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The Really Really Big Page of Ways to Get Paid to Travel or Save Money as a Volunteer

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So you want to work abroad but don’t know what to do, eh? Well it’s a big world so we have put together a big article to match the sheer number of diverse things you could find yourself doing to make a buck in Barcelona or save one in Bogota.

Get paid to travel with the Jobs Abroad Bulletin

Visit the Jobs Abroad Bulletin for current jobs abroad


Most of the 600 suggestions for finding work abroad and getting paid to travel the world that we list here are aimed at those with few qualifications other than the determination, hard work and attention to details employers the world over want in their staff.

These opportunities include working for your keep on a French campsite, bar work in expat pubs, au pairing in America, volunteer crew on a replica tall ship, calling bingo numbers to hotel guests on a Greek island, getting paid to wash dishes in a ski resort, and dressing up as a ghoul to frighten children on Halloween.

Other ideas such as skippering a chartered yacht in the Caribbean or driving an overland bus through Africa are aimed at travel professionals but we hope they will give an idea what is possible and perhaps set some of you on the road to gaining the skills and qualifications to do such a job yourself in the future. We have also thrown in the odd leftfield idea such as working onboard a cruise ship as guest clergy.

One important thing to bear in mind is the links given below are leads and suggestions, ideas and even on occasion rumours. With a few exceptions they are not recruitment adverts and should not be treated as such. An organisation that we have spotted recruiting in the past and will do so again in the future may not be in need of someone right now. If you want current job vacancies please visit our Jobs Abroad Bulletin site.

Where possible we have linked to employment pages but these are far more likely to move and result in dud links than had we linked to the home page. If you encounter a dud link try running the company name along with ‘jobs’ through a search engine to find where they have moved things around. Otherwise type in the home page and see if it can be found from there. One last but very important point to note is - to avoid lots of if this and that’s - I’m largely ignoring work visa rules in this article. But you won’t be able to.

We know it is much easier to travel the world, let alone find paid employment too, for some nationalities than it is for others. What will be a great job for someone from one country will be closed to an applicant from another. How many of the possibilities given below that are available to you will very much depend on how easy it is to travel and work your way around the world without visas, and how easy it is to get a work permit if needed.

As native English speaking EU nationals from a country with a strong currency and many reciprocal agreements with other countries, British and Irish travellers will fare the best for travel jobs. For others we are aware life is less fair but bear in mind working under the table is possible where local labour is scarce or disinclined to do low paid short term jobs. These jobs however are less likely to be advertised publically on websites and as such won’t be linked to here. If paid employment isn't possible, then cutting your expenses by volunteering will be the next best option. This often isn't legal either but is far less likely to attract unwanted attention from officials or jealous locals. TEFL UK Online Courses


Read on for hundreds of ideas for living abroad, getting paid to travel or saving money by volunteering

Billed as the ‘dance floor on top of the world’ La Folie Douce is one of Europe’s most famous après-ski bars in Europe. Represented in each of Val d’Isere-Tignes, Val Thorens, Meribel-Courchevel, St Gervais-Megeve and Alpe d’Huez, they take on numerous staff including cashiers, kitchen assistants, admin staff, security, writers, dancers and DJs.

If you have spent the past week talking English but paying for your meals and accommodation, then I’m afraid to say you are doing something wrong. Help to create an English speaking environment in Germany and people will feed us and give us a free bed to sleep in.

Nimble on their toes gentlemen aged 40 plus can dance their way onto a cruise ship and earn near free travel at sea by socialising with single women taking a cruise. Perks for dance hosts include tips, discounts, a drinks allowance and dining room privileges, and sometimes shore excursions and round trip airfares.

There are extra challenges leading school groups. “With kids, you affect and change lives. Maybe they’ve never travelled and you show them what’s out there,” says Carrie Fitchett, a tour director working with Educational Travel Adventures. We couldn’t find a jobs page on the ETA site but other US based tour companies aimed at teenagers include The Road Less Traveled, Westcoast Connection, National Geographic Student Expeditions, Putney Student Travel, People to People Ambassador Programs and Lifeworks.

The task of putting up and taking down the accommodation for a campsite holiday is given to the montage and demontage assistants. Montage assistants work the beginning of a season, putting up the tents, making sure they are clean and setting up the other equipment needed on a campsite. Demontage pretty much do the reverse at the end of the season: taking down the tents, cleaning and packing everything away ready for the following season.

Learn to be an Entrepreneur in Lithuania: described as a crash course in reality, a ‘how to’ guide for breaking free and becoming successful, the four day camp is aimed at young entrepreneurs and held each summer beside a lake in Trakai, Lithuania. Only 50 places are available each summer but, aside from an age limit of 18 to 25, there are no set criteria to apply.

Keen to avoid his wife having to do all the chores while the Captain is busy running the ship, catering and housekeeping assistance is welcomed on Joybringer, a luxury private motor yacht. An ensuite cabin, food, and a modest salary are given in exchange for working for a month or so. The boat is based in the Greek Islands, equipped with its own ski boat, scuba diving and fishing equipment. Volunteer crew are also taken on.

Lecturers might be surprised to learn they can join the entertainment circuit on cruise ships if they can give an account of the history, geography, geology, florae and faunae, literature and culture of the ports and surrounding areas visited by the ships. Enrichment lectures, on subjects such as film and Hollywood history, sports, physics, and astronomy, are also in demand. The Bramson Entertainment Bureau can find you the work.

Working for your keep in a hostel is a good way of cutting down on expensive accommodation costs and circumventing local employment visa requirements. Though it can be a grey area many hostels are willing to provide unpaid work in countries where avenues for paid employment are closed. To help you find a place to sleep for free we put together a list of 347 hostels and guest houses open to volunteer work exchanges in Europe, Asia and Africa, and North and South America, Australia and New Zealand.

On its own in the wilderness, lifelong friendships, and more than a few marriages, have resulted from working at Strathcona Park Lodge, in British Columbia. They accept resumes year round but most hiring is done in February. Staff live on site in simple and rustic accommodation, paying between $12 and $15 per day for expenses.

Working for Wandering Duck, a hosted canal boat experience for individuals and small groups, is a lifestyle choice involving living on a canal boat from March to October. Cleaning and readying the boat, welcoming guests and preparing meals are among the tasks for crew, who must be over 18 and able to work legally in the UK. Boating experience, photography and social media skills will all add to your chance of being hired.

Investing in the future is a popular gap year choice in itself and numerous companies provide watersports instructor training in holiday locations, including Flying Fish, who are active in the UK, Canada and Australia, as well as in Vassiliki on the Greek island of Lefkada. Sharing the same resort and providing windsurfing holidays is the TUI brand, Club Vass. On the north of the island Milas Beach Resort hires instructors, bar tenders and beach assistants to service holidaying kite boarders and wind surfers. If Club Vass won’t give you a job, look through Flying Fish’s excellent recruitment page. Vassiliki is also the home of Ocean Elements, the summer arm of Alpine Elements. Several other tour operators also operate in the resort. A tourist boat based on the island, the M/S Christina, sometimes has vacancies for crew members.

Boris Glumpler, who was paid to teach in Asia, describes the road to becoming a dive instructor as five steps beginning with an Open Water Course, proceeding through Advanced Open Water and Rescue Diver to Divemaster, the first professional level course.  The process ends with the Instructor Development Course. This begins after 60 logged dives with exams taken after 100 dives. Once qualified dive instructors can expect to earn a commission of 20 to 30% of the price of a course per student. For finding work he recommends either sending off loads of CVs to dive schools in your next destination or just turning up and dropping off your CV and phone number. Speaking German, French or whichever language is dominant among the holidaymakers in your chosen resort will increase the chances of finding work.

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The British Exploring Society has used our Jobs Abroad Bulletin to recruit for volunteer adventure leaders to lead expeditions to the Sinai for disadvantaged young people from the UK, but they are best known for their polar expeditions, as befits an organisation founded by a member of Captain Scott's final Antarctic journey. All expenses relating to the programme, including flights, food, accommodation and group equipment, will be paid throughout. Social leaders, responsible for the pastoral care of the group and for the personal development aspects of the programme are also hired.

The most prominent roles with tour operators are the tour reps, sometimes called holiday reps, overseas reps, couriers or resort reps. The tour rep is the public face of a tour operator and local intermediary between company and customer. His or her personality should match the needs of the company’s market. A Saga rep will need a very different skillset to that required of someone working for Club 18-30, for instance.

Despite Greece’s well known financial troubles and high unemployment, we still see plenty of vacancies for overseas staff posted to our Jobs Abroad Bulletin. Small year round populations, a lack of skills locally and a desire for workers that speak the language of their clientele continue to drive the demand for seasonal workers.

Physically demanding work in hot weather isn’t everyone’s cup of tea which is why Australians tend to leave that sort of thing to others. Download a free guide from for more information on picking fruit in Australia.

For Caitlyn O’Dowd, who we interviewed in The Working Traveller, any day during the season can see her guiding in one or more of 45 cities in 11 countries in Europe. She worked for Busabout, but Contiki, Explore, Top Deck, Tucan, On the Go, Grand American Adventures and Intrepid also hire tour leaders in Europe and beyond. Geckos Adventures prefer to employ local staff for their tours but take on outsiders for their polar trips.

Plenty of ways to work at sea are covered in Wandering Earl’s ebook Work on a Cruise Ship.

Are you between the age of 18-35 or in your first five years of a career in horticulture with a love of plants, gardens and gardening? If so, you can get financial assistance to visit gardens in the UK or abroad, or to study plants in their natural habitats anywhere in the world.

Surf Jobs is a good Facebook page for your surfer job hunt. This well maintained Facebook page is also worth checking out. A lot of the posts are in German but some are in English too. A mixture of paid and volunteer positions can be found on while the company directory of might be worth a quick browse. is a sparse board of surf jobs and a trawl through this list of surf camps could turn up a few more possibilities.

I like free beer. Do you like free beer? What fool doesn’t like free beer? Volunteers over the age of 21 can get paid in beer in Oregon.

There is no shortage in this world of children or jobs looking after them. Au pair agencies will be only too happy to round you up, hand you your ticket and send you on your way to their host families. However, once thoughts turn to au pairing or nannying in a ski resort the competition starts getting fierce.

Experienced drivers, preferably licenced to drive a minibus, can find work taking holiday makers between the airport and their ski resort destination. Alpybus driver positions are based in Geneva, Chamonix, Morzine and Verbier, the last of which comes with accommodation. Mountain Drop-offs also serves Chamonix and Morzine from Geneva airport. Try also Chamexpress. Large tour operators also often recruit their own dedicated driving staff but we’ve picked a smaller company, Zenith Holidays, to highlight their resort driver position. MorzineLets also hire airport transfer drivers.

Ice skating, sledging and excursions to some of Switzerland’s most famous destinations, such as the United Nations or the Mason Cailler Chocolate Factory, are part of the après ski activities open to children that attend winter camps in Switzerland. Les Elfes International hire winter camp monitors who are positive, have an open mind, and have skills in activities that separate you from the crowd, such as a guitar teacher, or dance coach.

The Bhutan Canada Foundation works in partnership with the Ministry of Education in Bhutan to send highly qualified native-English-speaking teachers to teach in public schools across the country.  Ashley and Mike Lenzen are one Canadian couple that applied and some of their experiences can be read on their blog.

The Russian middle classes love a bit of Mary Poppins and have fully bought into the idea that for a tip top governess, tutor or nanny you just have to go British. All business related expenses, including travel and visa as well as registration with the Russian authorities, are provided by agencies such as Gouverneur International, Duke & Duchess International, Bonne International, and Chelsea Clarke.

The camp counsellor roles with Camp Europe are voluntary, circumventing those tricky work permit issues. They pay a weekly stipend to cover inter-continental transportation expenses for applicants from both inside and outside the European Union. Locations vary but camps are usually in Germany, Austria, Ireland, France and Spain.

Seeing the world from a porthole and blogging about it is the life for Katie Wilter, a superyacht stewardess. She found her job by signing up with the many yachting agencies. These include Dovaston Crew, Silver Swan Recruitment, Super Yacht Crew, YPI Crew, Camper & Nicholsons International, Luxury Yacht Group, and Bluewater. WilsonHalligan  also have some steward positions but mostly specialise in officer and crew positions and current jobs are listed on Northrop and Johnson. More agencies can be found here.

The heyday of overland companies has long passed but the trucks and buses of the surviving businesses still trundle around Africa, Asia and South America. Those hiring drivers (and tour leaders) with a sound mechanical knowledge include Absolute Africa, Dragoman and Oasis Overland.

When we first added a link to PGL in our directory over a decade ago they were recruiting over 2,000 staff to work in their activity centres across Britain, France and Spain. Today, they need a still not inconsiderable 1000 people to look after their guests.

Getting taken on as the crew of a yacht is a great way of getting from A to B via the planet’s large watery bits. Tiffany and Greg Norte who worked their way around the Pacific present their tips for volunteer crewing but it is also worth reading this rant, and tips, from a yotty.

Global Vision International have a whole site dedicated to job opportunities, traineeships and work placements in conservation, wildlife research, international education and managing international volunteers. Positions at the time of writing included community field staff in Thailand, a work placement in South Africa and paid positions for a base manager in the Seychelles and administration assistant in Mexico.

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600+ Ways to Work Abroad


Some images courtesy Jasmine Arnold and other FrontierOfficial photographers, TikTik, and Camp Pinewood.