These days it seems everybody wants to travel. The internet has opened our eyes to the world outside on a large scale. Some people are content to travel on their holidays for a week or two every year. A break from “reality”. If that sounds like you than this article may not be helpful to you at all. However for those of you, like me, who want to experience more than just a quick “how do you do, see you next year” type of vacation read on to learn more about 10 entry level jobs and skills that you can use to keep the money coming in as you travel.
10. Bartending and Mix-o-logy. The Bartender is the king of the working class. If you don’t mind being chirped at by a few drunks every now and again its a great gig. The money is usually good and since you are behind the bar rather than in front of it the opportunity to save money quickly is quite good. There is a short learning curve for most bars. My best advice to you is to take a a copy of the drink list home with you as soon as you are hired. Memorize the recipes and you ll be a shining star behind the bar in no time.
9. Cooking and Kitchen Work. Restaurants are everywhere. Kitchen staff can be hard to find so if you have any experience at all in food preparation there is a good chance you can find work abroad in a kitchen. If you are a qualified chef it will be even easier assuming you have appropriate certificates and paperwork. However if you aren’t a qualified chef and the extent of your cooking experience ends at a toaster don’t despair. Kitchen hands are always in high demand. The hours are long and the work is thankless but it’s not that bad. The dishes come in dirty and you clean them. Do it for few months and you are off on your travels again. Depending on where you work kitchen hands also generally receive a percentage of the sales. Referred to as a tip-out.
8. Field Promotional Work. We’ve all been stopped by a random stranger in a shopping mall asking for “a few moments of our time”. Now it’s your turn to stop others and ask for a moment of their time! I worked several different promotions and had a great time doing it. The people you work with are almost always extremely friendly, talkative and outgoing. As a matter of fact if you aren’t friendly, talkative and outgoing you probably won’t get hired. The other great thing about promotional work is that a lot of the time the company will want you to stay mobile moving from town to town which almost always means you will receive a travel allowance along with your pay. No special education, experience or certificates are required. Just be friendly, energetic, well groomed and prove to your potential employer that you are not afraid to approach people.
7. Front Desk Attendants. Working the front desk at a hostel or hotel is a great job. Especially hostels. Typically your accommodation is included in your wages. Which means what you earn you keep. Also you will be meeting other travelers as you work so the networking you can accomplish while you earn is great. Typically you will need general computer skills to learn how to use the computer system. More importantly you should be well groomed ( this varies from hostel to hostel) with a helpful and friendly attitude.
6. Housekeeping/Cleaning. Look for hotels and resorts that offer staff accommodation. Some will even provide you with food before, after and during your shifts. Housekeeping again is an entry level position so no real experience is necessary. A clean image is a must as you will be working amongst guests of the property.
5. Fast Food Service. McJobs are everywhere. It’s not like you’re going to make a career out of it. Although I hear some McDonalds managers make six figures a year. So maybe you will!
4. Fruit Picking / Harvest Labour. Fruit picking is a great way to earn some extra money while you travel. A lot of the time the farms will have worker barracks. A bus or truck will arrive in the morning and drive you out to the fields where you will labor away picking whatever is in harvest for that time of year. I picked strawberries. The work was a little hard on the back but the money was decent and I ate my weight in berries ( i don’t think it’s encouraged but when you re hungry you eat). Some work is paid hourly other times its piece work. Meaning you get paid for what you pick. If at first it seems you are not making money watch the more experienced pickers. With practice you will learn the tricks ( there is always a trick ) and will probably make decent money. I have met fruit pickers who made 2-300 dollars a day during peak harvest times. It all depends on how hard you work and the crop you are working with.
3. Party / Night Club Promoters. Imagine getting paid to party. If you are in a major center night clubs are always looking for young party nuts to sell bus tours, booze cruises and specialty nights at local clubs. Most of the time it is commission based but selling party packs and liquor infused bus tours to backpackers is easier than selling a burning man a pair of fire proof undies.
2. Day Labouring. A day laborer is basically an extra set of hands needed for an understaffed job or job site. You will be given all the jobs that none of the full time guys want to do. Cleaning up scraps, moving loads of bricks from point A to point B, taking out the garbage and so on and so forth. Usually you will be paid at the end of the day in cash. There are no real skills required. If you are a hard worker and show potential you may be asked to stay on longer or if the job is almost finished you may score a few extra days with the crew before they move on without you. Again its not glorious but if you need a little quick cash its not bad. I did a three day job where i got to demolition an old retail store. Being paid to swing a sledge hammer and break stuff! Sweet.
1. Tour assistants. A tour assistant or tour guide assistant is someone who rides along on bus tours, boat cruises and assists the passengers and tour guides with the menial tasks of the tour. Your duties may include assisting in food prepartion for the group, cleaning up after the group, assisting the guests on and off of the boat or bus. These jobs are usually don’t require any special skills and you get to do the tours for free. Among backpackers they are the creme de la creme thus are very hard to find. If you are near a tour center or marina take a walk around and talk to the guides or ship captains to see if they have any large tour groups coming in. If they have a larger than normal group coming in you may get lucky. I managed to get a short job on a tour bus heading for Rome. My main responsibility consisted of holding a large sign with my bus number written on it so that the guests could differentiate our bus from the others. I even got to wear a cool button that said “Tour Assistant”. Decent!
There are tons of entry level jobs waiting for you to supplement your travels. Depending on where you are you may need to apply for the appropriate work visas. Sometimes you can earn money in cash but keep in mind that as a foreigner and a traveler you are more susceptible to robbers and thieves. Best bet is to find something legit. Good luck!