The World is Your Oyster – Travel Job Tales

by | Last updated Dec 26, 2023 | Work Abroad Backpacker Jobs

There is a saying ’The World is Your Oyster’. It basically means you can do anything you wish, or go anywhere you want to in your life, because you have the ability to do so. That leads me to another saying ‘If it’s going to be, it’s up to me’. I could go on as I have a few more of these gems up my sleeve. However, the point I’m trying to get to is, one way to make the world your oyster is to work while you travel. When you work, you earn money to keep you travelling. Here are some work and travel jobs tales.


Table of Contents

Advantages of Travel Jobs


  • Experience working abroad and engages you with local communities
  • Immerse yourself in the local area
  • Gain valuable skills from it
  • Earn money to fund future travels 
  • Helps you travel longer
  • Meet new people
  • Takes you out of your comfort zone and gives you confidence and builds resilience


Ways to Find Travel Jobs Overseas


  1. Look at where you are and adapt your skills to your surrounds. I am in a farming area – can I pick fruit and vegetables? I am in a fishing town – can I work on a fishing boat? I’m in a country that English is not their first language – are there English Language Schools I could Teach English in? I think you get the drift.
  2. Have a job organised through a work and travel organisation such as Work & Travel Abroad, London Pub Co, Workaway, Camp Counselors USA, IEP (International Exchange Program).
  3. Get a working holiday visa then register with recruitment agencies for casual jobs.
  4. Check out noticeboards in hostels.
  5. Arm yourself with a CV and walk into establishments and ask if work is available: cafes, restaurants, ski lodges, retail stores.


What Work I Did While Travelling – Travel Tales from the Road 


To get some travel job inspiration, particularly if you are a nervous first-time solo traveller who is umming and ahing about whether or not to work abroad, I’ve asked some travellers “What physical travel jobs did you do while travelling the world?”. Some did their current profession while others tried something completely different. Most of them have now become digital nomads. Overall, it doesn’t matter what work and travel jobs you do as long as you get paid. Here’s what they said.


Odd Jobs – Melissa Giroux @ Nomadlife101


Over the years, I did plenty of travel jobs abroad. From volunteering in a hostel to milking cows in Australia, from picking cherries to fundraising, I’ve been doing everything I should do to stay abroad longer! I’ve never traveled with savings, so I did a lot of volunteering using websites such as HelpX and I found jobs while networking in Facebook groups. After doing many different odd jobs around Australia, I decided to get started as a blogger. And eventually as a digital nomad – which gives me a lot more freedom when it comes to traveling and living abroad.


Bar Work in the UK – Sharon Gourlay @ Digital Nomad Wannabe


When I was travelling in Europe, I worked in a pub on the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland. I initially had gone to Edinburgh wanting to work there. But soon found that entry level jobs did not really pay enough to live plus save anything for travel. When I saw pub jobs advertised in the TNT magazine in my hostel which included food and board and then paid on top, I decided to ring one of them. After a very short phone interview, I was on my way to Carradale the next day to work at the Carradale Hotel.

I worked as a waitress for the hotel guests for breakfast and dinner five times a week. I had the majority of the daytime free which could be boring as it was hard to get anywhere. Plus, there weren’t many young people around it could also get lonely. However, it was an experience that, overall, I enjoyed and it helped me save money while experiencing more of Scotland.


READ MORE: Travel and Work Abroad as a Bartender


Hostel Job – Jo Cahill @ Overtheedgeofthewild

After a year of solo backpacking, I realised that I would be arriving in London – widely considered to be one of the most expensive cities in the world – with virtually no funds left in my bank account. Armed with my British passport (thanks Mum!), I was able to work anywhere, but thought that my best bet would be a backpacker’s hostel. I got online and found the contact details for as many hostels as I could. Then sent them all emails with my CV and a request for work. I thought I’d probably end up as a cleaner somewhere, but I was given an office job in exchange for a bed. Then I realised just how low my funds were – extra hours for actual pay. Over the next few months I also worked some shifts in reception and had stints as the acting head cleaner. And even the acting manager for a short time. It was such a fun way to get introduced to the vitality of the city, and I loved every second.


READ MORE: Get a Hostel Job


Teach in Korea – Sandra Muller @ thesmarterwriter


I taught English in Korea for two years. There are no age restrictions in Korea for teaching English. But you do need at least a bachelor’s degree and citizenship from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK or the USA.

There are three types of teaching jobs. The first is at a private academy or language school called a ‘hagwon’. You can teach any age at hagwons, from 2-year-olds through to business people looking to improve their English skills. These are the easiest jobs to secure, start year-round, and usually come with accommodation. I taught at different hagwons during my time in Korea.

The second type is at a government school through the EPIK program. The third kind is at a university. You’ll need at least a master’s degree these days to secure a university teaching gig. The perks are good with lots of paid holidays.

I found both of my roles via the internet, the second via Dave’s ESL Café. My first job was a roll of the dice because I accepted the job from my home country. The second, I interviewed at the school and checked everything out first.


READ MORE: How to Teach English Abroad

Scuba Dive Instructor – Dominic Evans @ Best cenote dives


In 2011 I left the UK to follow my dream of becoming a Scuba Diving Instructor. I went to Koh Tao in Thailand to do my dive training. After my Instructor course I found work quite easily through websites and local contacts. When your job is your passion it makes it an absolute pleasure to go to work. My students love my enthusiasm for the underwater world. It can be challenging looking after divers in dangerous situations but being under water seeing amazing things makes everything worthwhile. Since then I have travelled the world diving and working. Now I live in the jungle in Mexico teaching people about diving in Cenotes a massive underwater cave system. I’ve seen amazing things, met wonderful people and can honestly say that it has made me really happy.


READ MORE: Travel and Work Abroad as a Scuba Dive Instructor


Cruise Ship Purser – James @ Travel Collecting


Working on a cruise ship is a great way to travel and earn money for more travel at the same time.  When my working holiday visa in the UK was running out, I saw an ad for a purser on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in a hospitality trade magazine, so I applied.  After a successful interview in London, and getting a C1/D visa for the U.S., I was on a (paid) flight to Miami.  As a guest relations purser, I worked the front desk, helping guests with any questions or problems, as well as managing onboard charging (a ‘purser’ is traditionally in charge of the ‘purse’ i.e. money on board).  I worked for 8 months (the contract was 6, but I extended it), saved almost all of my money (everything is paid for and it is tax-free), then travelled for three months before returning for another contract as a crew purser (in charge of clearing the crew through customs and immigration).  It was able to see the Caribbean, have fun and save money.


READ MORE: How to Get a Job on a Cruise Ship


Garden Centre – Charles Kosman @ The Barefoot Nomad


Back in 2003, after 5 months living in a van in Australia, I wanted to work with my hands for a change rather than take on another IT contract. Micki was working remotely as an editor, however I had an Australian work visa so I looked into picking fruit while on Australia’s east coast. We were traveling during the wrong season to get anything good so I held off working until we hit Sydney.

When we finally rolled into Sydney, I met a guy in our hostel who had just started working for a garden center. The value of land was too high to pass up so they were moving the garden center out of town. Our job was to deconstruct all the flower beds, benches and even tear down some of the older buildings. It was tough work however the weather was nice and the people were friendly. The only problem were the giant spiders we uncovered while deconstructing everything. From giant jumpers to crazily poisonous ones you never knew what you were going to find as you took apart old things. It definitely made it a travel job to remember!


Chicken Seller in France – Jessy Lipperts @ Planetpilgrims


When I saw an advertisement to work at a ‘beach club’ in the South of France, I thought it would be the perfect way to spend my Summer. Little did I know, that the beach club owner was so horrible that I left within a few days and then found another job: selling roast chicken. It is most probably the most humbling (read: horrible) holiday job I’ve ever done and not only because of the working hours. I worked 2 shifts a day, from 10 – 2pm and from 5 to 11pm, 7 days a week. And then, selling roast chicken in 40° C feels as if you’re in a stove. Constantly. They would only pay out at the end of the season which meant I had to come up with a horrible excuse to be able to leave this job before I would literally melt to death. I did. Got my pay. Left and never looked back. The village where this all happened was called ‘Vias’ which I from then on would refer to as ‘Fiasco’.


Temp Office Worker – Sharyn @ Discover Australia Now


Sharyn McCullum Enjoying Cocktails During Happy Hour At Cancun, Mexico Hotel.

I have been travelling most of my life thanks to a father who worked at the airport and went on many holidays abroad. The first trip I undertook on my own was a working holiday to London. It was a huge experience and at times stressful. When I first arrived I had nowhere to live, no friends or family to fall back on, no job and it was so cold. I didn’t like being this independent! But I found somewhere to live, got a job and made some friends. I mostly took ‘temp’ office jobs in offices that I found through temp agencies. There are literally hundreds of these temp agencies in London and around the UK.

Jobs I did ranged from being a receptionist to a typist in a typing pool to a private secretary. I really enjoyed the variety of work and met heaps of people. One job I had was working for a parliamentarian and I worked in the Houses of Parliament for a a month or so. Doing casual temp work in London allowed me to work for 3 months then take off on a holiday to Europe for a month. It was a great life.


Au Pair in Australia – Lara Hartog @ The Best Travel Gifts


Lara got a travel job as an Au Pair in Australia.

When I traveled around Australia, I took an au pair job to save some money and emerge in Australian culture. And I can tell you, living with a family for four months is by far the best way to get emerged.

It was actually surprisingly easy to find the job. I joined a free Australian Au Pair Facebook group and simply applied to a post of an Australian family that sounded great. I had the benefit of being slightly older (25), having a driver’s license, and having worked as a caregiver before. That definitely helped to get my resume to stand out.

I ended up landing a job on a farm in Narromine, a tiny town of 6,300 residents in the middle of nowhere. Here, I looked after their three-year-old son during the week. He was such a cute kid, so I really enjoyed spending time with him. But at the same time, I felt quite isolated being in such a tiny town without any friends. And as friendly as the family was, it was hard to meet people my age, especially in the beginning which made it quite a lonely time too.


Outdoor Activity Centre in The UAE – Callie @ Countingourfootsteps


Callie at Outdoor Acitivity Centre in UAE, great travel jobs.

A few years ago I travelled to The UAE to work at an outdoor activity centre and teach different activities to young children. The Centre was a 2 hour drive from Dubai so we got to spend our weekends in the enormous malls there which was pretty fun.

During the week we would have groups from different local and international schools come and stay. We would teach them all kinds of different activities. These ranged from climbing on the onsite climbing wall, raft building in the pool, sea kayaking, archery, mountain biking and loads more.

I had never done this kind of work before so it was all new to me. I was originally hired to teach field studies sessions in the wadis or the mangroves. As my background is in science. I pretty quickly ended up doing both roles and learning tonnes of new skills. 

I found the job on a site called Outdoorstaff and was there for around 4 months. The job required a lot of patience and an ability to do physical activities in 40 degree heat – which wasn’t always easy. But I had a great team and loved my time working in the desert.


Teaching English in Thailand – Nina Ragusa @ Where in the World is Nina


Nina Teaching English in Thailand is a great travel job.

It was my first time heading to Asia ever, and I decided I was going to dive into the deep end and just move to Thailand and get a travel job teaching English. It sounded kind of crazy, but it was actually pretty easy!

The main requirements for teaching in Thailand are:

– You’re a native English speaker
– You have a bachelor’s degree in anything
– A TEFL certification

And really, that’s about it! I had numerous job offers and was hired three days after getting off the plane—and I had absolutely zero experience. You can find jobs easily on The next week, I was working about 20 teaching hours with teenagers 14-18.

It was overall really fun, but it was a bit intimidating at first. They pretty much gave me free rein, and since you’re supposed to only speak English (not like there’s another choice! There’s no requirement to speak Thai at all). I had to get creative quickly and I found fun English games that were competitive were the winner for both the students and me!

I was a teacher in Thailand for about a year altogether. It led me to so many other opportunities and I started teaching English online, which led me to find many other digital nomad jobs along the way.

While I lived all around Thailand, I was a teacher in Ayutthaya, just one hour north of Bangkok. You can teach in many places around Thailand, and it was a great first job abroad for me.


READ MORE: How to Teach English Abroad


Hiking Guide in Patagonia – Candice Criscione @ Mom in Italy


Candice as a hiking guide in Argentina as a travel job.

I spent two summers in the southern hemisphere working in Argentina as a hiking guide.  Along with another guide and a driver, I led small groups of ten to twenty adults (and sometimes older kids or teens) on 2-10 mile hikes through the incredible landscapes of Patagonia.  We hiked on Perito Moreno glacier, made our way through the Fossil Canyon of Estancia Cristina, 

We stayed at gorgeous hotels and lodges, and enjoyed excellent food (roast lamb, empanadas) and drink (Malbec!).  

Along with leading hikes, I helped the guests connect to the region by teaching them about what they were seeing, and having them spend time with local guides, families, and experts (like geologists).  I also translated, made picnics, organized equipment, assisted with any guest problems (which could be anything from lost luggage to blisters), and did everything I could to make each guest’s trip the best it could possibly be.

When I wasn’t working on a trip, I’d spend my time hiking in Patagonia with other guides or living in Buenos Aires in either a B&B or a short-term rental.

The job was with a US-based global travel company, and I was able to work in Argentina for a few months during my off-season from work in Italy, where I’m now based (and love to hike in our Dolomites!).


Allrounder, South Pole – Michelle Endo @ Wander Eat Write


Michelle at South Pole as Allrounder Travel Job.

Over the last three years, I’ve worked in the most remote place on Earth— Antarctica. I first started as a dishwasher, or steward, at McMurdo Station, which is the largest Antarctic base. Now I’m the front of the house manager at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. I’m responsible for several departments over the course of my year-long deployment: dining room and front of the house staff, janitorial, housing, retail store, and post office.

Of all the travel jobs I’ve had, working at the bottom of the world has definitely been the most unique! There are three American research facilities in Antarctica. All of them require a team of support staff to keep the small town (or what feels like a space ship at the South Pole) going while scientists collect data and work on research projects.

During the summer months at the South Pole, the sun is up 24/7. Then winter is approximately seven months long, most of which is in total darkness. Temperatures during the austral winter are an average of -60°C (-76°F). Antarctica is a harsh continent to work and live on but a once in a lifetime experience!


Apple Picking, Canada – Kamila Jakubjakova @ Kamila Writes


Apple picking in Canada is a great travel job.

I arrived in Canada on a working holiday visa together with my partner. Of course, we wanted to explore as much as possible and not be limited to only one location. This meant seasonal jobs were our best bet.

Our first job in Canada was tree planting in the beautiful Canadian Rockies. This involved camping for 3 months in the Canadian wilderness. It was pretty hard work but rewarding at the same time.

We used the money we earnt from tree planting to buy an old-school van Chevy G20 and continued our adventure road-tripping to Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.

We managed to land an apple-picking job at an organic apple orchard in Vernon. Okanagan is a picturesque region with plenty of lakes, vineyards and a warm climate, perfect for growing all kinds of fruits.

Picture rows of apple trees filled with juicy red apples as far as your eye can see. It was so fun climbing up ladders and filling bags full of crisp apples. The harvesting lasted for about two to three weeks.

The best part, however, was hanging out at local farmers’ markets in our free time and eating fresh organic apples straight from the trees.


Prison Manager’s Assistant, New Zealand – Fiona @ Following Fiona

I arrived in New Zealand with a one-year work visa and no plan whatsoever. I signed up with a few temp agencies, and a few days later was asked how I felt about working in a prison… Apparently several people said no! A Prison Manager in the Auckland region was looking for an administrative assistant for 6 months and given the unusual setting I took the job.

The role was typical office work, with a twist. Post arriving for prisoners had to be checked for contraband and skim read for security (it made for strange and sometimes unpleasant reading). The practice schedule that I managed for fire drills also included riot and hostage scenarios. Moving to other parts of the prison to take meeting minutes involved waiting for central security to open the next section of corridor once a group of prisoners leaving an education session had been moved on.

It was great work experience but also very eye opening, giving me a small amount of insight into a world I previously knew nothing about. My time in New Zealand changed me, for many reasons, and working in such a strange setting was an experience to be remembered.


Tour Mystery Shopper in Hostel in Israel – Mary @ Three Week Traveller


Mary took a travel job as a mystery shopper in Israel and got to see camels.

I worked as a tour mystery shopper in a hostel in Israel. The hostel offers tours to Israel, Jordan, and Palestine. My duties entail going on the tours under the guise that I’m a legitimate tour participant. I basically review the tour and make sure that everything is working well. Also, assess the tour guide’s performance and how they conduct themselves with the clients. I spoke with other tour participants and asked them casually what they thought of the tour. If they liked it or not or what could be improved as well. They would ask me back what I thought, and I varied my answer to see how they’d react. 

The hostel has many tour guides and various kinds of tours. I would go on the same tour a few times with different guides so the same guide won’t see me more than once. Then report directly to the Tour Manager, and we’ll brainstorm how to improve it.

In exchange, I get to explore these three countries without spending my own money by going on those tours. But I also get accommodation, some meals, and transportation covered. I found the volunteer job online. I usually look at the most popular hostels in a specific country and contact them directly if they have volunteer positions.


Receptionist at Ski Resort, Canada – Chelsea Weeding @ A Wondering Red Head


Picture this, your uniform consists of snow boots. You live with 100 of your work colleagues turned best friends and your commute is through the mountains to a lake. That was my reality working at a ski resort between 2014 – 2016 in Yoho National Park, Canada.

My day to day was always different. From checking in guests to our picturesque lodge style cabins. To helping book experiences like dog sledding or guided hikes were always guaranteed.

I found this job through a working holiday program with IEP. They fly ski resort reps over and I interviewed, and had a guaranteed job before leaving Australia. It’s absolutely possible to move over and get set up without needing a program. That’s just the way I chose to do it because of my age and travel experience.

I had the most incredible time and found my passion. If you are on the fence 100% go for it. You will never regret doing a ski season in Canada.


READ MORE: Work and Ski Canada – How to Get a Job in a Canadian Ski Resort


Veterinary Nurse, St Kitts, Caribbean – Steph @ Book It Let’s Go!


Steph looked after donkeys when she took a travel job as a vet nurse in the Caribbean.

Working in the veterinary profession as a veterinarian or a qualified veterinary nurse provides so many opportunities for jobs abroad. As a UK registered veterinary nurse I have been working and living in St Kitts in the Caribbean for the past 4 years. Here I’ve been teaching veterinary anaesthesia to veterinary students at the veterinary university on the island.

I found out about this opportunity from a veterinary nurse friend I had previously worked with. There are lots of veterinary working and volunteering abroad groups on Facebook.

My day-to-day role involves teaching and assisting students to induce and monitor anaesthesia for multiple species of animals including sheep and donkeys. Anaesthesia is a critical part of being a veterinarian. It is a privilege to work with veterinary students during their education.

Teaching veterinary students is not the only veterinary job you can do abroad though. There are many animal charities that operate veterinary clinics around the world. They provide emergency veterinary care and vital preventative care. Such as spaying and neutering, vaccines and parasite control to local dogs, cats and livestock.

To work abroad as a veterinary nurse, you must complete a 3-year training program to become registered. There are high quality veterinary nurse training programs in the UK, Australia and also in the USA that are recognised worldwide.


Bartending, NZ – Lena Mrowka @ Not Another Backpacker


When I traveled to New Zealand on a working holiday visa in 2018, I was excited to find a job that would allow me to work while exploring a foreign country. As I was very passionate about bartending at that time (studying cocktail recipes in my free time – literally!), I quickly found a job as a bartender in the small town of Wanaka on the south island. 

I went to every possible bar and restaurant in town and handed out my CV listing my prior experience in hospitality. Within two days, I got two trials. One in an actual bar and the other one in a bar inside a restaurant. 

I went to both trials and chose the latter. Working inside a bar of a restaurant allowed me to work reasonable hours, while still doing the bar work I enjoyed so much.

I ended up working and semi-managing the bar for five months. Here and there, I helped out the front-of-house staff to wait tables. But mainly I was responsible for serving beers, wines, and cocktails within the blink of an eye.

Looking back, I can say that it was a great experience. I loved the work, and I was lucky to find a position where my passion was appreciated!


READ MORE: Working Holiday Visa Guide to New Zealand


Dresser at the National Theatre, London – Linda Stacey @ Muy Linda Travels

While working abroad in England, I took a job as a dresser at the National Theatre in London. I worked on a number of productions helping the actors to dress. Before a performance I would deliver the freshly laundered costumes and take care of any difficult aspects like lacing corsets, doing up boots, buttons and ties etc. I would then set up backstage for quick changes during the performance.

One of the funniest changes was with a young male actor who was a soldier in one scene and a pregnant girl in the next. It was a quick change and there were 2 dressers helping him with the transformation. I was responsible for taking off his shirt, putting on his pregnant padding and changing his shoes. And while I was still undoing his soldier’s boots the dress would go on and fall down over my head. It was very funny.

Another memorable show was a production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” set in mud and rain. I dressed the delightful character actor Timothy Spall, and I would take a bucket backstage to collect his sodden, muddy clothes.

I spent more than 6 months working at the National Theatre and had some fun times but not all the actors were easy to work with.


READ MORE: UK Working Holiday Visa Guide


Luxury Travel Agent – Samantha @ Continuous Roamer


Samantha got a travel job as a luxury travel agent and travelled on private planes.

During my time working abroad in Canada, I had the opportunity to be a luxury travel agent near Toronto, Ontario. I found the position on Indeed and submitted my online application. I started working at the main office within two weeks.

My Canadian working holiday work permit was valid for two years, meaning I could work in this position until it expired. When I started working there, I had 22 months remaining.

The travel agency I worked at specialised in curating bespoke experiences. These included selling cruises, safari travel, and other privately escorted trips. As part of my role, I visited several luxury hotels worldwide on familiarisation trips to further my knowledge and become an expert in my field.

My primary responsibility involved creating and planning itineraries for clients’ travels. Additionally, I arranged services, including hotels, flights, excursions, and restaurant reservations. Drawing from my experiences living in and exploring Europe, I provided valuable insights and advice to clients who predominately resided in North America.


READ MORE: Canadian Working Holiday Visa Guide


Hotel Volunteer, Nicaragua – Gemma @ Two Scots Abroad Travel Guides


While backpacking around Nicaragua, we stopped a beat to live and work in a boutique hotel near León. We found the position advertised through Workaway, and agreed with the owner that we would exchange a couple of hours of work per day for a double bed in a private room.

Unfortunately, by the time we arrived, the hotel layout had changed. The private room was turned into a four-bed dorm. A double bed for us and two single beds for paying guests. After months of sleeping in dorms to stretch our budget further, it wasn’t ideal, but we committed to the stay.

The working day began around 07:30 when the small kitchen opened for breakfast. My role was to take orders and serve plates; we also ate breakfast during this time. Then, I served customers until lunch, which took place between 14:30 – 15:30. My partner built furniture out of crates and fixed other odd jobs around the hotel. We dined with the owners, which was nice. The owners covered lunch and later waived our breakfast tab too.

Afternoons were spent at the beach, jumping the waves, or enjoying a cocktail at one of the local bars. The contract also included two days off per week when we visited the city of León to sightsee. Volunteering for your keep is an interesting way to get to know an area, expats, and the local community while saving money for future travel.


Teaching in Ethiopia through PeaceCorps – Diana


My best travel job was when I taught high school English in a rural school in a small village in northern Ethiopia (with the Peace Corps). The work placement was by the Peace Corps. I was the only foreigner in my village, and my on-site supervisors were my school’s director and vice director.

My job involved teaching classes (ninth grade), running teacher training courses, and supporting any additional education projects in my community. As I was living and working in a rural village for multiple years (I stayed for nearly two years), in an area where almost nobody spoke English, a huge part of my job was also learning Amharic, so that I could connect with my community and students. It was an incredible experience, and if you get the chance, I would highly recommend it!


Au Pair, Italy – Catrina @ 24 Hour Layover


Catrina got a travel job as an Au Pair in Italy and spent days by the pool.

Several years ago I spent a year living in Palermo, Italy working as an au-pair. I found the job through the popular au-pair website Au Pair World, and it was really easy to organise!

As an au-pair, you live with a family so you don’t pay accommodation costs, and your primary responsibility is to look after the children after school. You’ll help them with their homework, play games with them, plan fun activities, prepare dinner for them, tidy their rooms and help them improve their English. 

Working as an au-pair is a great experience to immerse yourself in a different culture, plus it’s a fabulous way to travel as you often work part-time hours in the afternoons and evenings. Sometimes even, the family will take you away on holiday and fun weekends away – and pay you for it! During the year, the family took me on trips to Sardinia and the Italian Alps and we stayed in really posh places which was amazing – plus I had so much time off to go and go sightseeing!


READ MORE: Travel and Work Abroad as an Au Pair, Nanny or Mother’s Help


Volunteering in a Hostel in Mexico – Claire @ Tales of a Backpacker


Clare got a travel job volunteering in a hostel in Mexico.

While backpacking in South and Central America I spent a lot of time in hostels. I decided to save some money by doing a work exchange and volunteering in a hostel in exchange for accommodation.

One of the hostels I worked in was called Hostel Home in Mexico City and I loved it!  I spent nearly three months working there. At first as a volunteer and then managing the team of volunteers. I lived in the hostel, in a female dorm room. And worked part-time 4 days a week with 3 days off to explore the city.

My duties included changing beds, sweeping and mopping the floors and changing towels in the bathrooms. There was also a full-time cleaner who did most of the cleaning. Our other main duty was manning the reception desk, welcoming guests and helping them with tourist information.

I really enjoyed the experience, meeting lots of people and making friends with the other volunteers. It was a sociable hostel and often hosted group dinners, nights out and other fun events. The only downside was that guests would always ask me questions if I was in the hostel – even when I wasn’t working. That did get annoying after a while!


Whale Watching Centre, Madagascar – Linn Haglund @ Brainy Backpackers


Linn got a travel job as a Whale Watcher on a ship.

One of the best travel jobs I have had to date was working at a diving and whale-watching center in Ile Saint Marie in Madagascar. The days were varied. From staying on land talking to potential clients, taking bookings, and preparing the diving gear. But most days were on the sea looking for whales and going scuba diving. On the boat, I would make sure the guests were entertained. And tell them everything they wanted to know about the humpback whales in the area, their preservation, and what to look for when trying to spot them. Some days they would appear far away and other days they would play around the boat. It was a great experience to learn about the preservation of the whales and the ethical approach to the animals. I was also responsible for documenting whale sightings on a map to study their behavior and movements. I spent 3 months working there, but you could extend the visa for another 3 months if you would like to stay 6 months. It was a great experience to stay that long in one of the best places for whale watching in the world, yet one of the most underrated destinations.


Are You Ready to Make The World Your Oyster?

Picking up a travel job while you work and travel the world is a great way to increase your money to keep you travelling. Some travellers find work in their current field of employment while others try something completely different. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you get paid. I hope these work and travel job tales have inspired you to you work and travel. And if you are a solo traveller, you will have heard many of these traveller tales are from solo travellers who overcame any nerves to have great travel job experiences. If you have a travel job story to add to this post, I’d love to hear in the comments.


READ MORE: Typical Backpacker Jobs – What are they + How to Get One


People cheering to travel jobs that help fund your travels PIN.

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My favourite tools to Travel Live and Work Abroad


🏠 Where Will You Be Sleeping Tonight? – Get a bed in a hostel dorm through HostelWorld or for a hotel room check out Get free accommodation house and pet sitting through Trusted Housesitters – this has saved me thousands on accommodation, no joke!

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 🚙 Car Rental – search and compare vehicles at DiscoverCars.

 🚆 Train Travel: I love riding the rails. For a rail pass in Europe head to Raileurope. And Japan has a great one too – JapanRail Pass.

🚌 Travelling by bus is often the cheapest way to travel. Compare and get a ticket or a pass at Busbud.

🏃🏻‍♀️ Jump-the-queue entrance tickets and day tours: I book these through GetYourGuide.

 🌏 How to pick a country to live and work abroad in? Check out my Working Holiday Visa Country Guides and Digital Nomad Visa Country Guides to see where you can live work play travel abroad.

 🚑 Should you buy travel insurance? Absolutely Yes! SafetyWing is great digital nomads and long-term travellers and World Normads has policies for general and adventure travel.


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Meet Live Work Play Travel?

Sharyn McCullum Sailing Through The Panama Canal With Storm Chasing Boat.

Sharyn McCullum – Travel Writer / Blogger, Remote On-line Worker, sometime Digital Nomad and Travel, Live and Work Abroad Expert. Is a chocoholic, coffee connoisseur and lover of ’80s music. Been travelling all her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. Lived in London 4 years on a working holiday. Has holidayed in Hawaii over 15 times and currently calls Melbourne, Australia home. Is inspiring others to get the live work play travel lifestyle with this blog. Read more about Sharyn here.


  1. kmf

    Such a variety of jobs to earn money to fund the travel budget. You really can travel the world based on any skills.

  2. Melinda

    Wow! I had never considered many of these options. Some sound difficult but most are very cool jobs!

  3. Josy A

    I always love these kinds of posts! It is so cool to hear how everyone has managed to move and make money while living abroad. I’ve taught english, worked as a translator/interpreter and now in Canada, I just work at a University. It’s always fun. 🙂

  4. Linda (LD Holland)

    Working as you travel sure does help to pay the bills. And give you a more local experience. I love the variety of jobs that people chose. A great way to make new friends too as yo make the world your oyster!

  5. Yvonne

    So many great travel jobs in this post. Loved reading about all the different stories and experiences. Chicken Seller was my favorite but I think the hostel mystery shopper would also be loads of fun!


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