Taking a career break? Here’s how to earn while you travel

Whether you’re embarking on a pre- or post-uni gap year or you’re taking a career break to broaden your horizons and reassess your career goals, travelling is an exciting and potentially life-changing experience.

Yet how do you pay for that experience? Rather than dip into savings, why not work while you travel? Your finances won’t take a hit, you’ll have new skills and experience to add to your CV and, you never know, you might discover a new career path entirely!

Think this is easier said than done? Think again. There are plenty of ways to earn while you travel, giving you a career break that’s more than just an extended holiday.

Teach English abroad

This may sound like a challenge, but you’d be surprised how many teaching opportunities there are around the world for native English speakers. In many cases a school or college won’t require previous teaching experience or even a qualification, they just want you to be able to speak with students in your native language.

If you’re unsure about being thrown into a classroom full of expectant students, there are plenty of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) courses that will give you a qualification and some experience in the classroom, so you’re fully prepared. Not only that, but a TEFL qualification can lead to better paid teaching jobs that could become the start of an exciting new career.

Thinking about a permanent move into teaching?

Work in a holiday resort

Whether it’s a gorgeous coastal hotspot over the summer or a breath-taking ski destination for the winter, working in a holiday resort is fantastic way to see somewhere new and meet new people, all while earning a living.

If you don’t really fancy cleaning hotel rooms all summer, fear not. There are plenty of roles to suit a vast range of skills, from childcare to customer service, chef to extreme sports instructor. Though you may need some previous experience for that last one!

Become an Au Pair

A wonderful way to completely immerse yourself in a new culture for a significant period of time, working as an Au Pair is a unique and rewarding experience. If you’re hoping to see as many places as possible on your travels, this might not be the best choice for you. But if you’re looking for a base abroad where you can explore from, an Au Pair role is ideal.

Of course, in many cases families will want an Au Pair who can speak their language to at least a conversational level, so this role won’t be for everyone. Having said that, there’s no better way to learn a language that throwing yourself in at the deep end, so go for it!

Go freelance

If you’ve got a lot of experience in your field, and you’ve built up some contacts throughout your career, what’s to stop you from going freelance? All you need is a laptop, an internet connection and the drive to get your name out there and approach potential clients.

If your professional skills don’t really lend themselves to freelance work, think about your hobbies and interests outside of work. If you enjoy writing, why not start a blog and try to build a name for yourself that way? Or if you have a passion for photography, set up a website and start advertising your work.

Work remotely

Finally, another option for earning while you travel is to not quit your job at all. We live in a global, connected world where the office can be anywhere. So consider whether you really need to be in the office to do your job, then approach your employer about working remotely.

Not all employers will allow this, of course, but you might be able to negotiate a switch to part-time remote work or change your role to a freelance position. Just remember that, however you go about it, there are plenty of ways to continue earning while you travel and explore the world. And by doing so you’ll return home a more rounded, experienced person, with a few extra skills under your belt.