How to Travel and Work Abroad

It’s possible to make an income and see the world at the same time. This could allow you to travel without having to save up huge amounts beforehand, allowing to extend your travels as long as you’re willing to work. Working and travelling can also have other advantages – it could help to make your CV more attractive, allow you to learn a new language or simply be a way of fully immersing yourself in a foreign culture. Whilst not as easy as standard travelling, it could be more rewarding in the end. Here are just some tips on how to earn money whilst satisfying your wanderlust.

Choose the right type of work

There are countless jobs that can allow you to travel whilst making money. Finding the right job for you will help you to make your experience an enjoyable one – you don’t want to regret your travels because you chose a job you didn’t like. Here are just several jobs to consider.

Become a digital nomad

Many modern jobs can be done with only a laptop/smartphone. Some of these could allow you a certain flexibility, allowing to work from any location (providing there’s wi-fi) and even set your own hours. Such jobs could include writing, graphic design, web design or social media marketing. You may be able to freelance digital skills using a site such as Fiverr.

There are many cities around the world that have free wi-fi that are perfect for this work including Barcelona, New York, Tel Aviv, Perth and Seoul. Coffee bars and hostels are some of the best places to work from – whilst you can work from anywhere, many places can be distracting and it’s useful to have a power supply on demand.

Consider bar/hotel work

If digital work isn’t for you, there’s always the option of working in a bar or hotel abroad. You could stick to tourist resorts where there is always work in demand or you could look for job opportunities in more remote locations allowing you to immerse yourself in the culture.

Bar/hotel work may involve being fixed to a certain location for a certain length of time, however you could always move when the season is over. Many people get bar work at summer beach resorts and then move to ski resorts in the winter. Already having experience in a bar or hotel will put you at an advantage when applying to these roles.

Work in the travel industry

There are many jobs within the travel industry that could allow you to see the world. Cruise ship work is a popular way of seeing the world whilst working – when not on shift you can relax and use the ship’s amenities, or you can explore new ports and destinations along the way. There are a multitude of roles to choose from on a cruise ship from bar work to chef work to personal training to entertainment to photography to nurse work. Once you’ve had a job on one ship, you can also transfer to others and travel different routes across the world.

Another job in the travel industry could be to work as cabin crew on an airplane. Flight attendants often get to travel all over the world with hotels that are paid for them. It may not have the flexibility of other jobs in terms of choosing your destinations, but could still allow you to see new places whilst working (flight attendants also often get access to great discounts on flights, so in your free time you can travel for cheap).

You could even consider working as a tour guide. English-speaking tour guides are needed all over the world to work at attractions or conduct lengthy coach tours. Such a job could allow you to follow a passion in history, nature or food whilst educating others and making an income.

Teach a skill

You may possess a skill that you can teach to others abroad. This could be anything from scuba diving to teaching people to play an instrument. In most cases, you’ll need some form of licensing to do this – some of these can be used internationally, whilst others may be specific to a certain country.

Teaching English is one of most popular teaching jobs abroad that could allow you to make a difference using a skill you take for granted. Whether you’re working as a private tutor or working in a school, teaching English could be rewarding work – you may not even need to have much grasp of the country’s official language to get by, although in many cases qualifications may be required if you’re teaching English as a paid role.

Choose the right type of accommodation

Whilst working you’ll need to stay somewhere that’s affordable and suitable for your work needs. Some employer and careers may be able to provide accomodation for you (e.g. cruise ship work and campsite rep work), but many others will require you to look for you own place to stay. Here are just some accommodation options to consider whilst abroad.

Rent a place short-term

If you’re going to be based in a certain place for a good few months, it could be worth finding somewhere to rent. It’s worth securing this accommodation before you arrive in the country, as it can be a long process in many countries. There are many sites that can allow you find rental property such as this listing site that allows you to search for a house for rent in Singapore by owner. You could share accommodation with other people for cheap, or rent your own place if you feel you need your own space. Unless you’re staying abroad long-term, you probably don’t need to worry about importing over your possessions – it could be cheaper to look for pre-furnished property or buy these furnishings when you arrive.

Stay with a local family

Homestay accommodation is a popular option for those working abroad – this allows you to stay with a local family for cheap. Some homestay options may include free home cooked meals. It could also be the perfect opportunity to live like a local and learn more about the culture. Some homestay options are only for a couple weeks, whilst other families may be willing to take you on as a lodger on a more long-term basis. There are sites that can allow you to search for homestay options such as this site for homestay opportunities in China.

Stay in hotels/hostels/campsites

Hotels, hostels and campsites are the perfect cheap accommodation option for those that don’t plan to stay too long in one location (i.e. digital nomads). It’s worth keeping an eye out for accommodation options with good wi-fi that are less focused towards tourists and more focused towards travelling professionals. This way you can get on with your work without having to deal with temperamental wi-fi or distractions from other tourists.


Weigh up your priorities

Working and travelling isn’t easy – one will have to take priority over the other. If you want to focus on travelling, you may find it more advantageous to choose a flexible role and save up more money beforehand – working in a fixed location could be limiting.

It’s important to consider commitments back home. If you currently rent or own property back home, you may still have bills or mortgage to cover. You may have to let your property out to someone whilst you’re away, or you may need to leave your rental property and put your possessions temporarily into self-storage.

You also may have to cancel any current job you have. Some employers do offer a few months leave but this is rare. In the case of large corporations, you may even be able to find a position at your current company abroad.

Consider whether you need a working visa

Most countries require you to apply for a working visa when travelling abroad. This can sometimes be pricier than a standard visa and should be applied for several months in advance. Without a working visa you could be fined and deported if discovered. You can find advice on visas online.

Cruise ship work and cabin crew work likely won’t require a visa as you’re not technically working in other countries.

Avoid double taxation

When working abroad, you’ll often be taxed by that country. Make sure that you notify your home’s tax office so that you’re not being charge double tax by two countries. This generally involves filing a tax report each year – make sure to keep records of your payslips so that you have proof that you’re being taxed by your employer abroad.

Bring an emergency fund

Whilst working abroad can allow you to travel without having to save up as much beforehand, it’s worth still having an emergency fund that you can rely on if disaster strikes. This could cover you if your job doesn’t work out and you need to get back or if you need expensive medical treatment. Travel insurance may also be able to cover some of these costs – it’s worth taking out a scheme that will cover you for the period you plan to travel for.


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