Over 30? Your Travel and Work Abroad Options

by | Jul 21, 2019 | Live Work Play Travel, Over 30 Travel, Work Abroad Backpacker Jobs | 6 comments

Where to Next? Over 30 – your travel and work abroad options


Living, working and playing abroad in your twenties is almost a rite of passage these days. You finish high school and live your dream of travelling around the globe by having a gap year or working holiday. But what if you didn’t do that? What if you went to university or started work immediately after leaving school? Or had a family instead of travelling in your twenties? And now, in your 30s, 40s, 50s or over, you are struck by the wanderlust bug only to discover that pretty much all of the working holiday visas out there are for those people aged 18-30 years. What about your travel and work abroad options?

Well don’t worry, even though you may be over 30, your travel and work abroad options may have diminished, but there are still lots of opportunities available. In fact, in many ways, your age and work experience can be a big advantage. This is because some employers prefer people with experience. So don’t let all the working holiday makers have all the fun. Read on and I will explain what travel and work abroad options you could do when you are over 30.


Investigate Other Visas


Firstly, investigate what visas are available to you when you are over 30.  Other visas available could lead to work opportunities. If there is a specific country you wish to work and travel in for an extended period I suggest you find out what other visas might be available. Of course there are tourist visas but what about a work visa, a student visa – yes you could study something – or a digital nomad visa. Also consider your heritage. If you have a parent or grand parent with heritage from another country you might qualify for a passport for that country. This means you could live and work there. For instance, if you qualify for a passport from a country in the European Union (EU) then you could travel and work in the EU.


Teach English Abroad or Online


Put your teaching skills into practice and Teach English Abroad or Online


Teaching English has long been a popular way for travellers to make extra money when travelling. In fact some people have made it their career. This is because English is a global language and therefore there is a huge demand for English teachers in many countries all around the world. Particularly in Asia, South America and Eastern European countries.

English language schools are often on the lookout for teachers and will sponsor overseas trained teachers. There is no age limit to this type of work, well apart from being over 18 years of age. Some find a job without a qualification. Usually, the minimum requirement is the TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certificate which will stand you in good stead. There are many schools offering the qualification such as I-to-i which allows you to study for the qualification on-line. Check out their courses here.

When you teach English abroad you will need to commit to the school for a period of time that you agree on. Anywhere from 6 months, but more than likely 1 year. Being able to live and work in a different country for this long will be a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Teaching English is a great work abroad option when you are over 30.

To find out more about Teaching English abroad grab a copy of my ebook Teach English Abroad or Online. I cover the qualifications required, types of jobs available and in which countries you could get a job.


Cruise Ship Jobs


Looking Through A Cruise Ship Porthole Out to Sea

Work on a cruise ship – they prefer experience over age


If you would like to cruise to exotic places around the world and be paid for it, then consider getting a job on a cruise ship. Cruise ships are floating cities and literally need hundreds of staff to ensure everything runs smoothly. They need people to work in all areas of the ship. Jobs include, and are not limited to:

  • Hospitality (bartenders, waiting staff, kitchen staff, chefs, etc)
  • Chamber staff to service the rooms
  • Engineers to ensure the boat sails smoothly
  • Entertainers are also required so cruisers enjoy themselves.
  • Customer service people to make sure all the customer’s needs are attended to, to name a few.

Cruise ships employ hundreds of staff. They often prefer those with experience as they do not have time to train people. They also employ people from many countries. So as long as you have experience cruise lines do not discriminate in regards to age and nationality. And if you are successful in getting a position, they organise your work visa for you.

My advice for finding a job on a cruise ship:

1. choose the area you wish to sail, ie. the Pacific, the Norwegian Fjords, the Caribbean, etc.
2. find out which cruise lines sail in these waters and apply to them
3. apply for a specific job. The last point is because cruise lines receive hundreds of applications from people looking for a position and don’t have the time to read all the information you send them. So apply for a specific job, ie. I wish to apply for a bartending position.

For more details on getting a job on a cruise ship grab a copy of my ebook Work on a Cruise Ship. It discusses in detail the type of jobs available and how to get one. Plus lists the top 15 cruise lines to apply to for a job.


Busking or Street Performing


Make cash to fund your travels by busking or street performing


Wikipedia states ‘Street performance or busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuities. In many countries the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drink or gifts may be given’. Street Performers or Buskers as I prefer to call them come in many forms: musicians, jugglers, mimers, singers, living statue, acrobatics, balloon twisting, clowning, caricatures, puppeteering, prose, street art, sword swallowing, ventriloquism, flea circus, to name a few. And they can be any age, be male, female or other and work with others or alone. My only suggestion is to ensure you check out any legalities involved in busking. For instance, in Melbourne you need a permit from the local Council, and this is the same in many cities.


READ MORE: Busking or Street Performing to make cash to Work and Travel Abroad


Hostel / Hotel / B&B Accommodation Jobs


Get a job in a hostel, B&B or hotel – trade work for your accommodation


When you fall in love with a place and want to stay a while you will need to find long-term accommodation. Instead of paying for the accommodation consider working in it. If not for a wage in exchange for lodging and food. Hostels are a great option for doing this. You could find yourself behind the reception desk greeting and checking in and out travellers. Making and serving breakfast, cleaning and preparing rooms or driving a mini van to pick up or drop off guests on transport runs. No matter whether you are staying in a hostel or hotel ask as to see whether a job is available. If nothing is available in the accommodation where you are staying, check out booking sites such as HostelWorld for hostels and Booking.com for hotels. Even though these websites are predominantly for people to find accommodation, you could use the contact details to approach the accommodation for work.


READ MORE: Get a Job in a Hostel


WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms)


Female Picking Fruit. Fruit Picking Is a Popular Working Holiday Job.

Learn new ways of farming when you WWOOF it!


WWOOF stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms (or World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). It is a program where you work on a farm in exchange for food and lodgings. As there is no money payment, you are not breaking any visa rules. A WWOOFing job allows you to immerse yourself in your hosts way of life and maybe learn different farming methods of that country. Farms vary in size from someone who has their own small organic garden to a full-blown organic farm organisation. You usually work around 4-6 hours per day in return for lodging and food. And there is no age limit so when you are over 30 it is a great travel and work abroad option. To become a WWOOFer you need to join the organisation in the country where you want to travel. Once you are a member you will have access to details of farm owners and other small properties who take in WWOOFers. There are over 100 countries where you could WWOOF so check out the WWOOFing International website for more details.


READ MORE: WWoof Your Way Around the World


Become Crew on a Yacht


Work Your Passage as Crew Aboard a Yacht


Become crew on a sailboat or yacht and sail to and from gorgeous and remote corners of the world. Imagine the sun on your face, salt spray in your hair, beautiful sunsets and yes, rough weather where you might be vomiting overboard. However, there is no age limit so if you are over 30 it is a great work and travel experience. It does help if you have some sailing experience. Knowing different knots for instance. However, captains will take on inexperienced crew to help pay the costs of a passage. Ways to get onto a yacht is to become crew, pay for your own passage or relocate a yacht or super yacht.


READ MORE: Crewing Aboard a Yacht.


House Sitting


Become a House Sitter and never pay for accommodation again


House sitting isn’t exactly a work option. It is a great option that allows you to stay in the one place for an extended period and immerse yourself in the local culture. You could then even take on work. Basically, when you house sit you get to stay in someone’s home while they are away. In return for free accommodation you look after the house. The length of time will be agreed upon before you take the position. Most house sits require you to look after the house and any pets. There are a number of organisations where you can register to house sit and be introduced to families who need their home looked after while they are away. A quick Google search should reveal them or do a search for them on Facebook. Age doesn’t matter however, good references may.


READ MORE: House Sit and Never Pay for Accommodation Again




Volunteer – you may not get paid, but it will be a great experience!


Volunteering can lead you to great travel experiences where you get to give back. You will not only get to see and enjoy your destination, you can make an impact on other peoples’ and animals’ lives. Volunteering on a program can be a truly life-changing experience.

Volunteering options come in many forms. You could build a well in an African village, take care and teach children in an orphanage in India, count turtles as they hatch on a Queensland beach, restoring old buildings, creating a path through a dense forest or possibly uncover a long lost bone or trinket on an archaeological dig. The options are endless.

Most of the volunteer experiences are not free. You will be charged to participate in the experience to cover your room and board while volunteering. However, it is the experience that is what makes it all worth-while while you work and travel.


Work Online Remotely or Become a Digital Nomad


Work Online Remotely or Become a Digital Nomad


Many travellers of all ages are working on-line to fund their travels and you could too. Some ways that people are making money online are by:

  • Do surveys on line
  • Being a VA (Virtual Assistant) where you do jobs such as social media, web designer, administration, customer service, etc. for other people where you can do it remotely.
  • Start a blog and make money in a variety of way.
  • Dropshipping – this is where you sell products on-line through your own e-store. This could range from travel goods to pet products – there are so many niches you could choose.
  • Teach English – in recent years organisations such as VIPKid let you teach English on-line from your device/s.
  • Graphic Design – creating and updating websites for other people.
  • Social Media management – managing social media for other people by managing all social media accounts or maybe specialising in a specific social media like Pinterest.
  • Bookkeeping/Accounting – all you need is some software and people can email you the documents and you are set.
  • Editing/Proofreading other people’s documents.
  • Providing content/freelance writing for other people’s blogs and organisations.


Work and Travel Your Home Country


If all else fails consider working and travelling around your own country. Your dollar will be worth a dollar. You will be use to the food and customs and you won’t have to worry about getting a visa.


Are You Ready to Travel and Work Abroad When You Are Over 30?


I hope these suggestions provide you with some inspiration to travel and work abroad when you are over 30. No matter your age, you are never too old to try something new, see the world and make new friends.

For extensive details and more suggestions grab a copy of my ebook Over 30 work/travel options. It covers all the types of travel and work abroad jobs in details plus provides contact details for landing jobs.


Final Thoughts


As you have read, there are many work and travel opportunities available to you when you are over 30 years of age. So don’t give up on your dreams of travelling and working abroad just because you are over 30. I’d love to hear what work and travel options you have been doing or have done in the comments following.


Female Over 30 Years Travelling and Working Abroad.

Thanks for sharing!

Useful Travel Resources for Your Next Adventure!


Accommodation: Where Will You Sleep Tonight? If you want a bed in a hostel dorm find a great deal with HostelWorld. I mostly stay in hotels now, Booking.com is my favourite site for booking hotels from budget to ‘I feel like splurging’. For something completely different I house and pet sitting through Trusted Housesitters – this has saved me thousands on accommodation, no joke!

Flights: I always head to Skyscanner first to find a cheap and flexible flight.

Car Rental: When I need to rent a car I turn to RentalCars.

Train Travel: I love riding the train rails and get the best value from Eurail and Interrail Passes. And Japan has a great one too – JapanRail Pass.

Bus Travel: Check out Busbud for bus tickets.

Pre-organised Tours: I’ve been on a few in my time with Contiki being my first and favourite. if you are 18-35 years of age you should check them out.

Jump-the-queue entrance tickets: I don’t enjoy standing in long queues which is why I book my entrance tickets and day trips in advance. My favourite website to book them in advance is GetYourGuide.

Travel Insurance. There are a number of reasons why travel insurance is important and I never travel without having bought a policy as you never know when something might happen. World Nomads is great for general travel insurance while SafetyWing is great digital nomads and long-term travellers.

Need something else? Check out my Resources page.


Sharyn McCullum In A Black T-shirt With Her Live Work Play Travel Logo In The Shape Of A World.

Hi. Sharyn here, the face behind Live Work Play Travel. I’ve been travelling all my life thanks to my dad who worked for an airline. My aim with this blog is to help you work abroad or work online and travel the world.   Read more.


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  1. Justine Laismith

    Great article. Very informative for anyone who fancies an adventure. I was quite surprised to read about the busking option. The cruise option is another one I hadn’t heard about, although I once met an acupuncturist for worked on a cruise, which I thought was a novel service to offer.

    • Sharyn McCullum

      Glad I was able to offer you some new suggestions.

  2. Katie Diederichs

    I always thought it would be fun to do a working holiday visa, but now that I’m over 30 it’s too late for me 🙁 This is a good list of alternatives! I taught English in South Korea for a year and it was such a good decision!

    • Sharyn McCullum

      Yes even though you are too old for a working holiday visa you can still find work overseas. You just need to know what is available and go for it.

  3. Ben Zabulis

    Some good options there, in addition it might also be worth checking if the job you are currently doing can be done abroad. In which case, check relevant trade magazines and agencies for job ads or, if you work for a multi-national company find out if a transfer abroad is possible. There’s also that modern day marvel ‘networking’ which can yield surprising results. My overseas experiences arose from job ads placed in the UK press and/or word of mouth – I recommend giving it a go, good luck !

    • Sharyn McCullum

      Thanks for that tip, i will research and include.


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