7 Lucrative Backpacker Jobs You Can Do Anywhere

Picking fruit in some remote village in exchange for a roof over your head and some food is probably not what you had in mind when you decided to become a backpacker and travel the world. Luckily, there are many backpacker jobs out there that allow you to travel and explore new destinations without having to worry about money.

College grads who are just getting into backpacking and travelers who are tired of low-paid jobs will be happy to hear that there are dozens of legitimate backpacker jobs that pay well. We’ve rounded up a list of 7 lucrative backpacker jobs and listed them from jobs that pay little cash to jobs that will get you plenty of dollars, euros, Thai baht, etc…

Backpacker Jobs

7. Waiter

Wherever you go, there will be bars. Backpackers looking for work can easily get a job in one of these places. Keep in mind that working in a bar in a foreign country as a backpacker is illegal in most cases, but you can expect to make extra money from tips and cash under the table.

What’s great about working in a bar is that all you need to know is how to pour beer, serve it, and wash cups and glasses. You will also have a chance to meet new people and have a couple of free drinks.

6. Nanny/Au Pair

A good way to work and travel at the same time as a backpacker is to find a job as a nanny/Au Pair. Expect to live with a local family, have free accommodation and food, and a paycheck at the end of the month. What’s not to like? Search for nanny/Au Pair jobs here.

In some cases, an extensive background in childcare is not needed and a smiley backpacker who loves taking care of kids can easily get this job. The only downside of being a nanny is that families usually look for female backpackers and people who are traveling alone.

5. Hostel Worker

Backpackers wanting work can get a job in a hostel. It is one of the easiest backpacker’s jobs to get and all you need to do is ask in a hostel if they need some extra help. They will definitely know what you are talking about.

Hostels will usually give you free accommodation and some money under the table for completing tasks like cleaning rooms, working at the front desk, attending the bar, and sweeping the floors.  Working in a hostel is definitely one of the best ways to save cash while traveling as a backpacker.

4. Web Developer

Backpackers wanting work will also probably think that you need to be an expert with a college degree in web/graphic design to get a job as a remote freelance web developer. The truth is every business needs to have a website and that with basic knowledge about web developing and with a computer, you can find a job as a web developer relatively easy.

Go to sites like UpWork and Peopleperhour to find regular clients who usually pay well for these types of services. Keep in mind that you will need to have a good Internet connection if you decide to work as a freelance web developer.

3. English Teacher

If your mother language is English and you’ve decided to travel the world as a backpacker, you have won a lottery ticket. There is not only work for English teachers with a legit degree and a TEFL certification; there is also work for anyone who anyone from the United States and Great Britain. You can choose to give private English lessons or work as an English teacher in a kindergarten.

As an English teacher, you will have a steady income and lots of free times on your hands because of all the holidays. It is one of the best backpacker jobs out there at the moment, especially in countries like China, Vietnam, and Thailand. Check for English teacher jobs in China here.

2. Travel Writer

Backpackers looking for work and who love to travel sometimes fail to see opportunities that are right in front of their eyes. If you love traveling, why not write about your travels and share stories from your own personal experience. These stories can actually earn you a decent amount of cash. Make sure to obtain a good laptop and a reliable Internet connection, so your career as a travel writer can start straight away.

The good news is that there are many people online who are looking for travel writers and need a lot of content to be written. Sign up and start applying to travel writer jobs at Freelancer, Peopleperhour, Guru, etc. You can also pitch your travel ideal to high-end travel magazines. Check out the list of magazines that outsource for travel stories and pay freelance writers at Writelife.

1. Cruise Ship Worker

One of the best backpacker jobs on the market today is being a cruise ship worker. There are dozens of positions to choose from. You can work as a waiter, chef, photographer, dance instructor, hostess, tour leader, swim instructor, spa technician, hairdresser, maid, engineer, or even as a DJ. The cruise industry developed a lot in the last decade and there are plenty of opportunities to find good jobs that pay well.

The good news is that boats make stops now and then and you get to spend a day or two in port cities all over the world. Of course, accommodation and food are provided by the employer. Click here to learn how to apply.

So, Can I Make Good Money as a Backpacker?

Of course, you can. Yes, there are backpacker jobs that pay little and only cover your basic expenses, but there are also jobs that allow you to earn real money.

Choose a job or two from our list and go on an adventure of a lifetime.

PJ Manning

PJ is the creator and CEO of TravelDeveloper.com. A digital nomad since 2012 - he's constantly looking for where to work and surf next.