To work or not to work while traveling?

One of the major questions many travelers ask as they’re dreaming and planning for a RTW trip or any kind of long-term travel is, “How much money will I need?” For many, that is answered in terms of how much money the traveler needs to save before setting off on a trip, during which they won’t be making any income. That’s not the only option, however.

Most of us can point to examples of people whose businesses are mobile, allowing them to make money on the road even as they travel, but you don’t have to be a web designer or day trader to generate income while you continue on your long-term trip. There are a number of travel jobs you can get that will help you extend your trip and won’t require you to save up as much money before you leave home.

To be sure, having a “real job” – even a travel job – while you’re on a long-term trip does mean you’ll be making some sacrifices. Working on a cruise ship or as an au pair means someone else is setting the itinerary. Working as a tour guide or an ESL teacher means you’re staying put for awhile. If ultimate flexibility in where you go and how long you stay is of the utmost importance to you, then you’re back to needing to save up enough money so you won’t have to worry about finances while you’re traveling. If you’re more keen on the experience of being out of your element for as long as possible and you’re not so focused on the “where” aspect, then incorporating a bit of time spent working while you’re traveling may be the ideal situation for you.

Some travel jobs require specific training – pilots and medical professionals, for instance – but others are more about being adaptable and willing to learn. Think about what you love to do, get creative, and ask around to find out what your options might be in any given location. You never know what you could be adding to your resume.

>> Have you picked up work while you’ve traveled? What are the oddest jobs you’ve had? Did any of those short-term jobs turn into a long-term career later on?

This topic came up in our weekly Round the World Wednesday series – catch up on the articles you’ve missed and stay tuned for the next one on BootsnAll. And don’t forget to sign up for BootsnAll’s monthely RTW Travel Newsletter, too.

Posted by | Comments (3)  | July 16, 2011
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

3 Responses to “To work or not to work while traveling?”

  1. Adriano Says:

    Volunteer in a community camp for Catholic and Protestants in Northern Ireland!

  2. Babs Says:

    My son backpacked for three years at the age of 29 – starting in Australia and ending up in Kathmandu. He spent $8700 in three years! While traveling and trekking, he was photographing his surroundings.
    Upon returning home, serendipitously a publisher needed photos of the spice markets in Kathmandu.
    He was able to sell those photos and get back almost all the money he spent in three years!