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Wanderlust Careers: Top 7 Jobs for Travel Lovers

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Taking a career break to wander the world sounds pretty good. But getting paid to globetrot is even better, right?

Well, yes and no. Here are the pros and cons for seven of the best travel jobs that caught our attention:

Flight Attendant

Flying the friendly skies to ensure the safety and comfort of airplane passengers is a classic travel job. Perks are self-evident and awesome: routine trips to far-away locales, plus deep discounts or freebies on vacation flights, hotels and more. But it’s not as glamorous as Pan Am might have you believe. Irregular hours, frustrated passengers, and the small possibility of risk all remind you that you’re essentially providing customer service in a metal tube hurtling through the air.

Average salary: $31,000–$51,000*

Wine Importer

Importing vino requires you to travel around the globe to seek out the best vintages from Argentina, France or South Africa. Plus, you get to drink wine as part of your job. This might sound like the height of luxury, but this gig also demands business hustle; chances are, you’ll spend more time dealing with logistics like international regulations, shipping rates and insurance prices than you will sipping wine in a faraway land.

Average salary: $37,000–$66,000*

English Teacher

Can you speak English? Do you like other people? Then you have the qualifications for this job! Teaching your native tongue to students halfway around the world can be a gratifying way to fund your international wanderings. You can’t make a fortune — or, some might argue, even a living — doing this work, but cultural immersion is pretty much guaranteed.

Average salary: Varies (a Google search turns up payments ranging from room and board, to upwards of $30,000)

Tour Leader

Share the wonders of travel with others as a tour leader. Play your cards right, and your work could land you canoeing through the Amazon, sampling fabulous food in Italy, or sleeping under the stars in Morocco. However, this job isn’t for those who lack patience: It’s your task to deal with the headaches of travel — reservations, translations, transportation — so your tour members don’t have to.

Average salary: $22,000–$40,000*

Cultural Anthropologist

Talk about cultural immersion: these anthropologists take a first-hand look at the development of modern day cultures. You research in the field, and that could take you almost anywhere in the world. While you’re not an Ivory Tower academic, grant writing skills are important; you’ll probably devote more time to tracking down funding sources than you will to working abroad.

Average salary: $39,000–$71,000*

Camera Operator

Whether waiting for hours to capture perfect documentary footage of a baby snow leopard, or running to catch action shots of the latest reality TV adventure figure, cameramen (or women) can take their skills on the road. Best perk? You get to see some of the world’s rarest sites with your own eyes. However, the hours can be arduous and you could find yourself in some rough situations — like stuck in a blizzard at the base of Mount Everest.

Average salary: $29,000–$61,000*

Humanitarian Aid Worker

Travel can be about giving back. Whether working through an NGO, the Red Cross, or one of the many Without Borders organizations (Did you know they even have a Clowns Without Borders?) there’s a position that suits your skills. While these jobs aren’t for the faint of heart — the crisis you’re helping alleviate can involve everything from discomfort to actual danger — journeying to places in need of aid can grant a totally new perspective on wandering the world.

Average salary: $22,000–$36,000*

So, did your dream travel job make the list? What would you add?

*Salary info from the U.S. Department of Labor

Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a career exploration site where people can discover what opportunities exist and learn what paths can take them there. Have an opinion? Join the conversation on Twitter @InsideJobs.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

  • http://twitter.com/taketheview Take the Interview

    Great post! You could add working on a cruise ship, too!

    Jessica
    Take the Interview
    @taketheview
    taketheinterview.com

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! Cruise ship jobs are a great idea! While doing my research I came across this “Day in the Life” article about cruising jobs. It’s an interesting read: http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/feature/cruiseshipwork.cfm

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joulie-Disuja/100003160614156 Joulie Disuja

        I recently came across blog and this post also in which i find that it is a very informative blog.
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  • Euros extra

    Muy buenas formas de ganar dinero ;D
    http://eurosextra.net

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Marek/696640989 Jacob Marek

    what about actually working for a travel company? there are several large corporate giants (carlson, virtuoso, any large cruise, hotel, or tour company, etc.) as well as tons of small tour operators and travel marketing companies. travel is an essential part of working in these types of jobs.

  • http://www.leslieforman.com Leslie Forman

    Great list! Off the top of my head, I would add: market researcher, photojournalist, supply chain manager, sourcing agent (for products like shoes, clothes, toys, etc.)

    There are also a lot of opportunities to work for local companies in faraway places. I spent four years working for a handful of different organizations in China, and now I am building my own business in Chile.

    You might be interested in this recent eBook by Stacie Berdan about how to launch your international career: http://www.amazon.com/Global-Launching-International-Career-ebook/dp/B005OD3BXQ/ref=cm_pdp_rev_itm_img_1 (that’s not an affiliate link, just an enthusiastic recommendation.)

  • Jrandom42

    Join the Army! Travel to exotic faraway places! Meet interesting unusual people! Blow them all up! What could be more fun?

  • Snowsportsforless1
  • http://www.tulipgirl.com 8b8

    You’ll have stiff competition and a long hiring process, but consider becoming a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State. . . or USAID. . .

  • Lanlan8819

    Now there are a lot of people choose the teacher as career. In fact, to be a good teacher is not very easy!
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  • http://twitter.com/CoolestCities Kelly Dunning

    You missed “Freelance Travel Writer”
    I do what I love, and I am free to travel the world as much as I want because I can work from anywhere.I write travel guides, news stories, blogs, Ebooks and more.
    Sometimes travel writers can get free trips, hotel stays, attraction passes and other perks for reviewing these destinations.

  • amilyjoe

    All these jobs are fabulous for the people who loved to wander around the world. There are a lot of more job options who give you a chance for traveling like if you are an artist then also you have a chance of wandering. One can choose a job from all these according to their passion, after all without passion job losses its meaning and you will be no longer love to travel. general dentist in anchorage

  • http://twitter.com/Yakezie Yakezie

    No travel blogger?

  • Julie
  • Sheri

    I found a great way to travel for a living, as a group travel organizer. It pays a lot better than most of the other travel jobs. I found an excellent free online course about it at http://www.vacationcareers.com