While working a job that you love can mean never working a day in your life, it’s difficult to apply this adage with more expensive or involved passions. If you’re passionate about travel, you know that it is a hobby with a high cost of admission, though the rewards of experiencing other cultures, cities, and environments are priceless. While they aren’t for everyone, there are career paths that make exploring the world either a key component or an alluring benefit. If you’re a true travel geek, transitioning to one of these professions can turn your passion into a lucrative, full-time career.
Writers have the advantage of being able to work remotely, so even if your job isn’t focused on travel, it’s a career path that gives you ample time to explore the world while still earning a paycheck. That said, there are writing careers that will specifically require you to travel. Travel guides and reviews require in-depth, personal experiences, making them an excellent avenue to explore if you’re skilled at both writing and immersing yourself in a new environment.
Whether done as a freelancer or with a consistent staff position, journalism provides another opportunity to travel while writing. While journalism can include both guides and reviews to some degree, it offers more flexibility and variety in terms of content. Whether covering celebrity news or international politics, magazines and blogs that focus on foreign affairs need writers who are physically on the ground to report on events. You can improve your chances of finding work if you gain some experience with photography as well.
It’s true that travel agents spend a fair bit of time in the office with clients, but as a travel agent you’ll be expected to provide expert advice on hotels, resorts, and other amenities local to a popular vacation spot. Reading reviews can be helpful, but the only way to provide reliable information to your clients is some first-hand experience. Whether it’s testing out an airline or seeing what a potential resort has to offer, there are plenty of opportunities for travel agents to personally experience these amenities so as to better understand the services you’re recommending to clients.
Throughout the course of your work, you’ll also form important relationships with airlines, hotels, and other vital components of the travel industry. This information is not only useful for your clients, but can also be applied to planning your own trips. In that sense, working as a travel agent will not only help to fund your own personal love for travel, but also improve your ability to plan personal itineraries and find ways to save on trips. If you don’t want to work at an agency, you can work from home starting your own travel agent franchise instead!
Given the use of English as a common language for international business and politics, a wealth of countries have high demand for teachers who are fluent native speakers. East Asia has particularly high demand for instructors willing to teach English abroad, but there are also opportunities throughout Europe, Africa, South America, and elsewhere. The sorts of opportunities you have access to are generally limited by your qualifications and the specific requirements of the school or country you’re applying to.
Some regions give preference to hopeful teachers with English or general education degrees and more stringent districts may require you to have a TEFL, or Teaching English as a Foreign Language license. Others simply require that you have a college degree with no preference for its focus. That said, obtaining a TEFL is relatively simple and can help to boost your credibility.
Hotels, hostels, and resorts are a vital part of every tourist destination’s economy. While it can take some time, if you’re willing to work your way up in the hospitality industry and learn a few extra skills along the way, it can open up opportunities to work across the globe. If you build a career with one of the larger hospitality companies, you can typically earn the ability to transfer to their other managed properties.
Since hotels deal with tourists from all over the world, the language barrier can often prove difficult in providing customer services. If you’re willing and able to learn a second language, this can significantly increase your value to the company and open up opportunities to work in other locales.
There are certainly plenty of opportunities in and around travel destinations, but actually getting tourists to those locations is its own industry. Airlines rake in billions each year connecting travelers to their destinations and as a result require thousands of skilled pilots and flight attendants to keep passengers safe and comfortable.
If you have an affinity for customer service and don’t mind routinely switching time zones or spending most of your working hours on board a plane, working in the airline industry can afford you more than just an opportunity to see the world while getting paid. Depending on your position, there’s a good chance you’ll have access to either heavily discounted or completely free flights as a perk. Since this is one of the most expensive parts of traveling, it can significantly cut down on costs when traveling during your free time.
A Wealth of Opportunities
Whether you work for the travel industry directly or simply choose a job that enables you to work remotely, there are plenty of career opportunities for those who are passionate about travel. Regardless of the path you choose, consider learning basic customer service skills and possibly learning a foreign language, since these can improve your chances of landing the right job.
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.