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How to Find Work Abroad Jobs Online & Travel The World

You can hardly go one day without hearing some story about a friend of a friend who just got back from a trip traveling the world on a dime, taking jobs in every city, and meeting incredible people. Whether working on a cruise ship or teaching English on a tropical island, it seems like everyone knows SOMEONE who has worked abroad and had the “trip of a lifetime”. But the stories rarely include how did they get those jobs? Where did they go to find out about them? Here’s how to locate and contact jobs that will help you have more immersive, unique travel experiences while exploring your next favorite destination on a budget.

1. Find work abroad job listings

Check work abroad job boards

A useful and inspiring resource to start looking for job listings abroad is on work/exchange/volunteer abroad boards and websites. Job boards include current listings of companies and people looking for help, with jobs big and small, categorized specifically to help you search. Each site is different, but it is common to see work listed by location, job skills and hobbies/interests. Boards such as Cool Works, Season Workers, Hostel Jobs, and The Jobs Abroad Bulletin help you find contacts as well as browse ideas about possibilities and paths that you may not have even considered. Some sites also have an area where you can post who you are and what you can offer to help employers find you. Keep an open mind about location. This world is huge and there are many outstanding opportunities out there in places that may not be on your Top 10 List… yet! Make sure to keep track of all your favorite work/exchange/volunteer abroad boards on a document (such as a Google Doc) with a clickable list of links so you can go back and check them every few days. Just like getting a good flight deal, finding work isn’t usually a one-day event, so start looking early and do it often.

Stalk social media

Get connected to the most recent job openings by watching posts on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  Join groups and work with other travelers to share information about irresistible opportunities for jobs overseas. Groups on Facebook are often titled following work abroad themes like Working Nomad and Volunteering and Paid Work – NOMADS. Get creative with zany word combinations, searching phrases centered around work and travel and you will have a list of groups to follow in minutes.

Enquire with travel & adventure companies

Push yourself to use travel magazines in a new way. Instead of reading the articles about how other people paid for their travel, flip to the back and check out the travel company ads. Go directly to the websites of those tour companies and find their Employment, Careers, or Volunteer page. Many adventure companies like OX Expeditions in Guatemala, G Adventures, and Backroads have ads on their own websites looking for intrepid travelers to fill all sorts of short and long-term positions that are not advertised anywhere else. In addition to money, travel companies can get you on thrilling excursions that may have otherwise blown your travel budget to pieces.

Ask hostels

Based on your research, make a list of locations you may want to work in and places you want to visit. Then, search online for hostels in the area and send them each a detailed email asking if they know of anyone looking for an extra hand including your availability, a resume and a picture. Like restaurants, hostels come in many sizes and shapes, offering different benefits to you for employment. Explore every option including both independently owned hostels and larger, countrywide chains to find the work that fits you for the experience you can’t wait to begin. Large hostel chains like YHA Hostel in the U.K., Hostelling International in the US, and Oasis Hostels in Europe have dedicated programs for both work and volunteer opportunities that can help you gain experience (and confidence!) from working in a hostel for the first time, as well as guide you to your next hostel job with the same company in a different city. Never forget, fellow travellers work in hostels worldwide, so striking up a conversation at dinner about job openings while staying at a hostel may perhaps be the best way to find honest reviews of truly valuable work opportunities. Getting the juicy, first-hand details from other adventurers can yield excellent contacts and realistic expectations.

2. Review the job requirements thoroughly

As you start to find work and volunteer opportunities that you find alluring, you may notice that job postings online are very informal. Many companies offer work with descriptions limited to simply one or two exciting lines and an email address, with easy to respond to ads in places like Facebook. Do not hit the Comment or Reply buttons just yet!  This is your opportunity to shine. Take a moment to read through the ad several times to follow all instructions and decide whether you could actually travel for the required period. Every work opportunity should be evaluated carefully because you are competing with other travellers who are also very qualified. If you do not follow the stated instructions, it tells the Hiring Manager that you may not be a great fit for the job.

3. Submit your application

Creating a strong application for work abroad jobs online is a unique process that allows a chance for you to explain who you are, and why you would be such a great asset at the company where you are applying. Most applications begin with an emailed application, so make sure it includes absolutely everything requested in the ad. But don’t stop there! Though it may not have been asked for, many companies LOVE extra info that makes you stand out from the giant pile of emails they have to sort through. Dare to not only send a CV/resume, but also:
  • Craft a cover letter designed specifically for the company and job
  • Attach a photo of yourself, one that shows you wearing what you would wear to work at this job
  • List nationality, certifications, work AND volunteer experience
  • Detail languages that you can speak, read and write (even at a beginner’s level)
  • Squeeze in tidbits about other things you can do and would like to learn—remember, a work abroad job may be looking for skills like photography and cooking which weren’t listed in the ad, but could land you the work you want!

Do I need a work visa to work abroad?

Work visas are certainly required in some countries to earn in a paid position. Work visas are issued on short-term and long-term basis, but you often need to apply for them BEFORE you enter the foreign country where you would like to work. When you find a job that you are interested in, look up the requirements for work visas in that country for your nationality. A good place to start is our Travel Assistance section with extensive information on visa requirements Each country has different rules for paid employment, some which include maximum age, type of work, language abilities and more. Many travelers choose to do exchanges and volunteering rather than take paid work because they do not have a work visa. Research the rules early and how closely they are followed!

Are work abroad jobs online actually legitimate?

Determining whether the advertised job you have found online is as dreamy as it seems is a more difficult task than going to an interview in your hometown. There is always a risk that you will travel to a distant location for a job at a sunny paradise resort to find a ramshackle hut and an outhouse with no toilet paper. To avoid a disastrous outcome, contact people at the work opportunity and ask a lot of questions. Email and speak to other employees before committing to the opportunity. You are allowed to ask for recommendations, details about the realities, and tons of photos. Then, create a back-up plan, print it out, and carry it with you. Have enough funds available to get yourself out of the situation if you arrive and it is unsafe or a major scam. Have a written plan of a place nearby with affordable accommodation, cash to catch a taxi, and perhaps another job idea. The adventure is not over if you arrive and someone has been less than honest with you. Be ready for change and you will have a great story!


  • Find a work abroad websites and exchange boards, then check them often!
  • Join travel job groups on social media to get more posts on work in your daily feed
  • Email hostels with your photo and resume for tips about open positions in their area
  • Ask potential jobs important questions, request pictures, and chat with current employees
  • Research work visas and apply for visas BEFORE you enter the country
  • Be prepared for the unexpected and remember this adventure is all about the experience!
With a little bit of patience, looking for work abroad online can be a fun way to learn about new areas and find jaw-dropping opportunities that you had never heard about. Do your research, have an unbelievable trip and get ready for people to start telling your story to their friends!

Read More on Thrifty Nomads

About Winston Irie is Here to Show Yuh' all the Best Ways to Affordably Find Yuh'self in Jamaica for some Authentic Island Hospitality & Community-Focused Tourism, while Spending Much Less* of Yuh' Hard-Earned Vacation Budget in the process!.

( * when compared to the all-inclusive cost of being "entertained" by extinct "limbo dance performances" by "straw-clad natives" at a uniquely monotonous cookie-cutter corporate resort. every single night.. )

Pram! Pram!


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