The reality of going on a business trip is that you usually end up spending more time grinding away in muted-colored business centers and three-star hotels than you actually spend enjoying the city you’ve traveled miles and miles to visit. Sure, this may be true for folks who chose a typical travel job (think business professionals, retail buyers, and consultants). But there are certain unconventional jobs that will pay you to travel the world. And you can do it without ever having to be stuck in a dingy airport hotel.
Here are a dozen out-of-the-box travel jobs, from professional mermaiding to expert dog sitting, that’ll allow you to see the globe, sans desk.
1. Professional Mermaid
If you’ve always dreamed of becoming one of Ariel’s many sea-faring sisters, you may want to look into becoming a professional mermaid. Dream Cruises employs professional mermaids to teach their guests everything from ocean conservation to how to swim with fins, on board their mermaid-themed cruises. You’ll probably need a fair bit of experience to score one of these unconventional jobs. But less experienced mermaids can also book gigs at children’s parties, water parks, and luxurious resorts around the world. (Photo via Dream Cruises)
2. Secret Hotel Inspector
Small Luxury Hotels of the World was recently hiring a mystery inspector to join the SLH Secret Service (we swear we didn’t make that title up). Traveling to many of their 520 hotels across the world, the mystery inspector is in charge of making sure every aspect of the hotel is up to their high standards. How do they do this? Well, inspectors must sip poolside martinis, get luxurious massages, and dine at delicious Michelin-starred hotel restaurants… all in the name of inspection, of course. The role, though, doesn’t cover travel expenses. But inspectors do get one or two nights at the hotel for free. And all your meals and experiences? They are comped in exchange for their feedback.
3. Stock Footage Videographer
If you love filming everything you do, becoming a stock footage videographer might be a great travel career option. Pro tip: Stock footage of bustling cities, serene landscapes, and aerial footage are all great things to have in your repertoire when selling to websites like Shutterstock and Videoblocks.
4. Professional Dog Sitter
If you’re guilty of treating fur babies like human babies, becoming a professional dog sitter might be a lucrative business that could take you across the globe. TrustedHousesitters is a travel website that enables animal lovers to stay for free at homes across the world just for watching the homeowners’ pets. Members have to pay $119 per year to join the program, but it’s definitely worth the investment. Previous sitters have been hired to stay in Irish castles, Australian beach houses, and English countryside homes.
5. Au Pair
If you don’t mind staying in the same city for up to a year and you love hanging out with kiddos, consider becoming an au pair. Au pairs are domestic assistants, usually assigned to take care of small children, housework, and various familial responsibilities. Along with getting a place to stay, au pairs are also given a salary to. If taking kids out on adventures in a foreign town sounds like your cup o’ tea, check out AuPairWorld for more information.
6. Professional Roadie
The term professional roadie encompasses a lot of different roles, all with the main goal of getting a concert or gig ready. Roadies can be tour managers, stage managers, lighting directors, or guitar techs. There are different qualifications for each of these unconventional jobs. If you do land a job as a roadie, you’ll be traveling to each stop on the tour. And earning a sweet paycheck at the same time. Rock on!
7. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants do a myriad of tasks for their clients, from providing administrative assistance to brainstorming new ideas. Plus, their job can be done anywhere there’s WiFi. So if you want to spend your workday on a sandy beach, no problem! How about chillin’ in a luxury hotel? That’s totally fine! Plus, you can tailor your gigs based on your personal skills and schedule. Becoming a virtual assistant means you can always say yes to an exciting next adventure.
8. Disney Character Performer
Calling all Disney lovers! While becoming a Disney character performer involves an extensive application and audition process, it’s certainly a magical way to travel the world. Along with working in California at Disneyland or Orlando at Disney World, the Disney Cruise Line also employs character performers to work on their themed ships.
9. Trip Manager
If you’re the type of traveler who loves planning every aspect of your vacation months in advance, you may want to consider becoming a trip manager. Currently, Contiki is hiring for Trip Managers, who would be responsible for running the day-to-day happenings of their European trips as a guide and chaperone — including getting participants from city to city, serving as their personal tour guides, and making sure everyone on the tour has a great time.
10. Flying Nanny
If you were to search common travel jobs, flight attendants would top most of the lists you find. But aboard Etihad Airways, not only can you become a regular flight attendant, but you can actually score a gig as an aptly named Flying Nanny, taking care of jet-setting kiddos during long-haul flights. Once they’ve landed, high-flying nannies can explore the world wherever they’ve touched down. Sounds like our kind of gig!
11. Teaching English Abroad
Do your friends and family constantly refer to you as the grammar police? Teaching English abroad is an awesome way to travel the world and earn a little extra cash. With opportunities all across the globe — South Korea, Gulf Arab States, and Japan, just to name a few — we’re definitely getting EFL-certified and putting this awesome career on our bucket list of unconventional jobs.
12. Cruise Ship Disc Jockey
Celebrity Cruises is currently hiring a disc jockey to provide entertainment on board one of their luxury cruise ships. Cruise ship entertainment staff are known for being the life of the party. So, applicants should be ready to get the crowd pumped. They also need to create a family-friendly atmosphere while cruising around the world.
Any of these truly unconventional jobs will create opportunities for you to travel and experience the world. Many of them are niche jobs that may not be the end of your career path. They do, however, present the opportunity to have some fun along the way.
For this post, we’d like to thank our friends at Levo.