Finding the coolest U.S. places to have travel jobs
If you can’t remember the last time you went on vacation and refused to check your inbox, you’re not alone. Expedia’s 2016 Vacation Deprivation Study recently revealed that American workers collectively failed to take 375 million paid vacation days within the past year. Of these workers, many reported feeling guilty about taking vacation time and worrying that doing so would be perceived negatively by their employers.
Of course, work makes the world go round, and it’s important to have dedicated employees, but it’s a shame to think that with all that hard works comes no play. That got us thinking, just because you’re a hard worker doesn’t mean you ought to forgo the opportunity to travel—what if there was a way to keep your job and see the world?
That’s all it took for us to start our search for the best kind of jobs for people who love to travel. By monitoring conversations across social media and interviewing experts with these positions, we soon found that we weren’t the only ones talking about this topic. In fact, there has been a spike in travel job discussions over the past three years. From this, we discovered that there are countless travel job opportunities that let you explore the globe, without missing a single paycheck. From our interviews with worldwide travel job experts, we gathered some major insight about these positions, including which U.S. cities are the best for exploring your travel job dreams.
Some of these positions require that you travel for work, while others give you to the freedom to travel while you work. Whether you enjoy leading expeditions in nature or typing away in the comfort of a coffee shop in a faraway land, we picked 20 of the coolest travel positions that will have you wanting to quit your desk job. Warning: Once you’re traveling for work, every day just may feel like a vacation.
Job title: Rafting guide
Best for: Those who crave adrenaline rushes and the thrill of nature, and aren’t afraid of a challenge.
Job description: Rafting guides are responsible for creating a fun and safe trip for guests on the river, but they have other duties, too. Many guides are expected to give safety speeches, load and prepare gear, maneuver treacherous water conditions, and more.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: Hood River, Oregon is considered a mecca for rafting guides, as it’s conveniently located near the Salmon, Hood, and Klickitat Rivers. Colorado’s Arkansas River is another prime spot, where nearby towns include Salida and Buena Vista.
Expert rafting guide: Thomas, guide at Denali Raft Adventures
What made rafting so appealing to you? I still remember the first time running the rapids, the splash of water on my face and the pure adrenaline and excitement.
What rafting experiences stick out the most? There are so many it’s hard to choose, from the 95-year-old Robert I took down the Nenana Canyon, to being able to go on a rescue trip in the Arctic, to training guides in Malaysia, and learning a lot of myself as a guide there as well.
What’s the pay like? It is a wide range, $7-$20,000 USD, depending on experience and how much time you want to dedicate to being a guide.
Any advice on how to land a rafting job? There are many rivers throughout the country that have guide schools, the Ocoee, American, Arkansas, and the Chattooga. I started on the Chattooga River and moved around from there to work on rivers in places I wanted to visit.
Editor’s recommended resource: Job Monkey
Job title: Translator
Best for: Those who have a keen ear, are awesome at listening and repeating, and are often overheard thinking out loud in a foreign language.
Job description: There are many variations of this kind of job, but at a high level, a translator may interpret and translate written and/or verbal statements into a preferred language. Along with this, the translator needs to understand the material and may facilitate communication between two or more parties.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: According to U.S. News & World Report, San Jose, California, and Washington, D.C., are among some of the best paying cities for translators. Prefer somewhere a little more off the beaten path? You might find luck in El Paso, Texas, which (according to research by Alta Language Services) is 70 percent multilingual.
Expert translator: Maria, Latin Abroad
When do you have memorable experiences at your job? Every time I’m able to see my proud mother or sister smile because I was able to take them on another trip. Because I’m able to translate/interpret for them to have a richer experience (they don’t speak English). I have the means to do so thanks to the steady career path I chose.
What’s your favorite part about being a translator? The flexibility. All industries need a translator in our increasingly globalized economy, so the opportunities and possibilities are endless in this career path. Let alone the possibility to work from anywhere in the world so long as you have high-speed Internet connectivity.
Do you have any advice for having this job? Make sure you pinpoint some related industries you’re interested in early in your career, as that will be one of the keys to your success. Find a niche and stick to it—that will be the best way to stand out from the competition…Remember: The first step is to gain experience, so you can then search for your certification and get better paying contracts.
Recommended resources: Translator Cafe and ProZ
Job title: Travel teacher
Best for: Those who have a passion for learning, sharing their knowledge, and getting outside their comfort zones.
Job description: We all know what teachers do, but those who travel to educate may have the additional responsibility of teaching students who speak a different language. Some positions might require multilingual teachers, while others might ask educators to teach English.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: Williamsport, Pennsylvania, has repeatedly earned recognition for its comfortable wages, low cost of living, and healthy demand for teachers. The Post and Courier newspaper recently stated that South Carolina has a shortage of teachers, so Charleston might be another prime location, where teachers can enjoy higher salaries, along with the city’s lovely seaside charm.
Expert teacher: Jamie, Great Big Scary World
What is one teaching experience you’ll never forget? One of the last classes I ever taught in South Korea was to a class of 12 11-year-olds. I told them a story about my travels and for the whole class (45 minutes) they were captivated and engaged, asking me questions about the story I was telling them. I remember looking up at the class mid-way through the story and every face was turned in my direction, interested in what I was telling them, and I thought, “This is how English teaching should be: every child engaged and interested.”
What might a teacher expect to earn? In South Korea, I made 2.3M won a month (over $2,000 USD) in addition to getting free accommodation, free flights, and a one-month salary bonus upon completion of a 12-month contract. Thus, I made over $26K a year with super low taxes in a country where I could go out for dinner (and many drinks) for less than $10. As a recent graduate, who was used to counting the pennies, I really was living the high life and many others felt exactly the same.
Recommended resources: Great Big Scary World, TEFL, and Dave’s ESL Cafe
Job title: Travel chef
Best for: Those who feel their best while experimenting in the kitchen, watching reruns of Iron Chef, and adding new ingredients and recipes to their arsenal.
Job description: Why get stuck using the same grill and frying pan day in and day out? Travel chefs can kitchen hop, cooking seasonally at summer and winter resorts, filling temporary positions, or even working aboard cruises. This gives them the chance to see the world, while picking up new cooking skills along the way.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: Celebrity chefs flock to Las Vegas, Nevada, to show off their skills in the kitchen, but you don’t have to be on The Food Network to get a job in this town, because there are tons of opportunities for chefs of all skill levels. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is another good option for travel chefs, as it’s increasingly becoming a foodie destination.
Expert travel chef: James, World Travel Chef
What’s the best part of the job? Being able to make people’s experiences the best they can be. Putting engagement rings in desserts is always a favorite. This happens more often than people realize.
What would you tell an aspiring travel chef? Gain the necessary experience first and foremost. That is what you are offering when you apply for jobs. Don’t overshoot your abilities. In the kitchen, you will be found out very quickly.
Any other tips? Don’t worry about all the details before you travel. Often they change as you travel and are best worked out as each situation appears. Flexibility is key here. Except for travel insurance! That is a must. Never leave home without that as I found out from a hospital bed in Thailand. Get out there and explore the world, it has so much to offer.
Roughly, how much does one make in this position? It really depends on your level of experience and how many hours you work. As a rule of thumb, you can make upwards of £15 (Editor’s note: currently the rough equivalent of $18 USD) per hour in London, which if you’re working an 80-hour week, will bring in considerable money. The more experience, the more you will get paid.
Recommended resources: World Travel Chef
Job title: Scuba instructor
Best for: Those who would rather be underwater than on dry land any day. They like exploring the dark depths of the ocean and swimming alongside majestic sea creatures.
Job description: Scuba instructors show students how to navigate the underwater world, teaching how to use the equipment and preparing them for open water dives. Maintaining safety is the instructor’s number one priority, but other duties may include guiding trips, working at dive shops, and even acting as captain of the boat.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: Monterey, California, is a diving hot spot, where you’ll find various scuba companies, along with sweet dive locations, which have kelp forests and an underwater canyon. Key Largo, Florida, is another popular scuba spot; home to the world’s largest artificial reef.
Expert scuba diver: Antonio, The Adventure Junkies
What sparked your interest in becoming a scuba instructor? The lifestyle, helping people get into scuba, and being around others who shared our love for the ocean, were the main reasons we decided to become instructors.
Where are your favorite dive sites? International: Malpelo Island, Colombia, where you can see schools of hammerhead sharks and other big ocean creatures like whale sharks, Galapagos, and silky sharks. Stateside: Catalina Island, California.
What are the wages like? How much money you can make varies greatly. Most instructors get paid a percentage of the overall price of the courses they teach. This number is usually around 30 percent. An instructor working in a busy destination might make between $1,500 and $2,000+ USD a month. Some of the highest paying dive jobs are working on a liveaboard boat.
What are the steps to becoming a scuba instructor? To become an instructor you need a certification from a recognized scuba diving agency. Many people choose to be PADI instructors, because it’s one of the most popular options among divers.
Recommended resources: Dive Jobs Worldwide
Job tile: Festival worker
Best for: Those who are fast on their feet, enjoy camping under the stars, and don’t mind working long hours for the chance to see their favorite bands.
Job description: Festival workers wear many hats, and the job description may be determined by the kind of event that’s taking place. Providing transportation, registering guests, bartending, preparing meals, and selling merchandise are just a number of the tasks that may need covering.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: New Orleans, Louisiana, knows how to party and with 130 festivals a year, you’re bound to find consistent festival work. On the other side of the country, Indio, California, is a mecca for festivals, hosting major events such as Coachella, Stagecoach, and the Indio International Tamale Festival, among others.
Expert festival worker: Vicky, Vicky Flip Flop
What are the best kinds of festivals to work? I think small ones are fun. The bigger festivals can be really hard work. At least with the smaller ones, the crowds tend to be more chilled out when they’re waiting for their drinks.
How much can you make at this job? I only ever made minimum wage, but that’s OK when you add it to the ticket price afterward. You can earn more the more you do it if you work your way up to a supervisor role.
Any advice on how to get this job? Just find the opportunities and apply in plenty of time…Check out the jobs section of the festival’s website. Another way is to find out the charity the festival supports and try and get in that way.
Recommended resources: Vicky Flip Flop and Gum Tree
Job title: Yacht stewardess
Best for: Those who like getting their feet wet, keeping things in shipshape, and always changing locations.
Job description: Manning a yacht is much like managing a hotel, except you’re in the middle of the ocean. There are a lot of moving parts, and your tasks could include anything from cleaning rooms and arranging transportation to serving meals and entertaining guests.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Newport, Rhode Island, are considered first-tier yachting hubs, where beginner crews have an easier time finding work. Rather try your luck at some lesser-known yachting towns? Consider finding your sea legs in Essex, Connecticut, along the Connecticut River valley, or Anacortes, Washington, an inviting port by the San Juan Islands.
Expert yacht stewardess: Kylie, The Stewardess Bible
What do you like most about your job? I had the privilege of working with a lawyer, a town planner, and a fashion designer—and that was just on one boat. So yes, the most memorable and rewarding thing for me about the job is the people that you meet along the way.
What is the pay like? Broadly speaking, for a junior stewardess and deckhand with no experience, the salary generally starts around €2,000-2,500 (Editor’s note: currently the rough equivalent of $2,100-2,600 USD) per month. All expenses are also usually paid, such as food, uniform, one flight home, and health insurance…The amount will vary between yachts and management companies.
What’s the best way to score this job? There is no real secret to landing your first job on a Super Yacht… But quite often it may just come down to the captain or department head liking you as a person; and the only way to meet the captain or department head is to put yourself out there. Prepare your CV and register with as many yacht recruitment agencies as you can.
Recommended resources: Crew Wanted
Job title: Flight attendant
Best for: Those who live for exploring different time zones, get a kick out of traveling thousands of feet in the sky, and don’t mind a little jet lag.
Job description: It’s the flight attendant’s job to ensure the safety and comfort of travelers, which involves demonstrating the use of emergency equipment, attending to the needs of passengers, and maintaining a tidy cabin. In the case of an emergency, it is the flight attendant’s job to help direct passengers to safety.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: Oftentimes, flight attendants are required to live within a short commute of the airport, so sometimes they stay at temporary homes, called “crash pads,” during their work days. Assignments are based on seniority, but Zippia used U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data to determine that Miami, Florida, and Houston, Texas, were some of the top-rated places for flight attendants due to their pay scale, available jobs, and cost of living.
Expert flight attendant: Karalee, The Flight Attendant Life
How did you become a flight attendant? The reason I became a flight attendant was never because I wanted to, but ultimately, it became my destiny. It sounds funny to say that I was destined for a life in the sky, but it is true. I really believe being a flight attendant is the best job in the world.
What aspects of your job are rewarding? I think the most impactful experiences for me have been when I can feel the difference that a smile can make, notice the soft rays of sunshine hitting my face after kiteboarding on a layover, or experiencing the enjoyment of a delicious cappuccino in a faraway foreign place.
What are flight attendant salaries like? Starting out as a commercial flight attendant, you will usually make about $18,000-$27,000 USD your first year. Don’t expect to get rich by working as a commercial flight attendant, but if you stay for years and years, the pay becomes quite good and the lifestyle is truly unbeatable. As a private/corporate flight attendant, I have heard of cabin attendants earning upwards of $14,000 a month.
Is it harder to become a private flight attendant? It’s very difficult to break into private aviation; more so than commercial aviation. It simply takes a lot more dedication, determination, perseverance, and clarity.
Recommended resources: FACTS and FlightSafety
Job title: Seasonal worker
Best for: Those who like syncing their career with the seasons and using work as an excuse to play outdoors.
Job description: Seasonal work really depends on the resort and time of year. Some opportunities may include leading outdoor tours (such as skiing in the winter or hiking in the summer), managing rental shops, teaching outdoor classes, or even working in the kitchen or within the lodge.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: Forbes used its Pure Awesomeness Factor to rate Jackson Hole Mountain Resort as the nation’s best resort, so you can expect a good time at this outdoor playground. Meanwhile, Park City Mountain Resort & Canyons Ski Resort is the country’s biggest resort (with 7,300 acres of terrain!), which could translate to more available jobs compared to smaller destinations.
Expert seasonal worker: Loulou, Co-editor at Style Altitude
What interested you in seasonal work? The opportunity to be surrounded by mountains for six months of the year and ski practically every day is what drew me toward life working in a ski resort. The chance to work, live, and ride alongside some of the best people you will ever meet in one of the most stunning places on earth kept bringing me back.
Can you make this your full-time job? It depends on where you’re based and who you work for. If you work for the large tour operators under a U.K. contract, then you tend to make around $300-$400 USD a month (but accommodation, lift pass, and food are all paid for, so you don’t really have any expenses to worry about). Independent and smaller chalet companies can offer competitive wages, while resorts in places such as Switzerland can sometimes offer a more substantial monthly wage under different contracts.
How can someone break into this line of business? If you’re going into chalet hosting with no experience, then it’s best to take a cookery course first, as this will prove to recruiters that you at least have the basics covered.
Recommended resources: Natives and Style Altitude
Job title: Travel performer
Best for: Those who are creative and talented with the dream of captivating audiences and shining under the spotlight.
Job description: Performers’ experiences will vary depending on whether they’re looking to build a solo act or join a pre-existing group. Regardless, their main goal is to entertain and inspire audiences, which means lots of time dedicated to rehearsals and sometimes even multiple gigs in one day.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has countless places to get on stage, including the Carolina Opry, Alabama Theatre, Legends in Concert, and Palace Theater, not to mention various bars that offer live sets, too. If you’ve got your sights set on Broadway, consider Chicago, Illinois, which has a theater scene that’s only second to NYC.
Expert performer: Roger “Hurricane” Wilson, Hurricane Wilson
What is your favorite performance memory? Being on the same festival lineup with B.B. King back in 1995 was a highlight, as well as opening shows for musical legends such as Buddy Guy, John Mayall, and Dickey Betts, just to name a few.
Can you make a living being a performer? One does not enter this business for the money. It’s been said, if you want to make a million dollars in the music business, start off with two million… One can do well, but there are no guarantees… If you want to make any money at all in the music business, you have to create various income streams. CD sales, downloads, merchandise, live performances, song publishing, airplay royalties, and any other creative methods have to be cultivated.
What would you tell someone who wants to be a performer? Find venues that feature what you do. Attend open mic nights and artist showcases. Do it because you love it. If you are a talented performer willing to pay the dues, you have to get out and play your music for strangers.
Editor’s recommended resources: Musicians Ways and Backstage
Job title: Bartender
Best for: Those who are heavy handed and good at remembering not only drink recipes, but people’s orders, too.
Job description: Good bartenders take customers’ orders and give them what they asked for, but the best bartenders create innovative concoctions, remember repeat customers, chat with the locals, and make people want to come back again.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: U.S. News & World Report recently revealed that bartenders in Kahului, Hawaii, make the highest average salaries in the nation—the opportunity to live in paradise is just an added perk. Orlando, Florida, is also great for this line of business as it’s a year-round destination with plenty of job opportunities. Outside of major cities, Whitewater, Wisconsin, has a thriving bar scene, as Trulia determined the city has a whopping 12.3 bars per 100,000 households, which is among the highest numbers in the country.
Expert bartender: Jeremy, Travel Freak
Where are your favorite places to bartend? International: I loved bartending in Wellington, New Zealand. The nightlife scene is thriving there, and believe it or not, so is the cocktail scene (craft cocktails are my specialty)… Stateside: It has to be New York City. It’s hard to break into the scene, but once you’re in, you’re in.
What’s are some perks of the job? Not only is it fun, but you make people’s nights. I’ve had people come up to me, months later, and recognize me as “that bartender,” who made sure their evening was the best they had in ages. That’s a really spectacular feeling, and it’s actually very rewarding.
Where can you make good pay as a bartender? I’ve worked in bars in NYC making $6,500 USD per month, but it took me years to get there. Australia pays really good wages, too, which makes it not only an easy place to work, but a lucrative one as well.
Recommended resources: Travel Freak
Job title: Au pair
Best for: Those who always have an emergency stash of snacks on hand, can play I Spy for hours on end, and have a knack for warding off tantrums.
Job description: Au pairs are in charge of keeping the children in their care happy and healthy. They play a lot of roles while caring for the children, but some of the most common tasks include cooking meals, keeping them engaged, helping with homework, and transporting them to and from school and activities.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: According to a Care.com study, nannies make the most money per hour in San Francisco, California. The research also found that Denver, Colorado, has the most nanny jobs per capita.
Expert au pair: Ashley, Ashley Abroad
Why did you choose the path of an au pair? I decided to become an au pair because I wanted to live abroad and learn French.
How can you increase your pay in this field? The best way to make more money as an au pair is to negotiate your salary well before you start the job. I would ask for at least €150 (Editor’s note: currently the rough equivalent of $180 USD) a week.
Where is the best place in the world to have this job? I’m of course biased, but I would say Paris is the best place to au pair!
Recommended resources: AuPairWorld and Ashley Abroad
Job title: Travel blogger
Best for: Those who have awesome storytelling skills and can create captivating content based on their travel adventures.
Job description: Travel bloggers write about their experiences exploring the globe. They often travel around and use their blog as a way of sharing their stories and offering advice to fellow travelers. To earn money, they may partner with companies to write brand-specific content or offer advertising on their site.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: Based on employment income and average income, Forbes named Los Angeles, California, the number two destination for being a freelancer in the U.S. It’s a good travel blogger location because nearby LAX Airport provides easy access to other destinations, while the mountains, deserts, and Mexican border are within driving distance of the city. Meanwhile, Policy Genius ranked Nashville, Tennessee, a prime option because of its affordable rent and a low cost of living. It’s also just a short drive from other major cities, such as Louisville, Memphis, Cincinnati, and Chattanooga—great for getting out and exploring.
Expert travel blogger: Elizabeth, Young Adventuress
What has been the most rewarding experience on the job? One of my favorite moments as a travel blogger was getting to work with some of the most endangered birds in the world here in New Zealand, like the kakapo, a rare flightless parrot. Through my blog, I was able to help spread the word about kakapo, and even visit the island where they live and volunteer, something very few people ever get to do.
How can you increase your income? My tips for earning more are to be selective about brands you work with and stick to sharing what you’re passionate about. It’s also really important to stay authentic to your own brand if you want to be in the game for a long time.
What advice would you give a potential travel blogger? No one offers you the job of being a travel blogger; you have to take it and build your career yourself. It takes a lot of passion and hard work, without any guarantee of success. I would try to learn as much as you can and also try to be as creative as possible with your income. There is no one right way to do it, and I’ve found it’s best to try new things and mix it up month to month.
Editor’s recommended resource: Travel Bloggers Guide
Job title: Scuba instructor and business entrepreneur
Expert scuba instructor and business entrepreneur: Mia, Dive With Mia
Best for: Those who prefer wearing fins instead of shoes, love going under the surface, and like looking for ways to make their scuba interests part of their profession.
Job description: We already discussed scuba instruction as a profession, but entrepreneurs bring their passion for the sport and dream up innovative business concepts. Creating a line of diving wetsuits involves a lot of moving parts, from designing and manufacturing to selling and advertising.
Coolest U.S. cities to have this job: Kona, Hawaii, is an excellent choice for a diving career, as there are many dive companies and locations on the island—they even have manta night dives! Prefer sticking stateside? Morehead City, North Carolina, is an epic spot, known as a place for catching sight of big sea animals, like the sand tiger shark.
What dives sites have left a lasting impression? International: The exhilarating thrill of cavern diving in Mexico’s cenotes; the clear blue waters and colorful walls of Turks & Caicos Islands where I live; the seahorses of St. Kitts… Stateside: [Canada’s] West Coast. I completely fell in love with the diving off of Vancouver Island. Although it is cold water diving, underneath, the view is an emerald green and the animals are so spectacular!
How did your job as a scuba instructor lead to your work as an entrepreneur? Everything I do has been related to scuba diving and it has even inspired me to design, produce, and sell a scuba diving wetsuit specifically for women: Truli Wetsuits. These days, while running my own business, I also continue to work for the scuba liveaboard company, Explorer Ventures.
Do you have any tips for earning additional money? Often there are commissions if you sell courses and excursions… The dive industry is also categorized as the service industry and therefore, depending on the culture, gratuities are often given. Receiving tips is one of the best ways to earn extra money, even though it’s not guaranteed.
Recommended resources: DiveWithMia YouTube and Linked Scuba Divers
Job title: Volunteer
Best for: Those who are driven by unconventional opportunities and take pride in giving back to the community.
Job description: Oftentimes, you don’t get paid as a volunteer, but it’s a great resume builder and a chance to get your foot in the door of a new destination. Volunteer positions run the gamut—and sometimes depend on your background and skillset—but there a various fields you could get involved in from education and medicine to wildlife sanctuaries and nature projects.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: Both Forbes and Volunteer Match ranked Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, as a major volunteer city based on the number of opportunities, and current and returning volunteers. In terms of millennial volunteers, Volunteers in America’s research revealed that San Jose, California, has the greatest population of young volunteers in the nation.
Expert volunteer: Lies, Nonstop Destination
What made you first sign up as a volunteer? After hearing about the appalling conditions elephants are subjected to from a very young age, I decided to look into volunteering with elephants. When I read about the conservation program in Chiang Mai, founded by Lek Chailert, I knew this was the right place for me to volunteer.
What experience was most memorable while volunteering? The opportunity to spend time with elephants is an experience I will never forget. I witnessed the close bond between elephants, and observed the baby elephants living their lives without any fear of being taken away from their mothers.
Do you get paid as a volunteer? As a volunteer at the Elephant Nature Park, you don’t make any money. I paid a fee of around £250 (Editor’s note: currently the rough equivalent of $300 USD) for a week of volunteering. This included transport to the park, orientation and education on conservation, accommodation, and food. You can also volunteer at their dog rescue center, which is half the price of the elephant volunteering fee.
Editor’s recommend resource: Idealist
Job title: Hostel worker
Best for: Those who like getting the insider scoop on the local region, sharing those tips with visitors, and making instant friends.
Job description: The life of a hostel worker could include a number of responsibilities, from working the front desk and housekeeping to bartending and preparing meals. Some hostels may even ask that you host hostel activities or tours around the city for the guests.
Coolest U.S. cities to have this job: Boston, Massachusetts, and Seattle, Washington, are both home to a number of hostels, some of which have graced the best hostel lists by Thrillist and Hostel World. Besides the job opportunities, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Seattle and Boston on your days off.
Expert hostel worker: Ana, The Art of Epic Living
What’s so great about working at a hostel? My favorite thing about hostel jobs would have to be the newfound friendships I have created with beautiful people from all around the world. Hostels usually cater to easy-going, open-minded, free-spirited, young budget travelers. The people who you will encounter can easily turn into lifelong friends or new travel buddies.
Do you earn a salary or stipend at this job? Typically, [overseas] hostels will compensate workers in the form of accommodation, food, alcohol, and other perks. Occasionally, hostel workers will receive a small weekly allowance or even a salary if they stay for long term, but it is not uncommon for hostel employees to work for free… This type of job isn’t about the paycheck, it is about the experience!
What is the best way to land this job? The key to success with finding work in a hostel is networking and putting yourself out there. The first thing that I advise you to do is to figure out where you would like to go, and go! This is not the sort of job that you need to research online, forward your professional resumé, and follow up with a formal interview in business casual.
Editor’s recommended resource: Hostel Travel Jobs
Job title: Digital nomad
Best for: Those who are great at following their own schedules, like working in a different scenery every day, and prefer wearing their PJs over business attire.
Job description: Because digital nomads telecommute, they have the freedom to work wherever they choose, as long as they have computer and internet access. They may remotely work a traditional desk job, or pick up freelance work, but whatever they do, they’re not required to show up at the office every day.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: The beauty is that you could have this career almost anywhere in the world, so why not live somewhere that you’ve always wanted to explore? Nomad List picked San Diego, California, as a top destination for digital nomads, while MSN Money pinpointed Salt Lake City, Utah, as one of the best cities to work from home.
Expert digital nomad: Andrea, It’s a Travel O.D.
What are the perks of having this job? The idea of not having to commute to work every day or working out of the same office was always interesting to me. I also like to have the freedom of having different projects and gigs, and being able to do so at my own pace is priceless. Of course, being location-independent, traveling, and getting to immerse yourself in other cultures is the cherry on top!
How did you get into this field of work? What has worked for me is to network, network, network! Keep in touch with past and previous employers. Use social media to connect to likeminded people and then meet them in real life. Believe it or not, I’ve gotten some amazing opportunities through people I’ve met on Instagram. So, never underestimate the power of a well-utilized hashtag.
Any tips for those interested in becoming digital nomads? The first step I took to become a digital nomad was to turn my regular full-time job into a remote job. I understand this is not always possible, but before just quitting your job, I suggest everyone try this. You might take on half of the responsibilities for half the salary or move onto a consulting position within the same company.
Editor’s recommended resource: Digital Nomad Jobs
Job title: Yoga instructor
Best for: Those who find happiness in doing handstands, quieting their minds through meditation, and sharing their practice with others.
Job description: The best instructors are well rounded, with training in areas such as yoga philosophy, autonomy, and meditation. There are all kinds of styles and areas of focus, and yoga instructors have the choice of leading private or group classes.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: According to Thumbtack’s research based on its Market Opportunity Index, San Antonio, Texas, is one of the ultimate places to be a yoga teacher, because it has a large number of requests, potential for growth, and a less saturated market than larger cities. SpareFoot did another yoga study using Thumbtack’s data, and concluded that Columbus, Ohio, is a good place to start your own yoga studio, due to its low cost of studio rent.
Expert yoga instructor: Anne and Brandon, The Yoga Nomads
What about being a yoga instructor is appealing? We both initially sought yoga as solace from the stresses of our busy corporate jobs and lives. As we built up to a consistent practice, we began to notice that the benefits of yoga transcended the physical. The clarity and awareness we began to experience in our minds was what kept us coming back for more.
What is one of the best things about this job? Being able to have the freedom to design our own lifestyle. With this, comes the ability to travel as we wish, and learn about ourselves in the process.
What else can you tell us about the life of a yoga instructor? It takes courage to uproot your life to become a traveling yoga instructor. A lot of planning and sacrifices are involved, which isn’t right for everyone. Get teaching experience wherever you can before taking it on the road.
Recommended resources: Yoga Trade
Job title: Freelance writer
Best for: Those who can knock out a 10-page paper like it’s no big deal, have an eagle eye for grammar, and who are often found reading books in their free time.
Job description: Some freelancers have a full-time gig, while others prefer to pick up projects along the way. Their jobs usually require that they report to the managing editor, write content, meet deadlines, and make edits when necessary.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: The quirky city of Austin, Texas, has zero income taxes and hosts the annual Freelance Conference. Portland, Oregon, is another equally creative city with strong ties to the Freelancers Union. Both destinations live by a slogan to keep the city weird, and have landed on numerous best freelance city lists.
Expert freelance writer: Nora, The Professional Hobo
What do you love about your job? Freedom! Although I hold myself to some strict principles and routines, I ultimately have the freedom to write what I want, where, when, and how.
Where has your job taken you? Over the last 10 years of living on the road I’ve had a variety of bases and hubs for living and working, including longer stints in Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, and Peru. Basic criteria for a productive work life includes a comfortable workspace and good internet. I also like to live in more rural locations (which isn’t always great for Internet, but I’m happy with the tradeoff).
Do you have any tips for getting extra work? Read publications you enjoy that fit your niche/passion/expertise, and look for their writers guidelines. Craft excellent pitches to the editor…cast the net wide, and don’t take it personally if you’re rejected. Once you’re in the door, suggest writing a regular column for them—it’s much easier to have a regular writing gig than it is to constantly pitch one-off articles.
Recommended resources: Working Road and Professional Hobo
Job title: Camphost
Best for: Those who have a sense of adventure with a passion for exploring the great outdoors, sleeping in a tent, and crossing national parks off their bucket lists.
Job description: Camphosting provides a way for visitors to work at a campground or RV park in exchange for a free campsite. Tasks vary from park to park, but often roles include greeting guests, checking camp sites, cleaning facilities, and assisting with programs and park maintenance.
Coolest U.S. cities for this job: Many parks offer this service, but Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park and New Mexico’s Rio Grande del Norte National Monument have a variety of camphost opportunities.
Expert camp host: Michael, Ditching Suburbia
What is one of your favorite camp hosting memories? While camphosting in Usery Mountain Regional Park in Mesa, Arizona, our daughter fell in love with the Sonoran Desert. While we worked our camp host shifts, she started attending all of the ranger talks the park offered…The rangers saw her interest, and started assigning parts of the talk to her. She slowly learned the entire presentation and by the end of our time there, she did the entire thing solo.
Do you get paid with this position? Most of the financial value from camphosting is in the form of the campsite… For us, camphosting is more of a way to save money than to make money. It lets us slow down and save money on gas, oil, tolls, etc. We can stay in places we couldn’t afford otherwise.
Where are your favorite places to camp? Three of our favorite campgrounds in the U.S.A. are: Usery Mountain Regional Park in Mesa, Arizona; Henderson Beach State Park in Destin, Florida; and Ludington State Park in Michigan.
Recommended resources: Ditching Suburbia
What are some jobs that require travel and pay well?
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