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Guide to getting paid to travel – living at home and away

According to the ‘Top 10 Travel Questions Asked on Google in 2014’, people are searching online to get answers to practical questions, seeking advice and tips on ways to travel and how to get paid to travel.  

  1. How to travel the world?
  2. How to travel on a budget?
  3. How do I start a travel blog?
  4. What are jobs where you can travel?
  5. How to travel alone?
  6. How do you get paid to travel?
  7. What’s the best way to fold a dress shirt for travel?
  8. What are the best times to travel to Asia?
  9. How do you apply for a travel document?
  10. Do you need travelers’ insurance?

If you are one of the 1,000’s of people searching Google for inspiration or tips on how to travel the world and earn a salary at the same time, there are many options available that involve both living at home and relocating overseas.

In addition, with the growth of travelers looking to connect with locals when they visit a city, there are many new ways to earn an income in your own home.

Live at home – but travel overseas


Apply for a Sales or Marketing position with an airline

Working for an airline offers many perks, including heavily discounted flights for yourself and your immediate family.  Working in a Marketing or Sales position can involve frequent trips overseas as you host top clients (travel trade) in order to promote the Economy, Business or First Class product of the airline.

The good:  Heavily discounted flights and industry discounts, in addition to opportunities to host clients overseas, attend international conferences and meetings held at HQ.

The bad:  Flying on stand-by can be extremely frustrating as you only get on the flight if there are empty seats available, with length of service and seniority giving you a higher priority.

Work as a Travel agent

If you have traveled extensively and want to get your foot in the ‘travel industry’ door, working as a travel agent is a great way to start.  There are many opportunities to travel on the job, with airlines, Tourist Boards and hotels chains regularly inviting top performing agents to join their overseas ‘FAM trips’ (aka educationals) – so that you can ‘familiarise’ yourself with a destination and sell the airline you flew with, the hotel you stayed etc when you return back to work.

The good:  Travel agents have access to discounted flights, hotels, tours etc for personal travel, as well as opportunities to attend work-related FAM trips overseas.

The bad:  You are likely to work long hours and earn a basic salary, with varying levels of commission paid on products sold.


Become a Travel blogger

As the number of travelers visiting blogs to research and plan their holidays increases, starting a travel blog has never been so appealing.  In addition, brands are actively looking to collaborate with popular bloggers resulting in a number of intermediaries launching, including iAmbassador.

Launched in 2011, iAmbassador provides a platform to facilitate working collaborations between selected travel bloggers and the tourism industry.

Keith Jenkins, iAmbassador Founder & CEO – “iAmbassador works with a mix of small niche blogs with a highly engaged readership (this can be just as powerful as a larger generic travel blogs), as well as mass appeal blogs that have a minimum of 5,000 unique visitors a month / 10,000 page views a month.   At the end of the day, bloggers need to have the confidence that they can generate and demonstrate value for their clients”.

Tips to become a successful blogger – Keith Jenkins | @velvetescape

  • Create a brand that reflects your principles and interests. Try to establish a unique angle. Your brand is reflected in many things, from the logo and the blog house colours to the writing/photography style (your ‘voice’) and what you choose to share via social media.
  • When you’re starting out, concentrate on building quality content on a frequent basis. At the same time, build your audience via social media and SEO, and any other way you can think of. Be creative!
  • While you’re building your blog (content), experiment with different monetising methods (affiliate programs, banner ads, etc) but don’t overdo it. Your main focus should be content and building an audience.

The good:  Work with interesting travel brands and travel all over the world doing what you love!

The bad:  Competition is fierce and it can take a long time to build up a big enough following on various social media platforms, for potential clients to take you seriously.

Re-locate overseas


Freelance remotely – Elance

Set yourself up on a beautiful island and work remotely by securing a job via one of the various online staffing websites, such as Elance.  Simply create your profile and start searching for jobs in your field of expertise – over 25,000 jobs are posted weekly on Elance.

The good:  A large number of jobs do not require you to be office based, you simply agree a price for a job and when you meet pre-set project milestones you will be paid via an escrow account.

The bad:  You may earn a lot less than you would in your home country, as you are competing for jobs with people from all over the world, where average salaries may be lower.


Suit up – United Arab Emirates

If you are qualified and have work experience in the construction, oil, finance or tourism industry, a good option could be relocating to the UAE.  Dubai in particular is a popular off-shore location for a wide range of international companies, with expats representing a large majority of the population.

The good:  Be part of a large expat community, enjoying a tax free salary and quick access to various other countries due to the central location of the UAE.

The bad:  Life as an expat can be lonely if you are not able to meet people easily and if you are travelling with a partner, you will have to be married to live together.  The visa application process can be fairly arduous, requiring extensive medical requirements.


Airline cabin crew

Dependent on the nationality of the airline, you could be based in your home country or overseas.  One of the top recruiters in the UAE is Emirates Airline, who currently employ 13,000 +- cabin crew, representing 120+ nationalities.

The good:  Travel the world whilst earning a tax free salary and free accommodation (applicable if you are UAE based).  Allowance is given in local currency at each destination you fly to and you are allocated a number of ‘rest days’ post each trip.

The bad:  Life as cabin crew can get quite lonely due to the transient nature of the job and the fact that you are one of many cabin crew – get prepared for a lot of jet lag!


Become a Tour guide

Be a part of someone else’s holiday by becoming a tour guide!   If you know a city or country on an intimate basis, excel at organising the logistics of a trip and love being around people – you could have the makings of a great tour guide.

The good:  Get paid to escort people from all over the world in a destination that you are highly knowledgeable and passionate about, where no two days are likely to be the same.

The bad:  If you like a set routine and a lot of personal time, this may not be the job for you!  You will be on-call 24 hours a day, dealing with the daily frustrations and whinges of your group.  High season might make you slightly cray-cray as you are expected to work long periods without a break.


Teach English as a foreign language

Once you have earned your teaching qualification (e.g. TEFL) you can start looking for employment teaching English as a foreign language overseas.  Popular destinations that pay well include the Middle East, South Korea and Japan and you are not required to speak a foreign language.

The good:  There is a strong demand for native English speakers and no prior teaching experience is required.

The bad:  Teaching abroad may not be for everyone and the salary you earn can vary a lot from country to country – do your research!


In addition to the jobs listed above, you could also research a few of the seasonal employment options that are out there….

  • Work on a ski resort
  • Spend a summer as an au pair
  • Become a Camp Counselor in the USA
  • Work on a boat or yacht
  • Pick fruit in Australia

…..alternatively, why not start increasing your bank balance by making additional income hosting international travelers visiting your home town?

eatwith host

Make money at home with Peer-to-peer travel websites

If you are passionate and knowledgeable about where you live or enjoy cooking and entertaining, why not sign up as a host on one of the many P2P websites that are growing in popularity and reach.

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