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Off-beat travel careers for the wandering soul

Gone are the days when people made conventional, so-called ‘safe’ career choices. The sole positive outcome of an uncertain world economy where no career is really bankable is that many youngsters now choose what they love to do, and make that their career too. It is safe to assume that most Skyscanner users and readers are travel enthusiasts so this piece is for the younger lot who are at the threshold of a new career. ## If you’re older and stuck in a professional rut, it’s never too late to make a much-needed switch. So if you love to travel and also possess some of the following skills (or willing to learn them), a more enriching life awaits you. Travel careers are not just limited to cabin crew and pilots. Here are some of the best off-beat options:

1. In-flight bartender

There’s only one thing more fun than mixing different liquids to get that perfect cocktail, and that’s mixing different liquids to get that perfect cocktail at 35,000 feet! Many airlines now have full-fledged bars (limited of course to business and first class travellers). So if you know your spirits and your spirit likes to soar, consider becoming an on-air bartender. The only thing missing here will be party music, but let’s get realistic – it’s not a flying club after all.

The In-flight bartender is quite a cool and interesting travel job

2. Language interpreter

Most business, political and even religious conferences have leaders from across the world in attendance, and sometimes language can be a barrier. If you know English along with a couple of other languages and have a sound sense of business and world affairs, employment opportunities are aplenty for skilled language interpreters. You get to travel to picturesque locations and the only downside to this job is that the conversation you’re interpreting could be borderline boring.

A young language and attractive language interpreter in China

3. Destination wedding photographer

There isn’t a more important time for selfie-lovers than their weddings. But there’s only that much clicking they can do themselves. With people increasingly choosing exotic destinations to get hitched, wedding photographers will always be in demand. Ensure you have good portfolio before you approach potential clients. Practice among your friends and family first!

Ramit Batra, a Delhi-based wedding photographer says, “It’s been 8 years since I first photographed a destination wedding in Goa. From there on, not only have I met some incredible people, I have also travelled to some breath-taking locations for weddings – USA, Mauritius, UAE, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Singapore & the most recent one at Muscat, Oman – to name a few. Travelling to these beautiful destinations is packed with amazing photographic opportunities, along with the fun, emotion, laughter, joy and excitement of the bride, the groom and their families on their big day! I feel privileged that my job takes me to places where I can explore new cultures, make new friends and be lost in a fresh new landscape, a beach, a skyline or a mountain with every assignment."

Destination wedding photographer is one of the world's best travel jobs. Photograph credit: [Ramit Batra](

4. English teacher

A CELTA or TEFL qualification enables you to teach English in any country where it is not the native language. This includes all of Asia, and many parts of Europe, Middle East and Africa too. The course is rigorous (many do not make the cut) and demands exceptional proficiency in English so a true love for the language is imperative if you wish to consider it as a career. CELTA is the most recognised and respected English teaching qualification in the world. The great part? No prior experience in teaching is needed to enrol for the course.

Diana Anand, a CELTA graduate, fondly recalls her teaching stint in Spain, “It was a great experience teaching students of a different culture and understanding their attitudes towards learning. It enhanced my own experience a teacher. I love my work because not only does it enable me to travel, but also because I can make a difference in student’s lives by making them learn something new.”

A traveler teaching English to a young Chinese girl

5. Humanitarian worker

Many charities and non-profit organisations require people to create and manage emergency response programmes during crisis situations such as natural disasters. There are even year-round requirements for managers to conduct specific programmes, fund raising drives and awareness events. However, this is a highly demanding field and travel is just a part of it. You must have a genuine love for social causes and most organisations expect a Master’s degree in social work and some basic amount of past experience. UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP are always on the lookout for qualified professionals.

A bunch of friendly and zesty humanitarian workers

6. Athletic Recruiter

If you love sports and have an eye for talent along with good negotiation skills, consider becoming an athletic or sports recruiter. These professionals are employed by teams, training institutes and sports agencies. The work involves keeping a lookout for promising talent pertaining to your chosen sport at all levels – school, college, city, district and higher.

Sports recruiters usually have a degree in sports management but connections count for everything so you really need to get pally with everyone who matters in the sport you choose – from coaches and players to support staff. Once selected, the role involves considerable travel (within the country) to identify potential players.

Working as an athletic recruiter also lets watch live games for free

7. Freelance writer, web developer, designer, anything

When you work on your own terms, wherever you sit with your laptop becomes your office. If you have a marketable skill like writing, editing, designing, and the like, then you can choose to live and work from anywhere you wish to as long as you have your fixed clientele and meet all deadlines. Most creative folk end up becoming full-time freelancers (an oxymoron of sorts) and work out of peaceful, picturesque locations – like the writer of this article!

A freelance writer enjoying the beach

8. Automotive journalist

If you’ve got a passion for all things motoring, possess sound writing skills, and love to travel – consider becoming an automotive journalist. The job requires driving the latest cars, often in exotic, traffic-free locations where you can rev to glory. Anand Mohan, a Pune-based auto journalist quips “Motoring journalism is dream job for anyone into cars, travel or both. It’s long hours at first and spending a lot of time at the desk, but once you get some experience, you will be driving a new car/bike every other day and flying to beautiful destinations to get behind the wheel of luxury cars before the rest of the world sees them.”

An Indian automotive journalist

9. Celebrity Manager

Love Bollywood and the world of celebrities? A celebrity manager travels the world along with the entourage, and manages all day-to-day affairs of his/her client. This includes scheduling interviews, booking travel, handling social media accounts, answering media queries, responding to fan mail, and much more. It can also quickly turn into full-time slave doing all sorts of odd-jobs so kill your ego before you take up the offer. The upside? You get to shadow the high life.

 A celebrity manager protecting his boss from paparazzi

10. Guru

No, we’re not suggesting you don a flowing robe and shun the world. And if you’ve done that, you’re probably not reading this anyway. What we are talking about is becoming a motivational speaker. If your thoughts and words are Ted-talk worthy and you can captivate the interest of your target audience, consider becoming a full-time speaker – be it politics, spirituality, philosophy, or simply life. Just don’t start a cult, please.

Inspire people, and get paid handsomely for doing it

Whether you’re working as a guru or a freelance writer, always book your flights and accommodations with Skyscanner. Not only is it easy to use, but it can also help you score great and super affordable travel deals!