as a skiing or snowboarding instructor can be a year-round contract if you hop from one side of the equator to the other. You’ll need to be a proficient skier or snowboarder and have qualifications, which you can get through the British Association of Snowsport Instructors (BASI).
It doesn’t get much more glamorous than crewing a yacht: a life in the sun on board a pristine, white surf-cutter. Yachts are always in need of chefs, nannies, engineers and captains. There’s good money on offer if you’re qualified. The Royal Yachting Association runs a range of courses.
Working on tour for a big band must be one of the best travel jobs. As a sound or lighting technician, you’ll see plenty of big cities, but you’ll work hard, too, so there might not be much time for sightseeing.