Many people put "travel the world" on their bucket lists, hoping that they'll one day have enough savings to take a trip or two. But you can get there faster by finding a job where you get paid to travel. From teaching English in another country to defending the U.S. against its enemies, there are multiple jobs that involve crossing an ocean or two.
Whether you are already a working professional or just finishing school, you'll find a range of possible employment options that allow you to travel the world for free. Here are some of the best jobs that let you travel.
You can't take an airplane trip without seeing flight attendants hard at work. These men and women serve food and drinks on the plane and demonstrate safety procedures. Because flight attendants spend their days on airplanes, free travel — both domestic and international — is a built-in benefit. Plus, you can get free or discounted flights through your airline.
If you want to get paid to fly the friendly skies, you will likely need to obtain a high school diploma. Some airlines prefer candidates with a few years of experience in customer service. However, paying your dues will likely pay off; the job has a median annual salary of $44,860, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Related: 20 Hot Jobs That Pay More Than $150K
Cruise Ship Employee
You can score a job on a cruise ship in a number of roles, including an aerobics instructor, youth counselor, junior purser, gift shop clerk, disc jockey and host/hostess. All of these positions pay by the hour, with monthly income averaging $1,200 to $1,500. Plus, your room, board and travel are included, so you'll be able to save what you earn. Choose a position as a bartender or waitress in the cruise ship eatery and supplement your salary with tips.
Overseas English Teacher
Teaching English gives you the chance to live in a foreign country while meeting new and exciting people. You'll need to be a native English speaker, possess a university degree and earn a TEFL, TESOL or CELTA teaching certificate to qualify for a position.
For the best teaching jobs, you'll need several years of experience. Annual pay ranges from $18,000 to $50,000, depending on where you work. The top job markets these days are in Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, South Korea and China.
Foreign Service Officer
As a consular officer for the Foreign Service, you'll work abroad for two to three years at a time. The face of the USA overseas, these individuals perform a variety of duties, such as interviewing applicants for visas and assisting U.S. citizens with passport and legal issues.
You'll need a strong educational background and will have to sit for and pass a Foreign Service Officer Test and oral assessment to score a job in this field. You'll also have to pass several security clearances. Expect to earn a base pay of $73,984 for an overseas position.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most tour guides are paid by the hour, with those in scenic and sightseeing transportation racking in $14.64 an hour, or $30,450 a year. Tour guides for museums and historic sites make slightly less; the median annual pay for these jobs is $24,100.
If you get a job leading tours in foreign countries, your travel will be covered as part of your employment. Although these jobs don't always require college degrees, you will likely need to be fluent in the language of the country you are visiting. And free travel is a serious perk.
Airline pilots flying passenger jets can earn a median annual salary of $102,520 for their efforts. Most pilots start their careers flying commercial planes for charters, rescue operations and firefighting.
Men and women who work as airline pilots generally have college degrees. Additionally, these professionals hold commercial pilot licenses and Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificates. Experts predict job growth of about 5 percent between now and 2024.
Member of the Military
Since the U.S. maintains almost 800 military bases in more than 70 countries, aspiring jet-setters can join the military and travel the world for free. Enlisted personnel participate in military operations and combat exercises, maintain or operate equipment and perform support activities.
Compensation depends on many factors, including rank and time in service. However, you'll get more for foreign, hazardous, submarine or flight duty. Generally, you can expect to earn a starting salary of $1,479.30 per month.
The National Clandestine Service of the CIA handles the collection of human intelligence and operations overseas. As an operations officer, your duties would include recruiting and handling foreign spies. Alternatively, as a management officer, your job would involve managing and evaluating info. Both positions are generally based overseas.
To apply for a job in the CIA, you'll need a bachelor's degree and good grades, as well as proficiency in a foreign language. You'll also have to pass thorough background checks and submit to drug testing. The average salary for a new CIA spy is $49,861 a year.
Reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts have the heady responsibility of keeping the public informed of national and international news and events. Foreign correspondents work abroad and report international news for newspapers, magazines, websites, television and radio.
Expect to earn a salary of around $37,720 per year in this role. To get a job as a foreign correspondent, you'll need a college degree in journalism or a related field, language fluency and some prior experience.
Peace Corps Worker
The Peace Corps is an agency of the United States government that sends citizens overseas to work in developing countries. Each volunteer undergoes three months of training and is then posted abroad for 24 months.
The Peace Corps pays for your transportation to and from the country where you'll be working and gives you a stipend to cover food and housing. Additionally, the Peace Corps gives you an $8,000 lump sum payment at the end of 24 months. Volunteers work in 65 nations around the world, and many refer to the program as a life-changing experience.
Archeologists study the origin of humans and earn a median annual wage of $61,220 for their efforts. Basic duties involve assessing and studying cultures, languages, archeological remains and physical characteristics of people around the world.
Archeologists are employed by research organizations and government agencies. Additionally, some archeologists specialize in fieldwork, which requires travel for long periods. You'll need a master's degree or Ph.D. to apply for archeology jobs, which are unfortunately growing at a lower-than-average rate of 4 percent.
Doctors Without Borders Worker
You'll need a medical degree to work as a doctor for this prestigious nonprofit. While you could obviously make more money taking that medical degree elsewhere, working for Doctors Without Borders lets you travel the world while delivering emergency medical aid to people who are in need due to conflict, epidemics or other disasters.
The average starting salary — $1,913 per month — reflects the organization's commitment to humanitarianism.
Related: 17 Highest Paying Jobs for Women