18 Career Paths That Will Open You Up To Travel Opportunities

18 Career Paths That Will Open You Up to Travel Opportunities

Satisfy your wanderlust while pursuing a career you’ve always wanted.

Are you currently having a something-life crisis (hey, I didn’t want to limit it to just ‘quarter-life’) in terms of your career? Or are you at that point in this pandemic era where you regret not travelling as much as you could and should have? For the latter, I’m guessing it had something to do with a hectic work schedule? Well, if that’s the case, maybe it’s time to change career paths. 

I’m not saying you should quit your job to travel. But if travelling is truly something you love, then maybe it’s time to consider other career paths. Specifically, those that also give opportunities to see and experience new places constantly! Hence, we’ve rounded up some of the best ‘travel-prone’ jobs — both the obvious and the unexpected.

Travel-filled career paths for the outgoing

Most people in these lines of work are often classified as extroverts. But hey, that isn’t to say introverts should steer clear! 

1. Talent manager

career paths

Image credit: K. Mitch Hodge

Working behind the scenes can be just as exciting — especially when you’re handling a well-known (or even just rising) star. Sure, the entertainment industry can be daunting most of the time. (Hello, beautiful and multi-talented people who seem to have it all!) But hey, getting to travel pretty much everywhere with the actor/musician/model you’re handling sure makes up for it! 

2. Event organiser

From trade shows and product launches to destination weddings, there’s never a shortage of events that entail out-of-town excursions! Imagine going straight to a nearby beach, once your event wraps up — sounds fun, right? If planning events (even those as small as family reunions) is something you really enjoy, then this might be one of the best career paths for you! 

3. Communications manager

Whether it’s public relations or corporate communications, I’d say working in the comms industry involves ¾ talking and ¼ travelling. It’s a pretty good ratio, considering that you also get to interact with all sorts of people: from celebrities and the press to stakeholders from all walks of life. But while it seems like a glamorous job, better prepare yourself for long work hours and constantly tricky situations that require quick solutions!  

Travel jobs based on specific skills or interests

Combine your specific passion and expertise with your love for travel! Although, a fair warning: most of these require investing in equipment and/or training for years to get a license. So, you might want to be certain that you’re in it for the long haul. 

4. Photographer and videographer

career paths

While there’s quite a lot of sub-categories under this (i.e., events, food, fashion, wildlife), one thing’s for sure: life as a professional photographer or videographer is never boring! After all, with creativity come all sorts of exciting shooting locations. Imagine having a plane ticket to, say, Africa or Europe for free — while also being paid to capture the spectacular scenery. Sounds good? Well then, better start honing those camera skills! 

5. Retail buyer

career paths

This is for those looking into career paths in fashion and lifestyle! Retail buyers are in charge of sourcing materials that you normally wouldn’t find nearby. Some examples: handcrafted jewellery by indigenous artisans, special fabrics found only in far-off countries, and rare vintage items that require scouring through different cities around the world. Hey, all for the love of design and all things #aesthetic, right? 

6. Barista or mixologist

Gone are days when working behind the counters of pubs and cafés are considered menial jobs. With the ever-growing market for speciality coffee and craft cocktails comes the need for more well-trained experts. And how exactly do these career paths have travel opportunities? Well, aside from joining international competitions, there are also times when certain bars and coffee shops invite guest baristas and mixologists from different cities! 

7. Athletic team recruiter

If sports has always been your passion, then you might want to try your hand at being an athletic team recruiter. Usually, this also entails being a coach for the team you’re recruiting for. Wouldn’t it be great to explore different schools around the globe, while on the lookout for the next Michael Jordan, Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams, and such? 

(A note to die-hard sports fans: I know these examples are barely even the tip of the iceberg, but you get the gist. I don’t have all day to cite all the greats in every sport, ya know.) 

8. Scuba diving instructor

As we all know, oceans cover more than 70% of the surface of our planet. That said, there’s still a lot to explore in these vast oceans. And as a scuba diving instructor, you get to see a whole new world underwater, with all sorts of animals that you never thought existed before. Along with these, you can have your pick on where you want to based in; from the warm tropical waters of Southeast Asia and South America to the far-off Arctic and Antarctic regions. 

9. Construction management professional

This can range from construction managers to architects and civil engineers. But essentially, these are the professionals in charge of the construction of certain properties; like housing development, roadways, and impressive corporate buildings. Constant travel in this line of work is especially applicable for those who work for large firms and global companies. There, you’ll most likely be assigned to different locations depending on the project. 

10. Archaeologist or palaeontologist

career paths

Image credit: Hulki Okan Tabak

Okay, before all else, let’s set the differences straight: palaeontologists are the ones who study fossils (e.g., dinosaurs!), whereas archaeologists study human history through relics and artefacts left behind. Either way, it often includes research and fieldwork (mostly in excavation sites) both locally and abroad. 

While travelling around the globe, you’ll also be doing a lot of gritty work like digging, documentation, and analysing the stuff you find. But hey, if your childhood fascination with Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones is still alive and burning brightly, then it’s worth a try! 

11. Cartographer

Ever been fascinated with how maps and atlases are created in the first place? Well then, being a cartographer might be for you! Here, you’ll be gathering data to update existing maps or even draw up new ones. Of course, this entails extensive travelling to verify topographical features and collect information on the areas that you need to map. Apart from the scientific and technical side, this job also has an artistic aspect; after all, it takes such skills to present information graphically. 

Career paths that let you travel and help out

Want to explore the planet while also making a difference wherever you go? Then perhaps you’re suited for one of these travel jobs. 

12. International aid worker

For this, you can look into jobs in international humanitarian organisations like Red Cross and UNICEF. In this line of work, you’ll visit different countries in dire need of assistance due to war, famine, and natural disasters. Clearly, this job is often emotionally and physically taxing, and requires a high level of commitment. So, don’t be surprised that this is, quite in fact, a sector that’s hard to get into! Having a background in fields like public health, agriculture, and international relations helps as well. 

13. ESL teacher

In a nutshell, English as a second language (ESL) teachers are tasked to help non-native speakers learn how to speak, read, write, and understand the language. They’re actually in high demand in nearly every country, so opportunities to work abroad are aplenty. Usually, overseas ESL teachers work in local schools, language tutorial centres, or even in homes as private tutors. What’s great about this job is that, as you teach your student/s the English language, you also get to learn a few things about theirs. 

14. Interpreter or translator

Similar to ESL teachers, interpreters and translators are also quite in demand nearly anywhere in the world, in all sorts of settings: from business conference rooms to government agencies. So, if you’re fluent in multiple languages, then this is definitely worth considering! Bonus points if you’re a fast learner who can easily pick up new lingo along the way. 

Obvious choices for travel-centric career paths

While it goes without saying that these jobs involve a lot of travelling (and I mean a lot!), I find these still worth listing down for everyone’s easier reference. 

15. Tourism and foreign affairs officer (government)

career paths

Wondering what job would allow you to combine your love for travel and your country? Well then, how about working for the department/ministry (depending on which term applies) of tourism or foreign affairs? With the former, it’s more on opportunities to travel locally, as to promote destinations in your own country. 

With the latter, you get to spend most of your career overseas while representing your country’s interests. More often than not, this will be in embassies or consulates. Though, clearly, you’ll have to work your way up for more expansive opportunities (read: ambassador). 

Also read: The Life of A Diplomat: This Retired Ambassador Shares Her Experience!

16. Travel agent

In the Era of Google, you might think that being a travel agent is a dead-end. Yet sometimes, nothing beats the tried and tested expertise of travel agencies! For instance, they can easily tell you whether a certain destination is a truly good fit for your personal preferences. They can also give an itinerary tailor-fit to even the most discerning taste. 

More often than not, travel agents have firsthand experience of the places they recommend. Clearly, this comes from their extensive travels across the globe — whether from personal trips or through fam (familiarisation) trips organised by suppliers and travel operators! Sounds exciting, I know. 

17. Cruise ship worker

If sailing across the Seven Seas has always been your dream, then why not work for a cruise line? Imagine being paid to travel and interact with people from different cultures — all while getting free room and board. What’s also great about this industry is the various job opportunities for different lines of work: culinary, engineering, accounting, medical, retail, and even entertainment!

18. Flight crew

Among all the career paths listed down, this is probably the top-of-mind choice for those who have dreamt of jet setting ever since! Take your pick among being a pilot, flight attendant, or flight engineer/navigator. Though, of course, these entail extensive training and/or possessing certain requirements (i.e., height for FAs). 

Also, expect to start your days at random hours as well as the inevitable jet lag (especially if you’re newly minted). Like many other #CoolJobs out there, it’s not always as glamorous as how films and TV shows portray it. But if you’re ready for years of all-out travel, then I say go for it! 

Also read: 15 Struggles of a Travel Junkie with an Office Job

Bonus: Remote work

Image credit: Kristin Wilson

Let me be clear — this isn’t the same as working from home (which is now the norm given the current global crisis… *sigh*). Remote work is basically having the option to work wherever you want. Okay, maybe not really ‘wherever,’ but more on, anywhere with a stable Internet and mobile signal! Nonetheless, there have been more and more remote work opportunities for many types of jobs: web developer, travel writer, graphic designer, social media manager, and so on. 

If you’ve always wondered what’s it like to work while travelling whenever you want, maybe a different work arrangement is what you need! To give you a sneak peek, here’s a short interview with our executive editor and resident digital nomad, Joser

“In your previous job before TripZilla, you lived for half a year abroad! Could you tell us how it all happened?”

Joser: I was working as an all-around writer for a media production company, where I used to work full-time. Basically, I asked my boss if he’d allow me to do remote work since most of what I did involves writing and sending everything online anyway. So for six months, I stayed in Vietnam and Thailand

“What made you decide to live temporarily in those two countries?”

J: I read about Vietnam’s English teaching culture and I thought I’d give it a try since it would work hand-in-hand with my writing career. It was close to the Philippines so if I had any problems, flying back home would just take about three hours. To make the most of my time abroad, I also moved to Thailand which was the cheapest country to fly to from Hanoi at the time. Also, I always wanted to visit Bangkok and Phuket.

“How was the overall experience of travelling while working?”

J: It’s not as glamorous as I thought, for sure. In Vietnam and Thailand, my part-time salary was hardly enough to cover my living expenses so I didn’t actually get to travel a lot of the time. I would also do volunteer work in hostels that gave me free accommodation in exchange.

This was also how I started appreciating slow travel — or living like a local, as people would call it. There, I would just walk around the locality during my free time. I travelled to other provinces there a few times, just to see what they’re like. Unfortunately, back then I also lacked some of the gadgets that are essential to working remotely, like a pocket WiFi, power bank, and extension cord. So, mostly I had to stay in my room to work. (*Laughs.*)

Also read: Work-Life Balance Tips for Remote Workers to Ease Work-From-Home Woes

While getting to travel for work is fun and all, do keep in mind that you’re there for work first and foremost. This means that, while you might get the chance to explore the area and explore however you want, you should make sure that your tasks for that trip are already done! You know what they say — work hard, travel harder. #LifesATrip, after all!

So, have you considered switching to one of these career paths? Or better yet, have you already tried working in some of these? We’d love to hear all about it!

About Author

Marcy Miniano
Marcy Miniano

A fast-talking caffeine-dependent wordsmith, Marcy has never been one to shy away from sharing a good story or two. If she’s not in a quiet coffee shop somewhere, she enjoys spending afternoons in a museum or art gallery — whether it’s around Metro Manila or a foreign city she’s visiting. She wishes to retire in a winter village someday, so she can fulfil her lifelong dream of wearing turtlenecks all year round and owning a pet penguin.

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