The dream for anyone with a severe case of the travel bug is to be able to work and move at the same time. For many of us the only thing that keeps us returning to the country we hold a passport for is the need to make more funds so we can afford to jump on the next plane out of there! Which really doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?
Making money whilst travelling is the dream. And it can be done! Some positions are easier to get than others and some allow more movement whilst actually in the job than others. Depending on what you want, there is a position out there for you. I will warn you that in general, these sorts of jobs do not pay very handsomely, but those of us that long to be moving for large amounts of time are already used to making every Dollar, Euro or Pound count. Let me talk you through a few jobs that hire travellers and who understand us and what we want from a job.
Obviously I am going to say this one first. I am lucky enough to have snagged one of these converted positions and let me be the first to tell you, it ain’t easy. Thousands of people apply for one of 30 or so jobs a year and getting past the interview and over to Europe still wont guarantee you a job. It will be 8 weeks of grueling training trip (in the case of Topdeck) before you can call yourself crew and be guaranteed a place running a trip. Is it worth it? Yes. In a position like this you get to move around from city to city and country to country every few days. It is your JOB to be the ultimate tourist and because you will be with such different people every single trip, no day will ever be the same. This job does generally pay more than the others listed below but most Australians will still find it hard to save very much with this wage.
Another personal recommendation, this is for those who are perhaps a little more introverted or easy going. Every experience is different I am sure but for me, this past winter living with a family in Italy has been quiet and just the rejuvenation I needed! As an au-pair you are with the family as part of the family every day. You need to be someone who likes family life, think dinners all together and weekends that revolves around keeping the kids entertained! You need to be a responsible and organised person and respectful of the family you are entering in to.
I used the website www.aupair-world.co.uk to find this position and I found it fantastic. Signing up is free and you can filter what sort of position you want to have. I filtered to look for a family with 2 or more kids who lived in Italy and who were not in a city. I was getting about 6 emails a day once I signed up from families who wanted to know more about me and by the end of the process there were 3 families who all seriously wanted me to live with them and it was up to me to choose. The pay is basic, on the website I saw it was between $40 and $100 a week (mostly on the lower end of that) but you are given a bed and fed and in every family there are different ‘perks’ – I have a car because I take one child to and from school, this also means that I can take day excursions when I want.
Now obviously this position doesn’t afford a whole lot of moving about, most families will probably want you for the school year, but I have had the opportunity to discover in depth the area around me and of course it is the best way to really get into the culture of a place.
I have never tried this one despite having looked in to it. Just type ‘House sitting’ in to google and you will find a variety of websites advertising houses that are waiting to be sat. Sitting is generally not paid but you can find houses in amazing locations and bingo, your accommodation is free! Most houses have pets to feed or plants to water and general upkeep things but there is plenty of time for you to explore your surroundings or just use it as a chance to retreat! Some places even have a car that you are allowed to use if you make sure to top up the petrol!
Skiing is an expensive hobby but one way to make it cheaper is to work on a ski run! We know that some places in Canada already have a large amount of young Aussies running from our sunny shores to find the perfect run in Banff or Whistler. If you love skiing but aren’t quite up to being a ski instructor, you can still run the lifts or be a member of the chalet staff! This website is great for seasonal jobs and once the snow has melted, why not head to Greece for a summer job as a water activity instructor? Www.seasonworkers.com has lots of options for you.
I have often heard of people checking in to a hostel and then sometime later that night chatting away to the people that work there, telling a story about how they are running out of cash and then bingo! They have a job. Is it actually that easy? I dunno. But there are many hostels out there that will give you free board (and sometimes pay as well) for working for them. It might be as a housekeeper or cleaner or on reception but can also be as a cook, tour guide or events organiser! Positions can be applied for before you even head off on your trip by checking out the hostel’s website for open positions, but if the thought doesn’t catch your fancy until you are actually starting to go broke, don’t be afraid to pop to reception to ask if they have any openings. visit Www.hostelmanagement.com and look down the bottom under ‘opportunities’ and ‘hostel jobs’ for a taster of what is available.
Do you speak English? Yay! You already have a job skill! This is a really popular one for travellers heading off to destinations in Asia but there are positions all around the world. It will be easiest if you have completed an ‘English as a second language’ course which can be done online but there are also schools who advertise that they do not require you to have this certificate (some will put you through the course themselves). Www.eslcafe.com is a good website to start looking at positions worldwide that are available.
And if you are a qualified teacher, even more doors are open to you. Have a look at www.teachaway.com for a variety of positions for qualified and experienced teachers.
WWOOFing is fairly big in Europe –www.wwoofinternational.org It stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms and is an entirely volunteer program where participants work on an organic farm in return for food and board. The work is around 4-6 hours a day and the contract can be as short as a week or as long as 6 months, its up to you what you work out with the farm.
You can also volunteer at many festivals around the world setting up tents, helping with check-ins and the everyday running of the event and sometimes even acting as the security for the festival. Many many tour companies look for their own volunteers so look on their websites for openings or contact the festival (like Glastonbury) directly to see if they are hiring. Being this closely involved in the event you will always be able to take part in some bit of it but be prepared for the fact that you wont be available to do everything.
Have any questions or thoughts on other jobs that fit in nicely to travelling abroad? Let me know!