How to get a job while travelling

As a traveller you will eventually run out of money and instead of cutting your trip short it is perfectly possible to continue living as a  perpetual nomad, roaming from country to country working here and working there.

How to do it

The first step is to do some job research. There are a ton of websites loaded with information on how to score work, so make a list and get in contact with some. Don’t forget to take with you copies of your resume, some written references and any other paperwork you may need, such as certificates or a copy of your driver’s license. Many university students take a gap year after studying for at least three years, which means their brains are suffering from severe burnout. If you’re from a country that has a Working Holiday arrangement, take advantage of it. They’re only usually offered to young people 30 and under.

Once you’ve emptied your pockets and are on your last few bucks you can try start looking at local job boards or do an old fashion resume drop. This will be a great way to scope out the working environment.

The most common job people go for is bar work. The under the counter work thing is very common in this industry and is perfect for those who don’t have a work visa. Just be careful not to get caught. Tourist places like Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand would prefer a western bartender to a non-English speaking one.


If you’re into the volunteer thing, and are in the Far East, then there are numerous programs aimed at young people looking for “an alternative holiday”. Most of these are in southern parts of Thailand, and Malaysia, but there are also places in Cambodia and Laos. An organization called The Great Projects is one that is quite popular.

What we recommend

There are a lot of outlets to search for a job. Even getting in contact with ex-backpackers and asking for their contacts will help. Or you can get skilled and make yourself useful.

Here are some skills you might want to acquire before you travel:

  1. Some bar experience – Good all around skill to have and probably the most common work available out there
  2. Cooking – These jobs are great for the European and North American traveller. Similar to bar work, they’re plentiful
  3. Sailing – There are loads of opportunities for those who can sail, especially if you’re in the Caribbean. This can also be a great way to hop from country to country by chartering boats. A lot of it is weather dependent so plan ahead. Cruisers & Sailing Forums is a good place to check out
  4. Paramedics or Doctors – Easier said than done, but in diseased prone locations, if you are trained in medicine then you will be highly sought after. Doctors without borders is a good place to start
  5. Teaching – If you’re a native English speaker then look into becoming a qualified teacher. This is probably the most global job available to people from the UK, America, Canada and Australia and New Zealand