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Gap Year: 14 Ways to Work While Traveling

Congrats to all of the new grads! If you’re looking to put your career on hold and TRAVEL before you dive into a committed occupation, here’s list of ways to do it!

After all.. “You’re not a tree, if you don’t like where you are: move.”

I get it: you don’t hate your city, but want to travel in your 20s… yet you don’t have years worth of savings… Fear not, you can work AND travel. Do it! Here are your options:

1. TEFL – or Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Maybe you’ll pick up a language abroad too.

2. Be an Au Pair abroad.

It’s more common than you’d think. You can interview with hosts families online with Au Pair World.

3. Contract Work.

Some countries provide contract work for “work and holiday.” These jobs are very competitive, but worth a shot if you have the resume to back you up. Try One Shift Jobs in Australia.

4. Work at a hostel or hotel.

You don’t have to pay for accommodation. Perks: you’ll meet lots of other travelers!

5. Bar-tender/ Restaurant Server

Can also be very competitive in bigger cities, but do-able.

6. Peace Corps

Requires an application process and a two year commitment, but you get to play hero.

7. U.S. Department of State *Careers Representing America*

Also requires a competitive admission and serious commitment, but it’s a nomadic lifestyle of luxury.

8. Get a career with an international company that has offices overseas.

They’re always looking for young folks that don’t have serious obligations at home, and can go abroad.

9. Create a career that allows you to work from home.

Home can be overseas if you feel like it. Try copywriting, marketing, and social media. Photography and videography is always trending. Works for Me!

10. Apply for graduate education overseas.

Use scholarship funds, loans, etc to pay for it as you would pay for graduate education domestically.

11. Pursue international careers in entertainment.

Be a dancer on tour, play basketball or volleyball overseas, or try BMX in Nitro Circus.

12. Work as a travel guide.

Congratulations, you get paid to give the gift of travel!

13. Work on a cruise ship.

Would you like to be a chef, host, skipper, or dancer on a cruise ship? 14. Seek sponsorship for your talent. If you’re truly a phenomenal photographer, adrenaline junkie, videographer, or writer — you could work for GoPro, a magazine, or just have costs covered by travel companies as a blogger. The websites and WorkAway list organizations for which you can volunteer at in exchange for meals and accommodation.

This week marks two years since my graduating from UCLA; it’s when I traded corporate entertainment for a one-way ticket to Sydney. I thought I was going to be stuck in a career selling my soul to climb my way up the corporate ladder. Why not take a #TravelBreak to see the globe for a year? I did, and well… I haven’t stopped traveling since.

Profile photo of Stephanie Be

I'm a California girl who has lived in Rio, Barcelona, and Sydney and gave up a "dream" career after graduating from UCLA to pursue my calling as a writer. I'm a lover of all things spontaneous with a fervent passion for travel, culture, technology, philanthropy, and lifestyle. I'm always looking to collaborate with other travel photographers and bloggers. Read more on You can frolic with me around the globe by joining me online. If you have no interest in the Sangria Familia... I mean the Sagrada Familia... then you're probably not any fun anyways.

One thought on “Gap Year: 14 Ways to Work While Traveling

  1. Profile photo of Maria TimoninaMaria Timonina

    These are some amazing resources! With my own graduation from college coming up, I'm trying to decide whether I should get to a new city, settle down and begin to work my butt off for the rest of my life… or to travel the world. These ideas help me feel like it's all doable so thank you!


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