The Best Seasonal Jobs for Traveling Pt. 2

Travel Jobs
by David Miller Mar 28, 2008

Photo by Robert Paetz

Looking for a change in direction? These jobs can initiate a whole new travel experience.

WHAT ARE THE BEST seasonal jobs for traveling? We asked this back in December and got dozens of great responses we remixed into this article. Since then we’ve had even more ideas and responses, so here is the follow up, round 2 of the best seasonal jobs for traveling:

1. Concierge

Lusine Stepanian writes: The best travel job I had was in London, England. I worked as the Concierge of a small hotel chain. It wasn’t really the job that made my experience so great, but the people I met every day.

We had tourists from all over the world, some speaking very limited English. It gave me the chance to brush up on my Italian, since I literally went home everyday looking up new words in the dictionary to be able to assist the guests better. I was even invited to go to Italy by one of the guests. Eventually, I was so inspired that I ended up traveling to Italy to take an intensive two week language course.

Tip: check or which can help you with work visa and your job search.

2. Commercial Fishing

The job itself might even take you to the next place you want to go.

Brad Whipple writes: fishing is a great job for traveling. You can go anywhere there’s water. You can work a one-day charter, a week-long trip, or a month-plus season. The job itself might even take you to the next place you want to go.

A shrimp boat, for example, will begin a season in Brownsville, TX, work around the Gulf Coast and down to the Florida Keys, then up to Cape Hatteras, NC. and you’re getting paid! (self-employed, no withholdings!) it’s an accessible industry around the world, and full of unique exposure to nature, both human and mother. rubber boots and strong back required.

Tip: Check out Brad’s complete guide to getting work on an Alaskan fishing boat.

3. Caretaker

Nora Dunn writes: Caretakers’ Gazette, Organic Volunteers, House Carers, and Wwoofing are great resources to find temporary positions doing anything from house or pet sitting, to organic farming, to campground management, and myriads of other seasonal jobs where rent-free living is the common denominator.

4. Dining and Lodging Services in the National Parks

Laurie Pickard writes: Working in the national parks is great. Getting a full-time position with the National Park Service is challenging, but private companies such as Xanterra continuously hire seasonal employees for dining and lodging services in the parks. The greatest part is that you get to live inside the park for a season. I did it in Acadia National Park in Maine one autumn, and it was fantastic.

5. Crewing on a Sailboat

N. Chrystine Olson writes: Crewing on sailboats is a great way to travel. In 2001 I went to help a buddy re-hab a 32 foot West Sail in La Paz, Baja; this got me onto other boats, a 42 foot vessel named Wooden Shoe (guess what she was made of), and a couple other gigs on different boats over a five month period. I sailed the Sea of Cortez and jumped over to the Mexican mainland for other adventures including taking the train into Copper Canyon.

I had offers to make the crossing to the South Pacific, but alas, responsibilities here in the States called me home. If you don’t get too seasick, I highly recommend it. If you are a decent cook, even better. A search on the Internet will direct you to all sorts of opportunities. Some great characters on the open water.

6. A Bollywood Actor

Jenny Williams writes: It’s really easy for foreigners to get jobs as extras and longer stints with speaking parts. The pay for one-time gigs is pretty low, $15 a day or so. But if you’re persistent and good at networking (or just happen to be in the right place at the right time), you can get longer positions that pay much better, $30-$60 per day.

My boyfriend and I worked as extras on a major Bollywood film (google “You, Me, Aur Hum”, releasing April 10) that was being shot on a cruise, which meant: $60 a day in addition to 2 weeks on a luxury cruise liner for free. After that, we got offered some other parts for speaking roles in commercials and TV shows which we had to turn down due to our travel schedule. And we’re not particularly talented or good-looking!

The bummer is that you’re pretty much limited to Mumbai (plus a few other cities in India). The one-day jobs can also be pretty awful, long and boring. Still, if Mumbai’s part of your itinerary, and you’ve got a flexible schedule, DO IT.

7. Nursing

Ben Polansky writes: Nursing is a huge one. I have multiple friends who earned their nursing degrees and haven’t looked back. There’s always work for somebody who knows how to take care of the sick. Check or Doctors Without Borders if you’re really committed.

8. Ski Resort Employee

Eva Holland writes: Work the ski resort scene – there are foodservice jobs aplenty and many of the resorts will put you up (in dorms… I hear it’s like freshman year, without the classes! woot?) and provide perks like lift passes. I wouldn’t be surprised if I land in Whistler or Banff one of these winters, seems like a good gig.

Most of the resorts have job info on their sites – also, for non-Americans I’ve heard this is one way to get a temporary US work visa. I met a bunch of Aussies who worked ski seasons in upstate New York and down in New Mexico – the resorts hooked them up with permits.

Tip: (From David Miller, ex Parking Lot Attendant, Heavenly Valley) Being a liftee can drive you nuts. Working rentals you have to deal with rushes of customers and stinking ski boots. It might seem like the lowest job on the totem pole, but the parking lot attendants actually get the most riding time. Stack those cones man!

Stay tuned for more seasonal jobs coming soon. . .

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