For many of us work & travel is the perfect time off from the routine at home, the perfect leap into independence and pure freedom or simply a chance to find your own dream job. Most people go to Australia or New Zealand to work & travel. But it doesn’t always have to be these two classic work & travel countries! What about Indonesia or South Africa as a contrast? In the next paragraphs we will share some Off The Path work & travel countries and introduce some really cool jobs!
Work & travel – your perfect time off!
You want to get out, escape the routine, quit your job, leave the country? Or you have just obtained your high school diploma and want to see the world before getting serious: new interesting cultures, people, rituals, smells, landscapes and natural spectacles.
If you are on a tight budget you will have to put in a few weeks of work from time to time or need jobs that offer at least free accommodation and meals. Work & travel is perfect for this. You get temporary employment and are in touch with locals because you will almost always be living with them. This way you get to immerse yourself in a new culture. After that you travel on and have a chance to see more of the country.
Work & travel is for all age groups and professional backgrounds. It really doesn’t matter whether you just finished school, are halfway through college or have already been working for a few years and need a break. The experiences you make will be incredibly enriching and you will hold on to them for the rest of your life!
Maybe you also decide to stay longer than planned because you feel so good. Go with the flow. If you feel truly happy and content where you are then it was meant to be. You can always go home again, no need to worry about that!
With an agency or organize everything on your own?
Of course we generally advise you plan your time abroad alone without an agency. This way you are on your own and have to learn to deal with difficult situations without any help. Organizing everything is up to you but this also means that you have a lot more freedom. Whether you can and want to do that is up to you. One thing is for sure, you can save a lot of money doing so!
But there are also upsides to having an agency do your planning, they will give you advice and guidance both before you leave and once you are there. In many cases you simply are more safeguarded. If you leave your home country for a longer trip for the first time and feel better doing so with an agency behind you then these are the best to chose from:
In general these agencies give you a good overview if you are still deciding which country to go to. You can gather information here even if you don’t book a trip through any of them in the end!
10 international travel jobs for your time off!
You don’t necessarily have to go to the classic work & travel countries like Australia, New Zealand or Canada for a cool experience. There are so many more places that are great for your time abroad and offer a lot more adventure too! ‘Cause anyone can go where everyone goes.
Chile, Japan, Jordan or Iceland – these are the countries for a real work & travel, for an adventure!
The Gilis really are a small paradise and not just for divers, they are especially great in the off season! Chilled beach bars, turquoise water and an impressive under water landscape starting only two meters into the sea. Another plus: Bali and Lombok are just around the corner.
There is a real dream job in this paradise that allows you to spend several months on the Gili islands and it is so relaxed, your office is the sea itself!
There are several diving schools on the Gili islands that are always looking for new staff. Even if you don’t have a diving license you can be trained to work as a divemaster and take out groups in only two months.
Diving with turtles, getting up close to stingrays and watching nemos play – this is your everyday work life here! And if you don’t have to work you can go for other adventures or simply chill on the beach and spend time with the locals who are super nice.
The pay isn’t great, but normally the accommodation is included. And the cost of living is pretty low on the Gilis.
Chile will wow you with the dryest desert on earth, with the eternal ice, the fantastic coast and the beautiful national parks!
Nowhere is nature as rough as in Patagonia. Part of it lies in Argentina, the other part in Chile. Only around 1 million people live on an area the size of Europe. So this is pure secludedness!
And the great thing is that there actually are many different really great international travel jobs there for you: you can for instance become a trekking guide or yoga teacher, or help the chef in the kitchen, all these are jobs offered at EcoCamp Patagonia!
The camp is in the heart of the Torres del Paine national park, one of the most breathtaking landscapes South America has to offer. You can work as a guide there and get to discover the nicest routes through the stunning natural surroundings. If you love yoga and maybe even already have trained as a yoga teacher then you can also teach yoga!
Or you look after the guests or work in the kitchen where you help prepare tasty meals for the guests.
These jobs all give you accommodation and food for free and you are paid according to your experience.
Living and working in paradise – this is what everyone works for! French Polynesia lies in the Pacific ocean, between Australia and South America. It consists of a group of islands with white sandy beaches and palm trees surrounded by nothing but crystal clear turquoise coloured water.
Adventure awaits you in the form of a sailing trip! First you navigate the surrounding islands and then cross the ocean to get to Panama. The wonderful San Blas islands between Columbia and Panama are also on your way!
Working this dream job you have several responsibilities: cooking for crew and guests, navigating or keeping the boat in shape. It is a paid job and you have a cabin to yourself. Since there are two people needed for this dream job bring your best friend and let’s go!
Have you always wanted to go on a desert adventure and learn more about the Arab world? Then go to Jordan and live with the Beduins! Jordan still is full of magical places, biblical sites and ancient cities. And in between there are deserts, enormous mountains, deep Wadis (valleys) and the famous Dead Sea.
Most of the job offers in this fascinating country are for someone to help with communicating with travellers and building websites. There are many desert guides that have been working as guides for decades and now want to offer their services online on their own website.
You live in a traditional house in the middle of the desert with the Beduins, you go on desert excursions with them, eat traditional Beduin food and get to know the way of life of these special people. And you can learn Arabic from your hosts if you want to.
Japan still is a total work & travel secret. If you want to work and travel around here then it will really be an adventure for you. You already speak Japanese? Perfect!
If not, then you should learn, because you will not get far without. The Japanese language definitely is a challenge but it’s possible to learn it. Best to take classes on site, this way you can go straight on to practising with the locals.
As a reward you find several different work & travel offers, so you are sure to find your very own dream job! Guest houses and farms are always looking for help, often they even want Au-Pairs. You look after the kids, help them with their homework or with making bread or take the dog out.
The tasks differ and you will never be bored. The most interesting work is on a rice farms: you learn everything a rice farmer needs to know from sowing to harvesting to processing the rice and in the end you get to enjoy the rice you grew!
Every year Nepal attracts thousands of extreme mountaineers that want to climb Mount Everest. But it is not just the massive giant that makes Nepal so fascinating, but the people and the incredibly beautiful landscapes around the Himalaya.
In Nepal there are always openings for volunteers in the medical field or in schools. But you can also find farming jobs such as helping out on a tea farm. And jobs in the medical field often don’t require any prior training. Every helping hand is welcome as the medical infrastructure is unfortunately very bad.
If you decide to work on a project in education you can teach or offer programming classes or train sports teams. Orphanages are also happy for any kind of help and there really is nothing nicer than seing children smile even though they have been through so much!
Viva la Mexico! Heavenly beaches, mysterious cultures, colourful streets and delicious food – you can have all this for free if you stick around for a few months. The variaty of jobs you can work is great. You can work on a farm, in cafés or hostels or teach language classes. In idyllic Chipaa de Corzo for instance you can teach the inhabitants English.
For 3,5 hours of classes per day you receive 2 hours of free Spanish classes and accommodation with a family. This way you get to know the way of life of the Mexicans up close and you will make friends for life. It is a five month programm, so bring time. But at the end you will most likely be speaking perfect Spanish without having paid a cent for it! Find more about it here.
This kind of occupation can also be a springboard into teaching English all over the world, you could make this a lifestyle, travel and earn money.
If you are a nature person then Iceland is your country! Most of the help needed there is for occupations that have something to do with animals. You can for example work on a sheep farm, organize rides on the typical Iceland horses, milk cows, work with a tractor or help with painting and fixing fences.
Accommodation and meals are free on all the farms as long as you work for them. And that really is something, because Iceland is expensive! It is a great way to stay on the island longer because you won’t be facing any additional costs.
Look for a farm by the sea or mountains, then you can enjoy the great outdoors on your days off!
South Africa is the perfect place to support a charity. Be it helping in an orphanage, teaching at a school or supporting a wildlife project – there are loads of initiative that can use your help!
You are rewarded with free accommodation in a hotel or guest house, food and sometimes a little pocket money. And all the impressions of the country and its people that you will gather will stay with you forever!
In Oudtshoorn for example you can work on saving wild animals like lions, leopards or cheetahs from extinction. Your duties include feeding, cleaning the cages, washing the animals and raising newborns with a bottle! Note that this job is only available through an agency.
What about some time out in Europe, Portugal to be exact? Because you really don’t need to go far for a cool work & travel, some international travel jobs are just around the corner!
Portugal offers great cities like Lisbon or Porto which are not too big or too crowded but it also has great nature in the heart of the country and of course a fantastic coastline for surfing or simply swimming and relaxing.
You can help out on farms and wineries here, join the olive harvest or work in hostels. If you decide on a hostel then go to a surf hostel! There are a few in Cascals, only 30 minutes from Lisbon, this is Portugal’s surf center.
You take care of the guests and man the reception. In exchange you get accommodation, breakfast and free surfing lessons. Pretty good for sometimes only 20 hours of work a week. So you could even get yourself a paid job at a café to earn a little extra.
So: your next international travel job is already waiting for you!
You see, there are so many great countries in the world where you can head for some time off and work & travel. An experience like this broadens your horizon, you will grow beyond yourself, probably learn a new language and dive into a new culture – there is no better school for life than this!
Think about what you are good at or what you might like to learn. Maybe you play guitar and can give music lessons in Thailand? Or you have been riding horses since you were a small child and could supervise riding safaris in Africa? You only have to be creative and open enough to approach people and you will see the dream job right in front of you!
Are you planning a work & travel next year or have you already done one? Where do you want to go? Or what did you experience