How to Get PAID to Travel the World: Around the World in 80 Years

Hey guys – as promised, I will finally answer the great question today: What is the great secret of perpetual travelers?

What do they know that other people don’t? How can they afford to go on what seems to be a never-ending vacation, when everybody else can hardly even pay the bills back home, slaving away in an office building or a factory for decades?

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This is really a good question, and it’s one that had me stumped for years. Before I hit the road, I had no idea how I was even going to afford my own car, leave alone the gasoline and the car insurance… how could I ever hope to travel very far from my home town for a long time, leave alone roam the entire planet for years on end? It seemed impossible.

On the other hand, now that I know how to do it, I sometimes wonder why isn’t everybody doing this? And even though in all honesty, I’m not going to tell you that it is the easiest thing in the world, it is definitely very doable and there are a million ways to pull it off. I’m going to share some of these ways with you today.

1. English Teacher

I’m going to start with the most obvious job you can do abroad, especially given that you’re studying this website and fluent enough to read my articles, this might be a very viable option for you. In most countries in the world, there is a very high demand for English teachers.

Of course that’s not a job you can do in places like Australia or Singapore, where English is the official language, but it’s always an option in 90% of countries in the world and in some cases, it pays VERY well.

2. Cruise Ship Work

This is one of my favorite ways to travel the world and get paid for it – can you imagine cruising around the five oceans, sunbathing on the deck of a luxurious ocean liner, and hopping off at every paradise beach you can think of. All while getting paid for it?

It’s really amazing, but I have to give you a fair warning – some jobs on cruise ships are better than others. Waiters, mechanics and chamber maids usually work 12 to 13 hours a day… entertainers, musicians, librarians, dancers and photographers, on the other hand, have a lot of free time.

3. Hotel and Restaurant Industry

Just about any place you might want to visit on your travels is bound to have hotels and restaurants and those kinds of venues always need staff. Just like teaching English, this one is pretty much a guaranteed job anywhere in the world if you’re willing to do the work.

Jobs include waiter, cook, barman, doorman, concierge, bell boy, receptionist and many, many more. If you speak languages, you will find a job in this industry without any further qualifications.

4. Club Promoter

This is one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had in my life. It essentially consists in partying all night, getting your drinks for free and talking to as many people as possible to get them into your club.

This is also another job where it’s very helpful to speak languages, but if you’re the extroverted type and like meeting new people, it’s a great way to get paid – not only to travel, but you actually get paid to party. Simply talk to club managers and ask if they need someone to promote.

5. Flight Attendant

Similar to work on a cruise ship, you don’t just make money at your destination, but you actually get paid to move from place to place. I have friends who have seen the whole world working in this job, and while they said that it can be stressful sometimes with layovers and over-night flights, it always sounds like it is a blast when they describe it.

6. Carpentry and other Crafts

This is going to sound crazy, but – in the first world, blue collar work can often pay very well. One of the highest paying jobs I’ve ever had was working the assembly line in a car factory. I’ve also met many travelers who made a fortune working as carpenters or brick layers in Australia, New Zealand and Canada and if you’re really up for some rough physical work, you can join an oil rig or a fishing boat. It’s tough labor and not for the faint of heart, but the cash makes it all worth it.

7. Diving Instructor

This is one of the most popular jobs in the most beautiful destinations in the world. Places like South East Asia, Egypt, the Caribbean and thePacificIslands have dive spots like right out of National Geographic magazine. If you get your PADI qualification as a Dive Instructor, you can live there and get paid to dive.

The above are some of the most popular ways to make money on the road, but there are many, many more – these are just to give you some ideas and inspiration. In future articles, I will talk about each one of these jobs in more detail, and explain where you can find them, how much they pay and what countries offer the best opportunities in each of these fields.

Thanks for reading guys; I hope I was able to shed some light on some of the secrets of Perpetual Travelers and modern-day nomads… And as always, feel free to join the discussion on the forum or leave me a comment below if you have any questions.

Always the best and happy travels,

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Frank Florida

Frank Florida é professor de idiomas desde 1994 e fala oito línguas. Viajando o mundo por 11 anos, ele visitou umas 300 cidades em mais de 50 países. Ele se graduou da High School nos EUA, se formou em didática na Austrália e é criador do site Fórmula Fluente.

35 comentários

  • 16/08/12  
    Giovana diz: 1

    Hey, Frank! Thanks again for another article. I guess I’m doing the right thing: studying Linguistics and planning to become an English teacher and/or translator. These two jobs have always been my first options since I was a teenager. I hope everything will work out properly! Keep on writing your great articles; they give us very valuable tips. Cheers!

    • 19/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Giovana… yeah, if you want to travel the world, linguistics is a great field to be working in. There are all kinds of opportunities for people who speak languages… in just about every country in the world. I can’t count how many times somebody hired me just because I speak languages… I’m sure you’ll do fine, and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!
      Cheers,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 16/08/12  
    Michele diz: 2

    Great! Tks for sharing some of your experiences!!

    • 19/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Thanks Michele, and you’re welcome… my pleasure. :)

  • 16/08/12  
    Mihh diz: 3

    Great article! Very nice to know that there are many and different options to work and keeping to travel.

    But I have a doubt about this expression that you’ve used in the item about Carpentry and other Crafts: ‘blue collar work’. What does it mean?

    Thanks.

  • 16/08/12  
    João B. L. Ghizoni diz: 4

    Hi, Frank!

    You have no idea how positive an impression your article made on me! So well-written from beginning to end, and packed with highly relevant information, I’m sure everyone who can understand it (because it is written in English) will be able to profit a lot from it. Awesome! Wonderful! Though I have a steady job, I’ve often thought about teaching English abroad. Maybe I’ll try to do that on my next vacation? Who knows? I’m looking forward to getting information about how much an English teacher can earn! There are other jobs which interest me as well, such as librarian — I love books, of course! Dealing with them — and with readers — all day must be very nice!

    I can hardly wait for your next article! Man, the way you write (so interestingly and correctly) makes me want to read more and more of what your articles!

    Please write more and more. I’m sure you’re making many English teachers very happy! Keep it up!

    Regards,
    João

    • 19/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey João, wow… thanks for your compliments, you’re making me blush haa. :) Yeah, chances are if you go abroad to work as an English teacher on your vacation, it might end up being a very long vacation indeed. I know a lot of people who left their home country with the intention of going back two weeks later, but who have now been abroad for years because they found work in a language school. Pay varies greatly but is rarely less than 15$ an hour and often up to 60 or 70$ an hour… that’s US dollars, just as an international point of reference.

      Hope that helps and I hope you stay in touch and tell me about your adventures once you take off! :)

      Cheers,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 16/08/12  
    João B. L. Ghizoni diz: 5

    In my previous comment, please read “more and more of your articles” instead of “more and more of what your articles”. Sorry for that!

    • 19/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Got it. ;)

  • 16/08/12  
    Bruno Aguiar diz: 6

    Thanks Frank, you have told me everything that i needed! i think about it every single day, no kidding, this is what my heart is telling me now!
    Congratulations for your amazing articles, they’re so useful and thank you for inspiriting me!

    • 19/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Bruno, you’re welcome my friend. It’s really good to hear that these articles are helping people out. Stay tuned, there’s a lot more where that came from. ;) And yes… if your heart is telling you to travel, then I think that’s what you should do. No question.

      Good luck!
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 16/08/12  
    Rejane diz: 7

    Por ser nova no estudo da lingua inglesa, ainda não tenho tanto dominio assim para escrever meu breve comentário em ingles, mas não poderia de dizer como seu artigo abriu minha mente para um desejo que tinha a decadas mas não sabia como realiza-lo. Estou feliz em saber que estou no caminho certo, e este é o estuda da lingua inglesa!! Por favor continue nos passando suas experiencias, são de grande ajuda e servem de balizadores também para aqueles que tem este sonho de viajar sem data de retorno…Um grande abraço e fica o Senhor Jesus!!!!
    Rejane

    • 19/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Olá Rejane, obrigado pelo comentário! Não tem problema, eu falo português também e posso te responder mesmo assim… mas se você já consegue entender os meus artigos, significa que você já não é mais iniciante! Você está no caminho certo… aliás, eu acho que dominar o inglês é o caminho certo para todo mundo, independente dos planos que ele tiver para o futuro. É importantíssimo e só vai ficar mais importante ainda no futuro. Boa sorte para você, eu vou continuar a escrever mais artigos aqui e se você tiver qualquer pergunta, é só entrar em contato no fórum. :)

      Abraços,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 16/08/12  
    Fernando diz: 8

    Wow! Your text made me euphoric just by thinking about living this way. And I hope to do so soon.

    • 19/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Fernando, it’s a great feeling, isn’t it? The anticipation of your big trip… I know for me some of the most exciting days of my life have been the days when I bought a plane ticket. For example, the first time I ever went to Asia, I felt like a little kid on Christmas Eve when I finally held my ticket to Kuala Lumpur in my hands. One-way, of course. ;)

      Tell me about your travels when you take off!
      Cheers,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 16/08/12  
    victor diz: 9

    Great article! For now, im studyng marine biology and making diving courses. I really want to be a dive instructor or a divemaster and work in a foreign country. But, my problem is that my english is not very well. Im good in spanish but my i think i need to learn and practice more my english.
    I will wait for yours tips in the next article, and if you can write more about the dive carrer i will still happy.
    Thanks Frank!

    • 19/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Victor, thanks for your kind words! And don’t underestimate your English… you may not be ready to work as a language teacher yet, but you’re certainly good enough to work as a dive instructor. Most of your clients will be from all over the world anyway, and only a handful of them will be native speakers… and even those tend to be very forgiving. :) Don’t be intimidated… and definitely don’t let this be a reason to postpone your trip. Remember, the PERFECT time to travel never comes, but you can (almost) always go NOW… or at least, very soon. You’re ready… your English is good enough for that job.

  • 18/08/12  
    Luís Paulo diz: 10

    Hi, Frank!! Congratulations for all your articles, I totally agree with what others have been telling about them, they are wonderful!! I also think about going abroad for travelling and working, so thanks for all your tips. But could you tell us anything about visa, insurance and this stuff they ask people before entering in many coutries? Thanks very much indeed! Luís

    • 19/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Luís, thanks for your comment, glad you enjoyed the articles so far. :) You ask about visas and that’s really a good question. I’m going to dedicate an entire article to that topic shortly. As far as insurances go, It depends – do you want to travel for one year or less, or do you want to roam the world forever? For your first year, your best bet is to talk to an international travel insurance in your home country. Two providers of international health insurance that I haven’t personally used but that many people have recommended to me are worldnomads.com and sevencorners.com.

      Hope that helps, and stay in touch!
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 19/08/12  
    Andréia diz: 11

    Hi! congratulations for all you send and teach for us.Thank for share your knowledge.God bless your life around the world

  • 19/08/12  
    Frank Florida diz: 12

    You’re welcome Andréia, and thanks for your comment! :)
    Always the best,
    Frank

  • 19/08/12  
    Deni diz: 13

    Hi Frank,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I would like to know what ” right out of ” mean. I didnt find a meaning that could match up with the rest of the sentence.

    Thank you in advance and congrutulation for your sucessful life.

    • 22/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Deni, you’re welcome! “dive spots like right out of National Geographic magazine” means that the places you can explore as a PADI diver are as beautiful as their famous pictures… you know National Geographic has some of the world’s best photographers and some of the most famous images originated in their publication. I’m not sure what the best Portuguese expression would be to express the same idea, but maybe somebody on the forum knows? Feel free to post your question here: http://www.englishexperts.com.br/forum/traducao-de-textos-f13.html

      Cheers,
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 19/08/12  
    sandrom diz: 14

    Hi Frank and everyone,

    I just want to add one more way to earn money in a trip:

    To work as a translator in a tour or sightseeing. More than once, people asked me to help to understand the guide or the exhibitor. I never charged, because it wasn´t my target, but I think it could work if you need to support your perpetual trip.

    cheers

    Sandro

    • 22/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Excellent idea Sandro, thanks for your comment!

  • 20/08/12  
    augusto monteiro diz: 15

    very very good tip!!

    • 22/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Thanks! :)

  • 20/08/12  
    Fátima Souza diz: 16

    If I had had the chance to hear those tips 40 years ago…. Life would have been sooooo different… Going back to those days, I can see now how insecure I was. I was so inexperient. Now that I am 58, I feel frustrated and wish I could have experimented life more.
    Sometimes I ask myself how useful speaking English could have been if I had tried living in an English speaking country. Nowadays I am retired and have a husband who love travelling and we would love to spend 2 our 3 months abroad and rent a flat to have the experience we did not have when we were young. Any tips or possibilities for us?

    • 22/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hello Fátima, you know what they say in the commercials… it’s never too late and rarely too early. :) Your English is obviously pretty good now, so that’s going to help a lot… and since you’re already retired, you have TIME… the most precious resource in the world!

      I think you’re in a very good position to make your dreams come true… where do you want to go? Feel free to let me know on the forum and I’ll share some advice, just click here:
      http://www.englishexperts.com.br/forum/around-the-world-in-80-years-travel-journal-t25866.html

      Cheers :)
      ~ Frank Florida ~

  • 21/08/12  
    Luís Paulo diz: 17

    Thanks very much again, Frank, for your interest and answer. That´s very kind of you! I don´t know what I´ll be able to do, for while I´m studying English in Dublin and I have a Brazilian insurance. I´ll check out those you told me. Thanks for while, I´m looking forwards to reading your next post. Hugs!!

    • 22/08/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      You’re most welcome mate, if you have any further questions, just let me know… always glad to help. :) Cheers!

  • 23/08/12  
    Denis D'Urbano diz: 18

    Hi frank!

    First foremost, Thank’s to share your experience with us!

    Now I have a question, how do you do with you work visa? I imagine that you
    have a period to work in this countries, but after some months you need go out to another country, or some countryes you can stay working long period without problen? For exemple, in my case, I just can get a work visa in Canada or Australia if I study there first, I now that it depends where you are from, but do you know How it works?

    Thank’s ever so much!

    • 02/09/12  
      Frank Florida diz:

      Hey Denis, I just saw your reply, sorry for the delay! I don’t know if you’ve seen it already, but I discuss the visa question in the 5th edition of the series… but feel free to drop by on the forum if you still have any questions after that, I’m always happy to help.
      Cheers,
      ~ Frank Florida ~