How To Become a Professional Traveler: Tips, Tricks, and Benefits
To earn money while seeing the world? Yes, please!
Working and traveling at the same time is the dream life for a lot of people, especially for those who have wanderlust. The key to obtaining this dream life is to have the courage to quit your regular 9 to 5 job and find a new one that you can do while traveling around the world.
Although it sounds too romantic for some people, professional traveling is getting increasingly popular every day as many dreamers discover that it is actually doable. There are various options that you can make a living while wandering in the authentic alleys of Morocco or trying to hear what your friend is saying amidst the plash of Niagara Falls.
In this article, I’ll be elaborating on what a professional traveler is, how to become one, job options for professional travelers, and tips for those who are beginners in their careers as travelers. Read on if you’re intrigued, fellow traveler!
What Is a Professional Traveler?
A professional traveler is someone who gets paid as they travel full-time, and since this becomes a lifestyle, a “travel pro”, if you will, who’s mastered all the tricks of traveling.
Full-time travelers usually work online jobs that they can do remotely, regardless of what part of the world they’re in. Another option to get by for a professional traveler is to live on a passive income like rental income, affiliate marketing, or creating an app.
Becoming a professional traveler requires the courage to take the risk to change your life completely and the patience to learn to master that new way of living. It has its perks and downsides, like every other lifestyle, but when you get used to managing it, it offers freedom like no other.
Pros and Cons of Being a Professional Traveler
Life always has its ups and downs. Similarly, each lifestyle or job has its own specific upsides and downsides. Let’s make a list of pros and cons to see if becoming a professional traveler is worth its troubles.
- Getting out of your comfort zone
- Freedom to see the most unique places in the world
- Working on your own time
- Ceaseless excitement and discovery
- New experiences each day
- Constant inspiration
- Many options for stress relief
- Getting out of your comfort zone (challenging at first)
- Being away from home, friends, and family
- Getting to carry only a few of your personal belongings with you
How To Make Money While You Travel
There are various job opportunities where you can make a living as you travel. However, it’s not really easy peasy to find or get one of these jobs because if it were so, everyone would be professional travelers, and such a world wouldn’t function so well.
First and foremost, note that there are four main categories of jobs you can do when traveling the world: digital nomad jobs, jobs in the travel industry, backpacker jobs, and expat jobs. Let’s elaborate on what each of these categories refers to, and then move on to the best traveler jobs that fall under these four different categories.
Digital Nomad Jobs
Digital nomads are location-independent. Therefore, all they need to start working is to open their laptops where they have access to the internet. Digital nomads can do whichever they choose: settle somewhere for a while or travel as they please.
If you’re a digital nomad, you can work in the comfort of your own home if you've settled down. If you still travel around, however, your workspace might as well be a cafe, the Airbnb you stay at, or a coworking space.
Freelance writing or translation, social media managing, or running an online business are a few examples of digital nomad jobs.
The word “expat” refers to a person who lives and works in a country outside their country of nationality. An expat job may not have anything to do with traveling, other than the circumstances under which you’re doing the job. Moreover, you don’t need to be on a constant move when you’re working an expat job either; if you obtain the relevant visa, you can work and reside abroad for months or years.
Teaching English, caregiving, and working in foreign services are examples of expat jobs.
You can work one of these alternative types of jobs that don’t necessarily require a degree or a laptop as you're backpacking. Although they may not guarantee a regular or high income, they help backpackers get by and provide them with great freedom and flexibility to travel.
Musicians, artists, writers, or those who do manual labor can choose this type of work and travel.
Jobs in the Travel Industry
As the title suggests, these are jobs that are related to the industry of tourism and hospitality. Guiding tours, travel marketing, and travel agency are some jobs that you can take in this line of work.
10 Ways To Make Money as a Professional Traveler
The number of job opportunities for professional travelers is more than one can shake a stick at. Getting one or succeeding in it may not be very easy, but you’ve got to start somewhere. It may be challenging at first to become a professional traveler: Both because you may experience financial difficulties and because it’s a whole new way of living to get used to. But don’t worry, you’ll get there! And it’ll be worth it!
Now that we’ve moved past that little moment of anxiety, let’s have a look at the list of the 10 best traveler jobs I’ve gathered for you.
One of the best job options for a professional traveler is becoming a freelancer. If you have a set of language and writing skills, you can become a freelance writer, editor, or translator. If you’re good at graphic design or illustration, you can work as a freelancer in these areas.
There are many websites like Fiverr and Upwork where you can register as a freelancer and find work.
Becoming a Travel Influencer
You’ve been traveling the world, sharing all the great things you see and experience on social media for a while now. Why not become an influencer and share your stories with the world as you make money and gain free stays or flights by partnering up with hotels and airways?
Becoming a Travel Photographer
You keep traveling, coming across mesmerizing views, and immortalizing them by pressing the shutter. On top of that, you’re really good at taking photographs and videos. Then maybe it’s time to turn this hobby that creates mere memories into cash by becoming a professional freelance photographer or videographer.
You can take photographs for the promotions of travel services and hotels or sell online copies or prints of your works.
Starting a Blog
Traveling the world and having good writing skills is a perfect combination because it enables you to start a travel blog and share your stories, experiences, and the places you’ve seen.
If you prefer to write about something else and not your travels, just go for it. All you need to do is find a subject that you’re interested in and want to share with the world, open a blog, name it, and start typing!
Learn how to reach your audience using keywords, and use this information to create engaging content.
Starting an Online Business That Doesn’t Require an Upfront Investment
Starting a business without making an upfront investment is another great option for professional travelers.
You can start an online business where you procure or prepare the products you sell upon pre-purchase. That way, you won't be spending money or time unless you make a sale.
If you have design and marketing skills, you can start a print-on-demand business and sell your products on platforms such as Shopier or Etsy; or open a website for your brand.
If you have a knack for e-commerce, on the other hand, you can start a dropshipping business that buys and sells goods on demand. There's no need to stock anything for either of these alternatives, which makes establishing such businesses somewhat cost-free.
Teaching, Coaching, or Consulting
Another solid job option for a professional traveler revolves around educational purposes or consultancy.
If English is your native language, you can make a living by teaching English almost anywhere in the world.
Teaching other languages or courses, becoming a yoga instructor, counseling, coaching, and consulting are other career options, each of which requires specific sets of skills, of course.
If you’re into some serious writing and blogging doesn’t strike a chord for you, becoming an author is yet another great career option for professional travelers.
You can write novels, essays, travels, and short stories and get these published to be sold on platforms such as Amazon. While you’re at it, you might as well get freelance writing jobs as a side gig to make money regularly.
Remote Working or Telecommuting
Thousands of businesses have recently discovered with the COVID-19 pandemic that people do not necessarily need to go to an office to work productively; remote work is just as efficient.
As a full-time traveler, you can continue working in your own profession remotely. All you need to do is sort out a new arrangement with your company or find a new firm that hires remote workers.
Jobs like telecommuting, marketing, and sales rep help also fall under this category: they only require the relevant skills and a phone or a laptop.
Working in the Travel Industry
There are many job opportunities for travelers in the travel industry: full-time travelers can work at hotels or travel agencies or even become local tour guides after getting to know a place well enough.
Trading Crypto or Stocks
If you have experience in finance or the patience to learn about trading stocks or crypto, start doing your research now. If you go into trading stocks and crypto, know that you’re taking the risk of losing a bit of money at first. Therefore, this option is more valid for those who have some spare cash.
Tips To Travel Like a Professional Traveler
1. Always Be Prepared
It’s always in your best interest to be prepared for all kinds of situations at all times when you’re traveling full-time.
Here are some key points you need to pay attention to become a professional traveler:
- Check the expiration date of your passport, and make sure there are over 6 months left
- Research thoroughly about visas and other requirements to enter the country of your destination
- Check and complete all required paperwork
- Make sure you carry a travel card and some cash in local currency
- Unlock your phone to be able to use local sim cards
- Prepare a packing list
- Pack early to make sure you get everything
- Check the weather before traveling
- Carry spare photos with you for passports, visas, etc.
2. Get Proper Travel Insurance
Life is full of surprises, and sometimes you come across bad ones—perish the thought!
It’s a relief to be always prepared in case you have any health issues or accidents. That’s why getting adequate travel insurance to cover you if such an event occurs is crucial.
You can conduct thorough research and pick the most suitable travel insurance plan considering your needs and budget. You only need to make sure that the plan you choose is adequate to cover you in any possible situation.
SafetyWing can be a good option and it's highly favored in our digital nomad community. Its nomad plan starts from $42 and offers travel and medical benefits.
3. Travel Light
I know it seems hard at first to break away from your stuff, on top of being away from your home, family, and friends. One’s belongings may act as a vessel of consolation when they’re homesick. But once you overcome the challenge at the beginning, you’ll be glad to be rid of the extra stuff later. Traveling light and living minimally saves you from the burden of the lumber you thought you needed in your life.
4. Know Your Way Around
To become a professional traveler and master the art of traveling, you need to learn a few tricks for getting around.
It may be stressful or at least mundane if you don’t know your way around airports, planes, or other means of transportation when you travel frequently. There are a few tricks you can employ to have more effortless and enjoyable journeys.
- Learn how to access the airport lounges even if you’re not traveling first class or business. You can acquire a travel card to easily benefit from the perks of the lounges in the airports between connecting flights.
- Always carry a little liquid with you: water, juice, coffee, tea, or whatever your choice of refresher is. Especially in big airports, these beverages tend to come in return for unreasonable prices.
- Get used to knowing when you should get on a plane. On crowded flights, get there early to put your bag somewhere safe and easy to retrieve. On uncrowded flights, however, be there after everyone else’s on board. This way, you can easily spot the empty seats where you can have a more comfortable journey.
5. Download a VPN on Your Phone and Laptop
Some countries do not provide access to certain websites or search engines. To avoid inconveniences in such places that implement limitations on the internet, make sure you download a well-working VPN on your phone and laptop. The first will help get you around in case you’re stuck, while the latter will come in handy later if you’re working online.
Trust me, it’s a great relief to know that you can depend on Google in places where you can’t read the signs because they’re in a different alphabet!
6. Check Online Groups and Forums
It’s always good to have an experienced fellow traveler or a local companion when you’re traveling somewhere new. Having company provides you with a smoother passage to a country and culture to which you’re a complete stranger. They can show you around, help you communicate with others, and eventually may become a good friend.
You can check online traveler forums, related groups, or local tourism boards to find a local tour guide. Having a local to drive and show you around is usually much better than attending fixed tours because you get to learn more about the way of living and culture in that certain country, besides going regular sightseeing. You should be prepared to go off-road and take the journey through unexpected paths with a local guide. Imagine how fun and informative that will be!
7. Catch Some Local Phrases
It’s not a piece of cake to learn a new language from scratch, but it’s useful to know some phrases when you’re traveling around in a new country. If anything, knowing some simple words and phrases like “hello”, “goodbye”, “please”, and “thank you” will take you a long way in terms of getting things done and mingling in with the locals at the same time.
How To Become a Professional Traveler Summary
Becoming a professional traveler is a dream that can very likely come true. The only thing you need to do is summon up the courage, take the risk, and find a way of getting by as you travel.
It is a challenge, of course, to change your way of living completely but once you taste the freedom of working and traveling at the same time, you probably won’t want to settle back down anytime soon.
Have no fear to start experiencing the wonders of the world, and start getting things in order: your adventure is waiting for you!
Frequently Asked Questions About Being a Professional Traveler
What does professional traveler mean?
A professional traveler is someone who is paid to travel full-time and has mastered all the nuances of traveling. Since this is their lifestyle, they are considered "travel pros."
No matter where they are in the world, full-time travelers typically perform internet jobs that allow them to work remotely, such as virtual assistant jobs, travel blogging, or social media influencer. Living off a passive source of income, such as rental revenue, affiliate marketing, or the sale of an app, is another way for a professional traveler to make ends meet.
How much do you make as a professional traveler?
It depends on what line of work you’re in. Professional travelers mostly can make as much or as little money as those who work regular jobs 9 to 5.
How do people become professional travelers?
People become professional travelers by quitting their 9 to 5 jobs and finding new jobs that they can work remotely or at their destinations of travel. Meanwhile, they master the art of traveling and become professional travelers, or "travel pros”.
Do you have to go to college to be a professional traveler?
You don’t have to go to college to be a professional traveler. You can do various jobs that don’t require a college degree while you travel. Manual labor, or starting your own e-commerce business are some examples of jobs where you won’t need a degree.
How do professional travelers make money?
There are various ways to make and save money as a professional traveler. Professional travelers work in expat jobs, travel industry jobs, backpacker jobs, or digital nomad jobs.
To be a professional traveler and make money as you travel, you can become a travel influencer, travel photographer, work on a cruise ship, travel blogging, author, consultant, travel agent, farm worker, graphic designer, virtual assistant job and the list goes on and on. As long as you work remotely, or as a freelancer, you can earn as you see the world.
Can I get paid to travel the world?
Yes, you can! If you become a travel writer, a travel influencer, a travel photographer/videographer, or a travel agent, you’ll be basically getting paid to travel the world.
How do full-time travelers make money?
Full-time travelers make money by working remote or freelance jobs that allow them to travel freely by working on their own schedule regardless of their location in the world.