If you are willing to take a job with regular travel you might be able to see a good portion of the world on the company dime. Many of us are born with a certain amount of wanderlust – a strong desire to see and explore our world. However, when “adulting” kicks in we are also reminded how expensive it can be to actually do that.
In this article we make the case for taking a travel job with the sole intention of using it travel the world and tick a few boxes on your bucket list.
Seeing the World on the Company Dime
Airfare, hotel costs, rental cars, not to mention food costs can quickly pile up for a traditional vacation. Folks often are faced with the hard choices of paying a mortgage and car payment (and college loan…) instead of traveling. Saving for retirement instead of flying to Paris. Putting away some bucks for kid’s college instead of sneaking out to New York City for a romantic getaway with your spouse.
My 24 year old daughter likes to call this adulting and as she (and many other folks) quickly realize, adulting is hard! She’s not flitting off to Reno to ski Mammoth. No, she’s working shift work to pay off her college loan.
Or take my 42 year old buddy who’s got a great job at a bank. Between working 50 hours a week and watching kids soccer games and band recitals he’s not doing a lot of traveling. Sure, he and the family may take the obligatory trip or two each year, but he’s not seeing much of the world.
What do about this? Well, if you are up for it, a job with regular travel could be the perfect solution. By using a travel job you can travel much of the world on the company dime. Sure, “much of the world” will vary depending on the type of travel job you take, but at least you will be out on the road exploring. And, if you do it right, you can even bring your family from time to time.
A new phenomenon is especially popular with younger travelers known as Bleisure. Essentially this is the mixing of a business trip with some leisure time. Maybe an extended weekend where you pay the hotel costs for the weekend, but the company flies you back on Sunday instead of Friday. The right kind of travel job could give you a great opportunity to get some Bleisure travel in!
What’s a travel job?
What’s a travel job? Good question.
A travel job is any job (big or small) where consistent travel is part of the job description. You might be a traveling sales engineer, or maybe cruise ship activities coordinator. Well get to some more types of travel jobs in the next section, don’t worry.
A travel job (or travel career) is the kind of job where you are on the road on a regular basis. For example, most of my career in the last 15 years has involved frequent travel. The actual jobs have varied: sales engineer, cybersecurity consultant, sales director, General Manager, Head of Worldwide Operations, etc. All of these jobs may, on the face, not appear like travel jobs, but they are.
In my current role I have 200 or so employees scattered all over the world. From Denver to Bogota to Malaysia to Seattle (and many more locations) my company flies me around the world to run these organizations.
You might be thinking “Ok, cool story, bro, but I’m 26. Head of 200 employee organization is not in the cards right now!” True…but I have employees of mine who are in their 20’s and 30’s and they travel every week. Yep, they are on site engineers who fly to customer’s sites to installation work, repairs and more. I’ve got a team in Las Vegas right now. 3 straight weeks (including weekends)…yep you guessed it…on the company dime.
There are many many types of jobs and careers that will take you around the world and that’s where we are heading next.
Types of Travel Jobs
There are too many travel jobs to adequately cover in this article (don’t worry I’ve got another article I will send you to here in minute…look for a link below), but I will highlight a few interesting ones.
- Salesperson – travel the world (or at least a region) and sell stuff! Lots of road time, usually, and while it can be stressful to live off commission checks it can be a very accommodating schedule
- Consultant – consultants often travel on a regular basis. And it’s the kind of job you can get right out of college (oddly…). I know a fellow travel blogger whose day job is consulting and she’s been all over the place…on the company dime.
- Project Manager – organized? If so, a traveling PM could be the career for you. Robots may take over a lot…but they will never take over project management. And you get to see the world.
There are many many many more jobs with travel – far too many to cover here. For more information about travel jobs check out our article 23 Travel Jobs.
The Pros and Cons – this isn’t for everyone
There is a downside to regular travel and travel jobs in general. First, as a solo business traveler (like me) you will be alone on the road a lot. Away from your family and loved ones. This is tough. And it’s not for everyone. It requires a strong partner and understanding family.
It also requires that you are HOME when you are HOME. You have to plug in and spend quality time with them when you are there. You also should look for opportunities to bring them with you and get some Bleisure time in.
I’ve taken my family with me several places as part of a work trip including NYC, Arizona, Utah, Washington, Oregon and Florida to name a few.
Another thing to consider is that not all travel jobs are equal. Some are just that…jobs and not careers! Being a traveling salesperson is a potential career. Working as a field engineer can be a career. A part time job as a cruise guide one summer is not a career. It’s a job. And that’s ok. Sometimes taking a J-O-B can open some travel doors for you to.
Lastly, some jobs will take you to inglorious locations like North Dakota or Oklahoma. For example, I’ve spent more time in Bismark North Dakota than I have Paris. Yeah…yikes. Hey, and nothing against the great Bismark-ians…they are great, but it ain’t Paris. I’ve also found that some of these unlikely locations are in fact amazing or at least interesting. I’ve had amazing Shrimp Cocktail in Indiana, tasty Beer in northern Michigan, and seen unique sights in other less traveled places (roadside BBQ in OK anyone!).
There you have it. If you play your cards right you can see a good deal of this world on the company dime. Happy job hunting!
What was your favorite travel job? Maybe the travel job you wish you had? Drop a comment below or tweet us!
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