You’re almost there. Your fingertips are about to click “purchase” but you just can’t yet, you need just a bit longer until you’ve saved enough money…
That plane ticket is yours in just a few more months… You swear by it.
The Itch. It’s always there, sometimes more than others, and nothing can scratch it like a jaunt abroad, but what does one do when their account just isn’t ready for that type of commitment yet?
They work harder!
Not a surprise coming from me. I’m always on a soapbox telling people to work harder for what they went, and I’m baaaaack. OK, I never left, but anyway, I’m here to tell you again. Good ‘ol hard work is all that’s going to help your wander addiction and low bank account needs.
Temporary summer jobs at home, temporary and short-term jobs abroad, seasonal work abroad or at home… Whatever you can get your hands on, this is a key to getting abroad faster.
If you want that travel itched scratched stat, go get yourself a temp gig!
Stop Living in the Past
So here’s the truth: the good old industrial work is quickly becoming a thing of the past. 9 to 5 jobs are getting fewer and farther in between. In the past few decades, thousands upon thousands of US jobs have been shipped overseas or have been converted to automation.
Now, you’ve got a couple of choices: you can lament it. You can slug and slog and compete for what jobs are left. You can use that fancy degree you got to work the average 60 hours a week to “get ahead” and “make it.”
You can totally do that. Many, many people are doing that. Or, you can say to hell with that and step into the future.
The Gig Economy
Economists are on to the new wave of work. They call it “the gig economy.” Newer generations want more freedom, more flexibility. Thanks to the internet, younger people are growing up in a smaller world.
They can watch videos online of people in Morocco or meet people traveling around the world from Australia. And because it feels like we can reach out and touch the globe, we want to do just that.
And the absolutely freaking fabulous thing is that you can!
You can reach out and touch the world. You can do it on your own terms. One of the biggest tricks to creating this kind of lifestyle, one full of freedom and travel, options and opportunity, is to embrace the gig economy. Venture into the world of seasonal and temporary work abroad or at home.
Shift Your Perspective
The one and only thing you have to do to make all this happen? Change your mind. Yep. That’s it.
Stop thinking of seasonal work or temp jobs as dead end jobs. Stop thinking of the rat race as inevitable.
Think of seasonal work as an adventure to embark upon. Think of temporary work abroad or at home as a chance to check out something new. Ask any person who successfully changed his or her own reality, went from lame to fame or even dying to thriving, and they will tell you, you have to change your mind first.
But what seasonal work can you possibly get? What temp jobs am I even talking about?
I’m glad you asked. Most seasonal and temp jobs can be done either here or abroad; it’s simply a matter of your personal geographic preference. The question then becomes, where should you go?
Seasonal and Temporary Jobs in the US
You can start at home. Working seasonal work at home can begin right outside your front door. If you’re short on cash and can’t even afford to buy a plane ticket to Italy or South Africa, grab the next seasonal job you can find and start socking away some moola.
But it doesn’t have to be right outside your front door. Take a summer camp job a few hours away. Go work at a ski resort for the winter. Shaking things up a whole lot can be as easy as applying for that temp job and finding a cheap AirBNB or other room to rent in the area.
From local temp jobs, you can jump to positions farther away.
“Stuck” in beautiful Key West, Florida? Sure, it might be a tourist’s dream, but you’re over it. Take some seasonal retail work, save up some cash, and flee your state.
Jump up to Vermont for ski resort work, or down to North Carolina for some agriculture work. You can see quite a few of the states this way, and once you’ve saved up enough cash, buy yourself a plane ticket and a passport, and make the big leap, abroad!
Is it easy to move abroad or even to the next state over? Nope. Did I say this would all be easy? Nope. is it going to be worth the heartache? You F-ing bet it will.
Seasonal and Temporary Jobs Abroad
Finding temporary jobs abroad can be a bit trickier, but just a bit. You can do pretty much anything you can do at home abroad, but now you’re doing it on the River Seine in Paris or overlooking rice paddies in Vietnam.
This is where your world traveling stories begin.
Look at me. I run an entire website based on my lifestyle.
To find seasonal work abroad, you just want to make sure you hook into the local government for a work visa. In fact, it’s a good idea to pick the next country you go to based on the ease with which you can acquire said visa.
If it’s tough to get a job for a foreigner in a certain country, push that place back on your agenda until you’re ready to do remote work. Don’t worry. I’ve got a long list of remote work for you when you’re ready for that.
Get Abroad Sooner by Doing Temp and Seasonal Work
The links below are meant to help you out and get you started on temporary jobs abroad or at home (the US). Don’t forget, if that place doesn’t fit you, just search for that job with a location you love.
If you have enough saved but may need a bit more soon, try getting one of these jobs abroad after you run around the globe for a few months.
Haven’t saved enough? Dedicate a season to stockpiling cash with one of these temp or seasonal jobs so you can save twice as fast!
A Mini Disclaimer
- Working without a work permit is 100% possible but also 100% illegal. Everywhere.
- Not everything is for everyone. It’s OK if you don’t like this list or disagree with this type of work… You don’t need to love it.
- Considering I’m from the USA, “home” is considered the US. You can totally find similar “home” work in the UK, Australia, Canada… and probably tons of other countries. Unfortunately, I can’t dedicate my life to researching all of that, so “home” is the USA throughout this article.
- Not every one of these jobs is totally obtainable by everyone… Yes, you may need a certificate, yes, you may need some money saved before nabbing some of these jobs, yes, you may need a certain qualification for a couple of these, but generally speaking, the requirements are not much.
- And lastly, I am not Google. I can only include so much in this piece. Google is your BFF. This is meant to be a guide, not as a be all end all post. Please take the time to dig a bit deeper as everyone has different requirements and this would be five novels long if I provided every detail to everything!
1. Summer Camp
If you went to summer camp as a kid, you know it’s an experience you carry with you for the rest of your life.
Summer camp can be freaking awesome for kids, and the great thing is, as a grown-up, you can take a trip down memory lane and make some dough as a camp counselor with this sweet temporary summer job.
And now, unlike when we were kids, you can find camp counselor spots all across the country at the touch of a button. Summer camp is a great way to get your feet wet (literally and figuratively) in the world of temporary summer jobs.
Ready to get the hell out of dodge now? Already got a little cash stashed and your visa in your pocket?
You could get a temporary summer job as a camp counselor abroad too. Again, you’ll have to search countries where you either already have a work visa or where it will be fairly easy to get one. But I’ve got a couple links here to get you started.
2. Ski Resorts
This job is the winter version of summer camp.
You get to live out your snow bunny fantasies while letting people on and off the ski lifts, renting out snowboards, or serving up hot cocoa.
These jobs, like summer camp jobs, often come with room and board and some cash for good measure. Oh! And as an added bonus, you get to experience a winter wonderland in the most beautiful locations in the country, or the world.
If I’m you and I’m in front of my calendar, I’d start penciling in Lake Tahoe or Aspen ASAP.
Aiming higher? Perhaps you’d rather skip Tahoe (been there, done that?) and head right to the Alps for that sweet Euro side cash doing temporary jobs abroad?
Do it! Get your work visa for Switzerland or France, and get the job. Even if you’re not good enough to be a ski teacher, working at the ski resorts can make you a pretty penny.
3. Other Resort Work
You don’t have to be a camp counselor (maybe you’re not a big fan of kids) or a ski lift operator (not coordinated?). You can just go clean rooms in a ski lodge or bar back behind the bar of a cool resort.
You could work the front desk of B and B’s across the country during different seasons. Apple picking in Vermont in fall and chilling on the beach in Miami in spring in your off time, all of these are viable winter or temporary summer jobs if you get picked up by a resort.
Also, the seasons can change and take you around the world if you simply follow the globe’s revolution. Remember that below the equator, summer is taking place, while everyone above the equator is bundling up. Find jobs slinging drinks in Mexico or registering guests in Australia.
Yes! Join the thousands upon thousands of fruit pickers (or veggie pickers. Either way.) across the country. Agriculture work is legit back-breaking work, but it’ll take you places you’ve never been.
This really is a matter of perspective. Head to the fields and pick fruit for a season. If you’ve never been to Washington or Pennsylvania or wandered along the shores of the Great Lakes in Michigan, this is one way to get there. It’s one season out of your life, and it could be one of your greatest adventures.
Did you know that cotton is no longer picked by hand in the US? True story.
Now you have to head to Australia or Turkey if you want to pick cotton. Which is great news for you if you want to travel abroad. You can hook up to one of these countries as an immigrant laborer, likely get room and board, and get some cash for breaking your back.
The added bonus here is that you can surf the tide or chill on the beach in your downtime.
Ah, carni work. This job is super chill and super niche.
You have to be into the carni life, late nights, lots of sounds and lights and activities.
It can be super fun or super sketch, depending on the carnival you hook up with and the people in your crew. You can also get a job at a stationary summer carnival like Santa Cruz in California.
This is one of those jobs you definitely have to go into with an open mind. And don’t eat too many funnel cakes!
- Travel Droppings – for tips on getting hooked up in the states
- Santa Cruz Beach Boarwalk – California
Finding carnival and fair work overseas can be more challenging. You’ll need to head to a country with an easy to get work visa and then find a company that travels around that country. But if you’re super into it and have a country in mind, investigate! I’ve got a link for the UK here to get you started.
Home and Abroad
Festivals are super site-specific short-term jobs abroad or at home and you’ll want to be familiar with the country and the festival, or at least the genre of the festival. For example, there’s Boom in Portugal and of course, here at home, there’s Coachella in Southern California.
Festival work can be super fun and laid back; you get the perks of attending the festival, and you get paid for it. And most festival people are fun and friendly, so you could build a whole new network of global friends.
7. Holiday Retail
Home and Abroad
Holiday retail jobs are typically super easy to get and super easy to leave.
You can get a job selling cheese or chocolate during Christmas pretty much anywhere in the world. Okay, maybe not anywhere. The trick here is to pick a city around a big holiday, get there, and start applying well before the holiday.
Christmas is a big one, so if you’re looking around that time, be sure to head to a state (or country) that has a major metropolitan area and actually places a big emphasis on Christmas.
8. Non-Holiday Retail
Just because it’s not a holiday, doesn’t mean retail work can’t be seasonal. Here’s the thing about retail work: by definition, it’s pretty temporary. Unless you work for a retail employer that sets you up for life like Costco or Starbucks, you’re likely not going to be working there for long.
Forever 21 isn’t a long-term gig. What’s cool about that is because the turnover is so high, the jobs are fairly easy to get, anywhere.
You can even use a particular store you like, say Bath and Body Works for example, or Hot Topic, to help you figure out where to go. Pick a national company and let retail take you around the country.
You can use this same strategy around the world. You just have to find an international company. Use it to launch your worldwide travel.
Find Levi’s store in Argentina or an Apple store in the Netherlands, and apply! You can simply look at a map of international locations and then dig into the immigrant work policies of that country.
Hell, if it’s a company you already work for here, it’s actually pretty simple to do an international transfer. Seriously, you could travel the world through major retail companies, as a cashier. Who’d have thought?
Don’t forget, even I did retail in Australia!
Home and Abroad
Like agricultural work, you really have to be into hard labor to get into construction.
You could build homes around the country doing day labor or hooking up with local contracting companies. Construction is pretty much always up, so pick a state, or a city, and look for local construction or contract companies to offer your services to.
If you’ve got a bit of handyman (or woman!) in you, all the better. This work is pretty much the same for both national and international. I’d say unless you already have experience, start in the states and then start looking for countries with expanding construction work and easy to get work visas.
- Female Construction Worker!
- How to Get a Construction Job With No Experience
- Top 5 Construction Markets
10. Federal Contract Work
The federal government of the United States is always looking for workers, especially temporary ones!
You could get placed in a temp job for the government with a federal staffing agency, like Kelly Services, and travel the country according to different needs, skilled or unskilled depending on your own whims.
Meanwhile, you’ll get good pay and benefits while you do hold down that cushy federal job. This job is almost always going to be specific to your own country. You may be able to swing another country if you already have dual citizenship or you’ve got some sort of friend or family hookup abroad.
If you do, hook a sister up!
11. Sports Coach
Played baseball in high school? Been kicking a ball since you could walk?
So what if you never made it to the big leagues; you could coach little league. With a degree in a roughly related field – health, kinesiology, sports medicine – and a certification as a coach, you could pick up seasonal coaching work around the country.
You could coach girls’ soccer, one of the fastest rising sports in the US (Who run the world? Girls!) You could take a temp/seasonal job coaching a sports team in pretty much any state in your very own city and start getting some experience. Then use that to fuel your wanderlust.
Again, this job is pretty specific to the US, unless you’ve got experience already and you’d like to travel to an English speaking country. It’ll be really hard to get a job coaching when your players don’t speak your language.
12. State and National Parks
If you love to be outside, and you find yourself posting endless pics of your hiking and biking, swimming and fishing adventures to your IG feeds, consider the parks system. You could see the entire country as a seasonal park ranger, and learn something along the way.
Whether it’s a midnight tour guide on a snowy mountain in Yosemite or surveying the shores of Alaska at dawn, the parks system will find a place for your wild side.
While you likely won’t get a government job in nature in countries where you aren’t a citizen, you may very easily find conservation work, which is next on the list!
13. Conservation Efforts
Home and Abroad
It may indeed be the case that there are more wildlife projects than there are humanitarian projects in the world. Seriously, something about animals makes humans weak in the knees, and the pocketbook. This reality is a good one for you (and Earth).
It means you can head to Colombia to save giant lizards in the jungle or off to the Sahara in Africa to rescue endangered elephants.
You’ll get room, board, and a stipend, all while doing something good. Who knows? Your temp job may turn into a lifelong career. You can do these short-term jobs abroad or at home.
14. Food Service and Bartending
Home and Abroad
Wait tables or bartend, cook food or wash dishes.
These jobs are a dime a dozen and are even more widespread than basic retail. As much as people like to shop, they like to eat and drink even more.
That’s your spot if you’re into food service. If you’ve got any experience at all, and even sometimes if you don’t, you can get a job in pretty much any restaurant that’s hiring today.
Honestly, the best way to go about getting these jobs is to check to see if they’re hiring and then walk in with your resume, a big smile, and a friendly attitude. You’re hired!
I’ve worked in hospitality on the other side of the USA and in Australia!
15. Teach English
I know it’s low on the list here, but teaching English is actually one of the first jobs people think of when they think of working abroad. I certainly did. I taught English in Thailand for a year, and it led to the glorious world travel I do now.
It is fairly easy to get an English teaching job abroad. You can get a position for the summer or for a whole year, and you may find yourself wanting to stay longer, or at the very least not wanting to head back home right away.
What many people don’t think of, and often don’t even realize, is that you can teach English at home too. No, I don’t mean like your high school English teacher; I mean teaching English to non-native speakers.
You could get a job at your local adult school, or even hire yourself out as a tutor to English language learners. Check your local listings or the listing of a city or state you’d like to check out for a while.
Side note: You can eventually teach English online if you gain experience in the classroom!
16. Au Pair/Nanny
Home and Abroad
Here’s another job that is typically only thought of as international. And it totally can be. You can get hired on as an American nanny in France or Australia, among other countries. You can also get hired on as a nanny here at home.
Regardless of where you are or want to go, you can take a job for a year as some happy couple’s au pair. You could even take a temporary summer job as a babysitter for busy parents who typically don’t need a babysitter during the school year, but definitely, do once school’s out for summer.
If you like kids, this could be the ideal job for you. If you don’t like kids (*like me*), keep moving to the next number on the list.
17. Tour Guide
Home and Abroad
You’ve gotta really know your stuff to take this job.
You can certainly start at home if you live in a tourist place. San Francisco or New York, Boston or Chicago. Big metropolitan areas with lots of culture and history attract tourists from around the world who would love to hear about the place and see the sights.
Similarly, if you are super familiar with some area abroad, you can get a short-term job abroad as a tour guide by hiring yourself out. If you have family in Rome or Singapore, you can definitely be an asset as an English speaking tour guide abroad.
You can even start in your own area and then move to other areas you’re familiar with. Or hey, move to an area, become familiar, then hire yourself out!
I know, to some of you, these ideas seemed really far-fetched. Impossible. Super difficult. Only possible in your dreams…
But you’re letting your thoughts defeat you. Not every single thing on this list applies to every single person, but I truly believe that at least one thing on this list can apply to anyone.
Life ain’t easy and traveling and making money abroad is no walk in the park, trust me, I’ve been living this reality for over seven years now (despite it looking like I’m on perpetual vacay). But if it’s something you truly want, go get it!
Go get a temp job abroad, go find a temporary summer job at home, go find seasonal work abroad…
Whatever it is, find SOMETHING, do everything you can to get it, make that money, and then do it again.
It’s a great way to travel and enjoy yourself for a couple of months while making “pockets of time” your money making months.
So which of these seasonal and temp jobs abroad or at home are for you? Let us know in the comments!
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Nina Ragusa is an adventurer, messy bun master, breakfast fan, and full-time travel blogger. She’s been abroad and epically failing at the American Dream since 2011. Her sassy yet informative blog, Where in the World is Nina? is all about how to work abroad to live a more adventurous life. If you want to travel longer you have to work to wander.