As a keen nomad, you know that few things are free in this world—being able to travel is a costly undertaking, especially if you’re traveling long-term. Many long-term travelers must pick up additional paid work to fund their lifestyle, including work on the road and freelance or remote jobs.

There’s an additional way to get the money you need to explore, which comes in the form of traveling for work in the first place! How does traveling for work vary from working to fund your travels—and which jobs would allow you to best enjoy the benefits?

Let’s have a look!

Working for Travel vs. Traveling for Work

Working for travel means your work can be completed while traveling, but it’s not tied to your trip. Usually, that’s a job you already have that lets you operate remotely, freelance work you do while on the road, or something similar.

Traveling for work means accepting a job in advance that includes some form of travel, whether on-site work, driving, or similar.

Both of these pursuits will ultimately help toward your travel goals. But it’s worth noting that different people may be suited to each option:

  • Working for travel will likely be best for the determined nomad with set ideas about locations they would like to visit and the time they’ll have to explore each area. Working for travel tends to be unstructured and may buy more time for enjoyment, though your income may fluctuate accordingly.
  • Traveling for work is excellent for people with no set travel plans but a general passion for seeing more of the world. There may be less of a work-life balance in this instance, but depending on the job, you can find time for exploration. Income is also more reliable and tends to be based on a pre-agreed salary.

While we talk a lot about the best work-for-travel positions for the average nomad, there’s surprisingly little information about how to quench your wanderlust while traveling for work.

3 Jobs That Allow You to Travel for Work

Most nomads are familiar with work-for-travel careers like travel vlogging or freelance writing. You may be less familiar with jobs that allow you to travel for work and explore your surroundings while you do. We’ve excluded careers like airport crew in this list, as you’re not likely to spend much time in the locations you’ll visit. But, for those seeking the security of a travel-for-work salary with a little more freedom, some fantastic careers to explore might include:

Travel Writing

You may be surprised to see travel writing on this list because many nomads use this as a working-for-travel option en route, either through their personal blogs or by selling articles to travel magazines or publishers. There is also a level of travel writing that fits far better into the traveling for work category, and it brings all the benefits of a pre-agreed salary and even prepaid accommodation, activities, and more.

The best thing about travel writing is that it keeps exploration at the center of every journey—even more than most other travel-for-work options. To earn a travel writing career that allows you to travel for work, you will need to gain a regular spot in a respected travel magazine or on a high-performing third-party travel blog. This can be a challenging field to break into, so you may need to opt for work-for-travel positions first with more personal, low-paid writing as you build your audience, meaning that individuals who prefer financial freedom may still want to steer clear of this choice.

Careers in Construction

While not all construction work will see you traveling the world, a great deal of construction careers can involve at least a fair amount of cross-state work if you’re with a big enough firm! If you brush up on your commercial construction glossary and affiliate yourself with global brands, you may also be able to travel to different countries for work. And there are few better ways to get to know a community than to literally build something within it.

Construction workers tend to put in long hours, especially with commercial clients who value building speed. That said, commercial work is only possible in daylight, meaning you would have evenings and early mornings to explore. Like high-end travel writing, construction travel costs are typically paid in advance. Construction careers also pay famously well, meaning that you could make a great deal of money and have some traveling fun in the process.

How About Hospitality?

Working for Travel vs. Traveling for Work: What's the Difference? - Hospitality Jobs - Frayed Passport

Photo by Pixabay

Most hospitality roles don’t require travel; those options, like hotel or hostel work, are common work-for-travel positions. There are some hospitality roles that fit the bill of traveling for work, including options like cruise ship work, yacht work, and certain tour guide roles.

Tour guide roles are probably the best positions that allow for exploration of your surroundings during work itself. Cruise ship workers tend to be allowed into port between cruises and during dock days, while yacht workers will have at least some downtime en route. The typically long hours of full-time hospitality positions like these also can pay well and should cover travel costs during the off-season if you work throughout the high season.


Really, it doesn’t matter whether you work for travel or travel for work, as long as you’re able to see the world in a way that suits you! But if you’re fed up with traveling from paycheck to paycheck, you might find that traveling for work is a better nomad option than you’ve previously considered.

If you’re ready to jump into finding jobs that’ll let you explore the world more frequently (and even get paid to do it!) check out our Careers & Finance section, which has tons of advice about building a lifestyle that balances travel, life, and work the way that works best for you.

Featured image by Monica Silvestre on Pexels.

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