Living the Dream: How a Traveling Career Could Save You Money

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

I’ve always wanted to travel the world. Since 2011, I’ve been able to visit two foreign countries — but one of them was Canada, so does that even count? A few of the biggest challenges to my dreams of world travel are (1) the expense, and (2) the loss of income while traveling. Saving enough money for a plane ticket across the ocean or lodging in a hotel for a week or two isn’t easy when there are so many other (more important) savings categories in my budget.

But there are ways to travel that can alleviate both of these problems, and some people have found a way to do it successfully — even for years at a time! After all, traveling the entire world would take a lifetime if all you could spare was one or two weeks out of the year.

Although I’m not sure if any of these options are feasible for my husband and me right now, they’re definitely interesting. Not to mention they’d make traveling affordable, and maybe even allow us to save more money than we could at home.

What You Need to Know About Traveling Careers

Traveling Career Options

While some businesspeople get to take business trips overseas, that’s not what I’m talking about. In order to get the most out of your traveling experience, your job needs to be able to travel with you. There are, surprisingly, many options.

Here are a few examples:

  • Cruise line or airline jobs
  • Work-visas abroad (especially Australia, New Zealand, Eastern Europe)
  • Teaching English as a second language (especially South Korea, Japan, Taiwan)
  • Online marketing and graphic design
  • Professional writing and e-publishing
  • Overseas government jobs
  • Various contract jobs

The point is: If you look hard enough, there’s probably a job that matches your skill set and interests. Many overseas government, teaching, and professional-level jobs include one- or two-year contracts, so your employment status might even be more secure than it is stateside.

How Traveling Careers Can Save You Money

In addition to having a set period of employment, many overseas jobs include other perks such as free or reduced room and board or transportation.

For instance, many cruise lines pay good salaries in addition to free lodging and discounted meals. This could allow you to save the majority of your salary while on the job. One man working for a cruise line saved $24,000 during a six-month contract as a tour manager for off-boat excursions! Imagine the debt you’d be able to pay off — or the retirement investments you’d be able to make — with that kind of money.

While not all traveling jobs will include this many perks, many foreign countries have a lower cost of living, which will allow you to stretch your money further and save more. Continuing to live a frugal lifestyle in spite of your money’s purchasing power would allow you to take full advantage of this savings opportunity.

Drawbacks of Traveling Careers

If you’re someone who requires frequent medical care or medications, you may have to pay out-of-pocket for insurance, since contract jobs don’t usually include it. You may also have to pay more to get your medications shipped to you, or be forced to travel a long way to medical facilities.

For many reasons, traveling the world may not be the most feasible if you have kids or pets. And, unless you sell all your stuff, you’ll have to pay storage fees to keep your larger items stateside while abroad.

Is This Lifestyle a Possibility for You?

While it’s obvious this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, it’s a concept to explore — especially if you’ve always wanted to travel but have felt tied to your job. Hopefully I’ve shown that not only can you find a career that allows you to travel, you can even save money while doing it.

What do you think? Is there a traveling career that’s right for you?

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