When I tell people I used to get paid to travel, they usually don’t believe me. And honestly, if somebody had told me that years ago, I would have had the same reaction. Cause it sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

But what if I told you, you CAN get paid to travel.

That it’s not a scam and it is 100% completely worth it.

Honolulu, Hawaii July 2017

So, how is it possible? I’ll explain. I first came across this opportunity when I was 15 years old and I didn’t even know it. If you’ve read a bit about my back story then you know I traded in my Quinceñeara for a group teen trip to Europe. What I didn’t realize at the moment was that the counselors that were taking us around were getting paid to do so!

All of this didn’t enter my mind until years later, once I had already graduated from college and was looking for a way to fund my travels. Once I realized this, I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. I had to find a way to do it.

First, I looked up the company with which I had done my original trip and saw they were no longer operating, so that was out. Then I did a Google search using different word combinations until I came across the jackpot. There are TONS of companies that actually need people, like you and me, to lead their trips!

The Perks

The majority of these opportunities usually cover your:

  • Flights and all transportation
  • Accommodation while in country and between (if you’re running multiples trips)
  • Food for the duration of your contract (not alcoholic beverages)
  • Activities that are done by trip attendees
  • And you get a WEEKLY SALARY

The best part (for non US citizens) is you don’t need to be a US citizen! There are plenty of US companies doing this and not just for teens, but for adults as well. Because some are contract positions and temporary, sometimes you don’t even need to step on US soil to partake.

Do be aware that although you are getting paid to travel, this is a job so you will need to fulfill the requirements needed to first get hired. Many of these companies also require trip leaders to take many photographs throughout each day of the trip to use as future marketing materials. To avoid fatigue while leading trips, many times trip leaders decide together when one could take a morning or evening off to relax.

The Skills You Need to Have

So let’s talk about what you’ll need to move onto the second round! Of course this will depend if you’re going for a teen centered company or an adult one.

Customer service is definitely a necessary skill to have as you will be interacting with the travelers (adults or teens and their parents) and you need to feel comfortable interacting with them under stress free and stressful moments. 

Experience with your desired group will definitely be a plus on your end. As well as leadership skills and team-player mentality are skills that they’ll be looking for.

Travel experience is a must! Include any and all that you may have such as study abroad, living abroad experiences, trips with family and friends. If you have any professional travel experience, you’ll want to mention it as well.

Positive personality meaning you’re looking at the cup half full type of person and looking how to fix any problems that may arise instead of being negative about them. 

Being a team player is a huge part of the position. Whether with the other staff on the ground, in the office or with the group. You’ll be working with lots of different people from all over the world so you’ll have to adjust to how other people may do things and vice versa.

I would highly suggest that if you are looking for a job or career with these kinds of companies that you look for a way to include these skills in your cover letter and resume. Show a link between past professional and travel experiences that show how you have these skills or how you have acquired them and will put them to use.

Kauai, Hawaii July 2017

The Companies You Could Work For

So now that you know what to expect and what to include when you apply, you’re probably like so where do I find these jobs?!

I’ll post below a few companies that I have researched through, one of which I did work with. If you are looking for more individualized help with your cover letter, resume or to just know more about the position itself, you can book a consultation with me and we can go over anything you may need!

Offbeat Travel is a Latin American based company striving to decolonize travel and create equity in the travel industry. They want to ensure the people in the areas visited have ownership of the benefits to their communities. They primarily operate in Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica so having experience in one of these countries would be helpful.

Infuse Travel is a student travel organization deeply committed to fostering positive change in global communities through immersive experiential learning programs. They place high value on excellence, integrity, sustainability, diversity, connection, learning, adventure, and humility. Infuse Travel is based in Australia and where the organization runs its school led programs. 

Travel for Teens is a company dedicated to making teens travelers and not tourists. Look over their website for the requirements they look for in their summer trip leaders and what current full time positions they have available. TFT is based in Wayne, PA and US training is held in the area while international training is held somewhere in Europe!

Moondance Adventures is an adventure travel company for teens. At this time, their trip leader application for summer 2022 is currently live and accepting applications. After the summer is complete, trip leaders are flown to Nashville, TN for a 2 day debrief!

Travendly is a travel company exclusively for young professionals which they consider to be anywhere from late 20s to early 40s. This company currently has trips around 13 countries. 

Contiki caters mainly to 18-35 year olds across various continents. Their reputation is one of mainly partying. Many of their current positions, at the time of publication, are based in Europe.

Backroads is an active travel company catering to those who love biking, hiking, and multi-adventuring. The opportunities available with Backroads are that of Trip Leader and Trip Prep Specialist. Check the website for more information on each. This company offers you paid travel, free accommodations, an active and dynamic work environment, generous employee benefits, and more!

Need additional assistance in getting paid to travel?

Please note that these are only a few out of so many companies that exist. I’ve chosen these because they currently have open positions. I will update when it changes and possibly rotate to new ones I may find. If none of these are the same as what you are looking for and you want assistance looking for something better catered for you, then don’t hesitate to book a consultation with me.

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