20 Ideal Day or Seasonal Jobs for Travel Writers

Travel Jobs
by Heather Carreiro Apr 15, 2010
In response to the post-tax season freelancer blues, we’ve been brainstorming jobs and careers that work well with travel writing.

AFTER SCOPING THE MATADOR community, we’ve rounded up 20 examples of how travel writers can pay the bills without resorting to living in your car or working as a chicken sexer.

1. Cook / Chef / Restauranteur

Cooking is a universally-needed skill.

Some of our community members have worked as traveling private chefs like Matador writer Francisco Collazo. A chef with a vision for business ideas could also travel to different countries pitching ideas for new restaurants, developing menus and training restaurant staff.

2. Masseur / Masseuse

In the U.S., you can become a trained and licensed masseur or massage therapist without a Bachelor’s degree. Many community colleges offer low-cost training programs. Specialize in Swedish massage, Thai massage (like Matador member vitaminebeadaily) or therapeutic massage and you’ll be able to apply for jobs worldwide at resorts, five-star hotels or even on cruise ships.

3. Diplomat

Working as a foreign diplomat can give you the chance to travel, learn languages and live in different countries – all on the government’s dime. Matador member Andris includes state diplomat on his resumé. Learn more about the life of a diplomat here.

4. Marine Biologist

Matador member Beth Basinski airs marine biology with dive instruction as she travels. To get started in the field you’ll need at least a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, although a graduate degree and research experience would up your chances of getting a stable job.

5. Wildland Firefighter

Matadorian Eric Warren wrote a great guide to becoming a Wildland Firefighter. There are a lot of misconceptions about the “job,” but for those who qualify, it’s still a seasonal employment option that allows you access into places and communities you’d probably never get to know otherwise.

6. International Teacher

After spending two years teaching in Pakistan, I found international teaching went well with part-time travel writing. Putting in the effort to become a licensed teacher is worth it; many salary packages include housing, round-trip flights, free school for children, paid utilities and professional development trips.

7. Trekking Guide

If you’re into hiking, trekking and adventure travel, think about basing yourself somewhere at a trekking guide like Matador member Dinesh in Nepal.

8. Tour Guide

Working as a tour guide provides a way for you to earn some cash and share your local knowledge. Matador intern Matt Scott lives in Paris and works for an active travel company, and Matador U student Mary Richardson is an expat tour guide in Japan.

9. Wildlife Biologist

In order to find work as a wildlife biologist you will generally need a graduate degree and relevant field experience. Matador writer Ellen Wilson breaks it down here: How to Become a Wildlife Biologist.

10. Yacht Crew Member

Matadorian Ben Keys wrote a guide on how to travel the world by crewing on yachts. We’ve also published an article on how to become a yacht captain.

11. ESL instructor

Anne Merritt’s blog tag explains it best: Travel, Teach, Repeat. ESL jobs vary widely around the world, with some offering sweet packages and some not offering enough to live in a local hovel. In case you end up with the latter, read Anne’s advice on how to quit your ESL job.

12. Photographer

Matador editors Lola Akinmade and Paul Sullivan combine professional photography with travel writing. If you want to learn directly from them, check out the MatadorU travel photography course launched this month.

13. Translator

Matador community ambassador Eileen Smith works as a translator in Chile. Having a degree in translation studies helps you get work, although perhaps even more important is your ability to network.

14. Academic Editor

Matador’s Managing Editor Julie Schwietert also works as an editor of academic dissertations and book-length manuscripts. Read her insights on the life of a freelancer writer and editor on her blog Cuaderno Inedito.

15. Cruise Ship Musician

An experienced musician, singer or entertainer could land gigs on cruise ships like Matador member Andrew .

16. Bush Pilot

Matador writer Cedric Pieterse wrote an excellent guide on how to become a bush pilot.

17. Geologist

While geologists are often tied to one particular locale as a home base, work with government agencies, universities, natural resource companies and non-profit organizations sends them out for field work at least part of the time. Several Matadorians are geologists, including lissie . We’ve also published a guide on how to become a geologist.

18. NGO Worker

NGO workers and humanitarian aid workers are active the world over. Not only does a career in this type of work facilitate travel, but it also serves as a way for you to give back to the communities you travel and live in. Read more from Matador writer Ryan Libre about How to Start a Successful NGO in 10 Steps .

19. Ethnomusicologist

While ethnomusicology may not be the most lucrative career, it combines travel with writing and experiencing new cultures. Matador member Aaron Appleton shares about how he travels the world through music.

20. Professional Dancer

Matador writer Meagan Kelly wrote about how she learned Turkish while training with Fire of Anatalio, a professional dance group in Turkey. Meagan also works as a videographer, so there’s one more day job idea as a bonus.

Community Connection

Know any more careers that work well with travel writing? Let us know in the comment section!

For more ideas, check out 10 Travel Jobs Within Your Reach.

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