Who doesn't love to travel, right?! And to be able to make money while doing something you love, that's the dream.
But if you don't have training or experience as a travel agent, how can you make money as a digital nomad?
Luckily, there are lots of ways in which you can make money as a digital nomad, and not all of them require that you have prior experience or education.
If working remotely in the travel industry sounds appealing, then consider these travel-related occupations.
Fun Home-Based Travel Jobs to Consider
1. Cruise Planner
Do you love the cruising lifestyle? There are a few different options for being a Cruise Consultant, but the one that I’m most familiar with and that's affiliated with American Express is Cruise Planners.
It's a home-based franchise opportunity that gives you all of the tools you’ll need to run a successful business from your home – from an extensive six-day training session in Florida to tech tools, award-winning marketing programs, and American Express benefits. With this franchise, you'll build accreditation towards your Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) certification – which is needed to work with suppliers. Startup costs will run around $10,995, plus royalties and fees.
What it Pays: With Cruise Planners, you'll earn commission on cruises, hotels, excursions, flights, ground transportation, passports, and more. According to Hot Travel Jobs, the average leisure travel agent salary is $46,777 and is currently on the rise.
2. Travel Writer
Do you love to explore and research? Travel Writers are generally freelance writers or independent contractors, who write articles and reviews for magazines, newspapers, websites, and travel guides. Topics can range from food and nightlife to specific travel niches like eco-tourism, adventure travel, or family-friendly travel.
What it Pays: According to Study.com, the median salary for a Travel Writer is $62,170. Some factors that you will need to factor in are things like experience, skills, background education, and training and whether you’ll be freelancing or working as a salaried employee. And don't forget the perks of free travel and accommodations that you'll receive.
3. Travel Blogger
Do you love to share information about your travels? Travel Bloggers share all sorts of travel information via a personal travel blog. Many bloggers will choose a specific travel niche, such as traveling for singles, couples, families, or by interest island, mountain, or luxury travel. To make money, bloggers will use various techniques such as direct ad sales, ad networks, affiliate marketing, or by creating their own informational travel products.
What it Pays: According to Indeed, the median pay for a Travel Blogger ranges from $12.24 – $24.67 per hour. In this interview, these travel bloggers are pulling in $50K + annually. I think one of the many perks of being a Travel Blogger is that you'll get to travel for free – so you’ll want to factor that into your annual salary.
4. Instagram Travel Influencer
If you love Instagram and have a knack for taking stunning photos, being an Instagram Travel Influencer may be your calling. Of course, you'll need to build up your audience first, but once you do, you can earn big bucks through brand sponsorships.
What it Pays: According to this article on the Washington Post, “A rough rule of thumb is that influencers can make $10 to $80 per 1,000 Instagram followers per post — though much compensation is a mixture of payment (say, a daily rate for traveling to and posting from a hotel) and freebies.” This means if you have 500K Instagram followers, you could potentially earn $5,000 – $40,000 per post!
Related Content: How Bloggers Can Make Money on Instagram: Advice From the Experts
5. Disney Travel Planner
Do you know Disney inside and out? Academy Travel (Mickey Vacations) is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner that specializes in Disney destination vacations. Through this program, you’ll work as an Independent Travel Consultant, planning, organizing, and booking Disney vacations. Academy Travel is a member of the CLIA, IATAN, and ASTA, and all Consultants attend the College of Disney Knowledge (an online education program). According to their website, there are no startup or monthly fees to join.
What it Pays: According to their website, “You will receive 60% of the total agency commission. For example, if the agency is paid the standard 10% commission on a $4,000 vacation ($400), as the travel agent, you would receive 60% ($240).” Commission checks are mailed out monthly.
Related Content: Work-at-Home Jobs for Disney Lovers
6. Social Media Manager Specializing in Travel
Are you a social butterfly? Take your love of social media and travel and combine them into one exciting career. There are a couple of different routes you can take with this option, one you can open up your own Social Media company specializing in the travel industry, or you can search for travel organizations and see if there are any openings for Social Media Managers. Of course, you'll need to have a love of travel, but you'll also need to prove your expertise in social media marketing.
What it Pays: According to Indeed, the median income for a Social Media Manager with one year of experience is $48,051 annually. This number will vary greatly depending on your knowledge, skills, background education, and whether you decide to run your own business or work as an employee.
7. Local Coordinator (LC) for Exchange Students
Local Coordinators are independent contractors who go out into the community visiting schools, churches, and various youth programs in search of families who are interested in hosting foreign exchange students. Besides finding safe hosting families for students, you also act as a point of contact and mentor to the students while there are here in the US. This is basically a recruitment type position where you get paid a stipend for each successful placement. Most of the opportunities I found, offer financial compensation, incentives, travel bonuses, FAM trips, and opportunities for advancement.
What it Pays: The International Cultural Exchange Services says, “Typically, a Local Coordinator earns around $8,000 per year. A very motivated LC may earn twice that much or even more.” If you consider that these are part-time, flexible positions, it's not bad if you have an extroverted personality and would like to earn free travel benefits.
If you love to travel, there are lots of different ways you can live the digital nomad lifestyle while still earning an income. Best of all, these travel job opportunities don't require that you have certification as a travel agent, and many of them even provide training.
Which opportunities sound appealing to you? Do you know of another travel job opportunity? Drop us a note below; we'd love to hear from you!
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Originally published November 9, 2012. Content updated October 29, 2019.
Holly Reisem Hanna is the publisher and founder of The Work at Home Woman, which has been helping individuals find remote careers and businesses that feed their souls since 2009. Through her unconventional career path of holding over 30 jobs and obtaining two college degrees, she’s been able to figure out how to find a career path that you’re truly passionate about. Holly’s had the pleasure of sharing her expertise on sites like CNN, MSN Money, Huffington Post, Woman’s Day Magazine, as well as being recognized by Forbes as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Your Career.” Holly resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and daughter and enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.
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